Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Manchester creative duo Mark Christian Edwards and Ryan Doyle produce work that is abstract but serves a purpose; whether bringing together frustrated artistic minds, making CD cover art or constructing political guerilla postering, their aims to aesthetically please and challenge are limitless and quite beautiful.

What is it that you guys do?

DR.ME is a creative collective, we've been working together for a couple of years having met on our first day at Uni. We are friends before being colleagues. enjoy working on small projects as much as we enjoy large projects.Our first show has just concluded at Common exhibition space in Manchester. We push collaboration and interaction with clients and fellow creatives alike.

What or who are your strongest artistic influences?

Gilbert & George, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Bruno Munari, Hort, Alan Fletcher, Manchester... ( how it is not how it was ). And Mike Perry. Since graduating we went to New York to work with illustrator Mike Perry at his studio in Crown Heights. In New York we featured in a Skateboard exhibition in Chelsea, taught at Parsons School of Design, and released a selection of t-Shirts for a really small shop in Crown Heights - Mike thought it was really funny that two white guys from Manchester were designing T-Shirts based on Brooklyn for a hip hop apparel shop in Crown Heights.

What's in the making?

We are currently in the planning stages of creating a space that is part Gallery part Shop part Studio in Manchester as well as continuing with our personal practice. It will be called The Waiting Room. We're also putting together an exhibition install for Urban Outfitters and creating a mural for a major sports brand, as well as continuing with our personal practice.


Thursday, 18 November 2010


DOC NYC: New York City's first annual documentary festival

My Best Fiend

From a pool of today's documentary filmmakers, the week-long affair showcased some of the most exciting and thought-provoking of films and creatives for New York's very first DOC NYC. Held between a number of art house theatres in Soho / West Village, I took an exclusive look at the cinephile's extravaganza which welcomed shorts and features from around the globe; the works of both established and contemporaries alike, and panel discussions featuring some of cinema's most treasured names – from Werner Herzog to Errol Morris.

The festival began with the gala opening premiere of Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and New York City's documentary aficionados gathered for one of the festival's most popular events; In Conversation with Werner Herzog, whose Nicholas Cage and Eva Mendes- starring Bad Lieutenant, released last year, is perhaps irrelevant when compared to his back catalogue of documentary exploration ( Land of Silence and Darkness, My Best Fiend, Grizzly Man ). He talked in detail about his latest venture in-the-making, Nick Broomfield-style, into the world of prisons, death row and the politics surrounding the issue. Herzog excelled his fine reputation as a compelling real-storyteller, recounting tales from the making of 2005's Grizzly Man, during which its protagonist was eaten alive by a bear and audio tapes of which still exist.

Film organisations such as The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Doc Convergence brought together an array of forward-thinking minds. Industry successes such as Pulitzer Prize winner David Turnley spoke, who has shot in conditions so basic that he's been forced to develop film using toilet water. Zana Briski talked about the harrowing life she led whilst filming in brothels in India, and her newest project - a self-labelled 'travelling museum of sorts'- including her portraiture of praying mantises inspired, she confessed by a dream that came to her one night.

Other guests were invited to discuss issues such as fights for funding, artistic licence versus reality, the troublesome debate regarding ownership over documentary material, and the ethics behind capturing personal footage. The charismatic and environmentally-concerned cartoonist / writer Lynda Barry, who worked with wind turbine drama's director Laura Israel on Windfall (winner of the festival's Grand Jury Prize), spoke about the usefulness of using comic / graphic novel format to tell real stories that need to be told in an dynamic and more digestible context.

Make Believe


One of documentary's most controversial pioneers, Errol Morris, premiered his newest offering Tabloid, a biopic of 'Mormon sex-in-chains scandal' Joyce McKinney. The screening was not without its own dash of controversy as McKinney took to the stage after the credits rolled to voice her own opinions on the film. Other highlights included Make Believe, ( dir. J. Clay Tweel ) a film following six teen magician prodigies, Kati With An I ( dir. Robert Greene ) a drama focussing on the life of a vivacious small-town girl struggling with conflicting relationships, and Ride, Rise Roar ( dir. David Hillman Curtis ), a concert film centred around David Byrne and his most recent live tour. The film was followed by an appearance from Byrne himself and some intriguing insight into the arduous tour and film process.

The festival highlighted a number of this decade's most exciting new filmmakers and the path which has preceded their work today. DOC NYC showed that documentary as a genre is becoming more and more accessible, and with it, the relationship between artistic licence and reality grows more interesting to experience.

