Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing The Rodnik Band: S/S 2012 ‘Cod Save The Sea’ Diffusion Line for ASOS

The Rodnik Band SS12 Cod Save The Sea by Helena Maratheftis

The Rodnik Band SS12 ‘Cod Save The Sea’ by Helena Maratheftis

On a fine London morning in early June – I know, hard to believe – I had the privilege of visiting the colourful studio where the witty designs by The Rodnik Band come to life to interview the man behind them, Philip Colbert. I cannot remember exactly how this brand entered my radar a couple of years ago, but I recall browsing The Rodnik Band website for the first time and feeling really excited that such fun, stimulating, cleverly filled with references – if a little inaccessible – clothes existed out there. Later, during the private view of an exhibition organised by The Stitch Project, I suddenly saw in front of me a girl wearing an exquisitely delicately sequined long gown whose main body had the shape of a fish, while chips were adorning the lower area near the floor. It was delightful. The girl was holding a banner with the slogan ‘Cod Save The Sea’.

The Rodnik Band SS12 by Miss Fay Myers

The Rodnik Band SS12 ‘Cod Save The Sea’ by Miss Fay Myers

The Rodnik Band 'Cod Save the Sea' SS12 collection

‘Cod Save The Sea’ was the theme of The Rodnik Band’s S/S 2012 collection in collaboration with the Environmental Justice Foundation and inspired by EJF’s work to end illegal ‘pirate’ fishing. The reason behind my scheduled interview was the launch of a diffusion line from this S/S 2012 Sea inspired collection for ASOS this June. This is really exciting not only because now The Rodnik Band’s refreshing designs will be available to a wider audience in a more accessible form, but also because this kind of fun, subtle activism – which I think can be very effective – will hopefully catch on.

The Rodnik Band SS12 ASOS diffusion line looks 1+2
The Rodnik Band SS12 ASOS diffusion by Helena Maratheftis

The Rodnik Band S/S12 ‘Cod Save The Sea’ diffusion line for ASOS by Helena Maratheftis

The Rodnik Band studio 2012 Phil Colbert painting the book dress for Hay Festival photo by Maria Papadimitriou.jpg

The Rodnik Band studio 2012 Giulia wearing the 'Fashion is Activism' book dress by Phil Colbert photo by Maria Papadimitriou.jpg

During my visit I was lucky to witness the making – fittings and alterations were made in between questions – of a dress in the shape of a book which Philip Colbert was making for his appearance the next day at the Hay Festival, where he would be talking along with Safia Minney, founder of People Tree about fashion activism. Of course, visiting a studio also means that one gets to see all those behind the scenes bits, drawings and processes which I find fascinating. I particularly enjoyed seeing some drawings of funny imaginary scenarios featuring designs from the ‘Cod Save The Sea’ collection, which Philip explained he does when creating the mood for the collections, but which otherwise remain unseen.

The Rodnik Band studio 2012 'Cod Save the Sea' boat scenario sketch by Phil Colbert photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Having watched a few videos by The Rodnik Band before the interview I already had the impression that Philip Colbert was a very charming and vivacious person. Indeed this was the case and I am very grateful to him that he chatted to me in such a friendly, relaxed manner about his work, what excites him and the spirit of his brand – even if he seemed to have quite a bit of work to do… read my interview with Philip Colbert here.

The Rodnik Band studio 2012 'Cod Save the Sea' sailor sketch by Phil Colbert photo by Maria Papadimitriou

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou.

Categories ,activism, ,Alison Jackson, ,ASOS, ,Claire Jones, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Cod Save The Sea, ,Diffusion Line, ,Duchamp, ,Duchamp’s Fountain, ,EJF, ,Environmental Justice Foundation, ,fashion, ,Fay Myers, ,Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Mondrian, ,Nicola O’prey, ,People Tree, ,Performance Art, ,Philip Colbert, ,Piet Mondrian, ,Pirate Fishing, ,S/S 2012, ,Safia Minney, ,Sea, ,The Rodnik Band, ,video, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with jewellery designer Katie Rowland

Katie Rowland by Shivani Chavda
Katie Rowland by Shivani Chavda.

