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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Alain Johannes: Spark (2010) Album Review

Master guitarist and don to the desert rock producing world, Alain Johannes takes to the skies with his debut record Spark.

Written by Willemijn Barker-Benfield

Andrew Curtis’s photography expose the fallacy of normality on which the construct of British Suburbia survives aided and abetted by local newspapers and the tabloids. In a time where British Suburbia has become the hotspot for floating voters. Where was Boris Johnson accredited with visiting in his challenge to become London Mayor, nurse buy which Ken Livingstone was chastened for neglecting and it was subsequently claimed lost Ken the election? Why, no rx it was the outer zones of Suburban London.

Suburbs have provided ample fodder for British writers, price the most famous being a resident of Suburban London, JG Ballard and the photographs of Curtis continue to emphaise that not all is as it seems.

Continuing a British tradition of romanticising the life outside the city, potentially epitomised in Constable’s Haywain, (whose idyll removed all traces of the countryside’s unrest) life in the suburbs has been idealised. It being the world behind the facade, Curtis’ photographs aims to expose, potently the precise suburbia the artist, himself inhabits.

Walking into the gallery, the viewer is greeted with large monochrome photographs, each (apart from a photograph documenting a crash) image dominated by the imposing presence of a tree picked out in heavy black gloss. On closer examination the surface of Curtis’ prints are dotted with printing errors, the type of which professional printers (the Artist’s day job –therefore we can assume these marks to be intentional) painstakingly iron out. These marks, are another layer added to Curtis’ undermining of the idyll, so painstakingly cultivated by the residents of Suburbia.

A role of the photographer, it could be argued is to challenge what it is we see on a daily basis, develop our visual language and challenge visual associations. In Curtis’ photographs, the unfamiliar is accentuated, the work that goes into maintenance is exaggerated. Never noticed monkey puzzle trees? which dominate suburban Britain? After visiting PayneShurvell, you will not fail to notice them. These remnants left over from the colonial plundering of Victorian Britain dominate the picture plane. Their forced presence in the British Landscape our a constant remainder of our less than spotless past are enhanced via tcareful application of dripped gloss paint .

Curtis’ photographs are an exploration into the psyche of modern suburbia fitting of Ballard, (whose words head the press release and introduce this article) and Amelia’s Magazine throughly recommend a trip to PayneShurvell before the exhibition closes on the 6th November.

This week as part of First Thursday, PayneShurvell are delighted (as are we) that Andrew Curtis will be hosting a talk on “Wild England”.

Andrew Curtis’s photography expose the fallacy of normality on which the construct of British Suburbia survives aided and abetted by local newspapers and the tabloids. In a time where British Suburbia has become the hotspot for floating voters. Where was Boris Johnson accredited with visiting in his challenge to become London Mayor, ampoule which Ken Livingstone was chastened for neglecting and it was subsequently claimed lost Ken the election? Why, for sale it was the outer zones of Suburban London.

Suburbs have provided ample fodder for British writers, here the most famous being a resident of Suburban London, JG Ballard and the photographs of Curtis continue to emphaise that not all is as it seems.

Continuing a British tradition of romanticising the life outside the city, potentially epitomised in Constable’s Haywain, (whose idyll removed all traces of the countryside’s unrest) life in the suburbs has been idealised. It being the world behind the facade, Curtis’ photographs aims to expose, potently the precise suburbia the artist, himself inhabits.

Walking into the gallery, the viewer is greeted with large monochrome photographs, each (apart from a photograph documenting a crash) image dominated by the imposing presence of a tree picked out in heavy black gloss. On closer examination the surface of Curtis’ prints are dotted with printing errors, the type of which professional printers (the Artist’s day job –therefore we can assume these marks to be intentional) painstakingly iron out. These marks, are another layer added to Curtis’ undermining of the idyll, so painstakingly cultivated by the residents of Suburbia.

A role of the photographer, it could be argued is to challenge what it is we see on a daily basis, develop our visual language and challenge visual associations. In Curtis’ photographs, the unfamiliar is accentuated, the work that goes into maintenance is exaggerated. Never noticed monkey puzzle trees? which dominate suburban Britain? After visiting PayneShurvell, you will not fail to notice them. These remnants left over from the colonial plundering of Victorian Britain dominate the picture plane. Their forced presence in the British Landscape our a constant remainder of our less than spotless past are enhanced via tcareful application of dripped gloss paint .

