Posts Tagged ‘Slam City Skates’

Do You Believe In The Healing Power Of Kyle Wilson’s Skating?

March 14, 2021

The world rent by heartache, disease and strife; millions in the grave, recriminations and poisons spat across borders and Zoom meetings, liberty in retreat. A schism in Britain’s royal family over yung breakaway royals sets teeth grinding and ferments mistrust across the empire that was. Not even Oprah can fix it, and in streetwear’s woodgrain-floored and white-walled halls, fears of a battle between the Old World and the New over cultural rights to the 20th-Century people’s princess. This year was promised to be better.

But hang on a minute. An unsettlingly temperate spell drains off snowy piles, and one needle at a time, a global pandemic at last begins to be pushed back. From up out of the HD digital video files of Austin Bristow last week came ‘Portions,’ a comprehensive but tantalizingly brief glance at the Palace Group’s recent London activities through non-vintage lenses, arriving on the cusp of a spring gesturing toward a better summer ahead. Everyone is here, Danny Brady doing Danny Brady things at Canary Wharf, Chewy Cannon resplendent in blue jeans and backward ballcap, Heitor Da Silva running it back in real time, Rory Milanes switch frontside blunting off a stone cliff face, Lucien Clarke putting up this young year’s toughest switch inward heelflip to date.

Tom Penny and Tom Knox and a lot of other dudes pop in, but even in a more intensive rendering than is typical for some of these skaters, much of the vid flows by in a kind of fog left after the smouldering bomb crater left by Kyle Wilson, who commands the start of the vid. It’s a collision of black denim, hugely floated tricks, switch backside tailslides and switch heelflips and certain other decades-tested streetstyle standbys. Early on he’s rodeoing a wallie up onto a waist-high block, later hucking a big backside 180 at South Bank, swerving his landings all over the place. The molten, fiery core of this video part is a ledge line at dusk, when Kyle Wilson is pushing switchstance between blocks, a massive camo parka billowing around him, its hood liner easily the fuzziest seen on British shores since Brian Wenning switch backside smith grinded at Milton Keynes, its value likely rivaling Rob Welsh’s multi-payment plan Giants bomber. It is over in a few seconds and feels like it will reverberate for years.

Is Kyle Wilson the best skateboarder alive, as Slam City rhetoricizes? Why not? It is the fundamental question that comes up watching his roundly unimpeachable footage. Why not switch frontside noseslide a stupid tall ledge and then roll off some big drop? Why not blast a frontside flip as high as you possibly can before setting up for the stair set ahead? Why not politely explain to the young and sophisticated bicyclist that you need to jump that wall so you can crush the landing and shortly afterward firecracker partway down the stairs? Why not see how high you can pop that shaped deck? Why not give Ishod Wair competition for the world’s most coveted rollaway? Why not believe in a better season ahead?

Can a few minutes of incredible skate footage inject confidence and optimism not only into the tricks and session ahead, but prospects for the planet at large? Did you also catch similar vibes seeing the reinvigorated Fred Gall do a fakie ollie to noseblunt slide pop-in on a skatepark quarterpipe? How many cheap and easy payments might be required to secure a Kyle Wilson-cozy camo parka and, perhaps, peace for the House of Windsor? If web logging web sites were paid by the question mark could even the most meandering, run-on sentence typers drape themselves in fine, MLB-endorsed distressed leathers?

7. Rory Milanes – “City of Rats”

December 25, 2012

rory

In a tumultuous year for British skating, what with the mass exodus of the Blueprint roster and international monetary policymakers airing concerns around a potentially destabilizing bubble in Palace-branded asset prices, it fell to London stalwarts Slam City Skates to re-center the 2012 scene and Rory Milanes to deliver the closing argument. Rory Milanes did one of the best parts in 2010’s “This Time Tomorrow” and steps up here in decidedly U.K. fashion, kickflipping brick channels and wearing stripedy sweaters to properly downbeat music and overcast skies. Straight off the bat he spins a nollie twister across a street gap, skates some high ledges, has a beauty of a switch backside kickflip, full command of the frontside 180 fakie manual/5-0 and a danger poke over the final bump-to-bar. For me this section took a little while to sink in, given Rory Milanes’ tricks don’t hit with the bombast of a Chewy Cannon, but I think he comes in as a solid bridge to some of the best skating of the now-closed Blueprint chapter.

Up With Smoke

September 9, 2012

Can a shop video to succeed without doubling as a love letter to the city in which its backing store is based? The enduring ones, like by Coliseum, FTC, Orchard, Uprise, MIA and Fobia, have been as much a ‘where’s where’ of the meanest spots as they are a ‘who’s who’ of the dudeliest dudes on the scene and while it’s gotta be a blast wallowing in all those marble ledges under the Spanish sun, you’d think most DVD purchasaurs really are not trying to see the local bros going Mr. Me Too at the spots the top-rung pros scraped clean five years prior.

For those of you who, like me, furrowed a brow at the outsized representation of AZ ditches and Boston loading docks in the last Blueprint video, Henry Edwards-Wood invites you to spend a solid hour submerged into the claustrophobic, bustling, brick-lined canyons of London, where streets drip with smoke stains, spray paint and wrought iron. Slam City Skates’ “City of Rats” has been out for a while but has rarely left the player this summer, as all these Palace, Blueprint, Landscape and other dudes shiver and sweat through what looks like one long, generally overcast season here, all the hovels and tight alleyways and weathered stone served up like red meat to “Static” faithfuls. South-Bank gets a loving soliloquy and two of the best-loved spots in this video include a sidewalk ledge set up for lines to close out with flatground tricks over a red rumble-strip and a thread-the-needle street gap into a corridor that’s probably far gnarlier than it already looks. It is jarring when, early in the video, you can see a Texaco sign.

