Tag Archives: Featured

4-days of electronic extravaganza in the woods

Image by Here & Now

This year I had a fantastic opportunity to join the 8th edition of an electronic music heaven a.k.a Farr Festival held in a forest in Hertfordshire, England. What felt at first more like a friendly gathering in 2009, has now evolved into one of the UK’s leading electronic music festivals, boasting of not only its flawlessly curated international acts but also of its own regular flamboyant crowd of music gourmands. And if listening to a line-up of fantastic musical talent while being surrounded by cornfields, wild grass and intimate woodlands do not make you want to join along the ride… You should probably stop reading now, because from here on — it gets even better.

Image by Here & Now

The eighth edition of the festival has brought an array of diverse international talent, new stages, daytime experiences, such as cocktail masterclasses, DISCO Dodgeball’s water slide, meditation classes and various different activities and performers. All, of course, spread out over the four days of pure music and nature. Even though most of the stages were still located in the woods, new additions gave the festival a more well-rounded layout feel, it spread out the entire area more to accommodate the growing demand.

Images by Here & Now

This year there were six stages with each stage presenting different and unique moments. From highly produced performances of the likes like Red Axes, Todd Terje at the Factory, a fire blasting staged walled by containers; to captivating disco vibes created by Floating Points at The Shack.

Such musical and atmospheric variety have attracted quite a diverse audience that could roam around the festival freely and without a trouble picking out what to listen to depending on their taste and mood.

Images by Here & Now

Without a doubt, Farr Festival is a festival known for the amazing electronic acts, but it’s amazing installations and decorations were just as alluring. Not only that but its activities too! Anyone who felt fancy or missed home comforts had the opportunity to relax and take a dip into a hot-tub with a glass of bubbly. And inside the festival site, there were a lot of sights to explore, from food (vegetarian and vegan options too!) vendors, carousels to vintage clothing shops.

Image by Here & Now

For us, the key to the success of Farr Festival was definitely its intimate size, selection of artist and location. Festival, very obviously, is getting more and more recognition amongst the music-centrics. It’s very well curated line-up, beautiful and playful decorations, delicious food and thoughtful layout is a definitely a recipe for success, as this year proved.

We really enjoyed the ride and can’t wait to see what they have planned for the next year. Are you coming along?

Image by Here & Now
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About the creatures that live on your dirty white ceiling

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I am counting the seconds…

While laying here on your narrow bed.

It feels like a forever has passed since I woke up and yet you are still in the dream world… Probably chasing the ghosts of the past or getting spooked by unclear and formless illusions of the future.

Time and space are dancing with the regular specks of dust, creating thick heaviness in the room that is grounding my chest and locking me down. Yeah, and because of that I can’t get up and leave. Probably because of that. Most certainly. Not.

I’m staring at the ceiling now.

You are facing the wall.

Just our air-grasping diaphragms are moving. Repeating up and down motion through our entire lives.

I raise my pointing finger up and start drawing fruits of imagination on your dirty white ceiling. Little creatures and whatnot.

Carving them in really carefully…

I bet you’ll never notice them and yet they’ll stay here forever. Watching after you… For me.

Oh… My hand just gives up and starts falling – it can no longer fight this chaotic and dense mixture in the air. At the exact moment when it comes into collision with the bed, you start waking up.

Still, it takes a forever later, for you to open your eyes. But once you do, the room starts slowly getting filled with your presence. Pushing the dust, space and time out through the tiny crack in the window, which is just in front of my bare, cold feet.

I stare into your eyes.

You stare into mine.

I close my eyes while you touch my hair.

Let me soak into you…

I don’t talk much. You don’t too.

You see? You’re so close.

And each day you get one step closer. To a tiny piece of armour.

Isn’t there a tiny shield between our hearts? Protecting us from the instability and the overbearingness of raw emotions.

We are tiptoeing a lot around each other. This fragile dialogue between our hearts and souls is still indefinably charming.

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Alarm disrupts us. I am hesitating but finally, I get out of the bed, leaving behind you and wrapped up in a thick blanket. Before closing the doors, I smile at the creatures above your head and you. But here you are just laying there and facing the wall again. Occupied with chasing the ghosts and formless illusions.

If only you knew the things that happen when I’m with you without you.

like nothing, with a bit of salt.

