Dethlab and the New Black
(reposted from burnlab)Dethlab
[the DJ/art project of Mr. Burnlab
and yours truly] is featured in this week's edition of the excellent local arts and entertainment web-zine LISTD!
(pssst: subscribe to it!)
Below is the entire transcript:Dethlab and the New BlackWe've watched the fickle winds of fashion and favor have their way with genres from house and techno, to electroclash and dance-rock over the past few years. In bleak times like the present, people seem to identify with and take some sort of comfort in a darker, more complex aesthetic. Not necessarily one of despair, but one that balances romantic idealism and the brutality of the real world. Tough and pretty. Most definitely Baroque. The patterns of the social-political climate's influence on the arts are historically consistent, and we are clearly in one of the darkest periods of modern history. We see this in fashion; from established names like Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, to upstarts such as Yoko Deveraux and Morphine Generation. We see it in graphic design; the slick, minimal compositions and "techno fonts" have been traded in for ornamentation and historical references, glitched out and covered in a shellac of time and underscored with a sense that the future we were promised isn't all it was cracked up to be. We definitely see this in music; from the industrial influenced work of Black Strobe and T. Raumschmiere, the brooding funk of Two Lone Swordsmen, the sometimes sinister sometimes dreamy compositions of Ellen Allien, to the urgent, anxiety-laden music of Adult. Even party favorites Daft Punk seem to have traded in their shining space helmets for something more suited to Darth Vader with their latest release, and the summery pop melodies of Pas/Cal are subversively cheeky carriers of often sinister notions. It is perhaps surprising that more DJs haven't connected the dots and recognized an aesthetic pattern much bigger than any specific genre. Enter Dethlab.
It's no coincidence that the pair leading the charge in this next wave of dark dance music are scene veterans who grew up on post-punk, early goth and Wax Trax! era industrial records. Dethlab's blood certainly runs black, and are right at home here. Formative listening preferences aside, these are two cultural commentators who know their stuff well beyond what is expected of most DJs. Dethlab's Bethany Shorb and Michael Doyle list a combined ten years of art school education as their primary influence, with degrees from Boston University, Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Center for Creative Studies. Both are internationally recognized artists and designers and extremely active figures in the creative community. Individually they have lectured around the country, curated art exhibits, have been widely published, exhibited work internationally, and write for several leading design and culture websites. They don't really view themselves as DJs, but rather as curators. With the Dethlab project, Shorb and Doyle seek (and find) cultural relevance for the music, while not losing sight of creating a fun atmosphere. "We do take an artistic approach to how we throw events and play music, but without compromising why people are there - which is to have a good time." Doyle says, "We want people to walk away with a really unique experience. If we're showing a Matthew Barney movie on the wall of the club, or spraying each other with fake blood, its all in an effort to elevate the experience... and certainly much of what we do is a bit of self-parody. You can have serious intentions and still be able to laugh at yourself. I think most people get that. It's equal parts obsessive quality control and complete hedonism - with a dash of slapstick."
Metrotimes 25th anniversary.
I'm back from a bit of a blogging hiatus, having been out of town for the better part of last week. I won't bother you with the gory details of all that, but for those of you who do know, my Dad has stabilized and is thankfully doing much better. Thank you so much for the well wishes, I very much appreciate it! Much to catch up on in the studio from being away, but I hope to be chatterier in due time. Too much going on not to yammer about!
Now on to the shenanigans that you regularly expect: Friday night was the Metrotimes 25th Anniversary Bash at 5th Avenue downtown, joyously celebrated with both the We R DJ and Dorkwave crews.
And just in case you wanted to vomit, the dancing fools were out in full force as per usual. heh: photo by ben
Off to shoot a photo of Ryan Elliott for a flyer. More on Korean food, brunch, cartoons and the Warriors soon enough.
clicky clicky - j3tlag magazine
!i love the link to "music nerd" ;)
the bloody mugs have more than made the rounds. kids, dare us to do something and we'll do it. must be visually interesting. messy is fine. no poop, that's gross.
See you all at the Metrotimes shindig tonight.
WE R DJ: THE KILLING MOON
WE R DJ: THE KILLING MOON.
Come in your best death attire! Thursday October 20th | OSLO
WE R DJ & Dethlab (Michael Doyle + Bethany Shorb) having 7 letter first names and 5 letter last makes for very pretty symmetrical flyer design.
This is another set of ties - one went to Chicago yesterday, one is going to London tomorrow. :)
Chromed leather, polypro web and cotton canvas + aluminum eyelets.
old slide from the Wayne State School of Medicine. (blogger image hosting test)
are you all sick of seeing ties yet? (jackets and shirts soon, i promise.)
