FAULT Reviews: Detroit rapper Danny Brown live at the Met (Pawtucket, RI)

When you attend a Danny Brown concert, expect to quickly befriend your neighbor. Or at least become accustomed to the scent of joints and Newports while you dance. Having followed the rapper’s career from afar, I didn’t exactly know what to expect. Would we encounter a charismatic wordsmith on the prowl or a vulnerable introvert with the habit of posting confessional snippets on Twitter? I suppose that I shouldn’t have underestimated Brown’s ability to navigate the balance of comedic spectacle and natural skill.

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Photo: Josh Wehle

Following a set from show-openers Tanboys, the polarizing underdog of rap was clearly the king of the court at The Met in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. From the second that he hit the stage, Brown, sporting recently dyed hair the color of a St. Patrick’s Day shamrock, controlled the eager masses with his tightly-controlled rhythm and signature voice, spitting out rhymes like a man who knew that he had nothing to lose. After all, Brown’s fans embrace his “weirdness” (he once stated that 50 Cent didn’t want to sign him to a label due to his affinity for skinny jeans), championing the rapper’s unflinching honesty about growing up in Detroit, in addition to his high-pitched wordplay. Surrounded by the energy of the Bruiser Brigade, Brown performed songs from 2011’s XXX and his current album Old. Highlights from Old included: ‘Side A (Old)’, ’25 Bucks’, ‘Handstand’, and ’Smokin and Drinkin’. The crowd, which seemed to have a median age of twenty-two, seemed to be enraptured. The rapper’s mere presence was enough to incite mania. Unlike a Drake or even hometown rival Big Sean, Brown doesn’t need the gaudy distractions of bottle-popping club thumpers or odes to designer-duds. His power lies in his conviction, the dedication to exposing the raw and ugly truths of life. Girls decked out in skate shoes and Obey snapbacks partied next to hip-hop heads in fresh sneakers and chunky chains. Bouncing with boundless showmanship, Brown tore through song after song. He moved about the stage with ease, ending every other song with the flash of his tongue. Combined with the venue setup and the crowd demographic, I couldn’t help but feel transported back to the days of college house parties, where nearly everyone swayed to the bass while clutching a red cup.

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Brown has been adamant about sticking to the truth of his craft, rather than clamoring for radio-friendly hits. In the past, he’s said: “I think now with me and my music, it’s just something that I want to leave behind when I die.” Considering the work that Brown has already released, I doubt that his work will be forgotten. At the core of his music, Brown is a story-teller, one who captures the humanity of his community, no matter how bleak or grim (it’s no surprise that he cites Nas as one of his early influences). As long as Brown continues to have something to say, count me among the many hip-hop aficionados that will continue to listen.

 

Words: Vanessa Willoughby

FAULT Focus: International Designer Sophie Zinga

 

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What was your primary inspiration when you started the Sophie Zinga label?

When I first launched the line my primary inspiration came from my country, Senegal. I remember sourcing fabrics and creating intricate designs with Senegalese hand woven fabrics.

How would you describe the brand in 3 words?

Feminine. Classic. Minimal.

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Congratulations on your first show at Paris Fashion Week! You displayed your AW’14-15 collection – what/who were the main influences behind that (if any)?

Thank you. Even though New York is my base and it’s an untraditional approach, I think my international fan base appreciated it. I think it was important to show in Paris, which is the original fashion capital of the world.

Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?

Yes my favourite piece is the gold metallic lame dress. It is glamorous silk metallic lame but at the same time keeps Sophie Zinga’s minimal quality and focus on lavish fabrics and clean lines.

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You have such a cosmopolitan background – from Dakar (Senegal) to New York via Paris and Lagos – how do these disparate influences manifest themselves in your designs?

It comes naturally. Sophie Zinga is named after myself so it reflects parts of personality, my reality and myself, which translates into my designs.

Can you tell us about some of the unique features of the label?

The label is 100% made in Senegal (West Africa).

We love Animals. No real fur policy.

We only use silks, brocades or hand woven fabrics.

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Is there a particular process you follow when designing?

I travel a lot. My parents travel a lot so I get a lot of my inspiration from traveling or from my parents’ trips. My mother is a great storyteller so she has an amazing way of giving people details about her trips that makes you feel like you were there. Other than that, it starts with sketches in my red little to-go red book I keep with me at all times. Picking out fabrics is my favourite part! I sometimes source fabrics depending on how I’m feeling.

