(That’s ‘Bon Voyage Poppy’ in Khmer. Big up to English-Khmer Translator)
Back in 1997, I was mesmerized when I first saw this advert.
The power of great advertising helped reaffirm this Gap staple among Generation X. Gap reached out to young consumers by enlisting Hype Williams to produce this commercial. The then 26-year-old director had made a name for himself directing promos during the golden age of hip hop and R&B.
The likes of the Notorious B.I.G., Total, Missy Elliott and R. Kelly were products of the ‘Hype’ effect; glossy and visually-arresting videos shot with a fish-eye lens that distorted the view around the central focal point.
This advert is like a compact music video. With a group of street-smart dancers jamming to a mash-up of Bill Withers and Unlimited Touch, it captured the attention of young and old and asked them: ‘Do your Khakis have soul?’
♫ Bill Withers – Lovely Day
Adrian Sherwood is a wizard.
For more than 30 years, the ground-breaking producer has worked his magic on records by Blur, Nine Inch Nails, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and The Cure and concocted a slew of mind-altering sounds with up-coming and established acts.
Sherwood’s colossal back catalogue spans sounds from reggae to dub, electro to industrial noize to bass-quaking, synth-driven sounds.
And his headlining set at Dub Sessions in the cavernous Village Underground in Shoreditch created great anticipation.
My friend S called me up and invited me – on guest list of course – to the event. Their sibling is one half of Africa Hi Tech. The travelling sound system – which takes in Jamaican digital dancehall, sparse electro beats, Detroit techno and funky Highlife – had just landed in London and were featuring at the event.
I last saw Africa Hitech play at Deviation in November 2010. I watched as revellers got lost in funky horn sections and synth driven sounds of Ghanaian highlife.
We arrived just after 11. It was lashing it down but that did little to dampen the spirits of hoards of clubbers eager to get in.
I liked the crowd; older and more casual. Dressed in Converse, striped Ts and biker jackets, they were there for the music and the vibe. There was no attitude. They didn’t want any trouble.
We hit the bar then darted to the dance floor. It still makes me smile when I see people having a good time. Dancing without a care. Stuck in a trance as they move to a hypnotic beat. Be it grime or garage, house or hip hop, dance or disco, the pulsating party vein throbbed hard in each one of the jerking and locking bodies.
DJ support from Ross Allen and sets from Kwes and Micachu, who appeared under their collaborative Kwesachu moniker, set the scene for a night of intense shape throwing and air pumping. It was a blast.
♫ Terror Danja Feat Rico Dan – ‘Dark Crawler’