Predictions Week 2013: Mimi Xu

The Musical Muse Breaks a New Track and Curates Sounds to Ring In the New Year

Beijing-born, Paris-bred and London-based Mimi Xu, aka DJ Misty Rabbit, shares her picks for the tunes and artists-to-watch of 2013 and debuts a new track, "Never Say Never". An auditory fixture on the fashion scene for nearly ten years, Xu has created show tracks for the likes of Vanessa Bruno, Prada, Acne and Topshop Unique, and has DJ’d parties for Miu Miu and Versace, among others. “I’m seeing an inclination towards a very bass-heavy, dirty hip-hop,” says Xu, who is also the publisher behind the Parisian music magazine Trax, of next year’s runway music trends. Looking forward, she dreams of working with Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, and Jil Sander in the seasons to come, and in the meantime predicts the rise of subversive hip-hop and the demise of shows like X Factor as future waves in the pop music scene.

What will be your theme song for 2013?
“Born to Be Alive” by Patrick Hernandez.

What existing tracks will be must-haves on your iPod in 2013?
I love old music. People should re-listen to all Kraftwerk’s albums to get ready for their Tate Modern concerts coming up in February. 

Will we be witnessing a new musical trend in 2013?
Gay hip-hop is going to take over.  

Which artists will become the hottest in the fashion industry?
I vote for Angel Haze—and I’m looking forward to seeing what SBTRKT does next. 

What album release are you most looking forward to next year?
My friends’ albums, like the new Soulwax and Klaxons. The pressure is on for the boys!

Following years of free downloads, will music find a new way to survive in 2013?
Totally—people need to go out more and see live performances. Musicians need to offer better live propositions. It’s about taking the audience to a new level, beyond the record. 

Will 2013 be the year that we finally give up on shows like X Factor and American Idol?
Hopefully. I think we have enough Céline Dions in this world. 

If you could make any band come back in 2013, who would it be?
I'd love to see Can, Cabaret Voltaire, Bauhaus, Simon & Garfunkel or simply The Clash (with Joe Strummer, which is impossible). I would also love to see Wham!...with none of George's new material. 

To listen to Mimi Xu’s New Year mix, click here.

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    Ryan McGinley's Music Obsessions

    His New Film Captures Rising Bands Girls and Smith Westerns at the Pitchfork Festival

    Today’s exclusive film was sent to us by Ryan McGinley, the lauded artist-photographer whose heady visuals of cavorting teens (awash with atmospheric blurs, lens flares and flashes of light) have made him one of the most in-demand image-makers of the past decade. Earlier this year we were thrilled to premiere his film Entrance Romance (It Felt Like a Kiss), so imagine our excitement when we were presented with this intimate portrait of Smith Westerns and Girls—two of America’s most buzzed-about bands—at this year’s Pitchfork festival. Brimming over with enthusiasm, McGinley even penned a verbal tribute to his sonic muses:

    “Smith Westerns and Girls are two of my favorite bands right now. I first saw Smith Westerns play at this restaurant in a weird little mall in Chinatown, and there were only about five people there. I liked how their hair was always covering their eyes and you could barely see their faces. They were so cute; it was almost like watching a high school band. Smith Westerns went on tour with a band called Girls who I immediately fell in love with, so much so that I sent the singer-songwriter Chris Owens my last photography book along with a fan letter. They covered their entire stage with flowers––I loved that. Their song “Solitude” speaks to me more than any other song I can think of right now. I caught up with both bands at the Pitchfork festival to document their performances and be a fly on the wall the whole weekend. That’s pretty much my idea of a perfect vacation. And it was."

    McGinley catches up with Chris Owens of Girls about hair and Harry Potter here.
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    Shanghai Debut: Hennessy V.S.O.P

    The Celebrated French Cognac Reveals Its Sleek New Bottle

    Journeying from the cellars of the Cognac region to the skyscrapers of Shanghai, filmmaker Dustin Lynn navigates the rituals behind the production of world-class cognac Hennessy V.S.O.P (Very Superior Old Pale). Keeping its singular blend a guarded secret for nearly two centuries, this year the legendary brandy's iconic bottle has been re-imagined for the modern age by creative maverick Chris Bangle, the one-time BMW Chief of Design. Lynn met with Bangle at his home in the hills of Torino, Italy, to discuss Hennessy V.S.O.P’s newly streamlined silhouette, which at once represents the spirit of the storied cognac and its vision for the future of the house. In Cognac, Lynn captured master oenologists—including Olivier Paultes, Hennessy’s Distillery Director and member of the Tasting Committee—deliberating over the 60 varieties of eaux-de-vie that are harmonized in the amber-tinted cognac, and which go on to spend 15 years developing in oak barrels stored in the cellars of Hennessy's Château Bagnolet. “Three elements make up Hennessy cognac,” explains Lynn, “wood, air and spirit. The people at Hennessy are very sensitive to this and their tradition surrounding it.” The redesign of the Hennessy V.S.O.P bottle was feted with a tasting world tour that kicked off in Shanghai and saw Lynn following Paultes and Bangle to the new vessel’s public unveiling. The nomadic Lynn, who at 19 years old opened the Tribeca Film Festival with his debut film Tranquil Music, has since made music videos for electronic duo Kruder & Dorfmeister and fashion films for Alexander McQueen.

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