Creative Culture GERTRUD & GEORGE by Ramon Haindl

Due to busy schedules on both ends, the collaboration between Our Current Obsessions and the very talented Ramon Haindl was realized only two days before the opening on Friday the 5th of September. On that grey Wednesday we got in the car at the end the of morning in Utrecht and drove to Ramon’s hometown Frankfurt, with the GERTRUD & GEORGE Overnighter which just had arrived a day earlier in the trunk, filling in the only shared gap in our agendas to get together. Ramon had been working early and long hours in Stuttgart the days before, and arrived back in Frankfurt only a few moments before we got there, which didn’t temper his or our enthusiasm to make it happen, no matter what was needed. The piece created by Ramon exemplifies his unpolished collage/mixed media approach in his free work, which we particularly love and special features his young dog Vila. The key inspiration for the piece lays in Ramon’s observation of a sharp parallel between the dog’s fur and the grain of the Buffalo leather used by GERTRUD & GEORGE, which he caught beautifully in this collage of analogue and digital photography plus handwritten text. read more…

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Cycling Epo Bicycle

Cycling is a very significant part of the Dutch culture and it has been for many decades. However, an affordable, contemporary Dutch bicycle disappeared from our streets a while ago. The explanation is reasonably simple; a bicycle is a labour intensive product, and for this reason, almost all bicycle manufactures, and with them a lot of other fields of production, moved their production to low-cost labor countries, mostly in South-East Asia. This impressive graduation project by Design Academy Eindhoven alumni Bob Schiller, which he named Epo, aims to revive the local industry and bring production back to the Netherlands. We are very impressed by his design and attached ambition, which also gained him a nomination for the Keep an Eye grant which will be awarded to one graduated student on the 18th of October. read more…

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Craftsmanship Editor’s Index

Editor’s Index is an ever-expanding independent studio project with a focus on artisanal aprons, started in 2010 by the very talented Kimmy Eliot Fung, who at the very start only possessed primitive seamstress skills. Hobbled from a few school classes and her mother’s excellent but fluctuating influence. The first apron Kimmy created was as a nameless endeavor for a printmaker, which eventually was used and loved for four years, marking the quality of the products from the beginning. Later approaches for aprons were received in a similar fashion: working friends, and even Kimmy herself, looking for something useful, aesthetically appealing and industrious. Working in wonderful places with beautiful interiors and carefully crafted details asks for something paralleling this grace and actually keeping clean and functional: the clear focus of Editor’s Index, which Kimmy has slowly been expanding since. read more…

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Printed Matter Faculty Department

‘Faculty Department’ is a beautiful personal photography project and visual journey by the talented Justin Chung, focussing on the lives, spaces and stories of talented and noteworthy individuals worldwide. Chung’s interest in photographing creative people came alive when he moved to New York City to pursue a career in commercial fashion photography and portraiture in 2011. Chung found that while he was inspired by the work these creatives were producing, what he felt most connected to was their process: how the smallest intricacies in their daily lives contributed to making them the most effective, most happy, and most real. It is these intimate details Chung hopes to capture in the pages of ‘Faculty Department’. read more…

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Fashion Outerknown

Eleven-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater has just released the name and first imagery of his new, and highly promising looking, ready-to-wear brand named Outerknown. The name Outerknown references the furthest reaches of our knowledge today. It challenges the people behind the brand to build better, more sustainable products. It asks to lift the lid on the supply chain bringing the consumer along on our journey to transparency. Slater has put together a world-class team that includes co-founder John Moore as Creative Director overseeing product and marketing. Moore has collaborated with Slater in the past, and was recently named as one of GQ’s best new menswear designers of the year for 2014.  read more…

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Travel Chamber

Chamber is an exciting new boutique of limited edition design, objects and art, which opens today in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The space’s unique concept and retail experience is the vision of Argentinian-born Founder Juan Garcia Mosqueda. Critically acclaimed architectural practice MOS has designed the interior of the space. Taking the Renaissance-era Cabinet of Curiosities as its inspiration, Chamber will be a twenty-first century reliquary for unusual objects and a platform for design experimentation. Every two years, Garcia Mosqueda will choose a different designer or creative to curate the shop’s entire program, bringing their unique viewpoint to Chamber through specially commissioned works, and rare and vintage items. For the inaugural curatorial period, he has selected designers Studio Job, who are working closely with a dynamic group of established and emerging designers and artists to create Chamber Collection #1. read more…

