Posts Tagged ‘Landscape’

The Sun Rises on a New British Empire, Which Also Includes Francis Showerface As Well As Chewy Cannon Nosegrinds

November 6, 2017

When did the sun set on the first British skate empire? Views differ, but the rubbery, tearing sound of overreach could be heard in the intro to Blueprint’s generally great ‘Make Friends with the Colour Blue’, when the squad that built a movement on overcast skies, soot-stained streets and ‘Wandering Star’ opened with sun-sloshed Los Angeles art installations and the jaunty notes of ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul.’ Like tea-thirsty monarchs of old, the British Isles grew to become a realm too small for Blueprint, and waiting for the world took too long; Europeans and Americans were signed and it was off to the New World to compete with Southern Californian palm tree tenders on their own turf and terms. An effort noble in its aim, perhaps, but doomed.

An amusing exercise a month or so back, when Grey published the instant-classic Rich West shot of Mike Arnold’s phone booth hippy jump, was inventing metaphors to read into it. Like, might this board and body barreling through a derelict telephone compartment represent a magazine transcending the digital wave pounders painfully remaking the media sphere? Do the stomped-off nose and tail demonstrate the bloodthirsty courage of the forest mammal, caught in a trap, chewing off its own leg to escape, the sort of frantic bravery required to persist as an under-the-radar talent pushing U.K. skating through a global industry slump? Something to do with the fractious Brexit vote and Michael Gove’s perplexing applause technique?

It feels like another British wave is cresting. Around seven years back the initial Palace clips began to surface. Blueprint foundered five years ago. In 2015 the venerable Sidewalk mag wound down its print edition, later that year Free emerged. Blueprint fragment picker-uppers Isle’s ‘Vase’ debut vid at the end of that year polished Paul Shier and Nick Jensen’s already-secure legacies, but more notably launched Tom Knox and Chris Jones onto the global stage in one of that year’s most cohesive videos. The vibrant and jellyfish-scented ‘Atlantic Drift’ series since then has elevated them further and granted an international platform to dad-bodded Mike Arnold, who put his own dizzying spin onto the one-spot part at Bristol’s Lloyds Amphitheater.

Now comes ‘Palasonic’, a long-in-the-waiting ‘official’ full-length from those skate-cum-fashion standard bearers of the British Islands. It lands as much of Palace’s squadron seems at the height of their powers — Lucien Clarke is ripping Carroll spots, Danny Brady still is going in 15 years after ‘First Broadcast,’ Rory Milanes appears still well in his window, Chewy Cannon has had several years to hone and hopefully rebroaden his spastic wallie/360 repertoire, Shaun Powers has established his international artistic bona fides, Jamal Smith filmed 1995’s best 411 commercial. In recent months Palace rebuilt Radlands and got Lucas Puig.

Can Blondey McCoy’s much-reposted collision-turned-cartwheel off a purple hack be infused with some similarly labored metaphor for the Palace full-length finally dropping? Has the GX1000 crew’s recent focus on hill bombing left an opening for the Haight Street-originated hippy jump to be colonized by the British? Can human achievement in general surpass Chewy Cannon’s bank-to-ledge nosegrind or can we only hope to match it?

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A New Horizon

April 21, 2009


Joey Pressey nosegrinds in Landscape’s “Horizons”

Probably you all remember how Jay-Z faced an inconvenience when the September 11 airplanes crashed on the same day he released his Blueprint CD, yet he prevailed over the long run because of how he married Beyonce while George Bush Jr. won the war on global terror. Father Time will judge whether Landscape’s “Horizons” video can surmount the similarly huge obstacle of dropping just as the Koston footwear sponsor galactic crisis broke loose, but Landscape, sometimes known as Mark Foster’s other other company, has one thing going for them that S. Carter never did, namely that they are not saddled with the albatross that was Memphis Bleek’s career in rap music.

Also they have Joey Crack who is really good and has apparently reverted to using both his given names (recall, if you will, a brief period of time when Jay-Z considered changing his name to er, “Rocky”). Someone said a few years back that Pressey was like a UK Danny Renaud, which I could sort of see, but the more I think about it, it’s probably more accurate to say that John Lupfer is an American Joey Crack. He’s awesome and has some interesting angles at South-Bank and a high-speed feeble grind but is this the part from the dude we (I) have been waiting for? Not sure. Need 2 study more ‘authentic’ Brit skate vids. Feelin ‘sad.’

Clocking in under the crucial 30-minute mark with a noisy, Workshoppy intro, “Horizons” also features some ams, younger and slimmer dudes who do a lot of nosebonks and backside tailslides on banks and long lines where the dude turns around, which always seem relaxing for some reason. Oh, and Nick Stansfield does one of those Chico Brenes backside flips where the board kickflips and then the dude 180s, super good.

Personally though the really hot skating lies with the old dudes like Soy Panday, who fully goes for the Zoo/”Mixtape” vibe via vintage Ghostface and speedy cruising, a lot like Bobby Puleo but without all the baggage. Fast, lots of ledges and next to nothing over three feet tall, a classic old-guy part and urban without overdoing it too much. And that loooong tailslide. This is one of the best parts I’ve seen this year I think actually. Snowy as well, a bit more muscle behind tricks like that backside flip over the huge hip, and the gangster kickflip to fakie, I think he uses a Britpop version of “Lady Marmalade” which is interesting. Plan to watch this a few times if you can – sunny afternoons, skateboarding in the city, fun summer ahead.

If you live in the UK they probably have this video all over; in the US think Unicron has it, or they used to.