26 May 2013

MF: Works in Progress

Some of the new FW13/SS14 pieces!

05 May 2013

Miniscapes: Landscapes within Landcapes

Landscapes. For me, they exist everywhere.
While to most, landscapes encompass your stereotypical mountain range that casts shadows over a valley, to me, the most interesting landscapes lie within broader scenes such as these-- even in our everyday lives: what one sees when standing eye level with a desk scattered with objects, or even when simply lying on the ground, looking at a bed of flowers.
It's about the details within nature; it's about the details in objects we take for granted. But most importantly, it's about scale and transformation: the ability to see the beauty and shifts in such details, and the magical power the camera has to make such details look vast and its viewers, small. Almost like Alice in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass (only without the "eat me" cookies).
A miniscape.
And so, since around 2004, I've been playing the role of Alice. Using either an iPhone or G12 to find such "miniscapes" wherever I go, I have compiled a collection of images depicting "miniscapes" throughout the seasons, my travels, and in my everyday urban life.


dropped petals
these feet 
(not my own)
onto the thin blades of kelly grass
talked to by the tongue of
a single caterpillar
inching along the solemn earth
stubborn with anger,
stubborn with grief. 

two lips, not tulips
touch the tips of
the tops of the tallness

kelly, you are

the clouds merrily fleeting above,
cross the top of the steeple,
golden glare of tripping light (a sore on the pupils)

corneas burned, stamping the outline
of its symbol onto the caterpillar below

shrinking, her fingertips are,
and drawrfed, she becomes

the blades of grass,
above her now

her arms,
unable to engulf the
of its now trunk

caterpillar eyes stare into 
the depth of her gaze,
and twice the
size of her body

and the creatures so microscopic appear,
befriending her quickly,
as her feet begin to move

sun, pink
sun, red
sun, yellow not:
change colors, now,
because I say it so.

sun big, sun: set

caterpillar inching along

propped petals: my bed made.

and, now, sleep my heart (not my own)

02 May 2013

A Little Bit of History: One-On-One with JJ of Fading Yellow

Everything sounds better on vinyl, that's for sure! Jörgen Johansson, an avid collector based in Sweden, would most certainly agree.  Since he was a small child in the 60's, Jorgen (Who goes by the name JJ)  has gone through exorbitant lengths, digging up lost 45s and LPs.

But how did I find JJ, and why an interview? 
 Faced with the dilemma of finding "fresh" oldies for my DJ sets, I discovered JJ while digging up old 60's music.  You see, in the boundless sea we call the Internet, I discovered that there exists an enclave of music bloggers who I like to call "vinyl junkies."  These vinyl enthusiasts are just like JJ-- passionate about collecting and finding lost 45s and LPs, and then, sharing them; ultimately giving these tracks the listening credit and exposure their creators only dreamed of receiving.

While I uncovered a lot of great tracks that were upbeat and fun, I also found a great deal of tracks that were ambient and mellow.  My secret dream job being a music supervisor for film and television,  I would save these tracks into their own folder as well-- you know, just in case!

 And that's when I discovered JJ. During my music search  routine, I stumbled upon a blog which contained compilations of tracks from lost 45s. Fading Yellow was the name of the compilation that landed me on the blog, as it contained a track from the band I was searching for-- a band called Vigrass & Osbourne

As I navigated through the pages, I soon realized that Fading Yellow was in fact a compilation series: an impressive thirteen volumes total at the time (there are now fifteen), each containing rare and obscure 60's and 70's psychedelic rock tracks. I obtained each and became an avid listener-- so much so, that months later, recognized The Interest Group's cover of "The Boys and the Girls" as a track from one of the volumes!

When I stumbled upon Facebook page for Fading Yellow, I had to ask him a few questions about the series, himself, the music, and of course, the 60's!

Just by glancing through your website and the extensive series Fading Yellow, I can tell that music must have always been a huge part of your life-- Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the small town of Lidköping, which is in the Southwest portion of Sweden-- and I still live there! 

What do you recall to be your earliest musical memory?
My mom and I used to listen to the radio together a lot!  I remember (and she also told me!) that whenever a song came on the radio and I liked it, I would sit under the kitchen table "digging it." Whatever that means, I was only about three or four years old!!  I'm happy to report that I still do this.

