Monthly Archives: November 2009

Mind over Matter

Explosions of the mind. Mind out. Mind you dont slip. Make up your mind. Mind the gap. Mind over matter. Mastermind. Mind your own business…..

Liebe German singing

I have never been a massive fan of the German language. At school the rolling consonants of Spanish and French were far more alluring to me than the ichts and the bichts of German and learning it was never really contemplated. Whereas I often fantasize about doing more in Spanish than vamosing al cine, discussing Apollinaire in French with my French superstar-DJ/ artist/ model boyfriend and conversing with the Cosa Nostra or Miuccia Prada in fluent Italian, yearnings relating to German chat have pretty much evaded me. Even during my wanting-to-be-a-spy phase I figured a way round the consolatory five languages without learning German; Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and Dutch. (Was very into Amsterdam at the time.)

In fact only on two occasions have I ever really wished that I spoke German. The first was upon finding myself phoneless and lost on the first night of a German dance festival at around three in the morning. Had I have been able to speak German it may never have reached the point where  I decided that best course of action would be to find the first randomer willing to accept 5 Euros so that I could call my parents….. who were on holiday in Italy at the time (and FAST asleep,) to cry about being lost. Although….. maybe  I would have done the same even with the power of the German tongue. Who knows.

The other was when I heard this song……

Wir Werden Sehen – Solomun Vox Remix

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-ZlTZu2uFs

I want to sing in German…just like her.

Shady Characters

Working with Medicom means we’re never short of a few toys in the office. They’ve just bought out a new Sponge Bob Squarepants 400% bearbrick (see http://www.hideout.com) and soon to follow is a Where The Wild things are set which I can’t wait for. Aside from this, my boss has the most epic toy collection that he has been building up since the early eighties. I delved into his stash and selected some of my favourites for a mini photo shoot….check out these shady characters ….

Escape up North.

Not literally. Although there is nothing wrong with escaping up North. I went to Manchester once and it was pretty good. York has a street that looks exactly like Diagon Alley and I’ve yet to experience better bass than I did at Exodus at the West Indian Centre in Leeds. Far more convenient for the lazy Londoner however, would be if the north were brought down to us……and luckily in December it will be…….

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Having battled it out and established themselves as pros on London’s underground scene (and my, what a spectacular battle it has been,) on December 3rd notorious northern graffiti crew One Trick Pony will take their artistic talents overground for the first time for their aptly titled debut exhibition “Its Grim Up North.”

In an exhibition that promises to be brimming with Northern attitude and street style, the seven OTP boys will be taking over The Reebok Lounge in Shoreditch to deliver an array of contemporary artwork and illustration, digital print, motion graphics, animation and 3-D installation as well as other surprises.

white back

In celebration of the exhibition OTP have joined forces with iconic streetwear label Stussy to produce 100 special edition T-Shirts that will be available for purchase from HIP, Leeds www.hipleeds.com and The Hideout, London http://www.hideoutstore.com/

When Nina Simone met Bob

nina-simone

Nina must have had a doobie with Bob.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzaafODAYng&feature=fvw

Beware of the Squid

A Giant Squid took over a pub near my home in Islington the other day. Crazy times.

squid

incense….makes sense

Kuumba1

I first got into incense when I visited the store of  a friend of my Aunt in Japan. Kuumba….may sound like the name of Simba’s long lost brother but in fact it’s a well established incense label that was started in Tokyo thirteen years ago by a couple of Japanese Rastas. Their store is a forum for contemporary Japanese art, reggae/dub music but most importantly smell. Smell is their calling and their being.

I am well aware that incense has a terrible rep amongst certain circles for being cliched hippy shit that smells appalling. Since visiting Kuumba I have become a great believer in incense and feel that these scented sticks of joy have been completely misunderstood. If I had my own way, the whole world would be a great smelling place.  I have however, had many a friend (it’s usually boys) flee from my room gasping for air as a result of my incense burning habit. And so I shall attempt to aid Kuumba on their scented crusade and explain why it is that everyone should burn incense….

Kuumba2

1) Incense does not have to be cliched and hippy.

Of course it can be. If I were to grow my arm pit hair and skip around fields on acid in nothing but daisy chains with burning incense wands in my hands then YES it would indeed be embarrassingly cliched and very hippy.

You need to approach incense with an open mind. Kuumba for example provides incense with a much needed  revised image. With music playing, art aligning their walls, their incense factory in store, and chairs to hang out in, Kuumba provides customers with a community and an experience. Plus these boys really know their scents and name them superbly:  Mystical Mist and Sky Juice are two of my favorites.  For them the burning of incense is part of their Rastafarian philosophy and their various scents are a tangible and purchasable extension of this .

2)Incense can smell bad. Incense can smell good.

What is important here is the stick itself. As with anything cheap and shit, cheap and shit incense will undoubtedly smell cheap and shit. So splash out. I’m not saying spend a fortune just spend a little bit more and find out about scents before buying them. Incense should be approached in a similar way to herbal teas. Different smells have different properties and react differently with the senses of individuals. Different smells can suit different moods and different times of day…If in doubt look to their names.

For a morning incense expereince try  Good Day or Happy to Be

For a night time incense experience try Dream Maker

For a chilled incense experience try Ice

and for a harder hit…. Chronic

3) Contrary to the beliefs of sceptics incense can be very relaxing and atmospheric

Watching smoke rising is very sensual. Smokey rooms brimming with nasty smelling smoke are admittedly rank however, rooms filled lightly with sweet smelling smoke can be incredibly calming and atmospheric. It’s all about incense placement. The  Japanese place their incense in small holders on the floor either by the entrance to or in the corner of a room. This gives the smoke a chance to rise and it’s scent a chance to diffuse. Prime incense time is actually five minutes after the stick has burnt out so if you have been a hater prior to this, try fleeing the room upon burning. Return ten minutes later and it will be glorious.

Romantic Scents: Take It Off, Between the Sheets, or Nude.

4) Incense isn’t just for girls, it can in fact be very manly

It is a truth universally known that boys are prone to smelling bad. The Kuumba boys entered into the incense business because their dreads smelt bad and no one would hire them due to their bad smell and unruly appearance.  As a result their scents can be very masculine.

Try Kuumba’s Dub, Dub Master, Malcom X, Player’s Club, Rasta Man and Pimpin Ain’t Easy….. if you don’t believe me.

Kuumba4

I hope that I have been able to persuade some of you to consider incense in another light. I have tried to aid the Kuumba Rastas in their quest to make the world a better smelling and more peaceful place . In an attempt at sealing the deal, Ill leave you with the wise words of Kuumba’s founder:

We are tour guides who introduce people to the world of incense, we are the Samurai still living. We would travel forever until we feel uncomfortable. There are good days and bad days, but every day is special. One thing you should not forget is that love is the best spice. Nothing beats that.

Kumba scents are available in The Hideout http://www.hideoutstore.com/