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STORY: SUN KIL MOON @ CASA DA MÚSICA
Mark Kozelek aka Sun Kil Moon spreading tales on death and family in Oporto’s music amphitheatre on a cold, wintery night.
Publisher: VICE | 02 April 2014
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It’s half past nine of a dismal morning and I’m on my way to Oporto with two fellows. It has passed a couple of weeks since we wordily vowed on the trip, booked a hostel at the Invicta city and patiently awaited the day to hit the road. By the time we embarked, the gang was psyched: going on a trip, rolling in the northern capital, diggin’ the flea markets and cease the journey with a Mark Kozelek aka Sun Kil Moon's concert at Casa da Música, inserted in Optimus Clubbing fest. On our way we spin Eminem, N.W.A, Bon Iver and a miriade of musics of dysfunctional genres among them, as the everyone was eager to share everything they brought. But my mental inner-record needle is stuck since yesterday and the only thing I'm able to repeat in silence is: “Richard Ramirez died today of natural causes / These things mark time and make us pause.”

The verse comes from “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes”, the first Kozelek’s song I’ve heard, which is in Sun Kil Moon’s most recent album, Benji, released in March by Caldo Verde. The reverberation of the voice and the dazzle of a story of various truthful events through a folk spoken with a constancy similar to a rap song (it seems paradoxal, but listen to it and you’ll get it) is something I’ve never heard. From there I promised myself to see a Kozelek’s concert as soon as he landed back in Portugal, even knowing that mellow folk doesn’t attract me. I jumped for the unknown, this time at Oporto, one of my favourite cities in Portugal, which made the trip a win-win situation.

Arriving at Casa da Música by eleven in the evening and while the elevator took us to the concert hall floor, I hear the first chords of the night. It was “Black Kite”, a minimalistic acoustic from Among the Leaves' album. When we finally thrusted the large wooden doors, the darken room with few yellowish and blue spotlights on stage, crowded and ecstatic on Kozelek applauds vigorously the opening song. “How y’all doing?”, asks Ohio’s musician. We are fine and ready to live what’s next, without forgetting Richard Ramirez.

I sit five rows above the stage on the exact moment the guitar releases “Carissa”, from Benji, a soft toned riff followed by a vocal living and entrenched on the lyrics, sometimes in a more dragged tonality, otherwise more wide and cried out just as if one got released from the prison. On stage, Kozelek gets in trance and we follow him through his stories about death and the love for the neighbour. We actually live them, there, with him.

Next comes “I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love” as now Kozelek loosens his vocal cords and grasps onto the message; and “Truck Driver”, living out of a single chord, as a paint with only a colour. And then comes “Dogs”, meaning Kozelek on his first passions and the audience heeling thrilled with the humorous oscillations of his voice - more expansive when recalling “first times” and darker as he faces the end of those experiences and senses. “I Watched the Film the Song Remains the Same” and “Micheline”, with Kozelek fused with the guitar he fiddles fervently as the crowd is tuned, precede the most waited and indeed the most cheered song: “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes”. Truthfully, I’m not being tendentious by the fact that it is, by far, the best song I’ve heard this whole year.

The live version is more vivid and rocky - kudos for Vasco Espinheira, Blind Zero's guitarist whom is with the European tour of Sun Kil Moon, for the electric sound that surrounded the music, and for Chris Connely on keyboard, giving a more profound and obscure sense to a song that lives from the succession of deaths and events tangled in a storytelling that is told without a fake melancholia, but rather with a “facing the inevitability” stance.

Before ending the concert the catchy, faster and labouring folk of “I Love My Dad”, Kozelek makes a turn on “By the Time I Awoke” and “Ceiling Gazing”, of Perils from the Sea, an album he produced last year with Jimmy LaValle and which is more synthesised, dreamy and clavier. As the show comes to an end, the audience is still enclosed in the teeter of Kozelek’s stories, revealed with the same energy they were lived and now shared at a city that has too much to tell on life, death and what’s next. After a concert that hardly would be better, we left the room and Casa da Música through a glowing set of stairs outside the building. Oporto’s night guides us and we tell her loudly: “Richard Ramirez died today of natural causes / These things mark time and make us pause.”

STORY: SUN KIL MOON @ CASA DA MÚSICA

Mark Kozelek aka Sun Kil Moon spreading tales on death and family in Oporto’s music amphitheatre on a cold, wintery night.

Publisher: VICE | 02 April 2014

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ALBUMS: SHCURO - PLUNGE INTO DARKNESS
Lisbon’s producer converging to a pounding industrial techno sound.
Publisher: Vice Portugal | 13 February 2014
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 The way Shcuro showcases his music has been through some fast mutation over the last couple of years. The producer from Lisbon, Portugal, went through a road of dub rhythms with his Distant Shore EP (2012) and the Rastronaut’s Legba (2013) remix, deviated for the interior of tech-house - Ignis Fatuus (2013) and JYGB’s Sun Soaked / Money (2013) remix - and turned sharply, without any tragedies within, in 2014 with the acidic techno EP Plunge Into Darkness.

Considering his stylistics shifts, Shcuro has a consistent identity and versatility. He whom also produced an astonishing sound for A.M.O.R’s experimental LP, and keeping with Honey the project ERVADOCE. Among all his music, there’s always a grey and deeply dark touch, from either a more assertive knob or a simple presence hidden throughout the more audible tones. “Plunge Into Darkness” is Shcuro releasing the murk that always roamed his spirit, with full-rotation beats, beefy industrial sounds and screaming synths. A throughly acidic trip for a night ending in an emotional debacle. “Agremi Somnia” keeps the industrial roots, the aesthetic deepness and borrows from trance the verve of piercing synthesisers.