Curtis’ photographs are an exploration into the psyche of modern suburbia fitting of Ballard, (whose words head the press release and introduce this article) and Amelia’s Magazine throughly recommend a trip to PayneShurvell before the exhibition closes on the 6th November.

This week as part of First Thursday, PayneShurvell are delighted (as are we) that Andrew Curtis will be hosting a talk on “Wild England”.

PayneShurvell opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

Andrew Curtis’s photography expose the fallacy of normality on which the construct of British Suburbia survives aided and abetted by local newspapers and the tabloids. In a time where British Suburbia has become the hotspot for floating voters. Where was Boris Johnson accredited with visiting in his challenge to become London Mayor, viagra which Ken Livingstone was chastened for neglecting and it was subsequently claimed lost Ken the election? Why, it was the outer zones of Suburban London.

Suburbs have provided ample fodder for British writers, the most famous being a resident of Suburban London, JG Ballard and the photographs of Curtis continue to emphaise that not all is as it seems.

Continuing a British tradition of romanticising the life outside the city, potentially epitomised in Constable’s Haywain, (whose idyll removed all traces of the countryside’s unrest) life in the suburbs has been idealised. It being the world behind the facade, Curtis’ photographs aims to expose, potently the precise suburbia the artist, himself inhabits.

Walking into the gallery, the viewer is greeted with large monochrome photographs, each (apart from a photograph documenting a crash) image dominated by the imposing presence of a tree picked out in heavy black gloss. On closer examination the surface of Curtis’ prints are dotted with printing errors, the type of which professional printers (the Artist’s day job –therefore we can assume these marks to be intentional) painstakingly iron out. These marks, are another layer added to Curtis’ undermining of the idyll, so painstakingly cultivated by the residents of Suburbia.

A role of the photographer, it could be argued is to challenge what it is we see on a daily basis, develop our visual language and challenge visual associations. In Curtis’ photographs, the unfamiliar is accentuated, the work that goes into maintenance is exaggerated. Never noticed monkey puzzle trees? which dominate suburban Britain? After visiting PayneShurvell, you will not fail to notice them. These remnants left over from the colonial plundering of Victorian Britain dominate the picture plane. Their forced presence in the British Landscape our a constant remainder of our less than spotless past are enhanced via tcareful application of dripped gloss paint .

Curtis’ photographs are an exploration into the psyche of modern suburbia fitting of Ballard, (whose words head the press release and introduce this article) and Amelia’s Magazine throughly recommend a trip to PayneShurvell before the exhibition closes on the 6th November.

This week as part of First Thursday, PayneShurvell are delighted (as are we) that Andrew Curtis will be hosting a talk on “Wild England”.

PayneShurvell opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.

Andrew Curtis’s photography expose the fallacy of normality on which the construct of British Suburbia survives aided and abetted by local newspapers and the tabloids. In a time where British Suburbia has become the hotspot for floating voters. Where was Boris Johnson accredited with visiting in his challenge to become London Mayor, ask which Ken Livingstone was chastened for neglecting and it was subsequently claimed lost Ken the election? Why, view it was the outer zones of Suburban London.

Suburbs have provided ample fodder for British writers, the most famous being a resident of Suburban London, JG Ballard and the photographs of Curtis continue to emphaise that not all is as it seems.

Continuing a British tradition of romanticising the life outside the city, potentially epitomised in Constable’s Haywain, (whose idyll removed all traces of the countryside’s unrest) life in the suburbs has been idealised. It being the world behind the facade, Curtis’ photographs aims to expose, potently the precise suburbia the artist, himself inhabits.

Walking into the gallery, the viewer is greeted with large monochrome photographs, each (apart from a photograph documenting a crash) image dominated by the imposing presence of a tree picked out in heavy black gloss. On closer examination the surface of Curtis’ prints are dotted with printing errors, the type of which professional printers (the Artist’s day job –therefore we can assume these marks to be intentional) painstakingly iron out. These marks, are another layer added to Curtis’ undermining of the idyll, so painstakingly cultivated by the residents of Suburbia.

