Now that Calvin Klein has finally announced that Raf Simons will be taking over the brand as its designer, a bitter sweet sentiment has swept throughout the fashion industry. Last year, when Cathy Horyn sat down with Raf for what amounted to his Dior exit interview, published by System Magazine, one couldn’t be faulted for thinking that Raf seemed totally done with luxury fashion houses. This was an artist struggling with the fact that he no longer had the time to find inspiration to create. Deadlines had worn him down, and it was time for him to re-focus on his own revolutionary label. The fact that Raf’s last two collections, one inspired by his heroes such as David Lynch, Martin Margiela and Cindy Sherman, and one a beautiful collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe archive, were his best menswear collections since collaborating with Sterling Ruby seemed to signal that Raf was back in his element, filtering counter-culture, art, music, and radical gender politics into his clothing. Click here to listen
"For some reason, people fail to acknowledge the importance of the city of Providence, Rhode Island on music, art, design, and culture at large... But there was a time that Providence was the most important city in the country for avant-garde music and radical art. That time was Fort Thunder." Click here to listen to the full playlist.
The best new record I heard this week, aside from The Life of Pablo obviously, is the newest release by London-based producer Brood Ma, Daze. A volatile collision of funk, noise, house, and techno, the album sounds viciously contemporary, indicative of the evolution of London and New York-based label Tri Angle. Never in my life have I seen a label that has almost as much influence on the underground as it does on the mainstream. Click here to read the full playlist.
10 years ago, when the phrase “pop music” conjured associations of Backstreet Boys and Britney, I would have never even thought to make a pop music list. But we are well into the Internet age at this point (it feels like just yesterday when I was on the Shoutweb message boards, discussing the excellence of KoRn and Slipknot with other pimply faced malcontents, but in reality it was 15 years ago), and the artists that grew up watching TRL and then reading Pitchfork on their desktops have come of age. Pop music has mutated into a variety of forms, only connected through an accessible, danceable, and sing-along quality. You can have the retro-psych R&B of Miguel, the post-modern alterna-pop of Bjork, or the British dancefloor celebration of Jamie XX, and it is all pop. Sub-culture has thoroughly been erased, and that isn’t a bad thing. It just means that individual taste has come to the forefront. You will have a much harder time finding someone who is only into black metal these days, but you might find a girl who has Grimes playing on her headphones sitting at the coffee shop wearing a Darkthrone t-shirt.
The point is, the artists making pop these days are very much artists, and not corporate drones. They by and large love music and are acquainted with at least some form of music history. In the words of Future and Drake, “What a time, TO BE ALIVE!”
Click here to listen to the full playlist...
Despite decades of evidence to the contrary, music snobs still have a hard time viewing heavy metal as a musical form worthy of the label, "art." Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley have fought that notion throughout their careers. With the announcement of the duo's main band Sunn O))) releasing its first new record since 2008's 'Monoliths and Demensions (except for the 2014 'Soused' that saw the band collaborate with legendary UK singer Scott Walker), I have decided to use this Autre Playlist to pay homage to the duo's work as well as their record label, Southern Lord. Click here to listen to the full playlist.
While I'm not a huge Halloween fan, my love of horror cinema is only bested by my love of music. Luckily, the two mediums have always gone hand-in-hand. Films simply can't be scary without tense and eerie sounds gripping the film viewer as it goes along. Click here to listen to the full playlist.
Whenever I get the proverbial gun to the head and am asked if I could only listen to one genre of music forever, I go with soul and funk. Why? Because it's everything: amazing lyrics, amazing singing, political, emotional, makes you dance, makes you cry, makes you sex. Click here to listen to the playlist.