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Creative Culture Who Killed Mickey

Although there had been earlier clues towards it, last Friday one of our favorite artists of the moment, Ashkan Honarvar, announced that the collage works which have been released under the pseudonym Who Killed Mickey for the last three years were also the product of his fascinating mind and that the project now has ended. The idea for Who Killed Mickey, which progressively grew over the period of the last years, came up in order for Honarvar to have an output where he could use all his leftover scraps from his regular work, but also to create collages just for the fun of it. These prerequisites translated into some of Honarvar’s most bold work, using familiar images from the fashion industry and pop culture combined with pornography and anatomical images, without a clear overall concept to be observed, but with his incredible signature aesthetic written all over it. read more…

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Printed Matter Araki Teller, Teller Araki

At the initiative of the OstLicht Gallery and Peter Coeln in Vienna, ‘Araki Teller, Teller Araki’ which took place from the 4th of April until the 25th of May of this year, brought together two of the most important photographers of our times, showing new works conceived for this joint exhibition and entering into an artistic dialogue. The exhibition presented the encounter between two attitudes of extraordinary photographers, who are united in their radical artistic attitude and their almost insatiable hunger for images as reflections of their personal experience of the world. The elementary interest at the core of their work is the spiritual and physical ambivalence of human existence. To coincide with the exhibition Antenna Books in a collaboration with Araki’s own eyesencia released Nobuyoshi Araki‘s and Juergen Teller‘s first jointly conceived and designed book. The publication assembles more than 300 photographs, including those works shown as part of the exhibition which were previously unpublished. In addition, Araki and Teller have each dedicated a text to the other. read more…

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Travel Sonic by Hedi Slimane

At the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent

Last Thursday, on the 18th of September, the exhibition named ‘Sonic’ opened in the Paris-based Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent. It takes a look at 15 years of Hedi Slimane’s photographic musical archives, ranging from London to New York, with particular focus on the beautiful Californian cycle begun in 2007, from which came ‘California Song’, the exhibition at the MOCA / Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in November 2011. In ‘Sonic’ studio portraits of highly influential and heroic rock figures like Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Pete Doherty, Amy Winehouse and Brian Wilson, stand alongside images of alternative scenes from London or California. The exhibition is completed with a video installation, juxtaposing the musical cycles of London (2003-2007) and California (2007-2014) in a documentary style, painting an alternative portrait of two generations of performers and their fans. This combination of two worlds; that of the icons of rock and roll and on the other side the rock and roll to be found in everyday life, exemplifies Slimane’s unique creative vision and masterful observations from which all his work, wether as Artistic Director in fashion or as a photographer, stems. Make sure to visit whenever in Paris! read more…

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Photography Pola Esther

We recently stumbled upon the thrilling photographic work of New London, USA, based photographic artist Pola Esther, who was born and raised in Lodz, Poland. As an artist Esther uses photography as her main platform for expression, with her fascinating series named ‘Mutual Attraction’ consisting of diptych collages, clearly showing her love of photographing nature, mostly human. The work of Esther reflects upon her intimacy, femininity and sexuality. Images with the figure can be provocative, encouraging us to peep through the keyhole, where behind lays a romantic and sometimes grim world full of the unknown. She produces a highly diverse color palette moving as broad as grainy, blurry black and white to silky pastelle-like colors in orchestrated romantic settings, sometimes juxtaposing different styles, creating wonderful little spectacles which continue to fascinate us. read more…

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Creative Culture The N.B.K. Residence 2 by Bernard Khoury

