When it came down to the artwork for Roats Miguel Self-Titled EP, we were taken by uncertainty. We needed someone who could make something visually appealing but abstract enough to leave things up for interpretation. Keeping our tradition to work with up and coming artists and try and give them options to showcase their work, we went with Colombo, a friend who's just starting to give his first few steps as a digital artist. Here's a short interview to let you know more about the man with the Emeralds:
When did you start getting into graphic art and what sparked your interest to have a go at it yourself?
To be honest I never thought about doing visual art. Since a young age I became passionate about curating and promoting other artists work. In 2006 I created a small booking agency/record label in my home town and for six years I worked with more than 100 artists from all over the world, giving them the opportunity to showcase their work. But I always felt as a promoter/curator that something was missing, working so closely with artists, watching their creations come to life step by step, it gave me the will to create as well. Back then my role was to help them explore their ideas and promote their work. In 2013 I moved to London and I found myself depleted of any contact with art on a professional level. Naturally, this will to create became more evident, and I started exploring technology as my vehicle to express myself. Photography was my first attempt, taking advantage of my passion for travelling I started exploring iPhone photography and the results were great. A friend of mine showed interest in using one my pictures from a trip to Iceland as a cover for his music project. I had been longing to do something with music again so I said yes straight away. From there I started to explore new alternatives of editing, not just photo editing apps, but 3D as well.
From what I understand you have a very practical and mobile-friendly approach to your work. Can you give us a bit of insight into how you create your images?
Yes, I am part of this new generation of mobile-friendly artists. I use my iPhone, and apps like mextures, union, vsco or fragment to create all my works. My process is simple, depending on what I want to create, but if I want to develop work influenced by nature or landscapes I use my travel photographs as the base and manipulate from there. If my approach is more direct, like liquid art, it's just layers of colours with water and distortion.
These technologies give me the opportunity to create on the go, allowing me to be influenced by different surroundings. As I said before, I am passionate about travelling, so for me mobility is a big win.
How did you come up with the idea for the Roats Miguel EP cover? Did you find it difficult to interpret someone else's music and try and translate it into visuals?
This artwork was very straightforward. Having in mind Roats Miguel live concept of hiding his identity, I knew that I wanted to create something with only his silhouette. My main idea was to create a cover that would try to translate the same feelings of his live shows. Something related to fantasy, a dream but in a very distorted, I'd even say very electronic way. I consider myself fortunate to have a very cinematographic mind when it comes to music. It's very easy for me to describe emotions, images and scenes when I am listening to an album or song. I think this helps me visualising my graphic art.
What are your main influences as an artist, people who you look up to or inspire you in general?
This is a question that we could spend hours and hours talking about. But to simplify my answer I will start on what is the foundation of my structure, the decades of the 60s, 70s, 80s. The psychedelic era, of course, is really a big influence on me. Bands like Pink Floyd completely changed the way I see art or listen to music. Sun RA its another big influence that changed my perspective and introduced me to Afrofuturism and the connection with universe and jazz. Also with the beginning of the Synth era, going through the 80s, science fiction is another big influence on my works, mainly Japanese sci-fi art,like Kazumasa Nagai. Last, my travels which allow me to explore other realities and perspectives, the people that are part of my life and the ones I meet along the way.
A photo posted by Colombo Emeralds (@colomboemeralds) on
What other projects are you working on at the moment? Will we get to see some physical art from you anytime soon, maybe prints?
I just finished an EP cover for a French electronic producer called Obsimo. I am also in touch with a few record labels to develop some branding and artwork for their roster and yes, I am working on a series of works called ¨Portraits through Visualisations¨. This will be my first adventure with physical works; they will be available on my online store next month. I'm also preparing a three month trip to India next year so I will be sharing different impressions from the experience.
José Leal, aka Riça, has been part of Juicy's family for a while now. He first got involved on issue #02 of THE JUCE Fanzine, being responsible for the cover artwork and a few more illustrations. When we decided to create some comic strips for Roats Miguel new EP, Riça was my go-to man. The initial comic strips ultimately developed into a much bigger project: a full book that we are now releasing alongside the music. So what better time to introduce you to the artist behind all the heavy-graphic-lifting?
