James Huxley, London - United Kingdom - on 10/7/12
Made up of duo Kaveh and Kalle, Pleasurekraft have had releases on the likes of Umek's 1605, Suara and their latest colaboration with Green Velvet on Great Stuff (get it here). Rather than sharing studio time, the pair are based in oppposite sides of the world, so we asked them to each let us know what it is that inspires them about their respective cities.
Kaveh - Washington DC
Culture - The diversity of cultures in Washington make it such a unique and inspiring place to live. There are so many people from so many different ethnic backgrounds - that it is truly an international melting pot. The art in and around the city often reflects this diversity - but my personal favourite aspect of living in DC with such an array of different people - is the abundant variety of restaurants showcasing the cuisine of all these different countries. You can literally have some of the best food from around the world without ever leaving DC thanks to all the wonderful immigrants who came here and opened authentic restaurants showcasing their home countries' culinary traditions.
Art - Washington has a truly thriving art scene. From music (Thivery Corporation, Deep Dish, Saeed Younan to name some electronic artists, to bands like Fugazi, and of course a ton of great jazz clubs and musicians who can be found in any one of the many little bars playing everything from classical bebop to avant garde and everything in between. The city has a legacy that dates back to jazz giant Duke Ellington whose face graces the side of many buildings in murals all around the city. You also can't talk about Washington without acknowledging the political environment everything is steeped in. In many ways - the political capital of the world, you can't live in this city and not be next to someone who is a government official or works for one. But in a way it's quite nice to live in such an intellectual city as well - as there are always passionate and stimulating conversations to be had.
The City - The European feel of the city also makes it unique among American cities - designed by Frenchman Pierre L'enfant there is never a shortage of aesthetic inspiration from the many beautiful buildings. Much of the city was modelled after Paris (although on a much smaller scale), so classical Greco-Roman architecture is much more prominent than the modernist skyscraper skylines most people associate with American cities. Much of the mapping of the city was intentionally confusing in order to make invasion by foreign armies more difficult, but it is one of the endearing things for those that live here. Also the many parks, canals, and the Potomac river which runs through this lush green city make it a wonderful place to call home.
Kalle - Stockholm
Vista - Vista is the name of a boat in which two of my close friends used to live. It's located at a beautiful quay in the centre of Stockholm where you have a view over some of the different islands of Stockholm. They would host these amazing parties during the summer which were like melting pots. DJ's, clubkids, artists, designers, promoters, gay, straight, friends, enemies etc. Anyone who wanted could go play some records so there was always a good mix of music and the dancefloor (which doubled as their living room) was always rocking. Whether it was a big party of just hanging out by day in the sun it was truly an inspiring place.
The Studio - I know, boring choice, but I recently switched studios. The old studio was located in a part of Stockholm which is really beautiful yet extremely dull. It's a fancy residential area with very few shops, cafés or restaurants. You mostly saw elderly people and the occasional soccer mom getting in to her SUV. The new one is in a much livelier part of the city, right by a square called Mariatorget on a really busy street. Here there are tonnes of restaurants, cool bars, second hand shops, galleries and most of all, people! I love just walking across the street from the studio to the small park and sit down in the grass by the fountain, have lunch and watch people walk by. It takes my mind of whatever I was doing in the studio before and let me come back with a fresh perspective. So I guess it's not the studio per se that's inspiring, but the surroundings.
My worn out couch - Because that’s where I get most of my ideas.
Pleasurekraft Feat. Green Velvet is out now on Great Stuff Recordings - Get it here
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