Music June 30, 2009 By Timothy Gunatilaka
deastro cover1 Deastro
Ghostly International

daestro moondaggertitle Deastro

With three albums’ worth of music in just five years, 22-year-old Randolph Chabot has been producing his home-recorded electro-pop at an astonishing clip. This week, after much anticipation, the prolific prodigy from Detroit has released his proper full-length debut, Moondagger — a swirling set of twelve songs whose titular implement reportedly refers to a space-age myth about seeking “ultimate power.” Sci-fi fantasies aside, Moondagger indeed seems to herald a powerful voice of tomorrow, a voice that likewise befits today’s age of ADD. On “Toxic Crusaders”, Chabot’s swooning vocals over jaunty guitars evoke the wide-eyed wistfulness of Vampire Weekend mixed with the hyperactive futurism of New Order. Meanwhile, “Parallelogram” (stream below) launches the M83 model of lush, spacey synths out of this stratosphere with a frenzied rush of propulsive rhythms.

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Deastro – Parallelogram


Art June 29, 2009 By Editors

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Greenspace June 25, 2009 By Hannah Bergqvist

zero The Zerozero title The Zero

First was the Tesla – an electric dream car taking you from zero to sixty in four seconds with a range of 220 miles per charge, bringing environmental responsibility and high-performance sports cars together in perfect harmony. Of course, its one drawback is its price tag, affordable only to the super rich.
     Enter the Zero, straight out of the land of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati. Named for its lack of greenhouse emissions, the name might also be a hint at its accessible cost. The newcomer isn’t able to go as fast or as far as its competition but the Zero brings something much-needed to the world of electric cars: affordability. Its €18-20.000 price tag makes it a realistic option for the average driver, beating the much-anticipated Chevy Volt to the punch by a solid year. And the cute compact design makes it the Mini-Cooper of electric cars. Let’s hope consumers will find it as irresistible as we do.
     Hitting markets early next year, the 113-inch two-seater will be a perfect for cramped city streets. Constructed primarily out of cast aluminum, it weighs merely 1,200 pounds, one quarter of which is the latest generation of Lithium batteries. It charges simply by connecting to a normal socket. The chassis is one hundred percent recyclable aluminum. With a range of eighty-eight miles on a single charge, it is well within the average daily usage of most drivers, and can accelerate from zero to fifty-five km per hour in less than five seconds.
     The Zero will have its world premiere at the International Motor Show in Bologna, Italy, in December.

Music June 23, 2009 By Todd Rosenberg
major2 Major Lazer
Downtown Records

major title1 Major Lazer

Baile funk, hip hop, electro breakdance, mash up, pop, and indie rock remixes – is there anything these guys can’t do? Diplo and Switch, two of today’s most innovative producers and the guys that brought you “Paper Planes” and Santigold, have once again proven there’s no genre they can’t conquer. After skating around reggae and dancehall on previous productions, Major Lazer is the duos’ headlong foray into the world of Jamaican music and also their first official full-length collaboration. Recorded at the legendary Tuff Gong Studios, the album not only captures some of the original reggae magic left there, but succeeds in forwarding that sound through deft integration of programmed beats and sampling. At times, electro takes over and relegates Rasta to mere words (like the frenetic lead track “Hold The Line”) while others, like the great “Can’t Stop Now”, take a more traditional approach to classic reggae with occasional “peek-a-boo” hip hop samples and dub effects. And credit is due to the vocalists showcased throughout (including Santi, Turbulence, Mr. Vegas and Amanda Blank), who take these productions even higher. It’s almost unfair how prolific and versatile Diplo and Switch are, and Major Lazer demonstrates they’re not only on point but one step beyond.

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Fashion June 22, 2009 By Eva Kolenko
opener5 Kolenko

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Art, Books June 19, 2009 By John Dickie
larka1 Dr. Lakra
Sin título / Untitled (prelude to sumer), 2005

lakra title2 Dr. Lakra

I first became friends with Dr. Lakra a few years ago when I went to his studio in Oaxaca to get a tattoo. Stepping inside, it was like walking into a baby devil’s playpen: there were toys and dolls and weird shit everywhere, stuff he used in his art. Books, paintings, postcards and stickers covered the walls. We cleared a space on the floor so he could get to work on my flesh.
     Once finished, when he refused payment, I gave him a couple of poster-size photos of mine instead for him to intervene on, knowing that was one of his preferred mediums. He’d spent years tattooing skin, why not tattoo paper? At first, he just did it for fun, but soon the scrapbook turned into a unique body of work which I wrote about for PLANET several years ago. Now, RM Editorial has published a book of one of his collections of magazine interventions, titled Health and Efficiency.
     With an all-black velvet cover and beautifully printed inside, Health and Efficiency is a sexy little book. The pieces are all derived from a pile of old nudist camp magazines he picked up in Brick Lane market in East London. In the original clippings nubile porcelain-white maidens pose puritanically next to ponds and lillies. But in Lakra’s versions they have sailor tattoos and get skewered by monochrome skeletons and mugwumps. On the surface, the tattoo-scratched images appear gaudy and comical, like doodles in a textbook. But if you engage them, the shapes and figures he inserts have a mythical underworld quality.