You describe the label as “socially conscious”. Could you expand on that?

When I first thought about creating the label, giving back and creating jobs in West Africa was my biggest motivation. I have a background in development and economics and I’ve extensively volunteered and worked in development issues regarding Africa so naturally I always wanted to incorporate that in the label’s DNA. I made the conscious move of keeping the manufacturing done in 100% in West Africa. I am currently working with different multinational entities to improve to livelihoods women and girls and to give workers from disadvantaged communities the opportunities to have a dignified job in fashion, which in return benefits the whole community.

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Who would be your dream client to design for/work with?

Lupita Nyongo. She perfectly nails the essence of style in an effortless way, without trying too hard. Angelina Jolie would be an amazing client as well. She can do no wrong on the red carpet.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my Spring/Summer 15 collection, which is going to be the most extensive collection yet to date. Excitement is an understatement!

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What are your plans to expand the line?

I would love to expand the line and ultimately create a diffusion line 5 years down the road. In 2016 I plan on developing accessories.

What is your FAULT?

Procrastinating. LOL.

 

Images: Ibra Ake; Mambu Bayoh

FAULT checks out pop-up dining event BE at Buckley’s – or “Why living in London might not kill you after all”

Over the past few days, we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been told that living in London is killing us. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good old-fashioned sensationalist headline as much as the next set of writers who have lost all faith in any continuing concept of journalistic integrity. That said, these things do become rather depressing after a while.

In case you were wondering, smog is apparently the big killer in London nowadays. Welcome back to Dickensian Britain folks: can I interest any of you in a Tale of Two Cities? In one of them you’re going to die from fatal asthma/bronchitis/TB/sustained exposure to fatuous pseudo-scientific commentary; the other is not called London.

Still, it’s not all bad here. Luckily for the FAULT team, our mutual friend over at Lux & Noah has kindly dropped us an invitation to an event that a) looks like a lot of fun and b) might actually improve your quality of life.

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BE at Buckley’s is the new monthly pop-up dining event taking place at Mr Buckley’s Restaurant, 227 Hackney Road. The event is a culinary collaboration between the restaurant, chef Daryll Wilson and Tasha Bermingham (aka Tashe/BE), a highly regarded young health and well-being practitioner.

Serendipitously, the upcoming BE at Buckley’s events seem perfectly suited to the current climate, with the invitation declaring the dinners on the 15th and 22nd of April to have been influenced by “the pre-industrial way of eating”.

With dishes on offer including a Ceviche of Seabass and the intriguingly named ‘Sutton Hoo chicken two ways’, this three course meal looks to be an absolute feast – although we still wouldn’t bet against some of us holding out our bowls and asking for some more. A selection of freshly pressed juices, cocktails and bio-dynamic wines are also available for purchase on the night.

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Menu for BE at Buckley’s pop-up dining event (April ’14)

Priced at just £35/head, BE at Buckley’s is unlikely to result in too many of you falling on hard times. Quite the opposite, in fact: just looking at the menu, which is free from gluten, grains, sugar, hydrogenated oils, and pasteurised dairy, makes us feel healthy without the usual high cost – both to one’s bank account and one’s taste buds.

Sensationalism aside, tickets are selling fast – we know because we’ve already gobbled up two of them for the 22nd – so be sure to pre-order yours now via Mr Buckley’s:

Mr Buckley’s
277 Hackney Rd
London E2 8NA

Web: www.mrbuckleys.com
Tel: 0203 664 0033

 

Words: Nicholas Nickleby
Sketches by Boz

Truls Qvale’s FAULT – EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL FOR FAULT ONLINE

Leather Bra: no9.com Leather skirt: Acne Archive Shoes: Zara

Leather Bra: no9.com
Leather skirt: Acne Archive
Shoes: Zara

Cardigan: Helmut Lang Bandau bikini top: Wolford Jeans Acne Archive. Sh

Cardigan: Helmut Lang
Bandau Bikini Top: Wolford

 

Dress: NLY trend. 7+8. Malin.  Shirt Sleeve Shirt: FWSS

Dress: NLY trend. 7+8. Malin.
Shirt Sleeve Shirt: FWSS

Skirt: Helmut Lang   Earring: Maria Nilsdotter.