Katie Rowland won ‘New Jewellery Designer of the Year’ at the prestigious 2011 UK Jewellery Awards: not bad for someone who initially trained as a graphic designer. So I was aware of her name, but when I caught up with her at London Fashion Week in September I was able to admire up close her intriguing and very unique jewellery designs. To find out more about the inspiration behind her collections I asked her a few questions.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
You’ve had a very interesting career so far: what were you doing before you set up your jewellery label, and how did you come to set it up?
I originally trained in graphic design at Kingston University, but jewellery has always been a passion of mine, and I kept finding myself drawn to it. I then re-trained in jewellery design at Central Saint Martins and Katie Rowland as you know it, has been a luxury jewellery brand since 2009.

Katie Rowland by Bryony Fripp
Katie Rowland by Bryony Fripp.

This season’s collection was inspired by Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility – how are her traits translated into your designs?
Ishtar was mythologically a powerful, strong and seductive woman, so I have used bolder designs that really epitomise the essence of a femme fatale for the modern woman.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
Which mythological females do you rate the most, and for what reasons?
Circe, who inspired my A/W 2012 collection transformed men who spurned her in to animals who did her bidding, and served her. I really love the stories behind these mythological women; I find them so inspiring.

katie rowland circe deco creoles
You create designs in semi precious stones such as amethyst and smoky quartz – how do you decide which stones to work in?
I start by researching the women that inspire, the myths and legends behind them. I also look to see what the mood and colours are associated with such women and I see which stone colours I think will ultimately work with my designs and chosen female. I think its important to use semi-precious stones as my jewellery has a very luxurious edge to it.

katie rowland Ishtar campaign
Where do you source your raw materials and how do you ensure an ethical supply chain?
We have been awarded the mark of positive living recently, and ensure that materials sourced have been done so in line with our ethical policy and guidelines such as the Kimberley Process which is used for diamonds.

Ishtars treasures Katie Rowland Jewellery by Claire Jones Art
Ishtars treasures: Katie Rowland Jewellery by Claire Jones Art.

I have my doubts about rose gold: what do you think recommends this material to the modern jewellery wearer?
Rose gold really flatters most skin colours, and can look as beautiful on an ivory skin tone as it would on olive skin. I think it is enjoying a resurgence as women look for something different to the usual gold or silver, and has it hasn’t been very popular in recent years its something a bit different and seems more modern. We think you should give it a chance!

katie rowland CIRCE DECO KNUCKLE RING
Where you my readers buy your jewellery range?
We have just landed in Harvey Nichols, and Fenwick, Bond Street; we are in Liberty of London, online at Yoox.com and Astley Clarke, and our brand new website www.katie-rowland.com has just launched.

Any hints as to what your next muse might be?
Another mythological female; Ishtar was Ancient Babylonian; my next muse is closer to home…

Categories ,Astley Clarke, ,Bryony Fripp, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Circe, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Fenwick, ,Graphic Design, ,Harvey Nichols, ,Ishtar, ,Katie Rowland, ,Kimberley Process, ,Kingston University, ,Liberty of London, ,London Fashion Week, ,New Jewellery Designer of the Year, ,Rose Gold, ,Semi-precious stones, ,Shivani Chavda, ,UK Jewellery Awards, ,Yoox.com

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Amelia’s Magazine | Betty Jackson A/W 09

The day started off with London transport, buy visit this site as usual, doctor ruining my life. The district line was delayed/suspended/just took bloody ages, meaning that I missed the first show I intended on seeing. This was due to over-crowding at South Kensington, as Fashion Week started during half term week, cue 6 million children/parents/tourists trying to get to the Natural History Museum, along with the fashionistas….not a good mix.

By the time I got to the BFC tent, the fashion pack were filing in for the Esthetica launch. Esthetica is the only show of its kind in the world, dedicated to celebrating ethical designers. Noir kicked things off to the not-so-subtle sounds of Hole’s Celebrity Skin, with a polished but edgy collection of, perhaps obviously, black clothes. There was then a drastic music change, a choir singing Creep by Radiohead, a strangely haunting rendition to accompany the more delicate shape of the second half of the collection. With the much quieter musical accompaniment, the unfamiliar sound of hundreds of camera shutters going off can be heard and fittingly adds to the ethereal quality.

Best discovery of the day? The Fashion Bus! When I was told about it, it conjured up images of a magical, playdays-style bus of couture. In reality it’s a coach with London Fashion Week written down the side but still, it served its purpose of getting us from the main South Kensington location to the Hippodrome in Leicester Square, without having to cross the path of my arch-enemy, London transport.

The reason we trekked across town was for Ashish. And it was completely worth it, as what unfolded was far more than just a fashion show. There was live music provided by VV Brown (wearing a dress from the collection), acrobats, a big circus setting and clowns….well, not actual clowns but the pom-poms on some of the looks combined with the hyper colour clash styling surely owed a debt to Coco somewhere along the line.

Ashish-acrobat.jpg

Ashish-Vivi-Brown.jpg

And here are some snaps of what we’ll all be wearing come Autumn:

Ashish-AW-09-3.jpg

Ashish-AW-09-2.jpg

Ashish-AW-09-4.jpg

Ashish-AW-09-5.jpg

Perhaps not that last one so much…
Particular note should be taken of the amazing wedged, animal print shoe boots that all the models – and VV Brown were sporting:

Ashish-AW-09-shoes.jpg

This show was brilliant escapism, with some very wearable individual pieces once you separate them out from the styling. It felt like an afternoon at the circus, rather than just a fashion show, and in such a competitive week, Ashish has ensured that his show will be one everyone remembers this season.
It’s funny seeing the different crowds the different shows draw. The morning started off at the Margaret Howell studio, sick where the British establishment of fashion journalists turned out to see her A/W 09 collection. It was very, stomach well Margaret Howell, order country cosy, duffel coats, blues/greys, some cute over the knees socks and silks mixed with wools. A well put together, safe collection.

margaret-howell-2.jpg

margaret-howell1.jpg

I was, excitingly, sitting opposite Alexandra Shulman though, which did take up most of my attention. British Vogue has been wiping the floor with American Vogue in recent times, and it was thrilling to be in such close proximity to her, lets face it, what fashion journalist doesn’t secretly want to be editor of Vogue?

Now onto the different crowd part. Across town, in a swanky church in Marylebone, a full scale production was taking place in aid of the Qasimi A/W 09 show. Not so much journalism elite, more, well Simon Le Bon. But his presence was so to be explained as the show began…

Melinda Neunie was also there and here’s her review of the show:

I must say the Qasimi team managed to pull in quite an impressive crowd. Their pre-show champagne reception outside the beautiful St Mary’s Church was ablaze with bold prints and bright colours, with attendees clearly taking advantage of the nicer weather.

qasimi-4.jpg

The catwalk show was equally remarkable. Set against an exotic woodland backdrop, Qasimi propelled us into a world of fantasy, romance and passion with their A/W 09 collection. The all black luxury range exuded wealth, elegance and sophistication through sumptuous cashmere and Italian silks complete with gleaming outsized diamond accessories.

qasimi-3.jpg

An opera sound track opened the show alongside a fantastically poised Erin O’Connor clad in a sculptured corset gown and extravagant feathered headdress. The model was closely followed by Lily Cole, Yasmin Le Bon and Jade Parfitt.

Draping gowns, corset tops and intricate stitching dominated the show, which was closed by the spectacular Carmen Dell’Orifice who couldn’t help but give us a cheeky bum shake on her way out.”

qasimi-1.jpg

qasimi-2.jpg

We didn’t recognise final model Carmen Dell’Orifice but everyone else did as she got whoops and cheers as she sashayed down the catwalk. The show was not at all what I was expecting, but it was epic! Seeing those famed models in the flesh, the dramatic music and, as Music Editor Prudence put it, the general Zoolander quality of it made it entertaining in the extreme.

