Religion, rebellion and animal instincts: Twin meets BAD WITH PHONES

16.02.2022 | Culture , Music | BY:

BAD WITH PHONES, is back with his newest alt-hip-hop and psychedelic-infused track “Living & Surfing”. Born and raised in South-East London BWP –  a.k.a Manny – spent his childhood watching his father, a pentecostal-pastor, preach and his siblings play in the church band. After picking up the bass guitar, it wasn’t long before he began disrupting the sermons with his secular riffs. A photographer, self-confessed space nerd and ex-hacker (known to hack his school network and flog bootlegs) the Togolesian musician can’t be pigeon-holed -and neither can his music. Twin caught up with BWP to discuss dissidence, tech addiction and music as the sonic saviour.

Tell us about your new single ‘Living & Surfing’, what was your inspiration behind it?

The inspiration comes from being homeless…I was sleeping on benches and couch surfing with friends or with girlfriends in Berlin, just embracing that lifestyle while I was out there. I let go of clinging to ideas or expectations of how I should be. I didn’t have any money or anything but I had energy and ideas and in the end, that’s worth more than anything else. I made the track with Torn Palk and I was sleeping in his corridor. I remember him waking up every morning and stepping over my head to go and pee. The track was inspired by the notion of meeting people with egos the size of watermelons that made them only think within the ideas they were told to. That bugged me, so she got a song. 

Your approach to music is quite genre-agnostic. How did you develop your sound? 

Mmmm, I don’t really believe in rules. Rules are boring and I’m a bad conformist. I like to flow naturally. Every time I make music it’s like starting from scratch for me. 

When did you first discover your passion for music?

When I was young, about nine. There was lots of music being played in my house. My dad had a church too so there were always sounds. Clapping, dancing and drums ruled on Sunday and Thursday nights. I was SpongeBob taking it all in, deciding for myself what it all meant to me. I tried a bunch of instruments when I was a kid including the recorder, the keyboard and the guitar, but the bass really stuck. My taste for music developed from there. It hits the lower chakras but more than anything it gets your animal instincts out.

Where did your pseudonym come from? Are you truly bad with phones?

I came up with the name after not having a phone for a while and people actually saying “Manny what’s going on? I can’t get a hold of you, you’re so bad with phones.” Phones are just big distractions from accomplishing the things in my mind. On the flip side, maybe my name shouldn’t actually be ‘Bad With Phones’ as it’s more ‘addicted to phones’ these days. I’ve sort of gone off-brand.

Catch BAD WITH PHONES at Jamz Supernovas’ Ones to Watch at Shoreditch House (16th February).

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Good Trouble issue 22, issue 2

26.08.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

The second issue of Good Trouble issue 22, the zine produced by former Dazed & Confused editor Rod Stanley and designed by Richard Turley and Sophie Abady, is out this month.

Slightly confusing though the name of the magazine may be, the work included this issue is straightforwardly fantastic. The publication features original work by Wolfgang Tillmans, Sara Rahbar, Boychild, Scott King, Torbjørn Rødland, Helena Foster and others, curated by Francesca Gavin.

The broadsheet newspaper champions activism and resistance, bringing together a selection of creative and dynamic voices. This latest issue spans 32 pages and includes a pull out ‘Unmanifesto’ poster.

Get it here! 

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Fo(u)rward Thinking

06.12.2012 | Art , Blog | BY:

This week, contemporary artists Alexandra Baumgartner, Beatriz Crespo, Florence Reidenbach and Su Ling Gyr are displaying their own personal confrontations with femininity at the GYNAECEUM exhibition in Berlin.

Curated by Tippi Ling, the installation is set in a 1920s apartment — a rather fitting location considering the exhibit’s questioning of female confinement to the domestic space.

Baumgartner’s collages will explore themes such as social constraints and the decay of the human body, whilst Crespo’s paintings examine the daily rituals in women’s lives. Reidenbach’s combination of folklore and fantasy delves into the creation of feminine identity, whereas Gyr analyses notions of beauty throughout history with her multimedia approach.

GYNAECEUM is not just a beautiful ode to the female artistic talent of today, but also an empowering retrospective on just how far we’ve come.

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Twin Playlist X Kool Thing

13.03.2012 | Blog , Culture , Music | BY:

It was while Dubliner Julie Chance was DJing in a Paris dive bar in 2010 that she encountered Australian Jon Dark. Bonding over shared musical sensibilities, they exchanged records and ideas before booking flights to Berlin and their musical project kool thing was born.

Pulling together musical references from grunge to prog rock, kool thing blends atmospheric synths with new wave bass. Their singe EP Light Games was released earlier this year and they’re currently working on a full-length album.

Twin asked Chance to name her favourite nine tracks right now…

1/ Sinéad O”Connor – Black Boys On Mopeds
Sinéad has a new album out called How About I Be Me (And You Be You) and it”s brilliant. Being born and bred in Dublin I had to include Sinéad. Always outspoken and a head of her time, one of my all time heroines. This song is an oldie but a goodie from the 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven”t Got.

2/ Elliott Smith – Angeles
I was first introduced to Elliott Smith when I was visiting New York some years ago. The rawness of his lyrics and the frailty of his voice struck a chord deep inside me that has stayed with me ever since.

3/ The Smiths – Reel Around The Fountain
Probably one of my favourite bands of all time. Enough said. This is the first song off their first album.

4/ Nick Drake – River Man
While studying photography in Cork I was introduced to Nick Drake by a classmate. I”ve always had a penchant for a sombre song and Nick Drake delivered them in abundance. I fell in love with him instantly.