Skirt: Helmut Lang
Earring: Maria Nilsdotter

Denim jacket: Acne Archive Leather Pants: Helmut Lang/ Den Dama

Denim jacket: Acne Archive
Leather Pants: Helmut Lang/ Den Dama

 

Denim jacket: Acne Archive

Denim jacket: Acne Archive

 

Photographer: Truls Qvale www.trulsmqvale.com

Styling: Margrethe Gilboe/PudderAgency

Hair and makeup: Sissel Fylling using Armani/ shu uemura Aoh/La prairie / Pudder Agency

Photo Assistant: Marius Viken

Models: Malin and Rebekka /Heartbreak

FAULT Favourites Band of Skulls release third album, ‘Himalayan’

 

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FAULT first spoke to lead singer and bassist Emma Richardson  back in 2011 to discuss the release of their breakthrough second album, Sweet Sour for FAULT Issue 10: the Legacy Issue. From their early days touring as Fleeing New York in the late noughties, we knew that this was a band to watch, one that would stand the test of time. Here’s what we wrote about them back then:

From their relatively recent incipience in 2008, the female fronted, blues heavy, old fashioned raw and ready rock outfit are perhaps rivalled only by the Black Keys, both in terms of their ‘old school’ guitar-heavy style and their similarly meteoric rise to fame. In one dazzling swoop, these groups have utterly dismissed that old (circa 2006) adage that ‘guitar music is dead’ – with Emma Richardson, Russell Marsden and Matt Hayward doing so in particularly impressive style. The Brits have been ‘cracking the US’ in such an accomplished fashion that they have drawn comparisons from some quarters to rock legends Led Zeppelin. With their pulverizing basslines and soaring – yet oddly searing – vocals, Band of Skulls are a firm FAULT Favourite.

Now, three years later, we were pleased to get a chance to catch up with drummer Matt Hayward about the highly anticipated release of their third album, the brilliantly constructed Himalayan.

 

Welcome back to FAULT! How are you feeling about the new album?

Matt: We’re really proud of the record that we’ve come up with and we’re feeling really good about it. It’s been quite frustrating because we finished it at the end of last summer so we’ve had it in our hands for quite a while now but it’s finally upon us now so we’re very excited!

How does the new album differ from your last two?

We’ve said is that it kind of takes elements from the last two albums and makes a record out of that. Whilst we were writing and recording the last two albums we isolated ourselves out in the countryside in an old farmhouse and this time we decided to go in to central London and I think that definitely rubs off on the record. There’s an energy about being in London which is great, we were going in every day and then being able to leave the studio too which gives you a lot more objectivity about things, you can listen to your demos on the train home and all these little things which we never had before so I think that played a big part in the sound of it.

Do you have any favourites or standout tracks on the new album?

It chops and changes, it always changes by night really. It’s interesting that a lot of it is down to crowd responses, it’s funny the ones that you get different reactions from and not always reactions you were expecting. At the moment, we’re just really excited to play any of it really, it’s been such a long time we’re just itching to get going.

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Band of Skulls shot by Annick Wolfers for FAULT Issue 10

When we spoke about your last album you cited The Beatles, Neil Young and Bob Dylan as influencers, are these still relevant to the new album or have you found inspiration elsewhere?

We have a pretty strong rule in the studio that we don’t play a lot of current music whilst we’re recording because we’re keen not to have anything influence us too heavily.

We listen to a bunch of different stuff, there’s definitely a glam element to this record. When we got in to the studio we hung out for a few days with our producer Nick Launay and played our favourite records, there was definitely a theme of T-Rex swagger, and everyone bringing in Prince albums.

When you’re piecing songs together, creating new music do you envisage an ideal setting in which it will be played back? Where would you like your music to be heard?

For me, my favourite time is listening to music is on aeroplanes. I get a real kick out of it, that excitement and nervousness of travelling. You’re on your way to somewhere and to have a soundtrack to that sort of emotion is quite similar to playing shows in a way, it’s exciting it’s nerve-wracking, and full of adrenaline all of those wonderful things. If I could pick a place for anyone to listen to this record it would be getting a flight somewhere.

Are you thinking about playing the album out live whilst recording and writing?