There’s a girl sitting in the corner of this family run cafe that I am a regular at. The coffee here is really great. Ethiopian kind and always brewed to perfection with a refreshing acidity and sweet stone fruit undertones. I usually pop by to read a book and have a cup of espresso on sluggish Sunday mornings since my place is nearby.  And today I came with the intentions of carrying out the ritual, except, somehow… I very nearly failed to do so.

Well, first of all, It seemed that the typical, nonchalant atmosphere that filled the room was replaced with curiosity sparked by the corner girl instead. Her drink caught my eyes particularly. I took a notice of her at the moment when she started lifting a Bavarian teacup decorated with blue roses towards almost-inconceivably opened lips. I never saw anyone drink from such a peacocky tableware here, I swear, and that really started to rack my brains. So, as a simpleton that I am, I just decided to order what she’s having, hoping to feed my brains with some answers to vague and formless questions.

“Can I have one of those?” I tried subtly pointing towards the lady when Luke, the barista, asked for my order.

“Sure” he only lukewarmly smiled, almost as if he knew what I was up to.

He took off right away and I just went back to investigating the stranger. When the peach-coloured pillows of mouth reached the riff – she stopped for a millisecond and then proceeded to carefully sip from the, what it seemed to be the most fragile, porcelain cup.

She, and now I, are having “salted sakura tea”, as Luke points out while putting down the same flashy cup on my table a few moments later. “Wow,” I think out loud, and by the way, that’s the irony in me reacting. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it was just a tiny, pinkish petal drowning in a cup of boiling-hot water. And here I am, still staring at the mysterious woman. I guess by doing that I’m hoping to figure out the taste of the pretentious tea before going in for the kill. Can’t explain the precaution, though, as I am a bit of a daredevil by a rule of thumb. It’s just something’s off with the cup and with the colourless tea and the girl too.  All of it feels like a flaky love letter to 80s.

What mostly throws me off is that this unfamiliar corner habitat seems confused or rather unfocused (you see I’m terrible at recognising other people’s emotions) on the taste of the tea. She has her gaze locked on the greenery in the opposite corner of the coffee shop instead.

“Is she seeing something that I’m not?” I attempt to take a better look at the flora…

The harmony of the greenery and the shadow-striped floor fabricated by the window jalousie stops my thoughts for a moment… For a brief second, or perhaps even longer, my entire body – limbs, knuckles, nerve system, and soul (if you believe in one), gets swallowed by the overwhelming calamity and nothingness… I dissolve within the scene.

Then a life or a few minutes later,

I’m being brought back to senses and back to my consciousness by a very light and fragile, almost cherry-like fragrance coming from the direction of the cup. I look down and the sakura petal is somewhat obscurely fluttering within the crystal clear water. As if it is about to reach a metamorphosis, a transcendence of some sort. Perhaps it is diffusing too? Or… Am I witnessing a teacup storm here?

The corners of my mouth go up. I chuckle on my own like a proper cuckoo case. On these rare occasions of the cognitive shift, when the dialogue between my conscious and unconscious minds change and when the triple threat – ego, id, and superego – disappear… I become part of something bigger, or rather, I understand the smallness and precious ridiculousness of ‘myself’. “Was I experiencing an ‘overview effect’ just now? Was that… the aroma of the tea?”

Suddenly, I knock out of it to realise that I’m still looking at this sakura-tea girl. I catch her watching me watching her. Well, my eyes are open and it seems that I’m looking her way when in ‘reality’ I was looking at the entire universe just now.

She timidly smiles and goes back to analysing the flora and fauna of the cafe.

“Were there actually two of us fusing into space?” I mutter to myself.

Fuck, I wonder why these days every stranger clouds my mind with stardust?

I decide to finally try the salted sakura tea and It tastes like nothing, with a bit of salt.

Before opening my book and landing back on the planet, I ordered a cup of espresso.

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Time is fluid: unstoppable, running, melting and diffusing

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Hey. It’s been awhile. Yes, yes I know… We said we’ll keep in touch. But having in mind our past cases – we already could foresee what’s going to happen for us. In fact, it wasn’t even that hard, predicting the cards, I mean. I guess my dream of becoming a freelance-fortuneteller has somewhat worked out, right? (millionaire freelance-fortuneteller is the next title I’m working on)

I want to see how long did your hair grow? I cut mine entirely. Can you imagine? Just chopped it off… Like That!

