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Guest Music Post: Porcelain Raft

Posted by Jakub

Permanent Clean2013-04-08 at 5.07.32 PM


We are proud to have Porcelain Raft join our short list of Guest Music Posts. Mauro’s “Permanent Signal” LP is out August 20th on Secretly Canadian. Pitchfork Advance is streaming his new album this week. Enjoy the selections, i’m really impressed by the Violeta Parra song, I think its a very essential listen from starting to finish.

1. Factrix “Phantom Pain”
I was in Seattle and randomly ended up in a record store. They were playing a strange sounding song, driven by a drum machine and the singer was almost whispering. I liked it right away.
I stayed in Seattle for less than a week that visit, in a very old hotel in Chinatown called something exotic that I don’t remember anymore. This is the perfect soundtrack for old hotels with exotic names and broken neon lights, constantly flickering.

2. Violeta Parra “El Gavilan, Gavilan”
I’m reading this book called The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky. I love his movies and wanted to know more about his life. In one of the chapter, he recalls meeting a famous songwriter and guitar player from Chile named Violeta Parra. She was also a painter, and I was so intrigued by their conversation that I went and checked out her music. I’m not into folk music usually but she is different. She improvises songs and plays long guitar interludes, all recorded with a portable device. It’s so beautiful and the sound is timeless.

3. Richard Skelton “Noon Hill Wood”
I don’t know much about this artist…I do know he’s from UK and he’s published a number of books of poetry and drawings in addition to his music. He has also been known to include artefacts, such as twigs and dried flowers, inside the packaging of his album releases. He uses strings and guitars mostly when recording his music. You should check his bandcamp page and website, which is full of poems and drawings he’s created. A stunning, minimalist world he’s building, away from any sort of spotlight.

4. Randy Newman “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”
I really got into this on a road trip I did a few months ago, heading to perform at a festival. We played Randy Newman in the van and the experience felt like we were the Rat Pack heading to Vegas for a gig.
It was a very magical moment, as if that music existed solely in that van for us in that moment. The song I picked, “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”, is one of my favorites. Another one I really like is “In Germany Before The War”, when he sings ‘I’m looking at the river but I’m thinking of the sea…” When I grow up, I want to be like Randy Newman.

Roloff Beny

DSC_1915-3DSC_1916DSC_1927DSC_1923DSC_1931DSC_1932DSC_1945DSC_1954DSC_1962DSC_1938DSC_1911DSC_1912DSC_1936

Complete Set of Photos Here

During the holidays I stopped in at a used book store and came across a wonderful photography book by Canadian artist, Roloff Beny. ‘To Every Thing There is a Season: Roloff Beny in Canada’ is a photographic essay exploring Canada during the 1960′s. The book contains poems, landscapes, portraits, architecture, and graphic design that is visionary for the time it was printed. Like a Boards of Canada album, the book puts my mind in a cozy, nostalgic place.

A little research reveals that the book was the official Canadian gift to visiting heads of state during the country’s 1967 centennial year. He’s also authored a number of other acclaimed photography books I’m hoping to pick-up in the near future.

Beny’s work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In 1971, he was made an officer of The Order of Canada. In 1984, at the age of 60, Beny passed away from a heart attack in his Roman studio overlooking the Tiber.

You can view a more complete set of photos in this FLICKR SET I put together.

Posted by: Owen Perry | Instagram: @circa_1983

Visual History: Can-Am Racing

Posted by Rory

Starting in 1966, Can-Am was an idealistic series conceived by the SCCA and its Canadian counterpart, CASC. Running under FIA Group 7 rules, it was as open as a series could get, essentially a formula libre format with the chassis weight and horsepower being, for all intents and purposes, unlimited. If the the tires weren’t exposed and it had 2 seats, you could race it. It was popular among drivers and enthusiasts, the likes of Keke Rosberg, Gilles Villeneuve, and even Paul Newman being regulars at the meets.

While this format led to some interesting technological developments and some truly oddball designs, it also opened the door to the inevitable: 1,000+HP engines bolted to cars that proved to be as unsafe as they were powerful. Lola & McLaren dominated the front 9 of the first era, the latter half saw the introduction and subsequent perfection of the Porsche 917, which nearly spelled the end of the series as they were unbeatable by non-works sponsored teams.

