Hugh Reinbolt: Opinions and thoughts on emerging and cutting edge trends in technology, digital and social media that inspire me.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Filmmakers - 14 Islands Film Challenge

I have recently been exposed to a lot of short films made by some very talented people in the UK. It has been nearly a month since The Bahamas 14 Islands Film Challenge launched at the beginning of October as an online filmmaking competition. This national short film contest, dubbed 14IFC, is searching for 14 of the best film directors in the country to fly over to The Bahamas in 2010. Once there the directors will each stay on their own island for 14 days to create a short film of any genre and style with the help of local residents. 14IFC will climax at a red carpet BAFTA showcase in London, where a Grand Prize Winner will be awarded with £14,000.

Any filmmaker keen to get involved should sign up as soon as possible and submit their personal details, a 500 written treatment based on a local hero (dead, alive or fictional) and of course a 3 minute example/showreel of their filmmaking. The deadline for submissions is midnight Saturday October 31, from which point a panel of judges will select 42 semi-finalists to create a film out of their submitted treatments - the prospective 14 finalists will then be selected from this group based on the "quality and content of their local hero short films".

14IFC is a project that I am working on directly as a freelancer and I am taking much interest in the films that are being submitted via the official website. I have to say that the films coming through are incredible -- some are phenomenal. Below are a few examples of the films being displayed on the website, which demonstrate the high calibre of filmmakers taking part in this contest and indeed the range of talent that exists in this country.


One of these examples was deemed too explicit to feature on the website and so I am lucky to present this showreel almost as an exclusive. This first piece by Conscian Morgan, in my opinion, is one of the most amazing and immaculate pieces of film uploaded to the website so far and really is some hard hitting footage:

Uzong Films



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A fascinating excerpt from a 'Guerilla Gardening' documentary by Roland Hancock:



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A hilarious showreel by Kevin Curtis.....get ready:



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Cutting edge. Welcome to the next generation of UK Directors....

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Monday, 26 October 2009

Hyperdub

I am a bit late on this one - thanks to BetterNeverThanLate for covering. There is a great article about record label Hyperdub - home of Kode9 and Burial - on TheGuardian.

Etched Headplate is one of the most amazing tracks "of all time" - I mean it.

Check it: www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/oct/22/hyperdub-steve-goodman




Also very late on this too - my mate told me about Burial's collaboration with Four Tet on two tracks ('Moth' & 'Wolf Club') - listen here. Superb. Superb.



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Avatar Stills - Trailer 2

I have no shame in being blatantly obvious about my obsession with the awesome movie-force of Avatar. So I am pleased to share two new cheeky movie stills, c/o MarketSaw. 2nd trailer online Thursday 29 October.

(I promise to write about something other than Avatar very soon)








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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

James Cameron's New Avatar Trailer

The second trailer for the almighty Avatar is to air in cinemas this Friday, October 23 but will not be online until Thursday October 29. I couldn't complain about the first trailer, because I love ambiguous weirdness like that, especially if it appears to be that epic. So I can't wait to see what's happening with the next tease.

Read more at: inentertainment.co.uk

Take a look at these amazing images c/o screenrant.com


















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Monday, 19 October 2009

One in three 11-16 year-olds 'upset, depressed, angry or stressed'

Fresh Google news came to my attention this morning that bought back memories of old. These are not very positive memories but it did make me wonder what all the fuss was about.

A recent UK survey concludes that a good third of kids in the UK blame school and loneliness for the blues. I for one will always blame school for giving me the blues 90% of the time, but it must have been something deeper than that. Maybe it was the lack of a medium of expression, such as this blog I'm writing now, that kept things bottled up. Saying that, even with the accessibility of the web, majority of children choose not to resort to the medium of the Internet as a platform for expression. Despite this, a new Childline website is being launched to "reach out to more children online", which seems an obvious contradiction considering the aforementioned statistic.

In my 'experience', I believe young people should be encouraged to express themselves in which ever way they can, by people they can relate to. I always hear of crative initiatives, such as dancing schools, especially around London.

God knows what the education system is like right now- on the inside I mean, as a student. But I like to think children are being influenced to get creative more nowdays than when I was 11-16.

