4 days between blogs. Lazy. I’m afraid I had to take some time out to ruminate over the fact I found myself attracted to a heavily hyped spaceshoe this week. I never saw that one coming. I’ve also been guilty of hypocrisy too – after damning the unavailability of good US-made heritage ranges outside of Japan a week ago, I’ve also been celebrating the fact that the far east still holds gems you just don’t see elsewhere. I’m not just talking retro Danner Mountain Lights in all their Vibram Cristy soled glory and Cushman sweatshirts – that’s covered to death on the studious looking neo-hype sites – I like the bits that defy the homogenised online community.
Sometimes it’s nice to just get a surprise, and Japan still offers pleasantly baffling shocks to the system that aren’t fixed to a global release a month down the line. My annoying habit of looking at Zaid from SpineMagazine’s MacBook from over his shoulder to observe whatever funk rareness is being scrutinised (incidentally, it’s Spine’s 10th anniversary this year – that’s some pioneering hip-hop blogging right there, commemorative European tour with Benji B headlining starts soon) meant I kept clocking incredible images on his laptop screen. Turns out they were from DJ Muro’s blog. Muro, for those who don’t know, but really, really should know, is Tokyo’s ‘King Of Diggin’, a Tokyo-based DJ and collector who can rival the likes of Kon, Amir and Soulman for hoarded vinyl classics.
Go check the mixes – all come recommended, except maybe ‘Super Samba Breaks’. 4 hours of samba is more than anyone needs. Apart from the innate ability to rock a party, he’s also a super nice guy with some fly fashion sense. For some reason London has never managed to juggle the embracing of new hip-hop sounds and style with heavy nods to the past – Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo seems to pull it off, while we’re split between new-school fans and those who feel hip-hop came to an end in early ’93.
On seeing a replica of a $YNDICATE tee for sale in Japan’s ‘Groove’ magazine, it just seemed like a must-buy (though where one even begins to initiate the buying process is a mystery lost in translation), whereas on most European shores, that would be corniness personified. Me? I’ll take Jim Jones (check his Twitters – recent classics, “Whts ghetto: havin a cell phone in jail lol phone time homie”, “Whts ghetto: pullin up to parole in a bentley”), Keri Hilson and Trae over any UK MC preaching a return to supposed ‘real hip-hop’.
Muro’s recent blogs chart a US trip carries images of a recent record-buying excursion to Jerry’s in Pittsburgh that indicate his passion hasn’t diminished in the slightest, a party with Chairman Mao playing nothing but offbeat and rare cover versions, plus some pics of Q-Tip playing out at Santos, complete with Diddy in the booth. In fact one of his pictures captures Sean wielding his BlackBerry, presumably at the exact point that he Twittered “R YALL DANCING WITH US???!!! We are DANCING YALL!! GET UP!! LETS GO!!!”
A fan of clothing and shoes too, let’s not forget the ’07 10 year anniverary of SAVAGE! when a number of brands, including The North Face made a number of exclusive products to celebrate – predictably none left Japanese soil, and Muro still maintains the TNF hookup, with recent photos showing him wearing some unique-looking outerwear. He also showcased the weird, inappropriate camo Polo from Ralph Lauren, shown below in slim fit, looking really, really shit. They should’ve given Jim Jones a call to model for that shoot.
The ‘Digger Mart’ section of King Inc. might be one of my favourite online spots. Where else can you buy a Debarge t-shirt, Ralph Lauren ‘Native’ button-down, a King Of Diggin’ TNF Pertex down coat, A longbox CD copy of Puba’s ‘Reel To Reel’ and best of all, homaging the Tommy Boy promos of the past, the Stussy x Haze x Carhartt x SAVAGE! Active Jacket – another ’07 anniversary piece? Eclectic to say the least.
While we’re talking oddities, there’s always time to mention BBPBX’s bizarre Cold Crush Brothers/Coca-Cola rugby shirt tribute.
Elsewhere online, Carhartt UK’s ‘Heritage Archive’ takes a closer look at a hand-customised Chore Coat. Having had a look at this item, it’s humbling to think that something I take to be a cheap, staple, replaceable item, could justify so much alteration from its previous owner, using it for its true workwear intent.
Picture linked from www.thenonplace.com
And Steve Mann has given me one of the first cases of chronic footwear envy in quite some time via the first round Stussy Blazer samples on The Non Place. All the beauty of a mid ’70s suede makeup on the 1980 smaller-swooshed, shape that was traditionally leather. Damn. In early 2001 (?), they were ditching potential classics. Madness.