Sunset amongst the clouds.
NEW WAVE WALTZ: One of the most revered producers in pop music, Salaam Remi has a keen ear for darkly gorgeous, offbeat compositions which have found their way onto tracks by the likes of Amy Winehouse, Nas and Jazmine Sullivan.
Back in 2008/9 he recorded a hip-hop meet classical album influenced by Prague entitled ‘Praguenosis’. Each track on the sleeper set is beautifully composed and elegantly hypnotic and some, such as ‘Bad Man Waltz’ ended up being used for tracks on Sullivan’s debut album ‘Fearless’ and Nas’ 2012 set ‘Life Is Good’.
'Bad Man Waltz' may sound familiar and that's because it is the composition that 'Bust Your Windows' sampled so brillantly back in 2008. A sinewy piece with light flute riffs, deep brass sections and dramatic violins, it's not difficult to see why Jazmine wanted it for her breakout hit a few years ago.
INTO THE FOLD: Mario Testino may not be the most popular man in fashion circles at the moment, at least not if you take public opinion into consideration. From time to time though he produces a gem.
I really enjoyed his ‘Asymmetry Obsession’ story from Vogue Japan’s most recent story. Sarajoane Hoarne’s ecclesiastical influenced styling pays tribute to Japanese tradition in a more subtle way than the other stories in the issue. Her styling renders Suvi into a statuesque beauty in the series of images and the model shines in Christopher Kane’s elegant folded dress here. Such a shame we haven’t seen the look in more editorials, as it works well here in one of Testino’s more pared down, simple portraits. He should try working in this vein more often if this is any proof to go off of.
STARRY-EYED SURPRISE: More photographic gold dust courtesy of the thrill seekers/life lovers at National Geographic. Pete McBride’s fantastic depiction of India’s Mount Shivling in ‘Stars over Shivling’ looks like the kind of image I would possibly put up at home.
The stars shine delicately above the peak of the 21,467 foot mountain in McBride’s image. The dispersed clouds in the image add a mystery element to this image or perhaps it’s just that I’m always fascinated by the elusive appearance of clouds at night.
A vividly gorgeous snapshot of nature in all of its nocturnal glory. This image was sourced from National Geographic’s website where it was featured as ‘Photo of the Day’ on October the 18th 2014.
AND THE BAND PLAYS: A throwback image of the Batala band (a Brazilian Samba drumming band based in London) performing at 2010’s Notting Hill Carnival; an event that rather shamelessly, after all these years I still haven’t been to, due to the fact that I’m always normally abroad.
I love how the drummers’ outfits and drums, white laced with black and red details stand out whilst they are lined up in a procession. You get a vibrant sense of energy and can almost hear the samba despite the fact that the musicians are not dressed in particularly vibrant colours or decked out in elaborate costumes.
A reminder of sorts that I need to attend this iconic event at some point soon; especially since I’ve been meaning to go ever since I was a teenager.
REED BETWEEN THE LINES: A simple, breezy image of nature that seems a world away from my own at the moment. The relatively closed off environment in which an abundance of reeds stretch elegantly into the sky, languishing in the calm baby blue reminds me of a frequent weekend haunt; a pond in a park in Vienna, surrounded by the same plants.
That location allowed you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for a snapshot in a similar manner to this image. Looking at it for a moment makes you wish you were spending a breezy autumn day on the waterfront.
Fields of gold.
Ping-Pong Balls and Cadillacs travel downhill in San Francisco.
ADDICTION: A fantastic track from back in 2002, one of the earliest R’n’B songs to utilize (in this case to controversial effect due to a $500 lawsuit, prompted by a sample in this track) a Hindi influence effectively.
Truth Hurts may hardly be a household name today but ‘Addictive’ was certainly a household track. A sinuous, darkly gorgeous track build around Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Thoda Resham Lagta Hai’, the DJ Quik produced number features both hypnotic vocals by Shari Watson and a typically killer guest verse from Rakim.
Proof that one-hit wonders can often be blessings, ‘Addictive’ still sounds fresher than anything on the airwaves today.