Do you know I have two alien tattoos now? The first one… Well, I was kind of a-little-perhaps-a-lot drunk for the first one, but can you imagine that the second was planned? Yup, Intentional, with the capital I, where the I in it was maybe a little tipsy the night when the decision was made. I’m still full of surprises… And, of course, alcohol. Nothing’s changed in that department. Good old whiskey, gin & wine recruitment agency is busy as ever.

What’s next… Oh, a smiley piercing. Yup, that too. It’s such a teenage rebellion cliche, but I guess my age nullifies the whole banality thing. I’m still a cool cucumber. (as cool as a person that uses ‘cool cucumber’ in a sentence gets),

Physical changes aside, did I tell you about my shifting locale? I lived in Japan for awhile and officially became a Buddhist there (they gave me a diploma).

My Sweet baby ramen, I miss you. 

Stayed with monks and climbed many many mountains… It was breath-taking and sometimes lonely (climbing in silence with no one around can be intimidating) but most of it was adventurous. I would love to tell you more about it, but it deserves a whole another story. I’ll keep it for later. For that wine & cheese night that we usually do. I mean did… But maybe will do once again too?

And what did I tell you? The recruitment agency always means business. CHINK

How much time has passed already?

I forgot to count. 1 time, 2 times, 3 times… Well, logically and grammatically this sentence does not even make sense. One does not simply count time in units. But whatever the case – it still feels like it’s at least 100s times passed the last time I saw you.

I remember saying goodbye. In fact, we didn’t do much. It was more like an exchange of a couple blinks, smiles, fluctuating voice tones and hand waves. This lame order finalised our many years together. We should be more dramatic, that way I could at least squeeze up a good story to tell. With what we have I can only scrape an ‘end’ and a ‘story’. NUTTIN MUCH, YA KNOW.

Seas, mountains, hair, tattoos and loads of other stuff are becoming part of an evidence that I will be held against you. Evidence of time passing. Because I told you, it’s uncountable. Time is fluid. Unstoppable. Running. Melting and diffusing.

So I thought, maybe… Maybe, at least, I can show you.

Hey, it’s been awhile.

 

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On the other side of the wall

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Yellow elephants and blue mouses were dancing together between colored balloons in a bit unusual tea party. I saw them from afar and got the urge to join this interestingly suspicious crowd. Just had to climb over the fence into their garden, paved with the green grass, marble dining sets and the most cyan swimming pool my eyes ever witnessed. It looked so surreal, perhaps even too much, as I could almost smell the plastic or somewhat pink, if possible, odor coming over from that side of the wall. Physics stopped there and left only the animal bourgeois dancing graciously in between the millions of balloons dawdling in motion. The lack of reality there didn’t scare me, I confirmed with myself as I watched my grey, colorless hands shake slightly. It didn’t scare me at all, I kept convincing those hands to grasp a little bit stronger as there were few meters of the climbing left to overcome. Not even a bit, I whispered it less assuring after seeing the grayness from my hands spread out onto the wall itself. I could see with the bare eye, the molecules diffusing with each other and spreading the black and white colored scheme as a virus and the fastest one at that. I didn’t let go, nor I freaked out, at the end I was the only one aware that the reality here is surely far from real.

I continue to climb. It took me long, as the more I climbed the longer it got, so at the end I am not even sure how long it took me as time and space is really messed up here and doesn’t work the way I am used for it to work. I only knew three things and those were that my body started to change, that the world turned grey and that the fence is far from over. Sometimes I would look back and only see myself swallowed by noir and nothing more and even regret wanting to join the carnival at the first place. Sometimes I would end up being scared about missing the party, but then the vague space-time continuum left some hope. And I would always think like that during the journey and once I stopped spacing out I realised that those grey hands of mine are not shaking anymore. And besides it, they turned old. God, how much time has passed?  I wasn’t sure. What was I chasing? What did I leave behind? Those were the questions I no longer knew how to answer. The irony hit me and I realised that somewhere in between the journey I was only missing the past or wanting to reach the future. I wanted it so much  that I forgot about my beautiful, beautiful grey colored palms that now had wrinkles and became weaker. I started to think that the color itself wasn’t that bad after all. And then it hit me, I just reached the top. I no longer cared but what I saw shocked me. The skinniest elephants and fattest mouses were lying on the floor, on the pavement, next to a drained, dirty, old swimming pool. As if it was a concrete desert, they were all dried up and lifeless even though they continued to breathe, to exist. The bourgeois status ceased untraceable, it vanished or more like there was none to begin with. Was I too late? What happened to the balloons, the colors, the tea and all the dancing I wanted to join? I started questioning, but got interrupted by a deep, low husky voice:

-Hey You! Aren’t you that classy neighbor with the bluest pond and the reddest flowers out there? What brings you here?