A role of the photographer, it could be argued is to challenge what it is we see on a daily basis, develop our visual language and challenge visual associations. In Curtis’ photographs, the unfamiliar is accentuated, the work that goes into maintenance is exaggerated. Never noticed monkey puzzle trees? which dominate suburban Britain? After visiting PayneShurvell, you will not fail to notice them. These remnants left over from the colonial plundering of Victorian Britain dominate the picture plane. Their forced presence in the British Landscape our a constant remainder of our less than spotless past are enhanced via tcareful application of dripped gloss paint .

Curtis’ photographs are an exploration into the psyche of modern suburbia fitting of Ballard, (whose words head the press release and introduce this article) and Amelia’s Magazine throughly recommend a trip to PayneShurvell before the exhibition closes on the 6th November.

This week as part of First Thursday, PayneShurvell are delighted (as are we) that Andrew Curtis will be hosting a talk on “Wild England”.

PayneShurvell opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.
Modern Times

Andrew Curtis’s photography expose the fallacy of normality on which the construct of British Suburbia survives aided and abetted by local newspapers and the tabloids. In a time where British Suburbia has become the hotspot for floating voters. Where was Boris Johnson accredited with visiting in his challenge to become London Mayor, viagra which Ken Livingstone was chastened for neglecting and it was subsequently claimed lost Ken the election? Why, pill it was the outer zones of Suburban London.

Suburbs have provided ample fodder for British writers, the most famous being a resident of Suburban London, JG Ballard and the photographs of Curtis continue to emphaise that not all is as it seems.

Continuing a British tradition of romanticising the life outside the city, potentially epitomised in Constable’s Haywain, (whose idyll removed all traces of the countryside’s unrest) life in the suburbs has been idealised. It being the world behind the facade, Curtis’ photographs aims to expose, potently the precise suburbia the artist, himself inhabits.

New Empire (How Crooked Are Your Branches)

Walking into the gallery, the viewer is greeted with large monochrome photographs, each (apart from a photograph documenting a crash) image dominated by the imposing presence of a tree picked out in heavy black gloss. On closer examination the surface of Curtis’ prints are dotted with printing errors, the type of which professional printers (the Artist’s day job –therefore we can assume these marks to be intentional) painstakingly iron out. These marks, are another layer added to Curtis’ undermining of the idyll, so painstakingly cultivated by the residents of Suburbia.

New Empire Amnesia

A role of the photographer, it could be argued is to challenge what it is we see on a daily basis, develop our visual language and challenge visual associations. In Curtis’ photographs, the unfamiliar is accentuated, the work that goes into maintenance is exaggerated. Never noticed monkey puzzle trees? which dominate suburban Britain? After visiting PayneShurvell, you will not fail to notice them. These remnants left over from the colonial plundering of Victorian Britain dominate the picture plane. Their forced presence in the British Landscape our a constant remainder of our less than spotless past are enhanced via tcareful application of dripped gloss paint .

Curtis’ photographs are an exploration into the psyche of modern suburbia fitting of Ballard, (whose words head the press release and introduce this article) and Amelia’s Magazine throughly recommend a trip to PayneShurvell before the exhibition closes on the 6th November.

This week as part of First Thursday, PayneShurvell are delighted (as are we) that Andrew Curtis will be hosting a talk on “Wild England”.

PayneShurvell opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.
Modern Times

Andrew Curtis’s photography expose the fallacy of normality on which the construct of British Suburbia survives aided and abetted by local newspapers and the tabloids. In a time where British Suburbia has become the hotspot for floating voters. Where was Boris Johnson accredited with visiting in his challenge to become London Mayor, approved which Ken Livingstone was chastened for neglecting and it was subsequently claimed lost Ken the election? Why, it was the outer zones of Suburban London.

Suburbs have provided ample fodder for British writers, the most famous being a resident of Suburban London, JG Ballard and the photographs of Curtis continue to emphaise that not all is as it seems.