Ride, Rise, Roar

Alexandra Pereira

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

i-ntroducing Twin Shadow

For i-D online.

Meet George Lewis Jr, otherwise known as Twin Shadow, the hottest new thing happening in eardrums on the other side of the pond. His smooth-sounding jams with stripped-down pop sensibilities are causing all sorts of waves in Brooklyn's music scene and beyond, reviving us from a tiring plague of indie duplicates. The result is Twin Shadow's marriage of a style so dated it works with his own distinguishable savoir-faire.

What instruments do you play? Can you play drums for real or is that an illusion in the video for 'Slow'? I been playing guitar since I was 14. I didn't take song writing seriously until I was 21 when I slowly realised that I am often not happy with other peoples playing so I started to learn piano, synths, drum machines, drums, saxophone, bass; anything I can get my hands on. I don't play any of them that well, but it's good enough to make my music. My drumming is okay, needs work. I'll even take some lessons if anyone out there is willing...
You travel a lot. Do you feel creatively stunted if you stay in one place for too long? What does Brooklyn mean for your music? It sounds a bit cliché, but I like being away from home. Brooklyn doesn't mean much, I love it, but it hasn't been much a part of my music making.
How did the relationship with Terrible Records form? Those guys are my boys at this point, super chill, super love. Chris contacted me after hearing some tracks and wanted to release a few songs on his new label, that turned into an EP then into a full length.

Your name is based less upon the fact that you are an actual twin, and more on motorbikes. But is your twin also a musician? And aside from motorbikes, what else inspires and epitomises the sound of Twin Shadow? My twin is not a musician, or maybe she stands in for me time to time! I'm inspired by the quiet and dark things in life. I used to sit in this old people's home parking lot in Florida at night and stare up a the nurses tuck the old folks into bed. It was so quiet and sad, I think about that memory a lot.

Similarly, what influences your smooth artwork? It's very, dare I say it, Prince-esque. I think my generation can be a bit conservative and plain. Twin Shadow are way more interesting than that.

The record is out this week. How do you feel about it; does it feel satisfying? How come you settled on titling it 'Forget'? I am very happy, it's been a long time in the making. It was the name of the song that was hardest to put on the record because of its weight on me. I have a problem of forgetting so many things, right down to my name, so making this record was me sifting through my mind to remember everything I've known and trying to remember why I even make music. And now that I've remembered I can forget again.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing this? a) This interview; sleeping in the van b) This music thing; I'd be a painter and live in Sweden.

Twin Shadow's 'Forget' is out now in the US and available worldwide from 19 October.
Text Alexandra Pereira

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

YUCK for i-D.

YUCK ARE THE SKELETONS COMING UP ROSES from their history of Cajun Dance Party and various other younger musical experiments. They are: East-Londoners Daniel and Max, Jonny (from New Jersey) and Mariko (from Hiroshoma), and they offer a lighter-hearted but just as listenable sound as the likes of Dinosaur Jnr and Sparklehorse. They are impossibly fresh and exciting and i-D love them. Yuck serve as an impressive accompaniment to the so-called ‘shoegaze revival’ of recent months.

Who initiated Yuck’s birth?
D: I heard a song, ‘Operation,’ that Max had written and became really jealous of it.
M: It took a long time to get the right friends and musicians together but eventually it happened.

What kind of audiences have you drawn so far?
D: I only really look at the floor and my feet (laughs). No, the shows this summer have been great, Latitude was a lot of fun; our first festival performance together. My little sister sang vocals for one song with us there and had spat water all over my crotch beforehand to make me look silly.

What’s the craic with the album? Have you settled on a title yet?
M: Probably self-titled. It’s being mixed as we speak. Some of it in Texas; that’s the amazing high-tech world we live in.
J: Also George Bush demanded that it be mixed in Texas. I think we should call it The Sexy Album.

You’ve toured with Times New Viking, Egyptian Hip Hop and Veronica Falls. Who would you put in your Top Ten New Bands right now?
Fanzine. A Grave With No Name. Are we even fashionable enough to be in this magazine? (They spot Jedward in the issue in front of them). Maybe we are.

Yuck embark on their first UK tour in October.

