Archive for August, 2010

Imam Bayildi…

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

…or stuffed aubergines, but ‘sposedly it’s referred to as ‘fainting imam’ in Turkey. The royal cooks in Turkey (and indeed, Egypt, Persia and a lot of the Middle East) counted many Lebanese amongst their ranks. Indeed, the Phoenicians, who operated from what we call modern Lebanon, were the first to trade spices, hence the fact their cooks were bringing mad skills to the kitchens and turning the palettes of imams/sultans/pharaohs upside down and inside out. Which is A Good Thing. I don’t think I ever cooked an aubergine properly until I tried this.

Ingredients (for 4 mouths):

  • 4 Aubergines
  • Olive oil
  • 2 finely sliced onions
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and finely sliced (I’ve used red in the picture above)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded, chopped
  • 50 g sultanas
  • Parsely
  • 1tsp allspice
  • 125ml water
  • Juice of a lemon

Method:

  • Slit the aubergines down the side (this is making the hole you will stuff later) and soak in salty water for an hour or so.
  • Fry the garlic, onions and peppers in a nice splash of oil. Once they’re soft, add the tomatoes, sultanas, some more oil, parsley, allspice and seasoning. Put it in a bowl and let it chill the fuck out.
  • Preheat ye oven, 160 Degrees of the C.
  • Squeeze any moisture outta yr aubergines and pat dry. Gently fry the aubergines in some oil so ye get them nice and soft all round (that soakage earlier  will help with this).
  • Stuff them, be generous!
  • Lash them in the oven in a baking dish, with the water and lemon juice around them (lash is probably the wrong verb here).
  • Bake for about 45 minutes.
  • Let them cool and leave in the fridge, garnish with some more parsley and aybe some chopped almonds. The consistency will be mad soft, you’d nearly be able to whisk it with your fork. Real nice summer dinner with some taboulleh and olives on the side.

Based on Michael Bateman’s recipe from ‘The World of Spice’.

!K Club tonight w/Lorn & Lakker

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Lamb Rogan Josh

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Cooking curries used to scare me. Very intimidating for a lad from Wexford to do ANYTHING with all them spices. It’s fairly handy though, and Rogan Josh is a good one to do to get the confidence up.

I’ve put in rough measurements for the spices here, but everyone’s taste is different so keep tasting as you go for chilli, salt, whatever and adjust as necessary.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 X chopped onions
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • A ping-pong ball size of fresh ginger
  • 3tsp garam masala
  • 2tsp cumin (preferably seeds, toasted and crushed)
  • 2 tsp coriander (as above)
  • 2 tsp chilli powder or 3 X fresh red chillies
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 500g diced lamb
  • Tin chopped tomatoes
  • Few spoons of natural yoghurt
  • Fresh coriander, loads of

Method:

  • Fry up the onions in a little oil on medium heat till they’re nice and soft then add the garlic and ginger.
  • After a few minutes add the spices
  • Once your entire house smells delicious from the spices, add the lamb and brown it.
  • Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil, then after a few minutes add the yoghurt.
  • Turn the heat down, stick on the lid and let it bubble away till the lamb is nice and tender, about an hour and a half (longer the better!). Give it a stir and a kind word every half hour or so.
  • Once it’s cooked, add the fresh coriander and serve with some basmati rice.

Nu Chunes

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Second Square to None make their debut release in the form of Niamh de Barra‘s ‘Cusp’ EP. The launch for this last Sunday in the Joinery was brilliant fun altogether, place was rammed and Aoife-Aoife did a great job on visuals and decor. Niamh’s set was deadly, she also had a 10-piece choir perform one of her vocal compositions live, which was class! Get her EP here.

Next up, we got Stasis following up the excellent ‘Antimode’ with Loudmouth, a four-tracker of chunky electronica featuring Lakker, Nomina, Rory St John and Fran Hartnett (who Surgeon recently tipped as one to watch in this interview). Get it here. Oh, and Lakker will be playing the K Club next Thursday with Lorn.

Another excellent home-grown release is Anodyne‘s ‘Corrosion Remixes EP’ for Psychonavigation Records. Anodyne’s track gets the remix treatment from The Black Dog, Autechre and Lacklustre. On the digital release there’s a few more remixes, including one by Ed Devane. Check it.

Joe Sacco

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

The news of Harvey Pekar recently passing away (the man behind American Spleandour) reminded me that I haven’t put up a post yet about comics (or graphic novels as they are often referred to, ahem…).