We were penned into the lobby at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout like (well-dressed) sheep for an hour, viagra dosage but it was worth it to experience Horace’s A/W ’09 collection. The label’s founders, web Adam Entwisle and Emma Hales, website like this have made a welcome return to their androgynous roots.

Classic Horace is synonymous with distressed hand washed leather and oversized separates, and there was plenty of that to be seen. Baggy trousers contrasted with beautifully cut jackets, all accessorised with leather totes and large knitted scarves.

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Entwisle and Hales continue to play with the idea of gender in their designs. Pale-faced men in tunic dresses followed women in combat boots down the catwalk to pulsing rock beats. The collection is said to embody the spirit of 18th century monks, and the modesty of a monk’s attire was reflected in the voluminous hoods and clean monochromatic palette.

Such an abundance of black layers and boots could have become repetitive, but thankfully vibrant plaid prints provided bursts of colour, evocative of London’s punk heritage. It’s small wonder Horace has built up such a cult following.

Lebanese born designer Hass Idriss showed his first collection at London Fashion Week yesterday to a very odd crowd at Belgravia’s Il Bottaccio. I say odd because the majority of the black-clad crowd sported face-lifts, symptoms and I was amongst a very small percentage of the audience who weren’t wearing any make-up (yep, the boys did too – some even applying YSL lip gloss as a pre-show fixer).

They were, however, resplendent and I’d like to thank the fabulous woman who sat three seats down from me on the front line wearing the largest, roundest hat possible. Differing from the usual up and down runway, Idriss presented his collection in an L-shaped room, with myself and the mad hatter on the second, final arm of the catwalk. I am nursing a bad case of RSI in my neck this morning as I type: straining around that hat was quite a feat.

Visual obstacles aside, Idriss’ collection was a brave and opulent one. Credit crunch? What credit crunch?

Inspiration for this first collection had been drawn from Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid. The show kicked off with a booming soundtrack and two airbrushed-gold Adonises slowly glided along the runway, followed by the first model who hopped in a skin-tight fish tail dress, aided by the Adonises and a pair of gold embelished crutches (mermaid overkill, I’d say – and a little bit silly. I mean, honestly!)

idriss-3.jpg

Gradually the collection grew in maturity whilst retaining the theme of the sea – luxurious weightless fabrics such as organza and tulle were enriched with sea water pearls and Swarovski crystals, reminiscent of early John Galliano for Dior Couture.

idriss-1.jpg

idriss-2.jpg

The palette was mixed, ranging from organic pastel colours, golds and creams, through to shocking reds with black to contrast. A brave craftsman, Idriss pushed his capabilities to their limits across a range of techniques, heavily reliant on embroidery to the highest standard. Cuts were quite disparate – some gowns were a-line or floated gently to the floor whilst others were sculpted around the body with severe hems. The black satin and velvet mini dress with a charcoal chapel train, titled ‘The Mermaid’, was a particular highlight.

idriss-4.jpg

Throughout, most of the ensembles were hits, especially with the whooping audience. A couple of misses, though – and the award for unwearability goes to this little number – a plastic transparent poncho with beaded corals (and blood, sweat and tears according to the press handout). Hans Christian Andersen will be turning in his grave. Bonkers. Overall, a daring and immodest first outing for Hass Idriss. Keep a look out in the future – you saw him here first.
At 9.15 on a Sunday morning, stomach it seemed only the most diligent (and probably least hungover) of the fashion clan that made an appearance at the Betty Jackson show. It was worth the early rise, case to say the least.
We were bombarded with a visual palette of textures, soft colours and hemlines; resembling a painting whose medium changed by the paint stroke, from smooth watercolours to thick, rougher oils to scratchy pencils. Betty Jackson kept her collection airy, light and colourful- perhaps in an effort to float past or ward off next winter’s approaching cold and heavy credit crunch scenario.