Some notable offspring of the early Can-Am years included heavy experimentation with aerodynamics and downforce, particularly Jim Hall’s Chaparral cars. The 2J, or “sucker car” [seen above in b&w bearing the number 66] used a series of skirts and a small 2 stroke engine which powered 2 fans aft of the vehicle. This combination of parts cobbled together [on what I feel is one of the ugliest race cars ever produced] created a unique type of ground effect, one which didn’t require moving air over the car, meaning that downforce in excess of 1.5g could be accomplished at any speed. When it was actually working, it qualified 2 seconds faster than the closest car, and was quickly banned.

The late 1970′s saw the waning series combined with then thriving Formula 5000 category, allowing teams to convert single-seat, open wheeled tubs into closed-wheel sports cars. While less popular in the long run, it encouraged many more teams to compete and led to a truly unique chapter of motorsport, as well as some really good looking cars. This modest resurgence continued until the dominance IMSA/Camel & CART took over as the format of choice in the 80′s.

The Group of Seven: Lawren Harris

Greenland Mountains, c1930

Davis Strait Iceberg, c1930

Isolation Peak, c1930

Mt. Lefroy, c1930

Bylot Island, c1930

Bylot Island, South Shore, c1930

Baffin Island, c1930

From The North Shore, Lake Superior, c1927

Lake Superior, c1926

North Shore, Lake Superior, c1926

Lake Superior, Hill XV, c1925

Pic Island, Lake Superior, c1924

Equations in Space, c1936

White Triangle, c1939

Abstract #20, c1942

It would be difficult to understate the influence of Lawren Harris’ abstract landscapes on Canadian identity. As a founding member of The Group of Seven, Harris pioneered a distinctly Canadian school of art that departed from European contemporaries of the same era. Minimal in texture and detail, his grandiose landscapes use sweeping curves and simplified abstract forms to capture a wider, almost spiritual representation of a landscape.

Fairly covering Harris’ entire career in a single blog post is tricky, but what I’ve presented here are the some of his best known works from Northern Ontario (Lake Superior) in the 1920′s and the Rocky Mountains and Arctic during the 1930′s. I’ve also provided a look at some of the more abstract, but less celebrated work he painted during the late 1930′s and 40′s. Overall, I find most of what he painted during these years to imbue a remarkable sense of modernism, and something I’m hoping readers of ISO50 can appreciate.

I know some of you are most likely familiar with the Group of Seven and Lawren Harris, but if not I would love to know what you think and if you find the work inspiring.

Posted By: Owen Perry
Instagram: @circa_1983

If you’re interested watching a black and white interview with Harris, here’s something from the CBC Archives (c1961). Please excuse the commercials.

Andy Stott + Four Tet + CFCF + Wareika

Posted by Jakub

Oil rigs spiking Lake Maracaibo - National Geographic, 1963.



There’s always that one song every year that whispers summer is over, time to preparing for hibernation. Andy Stott delivered that song this week, he’s in that excellent position of knowing what to play for a crowd but also in the studio has complete control of beautiful ambience. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The Canadians have been owning independent music in 2012, mainly Montreal, the latest collab comes from CFCF and Austra, with their cover of David Bowie, this is a good example of what I think the Bat For Lashes album is missing, the theatrics are there but the sound plays a bit better with a bit more substance.

If anyone missed this thoughtful Four Tet remix od The Xx I wanted to make sure you had a chance with it, he has been simplifying his production lately and its giving his sound new life.

Wareika is a go to for all my DJ sets, everything is brought in slowly like its feeling out if its going to work, the vox isn’t sterile nor diva-ish which lately have been drowning the House scene.

Jack Chambers

Posted by Scott







Jack Chambers (1931-1970) was a Canadian painter and filmaker who shifted from surrealist to photo-realist during his career. I was turned on to Chambers’ work via this article in Walrus Magazine about his unfinished masterpiece, Lunch (1971), which after working on for ten years, Chambers died before completing.

Chambers completed six films between 1960 and 1970, I tried to find footage online from one, The Hart of London, but they were taken down. I did find some excerpts from a movie about Chambers’ work and life here.

A couple other photo-realists working in a similar I’ve posted on previously are William Eggelston and Mike Bayne.

http://www.ccca.ca/videoportrait/english/chambers.html?languagePref=en&

http://c4gallery.com/artist/database/jack-chambers/jack-chambers.html