Lazy Post No. 19: A New Bridge Please…

July 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Gallions Reach Bridge_trimI’ve been sent an email from Transport for London inviting me to the next round of consultation for the new East London Thames crossing options…

Without doubt my favourite has to be the possibility of a new bridge at Gallions Reach. How amazing would that be?

I’m a big fan of modern bridges, especially concrete ones. Think of Fosters Milau Viaduct in France or The Oresund Crossing between Denmark and Sweden. Obviously the Gallions Reach bridge would not be anywhere near their scale, but it would still be a wonderful opportunity to create an elegant and timeless structure, right on my doorstep…

It’s not at all clear from the blurb if it will end up being a toll bridge, but I suspect that has to be a possibility. However on the assumption that a replacement ferry service would have to remain free for it to be used, arguably (and hopefully) the new bridge would be free also. We shall see.

The land is already owned, so it could potentially be open by 2025 and the whole project would cost around £600m. Cheap at half the price, especially when you think of the Billions that train projects seem to cost these days…

Do it I say. London can never have too many bridges…

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Archizoom Posters by Federico Babina…

July 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Archizoom-by-Federico-Babina_dezeen_18Some rather fine architectural posters today…

A series of iconic buildings have been reimagined as film posters by the Italian illustrator Federico Babina, wherein the name of the architect and the building itself are considered in the same way as the film’s title and it’s Director might be…

Inspiration has obviously been taken form the graphic style of the great Saul Bass in these works, but they are nevertheless very pleasing.

The project’s title Archizoom, comes from Babina’s decision to focus on a singular or at least a limited aspect of each of the buildings chosen…

The original story as well as about 15 more wonderful posters is here on Dezeen…

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Kruder & Dorfmeister: DJ Kicks

July 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Oh happy day! Not only is that spawn of Satan, Gove finally on his way to oblivion, but I’ve just found out that one of my all time favourite DJ compilations (and believe me, I’ve got hundreds of the things) has made its way up onto Spotify, so a big thank you to K7 Records for that, you’ve made my day…

Like all DJ compilations, Kruder & Dorfmeister’s DJ Kicks undeniably represents a sound very much of its time, an Austrian concoction often described as dub or down tempo or even lazy beats. But for me the stand out tunes are the faster drum and bass ones that lift this collection way above the competition…

Beautifully sequenced and effortlessly mixed (the pick up in tempo from track 2 to track 3, or the rolling kick drum at the start of track 6 will always bring a huge smile to my face) this record sends me straight back to the mid/ late 90’s when me and Dan were to be found down at Stealth in Hoxton or wandering around strange fields at one of the early Big Chill Festivals

All I need now is for Cold Cut’s 70 Minutes of Musical Madness, Darren Emerson’s Uruguay/ Global Underground and Terry Francis’s Architecture so appear, and I will never complain about Spotify’s new black skin again..

No Ministry for Michael…

July 15, 2014 Leave a comment

I’m shocked, surprised and unashamedly delighted that the man who believed his own legacy was of more importance than a well rounded and balanced education for this countries children, has been soundly and wholly humiliated with todays demotion from Education to erm… well nothing really. Chief Whip, what does that mean outside of Westminster… ?

This sad little man now has only three things to do: Firstly get the Tories back into power in their own right (no chance), secondly stop Boris from becoming the next leader (also (sadly) little chance..) and thirdly to endlessly stalk the corridors of the House of Commons threatening people to go and vote as Dave expects them too…

How the mighty have fallen…..

National Association of Head Teachers annual conference

Lazy Post No. 18 : Lego, cables & Sugru…

July 1, 2014 1 comment

Lego-and-Sugru-wire-holders_dezeen_468_8Today’s intriguing fact of the day is that Lego minifigures gripping hands are just the right size to hold charger cables and headphone jacks…

A fine discovery that I will help my Star Wars minifigures put into effect as soon as I get home tonight…

Sugru is a new thing to me as well.. It appears to be a self setting silicone rubber compound that can be moulded like Play Doh, then stuck to or formed around any number of shapes and surfaces, where it cures overnight forming a strong, waterproof bond that still retains its flexibility. Definitely sounds like something you didn’t know you could live without…

The original story is here on Dezeen

Lazy Post No. 17 – Hans Unger…

June 21, 2014 Leave a comment

unger64A quick and lazy post today of some wonderful posters from the 1960’s and 70’s.