Nick Jensen’s first run communicates the basic idea through a sidewalk bump to noseslide on a windowsill ledge, and isn’t long before he is back at that one sidewalk gap (switch 360 flip this time) and South Bank, where for weeks I have struggled to recall whether anyone else has kickflipped that high bar in the past. For a while it’s a parade of all the dudes you want to see skating these spots, like Joey Crack coming with the movie’s best nosegrind, a line from Snowy starting with an ollie snapped into a bank that celebrates all that is fantastic about that dude and the galaxy that we live in, Danny Brady pushing lines that confidently extend his career to the decade mark and Neil Smith steadily going hard, manualing into some big launch over a gate.

Palace’s Karim Bakhtaoui has garnered fame as a sort of London edition of Darren Harper but for my money I’m backing the light-footed Pluhowski styling of Jin Shimizu, looking relaxed in this sometimes oppressive environment. He’s flipping his board around and not too fussed, the chain ollie to no-comply submitting a general lesson in quick work under pressure. Lucien Clarke and Steph Morgan combine for the best kind of shared part, one where you can always tell which dude is up, and Lucien Clarke looks to be spending some time to craft one of the best nollie inward heelflips on the market. Ender-ending Rory Milanes helps the Palace dudes more or less corner this vid, going around the horn with a backside smith grind, completing the circle on a nosebluntslide 180 back in, switch jumping a block and capturing a Chewy Cannon cameo that in general sees these dudes at the peak of their power right now.

Palace this week opened a temporary store that enables the company to directly tap Supremesque demand levels for their triangular optical illusion logo that already has sold not-so-gently-used softgoods for hundreds of pounds sterling in transactions, moderately rattling international currency segments. Celebrity-spiced embrace of the company as its thematic output has tilted closer to All City and further away from Silverstar has driven some internet backlash, and if the rule holds that the best retort to such critiques is to let tricks do the talking you wonder whether hefty proceeds from the pop-up boutique will finance some China trips to seal the deal on their own VHS sooner rather than later, but coming off the strength of this Slam production I’d sort of rather they stay home.

Impossible Object

March 3, 2010


A scene from the new Palace video featuring Penrose stair sets in multiple dimensions.

Kind of excited for this Palace video, partly because of the ripping Lucien Clarke and also because the makers seem intent on bending and/or distorting reality in some fundamental way, as opposed to the Slave video that obscured the day-to-day via weed smoke or the “Digital” series which are basically a thinly veiled platform for Bill Weiss’ frothy right-wing politicking. Plus, these Palace people make heavy use of some weird Blair Witch angles and fashionably outdated film effects, for which I am always a sucker. Olly Todd recently resurfaced on the cosmically aligned Palace wood, and the previously mentioned Clarke looks to be featured prominently, though probably safe in assuming his footage will come off a lot more blurry and foreboding than the rather sunny TSM clip the other day. Recommended for: Deer Man of Dark Woods and fans of the XYZ video. On a related note did this production ever get made?

Two if by sea

August 19, 2008


Let the boys be boys

Okay, a quick video link update, since I have a bunch more videos I could write about but apparently I have yet to figure out how to make a video post that isn’t 1000 words long.

Slam City lookbook: the new catalog from London’s seminal skateshop, which remains difficult for jeg-lag addled foreigners to locate, even in this age of a stronger British pound. The catalog itself is alright, my favorite part being the two solid pages of nearly identical “Slam City Skates” t-shirts, but the money melon is on the second-to-last page where, if you wait out a couple minutes of high-def slo mo, you’re treated to a lengthy Craig Mack-powered whirlwind that is a who’s who of the 2008 UK skate scene. Chewy Cannon, yes.

Ohhh… on the UK tip, here’s something else: an all-too-brief line from none other than Carl Shipman including one of the more vicious transition moves I’ve seen this summer. I read an interview somewhere recently (48 blocks?) where he didn’t sound too eager to skate for a living again, but wouldn’t it be nice to see him astride a Stereo deck again? By the way both these links I stole off the lovely Tweaker blog.

Next: Twist your moustache and furrow your brow at this Gou Miyagi part from the “Overground Broadcasting” video:

One of the things that I thought kind of detracted from Richie Jackson’s otherwise pretty amazing part in “And Now” was the fact that a lot of those tricks couldn’t have been done without some lengthy set-up time as far as building or otherwise massaging spots to facilitate a powerslide chain-dangle wallride or whatever. (Let me tell you just how excited I am to see kids inevitably waxing up the ground at spots.) Gou Miyagi has a similarly twice-baked view of skateboarding but I like how he uses spots and objects the way they are to perform his bizarre and wonderful maneuvers; case in point, the bike rack. I don’t mind the editing at all either.

Finally, the always-current AWS Filmworks site put up a Dylan Rieder clip today that’s short but almost painfully good. The b/s nosegrind f/s revert took me back to Guy Mariano in Mouse. I basically watched this a dozen times today. As far as I remember the “Mind Field” video was supposed to premiere around, like, right now, but the dudes with the inside poop are supposedly saying it might be more like… early 09. I know, I know. Look at it this way, they’re definitely keeping it skate over there.