“Unscheduled time” is the motto of this British Columbia band. The time between music and life that is employed to bring about balance. A balance between surfing, home, family, down time and music. A way of life they’ve had since starting out playing in backyards and beaches. Not to be misconstrued for being too easy-going, Current Swell is presently on tour promoting their 7th Studio album–Buffalo.
By leveraging time, patience and technology, the band has built a loyal fanbase through homemade CDs, online streaming and social media, even before releasing a proper studio record. Current Swell’s devotees are a mix of the true-and-tested from the DIY days and those that have joined them after their studio release.
Victoria, their home base and a vibrant artistic community, influences the band’s sound that coalesces rock, blues, reggae, folk and even ska. They may be indie-folk at heart but expect upbeat, thoughtful, hardcore introspection and get-up-and-dance energy.
Interview: 02/2020 with Current Swell
Artist NameCurrent Swell GenreIndie Rock Members Scott Stanton (vocals/lead guitar), Louis Sadava (bass), Marcus Manhas (drums) Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Playing since 2005 Listen to us onCurrentSwell.com
Describe your band / music / style in three words. Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. !! Haha ok for real though that’s a tough one. How about raw, energetic and engaging.
What did you listen to when growing up?
So many different phases of musical inspirations. From hip hop like Tribe Called Quest to punk rock like the Clash and folk like Neil Young.
Music icon(s) and the reason why.
Have to say Neil Young and his prolific songwriting for so many years. He’s really stayed true to his roots and also explored different inspiration and style at the same time. Also he’s a Canadian legend:)
Who are you listening to right now?
Really loving the new Mac Miller album and also mourning the loss of such an original voice. Also Tame Impala is a go to. Kevin Morby’s new album is great and fellow Canadian Andy Shauf has a nice new album. Mura Masa is a new favourite.
What is the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour?
One time this company in Berlin took our picture and gave us free glasses! Crazy! Haha so many things happen on tour it’s hard to remember single things. Today, the ferry ride to Ireland was so rough there were a lot of unhappy green people. A crazy time was about 10 years ago when a gang of kids with chains attacked us loading out from a venue and we barely got away. A funny story from the road was when we opened for the Beach Boys and an older guy in dirty sweat pants came up to us backstage and said he liked our songs, Scott asked him if he was the janitor, and he laughed, and said no–he is the bass player for the Beach Boys. Oopsies.
Favorite performance venues or music festivals? And why?
We love playing at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, Byron Bay Blues in Australia fest was a major highlight. Also love the Melkweg in Amsterdam and loved playing at Columbiahalle in Berlin.
Three words to describe your fans.
Loyal, fun and suuuper sweetie.
Favorite eyewear brand?
Oliver Peoples, Garrett Leight, Moscot, R.T.Co.
What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?
After the summer festival time we will get back into writing and recording some new music. New songs keep the project exciting and fun.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale?
We’ve been doing this for a while now, so in the next 10 years I could see things changing in terms of people starting families and maybe doing a little less touring but we will always play music together and hopefully people will still come to see us.
For some, the calling to music seems inevitable, and this truly applies to Canadian singer-songwriter LeRiche. Hailing from Port aux Basques, a town at the furthest Soutwestern tip of Newfoundland, LeRiche sings from a place of earnest reflection through acoustic guitar-driven songs and smooth indie/alternative/pop production.
Inherent in LeRiche’s music is a folk quality that comes from a wayfaring spirit and natural musical talent, honed by years of both formal and informal music education (he has a Diploma in Music Industry and Performance, as well as seven years experience of gigging locally) and experimenting with other instruments such as piano, bass and drums.
LeRiche follows in a strong tradition of guitar-driven, introspective male indie artists like Jason Mraz, and in our 4SEE interview, his natural appeal and clear-cut indie credibility were undeniable, bringing his laid-back yet smooth vibe to the range of SALT glasses in an exclusive photoshoot with 4SEE
Interview: 01/2020 with LeRiche
Artist NameLeRiche GenreIndie Folk / Pop Based in Newfoundland, Canada Playing since 2 years old First album releasedX-Dreamer in 2018 Freshest album Being recording and released this year, 2020 Listen to me onSpotify
Describe your band / music / style in three words. Indie Folk Pop
What did you listen to when growing up? I listened, played and sang along to almost every type of recording I could get my hands on. Everything from traditional Newfoundland music (Trad music as it’s called) Rap, Metal, Rock, Pop and Indie Music. Music has always been my thing. I started playing guitar when I was 2! My grandfather inspired me to pursue the instrument which led me to my love of singing and writing my own songs.