Do you remember the first record you ever purchased? What was it? 

I remember that day very clearly, I was quite young-- it was the Swedish release of Yes I will/Nobody, by The Hollies.  I've collected vinyl ever since.

Your first concert? 

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky. Mick and Tich, here in Lidköping 1968..... All is remember is that there were an insane amount of screaming girls upfront.

The Hollies is a group that seems to be a bit far from 60's psychedelic rock! Fading Yellow has so many rare obscure psychedelic rock gems. What attracts you to this specific genre?

It's difficult to explain really-- all I can say is when a song connects with me, magic happens inside. Pop psych just ignites something within me. I can't quite pinpoint why. 

Is this what made you begin to search and collect vinyl of this genre? How many records would you say you have total?

Totally-- I would say I definitely have well over 500 LPs, and then... gosh.. maybe around 1000 45s?

That's insane! So what made you sift through everything and decide to start the "Fading Yellow" series? Did you have any specific goals in mind ?
 I don't know-- There are many psych compilations out there, but Fading Yellow filled a gap.  You see, the majority of the bands featured on Fading Yellow only made one 45-- and then sank in oblivion!  My mission was (and still is) to dig up these records just so they could get the attention they deserved.  I find a ton of records, but I'm very picky with the track selection process. I try to pick only the best!

When was the first volume released? How exclusive was it?

 1995 marked the release of the first Fading Yellow volume, which at first was on vinyl only:  330 copies, all numbered! This now a big collectors item.   Consequently, the first Fading Yellow CD  was released in 2002.  This included  a tight selection of eight songs from the original 1995 LP, and then also, an additional seventeen tracks.

How did you know you had something special?  What kind of response did you receive?

I was surprised!  A lot of 60's buffs reached out to tell me the series was pretty much groundbreaking-- the tracks were that good, and just unheard of.  Just so much popsike and other delights! Since the series is now nearing 16 volumes total, I have certainly developed a following. I also feel it ignited people to the genre, and the mere act of collecting and discovering such rare 45s. For example, if you do an eBay search for "Fading Yellow," you will find my volumes on CD, but then, also a ton of 45s just as I look for during my search. It's almost as if "Fading Yellow" is becoming it's own little niche of a genre!

Pretty neat! So how long does each volume take to compile?

  Between compiling the tracks I'd like to use, making the cover art, mastering the 45s, the actual record production, and then releasing the cd, I would say a volume takes around six weeks!  Believe it or not, choosing and organizing which tracks to use is the easy part for me--  At the moment I have the tracks chosen and set for about 4 upcoming volumes!   The artwork is fun and also a cool process- I'm very lucky to have a friend from the UK who professionally does album artwork for a living. He makes all of my covers.

Your favorite 8 songs from the Fading Yellow series?

1. Fading Yellow, Mike Batt
2. Remember Me, Ted Mulry
3. And Now She Says She's Young, Timon 
4. Cover Me Babe, The Sunshine Trolley
5. Forever Autumn, Vigrass and Osbourne
6. Once On A Windy Day, Gracious
7. What The New Day Will Bring, Disraeli
8. Sad Soul, Ronnie Bird 

When you're not making the Fading Yellow series, what are you doing?

In 1982, I took my love for 60's vinyl to the next level, and opened a store in Sweden called Tracks on Wax. I sell all rare 60's stuff!

What artists inspire you?

   The Zombies and their Masterpiece LP, Odessey & Oracle is my all time fave LP and still blows me away when playing it.

Do you listen to new music? What are some of your favorite modern day bands?

Jacco Gardner is my current fave, amazing young Dutch guy with a strong 60´s vibe/sound, Check him out!

Favorite films?

I'm a film buff so, wow--  My favorite directors are probably Kubrick, Powell/Pressburger. Have you seen "The Red Shoes" from 1948? Fantastic! I also love "Sweet Smell of Success," "Black Narcissus," and "Being There."

Your favorite year in history:

1968: my first girlfriend. I was twelve; Innocent times.


01 May 2013


Sorry, I just couldn't resist.