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album: oto no wa –
selected sounds of japan 1988-2018
︎Music, Album, Ambient, Electronic   
︎ Melt

The fifth entry in label Music For Dreams  Collector’s Series they enlist the skills of Japan-based musical connoisseurs. Their compilation Oto No Wa sets out to map the evolution of chilled Japanese sounds across 3 decades.

Collecting 14 tracks, produced by a wide range of artists. From ambient pioneers to dance-floor veterans.

Further Listening ︎

“The 90s give us the seminal electronics of Susumu Yokota, and the solar-flare strut of Scha Dara Parr - Japan’s answer to The Beastie Boys. Here, remixed by the legendary Major Force. Moving into the 21st century we have the post-house productions of Flower Records. Kentaro Takizawa’s oceanic Gradual Life, and Little Big Bee’s colourful coral reef-diving Scuba.

Fellow traveller, Kaoru Inoue’s “Kyushu kosmische”. Representing the next decade are Flower Records’ current rising stars, Coastlines, who calmly combine classic fusion, library music, and gentle nova bossa nova rhythms. Alongside them are the sun-baked electro-acoustics of Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu, plus Chillax’ previously unreleased epic analog / modular jam.

1. Yoshio Ojima – Sealed
2. Olololop – Mon (orte Remix)
3. Kazuya Kotani – Fatima
1. Schadaraparr – N.I.C.E. Guy (Nice Guitar Dub)
2. Little Tempo – Frostie
3. Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu – Coco & The Fish
4. Kentaro Takizawa – Gradual Life (Album Version)
1. Yoshiaki Ochi – Balasong
2. Kaoru Inoue – Wave Introduction
3. Little Big Bee – Scuba (Original Version)
4. Coastlines – East Dry River
1. Susumu Yokota – Uchu Tanjyo
2. Chillax – Time And Space
3. Takashi Kokubo – Quiet Inlet

All of these selections are the result of some serious digging but more importantly they represent physical connections made during Ken’s 20-plus-year career in the Biz and Max’ decade of DJing all over Japan. Music made by folks interviewed by Rob at the websites, Test Pressing and Ban Ban Ton Ton. Friendships forged at Lone Star - the trio’s long-running party, which takes place every month at Bar Bonobo in Harajuku.”

“From ambient pioneers to dance-floor veterans.”


album: three body
︎Music, Album, Beats, Electronic   
︎ Melt

This eponymous release from Three Body fuses digital futurism with cosmic organica. Hedonistic breakbeats, woodwind and keys interpolate six melodious tracks, stemming from live recordings, revolving around percussive conversations. With the band’s raw minimal approach and combination of natural and synthetic instrumentation, this elemental EP offers an innovative study of contemporary electronic music and its relationship with ethnic rhythms and tones.

Further Listening ︎

︎ [Running Circle]

1. Palm Leaf
2. Messenger
3. Orbited Theory
4. Jampa Gawa
5. Samarkand Bazaar
6. Foyer

Three Body are a contemporary electronic and ethnic fusion ensemble from Nottingham, England. Formed in 2014, the trio began jamming live and recording in an open format, self-releasing 2 EPs with an improvisational take on beat music. The band later featured on Brownswood’s first Future Bubblers compilation; track ‘Nomad’ signalled the band’s obsessio with ancient timbres and earthly grooves. A series of live shows, recordings and releases pursued, alongside works with new age mystics Spirit Wrestlers [founded by Woosh of DIY].

“Hedonistic breakbeats, woodwind and keys interpolate six melodious tracks”


niki de saint phalle

︎Artist, Sculpture, Illustration, Article  
︎ Ventral Is Golden

"The world is round, the world is a breast."

Born near Paris, raised in New York and having worked predominantly in Switzerland, Italy and California, Niki De Saint Phalle (1930 - 2002) became an impassioned creator, transforming the raw materials of her traumatic childhood, at the hands of her abusive father, into provokingly tender works, bulging with animism and feminine energy.