Continuing a British tradition of romanticising the life outside the city, potentially epitomised in Constable’s Haywain, (whose idyll removed all traces of the countryside’s unrest) life in the suburbs has been idealised. It being the world behind the facade, Curtis’ photographs aims to expose, potently the precise suburbia the artist, himself inhabits.

New Empire (How Crooked Are Your Branches)

Walking into the gallery, the viewer is greeted with large monochrome photographs, each (apart from a photograph documenting a crash) image dominated by the imposing presence of a tree picked out in heavy black gloss. On closer examination the surface of Curtis’ prints are dotted with printing errors, the type of which professional printers (the Artist’s day job –therefore we can assume these marks to be intentional) painstakingly iron out. These marks, are another layer added to Curtis’ undermining of the idyll, so painstakingly cultivated by the residents of Suburbia.

New Empire Amnesia

A role of the photographer, it could be argued is to challenge what it is we see on a daily basis, develop our visual language and challenge visual associations. In Curtis’ photographs, the unfamiliar is accentuated, the work that goes into maintenance is exaggerated. Never noticed monkey puzzle trees? which dominate suburban Britain? After visiting PayneShurvell, you will not fail to notice them. These remnants left over from the colonial plundering of Victorian Britain dominate the picture plane. Their forced presence in the British Landscape our a constant remainder of our less than spotless past are enhanced via tcareful application of dripped gloss paint .

Curtis’ photographs are an exploration into the psyche of modern suburbia fitting of Ballard, (whose words head the press release and introduce this article) and Amelia’s Magazine throughly recommend a trip to PayneShurvell before the exhibition closes on the 6th November.

This week as part of First Thursday, PayneShurvell are delighted (as are we) that Andrew Curtis will be hosting a talk on “Wild England”.

PayneShurvell opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.
Alain Johannes Spark

You might not know it, healing but you know Alain Johannes. Producer and artist extraordinaire, click having previously produced and collaborated with the infamous Queens of the Stone Age; No Doubt, PJ Harvey, Eleven, and toured with the super group Them Crooked Vultures earlier this year, Johannes is renowned throughout many rock circles for his mesmerising guitar skills, which in March of this year had me caught in a spell during a musical intermission of the Crooked Vultures’ intense set. Thinking Johannes was a brave man to compete with the likes of Grohl, Homme and Jones, I was left blown away by his talent and unequivocal sound.

Johannes Alain Tim Norris
Photograph by Tim Norris.

Making a stand in his own right, Johannes recently released his debut record Spark, co released with Dangerbird Records and Rekords Rekords, the latter label set up by fellow musical maestro Josh Homme of QOTSA and Them Crooked Vultures fame. This is definitely a family affair, and what an awesome family. Dedicating his debut record to his late wife and producing partner Natasha Shneider, fellow Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal collaborator, there is a great sense of magnitude, of heartfelt pain and strength that breathes through the tracks. First track and single Endless Eyes is a beautifully and eloquent tribute to Natasha, and sets the tone for the entire record. Johannes’ signature cigar box guitar creates such a definitive sound it’s refreshing to describe as innovative and enchanting. However stand out tracks include Return to You, which has an unashamed Beatles-esque tone to it, bringing an air of nostalgia and warmth to the record, which can’t be a bad thing.

The record stealing guitar crescendo of a masterpiece to my ears is the incredible Speechless, which builds with such classical and flamenco ferocity; it’s topped by Johannes’ elegant vocals that beautifully complete the ghostly track. Gentle Ghosts draws the record toward its close, but not without a trek through a sensory mind field that awakes the goose bumps scheduled for truly remarkable artists. There’s so much passion and raw emotion surging through Spark, its hard not to feel a greater sense of appreciation. Closing with Unfinished Plan, a classical guitar led cathartic and heartbreaking end to a brilliant debut. Spark shines and splinters through Johannes’ incredibly personal journey, and I’m pretty stoked to be along for the ride.

Alain Johannes’ Spark is for those who likes a bit of substance sprinkled over their desert rock desserts, a treat of a record that won’t turn sour the more you listen. Johannes brings light to the desert rock scene, which, though never fading, has now taken a new and brilliant direction.

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