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Music June 17, 2009 By Todd Rosenberg
budos1 The Budos Band
Daptone Records

budos title The Budos Band

Even though The Budos Band hails from Staten Island, you’d swear their eleven members are a mixture of Detroit and Nigerian tribes. Their sound is a fantastic confluence of Afrobeat and classic American soul that never forgets its ultimate goal of filling the dancefloor. This EP collects seven lost grooves recorded between the band’s two albums, and while standing on its own as a great listen, it also shows the crystallization of the their unique sound (self-described as Afro-Soul). The standout track, “The Proposition”, (stream below) could even be taken as a Budos aesthetic manifesto. Driven by blazing horns, electric organ, and funky guitars, it evokes Booker T. and the MGs, memories of Fela and even Boogaloo. Just another step in the right direction from our friends at Daptone. And for you New Yorkers, catch The Budos Band at Central Park’s Summer Stage next month.

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The Budos Band – The Proposition


Architecture, Design June 17, 2009 By Ryan Grim

silos11 Silossilos title Silos

In between downtown Amsterdam and a newly developed area to the east called IJburg is the island of Zeeburgereiland. Locals mainly think of Zeeburgereiland (loosely translated: “sea person island”) as an inhabitable island with a massive sewage-treatment plant. But not for long. The plant is being relocated, and Zeeburgereiland is becoming prime real estate. Three large silos once used for treating sewage will remain on the island; one of them has already been converted into office space. The city council recently held a competition to determine how to reuse the other two and, in April, announced the winning design: Arons En Gelauff Architects’ Annie MG Schmidt House, a cultural center named after Holland’s most celebrated children’s book author. But if we were running things, it would have gone to NL Architects’ proposal. Why? Look at these pictures.
     In their plan, one silo would be adapted into an indoor climbing center. Its walls taper toward the top and ingeniously end at a roof light. The firm envisioned the climbing silo also being used for weddings, birthday parties and church services.

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Art June 17, 2009 By Timothy Gunatilaka

lelouch title Lelouche

A couple weeks ago we posted an interview with Phoenix’s Thomas Mars in which the singer discussed the far-flung influences on the band’s latest record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Among the varied sources from film and literature was the short film C’était un Rendez-vous. As huge fans ourselves, we thought we’d post Claude Lelouch’s 1976 short separately to make sure everyone could check out this lost classic. Mars succinctly describes the film as a “really dangerous drive,” depicting a law-shattering, first-person thrill ride at dawn aboard a Mercedes-Benz 450SEL. Are we watching a high-speed chase between cops and robbers through the streets of Paris? Or merely a daredevil tour of the city’s most beloved landmarks? We’ll let you find out for yourself.
Features June 16, 2009 By Editors

<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/opener3.jpg" rel="lightbox[pics3301]" title="opener3"><img src="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/opener3.thumbnail.jpg" alt="opener3" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-3416" /></a><div class="imagecaption">Street scene. Cairo, Egypt</div></div></div>
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<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa1.jpg" rel="lightbox[pics3301]" title=""><img src="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa1.thumbnail.jpg" alt="alexa1" width="830" height="356" class="attachment wp-att-3424" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><strong>LEFT</strong> Interior of Coptic home. Young girl at left pressing limes for cool drink. Cairo, Egypt <strong>RIGHT</strong> Soccer break before a storm. <em>Siam reap</em>, Cambodia</div></div></div>
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<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa2.jpg" rel="lightbox[pics3301]" title=""><img src="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa2.thumbnail.jpg" alt="alexa2" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-3429" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><strong>LEFT</strong> Our beloved neighbor Anita sings opera in her garden everyday. She passes our family kiwis and hydrangeas over the fence and often declares, &quot;Sono Forza!&quot; well into her 80&#039;s. Aviano, Italy <strong>RIGHT</strong> Soccer tournament at the local church. Aviano, Italy</div></div></div>
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<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa3.jpg" rel="lightbox[pics3301]" title=""><img src="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa3.thumbnail.jpg" alt="alexa3" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-3433" /></a><div class="imagecaption">Street scene. Cairo, Egypt</div></div></div>
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<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa4.jpg" rel="lightbox[pics3301]" title=""><img src="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa4.thumbnail.jpg" alt="alexa4" width="830" height="405" class="attachment wp-att-3435" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><strong>LEFT</strong> Cairo, Egypt <strong>RIGHT</strong> Coptic woman weeps in graditude after two young Korean missionaries sung a sweet hymn. Mokattam, Egypt</div></div></div>
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<div class="aligncenter"><div class="imageframe centered" style="width:830px;"><a href="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa51.jpg" rel="lightbox[pics3301]" title=""><img src="http://www.planet-mag.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/alexa51.thumbnail.jpg" alt="alexa51" width="830" height="356" class="attachment wp-att-3438" /></a><div class="imagecaption"><strong>LEFT</strong> Soccer tournament at the local church in my home town. Aviano, Italy <strong>RIGHT</strong> <em>Siam reap</em>, Cambodia</div></div></div>