Text Alexandra Pereira
Photography Rebecca Thomas

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


I was lucky enough to be able to ask the brilliant, weirdo frontman and Nick Cave lookalike Angus Andrew of post-punk/art punk/what-punk group Liars a few things ahead of their performance at Dot-to-Dot in Manchester. 

Sisterworld is an incredibly fresh record. It's creepy, I love it. Which elements of your previous records do you think have owed to the production of Sisterworld?

Thanks... I think Sisterworld draws from each of our previous albums in different ways. I feel like each experiment we undertake helps us further down the line - regardless of its immediate outcome. In many ways this last record was a culmination of
what we've learnt so far.

Why is it named Sisterworld?
We think you should escape.

The ambience of the whole record is super experimental and contrasts really well with your heavier back catalogue. My favourite track is No Barrier Fun. What's it about?
That song is a direct response to Suzanne Vega's seminal track 'Luca'. I like the idea of writing song's in response to good ones. Like that movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead...  or Pride and Prejudice and Vampires. Interesting, i think.

As your music progresses, could it be said that it becomes more genre-specific or do you look constantly for a new sound to accompany each record?
I don't think we look for sounds... It's more simple and natural than that. Each time we finish a record there begins immediately a process of excitement for what we didn't do. Ideas yet to be explored.

Do you find the process slower with each album in comparison the the two-day wrap of your debut record?
The process isn't really slower it's just that we track probably double or triple the amount
of songs we did on the first album. We also have more ideas to figure out - things left undecided that need time to breathe.

Do you ever go back to the cabin in the woods where you recorded They Were Wrong, So We Drowned?
No, not once.

With that album, it told a story. Have you ever thought of turning it into an show of its own, or a film? Sisterworld feels very theatrical and filmic, like you are inside a private show whilst listening to it.
I'm sure that at the time of Drowned we would've been well into that idea. Now, it feels like ancient history. I'd like to see a Sisterworld film though.

Angus, your stage presence is looming, prowling, intimidating. Which performers do you admire?

The ones that can stand still.

What new artists impress you at the moment? Are there any acts you totally don't get?
We don't get a lot of things...  too many to list...  We like Pink Dollaz, Past Lives and Factory Floor.

Are British crowds more timid or more raucous than US ones in general? What are looking most forward to over the summer?
So far it seems British crowds are a bit more timid than the crowds in the US. But we'll see once the temperatures rise.. I think we're all looking forward to it getting really hot and sticky.. I'm personally pretty excited about the 'Murder on the Standon Express.'

Thanks, Angus.

By Alexandra P

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A Life Less Ordinary: CocoRosie

Manchester Cathedral

CocoRosie require a patient, forgiving ear open to hearing, in one single track, tales about perfume, balloons, family detachments and death. Just which planet they spawn from is baffling, but it's freezing-hot one that manages to produce the sisters' music - four albums heavy, and set apart from the majority of Brooklyn's finest. They offer something both troubling and easing to listen to, with bizarre vocals layered atop the sounds of bicycle bells, concertinas, xylophones, supported by the very adult presence of both a grand piano and a harp.

With Bianca, it is peculiar toddler-like cries, perfect diction book-ending every word of every line; where Sierra's vocals are operatic, complete with full soprano range and volume control to match. She also demonstrates an uncanny impression of her sister's singing style. Both girls seem frozen in time as children, as they skip about the tiny stage in floor-length nightgowns from harp to toybox, casting an effortless spell over their audience within a beautiful, intimate sanctuary of a location.

It is with heavy hearts and wide eyes that the eclectic crowd of young/old/ male/female/transgender/gay/straight fans scuttle and push against one another in a hushed silence to see CocoRosie play a rare UK show in support of their latest record, Grey Oceans. And as if childish wails married with classical scales aren't bewildering enough, thrown in is one very skilled beatboxer, seen often on tour with the sisters.

Watching CocoRosie is terrifying and sad and funny; they make you feel oh-so-ordinary. They remind you of the simple thrill that singing nursery rhymes and riding merry-go-rounds and eating ice creams once gave you as a child, and contrastingly, of the bleak but hilarious inescapability of adult life. In theory, they are an act that should be dreadful; which goes to illustrate the ridiculousness of juxtaposing music, theory and the ever-impractical Cassidy sisters.

