The picks of the week from around the web.
Just wanted to hype the release of my man DJ Carsten and his MC partner in rhyme, Paulo, on their new release, Den nye gamle stil (‘The New Old Style’). I’m obviously biased, but I still cannot recommend their work enough, if you want to get a taste of quality Danish underground hip hop.
Carsten’s production skills have grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, synthesizing traditional boom bap sound with a more jazzy vibe without ever sounding contrived, while Paulo has long been one of the most interesting and original MCs on the Danish scene. Although perhaps a little too mired in the classic preservationist, back-to-the roots, two-turntables-and-a-microphone themes so common in a lot of hip hop, he brings to the table a highly distinctive, often arrythmic, almost conversational flow, and when doing more concept-driven raps, such as “Animalistisk” on the new record, he shows himself as a fine writer too.
I’ve been reading that Showcase collection of 1950s Challengers of the Unknown comics by Jack Kirby intermittently over the past months. The stories are pretty dreary — although large parts of them can probably be ascribed to him, Kirby was still working with a pretty pedestrian writer in Dave Wood — but the art is just fantastic!
Jeg har haft den her til at ligge et stykke tid og skriver som Bunkerens læsere måske vil have noteret kun sjældent anmeldelser, men den fortjener alligvel et par ord. Jacob Rask Nielsen er manden bag den noget ujævne, men grafisk stærke “Klovn!” i Free Comics og var vinderen — med striben Carlo & Co. — af Berlingskes dubiøse tegneseriekonkurrence 2006. Siden har han udviklet sig betydeligt, både rent grafisk og fortællemæssigt, i en række charmerende, selvudgivne børnebøger, og dette kan mærkes i Exodus, der mig bekendt er hans første forsøg udi en længere tegneseriehistorie.
The picks of the week from around the web.
For ten years now, my man Lars has run the graffiti project at the Roskilde Festival — every year, they gather writers from around the world, who come at their own expense to decorate the walls and barriers around the festival area and parts of the camping grounds, and the quality of the work has long been top notch. It’s a great partnership between the festival and the writers, which gives everyone some great work to look at, instead of the random tagging and throwups of earlier times. A veritable, if discrete, annual arts festival.
Rapspot and Molotow have documented this year’s walls, while Lars himself has run a bunch of videos from the street art area, as well as a couple of spots, one from the festival’s own web TV channel and one from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The festival itself also has a write-up in both English and Danish. Also, here’s the Bunker’s post from last year.
Here’s a drink, *ting!*
The English illustrator, painter and comics artist Martin Vaughn-James passed away last week (obits here and here). Perhaps this will be an occasion for comics world to take greater note of this significant artist and innovator in the medium. Owing to his influences and probably especially the fact that he lived in Brussels for the latter part of his life, he is much admired by critics and scholars, if not the comics-reading populace at large, in the Francophone world. In America, however, he lamentably remains largely unknown.
From what little I’ve seen of his work as an illustrator and painter, I would hazard the guess that his work in comics, although comparatively limited — consisting as it does of a mere half a dozen books — is nevertheless his most significant. His approach to the form, both in terms of narration and, more concretely, his blend of words and images, remains unique in the medium, all the while prefiguring important later innovations by direct progeny such as Schuiten and Peeters and Marc-Antoine Mathieu, as well as by such less directly related figures as Richard McGuire and the Fort Thunder cartoonists, different as they are.
I owe Michael Jackson a huge debt. In many ways, he gave me a music I could call my own. Thriller hit at just the right moment for me, opening a musical path different from that of my parents. Youngsters were already popping and locking on the corners around my neighbourhood and tags were being scrawled on the walls on the way to school. I didn’t have a tape recorder myself, but friends would play the album when I was over, and we would imitate the bigger kids on the block with our own interpretation of the uprock and electric boogie.
Of course, Michael wasn’t hip hop, but he came from the same place, and he related directly to the culture and of course influenced it considerablyâ€”the moonwalk, for example, is intimately related to dance steps first taken on concrete. Before moving on to the Rocksteady Crew, Run DMC, and the Fat Boysâ€”and eventually more broadly the music of Black America, including his great paragon, James Brownâ€”he was the voice of the streets for me.
Så er denne signatur atter kommet hjem fra Roskilde Festivalen i god behold. Som sædvanligt med følelsen af at være totalt mørbanket efter dage med musik og fest i overdådige mængder, og med farvelråbet “vi ses til næste år!”
Emmas og mit bryllup havde den uheldige konsekvens at vi glippede Roskilde i år. Det ville ellers have været undertegnedes 15. festival og den 10. i træk. Vi ville gerne havde kunnet klone os selv og have haft det skægt på to kontinenter samtidig, men sådan spillede drejebordet ikke denne gang.
Nåmmen, pointen er såmænd bare, at Rapspot som sædvanlig var på pletten med Danmarks bedste hip hop-dækning og at I bør checke for deres updates, der hvis jeg kender proceduren ret vil fortsætte i en jævn strøm de næste par uger.
Foto v. Rapspots Kenneth Nguyen. Her er sidste års Bunker-rapport fra festivalen.