Main colour themes drifted from cupcake and candy pastels to darker, richer shades;conjuring up autumnal images- like those in Monet’s more wintry landscapes. Fur, frills and subdued shades were combined in adorable, snappy pencil skirt and blouse/knitwear combos, very Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

betty-jackson.jpg

Jewellery was designed exclusively for Betty Jackson by Alexis Bittar, this included hand carved, hand painted lucite earrings and necklaces, whose sheer extravagance reminded us of Edie Sedgwick’s outrageous choice in accessories.

Purple tights and red belts are two of the most notable components of the collection, while some of the models wore versatile backpacks- probably Jackson’s effort to incorporate utility in what is becoming a very non-frivolous time.
Statement coats and fur boleros were thrown in for the warmth factor. Best model of the show was hands down, Jourdan Dunn.

Betty Jackson believes that “every new collection presents a new challenge, but most people feel more confident and sexy if they are comfortable” and we can see a huge representation of this in her latest designs, the bright and often outrageous colour schemes are juxtaposed in a variety of simple styles- which maintains the conservative nature of her clothes. These are garments that not only appear comfortable, but also versatile- they are not only adaptable to real, working life but also pieces you could and will wear for seasons to come.

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Amelia’s Magazine | London 2012 Paralympics Games Illustrated

Ellie Simmonds by Daniel Castrogiovanni
Ellie Simmonds by Daniel Castrogiovanni.

Much has been written of the Paralympics: with the press dwelling on life stories of ‘inspiring’ athletes and the athletes in turn pleading with fans to concentrate on their physical achievements in sport. Between my family and friends we simply expressed our utmost admiration: for, like Olympic athletes the Paralympics athletes, are in awesome physical condition. They can boast a level of fitness that most of us can only dream of (or work extremely extremely hard for) and their sporting feats outstripped what the ordinary person is capable of, despite any physical or mental shortcomings.

David Weir by Ruth Joyce
David Weir by Ruth Joyce.

Like many others I’ve never paid much attention to the Paralympics before, but then again I’ve never watched the Olympics either. I’m glad that despite sponsorship failings (protestors attacked the hypocrisy of Atos, a major sponsor who is also behind cuts in disability benefits) this Paralympics has raised the profile of what people with disabilities are capable of. Let’s just hope there’s a trickle down effect: firstly to those who don’t have such easy access to professional sports training (some countries won many events in the Olympics but were unable to afford equipment and training for Paralympics athletes) and secondly in the public perception of all people with disabilities, including those who are crap at sport (like me, I am sure there are many) but brilliant at other stuff that may go unrecognised or supported. We’re all human after all, and every individual, whether disabled or able-bodied, has something to offer. Here’s to a celebration of diversity within loving community, long may the effects be felt.

Paralympian by Tara Anne Bush
Paralympian by Tara Anne Bush.

Pistorius Victorious by claire jones art
Pistorius Victorious by Claire Jones Art.

Pallers by Caroline Coates
Pallers by Caroline Coates.

Oscar Pistorius by Daniel Castrogiovanni
Oscar Pistorius by Daniel Castrogiovanni.

You can see what illustrators made of the Olympics here, here and here.

Categories ,Atos, ,Caroline Coates, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Daniel Castrogiovanni, ,David Weir, ,Ellie Simmonds, ,Olympics, ,Oscar Pistorius, ,Pallers, ,Paralympics, ,Ruth Joyce, ,Tara Anne Bush

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Amelia’s Magazine | London 2012 Paralympics Games Illustrated

Ellie Simmonds by Daniel Castrogiovanni
Ellie Simmonds by Daniel Castrogiovanni.

Much has been written of the Paralympics: with the press dwelling on life stories of ‘inspiring’ athletes and the athletes in turn pleading with fans to concentrate on their physical achievements in sport. Between my family and friends we simply expressed our utmost admiration: for, like Olympic athletes the Paralympics athletes, are in awesome physical condition. They can boast a level of fitness that most of us can only dream of (or work extremely extremely hard for) and their sporting feats outstripped what the ordinary person is capable of, despite any physical or mental shortcomings.

