Monday, 21 February 2011

Music of the month - Fantastic Mr Fox.

Fantastic Mr Fox.

This month's music comes from Fantastic Mr Fox. Originally from Wolverhampton, Fantastic Mr Fox (Stephen Gomberg) has been producing music since the age of 14 and this really shows in his intricate and layered compositions. The samples used in his music range from 60's funk to a simple hand clap to 90s garage vocals yet layered over one another it creates a unique sound sewn together with an underlying moog synth sound often giving way to a deep earthy bass.

To quote the man himself from the Guardian band of the day blog...
"There might be 200 layers in a song – I might record myself clapping or there might be a split-second of 60s prog hi-hat that I might then put an effect on and mess with for hours. It's all very laborious. I take the samples from so many sources, and they get so messed up, you can't tell in the end where they came from."
The hard work really has payed off for Stephen. Not only is Fantastic Mr Fox popular in the Manchester scene, playing alongside the main man of the Drum and Bass scene Rich Reason at Hit and Run, he also has famous fans including The XX and Warpaint.

The XX took him on their US tour where he DJ'd between their sets and also at every after party alongside Jamie XX, the producer of the moment. Opportunities like this don't come around often and it must have been an exhilarating experience to get his music out to the masses of Uncle Sam hipsters across the different states.

Anyway, enough of my chitter-chatter, take a look for yourself as the music really does speak for itself. You can find more mixes on the Fantastic Mr Fox. Facebook page.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


We are well into the awards season and the Oscars is approaching like a speeding bullet. Vanity Fair have released their annual Hollywood edition which includes the lust worthy editorial with the up and coming stars of the big screen. This year's cover does not disappoint.

Having just got back from the cinema to see Black Swan my eyes were drawn to Mila Kunis straight away. I think she has filled the gap that Megan Fox left when she started to loose her curves and took a step back from the limelight. Megan's other look alike is also features, Olivia Wilde.

From L-R: Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, James Franco, Jennifer Lawrence, Anthony Mackie, Olivia Wilde, Jesse Eisenberg, Mila Kunis, Robert Duvall , Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, Garrett Hedlund, and Noomi Rapace.

I decided to look back at editorials from years gone by to see who featured and if they have stayed true to 'Hollywood' form.

1995 -'The Class of 2000'
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Patricia Arquette, Linda Fiorentino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julianne Moore, Angela Bassett, and Sandra Bullock

Look at SJP giving a fierce Carrie pose! Even though this shoot was over 15 years ago it still contains some of the biggest actresses in today's industry (sorry that doesn't include you Jennifer Jason Leigh!) With Nicole Kidman gaining many nominations this year and Sandra Bullock sweeping the board last year for The Blind Side it shows that age isn't always the biggest factor in Hollywood with these 30/40 year olds striding on.

Vanity Fair also has a Young Hollywood issue later in the year, and a similarity between last years and the 2000 shoot caught my eye. Take a look for yourself...

2000 - Young Hollywood edition 'Splendour in the grass'

Amanda Seyfried and Marley Shelton...Blue top...Tousled hair behind the ears....holding on to knees. Is it the same person ten years on?! To be honest, I think the similarities are on purpose if you study the poses and positioning (odd how the brunettes are all playing the masculine counterparts though).

Another way this could be interrupted is the breakthrough of young women in Hollywood. Obviously women have always featured in Hollywood but up until the 1950's they would normally be a supporting role to the lead male, or act as some kind of damsel in distress. Now we are seeing women in more cult (Carey Mulligan - An Education), (Kristen Steward - The Runaways) and also comic roles (Emma Stone - Superbad). Although most of the young women above are only just scraping the surface of their careers I'm sure they are better off then women starting 50 years ago.