My favorite VICE videos



Vice definitely opened up a new video genre in the last years: video documentaries which go over the edge of what was possible to show on tv. Too radical, too sexual, too much crime, less professional also sometimes. But always with a very good feel of what fans of the darker sides of the internet and the more subcultural aspects of modern societies are interested in. Some of the stuff can be called sensationalist and even superficial, but there are some pearls of their work I would like to highlight here.


The Vice founder Shane Smith is on a trip with a camera man here and actually manages to get into North Corea on quite a dubious journalist permit. What the North Korean officials show them as their desired image is more than absurd. Of course we don’t see any starving people here, industry ruins or run down houses. Instead, there are mass performances in stadiums, large, empty rooms where the reporters are the only guests and surreal karaoke sessions. What is so courageous about the film: Nobody would have been able to get the crew released if they made a mistake and be put in prison.

The world’s most dangerous drug

“Scopolamine, also known as “The Devil’s Breath” is a substance so intense that it renders a person incapable of exercising free will.” Scary.
(Klick the picture for the video)

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One of the craziest festivals, this several week enduring rave at the black sea in the Ucraine is a magnet for young people from Eastern Europe and Russia, apparently quite uninhibited and set up with a strange back story of being a republic. The Vice reporters interview the “prime minister” and get pretty wasted.

Dealer in New York

While the first videos are quite famous, this one is less known, still I like the way the story is told. It is a look behind a serious business. This drug dealer is very organized, has several employees who work in shifts and only one goal: Go on for a little while and then stop working forever. Will it work? You’ll see.

Dalston Superstars
“I am Sam, I am freelance stylist, I dj and work as a model from time to time”, is the first sentence of this fictional series about a bunch of hipsters in East London. Dalston Superstars makes fun of the hip art-dj-creative-scene but it’s so close to reality you can’t really see the irony sometimes. Which is part of the fun.

About Adecco and a blogger’s idea

This is a story of either a bold theft of creativity or a big big coincidence. It is a story of a blogger and a multi million dollar company, a story of an idea and its name, a dream and a campaign. Read the full thing.

adecco blogger copy scandal

Adecco is the “world’s leading provider in HR solutions” and currently running a competition called “Around the world in 80 jobs” as part of the initiative “Adecco way to work

The problem is: “Around the world in 80 jobs” is also the name of a website by blogger Turner Barr from Washington. He is actually doing what the title depicts: Travelling the world and working in different jobs and blogging about it. Turner has been doing this since 2011. Adecco registered applied for the trademark in April 2013.

Barr is upset: “Recently, I was both astonished and demoralized to find that my entire brand, image and web personality was swiped for use in a marketing campaign … without ever being asked for permission or acknowledged. The video for their marketing campaign was particularly creepy for me, as even my age and personality didn’t escape the level of detail spent on creating this doppelganger”

Right now, the story is trending online, from Twitter to Reddit and Adecco’s Facebook wall is full of idignant accusations.

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I mailed Adecco’s German press office to get a statement, explicitly asking if they were knowingly using somebody else’s idea. Here is the answer (in English, find the German original at the bottom of the article):

“‘Around the World in 80 Jobs’ is just the name of a competition as part of our initiative. With ‘Adecco Way to Work’ we want to give young people perspectives and inspiration, especially considering the difficult situation in Southern Europe. We are aware that there is a conflict in the use of the name ‘Around the world in 80 jobs’. We are trying to find a solution. Today we do not see the necessity to take legal steps against Mr Barr. We did communicate to him that he may use the name in the US and beyond. The initiative is about the perspective of young people, not about the name.”

This answer left me puzzled. It did not help to clear the accusations. If it was about the “perspective for young people”, not about the name, why would they register a trademark? And if they registered, why would they not decide to take it away from Turner Barr? Why would they not answer the question if they copied the idea or why it would look so similar? And how is this initiative helping young unemployed people?!

It does not create jobs. It does not create perspectives. The information about finding a job on the website are the same you can find anywhere else. The free coaching sessions can be found in one Southern European country, Italy, at least. Not in Spain. Not in Greece. Not in Portugal. The link to the Chilean offer leads to a pure informational website.

I adressed these questions in my reply to Adecco. I also asked Turner Barr for a statement. I’ll post an update as soon as I have answers.

According to the blog of the the agency Simplyzesty, the agency Mortierbrigade is behind the execution. It would be easy for Adecco to blame the agency and claim they had no idea about the original blog. But that would be too easy.

Here is my personal opinion: I don’t think everybody involved knew it was a copy. But some did. Which is why they registered the trademark to be safe themselves.

As a blogger I would feel the same as Turner, abused and then ignored by a very big company. As a marketer and agency creative, I feel ashamed. Do we not do our job because we like to develop ideas and come up with new exciting stories? To innovate?

Everybody is still waiting for an official statement and offer by Adecco. I am curious how this story unfolds. Especially since I suspect Adecco had planned to release some great videos showing the winners of the competition working in exciting jobs.