David Weir by Ruth Joyce
David Weir by Ruth Joyce.

Like many others I’ve never paid much attention to the Paralympics before, but then again I’ve never watched the Olympics either. I’m glad that despite sponsorship failings (protestors attacked the hypocrisy of Atos, a major sponsor who is also behind cuts in disability benefits) this Paralympics has raised the profile of what people with disabilities are capable of. Let’s just hope there’s a trickle down effect: firstly to those who don’t have such easy access to professional sports training (some countries won many events in the Olympics but were unable to afford equipment and training for Paralympics athletes) and secondly in the public perception of all people with disabilities, including those who are crap at sport (like me, I am sure there are many) but brilliant at other stuff that may go unrecognised or supported. We’re all human after all, and every individual, whether disabled or able-bodied, has something to offer. Here’s to a celebration of diversity within loving community, long may the effects be felt.

Paralympian by Tara Anne Bush
Paralympian by Tara Anne Bush.

Pistorius Victorious by claire jones art
Pistorius Victorious by Claire Jones Art.

Pallers by Caroline Coates
Pallers by Caroline Coates.

Oscar Pistorius by Daniel Castrogiovanni
Oscar Pistorius by Daniel Castrogiovanni.

You can see what illustrators made of the Olympics here, here and here.

Categories ,Atos, ,Caroline Coates, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Daniel Castrogiovanni, ,David Weir, ,Ellie Simmonds, ,Olympics, ,Oscar Pistorius, ,Pallers, ,Paralympics, ,Ruth Joyce, ,Tara Anne Bush

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Nedry and review of new album In A Dim Light

Nedry by Abi Stevens
Nedry by Abi Stevens.

Nedry excel in a vocal electro dub step mash up genre all of their own. In A Dim Light opens languidly with the blissed out vocals of Ayu Okakita, whist behind builds the soundscape of alternating tensions that characterises this album. One of my favourite tunes comes next: the clattering beats and saws of Post Six providing a lushly chaotic backdrop to the melody. Havana Nights rattles and buzzes with sighing atmosphere, and across nearly 7 minutes Float explores the wonder of the universe. These are melodies to get lost in… sprawling with a danceable yet mellow musical intrigue. I spoke with Chris Amblin, Matt Parker and Ayu.

YouTube Preview ImagePost Six

You have been variously described as post-dubstep, dark electro-pop, leftfield and indie. You cross many genres, what do you think describes you best?
CHRIS: On record I’d like to think we carry on the tradition and attitude of early trip-hop, but with some modern twists: we really look up to bands like Portishead and Massive Attack. The post-dubstep tag has been quite handy, in that we initially aimed to blend our love of post-rock with dubstep and take that into a live setting, but since our first record, Condors, we’ve all further broadened our tastes and I think particularly in the live environment we’re a fusion of lots of flavours of dance music, with almost a rock band aesthetic. So I guess Modern-Trip-Hop works nicely!

Nedry
Where do find inspiration for the rhythmic structures of your music?
CHRIS: I’m not sure if it’s such a conscious thing, but due to the fairly long winded way that we make tunes the rhythm can change from version to version. Quite often I’ll make a quite simple drum track for a song and Matt will subtly change the hi-hat pattern or where the snare falls and totally change the feel of the rhythm, then Ayu will sing on the off-beat or something or put together a very rhythmic backing vocal and by that point it’s difficult to understand where the actual rhythm has come from.

Nedry music “clouded” by claire jones art
Clouded – Nedry by Claire Jones Art.

Short songs are not your forte, why do you prefer to create long tunes?
MATT: Well we have a few songs running under 5 minutes on our new album, a couple even verging on pop song length! We like making longer songs mostly because our music is all about creating mood and a sense of atmosphere and I believe you need to build a piece of music up to create that kind of vibe. 

Nedry album sleeve
Even though you create dance music you relish the act of recreating music live on stage, what can people expect of a Nedry gig?
CHRIS: The experience of playing live is very important to us so we put a lot of time and effort into making the performance of each song interesting and exciting for us and most importantly for the audience. We’re all keen gig goers and have seen some fantastic live performances and also awful ones so we often reflect on these experiences and try to better what we do and take on board the things we like and discard the things that we don’t. It’s important to me to make the live experience different to the album and things are definitely more upbeat and energetic and if we’re lucky with the sound system the beats are more powerful and the sub bass is deep.

Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon
Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon.

Your vocalist Ayu Okakita hails from Japan, how did you all get together?
AYU: I met Matt and Chris through the internet (myspace), I was living in East London then and we happened to be neighbours.

Nedry promotshoot - Abney Park
How do the three of you work together? How does a song come about and who brings what to the mix?
MATT: Every song is different and approached differently although there is a lot of file sharing online that goes on, passing Ableton sessions from one to another and working over the structure of a song. Ayu brings vocals to the mix (obviously) but she also contribute to melodies, piano playing, rhythmic and mood ideas. Myself and Chris work on everything and anything in between. Our creative process is really quite convoluted and it takes a long time to make a song feel right but I guess this is because as a band based solely in the electronic realm, it can be difficult to just get into a room and make something. Saying that though, a few of the tracks on the new album were created entirely in a live environment or at least born in that environment before being given the full studio treatment.

YouTube Preview ImageFloat (edit)

Last year you played SXSW for the first time, what was the highlight and did you get a good response?
CHRIS: It was easily the craziest and most intense week of being in this band, the sheer amount of people and bands performing that week is impossible to describe. There was an amazing build up before we traveled to Austin, starting in November the previous year with our label (Monotreme) receiving the invite for us to play and then all of us working together to make it happen. So we spent a lot of the week in a bit of a haze of joy and relief and jetlag! The highlight for me was after playing our showcase gig at Latitude 30, when a small group of young Texans found us loading out in the back alley and told us that they’d been following Nedry and were over the moon to see us play in the flesh – we chatted for a while and signed a copy of our CD for them. It meant a lot to us and was the best response we could have wished for.

Nedry Photo by Sebastien Dehesdin
What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
MATT: I think we’re looking forward to seeing how people react to our album. It’s been two years since our last release and the musical landscape has shifted a lot since then.

Nedry release In A Dim Light on 12th March 2012 on Monotreme Records.

Categories ,Abi Stevens, ,Ableton, ,Ayu Okakita, ,Chris Amblin, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Condors, ,dubstep, ,Electro Pop, ,Float, ,Fort Rixon, ,In A Dim Light, ,Indie, ,Latitude 30, ,leftfield, ,Massive Attack, ,Matt Parker, ,Monotreme, ,Nedry, ,Portishead, ,post-rock, ,Trip-Hop

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Nedry and review of new album In A Dim Light

Nedry by Abi Stevens
Nedry by Abi Stevens.

Nedry excel in a vocal electro dub step mash up genre all of their own. In A Dim Light opens languidly with the blissed out vocals of Ayu Okakita, whist behind builds the soundscape of alternating tensions that characterises this album. One of my favourite tunes comes next: the clattering beats and saws of Post Six providing a lushly chaotic backdrop to the melody. Havana Nights rattles and buzzes with sighing atmosphere, and across nearly 7 minutes Float explores the wonder of the universe. These are melodies to get lost in… sprawling with a danceable yet mellow musical intrigue. I spoke with Chris Amblin, Matt Parker and Ayu.

YouTube Preview ImagePost Six

You have been variously described as post-dubstep, dark electro-pop, leftfield and indie. You cross many genres, what do you think describes you best?
CHRIS: On record I’d like to think we carry on the tradition and attitude of early trip-hop, but with some modern twists: we really look up to bands like Portishead and Massive Attack. The post-dubstep tag has been quite handy, in that we initially aimed to blend our love of post-rock with dubstep and take that into a live setting, but since our first record, Condors, we’ve all further broadened our tastes and I think particularly in the live environment we’re a fusion of lots of flavours of dance music, with almost a rock band aesthetic. So I guess Modern-Trip-Hop works nicely!