Yeah definitely but we try and keep the two things very separate. We like to thing that making a record is like taking a photograph. It’s taking a photo of where you are at and what you’ve been coming up with of. At the moment we’re at the rehearsal studios piecing together how we want to do things live and it inevitably changes quite a lot which we really like. For us, going to see a band and they just sound like the records is not so exciting, it hasn’t got that element of danger to it.

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Photography: Annick Wolfers for FAULT Issue 10

Can you see another live album in the future?

Yes, hopefully a little bit further down the road of touring so we’re a bit more warmed up. Also we recently did an acoustic show last week which we hadn’t really done before. We do quite a bit of acoustic stuff for radio but we’d never done a show before. It was just something completely new, we had a string quartet and with us having never played with any other musicians but ourselves it was really strange but there’s definitely talk of doing something like that again on a bigger scale.

Speaking of working with other musicians, how do you feel about collaborations, is there anybody you could see yourselves working with?

We’ve never really talked about collaborating with other musicians, it’s never been put in front of us so we’ve never really thought about it but I’m sure it would be really interesting. It’s not particularly on our list of things to do. But if an offer came up then yeah sure, if Prince gives us a call then by all means…

What does the rest of 2014 hold for you?

It’s just relentless touring in front of us now. Next week we’re off to America then coming back to do some UK shows and then Europe, after that it’s back to the States and then Australia… we’ll be heading back in time to hit festival season which will be really exciting. So yeah there will be a whole lot of living out of suitcases.

Final question, what is your FAULT?

There’s no way to win this one! If I don’t say anything then it sounds like we’re just perfect… I guess we’re bad sons and daughters to our parents because we don’t see them enough as we should. Yeah we’re bad kids, we’re always gallivanting…

Himalayan is out now

Interview by Louis Sheridan

‘Two Heads are Better than One’ – Oscar Alexander’s FAULT

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Photography: Woland
Hair: OscarAlexander @ ERA Management using Fudge
Makeup: Natasha Lakic using MAC
Models: Kit @ & Ieva @ Elite London
Photographers assistant: Dan Korkelia

Culinary Mischief – London’s newest gastronomic experience

It’s no secret that gastronomical extravagance is in vogue in the UK at the moment. From food markets and pop-up restaurants to an upsurge in culinary blogs and fashionable (or oft-watched, at least) TV shows, it seems that society’s defiant response to ongoing questions about weight issues has been to flood the market with good food. Key to the development of this trend has been the highlighting of the experience – be it social, sensuous or cerebral – as the most important factor of any meal out.

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The problem with this approach, of course, is that it rarely leaves much room to maneuver. Inevitably, the real focal point of any dining event is bound to be the food. With that in mind, we are excited to see a relatively new pop-up restaurant return to the UK for only its second event. Culinary Mischief London, organised by Il Tocco Food, is refreshing when set against the backdrop of a myriad other contemporary ‘dining experiences’ insofar as it dares to focus primarily on the menu.

It is a sign of the times that this is now seen as break from the norm but it is fair to say that Italians will continue to speak from the heart as far as food is concerned – and Gabriele Bertaccini, head chef at Culinery Mischief, is no exception. Although theatrically themed evenings can occasionally result in raging success, all too often they can rely on gimmickry to mask deficiencies with the quality of the primary product.  By contrast, the Culinary Mischief evenings are themed only to reflect both the national and seasonal nature of the menu.

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Gabriele Bertaccini, head chef at Culinery Mischief

The upcoming London event, Primavera, looks like one not to be missed – particularly after the first event last year received such widespread praise from various food critics. Taking place on April 3rd and 4th, the Primavera dinner includes six individually designed courses of the finest Italian food accompanied by six different wine pairings. Held in a unique secret location to respect the privacy of a small number (30) of like-minded guests, the evening is priced to reflect that it is set to be an intoxicating experience for true gourmands. At £175 per ticket, we are excited to see what this touch of Tuscan magic can bring back to a jaded London food scene.

The April menu will feature asparagus, artichokes, leafy greens and Italian beans, with a stated aim of maximizing flavour by using the freshest produce. April is also a month of celebration and, during Easter lunch in Italy, lamb and eggs are always served, so guests can expect to see these on the menu as well.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, (only 30 seats available) please visit www.billetto.co.uk/en/events/primavera

FAULT Future: Broods

It was the razor-sharp electro-pop sound of “Bridges” that set the blogosphere on fire. For New Zealand’s BROODS, it took no time at all before Capital Records and Polydor came knocking on their door, least of all landing a highly coveted offer to support the second leg of Haim’s recent UK tour. Siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott continue to ignite the embers of intrigue surrounding their young band, especially when they tell us they were working café jobs some three months ago. Quite simply, they seem to have emerged, fully formed, out of nowhere.

