My love affair with Keith Haring is in full swing again. How could I forget?

Just when I need it most, I’m reminded of the vast collection of his work digitally, through Artsy. We are blessed with the now easy ability to view 208 of his works (and counting)! Which really is a super small piece of the gigantic output of this marvelous man. Click on each picture for the larger view.

Fertility #3, 1983

 

 

 

 

I’m always struck by his ability to convey so much with relatively simple designs, that translate quickly to a wide range of individuals.

 

keith2

 

 

 

 

 

 

keith3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just seeing Keith in a video like this is electrifying for me. I just missed him here on Earth, gone way to soon in my eyes. Keith was superb at challenging his surroundings. Not just taking in his surroundings, but zooming out for a more broad picture, discovering his point of view, and then demonstrating that point of view in a forceful, yet playful way. So, in the spirit of not taking “reality” at face value, I encourage the continued research and discussion into the nature of Keiths death. I feel that people who truly mean what they say, when they express their connection, adoration, whatever, should seek complete understanding of an issues makeup, especially when an issue has been connected with the deaths of millions of people. That’s all I’ll say, for now.

I love you Keith, shine on

– Jimi Jaxon

 

Works respectively: Self Portrait, Fertility #3 (1983), Untitled #7 (1988), A Pile of Crowns for Jean-Michel Basquiat (1988)

 

Perfect time for reflection. In case you missed it, we had Disco Droppings first release a few months ago. “MMXV”, Free 7-track + mixed version from Sphyramid. Was able to get some of our friends behind the video, artwork and tunes to share their perspectives..

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Sphyramid, Producer

DD Knowing and working alongside you over the years, this seemed to be your most involved project so far. There were many elements coming together over what ended up being 6 months or so. Now that some time has past since the release in October, how do you reflect on it all?

SPH Well the whole thing is pretty coincidental, it started as a single track and video (Loud Enough). I didn’t have a computer at the time but my roommate was going to Mexico for a month which gave me the opportunity to use his computer to record the rest of the release.

This collection of tracks represents a huge release of negative energy. My father passed away in January of 2014, then I experienced an intense process of betrayal and forgiveness between a lover and a close friend the following October. then in April of 2015, I quit my food service job that I once loved but had become a personal hell. Somehow being driven to my most extreme state of overwhelming despair gave me the courage to look at my self and make that jump to being a creative professional. As soon as I left that mental and physical space of loathing to focusing on my art I received more and more opportunities. I started the video project with Tucker and put the call out for people to help. All of a sudden I realized that I had this huge crew of supportive, loving friends and fans.

I basically spent the remainder of this year fine tuning the tracks, getting them mastered, and corresponding with Alden for the artwork. Now that we are approaching the end of the year its fitting that we look back on “MMXV” because that is exactly what I named it (roman numerals for 2015). This might just be post rationalization, but this project was like some kind of offering to the gods, a sacrifice or something. It’s like saying, “Here take this darkness, I don’t need it anymore. But it has served me well.”

Next year I would like to re-release it as “MMXVI” (2016) with as many vocal edits and remixes as possible. But until I find all my vocalists and get that recorded I will continue my research and development for my next project. “MMXV” was like therapy, but it was also just a snapshot of a year in my life, a collection of ideas that happened to fit together. My next project will be a more cohesive concept album focusing on some more positive and playful feelgood vibes, I think I have earned it :]

 

sphyramidmmxvart

Alden Lee, Artwork

DD I was impressed with some of your previous pieces, and pleased to have you on board for artwork. How do you go about creating, and how was it being involved with this project?

AL I sift through magazines looking for anything that catches me eye and cut them out, and those cut-outs go in a bin. When I make something new I spread out all the paper pieces on the floor and see if any of them look good together. If they do, then I add more pieces and go from there.

It was a lot of fun contributing to the MMXV release. The design was inspired by some stills of the video shoot, and I wanted to make something that could key into those mystical and occult elements.

 

Tucker Grindstaff, Video Director

DD I remember being a small part of one of the shooting days for “Loud Enough” over in Everett earlier this year. You were noticeably apt at guiding a sizable group of people through the different scenes in a calm, upbeat way. What did you take from this whole process?

TG The “Loud Enough” video shoot was a party in a bedroom of Sphyramid’s house with all of his friends who were there to have fun, dress up, and get absolutely crazy. All I had to do was tell them when to party in the bedroom and when to eat tater tots to go with their champagne. I couldn’t have done it without my production team, especially Alexander Vincini and Adam Bagley who helped tremendously in wrangling the crowd; really my job was just ensuring that people knew there were tater tots to eat and where the tots were. The end product showed the fun and ‘maniacally smiling from the shadows’ vibe that drew me to Sphyramid’s music in the first place, and in the end I think it was a lesson in how to create an atmosphere that mirrored the artist’s intention. Really though, those tots took it to another level.

