Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Home Sweet Home with Aesop Rock

New song and video: Rings, by Aesop Rock.

I've been a huge fan of Aesop Rock since I was about 13. I was introduced to him from my older brother who took me under his Hip Hop wing and taught me all about Def Jux, Anticon, Cage, RJD2, Dos One, Cannibal Ox, Atmosphere ect... Still to this day, I listen to all of them and can't find any current Hip Hop that really hits home or impresses me as much. Aesop for me was always my go to where ever I was, late nights in the studio, walking home from work, sitting in a cafe alone or ridding the train, it was more often than not that it was Aesop blasting through my headphones.

Through my brother and through Hip Hop, I was introduced and fell in love with Graffiti, Pop Surrealism and Urban Art. Back then and way before Urban Art became the global beast it is now, Upper Playground was one of the first brands to combine Art, Music and Urban Culture in California and really played a huge role in forming the Urban Art culture I know and love today. Along side UP, Aesop was a big supporter of art, he worked with Jeremy Fish to do his album art in the very beginning and really helped create this cross over from Underground music and Urban Art.  All of this helped create a platform for this culture to thrive, a culture and community I felt at home with.

Now many years later and on the other side of the world, I still listen to Aesop to bring me back to my roots, to remind me where I came from and who I am. It may seem silly, but not many people in London even know who Aesop Rock is, so I often get strange looks when I sing every lyric from every song on my walk home wearing an Upper Playground t-shirt designed by Jeremy Fish.

But knowing that Aesop is still writing and making the most mind twisting videos makes me very content, it makes me feel at home in some strange way, even though I am no where near where I grew up. No matter where I am, or what I am doing, If I have Aesop playing it all feels familiar.

Ok, I've had my rant and expressed my love for this now go and enjoy his new video, a awesome combination of poetry, art, beats and creativity.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The beautiful work of Colin McMaster

I recently had the joy of visiting the studio of Colin McMaster in London and I have to admit, I have fallen in love with his beautiful paintings. His work transported me back to that feeling of initial amazement I had when I discovered Pop Surrealism about 15 years ago.

Colin is a humble guy, working in a studio built in the backyard of his house in South East London, he dedicates incredible energy and time to his artworks, many of which remain unseen on his studio walls for years. His studio one of those hidden gems, full of scraps of wood, piles of canvases, artworks hung up on every wall, dust covered sketchbooks and pots of paint. He lives and breaths his work and does it for the sole purpose of his own pleasure and viewing. So that is where I had to intervene, I could not let such talent go un-noticed, so am introducing his work to all of you through this little post and am planning his first London Solo show for this Spring.


Colin offered up the following about his work:

"I usually work on panels of wood veneer, framed in linen – a reversal of the traditional materials used. I became frustrated with the limitations of a flat canvas and  tried to incorporate a more 3-dimensional aspect to my work;  producing cut-out paintings assembled from different types of wood veneer cut and glued together, alongside flatly painted segments.  I want the natural shadows created by the relief element of the construction to provide subtle, yet literal depth, instead of relying on merely paint solely for light and shade. "

Keep on the look out for more from this fantastic artist.
More information about Colin's work can be found on my website: