Inc: The Place

An Intimate Studio Session With Los Angeles' R&B Wunderkinds

Digital beats merge with floating vocals and the sounds of a club in the wee hours waft into the Californian daylight in this exclusive performance of album track “The Place” from new SoCal outfit, Inc. The group’s core members—27-year-old Andrew Aged on vocals and guitar and his younger brother Daniel on bass—grew up in Monterey, California on a diet of their mom’s classic seven-inch soul records, cutting their teeth as young musicians on tour with such stadium-filling names as Beyoncé, 50 Cent and Elton John. The duo left their on-the-road lifestyle when they realized it suffocated their personal sense of creativity. “We were told what to do,” says Andrew. “Back then I didn’t know I could be an artist. When I realized I could, it was really powerful.” Recorded over an eight-month period, the band’s much-anticipated debut album No World shares a name with the smoke-filled L.A. studio that provides the setting for today’s video made by Yours Truly. Adding to the brothers’ funk, soul and pop inspiration is the R&B maverick Meshell Ndegeocello, as well as the unlikely influence of The Smashing Pumpkins and P.J. Harvey which contributes to the album’s melancholic rock undercurrent. “I think we are in a place where we are outside of the system and we'll probably always prefer to be there,” says the Inc. vocalist. “It’s definitely a search for us—and we don’t know exactly where it is that we’re going.”

Inc.'s debut album No World is out this week on 4AD.

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    Roy Lichtenstein Paints a Tomato

    The Influential Pop Artist Rolls Up to the Tate Modern in an Animated Homage

    A tomato or Roy Lichtenstein's hand-painted Benday dot? Today’s charming animation by Damien Florébert Cuypers and Benoît François pays tribute to the American artist’s dynamic oeuvre. Using his signature primary colors, vivid geometric details and pop imagery, the French duo imagined Lichtenstein on a journey from ‘low’ to ‘high’ art. “We were guided by the desire to underline some of Lichtenstein's specific paintings, styles and techniques,” explains François, who has been collaborating with Cuypers since meeting in high school, and has illustrated for the likes of T, Apartamento and New York Magazine. “Like scientists with a microscope, we zoomed in, then out, on this painting.” Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, opening this week at Tate Modern in London, brings together 125 of the twentieth-century pioneer’s most definitive paintings and sculptures, as well as unseen film work showcasing, as François notes, “the America of the 60s and 70s.”

    Lichtenstein: A Retrospective runs from February 21 - May 27 at the Tate Modern, London.

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    Black Light Dinner Party: We Are Golden

    New York City’s Electronic Indie Kids Inspire a Cartoon Adventureland

    Flying buccaneers, a psychedelic teapot and a golden-nosed narwhal all contribute to the fantastical world of “We Are Golden,” the third video from Brooklyn-based indie band Black Light Dinner Party. After the success of 2012’s B.L.D.P EP and its video for “Gold Chain” starring legendary adult film star Ron Jeremy, “We Are Golden” offers a first glimpse of the band's much-anticipated debut album. Singer Jack Côté croons over a shimmering synth-pop lullaby, accompanied by Zach Lipkins on drums, Joel Friedman on keys and Dan Stevens on bass as his lyrics are twisted into an irreverent, dreamy adventure by animator Jonathan Seligson. “We had some ideas and sent them over,” says the band, “but when Jonathan responded with the following we just decided to go with it: ‘A Barbarella-type Eskimo adventurer and her polar bear companion race against a trio of Czarist-style Russian pirates on giant flying Tetris pieces.’” Although an acolyte of master storytellers Hayao Miyazaki and Walt Disney, Seligson looked to TV—specifically the Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and Dexter’s Laboratory—as references for the technicolor trippiness. “The story, setting and character dynamics came to me spontaneously upon hearing the song for the first time,” the animator recalls. “As I listened, the imagery simply manifested in my mind’s eye.” We asked each band member to describe the appeal of their own favorite animated classic. 

    Jack: Ratatouille. It makes me cook something delicious, French, and bad for me to eat while watching. That might be more about the food though.”

    Zach: Kung Fu Panda. I like a panda who marches to the beat of his own drum.”

    Joel: The Triplets of Belleville. I’m amazed by all the visual detail. I love how the animators exaggerate the physical features of the characters, they look like caricatures of real people.”

    Dan:Waking Life. The film used various artists who layered animation on top of actual footage, creating a dreamlike effect that I find beautiful.”

    (Read More)

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