So here’s one. Since I’ve already mentioned Pekar (RIP), we might as well stick with genius and take a look at Joe Sacco.

Based in Portland, Sacco has covered an interesting range of topics to date, in what could be called ‘comic journalism’. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of laughs in his work (he tends to treat himself in quite a self-depracating way), but a lot of his subject material is quite sensitive, for example, ‘Safe Area Gorazde’ deals with a Bosnian Muslim enclave surrounded by Serbian territory shortly after the collapse of the UN-designated ‘safe area’ that was Srebernica.

My recollection of what happened in the former Yugoslavia was fairly blurred to be honest, and I haven’t met too many people who’ve been able to put me straight. Sacco manages to explain over half a century of Yugoslavian history in a clear and concise manner that enables one to understand how things went to shit so quickly over there. For example, I never knew why the Serbs felt so hard done by, how had Milosevic and co rallied Serbia into such a nationalist frenzy. Well, for starters, the genocide carried out by the Croatian fascist Ustasha that was put in place by the Nazis led to the formation of two distinct groups, the Partisans (predominantly Serbian but welcoming to Croats and Muslims, with Tito in charge) and the Chetniks (who sought the creation of a greater Serbia). Tito and his Partisans came out on top by the war’s end, and the country was relatively stable during his Communist reign. With the fall of Communism, Serbian nationalism rose again, cultivated by Milosevic. Once Kosovo and Vojvodina were stripped of their autonomy, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence, wary of Serb dominance in the rotating-power Yugoslavia that had replaced Tito’s rule. War broke out, and although Slovenia left the federation relatively unscathed, Croatia, with its large Serbian minority, became engulfed in a bitter war with Serbia, and its close ally, Montenegro.

Sacco’s research into the disgraceful performance by the UN is pretty sharp. Fearful of being seen to take sides, the UN refused even to defend its own observers, who were often captured and tied to Serbian position to prevent air strikes. It seems that the UN presence was somewhat reluctant anyway, with Lt Gen Rose, the top commander there at the time, quoted that Gorazden casualty estimates “were indeed an exaggeration”, and that the casulaties had been inflated “in order to shame the world into doing something”. He dismissed the quality of the UN observers who had taken the casualty estimates, but what’s interesting here is that Rose himself had ordered them in himself, and that they were “elite British troops”.

I’ll leave it there, but if you’re looking for a pretty good account of what happened in an area that wasn’t Sarajevo during the war (which was pretty popular with the reporters back then), check out ‘Safe Area Gorazde’.

I’d read Sacco’s ‘Notes From a Defeatist’ before and was fairly impressed with his journalistic style displayed in the chapters dedicated to the history of aerial bombing that targeted civilian populations (such as allied ‘thousand-bomber’ operations on Dresden). Just to make it clear, it’s not a graphic novel, it’s full-on reporting. When he’s not a witness (as he was in the former Yugoslavia, Palestine and the Gulf), he’s a thorough researcher, and also one of the most unbelievable artists out there. His portrayal of people on the ground, of translators, fellow journalists and of the day-to-day scenes in places like Gorazde is incredibly compelling (such as thh Bosnian Muslim Riki, who begs Sacco to transcribe the lyrics of his U2 and Eagles tape collection so he can entertain his fellow Gorazdens at late-night coffee-drinking sessions). Below is a typical Sacco page, taken from his American Book Award-winning ‘Palestine’, which “ set new standards for the use of the comic book as a documentary medium, and was the first non-fiction graphic novel to invite serious comparison with Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus.” There ye go.

The latest book by Sacco is titled ‘Footnotes in Gaza’, which focuses on the massacres carried out by Israeli troops on civilian populations in the Gaza Strip towns of Rafah and Khan Younis in 1956. Again, fair balls to Sacco for digging deep into the past to cover something most young Palestinians saw as irrelevant: “What good would tending to history do them when they were under attack and their homes were being demolished now?” Considering the lack of records on these incidents from either Egyptian or Israeli military forces, the primary research involved testimonials from eye witnesses and suvivors. Sacco does an incredible job here, mapping testimonials gathered over a number of months together to see where the overlaps occur, to find the consensus on the facts, and dismiss the exaggerations (of which there are plenty!).

There’s a multitude of publications on contemporary Palestinian history, of which I’ve read very few, but I found this a pretty good starting point for the roots of the conflict. That’s it, book review time over!

“In a world where Photoshop has outed the photograph to be a liar, one can now allow artists to return to their original function — as reporters.”

Art Spiegelman, author of Maus

Sustainable Music

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

A couple weeks ago I approached Matt Shadetek from Dutty Artz with a few questions regarding how a recording artist is supposed to exist and enjoy a sustainable ‘career’, ye know, doing their art.

Matt’s been doing music for years, whether it’s production, DJing, label management, teaching, list goes on. He blogs regularly on Dutty Artz, alongside the likes of DJ/rupture and Geko Jones, and he’s since started up his own blog talking bout ‘music production, creativity and life in the internet’. I recommend you go check it out, some proper insight there. Plus, he’s got a new album out now, ‘Flowers’, that’s the bees knees, personal favourite is the steppin’ delights of ‘Strength in Numbers’. Lovely stuff.

Also, this discussion Matt and I have been having is posted up there (in edited form). Here’s an excerpt:

“Redmonk, a person I’ve been acquainted with through the music scene for a while made a comment on my post ‘I’m Doing It For The Scene Maaaan‘ which was relevant to the thesis he’s working on.  He posted a few thoughts and links in the comments to that post and rather than type out my reaction as a super long comment that people might not see I decided to do a post about it.

Generally the thoughts are all circling around how artists will make money after the business of selling recorded music, what I call the recording business, finally dies.  I use the term recording business rather than music business because there are plenty of businesses about or around music which are making lots of money including gear manufacturers, educational institutions, makers of music listening devices etc.  The biggest casualties I see in all this are the labels and at some level the artists.  Redmonk is italicized below, my thoughts are interspersed.

Hey Matt, you might have seen this:

http://labs.timesonline.co.uk/blog/2009/11/12/do-music-artists-do-better-in-a-world-with-illegal-file-sharing/

Predicts that artists will supposedly soon be making more from gigs than selling physical copies of their music.

There are more and more theorists (including Gerd Loenhard – http://www.mediafuturist.com/ )  essentially arguing that we should be heard first, build an audience and then once the trust is there, they’ll pay to see our gigs, buy our merch etc. So give the music away for free (cos if people want to, they’ll get it for free somehow) and make money through other streams.”

—–

Since that’s gone up, the good people at Bass Music Blog have wrapped up their ‘Diary of a Free Album’ project, which, for me, has been great to follow. Statistics and insight from people (ID and Baobinga) who are actively involved in the scene, producing, releasing, DJing, etc.

A few interesting points from I.D. in it that would upset the aformentioned Gerd Leonhard’s arguments a bit:

“But, what about live stuff?  The exposure!  Artists should give away music for free, and live off the shows, yes?  Well, as far as we can tell, the album has had a fairly minimal effect on our bookings.  I’ve had one gig that I can directly attribute to the album; but in general over the last few months my gigs have been about normal; Baobinga hasn’t noticed any significant change either.”

So, maybe the theory of ‘music for free, money from gigs’ doesn’t work for underground, independent artists then? Different story for the ‘legacy’ artists though. Sure, big bands can still give away free albums, cos everyone’s gonna buy the ultra-limited DVD package, as well as attend the stadium tour, they’ve already built up a huge following who will eat up everything they do, so the ‘legacy’ that they live off, from the glory years of recorded music, will continue on, they’ll survive. It doesn’t matter if millions of people are downloading their back catalogue for free, they’ll still make a mint.

But for our poor independent artist, what can they do? Get €100 for a Friday night gig? Then what? Wait another six months before approaching that venue again? You can’t live off  that. OK, it’s different for DJs, they can rock round to the club every week with a whole bag of freshness (which does take work, mind), whereas a producer can’t exactly create a fresh live set every week, can they? That’s always been the problem for the producer, unless they’re hopping from one country to another on tour, playing to fresh crowds every night. A DJ can play a every week in his hometown, a producer can’t really. Here’s another interesting point from I.D.:

“…the more artists have to rely on live shows to make up their income, the more the supply of performers increases, and thus prices drop as an increased number of artists compete for the same amount of Friday and Saturday night gigs.”

To be honest I don’t know if that’s necessarily going to effect underground music. I don’t know many any producers who rely on album sales, and thus having to get more gigs cos they’re giving their music away for free. I’d say the above scenario would more apply to those who already rely a significant amount on recorded music, and are well established.

