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Media Reviews
Topic Started: Monday, 7. December 2009, 21:57 (5,515 Views)
knock0n
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Nice and easy reviews we started doing for a while..
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Crack & Shine, first look

(No full review due to not being sent a copy)


I know there is a shit load of people hating on this book, I'm sure for all their own reasons. Heard alot about it, and obviously read all the comments last night on the last blog post.. Amongst other things.
The main issue probably being that they sent in, or got asked to send in their stuff and then never see it appear... And that's the way it's always been with anything that's come out in London and it always will be... until 2012, GraffLondon mag edition 1... hold tight

So I had a flick through the book eventually, wasn't at the launch party as me & Shoreditch don't exactly see eye to eye..

..It was bigger than I thought, which is a good thing. It's all laid out quite nice, good quality pages. I didn't have time to read much inside, but there's alot of text, which I'm sure is a good read.

Alot of well known writers who you would expect are included, obviously there's alot also missed out.. can't have both.
One thing that kind of didn't surprise me was the fact that I've seen a big majority of photo's which are in the book. Alot I know other people won't have seen, but there are so many that everyone would have seen in there.. and I'm not sure why you would bother putting them in there, unless you are trying to reach out to another crowd or something.... who knows...

Now I heard so many rumours about what exactly GraffLondon's part in the book was. And to clear it up for anyone that's still asking. Basically on ATG's page it says something like 'ATG thought it would be wrong to comment about themselves in the book so they thought they would leave it up to members of the London graffiti forum, GraffLondon.'
Then appear a page of quotes with certain peoples usernames, all completely negative comments which was pretty bloody funny! I suppose they could of put at least 1 positive comment in there. Even if they were just doing it for laughs, comments like this are well worth it:

"ATG mounted an expedition to south london once. in north london it was widely believed that crossing the thames was impossible, but with their gung ho islington spirit and a final cup of earl grey, the chaps set off southwards. by all accounts they found a way across the river, but no one knows how. despite coming under constant attack from the pale faced, voodoo practicing gypsies that inhabit the barren wastes south of the river, they finally got to streatham common and planted a flag signifying that they had conquered this awful place. after a triumphant "huzzah!" and a bit of back slapping, not to mention the last satisfying mouthfuls of their panini rations washed down with mummies homemade pimms, they set their bearings for home. unfortunately, its reported that things started to go wrong at this point. its thought that rest and harm succumbed to the inhospitable terrain somewhere around elephant & castle, running out of oxygen. the air was too thin for their delicate lungs you see. the others bravely carried on, making it as far as london bridge before disaster struck again. rayds was kidnapped by bandits and never seen again. some say they took him to a football match - leyton orient v millwall - but the horrors that he must have witnessed at such a place are too dreadful to think about. thankfully, the rest of ATG made it back safely. they didn't do any graffiti for about 10 months in 2005, in order to recover from this ordeal." - Skidz (posted on the forum but who knows if its skidz's words or not..)


The book is something outrageous like £25 but a must see for anyone that takes interest in this movement.



Poll results
For: Crack & shine out of 10

Rating/voting/percentage

10-12 (18%)
9-1 (1%)
8-4 (6%)
7-3 (4%)
6-2 (3%)
5-6 (9%)
4-3 (4%)
3-4 (6%)
2-2 (3%)
1-11 (17%)
Not seen -16 (25%)

Some very mixed views there....
Hopefully get hold of London Handstyles soon for a little review.
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London Handstyles




I've got a London Handstyles review for you today, and I'll have a couple more book reviews for you at some point in the week... better late than never!
Sorry for the late one, I was away for a couple of months for those that don't know. And to add even more delay on my review books arriving, well.. you can blame the royal mail on that one......
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London handstyles is a full colour 160 page book, jam packed full of over 800 tags, throw ups and action shots from the 80's through to the present day. Also featured are words, quotes and legendary tales from 35 of London's most prolific writers from the last 3 decades. The book is now on sale via the website London Handstyles and at Chrome & Black or HQ Brixton.