BROODS’ highly introspective songs are as catchy as they are delicate, employing an array of synthesizers—and the production of Joel Little, the jewel in Lorde’s crown—to make confessional moments full and sometimes shake a venue. Although Georgia and Caleb stake their claim on the inspiration of such ethereal artists as Bat for Lashes and Oh Land, their meteoric rise to the top can’t help but bring to mind a burly wide receiver charging down the field. They’re taking that pigskin all the way to the end zone.

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How did music come to you?

We grew up with music all around us. Both of our parents play music and our extended family members are very musical as well. They’ve always been really supportive of anything that we did creatively. From early on, they always encouraged us to paint and play music. We have awesome parents and we’re very lucky to have that support system. But it wasn’t until we got to high school that we really took it seriously. We had a very cool music teacher who always encouraged us to write and record our own stuff.

Can you name some of the more iconic artists who have inspired you?

People like Thom Yorke and James Blake. Outside of that, Georgia’s influences are very strong, female vocalists such as Lykke Li and Natasha Kahn from Bat for Lashes. She definitely gravitates toward women vocalists who are fearless in the way that they write music and perform.

How do you divide up duties between Georgia and yourself? For instance, are you very involved in writing lyrics yourself?

With the EP, our writing process changed all the time. Sometimes we would go into the studio and write from scratch, and we would have equal input during the process. Other times, Georgia has a full written demo that she will bring into the studio that consists of vocals set to piano. She starts by recording in her bedroom and we build the track from there.

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What is it like to work so closely as siblings in a creative field?

People always ask if we fight and things like that. It’s very easy when it comes to writing music together because we understand each other’s strengths, back to front and inside out. It’s very easy to communicate our ideas to each other, so it proves to be really easy when we get into the studio. We tell each other if we don’t like something and no one gets offended. It’s a lot of fun writing as siblings.

In our past conversation, you brought up the influence of Oh Land.

I’m personally a huge fan of Oh Land and everything she does. It felt so different when she first started writing music. I was so captivated by her production and melody lines. I find her so interesting. I love a lot of Scandinavian music. I’m a big fan of anything that comes out of that part of the world.

Bridges” and “Never Gonna Change” is very much pop, but they do have this introspective, dark center to them in the lyrics especially. Where does that darkness come from?

Both of those tracks came from Georgia’s demos. She has always been more of a darker writer. I guess she feels most inspired to write songs when she feels like she needs closure about something.

How did you first meet Joel Little, a producer that you guys share with Lorde?

We first met Joel three years ago. We were doing a high school Battle of the Bands in New Zealand and Joel, along with his manager, approached us. They wanted to write a song with us and produced a song for the band that we were in at the time. I guess our relationship kept going and evolved over time from there. When that project didn’t quite work out, we decided to keep writing together. We all get along so well. It’s great to see him experiencing all this success.

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The same can be said about BROODS. How are you processing everything that’s happening right now?

It’s really crazy. Georgia and I were working in cafes just three months ago. I was at university and things like that. Now we’re traveling the world and playing these shows. People want to come to these shows and we’re selling out shows. It’s crazy to think where we were just months ago and where we are now. It’s happening very fast and something new pops up every day. It’s super exciting, man.

Does anything scare you while you’re on this journey? There’s a lot riding on the choices you make at this stage of your career.

We have no idea how things will unfold. It’s happening so fast that we have to take things day by day. I think the most important thing is to stay true to who we are. As cheesy as that sounds, we have to remain humble about the whole thing. Our parents would probably slap us in the face if we didn’t.

What is your FAULT?

I get stressed out quite easily. That’s probably my biggest fault. And it’s usually due to Georgia because she’s often in her own world.

BROODS self-titled EP is out now. The duo’s debut LP is slated for release this fall.

 

Words: Kee Chang
Photography: Victoria Stevens
Styling: Shandi Alexander
Make-Up/Hair: Kelsey Morgan