It`s November 1997, and Scottish-born Esra Tasasiz is living in Brussels, holding down a full-time job and hanging around a studio, singing on house records in her spare time. One day, a mutual friend introduces her to Pierre Mussche, Ernst Meinrath and Renaud Charlier, collectively known as Musicom - three professional studio types, crafting tracks of cool electronic ambience and atmospheric, orchestral hip-hop, as soundtracks for adverts and films. Pierre, Ernst and Renaud all met when they used to do the music for fashion shows for the Antwerp Three, namely Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Walter van Bierendonck. The four strike up a professional relationship for the purpose of recording a short, commercial piece of music, but the chemistry is startling, and it quickly becomes obvious that the tracks laid down in the sessions work outside the confines of cinematography.|
The four form Airlock, and around the confines of day jobs and advert commisions, the chill beauty of `Drystar` begins to take shape. True, there`s a precedent in the itchy DJ Krush-isms of `DJ Risk Vs Airlock`, the edgy Underworld-on-downers atmospheric of `In The Mouth Of The Fish`, or the Massive Attack-esque avant-garde torchsong `Awakening`. But Airlock`s charm is the way they take their expertise of a modern studio, their commercial nous - and then slowly, surely twist such elegant compositions into alien shapes.
During the making of `Drystar`, Airlock struck up a relationship with cult film director Olvier Van Hoofstadt, and wrote some tracks in conjunction with the making of three of his films - Keo, Snuff Movie, and James-Bond-as-a-psycho-bitch-from-hell action thriller Parabellum. `Face Down`, the composition that appeared on Parabellum, crossed over onto European radio stations, and then made its way across to British record companies as part of a demo tape. Innundated with contracts, Airlock were spoilt for choice, but eventually signed to One Little Indian. "We were impressed by their laid-back style, their flexibility," explains Esra.
`Drystar` was painstakingly pieced together over two-and-a-half years, featuring further production from Pascal Gabriel and Pete Davis. Meanwhile, Airlock surfaced from their Brussels studio to hone their live set, playing multi-media events in Belgian clubs. Plans for a comprehensive European tour are still being thrashed out, but expect Airlock to hit the road shortly after the release of the album.
Manchild - Untied States Pt. 1
In a funny way, the most important debut album of the year 2000 has been over ten years in the making. Untied States is Manchild s opening salvo on the boundaries of genre-obsessed dance music.
It s an album born out of the euphoric modernism of acid house, as experienced by Manchild s core duo, Max Odell and Brett Parker, but it draws on the culture of a over a dozen peers, friends and collaborators - an aural patchwork of musical history that encompasses old-skool breaking, rastafari call-and-response MCing, atmospheric electronic soundscaping, and the plain old thrills of dumb-ass rock n roll.
The title was lifted from a typo in a book that Max s brother was reading on the films of Jean-Luc Godard. We thought that was a cool title , explains Max because it describes Manchild s ethnic, social, religious background and the eclecticism of the album.
The seeds of Manchild were first sewn when Max met Brett at Longwick Nursery School in Buckinghamshire, at the age of five. By the ripe old age of thirteen, the pair were listening to jazz, rock, indie and hip-hop - Herbie Hancock, AC/DC, Talk Talk, and the Ultramagnetic MCs, and as acid house suddenly moved overground, Max and Brett bought a sampler, hung up the instruments, and began making electronic music in earnest, inspired by nascent dance-rock hybrid acts like Bomb The Bass.
In 1997, Max graduated from university, put together a demo tape of his and Brett s music, and sent out forty demo tapes containing rough demos of some of the tracks on Untied States . Over thirty A&R men turned out to Manchild s debut gig in their adopted hometown of Cardiff, and the duo were inundated with contracts. Manchild s music caught the ear of Mike Champion who soon afterwards agreed terms with Max and Brett to manage them.
|Vienna : An Austrian man narrowly escaped death when he fell onto an open dishwasher and was speared by a knife, Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported. |
The 35 year old Tyrolean slipped on the tiled floor of a friend’s kitchen and fell backwards onto the machine’s cutlery basket.
A 12-cm (five inch) kitchen knife drove itself into the man’s back, narrowly missing vital organs. He suffered serious injuries but his life is not in danger.
|SANTA AUSTIN, TX - Dec.20 - Attorneys for Texas |
Governor George W. Bush filed suit in federal court today, seeking to prevent Santa Claus from making his list and then checking it twice. The complaint seeks an immediate injunction against the beloved Christmas icon, asking the court to effectively ban his traditional practice of checking the list of good boys and girls one additional time before packing his sleigh.
The suit, filed in the Federal District Court of Austin, Texas, asks a federal judge to "hereby order Mr. Claus to cease and desist all repetitive and duplicative list-checking activity, and certify the original list as submitted, without amendment, alteration, deletion, or other unnecessary modification." "There are no standards for deciding who is naughty, and who is nice. It s totally arbitrary and capricious. How many more times does he need to check? This checking, checking, and re-checking over and over again must stop now," said former Secretary James Baker. Baker further claimed that unnamed GOP observers witnessed an elf remove all boys named Brad from the "nice" list, filing them under "naughty" instead because "everyone knows all boys named Brad are brats." Gov. Bush cited the potential for unauthorized list tampering, and blasted what he called the "fuzzy math up there at the North Pole." "Their security is really awful, really bad," said Bush. "My mother just walked right in, told em she was Mrs. Claus. They didn t check her ID or nothing." Meanwhile, Dick Cheney, Gov. Bush s running mate, issued a direct plea to St. Nick himself. "Mr. Claus, I call on you to do the honorable thing, and quit checking your list. The children of the world have had enough. They demand closure now," Cheney said, adding that his granddaughter has already selected a name for the pony that she s asked for.
Santa Claus could not be reached for comment, but a spokes-elf said he was "deeply distressed" by news of the pending legal action against him. "He s losing weight, and he hasn t said Ho Ho Ho for days," said the spokes-elf. "He s just not feeling jolly."