Located at the ninth and last level of a building in Beirut, Lebanon, this tremendous three storey apartment is articulated by architect Bernard Khoury through an independent structure capping the building. Structurally, the apartment only shares the building’s vertical circulation core, as well as the perimeter along which its two peripheral walls lie. Beyond the ninth level, the structure of this residence becomes autonomous. The result is what resembles an independent house placed atop a building. Virtually situated on the former demarcation line which separated east and west Beirut, this apartment opens up onto the hell of its city, placing it neither east nor west but in between. Whereas usual preference for Mediterranean roof apartments is to turn their backs on the urban fabric in exchange for a sea view, this apartment is oriented toward the city, taking advantage of the setbacks imposed due to the surrounding projects defining its entire periphery. The result is a thrilling mixture between futurist, reminding of a giant robot, lines combined with a way more classical interior due to the use of wood making it a true gem within the heart of Beirut. read more…

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Another Feature — GERTRUD & GEORGE

We are extremely proud to elaborately present lifestyle brand GERTRUD & GEORGE: the main collaborator in the very first Our Current Obsession named NOIR. The brand which is the brainchild of the very gifted Nick F. Cerutti, is a tribute to Gertrude Stein and George Sand, whose lives and respective bodies of work never ceased to redefine the art of writing and one’s perception of gender. Founded in 2001 to serve bespoke and semi-bespoke purposes prominently in Japan to begin with, GERTRUD & GEORGE nurtures an intrinsic sense of equilibrium between aesthetics, function and execution in order to conceive pristine high-end goods. Since 2011 Nick and his partner Mathieu Annen have shifted their focus towards accessories and bags, which resulted in a perfect jet-black line named The Esquire Suite, consisting of 7 models which come in three different sizes and varying river buffalo grains and depths. read more…

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Creative Culture Square Wind Bell

We love elegant design which is boiled down to its core and the Square Wind Bell by the very talented Kouichi Okamoto of Kyouei Design inhabits everything of those elements. The designer, who first gained attention in the world of music at the end of last century and since stretched his spectrum of output significantly, created the minimum wind chime from metal and glass, utilizing the properties inherent in each of the resources used to produce sound. The Square Wind Bell is created out of two iron lower-outs covered in trivalent chrome plating, which are united to every single other by a basic slit in each and every corner, forming a mixed geometry that teeters on the edge of a consuming glass. As one plate catches the wind, the other acts as a excess weight, striking the transparent volume repeatedly and resounding with the action of the wind. Highly sophisticated and elegant. read more…

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Cycling Winter in Japan

From December to February, if one takes a trip to the countryside of the Japanese town of Tsukuba, known for its science industry, Siberian winds meet the moist air of the Pacific and innundate the peaks and valleys with snow. Temperatures drop far below zero, and rural inhabitants must plan carefully to survive the long, hard months of winter. These icy temperatures and the sentiment of finding ways in bearing the hard atmosphere, inspired to yet another stunning series by regular collaborator Ben Ingham and Rapha for The Road collection Autumn / Winter 2014 which was designed for riding in extreme condition like the countryside of Tsukuba. The images of Ingham translate the Japanese countryside to a highly grainy aesthetic, as if the winter-cold needed to be feelable directly through the photographs, and overall spoken resulting in one of the rawest series to date which we really like. read more…

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Printed Matter Tokyo Diaries

The latest by inspirational Lisbon-based publisher Pierre von Kleist editions brings us back to Japan. After releasing the beautiful ‘Japan Drug‘ by António Júlio Duarte in May now follows another tremendous grainy black and white photographic book by the name of ‘Tokyo Diaries’. In 2009 André Príncipe, the co-founder of Pierre von Kleist editions, and filmmaker Marco Martins travelled to Tokyo to shoot a film about elliptical narratives and the importance of the diaristic practice in Japanese photography. During one month and in a totally improvised way, the filmmakers shot hours of 16mm footage and thousands of photographs of their daily life as well as their encounters with photographers such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, Takuma Nakahira, Hiromix, Kohei Yushiyuki and Kajii Syoin. The film which was the result of this trip: ‘Traces of a Diary’ was subsequently shown in film festivals around the world and received the jury prize at Documenta Madrid. And now the amazing book which was created out of the 100 rolls of Tri-X 400 film which remained unused  brings the essence of the beautiful trip back to printed still images. We love the character which the images transcend, capturing a dynamic energy within a highly inspirational generation of Japanese photographers perfectly. read more…

