Sunday, 13 May 2012

Music on a Sunday afternoon? Yes please...

Hello all. Today is going to be an interesting post for two reasons. Firstly, its just me (Aslan) solo today, no Estée. Secondly, we are going for a real change in direction with the nature of this post. What sort of direction? Well if you have not already guessed from the title, I am going to give you guys some music suggestions. 

I have some time to myself on a beautiful Sunday and I was just listening to music in the background and I decided I should do something a little productive by treating you guys to a little aurgasm. (To the confused, that was a pun and this is post will not be sexually related at all, so calm down and stop getting too excited). 

If you are a little sceptical at this point (in a way I am a little too), I say don't jump ship right at this moment: stay. We are going to find out together if our scepticism is true. Bear with it and give it a go and perhaps possibly you might just have discovered a song (or maybe even an artist) you love.

I am going to give you just 5 tracks (it was very painful to get the list just down to 5) suggestions and they are all going to be electronic music. This area of music has gotten a bit of a bad rap because of popularity of horrible 'dubstep' and people like Skrillex but there is so much more happing in this genre of music at the moment that it would a crime if some people did not get to sample so of its real golden moments. 

1. "Before I Move Off" by Mount Kimbie.

These two guys from London formed this amazing electronic brotherhood that has created some of what is arguably the most important music post-2010. "Before I Move Off" is probably the most popular song off their 2010 debut album (Crooks & Lovers), which one is well worth a listen. Critically acclaimed, they are often seen as being partially responsible for the rich world of 'post-dubstep' music, with many successful artists (like James Blake) taking heavy influences from Mount Kimbie. The thing that I like about this song is that you can tell right from the beginning there is a tinge of sadness about it (the title kind of confirms this) which adds a nice human element and makes me want to get up and just do something, no matter how mundane. I love listening to this when I just get off the tube and start to walk home.

The official video for the song is great too, fits it so well: just get up and go somewhere, do something.

2.  "Cushing" by Blithe Field

From the most successful and know in this list at number 1, Blithe Field is the least successful. This is one guy from Ohio who makes music on his laptop and this song is just one beautiful nostalgic journey and this song comes from his 2011 LP "Two Hearted". His songs are often litered with speech samples that sound like they have been taken out of a the perfect Americana childhood. Blithe Field is one of the best examples of the greatest attribute of electronic music at the moment. You do not have to be popular or have a big studio to create great content. The internet is littered with thousands of artists who create amazing tunes and give them away for free. Here is a link to Blithe Field's bandcamp where you can download all his music for free.

Whoever created the video to the linked youtube song was a genius too, work great with the song.

3. "M.O.P.E" by Ambassadeurs 

Don't really know much about Ambassadeurs; I think he is a British DJ/Producer. But what I don't know doesn't really matter because this track is so catchy and the vocals are distorted in such a delicious way that me want to play this song over and over. Incredibly well produced track, the baseline and the clap tie in so well with the vocal samples; and the way they just all seem to organically and effortlessly melt away and combine with each other is done with such skill that I bet many DJs who listen to this are a little jealous. 

4. "Numb" by Clams Casino

Clams Casino is a Hip-Hop producer from the USA, who is has risen to fame recently as he produced records for Lil B, The Weeknd and the great debut from A$AP Rocky that made into a lot of critic's top 50 lists back in 2011. When you listen to just his work on its own (rather when it is being covered by rappers), it is not too beat based, he seems to thrive on creating textures rather beats on their own, there are so many things going on but they all come together and makes something intensely atmospheric. This song is a great example of that and is one of the highlights from his mixtape titled "Instrumentals" that he released in 2011; this song is also used in A$AP Rocky's mixtape under the title "Demons". 

5. "4D" by Koreless

This song is great way to demonstrate how dubstep is not all rubbish crap that teenagers everywhere dance to in terrible clubs and equate music as "tranformers having sex". Strictly speaking this is a dubstep track, but it manages to use not only basslines but vocals and some nice timber sounds to create a catchy track. Koreless is a 20 year old DJ/Producer from Scotland, who has gained some success and was even featured in one of the Boiler Room sessions recently (a kind of holy grail for emerging electronic artists). This song comes from hise 2011 EP titled "4D/MTI", the second track ("MTI") is also well worth a listen. 

Well done if you have stayed with it this far and listened to all the tracks, I appreciate the effort. I hope you might have stumbled across some music that you like and if it features in some of your playlists then that would make me a happy man. Please tell me in the comments what you did like, what you did not like and maybe even why. 

Also tell me if you would like these sorts of posts in the future. I know this is an unusually change from the usual blog posts you see on here, so any sort of feedback about that would be much appreciated. 

Talk to you guys soon,


P.S. Before I go here are some honourable mentions that you can delve into if this has piqued your brain cells (they are all linked so just click away):

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Goose & Button Kill Some Time in Soho!