CocoRosie played:

God Has A Voice
Black Rainbow
Happy Eyes
Moon Asked The Crow
By Your Side
Smokey Taboo
Turn Me On
Grey Oceans
Fairy Paradise
Promise / Tranny Power


Monday, 1 March 2010


Lady Gaga @ Echo Arena Liverpool

DEAR STEFANI GERMANOTTA, you have succeeded in enticing me into your tangly web of ridiculousness and brilliance. She is a modern enigma and a sign of our throwaway times, a brand-new icon driven unashamedly by fashion and never seen looking the same; paradoxically though, she herself refuses so far to be disposed of. She is quick to re-invent herself in the same way Madonna does so, at a pace that must inject fear into her fellow Italian New-Yorker's heart. Tonight, she displayed an altogether avant-garde performance, deeming her worthy of her self-made fame that has been catapulted into our little faces.

We are nothing without the spiritual hologram we perceive ourselves to be” was the first of around three 'deep' and 'philosophical' comments from Gaga, whose soft, nasally speaking voice immediately managed to silence the arena crowd between tunes. Comparitively, her singing was big, and technically impeccable; she is undoubtedly vocally able. After a little research, it's apparent that her hardcore followers have seen her early YouTube clips, and are safe in the knowledge that despite the hyped-up, glamourous facade, Gaga is one gifted individual. “When you are lonely, I'll be lonely too:” the second installment of Gaga synthetic-laden lines which, in the moment, were quite sweet.

The whole idea of 'The Monster Ball' proposed itself as a magnet for all her fans, and and as one of very few individuals there who didn't know every line to every song, it's easy to see why Gaga – the musician, the dancer, the designer, the performance artist, the creator – is still attracting all the right attention this decade. “You know I'm like Tinkerbell... you know how Tinkerbell will die if you don't come for her? Do you want me to DIE??”... finally, a darker utterance was spoken from the tiny chameleon's usually filthy mouth, and the show was in full-frontal swing. I have not seen so much crotch since Aguilera and her release of the aptly-named Stripped. 'Dance In the Dark' was anthemic, complete with a Vogue-esque spoken passage and so, so loud, sending the audience into a trance-party. 'So Happy I Could Die' saw more of what I had expected from Gaga: Madonna-circa-1990 masturbation gestures not-so-slyly thrown into thrust-heavy dance routines, followed by 'Beautiful, Dirty, Rich,' comprised indeed of a “pornographic dance fight.” Gaga sang daddy I'm so sorry, I'm so so so sorry...” and though little Stefani may have been seizing a weird opportunity to apologise to her father (present in tonight's audience) for her provocative lyrics and moves, it was a piano ballad dedicated to Mr. Gaga himself that was truly redemptive of her unsavoury antics.

The stage lighting was dazzling at the fore of the pitch black arena where every pair of feet was dancing away, and slower numbers such as 'Speechless' on her flame-engulfed baby grand provided the dark of Gaga's knowingly-perfected chiaroscuro. Also as self-aware was her power in conducting the audience; a curious and hungry collective, her 'little monsters,' who watched on eagerly as she displayed some fifteen costume changes, including a futuristic, clear perspex-clad nun, a 'living' angel costume complete with mechanical wings, and a hilarious Cousin-It-style, head-to-toe blonde hair outfit. Writing this, I am unsure as to whether this should in fact be published within theatre reviews. Other theatrical devices included a mobile subway car, the constant stream of male-heavy backing dancers in bondage clothing, a 15-ft 'monster' and a mini-performance where her dancers, dressed as demonic black crows, attacked poor, innocent Gaga until she spilled fake blood all over Barely-There-Leotard #85 and leather clad GBF's lost their feathers and displayed their oiled bodies. It was all very homoerotic and histrionic.

Inevitably, the two-hour long show had to come to an end, but not before Gaga executed the hits (Just Dance, Paparazzi, LoveGame, Bad Romance, Telephone) without flaw, acting as the ne plus ultra of aesthetic thrill. With the presence of a harpist almost constantly onstage, she proved herself as a new queen of innovativity, best expressed with 'The Fame;' “I'm obsessively opposed to the typical...” and Gaga seemed adamant in securing her place in the ivy league of the industry for some time to come, displaying clear influence of Prince, Bowie, and Mercury in her stage performance and looking almost tearful as the curtain fell. She'll chase you down until you love her. There ain't no other superstar like Lady Gaga right now. Less than a year ago, I scowled at the idea of watching her perform at Glastonbury, opting for an indian head massage or something instead. The mere opening chords of 'Poker Face' made me flee. Now, Gaga has me eating out of her dirty little palm.