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Creative Culture Michelle Yu

Last week the amazing work of the highly talented Singapore-based Michelle Yu was brought to our attention. In everything the 25-year old creates there is a sense of dark brooding energy to be found, and we particularly love the work named ‘mad girl’s love song’ which is inspired by the poem with the same title written by American poet Sylvia Plath in 1951. Plath who suffered from depression most of her adult life, which she ended by suicide when she was 30, left an oeuvre of poems, short stories and a novel which are considered to be a significant milestone for the genre of confessional poetry, which focusses on individual experience, the psyche, personal trauma, and taboos. This sentiment of personal trauma, very apparent in ‘mad girl’s love song’ is beautifully caught in the black and white drawing by Yu. All figurative elements in the drawing, a girl’s head, hand and feet, two birds and what appears to be a set of lungs are drowning in a fire-like pool. Beautifully catching the emotions of despair and misunderstood love which are expressed by Plath. read more…

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Craftsmanship BOS Ice Tea

We really like South African BOS, employing potent African mythology and rich symbolism to articulate its message and brand of premium ice teas. The BOS brand; its packaging, which feature these familiar traditional African emblems like the lion, sirius and the celestial wolf; and the original range of ice teas (which has been extended by now) were conceived by its founder Grant Rushmere. In 2009, Rooibos farmer and entrepreneur Richard Bowsher joined Grant as a co-founder of the business. Together they established the business and launched BOS unto the South African market in June 2010, with the brand spreading worldwide since. And although a very significant growth over the last few years the company still has its core goals close to its heart: to become a globally successful brand and beverages business; which is ethically managed (from farm to table), and is inspiring to its customers, employees and business partners. read more…

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Travel Culture Chanel — DDP

On the 29th of August a new inspirational Culture CHANEL exhibition opened, the successor of the exhibition in Paris last year, this time in the highly impressive Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, Korea. Each of the exhibition’s ten sequences, which were curated by Jean-Louis Froment, acts as a particular landmark in Mademoiselle Chanel’s life story. More than 500 pieces including photographs, books, objects, manuscripts, archives and artworks along with fashion, jewelry, watch and perfume creations retrace the life story of the legendary designer who left an enduring mark on her time. In a stunning and therefore very fit context the exhibition retraces the fascinating adventures of the designer and her brand whose language undeniably still is synonymous with modernity and creativity. read more…

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Another Feature — Our Current Obsessions Nº 1 – NOIR

Last Friday was a very special day. After a lot of hard work over the course of the last couple of months we were finally able to open a next chapter in the AS&Co universe: a tactile space that will be open for the public named Our Current Obsessions. The new space, which also houses the studio, can in many ways be seen as a direct result of what has been created online since the eruption of Another Something in 2009, but with more focus in its purpose. Our Current Obsessions will hybridize the traditional concept of an art gallery with a retail-space, always based around one particular theme in which we will take a deep-dive both off- and online. Located right at the mouth of one of Amsterdam’s main canals, it is a little dream come true that finally our love for the ‘beauty of cultures’ can be touched and shared in the analogue world. read more…

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Printed Matter Brownbook Fashion Directory 2014

We’ve been following the Dubai-based Brownbook Magazine for quite some years now and feel inspired every time by their totally unique perspective on lifestyle, which is oftenly imitated in the West but rarely shows the authenticity one only finds at the source. Last month, for the third time, they released their annual Fashion Directory which again is of the highest standard. The 2014 issue focusses on The Wedding. From a tribal beauty competition in Niger to an alfresco shaving ceremony in Turkey, beautiful photography and illustrations delve into the culture, customs and accessories of 10 of the most stylish weddings from past and present. One discovers the stories of recent brides and grooms, whether a henna night in Canada or a Muslim wedding in China, everything with an in-depth anthropological slant and beautifully designed. read more…

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Travel Casas na Areia

What started as the creation of a weekend house of architect Manuel Aires Mateus ended as one of the most beautiful retreats we have seen in a long time, named Casas na Areia, located one hour south of Lisbon, in Comporta, Portugal. The beautiful region is known for the magnificent white sandy beaches, the wine, fresh fish, the rice paddies and the pine trees. It’s integrated on the natural reserve of river Sado, home to a great variety of wild life such as flamingos, storks and dolphins, but also one of the best places in Portugal for bird watching, with 100 different species to be seen in just 1 day. Next to this, the design of Casas Na Areia is simply mind-blowing, making it the perfect place to forget about everything and find peace of mind. read more…

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Cycling Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road

Philippe Brunel’s painstakingly assembled anthology of tales and photography named ‘Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road’ quickly became a touchstone for fans of road racing, capturing the ethos and aesthetic of decades of the sport. It is a book born of days in the archives and from countless hours of interviews, making it an indispensible companion for anyone drawn in by the golden age of professional cycling. After spending many years out of print, ‘Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road’ now has been republished by Rapha, featuring re-scanned, duotone photography on Fedrigoni paperstock, bound in high-quality Buckram. All the original Kings  of Pain are captured by Brunel like you rarely see them, the book consistsing of some of the peloton’s most compelling stories and images. Be they brave, fragile, or a touch crazy, this book celebrates the riders as human beings making it a perfect celebration of the sport. read more…

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Creative Culture WorkOf

Since its foundation in January of this year New York-based WorkOf is changing the way interior designers and consumers connect to independent, locally made home décor by creating a go-to source for direct access to the nation’s independent designers and makers. Founders Charlie Miner and John Neamonitis saw that interior designers wanted an easier way to source independent design, and consumers were interested in furnishing their homes with locally made home décor but neither had a reliable destination to source these pieces and therefore they created the digital platform to provide in this service. Since its launch in January the start-up has grown to include over 40 designers and makers with more than 300 home design objects. During NYCxDesign this last spring, WorkOf debuted the inspirational WorkOf Apartment. Using close to 40 pieces from their partnered designers, the whole apartment installation introduced products from Calico, Souda, Eskayel and Vidi Vixi, among several others, resulting in an amazing overview of their catalogue which is now also offered online. read more…

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Fashion Olaf Hussein 2014/2015

After we wrote about the first steps of Amsterdam-based denim label Olaf Hussein at the end of last year, a lot of work has been done by Olaf and his team. They presented their new collection during last Amsterdam Fashion Week and received a lot of rightful positive feedback after participating in the major fashion fairs. With their new collection Hussein en co put the mod back in modern; drawing inspiration from the stylish young men of the late fifties and implementing that within an updated appearance. Nevertheless from their clean aesthetics, to their razor sharp tailoring, traces of the mods can still be found throughout the entire line, mixed with contemporary details like bonded fabrics, drawstring hems and seams sealing tape; Olaf lifts the classic look to the current modern standards. The collection shows character and depth marking a serious step in the right direction for the Olaf Hussein brand, promising great things for the future. read more…

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Creative Culture The Vulkan Beehive

We love this project by prestigious Oslo-based multidisciplinary studio Snøhetta named The Vulkan Beehive. Set atop the roof of the Mathallen food hall in central Oslo, the honey-colored wooden cabins became home to 160.000 bees this past July, which shows that the little ingenious insects continue to inspire in the creation of great projects. The shape and natural geometry of the honeycomb were key-elements in this project, as the highly inspirational studio created these sculpturesque urban hives in real bee style with a multi-faceted form and hexagonal-patterned façade. Constructed entirely out of a light-colored wood finished with an intentionally honey-reminiscent hue, the hives were designed with an appearance that reflects their purpose of bringing back bees to the city environment of Oslo in an utmost elegant manner. read more…

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Cycling House Industries x Richard Sachs

Last Friday marked the grand opening of the beautiful Richard Sachs exhibition which was designed by House Industries at the Rapha Cycle Club NYC, and will run for the upcoming month. The inspirational exhibition walks through the bicycle builder’s personal industrial revolution from his early days as an apprentice to becoming a modern folk hero in the cycling community. The show highlights the balance of tradition and innovation with which Sachs has built a loyal following and profoundly influenced cycling culture worldwide. House Industries, an internationally-recognized graphic, product and type design firm, has been a long-time supporter of the Richard Sachs program and therefore makes for the perfect partner of this inspirational overview. read more…

