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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

We All Love Mr. Oizo!

So about a week a go I get a message on Facebook (link in the blogroll) regarding a status update about the one and only Mr. Oizo (pictured above). A friend of mine by the name of Soraan (what a fucking amazing name!) asked if he could send me an illustration for the blog of the great Quentin Dupreux a.k.a God a.k.a Mr. Oizo. I being the Oizo fanboy I am jumped on the chance of this! So this is just a wee little blog post and a small shoutout if you will to a talented guy called Soraan. If you guys get the chance you should go check him out, he has mad skillz bruv. Soraan, thanks for the awesome illustration and the least I can do is give you a blog post dedicated to you and a mini shout out. Again guys please, please, please check him out. Hope evryone is having a great week so far!

Soraan's facebook

His design portfolio


Thursday, 17 June 2010

Uffie- Sex Dreams and Denin Jeans Review

A few weeks back I was searching on HMV and thought I would see when Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is released. To my surprise and joy I was greeted with picture of the Ltd Edition version of the album to pre order for an awesome £7.99 so I pre ordered it and forgot to check the release date! Roll on Thursday just gone and I get a package in the post, to my delight it's my copy of the album about 4 days before general release! The album was not due until the Monday (being the 14th). So I was happy and it made my shit weekend to come that little bit better. I realise that I have rambled on a lot about something so silly and you are probably wanting the review? The way I'm going to do this is review is give my first impression on the artwork and then give you a track by track review of the album, s
o I am basically writing this as I listen. I will also be making comments on the production of each song basically because on this album we see productions from the likes of God (a.k.a Mr. Oizo). SebastiAn and Feadz, amongst others. So let's begin...

Artwork and Presentation:
If like me you purchased the Ltd. Edition of the album you will be a very happy camper indeed. For those who don't let me explain why. The album itself comes in a denim pocket with the Uffie logo printed in a white font. The denim is a gorgeous dark blue and the stitching is a nice touch. The denim feels nice and the production value of the denim pocket is itself very high. When you pop the button we have the proper album artwork. On the cover we have a gorgeous black and white photo of Uffie wearing a lovely sparkly number, there is a red paint smudge running across her face which is nice and simple. The logo and album title are in a really nice hand drawn scribble style. Open up the CD case a
nd we are greeted to more B&W photos of Uffie and some really nice typography in the same style as the "Wasted German Youth" text. The same is throughout the booklet aswell. Overall, this is a great presentation and a great addition visually to your album collection. Now on to the good stuff...

1. Pop The Glock (Prod. Feadz)
This is the song that probably got everyone into Uffie in the first place. The music has been updated slightly, mainly just more sound effects and a lot more crisper. The lyrics are again one of the things that got people into Uffie in the first place. This song has a great beat and it's good to see it on the album. I don't really need to say anymore because you have most probably heard this song and you what it's all about!
2. Art Of Uff (Prod. Mr. Oizo)
The first song on the album which has the touch of God... I mean Oizo on it. If you know Oizo, this is Oizo doing what he does best, making anti electronic yet still nightclub friendly music. It starts off with this awesome vocal stab, Uffie comes in addressing her haters. A nice synth loop kicks in and then the song kicks in properly. Oizo using the single, deep piano sounds and a simple drum loop. Vocally, Uffie is at her best here. Talking about the art of Uff. This is a great song mainly for the Oizo music, this would be a great instrumental track but overall, a good song, especially towards the end when we hear this nice little distortion thing going left to right in your ears.

3. ADD SUV (feat. Pharrell Williams) (Prod. Mirwais)This is the second single from the album. We are introduced by a cool little synth styled engine noise. Then the song kicks in and in my honest opinion, it sounds like a chart single. It reaks of mainstream and something you might expect from Fools Gold... this isn't a bad thing, in fact it makes for an interesting task for Uffie. Pharrell Williams doing what he does, adds a quirky rap in between verses. There is a cool effect on Uffies voice, especially in the chorus. This is as mainstream as Uffie has ever has sounded.