5/ Judee Sill – The Kiss
An ex-girlfriend got me into Judee Sill a few years ago. Judee Sill wrote the most beautiful bewitching songs and could have been as big as Nick Drake if she had been recognised more but wasn”t for whatever reasons. Her life ended prematurely due to drug addiction and we are left with only two albums. This song is from the 1973 album Heart Food.

6/ Amy Winehouse – Love Is A Losing Game
Another one of my heroines, we lost Amy last summer and she broke my heart along with millions of others. In 2008 students at Cambridge University were asked in their final  exams to compare the lyrics of Love Is A Losing Game with Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, Milton and Wordsworth for literary analysis. This YouTube vid is of her performing the song at the Other Voices Festival in Dingle, Ireland in 2006.

7/ This Mortal Coil – Sixteen Days/Gathering Dust
I don”t even know where I got this from but I have it on vinyl now and I always include it in my DJ sets. I love Cocteau Twins and Elizabeth Fraser”s vocal on this is just haunting.

8/ Trust – Candy Walls
Moving firmly into the present now, our friend Maya Postepski from Austra just dropped her new album from her other project Trust and I”m really into this track, Candy Walls, its so good!

9/ Lower Dens – Brains
Lower Dens have a new album coming out in May I think. I loved the first one so I”m pretty excited about the next. This song is from the forthcoming album.

Listen to Kool Thing”s playlist

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Polaroid Woman

25.07.2011 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

The Helmut Newton Foundation is one of those gems in the West of Berlin that’s well worth the journey from the more hip Bezirke of Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain.  This month, alongside the permanent exhibition offering a glimpse into Helmut Newton the man, a new exhibition opens celebrating his Polaroids.  Using them as an initial point of reference for his fashion shoots, he was able to test lighting and composition.

But more than that, the idea of Polaroids excited Newton: he published Pola Woman, a book exclusively made up of his Polaroids, in 1992.  Shooting down accusations that the images in the book didn’t stand up to his usual standard he said: “but that was exactly what was exciting – the spontaneity, the speed”.  Indeed in some ways this attitude prefigures the speed of photography – particularly street style photography – today.

The romance of a Polaroid picture is most definitely back in vogue again.

See the 300 works on display until 20th November 2011
Helmut Newton Foundation, Jebensstraße 2, 10623 Berlin

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Skate or die

08.07.2011 | Art , Blog | BY:

Garages, junk fields, abandoned quarter-pipes and dirty mattresses are the photographic heartland of Germany-based photographer Sergej Vutuc’s work. Since the mid-Nineties he has made the skateboard and punk community his home – and with it, its DIY landscape. His black and white shots are less about urban edge than an amorphous playground.

Vutuc’s latest show, Something In-between at Gallerie Michael Janssen in Berlin features a series of monochrome photographs hand printed on Baryt paper. Like the dilapidated buildings and rough terrain of his mis-en-scene, Vutuc scratches and scrapes at his image, engaging with his work in the same way as a skateboarder does with his environment.

“I don’t give any description to my images,” he says. “I leave them to speak for themselves. It’s not about where I shoot them or subject,  it’s more like a collection of fragments – moments and building stories… The mouth can never say, what eyes can see…“ Vutuc’s camera is a view from inside the subculture.

SERGEJ VUTUC: Something in between is at Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin until July 30.

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It’s bigger than

21.10.2010 | Art , Blog , Culture , Music | BY:

This month Twin’s art editor Francesca Gavin curates ‘Syncopation’, a ten-day Berlin exhibition that explores personal notions of selfhood. Gavin’s work as a curator, editor and writer is already varied, yet: “My true alternative self is a musician,” she explains.

Gavin grew up making music, performing below fleapit cinemas; steeped in the embrace of jazz and folk. Her grandmother’s record label Dial Recordings, which released Charlie Parker and Mile Davis’ records, sparked a love of soul, jazz, hip hop and black music culture and its relation to art.

The show presents the work of artists and musicians Cory Arcangel, Frankie Martin, Jeremy Shaw, Matt Stokes (pictured, top) and Mark Titchner, and is one part of a bigger exhibition – Despina Stokou’s project ‘D12’. Like the Detroit rap group who failed to find twelve members, instead asking six MC’s to create alteregos, Stokou has invited six artists to showcase theirs.

Head to the private view to catch a live lounge jazz performance by Gavin, accompanied by Julien Quentin.  The party continues at Bierhaus Urban from 11pm with Jeremy Shaw and Gavin on the decks.  Deeply buried true selves may just be revealed.

Jayson Scott Musson, How to Hip Hop, 2010, video still.

21.10-31.10, Grimmuseum, Fichte Straße 2, 10967, Berlin, open daily 2-7pm.
The after party is on the 21.10, Bierhaus Urban, Urban Straße 126, corner Graefe Straße

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do you read me?

22.01.2010 | Blog , Twin Life | BY:

We’re super happy to announce that Twin is now available at Berlin’s best magazine store – Do You Read Me? Situated in the heart of the Mitte district, it’s home to all the world’s coolest and most covetable reads. We’d just like to say – thank you for having us!

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Guts for garters

02.11.2009 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Originally named Garter & Asp, an appellation merging a harmless snake with one that is poisonous, the Berlin-based design duo Don’t Shoot the Messengers (pictured below) create elegant yet subversively sexy feminine garments. “There is a sort of darkness that we look at,” says Canadian Jen Gilpin. Alongside her partner Kyle Callanan, she sums up their aesthetic as, “Geometric, molten and just a little bit rock and roll.” We likey.

Photographs by Maxime Ballesteros

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