Izlaz A2, Belgrade Airport

26th July 2010

Sitting in Belgrade airport in existential trip mode. It’s so hard to focus at these moments. Apparently you can tell if you are dreaming if you can’t remember how you got to the place you are at. I remember a plane, a sleep, a flat, dry cheese sandwich and a smiling old lady with blonde bone white hair. That memory and a slight chill on the lower part of my left arm from the air conditioning unit make me believe that this is real.

I am trying to learn the lines from the song but it’s poetry won’t flow from page to memory. I so admire actors who can perform these mental feats and make it look easy.

I have three hours here in limbo so I will try again and again. But it is so hard to focus.

Mediterranean Bar, Sarajevo

So it turns out that I am here, playing CDs in this place at the behest of ronhill (one word, all lower case, simple, sophisticated looking but not overly flashy typeface). That’s ronhill, not Ron Hill, who is probably a very nice bloke who lives in Croydon, but ronhill, the cigarette brand that is sponsoring the Mediterranean Bar, which is a pop up bar that has popped up outside a venue in a large, slightly run down concrete square in a concrete city that is currently in the middle of it’s (actually up and coming) film festival.

As a so called artist I can’t afford to be touchy about working for fag brands, even though I don’t smoke and think that I would approve of a complete ban on smoking if it were possible, I think, because surely people should have the right to get addicted to stuff and kill themselves, slowly, if they really want to. It’s a tricky one.

Anyhow, the gig goes well, considering the temperature has plummeted to a very unseasonal 15 degrees centigrade and the bar is outside. So I play a good bumpy, pumpy house set. ronhill has a girl dancing behind a screen so I take a picture of her shadow then sneak a peek round the side of the screen just to make sure she is real and not a video that looks like a girl dancing behind a screen. Yes, there she is.

And the set flows nicely, in that rather good, unfocussed, not really thinking about it way that good DJing has to be.

And I’m thinking: There are so many people smoking here. And I’m thinking: This city is so full of brutalist concrete architecture that even I, a person who loves brutalist concrete architecture, am a little overwhelmed. And I’m thinking: I wish I could stay and explore. And I’m Thinking: Boom, boom, boom.

Gate H32, M√ľnchen Flughafen

25th July 2010

Now, gliding over the manicured farmland of southern Germany, on the way home, I feel like I have been out on a limb, the frayed knee of the stonewashed jeans of Europe, where our shining, smart, smug, designer West starts to unravel. Where the post modern, post everything notion of caring little for an outward show and the trappings of wealth seems more than slightly ridiculous. Where show is important because show is all there is really. Where reconstruction is slow and belts really are tight; where really having no money is really real and not just some semi-imaginary construct of a bunch of posh millionaires.

Now, back in the big, fat belly of the Euro-beast, in Munich, it seems churlish to be disdainful, it feels a little insulting to share the arty shots of concrete blocks and busses that I managed to steal from Sarajevo.

But I guess I will, because that’s what I do and I mean no disrespect. I find these images pleasing for their shapes and colours and textures and structure, like an abstract painting or a piece of electronic music, a tiny fragment of joy in a fucked up world.

My Beach House – Out Now

24th July 2010

Chris Coco – My Beach House single is out now. You can listen to the mixes by clicking the pink box.

buy from Juno Download

Burning gold, glass ceiling and the ghost train

21st July 2010

At 21:03, rolling past Chamomile Street on the way to London Bridge, the city canyon is in shadow, but the sun still illuminates the crane tops and scrapers. We stop in our tracks and I pull out the Leica, shooting beams and angles. It’s only a moment but it feels like magic, this play of light and shade on the concrete, steel and glass up above.

At 00:47 the long train begins to roll through. It must be heavy because it makes the rails squeal, sometimes it sounds like singing, sometimes screaming, depending on the wind direction and the mood I guess. I don’t know where it comes from, what it contains, or where it goes. But somehow, as I poke my head out of the window, the better to listen to the sound, it makes me feel more alive.

The Sun Rising – Out Now

20th July 2010

Normalites is Chris Coco and Steve Miller (aka Afterlife and The Sun Rising is out now on Bar Grooves.

Get it on Beatport now!

Find their song Pink Skyscraper on the latest edition of Hotel Costes. Get their Dead Cat Bounce EP.

Normalites on Myspace