Music icon(s) and the reason why. Anderson Paak—His voice caught me first. I heard him featured on a track and instantly had to find out more about him. He has a truly inspiring rags-to-riches story. I must have listened to his album Malibu 1,000 times when it came out. Such a beautiful and unique blend of so many of my favorite styles of music.
The Beatles—what can I say? They are legendary. An obvious choice, maybe. But it’s the contrast between the old songs and the later experimental stuff that really inspires me to be a better songwriter. They taught me to explore my musical boundaries.
John Mayer—Between his lyrics, musical abilities, voice, and longevity, he has always been a huge inspiration to me. I’ve loved every record he has ever released. And I feel like I’ve grown with him. He’s taught me so much about singing, performance, attitude, and songwriting.
Who are you listening to right now? Right now I’m listening to the latest Mac Miller record, Circles, on repeat. Literally. He always amazes me. I believe it’s his best work.
What is the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour? This [German] tour has been so much fun! To be honest people say that funny things happen when I’m around, odd coincidences. My band call them ‘LeRiche-idences’! There have been a few funny instances but for the most part the van is full of laughter most of the time. Not sure all of the jokes are appropriate to repeat, if you know what I mean.
Favorite performance venues or music festivals? And why? Back home in Newfoundland there is a festival called Iceberg Alley. I got to see a few of my favourite Canadian bands there for the first time, such as Big Wreck and Billy Talent.
Three words to describe your fans.
Honest. Diverse. Kind.
Favorite eyewear brand? I don’t have a favourite brand because I can’t keep a pair of sunglasses long enough to get attached them! I’m constantly losing and smashing my glasses. I’m very clumsy.
What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album? Hopefully both! I’m waiting to hear about some tour dates in Canada in February. Then I plan to start recording the next record late in March and into April.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale? I see myself travelling the globe, sharing my songs and passion for music with anyone and everyone. I see myself surviving and thriving through my music. I see myself teaching music to people of all ages and walks of life. To quote John Mayer, “I’m gonna take the love I’m given, and set it free.”
Ian Jehle and Edwina Chen both hail from Canada but come from diverse backgrounds with a wide variety of skills that combine to make their multidisciplinary project Isometric Humanism possible. At the heart of their vision is a novel way of looking at the world, combining such seemingly disparate themes as colour theory and Chinese medicine, Euclidean mathematics and Byzantine architecture, and 3D modeling and choral overtone singing. Uniting their approach is the belief that sound and shape can be mapped and translated onto one another—with both aesthetic and potentially medicinal benefits to be had through the process.
4SEE was able to go in-depth about their project with the pair on the occasion of their exhibition at GlogauAIR as part of the Vorspiel + CTM / Transmediale Festivals in Berlin. The exhibition traces the research and theory behind the process involved in rigorously translating between these disciplines and is stage one of a project envisioned on a much larger scale (The exhibition runs until 31st of January).
Interview from January 2020
Name Ian Jehle Age 49 Nationality Canadian Medium Medium, Drawing, Installation, 3D modeling Based in Berlin Recent/upcoming exhibition (projects)
past: Dynamical Systems, Katzen Museum, Wasington, DC
current: The Shape of Sound, Glogau project space, part of Vorspiel/Transmediale festival, upcoming: Somos artist residency, Berlin Find more atianjehle.com // isometrichumanism.com
Name Edwina Chen Age 43 Nationality Canadian Medium Medium painting, sculpture, performance, installation, music voice piano composition, scent, documentary film Based in Washington DC, Beijing Recent/upcoming exhibition (projects) documentary Door Poem: Shard Holders Generational Names Find more atisometrichumanism.com
Did you always know that you were going to be an artist?
IJ: Absolutely not. My Father’s nickname for me, from the time I was five or six years old, was “the absent-minded professor” so I think always thought I was going to be a professor. When I finally went to university I started out in computational computer science and philosophy – so I
really did follow the absent-minded professor track. But I also started going to art museums, which was something I’d never done when I was young. I remember being at the National Gallery when I was 19 and staring at a deKooning painting for almost an hour and I realized that art could talk about a lot more than just beauty; that it was just as serious and meaningful and important as science.