The original German statement by Adecco’s German press office:

“Die CSR-Initiative, die seit April läuft, heisst „Adecco Way to Work“. „Around the World in 80 Jobs” ist lediglich der Name eines Wettbewerbs innerhalb unserer Initiative. Mit „Adecco Way to Work“ beabsichtigen wir jungen Menschen Perspektive und Inspiration für den Arbeitmarkt zu vermitteln, besonders angesichts der sehr schwierigen Situation in Südeuropa. Wir möchten junge Menschen motivieren, über die Grenzen hinauszuschauen. Wir sind überzeugt, dass jede Initiative, die jungen Menschen eine Perspektive geben kann, in dieser schwierigen Situation eine kleine Hilfe sein kann.
Wir sind uns Bewusst, dass es einen Konflikt über die Verwendung des Namens „Around the World in 80 Jobs“ gibt. Wir bemühen auch weiterhin um eine Lösung. Aus heutiger Sicht sehen wir keine Notwendigkeit, rechtlichen Schritte gegen Herrn Barr einzuleiten. Wir haben ihm kommuniziert, dass er den Namen „Around the World in 80 Jobs“ auch über die USA hinaus verwenden kann. Uns geht es in dieser Initiative um die Perspektive für die jungen Menschen und nicht um den Namen.”

Stylewalker’s Sunny Summer Mix


summer mix cover-3

I used to play a lot of fluffy house music back in the days. And I still have a heart for warm, groovy and sunny 4-to-the-floor tunes. So here are 60 minutes of easy get away which would fit well on a rooftop in Barcelona, a bar in Thessaloniki or a ship in the Adria.

It would also fit well for a sunny weekend to listen during the daytime. Make a coffee, open the windows, get a book and relax in the sun. Which is what I am going to do right now.

Includes music by Sirius Mo, Oliver$, Bonobo, Cosmin TRG, Mathias Kaden, Martyn, Cut Copy, Sbtrkt, Rooflight, Martin Buttrich, Justin Martin, Veitengruber ao.

Schwarz Don’t Crack


I saw them yesterday at a shop opening which is not really the greatest environment for a band to perform. Yet, they did very well, filled the room with atmosphere and played a really good performance. “Schwarz Don’t Crack” is the name and the band consists of Sebastian Kreis and Ahmad Larnes. Ahmad’s singing is definitely a trade mark, with his deep expression and variety of details and mixes well with the electronic RnB sound floor which Sebastian creates underneath. Very slow disco beats and lots of pop samples create a style which sounds familiar yet unique. They are about to release an album on B pitch records and Melt booking already have them in their roster. So the future is bright for this likeable odd couple, watch them grow.

Hear for yourself, here’s their first track:

Find more on their Soundcloud.

I especially like the “Miami” video. It reminds me of the clips I tried to produce with my friends when I was fourteen.

Here is a good interview which tells their story.

(Photocredit: Vitali v. Gelwich)

Watch Dillon Cooper



It’s a revival of the classic golden era sounding rappers. You know the Underachievers, here comes Dillon Cooper. He is 19, from Brooklyn, music student, pianist, rapper. Good flow. Smart.

His latest single gains some interest, even in Germany. Take a double bass, take some warm drums, a hypnotic rap, a good production, here is State of Elevation. It’s a hit.

Before he did justice to Mobb Deep on “Survival of the fittest” from january.

Tim Larew of The Fresh Heir interviewed him and tells the story. Here is the second part of the interview.

The song which kick started him is “Shadows”.

He’s not really a lyricist but he has a great flow and his videos definitely help with his popularity. In which he also appears as a director. So he is talented in many ways and he’s young and he seems, as said, smart. I think he’s a guy to watch (but he should definitely get a website).

Photocred: Soulculture

Was ihr schon immer über die Freiheit des Netz wissen wolltet


arte Web doku

Die großartige arte-Dokumentation “Die wilden Wurzeln des World Wide Web” verlangt vom Zuschauer einiges an Konzentration. Denn sie macht die ganz große Kurve von den Anfängen des Netz als Underground-Hacker-Hippie-Spielzeug bis zu den heutigen Verteilungs- und Regulierungskämpfen. Freie Software, Hacker Spaces, Politik, 3D Drucker, Überwachung, Internet of things, Urheberrecht, es kann einem ganz schwindelig werden. Aber sie ist sehr gut gemacht und unterhaltsam, auch wenn man noch nicht so tief in die Thematik über die Freiheit des Internets eingestiegen ist. Schaut diese Doku!

Sie führt sehr deutlich und gut verständlich vor Augen, warum ein freies, dezentrales und unzensiertes Internet in den Händen der Nutzer so wichtig ist. Was Netzneutralität bedeutet, die an den tiefen technischen Ebenen des Internets ansetzt. Warum freie Software und Open Source Verschlüsselung Voraussetzung für Überwachungsfreiheit und freie Meinungsäußerung ist. Und wie Wirtschaft und Staat daran arbeiten, das Chaos und die Freiheit der Nutzer unter ihre Kontrolle zu bekommen. Ein interessanter Nebenschauplatz, der diese unheilige Allianz sehr gut illustriert, sind Firmen wie Amesys und CSM, die Überwachungssysteme an Staaten wie Syrien und Iran verkaufen, mit denen die Kommunikation von Dissidenten kontrolliert werden kann.