4. Give It Away (Prod. Feadz)The next Feadz song on the album and one of the newer songs (to me anyway). This is again another pop sounding song. Not the greatest song so far, sounds more like a generic pop/ r&b song. Uffies voice does sound nice though, we seem to have lost some attitude in this song whixh is a nice refreshing change. Feadz doesn't sound like.... Feadz which again is good but not what you expect for an Uffie production. The ending of the song is my favourite part not because it's ending but because the music is picking up a bit. Overall, this is a nice song but it just doesn't feel like Uffie, more like some girl who loves Uffie.
5. MC's Can Kiss (Prod. Mr. Oizo)
You don't need me to even talk about this one. This is an anthem and one of Uffie's greatest, partly because of the genius of Oizo but also because it's the Uffie we know and she has a great flow in this one. Plus who doesn't love the Oizo sax solo at the end!?
6. Difficult (Prod. SebastiAn)
The first (and only) song off the album produced by probably the second most talented producer on the Ed Banger Crew; SebastiAn. Starting off and we are thrown straight into Uffie and a strong piano stab. A few seconds in and the magic of SebastiAn kicks in, we have an awesome drum beat. This seems to be the only high point of this song musically. This is a very tame SebastiAn production but it goes well with Uffies vocals which are top drawer. Nothing much to add on this song, SebastiAn.... good job but was expecting some signature cut and paste.

7. First Love (Prod. Oizo)Another Uffie song that you have heard before. I just love the Oizo signature weird but it works drum sounds and mad skills. The "record sounds like its scratched" loops, the awesome harsh drum sounds, the sampled 80's loops and the parts where he fucks with Uffies vocals. This is awesome, I want to hear the instrumental.... Uffie is being nice and pleasant in this one, which is a nice change. Again no no need to say more because you've heard this already. The editing at the end is fucking amazing, I love you Oizo!
8. Sex Dreams And Denim Jeans (Prod. Miwais)
Mirwais has the job of producing the title track which again is another "American mainstream club" sounding song. The vocals are played with a lot here which makes it sound fake but the music backing is very indie and guitar based. This sounds like a really good Soulwax/ 2manydjs mashup from 2006. Mirwais does a great job and this song makes me want to investigate more.

9. Our Song (Prod. Oizo)God produces again and like always makes an awesome track for Uffie to rap/ sing/ talk over. If you have heard Oizo play around with a guitar based tracks, you will already have a great audio picture in your head. Got a nice steady beat and Uffie is doing what she does best, addressing her haters (which she has a lot of). Words can't describe the epicness of Oizo in this tune. One of the high points.
10. Illusion Of Love (feat. Mattie Safer) (Prod. Mirwais)
Probably the weirdest song off this album, which is saying a hell of a lot. It's a quite spacey, zoned out romance song from a 70's exploitation film. You could not get an Uffie-esque sounding Uffie song ever. It's strangely beautiful but I don't know who Mattie Safer is (I probably do but can't remember) but he does a good job here helping Uffie out while she is working her magic over lovely deep synths and violins.
11. Neuneu (Prod. Mr. Oizo)
The best song off the album for sure! You want to know why? Here is a clue; he is French and he has a beard... which narrows it down to literally every relevant producer in France today.... it's Mr. Oizo of course. Before I ramble let's get Uff out the way first, she is bragging. Now the music... amazing. Oizo you do it again. I don't know what song you sampled but I want to hear it! The production value is out of this world, I can't tell you how amazing it is, Youtube this motherfucker!
12. Brand New Car (Prod. Feadz)
Yet another song that's bee around for a while, I can't be arsed telling you what you already know lol. Awesome track though!

13. Hong Kong Garden (Prod. Mirwais)
The last Mirwais song on here. Really like the guitar edit at the start. Uffie is again on top form. This sounds like she would enjoy doing this song live because of the lalalaing and stuff. The music is really good. The best out of all the Mirwais productions. Would be great at a party.
14. Ricky (Prod. Feadz)
The best Feadz production on the album and probably one of the best Uffie performances. It's hard to describe the sound Feadz is making but it's epic. There's a great beat and the little breaks with the cheesy little synth parts are awesome plus this song has the best Uffie lyric ever; "Oh you're H&M? I'm Paul Smith bitch". Overall, a great song to finish the album off.
So there you have it, a rather lackluster review of the album. Overall, I'm not the biggest Uffie fan, I prefer the music but Uffie is great on this album, my appreciation has risen a lot. If you are an Uffie fan you are going to love this, if you are an Uffie hater you will hate it. If like me you love Oizo, you are going to love it also. The music is definitely the high point of this album. As a whole package, it is great. The denim sleeve is just amazing, the artwork is amazing, Uffie looks and sounds amazing, the production is amazing but what did you expect from Feadz, SebastiAn, Mirwais and of course; Mr. Oizo. Songs that you should listen to our; Pop The Glock, MC's Can Kiss, Difficult, Our Song, Neuneu, Hong Kong Garden and Ricky. Definitely worth a listen overall but some people aren't as nice as me:


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Sketchbook Excerpt #1

Hello guys :)
Hope you all enjoyed the little mixtape I compiled for you in the last post. Expect more compilations on the blog because it's nice to share some of my favourite music with you all. If you haven't checked it out, my last post is definitely worth a read. Anyways, like I said I'm going to be posting on a regular basis from now on. So on with the show...