Hans Unger (1915 – 1975) was a German emigree who came to London via South Africa in 1948. Unger was a gifted artist and graphic designer who created many posters for amongst others, the GPO, London Transport and the Public Information Office.

Unger was also skilled in designing and making mosaics (which he did in collaboration with Eberhard Schulze) and stained glass.

The Tower, by Hans Unger, 1969I can’t find much more about him to be honest, his work is easy to find, but the person himself seems to have left little trace on the net. The only other rather upsetting fact I’ve found on a site here, is that he took his own life in 1975 for reasons that are not clear…

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Spring in the air; country walks, by Harry Stevens, 1963

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unger-safariThe Zoo Aquarium, by Hans Unger and Eberhard Schulze, 1963

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poster06_428x652_to_468x312There’s a most excellent book I came across recently, “Keep Britain Tidy, Posters from the Nanny State” which contains some of Unger’s work along with a whole selection of others  from the collection of the National Archives. Thoughtfully, many of these excellent posters have been printed on single sided, removable pages especially for framing and hanging purposes…

Click the pelican to the left to find out more…

Finally there’s an interesting little video here about the book, narrated by the author Hester Vaizey…

 

 

 

 

Unkle @ James Lavelle’s Meltdown

June 16, 2014 Leave a comment

JL-MELTDOWN-FINAL1Last Friday saw us in the ever wonderful and impressive Royal Festival Hall watching Unkle Redux, the opening show of James Lavelle’s Meltdown, the annual South Bank extravaganza curated by a single invited host…

We’re quite big fans of James Lavelle having seen his art shows and watched him DJ many times over the years, but he has possibly the least well known public persona of all the curators of the Festival, a list which includes Bowie, Yoko Ono, Jarvis Cocker, Morrissey and Elvis Costello. His choice as curator may be as much to do with his ability to bring together talented people as it is to do with what he himself has done, although he unquestionably merits the position in my book.

Unkle Redux was billed as a “specially created, audiovisual show” featuring a whole host of  guests ranging from Mark Lanegan, Liela Moss, Keaton Henson and ESKA to the “The London Contemporary Orchestra, Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble and of course everybody’s favorite turntablist, DJ Shadow…

And very good it was too… I think because Unkle are something of an unknown entity in themselves we were unsure what to expect: would it be a set consisting of the slower and more orchestrated tunes from their 5 studio albums, or a more dance orientated set of tunes in the vein of one of Mr. Lavelles DJ sets?

It’s difficult to know how much Mr. Lavelle contributes in terms of playing/ writing/ singing/ designing etc. to the Unkle project as a whole, and for this show he was only on stage for the first and last tunes of the evening..

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Perhaps unsurprisingly we got all aspects of his character: the  lush strings of In a State, the haunted lyrics of Rabbit in the Headlights (sung by a very tortured soul by the name of Keaton Henson) and the huge noises of Follow Me Down and whatever the last track was called, and vast, stunning visuals accompanying each tune.

And to finish it off we had three hours of dancing in the foyer to the record collections of Don Letts and Paul Daley of Leftfield..

And I haven’t even mentioned the opening act. Philip Sheppard is a cellist who used a loop station and his undeniable skills to the most mesmerising effect.

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The only criticism I have (more an observation really) is that there was almost no interaction with the audience. We sat there like sensible grown ups in our seats, the song stopped, we clapped, the next guest artist came out, the huge number of people of stage shuffled about a bit and then the band started… At the Siouxsie gig last year, everyone was standing up and dancing right from the off…

Anyway, a minor quibble at what was all in all a most enjoyable evening…

And we get it do it all again on Tuesday night as our favorite Danish Electronaut, Trentemøller is playing in the same venue…

Can’t wait….

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