Having experienced that the assigned ‘world of the woman’ was too restrictive, Saint Phalle’s later work became associated with the Nouveau Realists. She produced an eclectic array of works ranging from drawing, collage, graphic design, film, Tirs (’shooting’ paintings) and sculpture. In addition, her Tirs were considered one of the earliest exmaples of Performance Art.
Alongside her Shooting Paintings, “Happenings, Fluxus, and performance (of the 1960’s) sought a discursive, interactive relationship between artist and spectator; new conceptual frameworks emerged, informed by gender awareness. Women artists began to intervene directly in male-defined social and political spheres, articulating frustration at the injustices of domination.

Saint Phalle’s tarot card designs, along with Gaudi’s Parc Guell in Barcelona, and the Watts Towers by Simon Rodia in LA, served as the basis for the baroque influenced Tarot Garden in South Tuscany, which showcased her drawings as larger-than-life phantasmagoric structures, playfully immersive, volumptuous and womb-like. Additionally, having worked with assistants for fifteen years to create the garden, she was able to utilise the traditional mosaic aesthetics of regional Italian artisans.  
Her most iconic sculptures, known as the Nanas (loosely related to the derogatory french term for ‘Broad’) swept across domains of the absurd, the playful and the provocative, growing symbolically to represent the neglected aspects of matriarchy within a wider political and social context from the 1960’s onwards. 

“(The Nanas) reflect the new vision of womanhood that appeared in the 1960s: strong images of femininity and of a triumphant maternity. In 1974, the Nanas became a feature of public space for the first time with the commissioning of three giant Nanas by the city of Hanover. Furthermore, La Grande tempérance and L'Ange protecteur [Guardian Angel] have been watching over the inhabitants of the city of Luxembourg and travellers at Zurich's main station respectively since the mid-90s.


mixtape: fervent moon – 12.02
︎Mixtape, Music, New Wave, Synth, Soul, Folk 
︎ Melt

Asorted selects from  ther Fervent Moon

The Aay Jays – Lal Qalandar Lal
Alfredo Gutierrez Y Sus Acordeones Dorados – Cumbia Loca
Ceefax – Dissolving Skull
Andy Noble – Hootch (Arabian Style)
Kalyanji Anandji – Background Music
Rhythm Devils – Cave
Den Sorte Skole – Alvin
Fancesco De Masi – Gold Again
Huruma Boys Band – Teresia
Yamasuki – Kashi Kofima
Burundi Black – Burundi Black (2Ème Partie)
Rüdiger Lorenz – Burning Heart
Edgar Froese – Detroit Snackbar Dreamer
Azul Y Negro – Mar De La Tranquilidad

Further Listening ︎


mixtape: habibi funk 2 – jakarta records
︎Mixtape, Music, Arabic, African   
︎ Melt

“I got to travel a lot in north africa in the last years thru touring with blitz the ambassador and the studio session with oddisee for sawtuha in tunisia. while being there i did some digging and found some incredible music from the 60s and 70s. some of the music in this mix has zero info on the net, was never sold on ebay and has not been "rediscovered" yet. others are somewhat classics in the field of „arabic groove“. the music in this mix comes from morocco, libya, eggpt, algeria, lebanon and syria.”

01. Assa'd Khoury - Al Gaba
02. Sabah – Dek El Kaff
03. Karim Shourhy & Andrea Rayder – Take Me Back To Cairo
04. Feddoul – (Reprise de Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag)
05. Ziad Rahbani – Intro Instrumental 2
06. Sharifa Fadel – Mawal El Ashak
07. Salah Ragab and The Cairo Jazz Band – Egypt Strut
08. Golden Hands – Take Me Back
09. Elias Rahbani & His Orchestra - Moonlight Melody
10. Mahmoud Megri - Tefham
11. Elias Rahbani – Dance of Maria
12. Abdou El Omari - Rajaat Laayoun

Further Listening ︎


mat maitland

︎Art, Digital, Collage   
︎ Mat Maitland

"Over time my collage images have evolved into something less ‘cut and paste’ and more redfined but essentially still use the same ethos of unplanned accidents."