You've collaborated with us before as an illustrator for the fanzine, but this time it was a more complex project and one where you went solo. What were the main challenges?
Well, it was my very first big comic, so I had to apply a different method. I read Roats’ script, took notes about some visual references for the characters and scenarios and then started making some drafts. It was the most difficult part but at the same time the most interesting because I had to redraw a lot of details in the characters mainly while trying to make something slightly different from the big sci-fi references like Star Wars, Star Trek, Moebius, etc.
And what a challenge it was...Speaking about that, I want to leave you a suggestion here: go watch "Jodorowsky's Dune” (2014). I like to watch it when I feel I will just copy the work of big masters haha.
Are you a comics fan? Are there any graphic novels or artists you follow and whose work you find influential in your own?
Yes I am, since kid. I started with the common stuff: Marvel and DC, newspaper strips from Calvin and Hobbes, Asterix and Obelix, Tintin. Then I went to Soares dos Reis Art School (Oporto, Portugal) and a big friend of mine started feeding me like Neo with martial arts. He introduced me to Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Dave McKean, Crumb, Moebius, Quino - you can easily spot those influences in my work. But the ones I liked the most were these Brazillian guys - Angeli, Laerte and Glauco. Mind blow right there, they are crazy haha. Some time ago I discovered Breccia, Koike and Kojima. Amazing works.
You produce quite a diverse range of work. From record artwork to animated video, you seem to get involved in a lot of stuff. What gives you the most pleasure?
That's my main problem right now haha. On one side I feel I have to choose one or two passions so I can focus on them to become a master or, at the very least, really good at them. But on the other side I don't know which of them I should choose and maybe I don't want to choose none of them - I want them all.
It's really difficult to manage everything. Above of all, I like to do a lot of different stuff to expand my knowledge, experience, know more people and, mainly, to not get bored haha.
You're also a rapper with a focus on positive/conscious lyricism and quite politically active too. Do you think art and politics are always a good mix? Do you try and separate things, like leave the politics out of the graphic work and keep it just in the music?
Being political is part of my personality and I don't mean fighting for a party. In my everyday life I try to be aware of injustice and wrong attitudes and figure out ways to do something about it. Sometimes it is just a discussion, sometimes it's life choices like not eating meat/fish/dairy products and sometimes it's doing something with art to deliver a message, to give importance to something that most of us don't see.
So yeah, I like to mix it but I don't want to be the guy with the “political label”, not because there is something wrong with being political but because it's a label that simplifies the whole complexity of a living being. I think art, and even design, should not mix with politics when they are selling something suspicious - you know, fancy cheap slogans and shit. And when I say politics I also say everyday products we buy. There’s a big difference between making something look better and helping to sell “snake oil”.
What other projects are you working in at the moment, or what recent projects are you most proud of?
At this moment I'm working on my debut album (stay tuned to Microfome facebook page). I'm in the recording process and starting to work on the design. I also want to focus more on comics and animation. I had this daily strip comic project some years ago -https://www.facebook.com/ricaastiras - but now I want to make something different and more challenging.
I also enjoyed a lot making this video with Hugo Morais for rapper Dom Rubirosa:
I hope to get another one like this soon, it's so amazing to see your drawings come to life with animation.
If you want to check it more of my work, here’s my behance page.
We will have a stall at Grrrl Zine Fair at The Shacklewell Arms this Saturday, 10th September from 3-7pm.
Come and grab the latest issue of The Juice with the added bonus of avoiding shipping fees and hanging out with us + a bunch of other great DIY intersectional feminist, queer & punk publishers and zine makers.
South East London based sampling-producer Roats Miguel thrives in a duality of concepts. While his music brings to life an apocalyptic world in desperate need of a messiah, its sonic foundations are found in samples of his childhood memories, chopped and rearranged into collage-like beats - a sort of personal and reminiscent sonic playground.