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Photography The People of Bantayan

During super Typhoon Yolanda, or Haiyan, in November 2013 the people of Bantayan, a small island in the central Philippines, took shelter in schools and government buildings. After the storm the residents of these impoverished fishing communities returned to the site of their villages to find a devastated landscape, littered with felled coconut trees, corrugated iron, and twisted palm fronds.

International aid flooded in to help the victims in the form of food, medical supplies and temporary shelter. After six months the tents and tarpaulins are gradually being replaced by swiftly erected plywood houses, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Kerry Dean, a British photographer, and Alex McIntosh, a member of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a research centre at London College of Fashion, recently travelled to the Philippines to photograph and interview the residents of Bantayan, many of who are still living in donated tents or temporary shelters, cobbled together from the wreckage of their former homes. The result is a beautiful and insightful series that captures a conundrum, a vibrant, colourful community, welcoming and open but fearful of and unprepared for a future where little seems secure. read more…

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Creative Culture Koya No Sumika by mA-style architects

The Makinohara, Japan-based architecture firm mA-style finished the design of this extension for a young couple’s house next to the main family home in Yaizu last year, but we still find this one of the more elegant designs we have seen in a long time. The house that was extended is an one-storey Japanese-style house with an area of approximately 200 m², a very common house seen in rural areas. The house is large and has many spacious rooms where the whole family can gather and socialize, but the young couple wanted a new quiet space that would ensure them a private area. A simple extension would enable them to seclude, but the connection with the main house might get lost which they wanted to prevent. Therefore, by utilizing the functions for living in the main house, the extension is designed as a minimum living space pursuing distance without losing contact, very in line with the complexity of delicate Japanese social interaction and inherent serenity. Above all it’s a space of stunning beauty one sees rarely. read more…

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Music Another Summer Playlist

It’s been a little while since our friend Michael A. Muller shared his favorite tracks for our Spring Playlist and with summer slowly turning it’s back towards the Netherlands it’s time for a new playlist. The Another Summer Playlist resulted in a pretty eclectic mix with a lot of great releases in folk, indie and rock but also in garage, house and techno. We’re very happy to include a beautiful song by our friend, and co-founder of Libertine-Libertine, Rasmus who together with Bjarke Niemann forms Death Has No Dominion. Rustie’s remix of Machinedrum’s Back Seat Ho is the craziest track in the list with a for us unusual trap sound, but it just undeniably sticks in your head. We love new releases by Moodprint & YellowStraps, ODESZA featuring Madelyn Grant, Balmorhea, Damon Albarn and Alt-J, with its mind-blowing video. Other, from the electronic realm, tracks that follow are the Shaken-Up version of Silent Shout by the recently broken up The Knife, the great Son Lux track named Easy featuring Lorde, tracks by David August, Chrome Sparks, Martyn and Four Tet and the super promising track named Girl of the upcoming Jamie XX album. We conclude this summer mix with another slow-burner by Francis Harris of his new album Minutes to Sleep named Me To Drift. Enjoy: here’s to some more sunshine! read more…

Another Feature — Curated Nº 10 — The White Rabbit

We have been a little quiet about our last couple of Curated gifts, but last week we celebrated the release of already the tenth gift for our subscribers. For this tenth anniversary we collaborated with Rotterdam-based design label Sweatshop Deluxe, which offers young designers the chance to produce limited released of their designs and helped us with the production of The White Rabbit. This porcelain rabbit we created is a design of Lise Lefebvre, a French designer, who is based in Amsterdam. Next to the work she produces with her studio, she also works as the head of education for product design at the Willem de Kooning Academie Rotterdam and she teaches at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. The exclusive limited editions of the faceted porcelain rabbit were dipped in indigo glazing, giving them an unique beautiful two-toned appearance, as if The White Rabbit just took a little dip in magical water. read more…

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