Music was always my vice and my medium. It might not be for everyone but it is still my stimuli, each and everyday. Young people need to find their passion and their voice - and be helped along the way if necessary. 11-16 year olds should also be discouraged against drugs. So many kids get lured into smoking too much marijuana. They shouldn't do this until they're at least 17.

Read up:

www.telegraph.co.uk

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Friday, 16 October 2009

Feathered Friend - Defected

Get to the Future's interview with Claude VonStroke has been featured by Defected.



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MySwitzerland virtual shopping

Possibly the most random of seemingly non-interesting things I will ever write about, however it's actually quite amusing. 'MySwitzerland.com' is offering £7777 (fair enough) worth of prizes to those that participate in a virtual reality 'Swiss Shopping Challenge' across Switzerland's 7 major cities and successfully spend no more than £1111 within 105 seconds in each location:



Despite the amusement, the problem for me was that I don't have the hand-eye coordination to successfully bag the items that scroll across above those red shopping bags. I want to go to Switzerland now though. For those that can coordinate hand to eye, get your itchy trigger finger out at MySwitzerland.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Birds Running Around My Brain



"It will all be digital. The days of coming up just as a DJ with no productions are far behind us"


Get to the Future has been fortunate enough to score an interview with one of todays global pioneers of dance music, or more specifically, of the most innovative house, tech-funk and techno in the world - Claude VonStroke. Below we talk music, partying, digital and the future.





On October 19th 2009, the producer, international DJ and label boss of Dirtybird and Mothership is releasing 'Bird Brain', his second album since the incredible 'Beware of the Bird' in 2006. True heads and party people will have heard and been submerged on the dance floor by the classics 'Deep Throat', 'Chimps', 'The Whistler' and of course the epic 'Who's Afraid of Detroit?".

The filthiest of Dirtybirds has blessed the world with his army of dirt ridden heavyweights (including The Martin Brothers, Tim Green, J. Phlip, Voodeux, Catz 'n Dogz and Italoboyz- to name a few) and has recently taunted us with disgracefully teasing tracks such as the lush, intelligent jungle inspired 'Aundy' as well as 'The Greasy Beat' and the latest 'Bird Brain EP', which should have people rushing for the Portal of Beats or the nearest record shop. Here the man himself has fired over words of wisdom via electronic-mail, straight from the Dirtybird HQ in San Francisco:





You’re a little bit popular in the UK – how does the dance scene – and the crowds - here compare to San Francisco? Do you have a favorite country and city when it comes to playing out live (besides San Fran!)?

I really love playing in the UK. I have a couple favorite cities around the globe like Paris and Berlin but the UK is the most consistent overall for me, especially places like Leeds and Manchester.



How is the American music market at present compared to the last couple of years - does electronic dance music fare better today despite ongoing filesharing?

Well our label is selling better here but I think that is due to hard work over the years more than anything else and maybe people realizing we are actually from the US. The overall music market is pretty dismal everywhere for CD sales. Digital is booming but it's not actually replacing the same amount of revenue from physical sales so I see most companies shrinking a bit.



How do you envisage the future of dance music, both in terms of music sales and live activity - do you think the focus of electronic music labels is going to be increasingly on live performance?

Yes for sure. I see the producers completely taking over from the DJs. DJs will say this can never happen but once this old guard of 30-40 year olds is done then it will all be digital, all producers dominating the industry. The days of coming up just as a DJ with no productions are far behind us. Hopefully this will lead to some cool experimentation with the live performance aspect of things and not just pre-programmed sets in Traktor and Ableton.



Having rocked Creamfields 2009, how have you found the festival circuit over recent times and what have been your highlights?

Festivals in the UK have been a bit hit and miss due to the recent noise restrictions. It really sucks when I get up on the decks and the whole crowd is shouting at me to turn it up and there is no more room to turn it up. Even so, the UK crowds are definitely some of the best. I had a really incredible gig in Sydney, Australia last week at a festival called Parklife. Festivals can be amazing. It just depends. Even a bad festival is fun 'cause you are playing your music to 1000s of people! How can I complain?



You’ve often stated that you’ve come from and were inspired by drum and bass. This is evident in a lot of your tracks, do you still listen to drum and bass today? If so, which artists do you like?

