Video: Quadron & Rebekah Raff "Pressure" (Live) by Theo Jemison & Grace Oh

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Photo by Grace Oh 

I've been meaning to write something about the stunning video below for some time. It was filmed and directed by Theo Jemison and Grace Oh, two photographer/ film makers whose work you've probably seen many times without realising since they've worked with most of the great and the good in LA. I asked Theo to tell me about the process because it's just so beautiful, his response is below. 



Basically the process for making the video was, Grace and I were originally approached by Andrew Lojero from Plug Reseach to do something like this for Quadron. We were going to have access to anywhere on UCLA campus so we set our sights high and asked to shoot in the Royce Hall.

There was a lot of red tape and fees to shoot in the Hall so we started looking around for a big beautiful open spaces that was conducive for vocals and visually striking. The idea of the Eagle Rock Center For The Arts came to my mind as I have enjoyed many musical events there and thought it to be a beautiful space to shoot in.

Our good friend, Brian Akio Martinez (amazing bass player for Blank Blue, album coming soon to Brainfeeder) works at the center and got us in there on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We came in with a really small crew, KenBts engineered the audio recording and later worked with Robin from Quadron to finalize the mix.

We set up Rebekah Raff with her harp, Coco with her mic, did a few rehearsals with them and for Grace and I to frame up our shots and away we went shooting and recording the real takes. It was very simply done to keep the integrity of the voice and harp the center of attention.

The editing process was Grace & I working with amazing editor Greg "The Dude" Ponstingl on syncing up the mixed audio and refining the edit. It was a really great learning experience even on a video as simple as this one. I have shot a lot of videos with directors but this was great to see a project through from concept to shooting and sitting through the editing process.

It is all shaping light whether still photos or moving images, originally being a still photographer for 11+ years I have really been inspired working in the moving pictures the past 5-6 years. It feels like a really natural extension of all the years of still photography. 

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Photo by Grace Oh

Video: Still Shining [J.Dilla Documentary]


"J.Dilla: Still Shining" from B.Kyle on Vimeo.

Though this has been floating around for a few days I wanted to hold off and post it today - five years exactly since J.Dilla passed away. This touching documentary was made with so much love it's hard to imagine anyone could watch it without being covered in goosebumps and shedding a few tears, but also feeling inspired to work really hard and do the best they can, it's a lovely testament.

I went to the J.Dilla Changed My Life concert at the Scala on Sunday, and it was amazing, though bitter sweet, that five years later there would be a huge queue around the corner on a cold Sunday night in London to celebrate and honour an artist who wasn't booked at a venue of that size here when he was alive. Some scorn those who weren't aware of his music back then but are fans today, but I feel sad they didn't get to come and see Slum Village live, or J.Dilla's last show at the Jazz Cafe - we were lucky, but what a testament to the man's work that it has that effect on people, and continues to live on.

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Big up to anyone who appreciates what they've got before it's gone. Rest in peace J.Dilla. 



Photos: Andreya Triana Album Launch

Andreya Triana,Lost Where I Belong,Album Launch,Put Me On It
Andreya Triana,Lost Where I Belong,Album Launch,Put Me On It
Andreya Triana,Lost Where I Belong,Album Launch,Put Me On It
Andreya Triana,Lost Where I Belong,Album Launch,Put Me On It
Andreya Triana,Lost Where I Belong,Album Launch,Put Me On It
Andreya Triana,Lost Where I Belong,Album Launch,Put Me On It
Andreya Triana,Lost Where I Belong

As you probably know Andreya Triana launched her beautiful debut album "Lost Where I Belong" [iTunes link] last month, and I was luck enough to have not one but two photographers - huge thank yous to them both - there to capture the magic she created for her album launch party. Annoyingly I wasn't very well so I had to leave early, but soundcheck sounded amazing, the attention to detail was delicious (literally - there were themed cupcakes and chocolates!), and it felt as though Drey really does exist in another world which she let us in to for a night.     

Images: 1, 2 & 6 by Zainab Adamu
Images: 3, 4, 5 & 7 by Philip Edwards 

Photos/ Review: Accidental Powercut ft Fiona Bevan, Ghost Poet & Sound of Rum

Accidental Powercut

The legendary Charlie Dark and Andrew Missingham's Accidental Powercut is easily one of the most interesting and inspiring gigs I've been to this year. The venue is called Quintessentially Soho at The House of St Barnabas - it's an incredibly beautiful chapel with amazing acoustics and the smell of Harvest Sunday Service, set within a slightly maze-like private members club. After making a (not very optional) charity donation at the door you're given a token, the colour of which allows you to see certain parts of the show - I nodded my head feigning comprehension and decided to go with the flow. Luckily I got to see the whole thing.