EC: So, I don’t know how personal I should be? After my fourth car accident four discs collapsed in my neck. The operation I needed meant I had a 1 in 5 chance i would lose my voice. My voice teacher had just died so the choice was between my voice or my arm. For two years I chose her, and my voice, over my left arm but when the operation became necessary, I decided to paint music because it was the only thing I had left. I taught myself how to paint in 2012.
Do you find the art world cutthroat and competitive, or is it also supportive and community-minded, or something in between?
EC: My experience personally, has been completely supportive, especially when viewed through the filter of the relationships which my friend Lorenzo Cardim has through his circle of friends. His undergraduate degree at Corcoran College, relations with Red Dirt Studios, MFA at CCA, through Catholic University and now at Otis, all of these people, as teachers were incredibly supportive in his growth as an artist as a student, and now that he’s a professional, his collaborations as a peer. I find it completely inspiring. Then for myself personally, at Glogauair, what I witnessed with Lorenzo, I got to experience with Ian, the level of support he received at residency and then what was conferred on to me. I feel the art world very inclusive and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.
IJ: think it’s both. I’ve seen really really cutthroat stuff happen, by artists, by curators, by gallerists, but I also feel strange complaining about that because I’ve been incredibly lucky and incredibly well supported by the people who have appreciated what I do and how I think. So I think, like anything else, you have to focus on the people that you care about and who care about you, and try to leave the other things behind. At the same time, the cutthroat stuff can be difficult. I was threatened with a lawsuit from a board member of a museum, who didn’t like a portrait that I made of him. So, no, I can’t say that the art world is completely supportive but also, yes, it often is.
What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?
IJ: Honestly, the thing I’m most proud of professionally, is the decision I made 5 years ago to completely change the direction of my work from portraiture into something that represented my inner life much more. I feel really fortunate to have done the earlier work, but it didn’t really represent who I am. The other thing I’m extremely proud of is the work I did with my students and seeing what they’ve been doing since finishing university.
EC: Similarly, the decision to start again, leaving a profession I was comfortable in and starting something where I have no expertise, putting myself in a position where I have to ask for help, for information,- it’s been very humbling. There’s been so much grace given to me, I am very grateful. When you’re uncomfortable, you work that much harder to become comfortable, that is part of the human condition. One of the biggest boosts to me in my work is being uncomfortable.
Does art always need to be relevant? Is there a place for aesthetic indulgence, or do politics come into play in your motivation?
EC: In this context my practice is completely indulgent, the exploration of information that I don’t understand, develop familiarity, to a point where it’s usable and because my process is reductive, part of the goal is not for myself but for everyone. To make processes transparent. We can all use art, we can incorporate everything into our personal practices to various degrees. I don’t know if that act in itself is political, it’s certainly socialistic. It is a very Canadian point of view, my sensibilities are very egalitarian, we’re all the same and we should have access to the same information to create our own experiences.
IJ: First of all I think politics is always part of art making, there’s no way of stepping completely outside of what’s happening in the world. And, of course, politically, environmentally, economically, socially, we are living in particularly difficult times. And so, even though my work focuses on science and math I think there are important things that the sciences can offer right now. The first is to help remind people that there were things that go beyond the time that we live in; physics is physics, it will exist now and will exist long after our current situation. I also think the sciences are great at bringing together different communities from all over the world. Science in a lot of ways is a giant group project that people all over the world participate in. There are of course problems in the sciences like anyplace else, but I do think that it’s something that does transcend borders and reminds people that good work is being done everywhere.
If not politics, then what are the key sources of inspiration for you?
IJ: Well that one’s super easy. In addition to mathematics, which I’m always dealing with, at the moment I am really interested in music and music theory and the science of sound which are of course linked to the multi-phase project we’re currently on. Generally speaking, I think Edwina and I both agree that the research aspect of making art is one of the most, if not the most fun part of what we do.
EC: It’s exciting to have a partner. I’ve been looking at these things for most of my adult life. No one is really interested in what I have to say, I don’t know if it’s because I’m not clear. Part of it is I’m intimately interested in things that I don’t know, the most exciting thing is learning something new, so I’m interested in biological sciences, traditional Chinese medicine, cosmology and the nature of gravity. I feel very fortunate we can expand every direction because this is the age of information. There are no longer gatekeepers. We can reach as far as our minds allow us.
What is it like to live/work in your respective cities?
EC: I live in the suburbs of Washington DC in the United States, I am working on a documentary film project which takes me back-and-forth between Beijing and the US. I went back to the US to establish a nonprofit, write grants, the majority of the filming will be international. Currently, starting shooting B roll – it’s nice to be a citizen of the world I think that’s really what they were hoping for in the Bauhaus, to stop seeing ourselves nationalistically, and instead be international citizens. The international movement of architecture and we are actually putting into practice their dream for us, Gropius, Breuer, Van der Rohe, Corbusier, they created a built environment where we can be at home in all places. This is the direct legacy of the Bauhaus, I am a direct disciple of that school. I feel really fortunate to be working and living in the world they conceived.
IJ: So, I was born in Canada, but I am now based in Berlin. My family is from a small town not far from Berlin, so this city has always felt like a second home. Now it’s my first home and I’m here and working and interacting with more artists. I love it even more. It is the best environment for the types of experimental, research-based projects we are doing. I used to live and teach at a university in Washington DC and as much as I love the university environment I feel like Berlin is even better place to to be an artist who is interested in both art and science. There’s nothing strange about that combination here. It’s actually encouraged so it’s a fantastic place to be. That said, I do miss my students. A lot.
What is next for you, an immediately upcoming project or chance to see your work?
IJ: So in the very immediate future, we’re preparing a lecture that Edwina and I will give this week about our current show and our theories as they relate to music, with an extra piece about Edwina’s interest in polyphonic overtone singing. After that we will focus on the next iteration of our project which will continue to look at the architecture of music. This next works are larger in scale and will also include performance. Edwina and I also have projects outside of our collaboration, so I’m also working with a group of robotics students, 12-14 years old. We are designing robots that will interact with each other while drawing.
EC: There’s also painting for next project. It’s interesting how the painting examines the additive color wheel of pigment where all pigment goes to black and silence is white, and the subtractive colour wheel where all light goes to white and silence is dark. I need to learn how to compose. The next step is to play the Well-Tempered Klavier by JS Bach, to see a palette in every key and generate a set of paintings to learn composition. The sculpture will be inscribed choir illuminated linear sculpture of just intonated polyphonic overtone choral music for 12 singers and 24 voices in even tempered based on the composition.
IJ: Yeah, we’re really looking forward to this project. We have four smaller scale implementations in mind, as we work toward the fully staged version that includes singers suspended within the installation. We just completed phase 1 as part of the Transmediale festival. The immediate focus now is phase 2 and 3.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your artwork and at what scale?
EC: The direction we see involves a theatrical scale or Cirque du Soleil direction because it is bringing in lighting design, sound, sets, being able to put things up and break it down. Brunellesci went to the building site of the Duomo and referred to it as going to the opera, because the construction site contains all the operations: masonry, woodworking, painting sculpture, bronze casting, that’s why, when we think about music, the opera has everything, a full orchestra, costume, singing, it has ballet. Our operation is really like an extrapolation of all the operations so this is operatic application.
IJ: I think ending with the idea of an opera is a really great way to end so I’m not gonna say anything more. Light, sound, color, space, opera. That’s it.
SPOTLIGHT ON JPD Reflective lyrics and an upbeat energy characterise rapper Julian Philipp David’s ‘JPD’ deutsch-rap, laying down a directness and hip-hop realness, but not being afraid to embrace his own formative pop and jazz influences.
For his laidback style, JPD, formally known as Julian Philipp David, has significant musical acumen. Moving to Mannheim at the age of 24 to pursue a music degree, a small village upbringing was no obstacle to musical experience, but his passion was always for German hip-hop. This is celebrated through a self-described ‘songwriter-rap’ style, taking cues (and vocal samplings) of established German Rapper Prince Pi and earning comparisons to fellow German rapper Casper. Previously playing in the successful band Tonomat 3000, JPD experienced the festival circuit, opening for major acts such as Marteria.
Stepping away from his band after a 3-year run, a solo career was a natural progression for the rapper-songwriter, recording under JPD and recently releasing the debut album “Auf den großen Knall”, packed with his colourful and versatile13 songs.
JPD makes German hip-hop/rap that is honest and accessible; reflecting on universal themes of moving away from home, early love, and change, but never losing its ‘kick’.
Interview: 12/2019 with JPD
Artist NameJPD GenrePop/Hip Hop Based in Leipzig Playing since Always First album released“Herbst“ EP 2016 Freshest album “Auf den großen Knall“, recently released. Listen to me onSpotify
Describe your band / music / style in three words. Headstrong, honest, heartfelt.