I don't follow it but I’ll still throw on an old record or an old album by some of my favorite producers like Krust or Ed Rush & Optical, etc. It's something I’ll probably dabble in a bit in the future, bring back the older sound again.





Are you producing, or planning to produce other genres such as drum and bass? Can you provide any information about your Grizzl alias and work in hip-hop?

The Grizzl will be more of a surprise. I don’t want to say too much about it right now, as I haven't really begun production on much of it yet. To answer the other question, yes I'm definitely going out of genre next year and trying out some new things! Yes, maybe some DnB as well!



As a pioneer, what music production software and hardware do you use - that you wouldn’t mind revealing? (Is this true that you “only use Reason”??)

It used to be true that I only used Reason. My first album was 95% Reason. Now I find myself using Ableton a lot here and there. I also have some hardware now like a Moog and some pedals and weird effects. But I still think it can be done in Reason and it shouldn't even be surprising to anyone. The functions available in Reason would have cost $500,000 + in like 1995 if you had to buy the equivalent in gear. Like Theo Parrish once said to me, "You can use sticks and bricks to make music."



You have an innate ability to create various styles, from the beautifully deep and musical to outright heavy rollers and even combining the soulful with the humorous. Your vocal edits and ‘drum-in-cheek’ sonics are your signature – did you set out deliberately to produce music that didn’t take itself too seriously all the time, or was it a natural progression? Please comment.

The whole point of dance music and DJing is to have parties. Parties are supposed to be fun. So why not have fun music at your party? It is such a simple equation that people forget. Party people want to smile and dance and try to have sex with other people. It is all based on having fun so at least some of the music should be fun. Having all these serious people mulling around criticizing the music is depressing. These are the same, lame people who refused to dance and just sat in the corner and clowned on everyone in high school. I'd rather not be in that group.



“Vocal Chords’ and ‘Big ‘n’ Round’ give a teasing taster of ‘Birdbrain’, especially in contrast to 'Aundy'. What can people generally expect from the new album, particularly in comparison to ‘Beware of the Bird’?

It is a little bit more cohesive. The tracks all make sense together like an album should. The first album was all singles thrown together. These tracks were made to be an album. It gets dirty and nasty and deep and soothing...all across the board.



What have been your key influences, musically and experientially, during the course of making ‘Birdbrain’?

Trying to figure out how to still make dirty, sexual funk while I am married with two kids. It can be hard, no pun intended, but as primal humans we never really lose that urge to get greasy on the dance floor. I just have to tap into that primal shit and it all works out great.



You have been around the globe with your DJ sets, has this had a strong affect on your new album?

Absolutely, when you can go to a lot of different places you can see what works for people all around the world. Every place is different and I would say that some of the tracks are made for different territories. Like some tracks from the album will work in Berlin and some in San Francisco. But they all work together as well. At some point though, this can be a detriment to the music. At some point I had to stop catering to people and just go ahead and finish the music I wanted to make - keeping my voice if you will.





With regards to Mothership, how would you describe the state of the more underground and purest techno scene both in the US and Europe?

I never really know how to answer this. There are pockets of people everywhere who are more underground and that will never change. Mothership is more underground than Dirtybird, but I still consider both labels very underground regardless of the fact that Dirtybird has a few big crossover hits. It is always surprising to me when someone is a big fan of Mothership but not Dirtybird or vice versa because I love both sounds.



Can we expect any long players from any other Dirtybird’s and Mothership dwellers sometime soon? What's J.Phlip got up her sleeves?

Of course there is the new 5 Year Birthday project on Dirtybird coming early next year and then there is also the new Catz 'n Dogz album on Mothership coming in the Spring. J. Phlip is rolling out some new tracks and remixes right now. I think it will be a while before she does a full artist album but she is progressing nicely.



Can you divulge any new/forthcoming signings, releases or projects from either Dirtybird or Mothership?

Yeah, the next Mothership record by Maetrik is unbelievable. The lead track is called "Show Me". Also one of the best club records in a long time is coming on Dirtybird this Winter by Sascha Braemer. It is probably my favorite all-around EP of the year, or at least the one I play the most.