Accidental Powercut

The whole idea behind the night is that there is no electricity involved other than the lighting, so no microphones, no computers, amps, monitors, nothing. Just instruments and a very quiet audience - it's a true test of skill and er, balls. Kicking off was spoken word artist Kate Tempest, a performer with no lack of either of those things. I've seen her live several times before but something about the intimacy of the gig really seemed to soften her around the edges, and I heard a lot more humour in her lyrics than I'd previously noted. No one raps about rapping quite like Kate, "yeah I love your shoes mate, but where's your f*cking skill?". 

Accidental Powercut

Next up was singer songwriter Fiona Bevan who is completely adorable and seems to live in the wrong era, her songwriting evokes an almost fairytale world as she sings about moths and sailors, pirates and diamonds, and the Revel and the Devil "you're the one who puts the fun in to the funeral".

Accidental Powercut

Fiona was followed by Ghostpoet. I have to admit I liked his EP but I really wasn't expecting to be quite so blown away by him live. He may have had the softest voice of the evening but there's some kind of energy coming off the guy that's really exciting, listening to him made me feel the way I did the first time I saw artist like Roots Manuva, Ty and Tawiah live. He doesn't leap around, in a way I think it was the reserved yet intense delivery of his music that made it so engaging, his song "Finished I Ain't" is somewhere between a sinister rallying cry and an impassioned note to self. I'm really interested to see his more electronic show now.   

Accidental Powercut

The evening closed with a set from Sound of Rum, Kate Tempests' band who delivered more of a funk tinged hip hop take on Kate's sound. Earlier in the night she talked about thinking of herself as a poet after being a rapper for a long time, but the  hungry MC never seemed very far below the surface and the band really allows her to fly. For some reason they got carried away and left what they felt was their best material to the end but nevertheless it was a very strong and characteristically passionate set.
 
Accidental Powercut

Next month, 2nd September, the line up includes Talvin Singh, Corey Mwamba and Tinashe (and hopefully more magic tricks from Charlie Dark). I recommend you arrive very early.

A huge thank you to Philip Edwards for the beautiful photography.

Review/ Photos: Bilal Live in London

Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil Edwards,London
I had the absolute honour of filming Bilal's soundcheck for a collaboration project I'm working on at the moment, and I was completely floored by the experience, so when I returned a few hours later for the full show and he turned it straight up to 11 it was all I could do to hold it together. There are so few performers in the world like Bilal, every time I see him it reminds me of going to see the greats - always flawless, always extending my ideas on what's "good", always with a hint of the crazy genius about him.
Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil Edwards,London
A few people I'd spoken to weren't feeling the new single "Free" which I love - he kicked off with it and it sounds incredible live - partly due to the calibre of artists who make up his live band, partly because it sounds like it was made for it. I hope it converted them. He then launched in to much of the back catalogue and tore a hole in our collective conscious. "Levels" saw the more up to date members of the crowd - excuse the borrowed phrase - spill out all our guts.
Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil Edwards,London
The show ran for two hours, which after starting at midnight was probably more tiring for the audience than Mr Oliver, who always gives the impression he won't go home until you do, and yes he will give another 20 minute rendition of a song. Everyone I've spoken to since is "recovering" from it and trying to work out how parts of it were possible "did you hear him screaming his lungs out then singing like an angel seconds later?!!" That was definitely one to cut out and keep... Huge huge thank you again to Philip Edwards for the gorgeous photography.
Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil Edwards,London
Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil Edwards,London
Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil Edwards,London
Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil Edwards,London
Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil Edwards,London
Bilal,Deviation,Put Me On It,Phil 
Edwards,London

Photos & Video: Electric Wire Hustle Live In London

Electric Wire Hustle,Put Me On It,Philip Edwards,Jazz Refreshed,London

I was really excited to see Electric Wire Hustle in London, largely because they are from New Zealand and it took them 40 hours to get here (the term "unmissable gig" took on a whole new meaning). I didn't make it to their show at Deviation, but headed down to Jazz Re:Freshed the following day to sweat it out with the best of them, and I wasn't disappointed. I always think of EWH as one of those bands that are entirely powered by people, there's no clever marketing or big budgets, their music just connects with people - it's honest and quietly passionate, which you could also say about their live show (apart from the quiet part).