As you can tell by the title (I'm sure you can read or why wou
ld you be here? lol) I'm going to be sharing different than some music. As you might know, I am a designer. More specifically, an illustrator. Seeing as this is a blog primarily for my design works and ramblings, I thought I would actually do a design related post. This is going to be the first in a series of posts where I share parts of my sketchbook. I love my sketchbooks. I love looking at other peoples sketchbooks. They can tell you a hell of a lot about the designer and it's always interesting to see how people develop their work and how their creative minds work. Before I show you my (rather untidy) sketchbook (which when you look at my work, it's not surprising) I would like to turn your attention to something extremely interesting.... to me at least!

The picture above is of a collection of replicated Art Spiegelman sketchbooks. For you who don't know who he is go look him up. He wrote/ inked a lovely graphic novel called Maus which I highly recommend you illustrators and pop culture fans alike. You can buy both products on Amazon and any major bookshops/ websites. I have to admit that I knew NOTHING AT ALL about Art Spiegelman a few months a go. I was just browing the graphic novel section in Waterstones when I came across the Be A Nose collection. They where sealed in plastic wrapping but as soon as I saw the word "sketchbooks" I HAD to buy it. The rest is history my friends, maybe I shall have to write another blog just on him because I cannot stress how awesome his work is. Anyway, enough of the rambling let's get on with the real reason we are all here... gentleman if you will please follow me to the boardroom..... why is
everyone looking at me?

Basically, the story behind the image is this. These past few days I've been feeling really frustrated/ depressed creatively, not mentally, if that makes sense. I'm sure if you are a creative you will know how frustrating it is in the early part of your career when you are not getting work, you start to question what you're doing... it's quite horrible and crushes the soul lol. So yeah, on the left page it says "Being An Illustrator Is Wank", it's exactly what it says on the tin. The ironic thing is, I was feeling pissed off but in a funny way when I was doing that part because I realised on the next page was an illustration (that I actually like for once). The whole idea that there is such a negative comment right next a cute drawing really did make me laugh so all the negativity vanished. I'm actually proud of the writing, I think there's a potential series or possibly could be my own tagline haha. So yeah there is potential in both pieces for several pieces of work, so let's see how it goes.

Haha wow, I rambled then. I probably bored you to death too right? I dunno I just like sharing little things like that and I hope you enjoyed it too :)


Sunday, 13 June 2010

Oh I'm Sorry I've Been Distant... Have Some Music!

Hello Bloggers, long time no see!
I apologise for not posting but a lot of stuff has happened over the past couple of months. Right now I'm sitting in my musty room, it's raining and I feel sick. I should be on my way home from a jaunt in Newcastle but hey, after all my hard drinking since I've been drinking, I think I am what you call "FUCKED!". So being in this condition, I thought I would post something on here for all of you!

So what have I been up to? Well, first I dropped out of uni. I just didn't think it was benefiting me with my creative path. So after that weight off my mind was lifted another weight fell and smashed me on the head when I realised that this is the real deal now. I need to find some illustration work because as of now, I am officially a freelance illustrator. So I took the first step and started putting my portfolio together by creating a Flickr. Please feel free to have a look over there if you are interested in me doing some illustrations for you or if you like design, I have befriended some talented people on there so go check them out too!

I also have set up a Facebook page but you can find that link (with the flickr) in the side of the page because I don't care to link you there because it's a lazy, ill Sunday.

What else? Well I have been spending time with friends a lot more and went to a great wedding last week so I have been busy on that front too.

I have also been quite active on Youtube too. I now have over 80 subs so that's good. Please feel free to go over there by finding the link in my blogroll and friend and sub me if you wish. Same with the Flickr and Facebook.

So what is on the horizon for me? I don't know, if I'm being honest I'm in a state of depression with the worry of what I am going to do. I'm finding contacts, clients, places and building up my folio and other stuff of that calibre. I am also going to be a lot more active here too. I have a post coming up in a few days so be sure to check that out when it's done.

Well you are probably bored of me going on about me. So on that note I present to you a little compilation of music. This comp is gonna be the first in hopefully a continuing series because I like to share music.... or I will until I get told off by the music world! Like I always say, when I share music chances are I have already purchased the music and I urge you to do the same. Support the good artists and fuck the mainstream! This compilation is quite a mixed bag but contains mostly disco tracks and it's a representation of the songs I have been listening to lately, so I hope you enjoy :)

Well guys, I just thought I would post this little update. I won't leave you again, I promise! I'M A CHANGED MAN!

I Was Lacking So I Give You These Songs