Fascinated by sci-fi and armed with multi-instrumental skills, he created a 5 track debut EP that combines electronica with futuristic beat music, boasting Miguel’s singular compositional vision. Think LA Beat, think future garage, think outside the box.
EP will be out this September. Original cover artwork by Colombo Emeralds. Hear the opener track "He Has Returned" here.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: As you should know by now, we're really into our physical and DIY creations, so we decided to pair this new musical release with a Comic Book. Yeap, that's right. A comic book that further develops the concept of the release, showcases Miguel’s rich inner-world and sets the foundations for his mystic live performance. Roats co-wrote the story, Riça - from The JUICE Fanzine #02 cover fame - did all the illustration, and we're doing a release event to bring all of this to life.
Roats Miguel will be performing the EP in its entirety in his home turf, in Peckham's Rye Wax, a cosy venue that also has comic books and records for sale. Perfect match, right? This all will happen on September the 28th, and it's FREE ENTRY. More info on the event here.
You can pre-order everything here. Be aware that by buying the comic you get a download code for the music release.
For all of you who couldn't make it and those who want to rehash some memories, here's a little taste of what went down last Thursday at the Sebright Arms in Hackney, London.
Roats Miguel set the mood and tested the limits of the P.A system, Los Padres followed and brought a few special guests to help them make the night memorable. Riffs, crazy drum loops, a lot of weird singing and knob turning. Headbanging was a constant.
The night was a success and we only have y'all to thank. It was truly heart-warming to have such a good turnout of people on a rainy Thursday just before a big holiday weekend with a tube strike on top. Your support and love is what motivates us and the artists to keep on sharing special moments like this with you.
Here's a live video of the boys playing "Kenny G":
As you should know by now, we take our DIY ethics seriously. So when it came down to do the paintwork on Juicy's brand new 10th release, we got down and dirty with the band themselves. And now you can see the results on the picture gallery above.
With handwritten side A/B and colourful ink splatters and drips, no two tapes look the same. You can pre-order yours here, and if you're in London on the 24th of March you can buy advance tickets for our Album Release Concert here, which for now still secure you a limited red tape (not pictured).
Experimental rock with an Italian flavour being released on a label with Portuguese roots. Common denominator: London.
Los Padres self-titled debut album is out 21st of March: 100 cassette tapes, 20 in red for pre-orders. Mp3 download code is included. Listen to the full stream of the album here. Pre-order the tape here.
We're also doing a release party gig on the 24th of March, at The Sebright Arms. Support by Roats Miguel. Entry is £4 at the door or £7 including the tape. You can get advance tickets here - if you want to collect the tape on the day with no shipping costs (and with a friendly discount) select the "TICKET + TAPE" option.
Been a while since we last talked about new bands and records. Fanzine and other projects aside, we're still a record label and we still want to support talent we believe in, so it's always thrilling when we find artists on bandcamp creating music we actually want to release.
Meet Los Padres:
These guys pack a lot of energy for a duo. Hailing from Northwest London, Alessandro and Alberto carve out their sound with experimentation, balancing out raw guitars and hypnotising drums with modulated vocals and unexpected melodies.
We're releasing their S/T debut album in cassette tape, with a revamped artwork and mp3 download included. 100 tapes, 2 colours (limited one for pre-orders).
The record is streaming in full over their bandcamp. This means you can listen to the whole thing RIGHT NOW, just click here. Follow them on Instagram and give the boys a like on Facebook if you fancy their music.
We're stoked to announce that we now have issue #03 of The JUICE Fanzine available in two spots in London:
Charlotte Street News, next to Goodge Street Station. They stock pretty much every relevant magazine on Earth and are our go-to place to check out new publications whenever we're around. They have a very organized webstore.
ICA Bookshop, right next to Trafalgar Square. The Institute of Contemporary Arts is a reference for us (76's Prostitution exhibition - know your punk history) so it's really cool of them to agree to stock our zine in their Bookshop.
So if you live in London and online shopping is not really your thing, now you have 2 places right in Central London. We're working on having more stockists, hopefully in other parts of Europe too, maybe other continents too. If you know any local store supportive of DIY culture and small press in your area, get in touch.
