Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bolte's "weekly" music recommendation

Long time no see!
This time I'd like to present the newest Clutchy Hopkins album: Clutchy Hopkins meets Lord Kenjamin - Music is my medicine
Label: ubiquity records
Released: 4/21/09

A new story is out about the mysterious man. Read it yourselves!
The Whole Story

Late last year Ubiquity was approached by the mysterious Misled Children about another project from Clutchy Hopkins, the man they claim to represent. A vintage Caribbean tracksuit jacket was found in the office fridge, and written in permanent marker on the inside right arm was a request for a meeting where we would “get another piece of the puzzle.” Despite the goose chase involved in putting out the last album we could not pass up the opportunity to hear some more Clutchy Hopkins music. We agreed to meet the Misled Children in Joshua Tree, CA. Sweating from the 110 degree heat and skeptical about the possibility of a no-show we went to the Joshua Tree Tavern for a cool beer. The bar tender spotted us as we walked in. When we ordered a couple of drinks he looked us straight in the eye and whispered, “Follow me.”

Taking us to a messy back room, filled with empty glass bottles, a collection of stuffed owls, and strewn with old newspapers, he handed over a plastic bag and said, “I think this is what you came for.” Despite the lack of liquid refreshment we decided to leave quickly, the local eyes were glued on us and we were itching to get at the contents of the bag which by now we knew had to have been planted by the Misled Children. Inside was a short stack off Apex 2-inch reel-to-reel tapes and a small journal. The journal contained stories of Clutchy Hopkins, and his move to Barbados. The dates of the stories were vague but seemed to span the late 1970s through the early 1980's. Hopkins had moved there in search for a medicine man, who also hand-made percussion instruments, named Lord Kenjamin. Over the years Hopkins had heard stories about this simple man and as the notes read “his mission to help people come to a place of peace and humbleness through music.” Hopkins searched for several weeks, tricked on several occasions into dead ends by the local children. At times it seemed that the village people wanted nothing to do with Hopkins, “The children enjoy confusing me with directions that lead me back to where I started. It is like a daily joke,” he wrote, “One day they tell me to head east, the next day west, and all with a suspicious smile.”

Hopkins was about to give up his search and go home when he was bitten by a poisonous Lionfish. He passed out from the pain while in a side street on his way back to his hotel room. He was dehydrated and in bad shape after laying there for nearly 2 whole days. A group of the local children found him close to death when their soccer ball bounced down the street and rolled into his listless body. Feeling guilty that they had misled him on his quest, the children carried Hopkins on a stretcher made of sugar cane to Lord Kenjamin. For the next 3 months Hopkins was in and out of consciousness. At this point in the journal the notes in the book have been ripped-out, we don’t know why. But the next page that is legible reads “With faint memories of a 4 track, deep-rooted beats, and a melodica, I have been brought back to health by the help of Lord Kenjamin and the music we made together.

As a token of my appreciation I have promised the good Lord Kenjamin that the world would one day hear these recordings. The music has made a huge impact on our spirits and health during this time. We will call this record "Music Is My Medicine.”
Text found at, where you can listen to the track preview, too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maarten Baas

During my last trip to Antwerp, I visited Walter, one of my favorite shops in the whole wide world. This is the kind of place where an avid art collector or gallerist would shop on the weekends. They showcase some of the leading avand-garde fashion designers from around the globe, but the most impressive aspect of the space, is the space itself. Despite the fascinating interior, and the garage door entry Walter incorporates Bruce Nauman like installations to feature their collections, contemporary art and cutting edge design. Last time I was there, I came into physical contact with the work of Maarten Baas for the first time. Having seen his Smoke series from 2004 and the hype that surrounded his historically belligerent style, it was easy to expect great things from this young Dutch designer. His Clay Furniture series above singles itself out for its humanist and hand made qualities, which I find in complete contrast to most furniture design today. It reminds me of the sculptural work of Louis Bourgeois and the aesthetics of Tim Burton. I highly recommend viewing his work in the flesh! I've added a few photos of Walter below as a teaser!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Bathroom

I've been helping a girlfriend of mine design her apartment and the amount of details one must consider when given the opportunity to have everything to your liking is absolutely overwhelming. Honestly, I have never considered what kind of toilet I would most desire given the chance! Last week we looked at hundreds of bathroom fittings and tiles to get an idea of what she wanted, but the more you look, the harder it becomes to find something truly unique. After a long tiring day we both went home to hunt on the Net as one does. A few hours later Nicole sent me this link to the Aqhayoncollection from Jamie Hay'on out of Madrid. The designs from this collection are so beautiful and unusual, I just had to share.