You can also get more of a sense of what they're about in the video below by my friends at Pinboard blog. A huge thank you again to Philip Edwards for the beautiful photography.



Electric Wire Hustle,Put Me On It,Philip Edwards,Jazz Refreshed,London
Electric Wire Hustle,Put Me On It,Philip Edwards,Jazz Refreshed,London
Electric Wire Hustle,Put Me On It,Philip Edwards,Jazz Refreshed,London
Electric Wire Hustle,Put Me On It,Philip Edwards,Jazz Refreshed,London
Electric Wire Hustle,Put Me On It,Philip Edwards,Jazz Refreshed,London
Electric Wire Hustle,Put Me On It,Philip Edwards,Jazz Refreshed,London
Electric Wire Hustle,Put Me On It,Philip Edwards,Jazz Refreshed,London

Review/ Photography: Janelle Monáe Live at the Hoxton

Janelle Monae,Philip Edwards,Live,Hoxton
I was lucky enough to get tickets for Janelle Monáe's live show at the Hoxton this Thursday, and four days later I still feel overwhelmed by it. After a slightly strange warm up (Chaka Demus and The Pliers anyone?!), a deep sigh of relief on my part the "special warm up act" wasn't Diddy Dirty Money, and a highly theatrical introduction, Miss Monáe's appropriately garbed backing band took to the stage, followed by three shadowy characters in hoods. She turned, we roared, and the most incredible "interactive emotion picture" began. 
    Janelle Monae,Philip Edwards,Live,Hoxton
    The velocity and energy with which she launched in to the first three songs on the album Dance or Die, Faster and Locked Inside was breathtaking, leading to the only slip up of the night - a hairpin came out of place. After a short break (probably more for the audience's brains to readjust than for  Monáes' benefit), she returned to give one of the most impressive vocal performances I have ever seen, a rendition of Charlie Chaplins "Smile". I'm not a huge fan of vocal gymnastics that require the length of a phrase to change just to fit in all of the runs, but in this case that would be like complaining that your team won the World Cup with five goals when they only needed one. I scooped my jaw off the floor just in time to dance to Cold War and Tightrope, which does not get old no matter how many times I see it. 
      Janelle Monae,Philip Edwards,Live,Hoxton
      I was ecstatic that the final part of the show included some material from Metropolis Suite, songs like  Violet Stars Happy Hunting!, Sincerely, Jane (which gave me the chills), and Many Moons are what made us fall in love with Janelle Monáe but with an album as full as The ArchAndroid she could easily have left the older material behind. I also felt that whilst her music sounds great recorded, it gained a fourth dimension live which made me realise just how much amazing material she has released in this short space of time. The complete geek in me wished she had performed Come Alive but there's always next time.    
        Janelle Monae,Philip Edwards,Live,Hoxton
        The thing about Janelle Monáe is that she isn't in a class of her own; she's in a class with the greats. I am not exaggerating when I say she didn't put a single note or foot wrong throughout her performance. That incredibly professional polish made sense of the whole "android, alien, robot" theme to me, she's one of the least human-like humans I've ever encountered, to the point I found myself wondering if she had been genetically modified in a test tube... 
          Janelle Monae,Philip Edwards,Live,Hoxton
          Janelle Monae,Philip Edwards,Live,Hoxton

           A huge thank you to the wonderful Philip Edwards for the photos.

          The MF Social Club #1 - photos & free download

          It was a moving and memorable evening - tears, laughter, free popcorn... huge thank yous to those who came. For a download link to 10 promo tracks featured in Secondhand Sureshots & Timeless & to see the rest of the photos head to the MF Social Club Facebook group. I'm currently working on the second screening so stay tuned.
          A big thank you to Phil Edwards & others for these photos. 

          MF Social Club
          MF Social Club
          MF Social Club,The C.A.M.P.
          MF Social Club,Alex Chase
          MF Social Club,Amelia Ideh
          MF Social Club,Secondhand Sureshots
          MF Social Club
          MF Social Club
          MF Social Club
          MF Social Club,Suite for Ma Dukes
          MF Social Club,Rahel
          MF Social Club,Suite For Ma Dukes
          MF Social Club