Friday the 20th of November 2015 was a memorable day for us. It was our first ever event in London, our biggest one to date, to celebrate our new fanzine, the third issue of a project which has gained a life of its own, even redirecting part of the energy of Juicy towards publishing, a thing we would never have considered five years ago.
Our THE JUICE #03 Release Party exceeded our best expectations. More than the attendance numbers being overwhelmingly positive or the fact that we already sold a good chunk of stock, what made the difference was the positivity, the smiles, the conversations, the many familiar faces and the new faces that came to meet us and our fanzine for the first time.
On Friday we truly felt that the hard work paid off and that we managed to bring something important to life together with a big group of like-minded people that still care about DIY and self-expression. Thank you for sharing your time with us, means the world.
And none of this would be possible without a few people that need to be highlighted because of their direct contribute:
Fúria, for the painting, the prints, and the overall support.
Mike, for agreeing to be part of this very last minute, the photos and even the ice.
Joana, for coming all the way from Liverpool to peel and cut veggies.
Laura, for helping with the car and being the nicest person.
Elena for arranging things with FA and delivering the playlist on time.
Jimmy for the video and being crazy enough to do it.
Lukasz, the hummus god and provider of unexpected but most appreciated catering.
Fábio & Emilia for the record, hooking us up with Lukasz and the brownies.
Lisa, for being patient about the interview and doing the photo-reporting of the night.
Anete, for the prints and the laptop.
Manu, for the go-pro we didn't use (lol), and for turning up too late but with a genuine intent.
Deborah and Stokey's Food Assembly for the wonderful fruit and veggies.
Ken and Doomed Gallery.
Ieva, for everything basically. Without her this event would not have been a success.
As usual, took us a while to put it together, but it's finally here.
On this new issue we want to shake things up a bit and start some debates, so expect thought-provoking articles focusing on gender identity, featuring writing on the resurgence of the Riot Grrrl movement and the LGBT groups within punk-hardcore. But we're still keeping some travelling adventure to feed your wanderlust, world music exploration and plenty of graphic art and vegan cooking to delight your eyes.
We talk about being gay in the punk-hardcore community and the challenges that feminism faces from a riot grrrls point of view. We go to Nepal to trek the Himalayas, to Cape Verde to track down the influences that originate some of the most prolific roots music circulating around Europe, while also going back to another island: Iceland, a love affair from our previous issue that we now get to expose in its full glory via pictures from a summer round trip. We leave space for opinion and creative writing about how to see past the walls of routine and time constrains, while also questioning the behind-the-scenes of the so called "independent music".
Keeping music in the limelight, we interview bands like Iron, Swain and Karma Sheen, give you some playlist recommendations and ideas on how to turn serious tunes into a reason to get friends together around...a couch?
There's also art with Ash Santos from Vigo, Spain, showcasing his work and an in-depth interview with Fúria ACK, an up and coming street artist and illustrator who has been taking over East London's walls and slowly breaking through the world of art galleries and commissioned work.
And yes, of course there's a release party.
Come and hangout with us on the release event on Friday the 20th of November from 6pm at the Doomed Gallery in Dalston. See a live painting performance by Fúria, a photo and illustration exhibition from artists also featured in the zine, video projections, music, free fruit juice and vegan treats (provided by the lovely people from the Stoke Newington Food Assembly) and of course it’s your chance to get your hands on a fresh copy of The Juice #03!
Pre-order the Fanzine here - there's an option to collect at the party free of charge.
After years of collaboration and the recent success at the European HC Pool Party 2015, we're really excited to announce a full-on partnership with Infected Records, who are going to carry out our Distro and handle our Portuguese shipping from now on.
This is good news if you happen to live in Portugal or anywhere in Europe, as shipping will be slightly cheaper. For anyone in the UK, prices are pretty much the same with currency exchange, but still keep in mind we have stock in London, both Juicy releases and some of the most recent additions to the Distro.
This also means that if you're interested in stuff from both labels, you can now email Infected (or us) and ask for a combined order, again saving on shipping.
Our undying love and endless thank you to João at Infected's HQ for helping us out.