I’ll write more on this in the near future but diversification looks to be the way forward for all us artists out there. Doing peripheral work related to your core art that allows you to keep doing your art. Like if you’re a producer, getting some soundtracking or sound design work. OK, means dealing with clients and registering as an independent trader and whatever else, but ‘sides that stuff it’s not a million miles away from what you do already. Sure, there’s gotta be more options out there for producers then all just going out and getting soundtracking work (which makes it sound so easy). Feel free to add suggestions to the comments.

Oh and you might as well check ID and Baobinga’s ‘Bass Music Sessions’ album here. Quality stuff!

Lamb Kofta Kebab

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

This one’s a banger. Home-made lamb kofta kebabs, zingy salad, and fresh flatbreads.

It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe, so you’ll find the ingredients and method here. It’s really handy to make, try to have a few metal skewers as they’ll conduct the heat through the meat and cook it from the inside. Although I made mine using wooden skewers (soaked in water for ten minutes or so) and fared alright!

You might as well have a go at making the flatbreads fresh as well, there’s heaps of good recipes out there. If yr stuck for time, bounce a few tortilla wraps off a hot, dry pan either.

Base 2010

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Yoyo, BASE is part of the Trans Festival in Belfast. It’s two days of live painting and music by some of the best European artists out there. Took place in St Anne’s Square in the Cathedral Quarter, which was a slightly unreal environment (freshly built, all giant pillars and solid paving, you wouldn’t want to spill any paint over…)

It was all go for the two days, here’s the piece I did (which is named after Ed Devane’s track on the forthcoming !Kaboogie release, ‘Rapidfirebuzzer EP’).

Dog Boy

Elph in action

Tweet

Friz, KVLR, Will Barras (work in progress)

Kriksix

While we’re on Kriksix’s work, go check out what he did to this car

Connie Bree

Dreph

Ruse

Krek

Bad Seed & Miguel Martinez

Mr Kern

Richt

And more!

Spoom you

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Had an exhibition recently in Belfast with my fellow Spoomers: Dog Boy, Friz, KVLR and Bad Seed.

Really successful night, big thanks to all who dropped down, and also to the Homespun and Rudimentary DJs for laying down some fine jams.

I’ll have more photos of the work up soon (once I get a Gallery page built, soon, I swear…), but in the meantime, here’s a couple of pieces I did at it.

So they were all painted straight onto the walls, here’s a few little canvases too:

Got to check out some graffiti walls while I was up north too, check it:

Spazzmajazz in Berlin

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Hold tight the Berlin massive, this one’s for you-u-u-u!

This party is being put on by none other than Richie !Kaboogie and Simon “Swarm Intelligence and Stasis” Hayes (yes we call him that).

INFLOW:

Line-up /
Tín-Jí (DJ – Dubstep/Boogie)
4Cantons (Live – Abstract Hip-Hop)
Swarm Intelligence (DJ – Grime/Techno/IDM)
DJ Ya ya (DJ – Breaks/Dub)
Saiman (DJ – Dubstep)
Sleepwaker (DJ – Dubstep)
Richie !K (DJ – Grime/Dubstep/Dancehall)
The Original Fakes (DJ – Fidget)
Pisu (Live – Dubstep)
Giotto (DJ – Dubstep/Techno)
Prince Kong (Live – Grime/Dub/Breakcore)
Ricky Xhol (DJ – 60s/Soul)
Promoter /
Spazzmajazz
address to follow…

:::English

Achtung! SPAZZMAJAZZ – Berlin’s new skankin’ bass rave lords have arrived to alleviate the minimal overload!!!!

and to kick things off with a BANG we are hosting a free open air shinding this Saturday, celebrating all things fresh across the bass spectrum.

So expect a brain-rattling mash up of dubstep, new garage, uk funky, grime, baltimore, juke, bashment, dancehall, wonked up tekno, jungle, acid, breakcore ‘n all tings rave…

:::: Deutsch

Achtung Achtung! Spazzmajazz- Berlins neue Bassrave Lords sind angereist um dem ungehörigen musikalischen Übermaß an Minimalistischem entgegenzutreten!!
Um das ganze mit einem ordentlichen Kracher zu starten, veranstalten wir diesen Samstag und Sonntag eine ausgelassene OpenAir Tanzerei in wilder Natur, um feierlich all die freshen Klänge im Spektrum des Bass zu zelebrieren.

Also macht euch auf eine abenteuerliche durchschüttelnde Reise durch die Welten des Dubstep,New Garage, Uk Funky, grime, baltimore, juke, bashment, dancehall, wonked up tekno, jungle, acid, breakcore und was sich sonst noch so in diesen Gefilden herumtreibt, gefasst.