Estée and I both had a day off so we decided to just take a look around Soho since she still has not fully explored it.
 We started off by going to Oxford Circus and quickly getting away from the madness of Oxford Street by heading south.
Up ahead is Liberty, oh how I wish I could get a few pieces from their basement which has a great menswear selection.
Thought it would be nice to show a photo of one of my favourite stores- Monki! 
If you don't live near one, you've probably heard about it so maybe this will KIND of tide you over?
That or make it so much worse, haha! 
(Thats right, twist that knife Estée.)
This was inside a quaint little vintage shop in Soho.
Can't remember the name (sorry).
It's a store along Berwick Street where the market usually is. 
They had a really nice shirt I wanted to buy for Goose, but he says vintage isn't his "thing."
He's too cool, man. 
Here are some CRAZY lashes!
I can't even wear normal ones, so imagine the hard time I'd have wearing these feathery creations! 
Woof woof?
I just HAD to put this photo in!
SO BRITISH IT HURTS! I'm really beginning to love London! 
Ahem...excuse the Dutch flag in the middle of the photo.
Crispins in Chinatown is a great place to go if you want to pick up some Americana sweets and snacks.
Here i am reaching for my favourite Deluxe Kraft Dinner!
I just couldn't bear to spend over £5 on one box, though.
Guess I'll have to stock up next time I go home to Canada! 
Mmmmm...Jiffy! If you don't know, I am obsessed with peanut butter and the super sweet and creamy American kind (lets keep on subject here) is the best!
How old are we again?
Wonkeys! My favourite place to eat in Chinatown. Where you are forced to sit on the same table with complete strangers, the waiters are rude and the food is most mediocre. I don't know why but I always crave it, oh and its fairly cheap.
What is your favourite Chinatown restaurant?
Classy sellotaped menu.
Cash only in a tourist filled centrally located restaurant huh?
Nothing suspicious here. I seriously think that this is the biggest money laundering front for the Chinese gangs in London.
Beautiful photo taken by Estée.
Did I mention you get free green tea here?
Crispy fried seaweed! My favourite, especially here since they add so much sugar. 
We popped into Cyber Candy & these intrigued be quite a bit. 
Didn't end up buying them (imagine your BREATH), but I might have to go back!

We ended up spending the whole afternoon and a bit of the evening just loitering about Soho and I think Estée now has a much better idea of the area so it was worth the effort. 
Can you guys think of some interesting places that might tempt us back to Soho?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Birthday Celebration: MOM STYLE!

So it was my mum's birthday recently and I thought I might tell you guys what me and Estée got for her and what we did on that day. 
Obviously flowers are a must for any sort of celebration that involves a female but Estée suggested that we get a plant instead of flowers as a plant can flower for much longer. 
It's the gift that just keeps on giving in my opinion! 
With spring in full swing I thought this was a good idea and we went over to 'Wild at Heart' (located at the main entrance of Liberty) and got some purple hyacinth plants that came in this rustic looking bucket. 
 The whole thing does look perhaps a little too 'farmer' at the moment but I am hoping that when the flowers are in full bloom it will look cute.
 But that was not our only task at Liberties that day. 
We decided to kill two birds with one stone and get my mum her present there too. 
Estée was the mastermind behind the idea; we decided a Mason Pearson brush would nice as my mum is big fan of haircare and this seemed like the perfect little hidden English gem. 
We got her the 'Popular' type, which is a large brush with a mixture of nylon and boar bristles. 
An in-depth review of this hairbrush should be on my beauty blog SOON, so keep your eyes peeled!
The brush was a big hit with my mum but I think she was a little underwhelmed with the flower bucket.
We're both convinced she'll love the plant once it starts blooming, though!
 Anyway, it was her birthday and we didn't really have anything planned so she made the decision of going to the Victoria and Albert museum. 
I think the fact that Estée had never been there was the motivating factor there; speaking of Estée here she is in front of some giant wall of Jesus bling.  
We saw probably half of the normal displays and also went in to see the special exhibition about the pictures of the Queen taken by Cecil Beaton. 
I actually loved the exhibition & I'm not normally a Queen-lover. 
Some really beautiful photos that really cause your imagination to wander. 
It was great, but that artifact saturation point hit us and we decided to get out of there and head over for some lunch. 
We went for some Lebanese cuisine at the Comptoire Libanaise branch near South Kensington station. There was a bit of a queue but the wait was worth it; they have some of the most delicious drinks there and great food. 
I absolutely LOVED & I mean LOVED the fresh mint & rose tea! Delicious! 
Here is one of their best creations 'Mira' a.k.a. frozen mint lemonade.
This mint lemonade is one of the most unique things I've ever tasted!
We spotted this amazing creation after lunch. This guy was just riding this ridiculous thing down the road when he suddenly jumps onto the curb and pulls up by the door of this cafe and starts to hit on the girl. SWAG. How could she resist?
The rest of the day was a little painful for me as my mum decided that we were all going to see Titanic in 3D at the cinema.
Goddam you James Cameron for your greed! Why not just let sleeping dogs lie?
Its not that I hate the movie, its just that I have already seen it about 5 times.
My mum and Estée seemed to enjoy it though as they were both crying their eyes out at the then end. 
I didn't actually get the point to the 3D part of this video. In fact, I hate 3D movies.
They give me a headache & it's no different than a normal video.
That being said, it hit me as hard as the first time I saw it! IF NOT WORSE!
 I did get to see Estée with 3D glasses on though which is hilarious since they are way too big on her.

That was it for the day. I think my mum enjoyed it, we managed the pack in the perfect trio (in her eyes): culture, emotion and a meat heavy meal in one day.