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With the clean up operation now well under way, sadly you can no longer see the work of London's most infamous writers... ...this book allows you never to forget.
A few of the writers that featured in the book have said a few words on what they think about the finished product:

Robbo PFB ’This book is a piece of history, the best thing since Subway Art!’

Fume DDS ’Looking at this book has brought straight back the buzz and mad memories and makes me want to go straight out and paint…A lot of unseen pics and great quotes showing what our life is like....underground.’

Zomby FBS ’This book for me digs deep into London’s underground culture and history, and at the same time gives lost or forgotten unsung heroes of our scene some light.’

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I heard alot about this book way before it came out, and when I finally got to see it I could see why. The book is full of quality flicks, quotes and short stories from a great selection of writers. A good read, and a very highly enjoyable viewing experience.
'Re-living the memories' is what I've been doing already this week, so to pick this book up aswel has just highlighted the week for me. Incase you did forget, incase 'the buff' has mis placed your memory, this book 'never lets you forget', and it really does just that.
The book features the last 3 decades of the movement, and it is up until present day but whats best in it, is the more older stuff. The stuff when this city was up on top.

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Flicking from page to page was like a nice journey, how getting the train used to be when looking out of the window.
The best thing about the book though, is it just feels proper real, overall. The stories, the writers, pictures, the whole fucking production if you know what I mean... Some books or mags just don't give you that 'real' feeling to it but this one doesn't let us down.

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Couple of quotes featured in the book:

'When I see my stuff and it hasn't been lined I think what's up, don't they love me anymore?' - Oker

'The writers bench at Harrow was killer we had a crew called the sure shoot party crew at the back of the Met. We were on the Super T's and the girls were on the ciders. We all hooked up and terror took place.' - Dzia

Really nice book, props to the makers and everyone that made it possible. A great book representing the London scene. Highly recommend.
Please vote on the poll on the right hand side of the blog to give everyone a general idea of the books rating.

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Poll result
for: LONDON HANDSTYLES BOOK OUT OF 10

Rating/voting/percentage

10-11 (12%)
9-13 (14%)
8-9 (9%)
7-5 (5%)
6-0 (0%)
5-0 (0%)
4-1 (1%)
3-0 (0%)
2-0 (0%)
1-27 (29%)
Not seen-25 (27%)

Votes so far: 91
Poll closed

7-10 = 38
1 = 27
Not seen =25
Other = 1
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Thank you to the very small minority of people that voted in the poll, especially those that actually voted properly. How the hell you can give it '1' I don't know...
The results will be passed onto those responsible for the book.

Have them other 2 book reviews for you in the next couple of days.
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Subway World
Graffiti On Trains



Author: Torkel Sjöstrand
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Pages: 160
Year: 2009


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Subway World is a book about graffiti on subway trains all over the world. What started in New York in the seventies has become an worldwide artform with thousands of artists. The tradition of using subway cars as canvases has been preserved and has become an integrated part of the graffiti movement. Subway World takes you through more than 70 cities and four different continents. Everywhere where there are subway trains there is graffiti. From Moscow in Russia and Tbilsi in Georgia through Hiroshima in Japan, Los Angeles in the USA, Toronto in Canada and Buenos Aires in Argentina to London, Berlin, Milan and Paris in Europe. Subway World gives you hard facts on all the subway systems aswell as short stories and trivia. European cities featured are, among others: Athens, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Manchester, Moscow, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Rome and Stockholm.


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Wyse 2009


When I first set eyes on this book I thought, this an odd size... but it actually works pretty well. This was the first Dokument Press book I had seen, and the quality of these books (as in publication) definently made a good impression on me from the start.

Now a few people have said to me, 'what's the point of this book, if I wanted facts I would just look at wikipedia'. For the facts, this is true, however, its nice to have a proper book with all the subways in the world, especially graff photo's aswel! Which is the point I think they are missing. Lets not forget about the exclusive photo's used on the pages!
Its nice to have the facts though, which include: layouts, lines, cars, when it was made etc. The book also includes a handful of quotes from different active subway writers.