Finally a question I could answer came up, but the only thing that came out of my mouth was this spasmodic old man’s laugh.

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Cubanisto: Discover the spirit within

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As soon as  I, and my fellow adventure-seeking mates entered the smoky corridor, we were blown away by the mysterious attempts of the new Rum flavored beer – Cubanisto. At that instant I thought to myself: ‘Well fuck me, that’s some next level shit!’

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And that’s, my beloved (decided to be nice for a change) readers, was the beginning of the masked awesomeness.

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-Hello Sir or Madam, – we were greeted by the  nursers in masks, hiding in the shadows of fabricated fog. Soon after such cloak-and-dagger suggestion to drop the identity (whether it was gender, age or an ugly face) we were asked to confess our secrets on a sheet of paper. I am usually pretty open, perhaps to a disgusting level, but this time I would rather not share my confession, as I was pretty downright there. Perhaps even too blunt, as later the perplexed faces of the two-speaking-at-once-nurses implied, while reading it. The misses were also  kind enough to  give a piece of  puzzle for each of us to solve. I felt  Zamza’s motifs messing with my essence and moulding it into a shape of a Sherlock Holmes’ magnifier.  Curiosity driven metamorphosis was now partying in my brains and pants.

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This and that happened, and we found ourselves facing a closet, and yeah, you guessed it, it was a hidden door to the party. Literally a God damn Narnia, but like tres tres cooler, as we knew that on the other side – free booze awaits (pardon me, the movie or book fans). The transfusion to boozy Narnia happened through a really small coridor with, yep, some lights at the end (almost the dying-like scenario). A lit sign offered to ‘discover the spirit within’ and directly beneath there was the most (and the only one, so far in my short life) beautiful midget door.

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*Opens the petite doors*

We see a pair of masked beer ladies, who provided the salvation to our poor alcoholic souls. The Sherlock within us soon realised that the puzzle pieces need to form a skull. We dared to take out our socialising paraphernalia – revolver of a smile, and M4A1 of word voms and began targeting the victims. As the expert of the later gun, I got an overkill: spotted, aimed and then GUNSHOT. After solving the puzzle, thanks to the guns , Sherlock or whoeverthefuc, we went to claim the key.

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Let me tell you more about this hell of a key. The party had some wooden creates with locks on them, but luckily, the key for the curious fucks, had an open Sesame function. Behind those boxes, almost angelic , were the free-food cards. I don’t think a child’s birth can compare to the happiness I found at that time.

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So I was eating my precious sandwich, drinking some (or rather a lot of) beers and enjoyed the swarm of people merrily glitter-pimping their masks. The confessions were projected next to the mask workshop, but I don’t think they put mine out there, as it was a bit too much, as I have warned.  There were also folks putting up some nice neon graffiti on walls, and a photo-booth that gives the pictures manually (instead of a machine printing it, there was a hand that poped-out (almost shat my pants, though)) so I was really on high happiness levels.

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Finally, a countdown to the midnight began, and at the end of it some sick  beat-boxing took over the vibes.

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It was a damn good adventure, let me tell you. Cubanisto and Ralph agency (the guys who put all this up), you sirs or madams deserve a freakin’ bow, for all I know.

All photographs are by ‘They call me GT‘  // @theycallme_gt

Bright in Brighton: crossing the ocean

Here we are, dressed in bright colours, fully prepared to take all of the Brighton in. We are the ones who like to feel. We go around. We smell the air, while becoming the people of very few words. Grasping and bathing in the horizon as the prisoners, just released. We are the sea kids. We absorb its molecules and its essence as naturally as an element of such can be. We fill the mammoth portions of ocean’s smell into our tiny lungs and promise to keep it, but unsuccessfully, as the concrete madness of the city, later reveals.

It breaks. But before that, we continue to walk. To get lost between the streets and voices of the new people we meet. Smiles that we exchanged got loose in the tiniest unknown corners. Music that we heard melted into the skins and then the beach…. Again. As if it would be the last time we meet, we continue to stare. Reducing the blinks of an eye and with a rapid heartbeat our hearts are whispering goodbyes, while our lips state the defeat.

One day, we will cross the ocean.