I finished this one for Eric later on Friday, I think it is my favorite so far. More today, in a similar thinner style.
nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition
Saturday night - the October edition of Les Infants Terribles
Team Dorkwave + special guest Carlos Souffront
. (appropriately, Souffront
is French for 'they suffer'. Spanish...Frech...eh, whatever. Close enough.)
This month's flyer by guest designers Secret Pizza Party.
Yet another wonderfully gluttonous weekend, I think we are all instinctively storing food like a bunch of squirrels before winter...or bears. yes...big scary bears! grrr. Friday was an evening of exploring our collective cultural heritage. (Read more on that here
- may have to scroll down a bit...)
Not only is the food and drink most excellent at the Dakota Inn, but the decor is top notch, including some amazingly wrong paintings like the above the early bird catches the worm
.. um...OW! Copious amounts of schnitzel, Warsteiner and umpa singing sure was a proper excursion into our German lineage. This was followed by a trip to the land of Blavod
, and then to planet Rowdy (er...OSLO.)
After a blissfully relaxing saturday afternoon/evening (heh), i headed off to catch Xanopticon and God and His Bitches over in Eastern Market, and as usual they had some excellent installations around the loft, not to mention quite a good crowd!
And finally today we were up quite early (everything in this world is relative) and had an incredible brunch at Toast
(more gluttony) followed by a trip up to Stony Creek Orchard & Cider Mill. (I think I know where I'm going to be spending time
this week. heh.) The weather was perfect
for a long drive out on dirt roads...have I mentioned loving Fall yet? And we picked a perfect cider mill - this one had an adjoining haunted house/forest walk thing that wasn't open yet but needed exploration anyway. It's warning was fabulous:
After playing hookie all afternoon, it was time for some studio work, I came back home to my brilliant feline companion, who is just about as good at staying out of trouble as I am.
in case it wasn't already incredibly obvious already that dark and deviant and opulent is de rigeur this season...
Tom Ford (now married to Estee Lauder) has a spread in the November issue of W, called Forbidden.
oh my.Lauder: "When sex goes out of business, so do we."
Ford: "I've always been about pansexuality. Whether I'm sleeping with girls or not at this point in my life, the clothes have often been androgynous, which is very much my standard of beauty."
now pardon me, but i have to go take a very cold shower.
(if only all the boys in the last picture had the tall boots on as well. some matching gloves and were paler and thinner...but hey, that's just me. ;)
crossbones X tie
new from the tielab tonight - stenciled + recycled rubber, black anodized aluminum eyelets, + "zombie stitching."
Cross stitch as pixel art from endfile.
This is about the coolest, nerdiest use of textiles, conceptual thinking and craftwork I've seen in a while. It makes me want to cry that I didn't think of it first, and that is a sign of good stuff. ;) Especially the pun. HOT. (upon reading his CV, this work was also shown in the gallery at SIGGRAPH this past summer.)The tracert DOS command is used to trace the network points that join one computer with another computer on the Internet. The journey is determined by IP addresses of destinations, and how many milliseconds it takes to reach them. This journey from my PC to the endfile server in America has been hand-stitched, it is a contrast to the idea of traditional narrative samplers.
Mr.endfile has also been doing electronic embroidery
which is quite hot too, among many other things. Check out all of his work.
HALLOWEEN DANCE RUMBLE!
DETHLAB PRESENTS:Friday, October 28th | OSLO, 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit | 10pm | 18+ | $5
resident djs: DETHLAB
Bethany Shorb (Toybreaker/God and His Bitches)
Michael Doyle (Dorkwave/Burnlab)
with very special guests:
JIMMY EDGAR PRESENTS: CREEPY AUTOGRAPH, exclusive part live/part dj with vocals, pre-launch performance for Jimmy Edgar 'Color Strip' LP release on Warp and new fashion line e fa min.
Jon Ozias (Dorkwave / Blackbx) dj
Alec Metallic a.k.a. Alec Peterhans (WeRDJ / Rhinoceros Red) dj
Come with a group of friends dressed as your own unique gang, with your own gang name. Official gang portraits will be taken for warriorshalloween.com between 12:15-1:45.