Have you any plans to take the Dirtybird/Mothership night international......or at least to the UK? Please do…

We already have done it. We had a Dirtybird in London last year and we are taking over Room 1 at Fabric for my album release this December. We also have a label night once a year at Watergate in Berlin and there will be more coming in other cities TBA.



What’s currently on your iPod’s ‘Most Played’ playlist?

I listened to the new Jay Z album a few times recently, also Kid Cudi - but nothing is really blowing me away in commercial music right now. I like to go jogging to mixes by our fellow label artists a lot. I also listened to all 3 "Special Herbs" beats only discs by MF Doom the other day.



Is there anything else you would like to say?

Yeah, check out the album on October 19th. The album is a dying art form and I might not make another one....



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Educational....The words speak for themselves - if they weren't quite tantalizing enough, you should click through to Dirtybird and sample 'Bird Brain' right now. For those who are keen and eager to catch Dirtybird live, this is when and where you can:



Claude VonStroke’s “Bird Brain” World Tour

November 2009
Nov 6 - Paris @ Rex Club
Nov 7 - Manchester @ Warehouse Project
Nov 13 - San Francisco @Mezzanine
Nov 20 - Berlin @ Watergate
Nov 21 - Germany TBA
Nov 27 - Los Angeles @ Compression


December 2009
Dec 4 - Amsterdam @ Melkweg
Dec 5 - London @ Fabric
Dec 18 - Toronto @ Mod
Dec 19 - Chicago @ Smart Bar


January 2010
Jan 23 - Munich @ Harry Klein
Jan 24 - Barcelona @ The Loft
Jan 29 - Dublin @ Button Factory
Jan 30 - Leeds @ Back to Basics


February 2010
Brasil & Japan - dates TBA




Bird Brain - Release date: CD/digital October 19th. 2009



A HUGE thank you to Claude VonStroke for taking the time to talk to us!

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Saturday, 10 October 2009

14 Islands Film Challenge




The Bahamas 14 Islands Film Challenge is a particularly exciting project, which I am lucky enough to be working on directly as a freelancer for Brik Digital and Fox Kalomaski.  Anyone who makes films and is looking to get into the industry - and anyone who simply loves watching films - should pay close attention.

The 14 Islands Film Challenge is seeking the best rising talent in UK filmmaking and is encouraging filmmakers of all styles and genres - including documentaries - to upload an example of their work and sign up to take part in an amazing competition. The challenge will send 14 finalists to the main 14 Islands of The Bahamas, where each filmmaker will create their own film on their own Island in 14 days, with the help of a local team of Bahamian residents (who will look after each filmmaker during their stay and become their crew).


The 14 Islands Film Challenge has been launched by top director Bharat Nalluri (Spooks, Hustle, Life On Mars, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) who will lead the judging of a Grand Prize winner of £14,000.

The initiative is in partnership with The National Film and Television School and The Bahamas Tourist Office and will culminate in a 'red carpet' showcase event next March at BAFTA!

What filmmakers need to do is to sign up at www.14islandsfilmchallenge.co.uk, register your details, upload an example or showreel of your work (3 mins max), provide a written treatment for a 2-3 minute short film based on a local hero (which in stage 2 of the challenge, will be created) and finally choose which of The 14 Islands of The Bahamas you would like to film on (so do your research on the site and give a good reason why!).

The deadline for the challenge is October 31st 2009, after which the panel of Judges will select 42 semi-finalists to create their short 'local hero' films. From this, 14 finalists will be selected to go to The Bahamas in 2010.

I have seen some of the entries and they are amazing, there is going to be some tough competition so sign up now! As I said, even if you love films, keep checking the website because all the films will be made available for viewing as from next week. Did I mention the competitions, which include a 14 night holiday in The Bahamas? I'm going to be seeing the number 14 in my sleep for months......


Bharat Nalluri Introduces The Bahamas 14 Islands Film Challenge:



The People of The Bahamas:



We've had some great coverage so please check out the sites below. A special thanks to Miss Cakhead for being such an awesome Social Media Guru:

www.guardian.co.uk
betterneverthanlate.blogspot.com
www.littlewhitelies.co.uk
www.iofilm.co.uk
www.broadcastnow.co.uk

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Friday, 9 October 2009

The Cow Bins of Shoreditch

The Cow Bins of Shoreditch, as a title, sounds bizarrely to me like the name of a messed up film - albeit one most likely either to be British and terrible or British and only slightly amusing. The real Cow Bins of Shoreditch (of the borough of Hackney to be exact, but Hackney doesn't sound quite as cinematic) are in fact a much more fascinating phenomenon and a subject that I have been intrigued by for some time now.