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I was only about 2 pages in when I hit the Amsterdam thread, and look who it is, its Banos! I think every book/mag and possibly foreign dvd I have seen in the last decade has featured him. The London page features 'The One', district line 2004.
Newcastle features Apollo from TOY crew. The intro mentions Manchester but I think its actually ment to be Newcastle!

Its quite amazing when you go through this book just how small some of the subway systems are in the world, especially compared to London. Not only that, but just how new some of them are also.


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This is a really nice book to look at, and own. Definently worth adding to your collection. Its different, it may even be owned by people outside of the graff world, where it could also appeal...

Dokument Press have many items available on their website, which is well worth checking out.
http://www.dokument.org/


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Terry - DVD


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Screening
The screening for the new film, Terry, took place in London last night (JULY 2009) and GraffLondon was invited down for the Nastyhabits production which entertained a full house.

Writing on The Wall
First we watched a small film called Writing on The Wall, which was a small film about graffiti and the lifestyle.. It included a few writers telling things how they see them. Spat, Sick, & Dogz all involved, including local council representatives. It was a nice way to open up.

Terry
The film is about a guy called Terry being followed around by a student with a video cam, who is making a project. We follow Terry around West London and slowly learn things about him, about life on the dole, drugs, drink, and all the other madness that he gets up to on a daily basis.

I enjoyed the film alot and thought the acting was very impressive. I hope this is the start of more bigger and better things to come in the future! Check it.


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Update: October 2009

For those of you that don't know, the film Terry was the winner of the best London (UK) film at the portobello film festival 2009. Any info on when this is out or any other info we will keep you posted, in the mean time feel free to join the Facebook group if your not part of it already.


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Like Lipstick Traces
Book




A Polaroid camera and 100 photos was the means of use for 13 graffiti writers.
The result is called Like Lipstick Traces, a book exploring everyday life in a different way.
A statue of Lenin in Russia, a sex act in the streets of Paris, the grave of Bruce Lee in Seattle and football hooligans in Neapels. As a part of a graffiti writers day is to explore the city and the world, so does their photos.

The 13 graffiti writers in Like Lipstick Traces are among the most prominent in the world. It is an international constellation from cities like London, New York, Sao Paolo, Copenhagen and Berlin. And the more than 600 photos they’ve shot gives a quick glimpse into the writers secret worlds. They go their own way, refusing to follow any other than their own path. Dumbo even shot his entire series of photos with the camera upside down. A world overturned.

Photographers in Like Lipstick Traces are: Aroe (UK), C.B.S (DE), Dumbo (IT), Honet (FR), Kegr (DK), O’Clock (FR), Os Cururus (BR), Rate (USA), Remio (NOR), Rocky (ES), Scan (CA), Smash (CH), The E.R.S (BE).


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I enjoyed this book alot more than I thought I would. The books a great size, another great quality book distributed by Dokument Press.
The pages are not numbered, so I'm not going to flick through and count all of them like an idiot but I would estimate around 200 pages. Theres more here than Subway World.

13 writers from all over the place really give the book some diversity. One minute your in Brighton, the next your in Sao Paulo, Brazil! This works pretty well, and its interesting checking out a few places you wouldn't normally.


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All of the photo's are taken by a Polaroid camera, and were all taken by the writers themselves. Its different and it works. Especially what some of the intro text in the book talks about, with Polaroid pretty much almost extinct now... A good way to see it off!

Alot of the photo's are just random and nothing to do with graff, but its interesting stuff. I liked some sections more than others. Smash 137 was probably the best section throughout the book hands down. DUMBO decided to take all of his photo's using the camera upside down which sounds like a cool idea, but it is quite annoying turning the book around constantly to read each photos caption. O'CLOCK has no intro and no captions on his photo's for some reason, which all the book tells us is that 'they are not provided'... I felt this let his section down a bit...