Nedry
Where do find inspiration for the rhythmic structures of your music?
CHRIS: I’m not sure if it’s such a conscious thing, but due to the fairly long winded way that we make tunes the rhythm can change from version to version. Quite often I’ll make a quite simple drum track for a song and Matt will subtly change the hi-hat pattern or where the snare falls and totally change the feel of the rhythm, then Ayu will sing on the off-beat or something or put together a very rhythmic backing vocal and by that point it’s difficult to understand where the actual rhythm has come from.

Nedry music “clouded” by claire jones art
Clouded – Nedry by Claire Jones Art.

Short songs are not your forte, why do you prefer to create long tunes?
MATT: Well we have a few songs running under 5 minutes on our new album, a couple even verging on pop song length! We like making longer songs mostly because our music is all about creating mood and a sense of atmosphere and I believe you need to build a piece of music up to create that kind of vibe. 

Nedry album sleeve
Even though you create dance music you relish the act of recreating music live on stage, what can people expect of a Nedry gig?
CHRIS: The experience of playing live is very important to us so we put a lot of time and effort into making the performance of each song interesting and exciting for us and most importantly for the audience. We’re all keen gig goers and have seen some fantastic live performances and also awful ones so we often reflect on these experiences and try to better what we do and take on board the things we like and discard the things that we don’t. It’s important to me to make the live experience different to the album and things are definitely more upbeat and energetic and if we’re lucky with the sound system the beats are more powerful and the sub bass is deep.

Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon
Nedrymakesmusic by Fort Rixon.

Your vocalist Ayu Okakita hails from Japan, how did you all get together?
AYU: I met Matt and Chris through the internet (myspace), I was living in East London then and we happened to be neighbours.

Nedry promotshoot - Abney Park
How do the three of you work together? How does a song come about and who brings what to the mix?
MATT: Every song is different and approached differently although there is a lot of file sharing online that goes on, passing Ableton sessions from one to another and working over the structure of a song. Ayu brings vocals to the mix (obviously) but she also contribute to melodies, piano playing, rhythmic and mood ideas. Myself and Chris work on everything and anything in between. Our creative process is really quite convoluted and it takes a long time to make a song feel right but I guess this is because as a band based solely in the electronic realm, it can be difficult to just get into a room and make something. Saying that though, a few of the tracks on the new album were created entirely in a live environment or at least born in that environment before being given the full studio treatment.

YouTube Preview ImageFloat (edit)

Last year you played SXSW for the first time, what was the highlight and did you get a good response?
CHRIS: It was easily the craziest and most intense week of being in this band, the sheer amount of people and bands performing that week is impossible to describe. There was an amazing build up before we traveled to Austin, starting in November the previous year with our label (Monotreme) receiving the invite for us to play and then all of us working together to make it happen. So we spent a lot of the week in a bit of a haze of joy and relief and jetlag! The highlight for me was after playing our showcase gig at Latitude 30, when a small group of young Texans found us loading out in the back alley and told us that they’d been following Nedry and were over the moon to see us play in the flesh – we chatted for a while and signed a copy of our CD for them. It meant a lot to us and was the best response we could have wished for.

Nedry Photo by Sebastien Dehesdin
What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
MATT: I think we’re looking forward to seeing how people react to our album. It’s been two years since our last release and the musical landscape has shifted a lot since then.

Nedry release In A Dim Light on 12th March 2012 on Monotreme Records.

Categories ,Abi Stevens, ,Ableton, ,Ayu Okakita, ,Chris Amblin, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Condors, ,dubstep, ,Electro Pop, ,Float, ,Fort Rixon, ,In A Dim Light, ,Indie, ,Latitude 30, ,leftfield, ,Massive Attack, ,Matt Parker, ,Monotreme, ,Nedry, ,Portishead, ,post-rock, ,Trip-Hop

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