As I have spent the last 2 weeks sharing some of my visual inspirations I thought I would end my residency with some of my own work as an image maker. This strand of my career began as a hobby really and a creative outlet away from art directing and designing music projects, one of which was the catalyst for following this visual path - Goldfrapp’s 'Black Cherry’ album. Over time my collage images have evolved into something less 'cut and paste' and more refined but essentially still use the same ethos of unplanned accidents using a desperate source of found library imagery - apart from when a specific element is needed which would be shot. The images and films most often combine my love of surrealism and pop and have allowed me to work with more fashion orientated clients. I hope you enjoyed my posts, Mat.

Further Reading ︎


john kacere

︎ Mat Maitland

"The images are sensual, sexual, beautiful and exude a intimate narrative"

Kacere made a career out painting the mid-section of women dressed in lingerie, creating an iconic body (excuse the pun) of work. His work takes on an almost classical aesthetic, which could be attributed to the luxurious materials and skin on display. The images are sensual, sexual, beautiful and exude a intimate narrative because you are forced to think outside of the frame he is showing us. I have a bit of an addiction to photorealism and always admired the specificity of his subject matter which was so individual against the more well trodden paths of say buildings, cars and fruit.

Kacere was a direct reference for the opening scene of Sofia Coppola’s 'Lost In Translation’ which shows an almost still life study of Scarlett Johansson’s behind in sheer pale pink underwear.


people of kau – leni riefenstahl

︎ Mat Maitland

"I’m attracted to the idea of projected characters and personas - a way of twisting reality"

I have always been fascinated by masks and the facade of fantasy, it's something that often (unintentionally) flows through my work and even on my Instagram through some of the visual references I post.

I’m attracted to the idea of projected characters and personas - a way of twisting reality - because even in the smallest way we all use props to express our individuality to present something of ourselves outwardly but in the creative arts it is especially powerful when elevated beyond the every day and into the realm of theatre.

“in the creative arts it is especially powerful when elevated beyond the every day and into the realm of theatre.”
It’s partly what attracted me to this body of work by German photographer Riefenstahl - aside from the fact that the photographs themselves are truly striking. The images below are from the book People of Kau, published in 1976 and featuring a portfolio of stunning images depicting the tribal face painted designs of the Kau tribe. It has to be said that Riefenstahl was something of a controversial figure which I won’t go into here as you can read more online if you choose to.


james rosenquist

︎ Mat Maitland

"The immense scale of the pieces felt like you were viewing them in IMAX format"

Rosenquist died in March and it brought back into focus my first intoxicating experience seeing his work. It was a show about 15 years ago in a disused warehouse behind the Truman Brewery in East London. The immense scale of the pieces felt like you were viewing them in IMAX format, it was astounding. Being a collage artist myself, albeit a digital one, I was mesmerised by the collage technique he used in many of his paintings, surely not lost on Jeff Koons who surely tipped his hat to Rosenquist when making his Easy Fun series in the mid nighties.

He began his working life as a billboard painter in America and like many Pop artists of the era adapted advertising and recontextualized it into fine art helping to define the Pop Art movement of the 60’s. However, my favourite work is from the 80s and 90s.


salvador dali - art in jewels

︎Photography, Surreal   
︎ Mat Maitland

I love the internet, it’s a great place to discover new things but really books are still the best source for uncovering forgotten visual marvels. Such is the case with this one which contains a series of fine jewels based on Salvador Dalí drawing and paintings. The pieces were created by Alemany & Company of New York in close collaboration with the artist. If that wasn’t enough, the photography and design of the images are incredible too. One of my top 5 books.


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