What did you listen to when growing up? Private radio in southern Baden: 80s, 90s and today’s top hits. And a lot of ads. Then there was Eminem—the “Lose Yourself” maxi. And then there was hiphop.
Music icon(s) and the reason why. All artists who managed to make a living out of their creative drive. Who stay true to themselves and keep on going. Even when things don’t go well, when you want to just give up. Who keep being warm and kind to others. I really appreciate those kinds of people.
Who are you listening to right now? Warhouse, Papooz, Phools
What is the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour? The time we spend together as a crew. That really is the craziest part. Such great people, such great musicians. We drive through Germany in an awesome black bus, play an awesome show every night and let the fog machine go wild quite often.
Favorite performance venues or music festivals? And why? I like small clubs, feel comfortable in concert halls, small indie festivals are great and I won’t say no to a really big stage.
Three words to describe your fans. Pretty cool people.
Favorite eyewear brand? Flea market.
What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album? My debut album “Auf den großen Knall” was released on 29.11. It was and still is a big project. I don’t have a label anymore, but a tight-knit, small, creative team and a supportive circle of friends instead. We do everything ourselves, we are pressing the upcoming album vinyl ourselves, shoot elaborate music videos on a low budget and program the light show on our own. I’ll be on tour in December. Berlin today, then Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and Freiburg. I am going to perform the whole album. And it will be loud.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale? Still doing, making. Working and living with my closest friends. And by the fifth album, everyone will know what we are doing here.
Impact and innovation are the driving forces behind revolutionary ideas in fashion. And when style meets substance, a reaction occurs—creating powerful forces for change and trends that can be seen and felt all around the world. 4SEE talks with the foremost innovators from fashion’s ever-evolving world, questioning the sources of style and culture and drawing out answers about their inspiration and impact in 4SEE’s FOREMOST.
The truly stand-alone designs of Julie Bourgeois and Gabriel Santini, with Tata Christiane unflinchingly bordering both elegance and bad-taste, de-structuring whilst upcycling, theatrically expressing an attitude of independence free from expectation.
Tata Christiane is a fashion label founded in 2007 by Julie Bourgeois and Gabriel Santini. Hailing from Marseille, the two designers studied in Paris (Literature and Philosophy for Bourgeois and Architecture for Santini) before moving to Berlin with their music project Aniaetleprogrammeur.
While by no means a side-project, the duo’s creative energies take form quite literally in their eponymous label Tata Christiane. As bold as it is polarising, Tata Christiane produces two collections per year, with hand-made and locally-produced pieces, recycled materials, and upcycled vintage fabrics. Expressing a concept of ‘costume streetwear’, Tata Christiane’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection (‘CADAVRE EXQUIS #1’) features disproportionate form and silhouettes, garishly garnished with frill and crochet details, layered materials, tassels, and see-through mesh panels. Bold colours and clashing patterns collide with deconstructed elements, cartoonish caricature figures and animal prints. Tata Christiane is fashion for another kind.
4SEE Foremost spoke with co-founder Julie Bourgeois, and were reminded why we mustn’t be afraid to mix the different colours.’
Describe yourself in three words.
I’m Tata Christiane.
Style Icon(s) and the reason why.
It’s quite diffuse. To be honest, I don’t feel like I’m really thinking in that direction. I know that in my life I have been more influenced by a kaleidoscope, a constellation of people and attitudes, mostly strangers, people on the street or in clubs or whatever, in fact. It’s like an impressive overall that comes from everywhere; also, from reading, TV series, movies, etc., but nothing of a specific icon.
What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?
Managing to make our label work so far by doing it our way and at our own pace. By maintaining a state of mind and remaining independent.
What is next for you, an immediately upcoming project?
For me, the whole year is a constant succession of projects to come. It’s quite cyclical and regular, next collection, next collection of unique pieces, next production, with meteors of projects coming in – an exhibition, a fashion show, but in a way the vision is very day-to-day, over a short period. There is always a lot to do.
Favorite eyewear brand?
I need to wear glasses and I’m wearing Ray–Bans right now.
Your fashion philosophy / Styling tips.
The colors, do not be afraid to mix the different colors. Do not be afraid of the result. Let yourself be surprised. Don’t be afraid to also have different phases, different days for the style. Be flexible and open to your own mood.
Three words to describe your customer.
Passionate, with a sense of humour and great sensitivity