Trees in the City #2 for Caught by the River

My second Trees in the City for Caught by the River is up.


Itz Not Rite: R.I.P DJ Rashad.


Rashad TEKLIFE by Ashes 57

My beautiful friend Ashes57 lost her soulmate and colleague DJ Rashad last Sunday. I’m so so devastated for her, I’ve found it difficult to concentrate on anything else this week. I can’t imagine what she’s going through, but I can say that admirably, she’s decided to carry on with her solo show in Manchester which opens this Thursday, as a tribute to DJ Rashad. All proceeds will go to his family. Please show your support if you’re in the area, or even if you’re not – you can donate here:

DJ Rashad tribute exhibition by Ashes 57

DJ Rashad tribute exhibition by Ashes 57

I’m sad for the rest of his crew too, Teklife, for Hyperdub who posted this moving statement; for Chicago, Rashad’s home city; For everyone that knew him globally and of course, for his family & his friends. I’m sad that his incredible and prolific musical career has been stopped short at the age of 34.

I’ll never forget the first time I heard his music, in my little apartment in Paris. It sent me into a trance, it got me excited about new music for the first time in ages, so much so that I tried to write a decent article about Footwork, for a French magazine called Shoes-Up. The few times I experienced Rashad playing live (with DJ Spinn and once with Litebulb dancing, with a paper bag on his head) sent me and my mates and pretty much anyone in the vicinity into a frenzy.


DJ Rashad & Litebulb, Sonar 2012

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that sonically he was a game-changer, inspiring and befriending many, many a global producer and DJ. On this side of the pond – DJ’s Oneman, Kode9, Addison Groove and Ikonika, did a heartfelt tribute mix on Boiler Room yesterday; as did Bok Bok and P.O.L Style on Rinse FM on Sunday  (see below). 

Despite all this sadness & feeling of injustice on my brow, the cliché about death making us feel grateful for our own lives is ringing in my ears, more loudly perhaps than it’s ever done so. I think this is mostly to do with the epic creative output of a man that died too early and how evident the love that people all over the planet have for him.

Kode9 wrote on Twitter last Sunday:

For what it’s worth, Rashad makes me want to live my own life much more brightly, more truly, more happily, more positively. “Have fun and live life,” as he said himself in this recent interview.

R.I.P Rashad, thankyou.



Boiler Room @ The Vinyl Library – Andrew Weatherall, Friendly Fires, Timothy J Fairplay

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Andrew Weatherall came to play Boiler Room alongside Timothy J Fairplay (who together are known as The Asphodell’s) & The Friendly Fires @ The Vinyl Library on Thursday. Unfortunately, I only caught the end of the set cos I got … Continue reading

“Listening with our eyes” / “E2 Portraits”


“…Theodor Adorno once commented that truth is like a handful of water. I think Adorno chose the right analogy but his chemistry is wrong. Truth might better be viewed as analogous to a handful of sand. Most of the grains slip through our fingers but some stick and can be held in the palm. In a desperate attempt to hold onto these pure grains – and in the intense hear produced by the desire to know and understand – a lens is forged.”

Listening With Our Eyes – Portraiture as urban encounter by Les Back in Picturing The Social Landscape: Visual Methods and the Sociological Imagination, edited by Caroline Knowles & Paul Sweetman

The above quote is from an incredibly fine essay about a set of photos that I was fortunate to see daily for the three years of studies in the stairwell of the brilliant Art dept at the newly renamed/restored Croydon School of Art. It’s author, Les Back describes how residents, shoppers and tourists interact with a large format camera that was set up on weekly Sundays in East London’s Brick Lane by students on the Photomedia course at Croydon, every Sunday for a number of weeks in 2001 (there’s a great behind the scenes blog about it here). Among other things, the different roles that the photographer’s undertook while maintaining equal co-authorship of the project is interesting, as are their initial concerns related to the concept of the “camera as a weapon” and thus, not wanting to disturb people with it. I and undoubtedly most photographers of public places have certainly felt that at times. Back’s expansions on the characters within the portraits make it a challenge to pick out a favourite; while it’s possible to “hear” extracts of their stories on sight, the added descriptions give concrete details or truths, that sometimes make sense and sometimes lead to sad surprise. That the institutional Beigel Bake features in the essay is a bonus; it and the Bengali community are two things that remain strong in Brick Lane, through all it’s change and flux, thirteen years later.

Trees in the City – Caught by the River


here’s a post called Trees in the City for Caught by the River.