Und wem das zu schwer und politisch klingt dem sei gesagt: Immer wieder kommen lustige Rage Faces und Lolcats zum Einsatz, gemischt mit Science Fiction Klassikern und Nachrichtenmaterial aus den letzten 30 Jahren. Schaut diese Doku, sie ist großartig!

Zu Wort kommen die “alten Helden” des Internets, die alle aus einer sehr versierten und persönlichen Perspektive erzählen, welche Bedenken sie bei den gegenwärtigen Bewegungen haben, das Internet durch große Konzerne zu monopolisieren und durch Regierungen zu regulieren: John Perry Barlow, der Grateful Dead Frontman und Autor der legendären Unabhängigkeitserklärung des Internets, Richard Stallmann, der die Freie Software Bewegung geprägt hat und Phil Zimmermann, der die freie Verschlüsselungssoftware PGP schrieb und dafür natürlich mächtig Ärger mit der CIA bekam. Julien Assange kommt zu Wort, genau wie Rick Falkvinge, der Gründer der ersten Piratenpartei in Schweden und Stephan Uhrbach, der aus Deutschland die syrische Freiheitsbewegung unterstützt und Mitch Altman, einer der ersten Hackerspace Gründer.

Schaut diese Doku, ich sehe sie jetzt schon zum dritten Mal!

Spreepark Festival

I am very looking forward to next weekend’s highlight here in Berlin: The XX’s festival “Night and day”. Taking place in the legendary Spreepark, an abandoned theme park with many historical fun rides which are slowly breaking apart. What a great scenery for a festival!

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Sizarr shot their entire video to “Run Dry” here:

The festival has, not surprisingly a great line up: The XX, Jessie Ware, Chromatics, Mount Kimbie, Kindness, Mikky Blanco, Dixon and many more DJs.

The official tickets are sold out but you can still get some on ebay.


New favorite hip hop crew: the Underachievers. They are young but their sound is somewhat timeless. A little Golden Era, a little conscious school, some reduced modern effects. Very laid back, very lyrical, very simple but very compelling. I’ve been listening to their mixtape “Indigoism” several times and it’s become a good friend, like someone you know well but always hope to find out more about.

The Underachievers are two kids in their early 20ies from Flatbush, Brooklyn and got signed on Flying Lotus’ label Brainfeeder. Their background is clearly Flatbush, Brooklyn and the Carribean communities there. Their lyrics often are about mind travelling and perception of things and one of them, Issa Gold, likes to anser philosophical questions like if evil really exists on his Tumblr.

Here are the best interviews I found, one on and another one at MTV Hive.

(The picture is also taken from, thx!)

Their videos are class, capturing that typical Brookly neighborhood vibe:

So devilish video:

The Mahdi video

Gold Soul Theory

Herb shuttles

And here is the mixtape which made them famous:


We’ll hear more of them, I am sure!

Ein Fotobuch für mehr sauberes Wasser

Blattkunst Viva Con Agua“Licht ins Dunkel” ist ja immer eine schöne Metapher für alle möglichen karitativen Anlässe. In diesem Fall ist der Spruch aber gut gewählt, denn es geht um ein Fotoprojekt, das mit Porträts in der Dunkelheit arbeitet. Die Meta-Ebene ist eins der größten Probleme der Welt: Sauberes Wasser.


Dahinter stecken der Fotokünstler Kai Effinger und die Organisation Viva Con Agua, die zusammen ein Fotobuch und eine Ausstellung mit den oben beschriebenen Porträts machen wollen. Die Erlöse aus dem Verkauf sollen Wasserprojekte fließen. Außerdem dabei sind eine Reihe Künstler, wie die Orsons, Samy Deluxes Tsunami Band oder Ganjaman, die sich alle schon fotografieren ließen.


Das Projekt ist ein Crowdfunding-Projekt, das man auf Startnext unterstützen kann um das Buch zur Veröffentlichung zu bringen. Ich finde die Bilder klasse und auch die Idee, ich bin dabei, ihr auch?

Hier ist ein Introfilm:

Danke an Jens von Urban Tree für den Tipp und das schöne Video!

Kensaye, a French producer in London


I get a lot of music submissions for this blog and often I know from the way the mail is written that I am not going to be interested. This case was different. The mail was personal and concise and by the producer himself. His name is Kensaye and he writes: “My name is Kensaye, I am a French producer based in London, UK. I focus on soul/hip-hop/electro/chill music and I release material from time to time. I’m unsigned and independent.”

I had no idea what to expect but this super relaxed, soulful and diverse remixes really caught my ear and heart. Listen to Nicolay & Kay, the Roots, Ellie Goulding, Aaliyah and Notorious BIG stuff remixed. Sometimes it’s very minimalistic and reduced, distorted and distracted, but always hypnotic and room filling. I like the stuff and recommend to follow Kensaye on Soundcloud.

Here is a little video from London with the rapper Innocent who got a beat for his birthday. A bit long in the beginning but a good vibe of cruising around in the end;

Photo credit: Kamran Rhezekani