CAN YOU DIG IT?
these are a few shots from my wanderings this past weekend. i've always been drawn to graffiti as an artform, but lately i've been more fascinated by the written word in public spaces especially when ironic, nonsensical, pithy or just plain strange. this kind of dialog seems to go far beyond marking one's territory like an alleycat, the makers of said signs had something to say, whether it be poetic or ridiculous.
there are tons of words like this in and around detroit, i want to really focus on documenting a good amount of them, as they are quite transient, often painted over.
conversations back home
there's some magical moment when you can call up your family and give them details about your upcoming hijinks and adventures and they actually know what you are talking about.me: We may be in town around the 4th, I have some friends that are playing at the Guggenheim then."
mom: The Guggenheim?
me: Yeah, the Guggenheim. You know, the Art Museum. In the City.
mom: I know what the Guggenheim is! Wow, that's like, really big shit.
me: Yes, mom, that is, like, really big shit.
i don't know why this is so amusing, but it reminds me of a conversation my friend William recounted last summer; it was about a time he with his family when he was interviewed on the news about his work, and his image was actually talking out of the glowing box
. Even though he had already enjoyed years of success, it was like his work was finally validated to them, even though it hadn't physically changed at all, that recognition in a method of mass consumption gets serious points with those who do not eat, sleep and shit (insert obscure art practice here).
When an artist's (or their friends') work is finally recognized in an avenue that is a household name, it is a stark reality that perception changes. I think i was really a costume designer last year for the first time when they taped me on tv, even though it didn't change my work in the slightest, perception is everything.
in addition to eating like a complete swine (ahhh...cuisine...everyone NEEDS a significant other who is a master chef...sooooo wonderful) the last week, i've also been on a bit of a studio bender - new stuff and finishing up some outstanding things. lots of pieces in the works (shirts and jackets coming too) and some more ties.
these are to much more of a level of obsessive finish, hand-stitched up the back and lined. the printed facbric is an inverse rubber print, decoratively stitched, and then appliqued with stenciled, recycled rubber. the next one i post will be one of the Burnouts - bleach-burned fabric in addition to the stenciled rubber.
a little exploring (and sinning)
the Piquette Market
, that burned back in early june, it has all been leveled aside from one lone charred tree that somehow escaped the wrecking ball and the flames. parts of the structure were abandoned for so long that fully mature trees were growing inside the building. After the blaze had destroyed the market, all the leftover rotting meat (literally tons) made the situation so toxic that eventually the cleanup was expedited even though the fire investigation allegedly was not finished. somehow, this one tree survived. (surviving is relative...perhaps just standing
.) i have a few nifty little artifacts now to add to my collection - melted aluminum and glass, and a square of marble floor that were bulldozed over.
This afternoon's little photo trip was truncated after running into the top things the explorer doesn't want to run into, and over the many years of doing this, i've run into none of these ever
(aside from dogs), let alone the same day: shady inhabitants; cops; a pack of wild dogs. considering i didn't get abducted, arrested or eaten, it was a good day.
in addition to photography, it was a successful weekend indeed - many of the Captial Vices were well explored, including a generous helping of Gluttony (starting with Mr. Burnlab's exquisite chefery last week (YUM!), my attempt Friday, cider mill and copious amount of accompanying donuts followed by Slow's BBQ
the next day, a hint of Sloth (food coma!), definitely a smattering Vanity and Envy while drooling over the new Prada collection at Saks (which was full of GOATS as their new campaign...wow!). Btw, Greed and Wrath are stupid and very fun so there's no point bothering indulging in those, and the last one...well, this blog is rated PG-13, so nyah, we'll just skip the details of that! ;)
speaking of sinning, Dorkwave
presents the Spanish Inquisition Dance Party (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.) Saturday, Oct. 15 at Corktown Tavern, Detroit 10pm | 18+ | always free
and more sinning: a bit of an update to the Warriors Halloween
+ special guests:
Jimmy Edgar (Warp) presents Creepy Atuograph, live/dj
ADDED! Jon Ozias (Dorkwave / Blackbx) dj
ADDED! Alec Metallic a.k.a. Alec Peterhans (WeRDJ / Rhinoceros Red) dj
Friday, Oct. 28 at Oslo| 10pm | 18+ | $5
all vice references aside, it is wonderful to have Fall around again, it is my favorite time of the year, for sure, even though i was having sick little fantasies, thinking how entertaining it'd be if one of the pudgy little toddlers fell into the stream up at the cider mill and got pecked at - billed to death? - by the ducks thinking he or she was a giant cinnamon donut. i bet Tim Burton would have a field day with that one.
of course blogger goes down when there are 100 things to post...anyway.
for more Warriors
related fun, pick up this month's issue of FLAUNT
Magazine, the cover actually has pull-out subway doors and is quite nifty. It is a good issue too, as is this month's Clear
. (October seems to bring cooler, darker fashion spreads for some reason. hmmm...) Spooky. And speaking of spooky, go and see the MirroMask
ASAP. Nothing says awesome like coughing up bats. No more spoilers, but this is a classic in the making.
Cider mill time soon. October SO rocks!