Here they are, lining the streets of our city - The Cow Bins of Shoreditch/Hackney! I have noticed them in the past, but never really thought about it. I think the sight of such pleasant cow-looking bins is able to nestle itself into someone's mind subconsciously. Maybe the contrast of farm animal camouflage against the landscape of the urban jungle is that powerful that they subliminally merge into each other and the Cow Bins blend into the natural backdrop of Hackney. Or maybe I am looking too far into it...or not enough as the case may be.




The Cow Bins will not be anything new and exciting to a lot of people, they have been around for ages. In all likeliness they are not even going to be of much interest to anybody. However, I look past the boring concept of disguising grotty grundons as nice, pretty cows and see their inner beauty - the ability to transform our streets into a much more pleasant environment in which to be and walk around in. I certainly felt more comfortable approaching the Cow Bins rather than a load of skanky, rot containers - nearly getting run over in the process:





If you are reading this, I urge you, the next time you see or walk past the Cow Bins, to stop and take a moment to appreciate their visual appeal and their values. What is more, the power of the Cow Bin may extend beyond the reach of our city directly into the lives of Hackney residents and families - after all, taking the rubbish out could never ever have been so much fun! Kids, parents and adults alike must be racing each other to clear out the bin bags and the recycling......

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Monday, 5 October 2009

Who lives? Who dies?

Is this for real?

Do you??

C/o METRO 05/10/09





















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Sunday, 4 October 2009

Dirtybird | Musical Evolution

As a homegrown lover of house music and all things four-to-the-floor, I have been amazed at the evolution of the genre (as with all genres, as with all art, as with life), yet it has never been so exciting and faith-replenishing as it has been since I was introduced to the work of a producer called Claude VonStroke of San Francisco, California. Unfortunately, I failed to join my mates in London for one of his first sets at Fabric, possibly his first, but I was fortunate enough to be told how much I missed and was played a particular track called 'Who's Afraid of Detroit?'.

Since then I was hooked and got super keen on Claude VonStroke's label, Dirtybird Records, and his first album, 'Beware of the Bird'. Since then, his productions, and the productions on his label, seem to have evolved so much - it's wild! The sound is tribal, it's techie, it's subliminal, it's deep (as phuck, more often than not), it's ridiculously heavy, it's clearly influenced by old skool flavour and junglist sounds - it's awesome. I may be biased, but this music demonstrates the force and power of sound design at it's best.

Since I first got into house music, even since I got my first set of turntables when I was 12 - the music I love has changed so much. Sure, some old stuff still sounds fresh, even futuristic, because there were those that created music like no other and pushed boundaries to the extreme (old 720 Degrees, the most beautiful drum and bass in history?). Dirtybird Records' releases are just like this, they could possibly be timeless, but only time will tell.



Which brings me to my point, even though I know how obvious it is that this guy is like a hero of mine, the second album is on the way - Bird Brain - and it seems it is going to be just as cutting edge as the first. The Bird Brain EP is to be released ahead of the 'LP' and it is mad. Allow me to paint a word picture:



'Vocal Chords' utilizes one of the producers key production elements, the vocal, in a completely unique way that is almost indecipherable as a vocal edit. It creates an uplifting cascade that would inevitably hypnotize a dancefloor and hold it in a trance from beginning to end with it's fidgeting, nostalgic bass line and kicking drums.


'Big 'n Round' has a sparse, atmospheric and echoey vibe that feels like you are immersed in the deep end of a packed dance hall while you head nod at your computer. Rolled up with some signature techy synth, it pumps just as the title suggests. Please note the old skool, tribal breakdown. Raw.




I have been waiting for the next set to be released and now the wait will seem to last even longer - simply put, I can't wait. If I were you I would head to Beatport and start downloading - and if you ever get the chance to see this man play live, don't miss it, it's an experience.

Please head on over to Dirtybird Records and see what they have to say for themselves.




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