"There are shortcuts to infamy which a lot of people take, but they end up being remembered in a negative way" - AROE

"I want to go down as someone who made the most of his time and worked hard at developing ideas and feelings" - REMIO


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I feel this book definently needs to be picked up and viewed from the start and read properly. Flicking through on any page wouldn't work, where in other books it can. Well put together, it has a kind of oldskool feel to it with the use of Polaroid.


Well worth a look


Dokument Press have many items available on their website to check out
http://www.dokument.org/

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Keep The Faith issue 1
Magazine

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Introduction:
Highly-publicised cases against some of London’s most prolific crews and writers over the last few years, and the techniques used by the authorities to bring them down has brought about a general feeling of fear and apprehension amongst a large portion of London’s graffiti exponents. This coupled with the deaths of some the scene's most beloved and active writers meant there was a real need to lift the spirits of those closest to the scene, friends, family, associates... to help Keep The Faith.
For that reason we decided to publish a new magazine documenting a small portion of the tons of graffiti that has been painted in the capital over the last 4-5 years. Something old, something new, something borrowed...all of it, true - true to the free, rebellious spirit of graffiti.
Featuring some of the most active writers and crews in London over the past few years, and contributions from overseas visitors, we hope to open your eyes up to what has been going on and show that the heart of London graffiti still beats strong.

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KTF features over 50 pages of tubes, br's, interviews, girls, brits abroad plus aload more. I'm gunna keep this review very short and sweet. At the time of writing I don't own a computer which is not entirely the main reason, the main reason is really quite simple: there is no reason not to buy this magazine! This is the best London magazine since Bomb Alert and fuck any bad review you may have heard about this mag. If you ain't already got yourself a copy then order it now. For a stupid low price of £6 who can moan about anything?

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With so many photo's being sent in, at the end of the mag they already tell us that issue 2 work has already been started. This is what supporting magazines like this are all about. Make your purchase and send in your photo's, thats the easy bit. The people involved in mags like these don't earn that much profit overall and its a huge amount of work they have to put in.

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This is an essential purchase for anyone that is interested in real London graffiti and supports it.
http://www.keepthefaithmagazine.com/
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Frontline The Art of Vandalism

Copies: 4000 worldwide
Price: 7
Pages: 50+
Out: now

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Graffiti has become something applauded, something fashionable, something plastic. Legal this, legal that. Frontline is here to take you back to the roots of painting. Where it belongs, where risk, location, timing and style make a writer as good as their work.
No canvases, no studios and no legals.
Raw graffiti by some of the best writers in London. Welcome to Frontline.


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Above is the intro on the first page, followed by a thanks to various contributors and blogs and rounded up with a statement for the disclaimer. And then you get chucked into the deep end.... HEAVY METAL, and plenty of it. Straight into the underground business, theres actions, randoms, old ones, even 2010 tubes in there.


After this comes the british rail section. A nice variety here, certainly a few burners you won't have seen before. I like this mag and the way its been put together. The mag has over 50 pages ordered very nicely starting with: tubes, then br, an interview with Robbo, dubs & pieces, brits abroad, actions & photography, insides & handstyles, sketches, rest in peace skeam, oldskool, and then finishes off with a few throw ups.


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Everything then, which you would want in a mag and it will set you back 7 quid(at the time of writing). This is an excellent addition to your collection and goes very nicely next to the recent Keep The Faith. I think the photo's speak for themselves.


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There have been quite a few books & mags out in the past 12 months. Whats better is that there are a couple already underway with new issues and Frontline is now collecting for issue 2 already.
This magazine is 0% legal, which we love, especially with the way things have been going the last few years. This mag stands for the real graff, all money made on this issue will I'm sure be put into issue 2 and improving it in any way they can.

Contribute and continue to support these people. They are doing a fine job, keep it up and top marks for a fantastic mag.


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To buy: check the website - http://www.frontline-magazine.co.uk/

To contribute:

Send photo's for issue 2 to: allcitylondon@hotmail.com

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