Plunge Into Darkness doesn’t even sin for having just 15 minutes of running time, as it seems to be an eternity, given that we jump inside an endless dark pit. The expectation is that Shcuro remains in the genre, as he seems just right for it.

Release Date: January 2014 | Label: Con+ainer

ALBUMS: SHCURO - PLUNGE INTO DARKNESS

Lisbon’s producer converging to a pounding industrial techno sound.

Publisher: Vice Portugal | 13 February 2014

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FOLLOW THE VANE
Basque surfers Erika Susperregui and Jokin Argote are evolving a photographic travel journal into a life project.
Publisher: HUCK | 12 February 2014 | Photo: Christoph Haiderer
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In 2010, surfers Erika Susperregui and Jokin Argote, a couple from San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque region, started a blog documenting their surfing lives. They felt an urge to share the stacks of awesome photos they had accumulated while travelling the world. Three years later, Follow the Vane has sprung to life as a real-world project and the couple are embracing new ways to express their creativity and love of waveriding.

Erika is an artist who draws her inspiration from travelling and the people she meets along the way. She knits and designs vintage clothing and handmade accessories as part of the project, most of them born from fabrics and materials she finds from stuff others have thrown away.

Both Erika and Jokin are now showcasing their line of one-off pieces at surf festivals like Quasimoto Burrifornia in Burriana, Spain, and surf shops like Magic Quiver in Ericeira, Portugal. The intention is to turn Follow the Vane into a something that sustains and inspires their everyday lives. Huck sat down with Erika to hear more about the project.
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What is Follow the Vane all about?
Follow the Vane started as a means to document our experiences of lives lived around surfing: moving around, going to places, crafting, creating, looking for stuff that we like and meeting people. We are not photographers, but we love using photography to document these experiences with others. I’m also starting to create new material, like handmade bags and vintage clothing.

What motivated you to start project?
We had so many photos that we thought were so cool we had to share them with people. That’s how the blog started. My previous project making board bags, called Sew ‘n Sing ended so badly as business just dried up. I needed some space so I travelled to Australia and met lots of creative people which inspired me to get energy again and do something new. I wanted to use the name Follow the Vane because it was something my boyfriend and I were doing together. Like I said, it’s a life project; I’m going to create things that I know how to make. I don’t want it to be a brand that I’m constantly trying to expand. The trips we do, the people we meet and the surf are what inspires me the most.

What is the connection between Follow the Vane and RVCA?
I’m an RVCA advocate. Both I and Jokin are part of the artists network program at RVCA. They started supporting me when I was doing Sew n’ Sing. They know me and know what I do so they wanted to keep supporting me with Follow the Vane. We do projects in common and they treat us really well.

What made you embrace the surfing lifestyle?
I started surfing when I was around 18. I didn’t live by the beach, so it wasn’t that easy. I had my studies, I was a gymnast when I was young and then I started going to the beach with my friends and stuff and I started surfing. It really gave something that nothing had given me before, you know what I mean? It was something new, something special – being in contact with the nature, meeting people in the water, travelling. All of that made me feel really good. I met my boyfriend four years ago through surfing and that allowed us to connect and travel together. That’s what so special about surfing: you meet people, you surf.

What does the future hold for Follow the Vane?
I don’t know, but what I’m sure is that I don’t want it to be big; I just want it to be a life project. I would love to be able to keep on doing it, that’s all. Be able to keep travelling, keep surfing and keep meeting people that inspire me and inspire us to do more stuff.
Website: Follow the Vane

FOLLOW THE VANE

Basque surfers Erika Susperregui and Jokin Argote are evolving a photographic travel journal into a life project.

Publisher: HUCK | 12 February 2014 | Photo: Christoph Haiderer

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FRONTSIDE GARDENS
Andrew Willis is the mind behind the craft of turning a deserted Hackney Wick derelict site into a sustainable skate and BMX park.
Unpublished | 11 June 2013 | Photo: Ivan Maslarov
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Riding the same skate parks swarming the city may be annoying after some time. The ramps show no new fun, the grids look easy enough to pull new tricks. Albeit in Hackney Wick, the Frontside Gardens is ready to be explored. 

Designed and erected by Frontside’s owner, Andrew Willis, the sustainable park is open since September last year, located in an old warehouse site revived from death with Olympics leftover materials. Willis, a Civil Engineer with special affect for sustainable designs, projected the park for a competition and built it to last a few months. Until now, the Gardens are still in place. “I’m looking to start a company to fight for the area, and fight for the belief that got the project started, the idea that it’s not for profit.”

The site is a few miles off Victoria’s skate park, adding more options to the area and projecting the growth of the sport. Willis is applying for licensing for the site to keep up and hopes to turn it into a youth centre within a year. “It’s more like a reclamation, which is how I want to keep it. I just want to carve something that will make it work in the future.”

Website: Frontside

FRONTSIDE GARDENS

Andrew Willis is the mind behind the craft of turning a deserted Hackney Wick derelict site into a sustainable skate and BMX park.

Unpublished | 11 June 2013 | Photo: Ivan Maslarov

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ALBUMS: DEATH GRIPS - GOVERNMENT PLATES

Hardcore hip-hop trio Death Grips exhuming demons and woes in a dark as they’ve ever been album.

Publisher: Vice Portugal | 03 December 2013

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LUNCHING WITH JUSTLIKEBB

It was a regular, Wintery day of surfing, with the exception of the waves. They weren’t in the mood. I ended hooking up with some JustlikeBB crew gypsies for a chat over biscuits.

Blog | 05 December 2013

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