Sphyramid – Soundcloud Facebook

* Thanks to Lealia and anyone else that was a part of this project and was not mentioned.

– Jimi Jaxon

nero1 -@jameshawkridge

The last time this group manifested itself, they demonstrated a quality that was  just so dazzling and mind blowing. I witnessed their power first hand live years ago, along with their personal charm working backstage in Seattle. So the bar was way, way up there. And getting clues that they were returning, I was very eager to hear, and slightly uneasy. The landscape of electronic music feels very different this time around, and I was curious to see how they’d stamp their name in album two.

 

After a first listen around the release date of Between II Worlds this past September, and several over the next few months, the album resonated with me more and more. At first, it didn’t seem to hold the same cohesion as their debut, Welcome Reality. I enjoyed pieces, but as a whole I wasn’t fully satisfied. This perspective has changed, as I’ve changed. There is still a distinct, “Nero” vibe.

This theme of some sort of relationship having issues was given a whole new context the other day, playing the film Man of Steel on mute while letting this new full length play through. Watching the new born Kal-El sent off Krypton by his parents, just before the planet self-destructed was moving on a whole other level, soundtracked by those first few tracks, such as “Circles” and “It Comes And It Goes”.

mos-trailer-12

 

This time around, they sound more band like. The production style feels less monstrous, still vast, with moments of a kind of old-school flair. One thing that remains throughout both albums is such incredible emotional strength. If you’re having intense, unsettling and/or chaotic experiences in your life, Nero really “goes there”, riding waves of feeling with a whole lot of spunk. They are still securely holding their own space, and I welcome artists challenging it all with their ventures down these varying locations in time and space.

nero3 - @vtlmedia

Their 2015 Essential Mix, (round two for them on this legendary UK based series, with Pete Tong) was also one I warmed up to. I mean, what DO you do after crafting a mix like they debuted on Radio 1 in 2010?? I would boldy state it’s one of the best mixes ever constructed on Earth.  But hey, they won me over once again. Huge cheers to Dan Stephens, Joe Ray and Alana Watson!! Thanks for stickin’ around, we love ya’ll.

 

Photo credits respectively, @jameshawkridge, Legendary, @vtlmedia

Nero – Twitter Soundcloud Facebook

thisisnero.com

– Jimi Jaxon

 

 

djinni-of-complexity

 

DD Hello there Masha and welcome to Disco Droppings! I met you at Recess Festival over the summer in Tonasket, Washington, and am pleased that the timing is right for this conversation. How are you?

MF Hi Jimi! I’m doing great. I have a nice fire going in the wood stove, and a kitty on the couch next to me.

DD I celebrate your varied approach with art. Working within several mediums is an enjoyable method for me too. Could you share some of the many areas you work in? Most recently I’ve seen your “Mandelbulb” realms, which are fascinating.

MF I enjoy working with ink and a wide variety of digital media. In the digital realm, I use a combination of photomontage and painting with custom brushes – mostly my own brushes, but sometimes ones made by other artists as well. Everywhere I go, I look for unusual textures and lighting, and other cool stuff I can photograph to use later as elements in my work. So that’s all part of using Photoshop for me. I wanted to try playing with a pixelated aesthetic, so I bought the program Hexels and made a couple of pieces using it. I just started playing with Mandelbulb, which feels really alien to me because I’ve never used so much CGI before. I use far more traditional art values with Mandelbulb than any other work because it’s just so easy to get lost in its infinity. When I work with a pen, I just feel so grounded by comparison. There’s things I can make with a regular pen and paper that I can’t make on the computer only because it feels different to use. But every new medium I try, I learn something new!

long-thread

DD What have been some of the major transformative periods that built up to the artist and human we see today?

MF When I was in high school, I was felt kind of depressed about art. It felt like my imagination, in relation to drawing, sort of died, and I couldn’t get it started up again. I still took art classes, and two really wonderful things happened: The teacher, Mr. Yee, was about to teach us contour drawing. He showed us a very detailed and realistic drawing of a sandal, and asked us how long it took for the student to learn to draw like that. Everyone answered responses of 5 years or more, until he revealed the poor drawings that person had done earlier in the semester. It only took one semester for them to get that good, because he had the right teacher! I think we were all galvanized by this demonstration. I felt liberated. Also, right about that time, my mom bought me a set of gel pens, which had just appeared on the market. They were very consistent and downright frictionless compared to any other pen or pencil – just perfect lines. Suddenly I was in love with drawing all over again, and didn’t really stop from then on.  

When I was in college for biology, I was doing all kinds of crazy projects – I made a nature documentary, I rode my bike across Florida, through the Keys to write a travelogue. But I was increasingly feeling that whatever I wanted to do with my life was not aligned with sitting in a lab and taking measurements. I left school for a few years to figure out what to do next. The jobs available were obviously dead-end, so I went to St. Armand’s Circle and began to draw portraits for a living. At least that way I could improve at some sort of skill! In between customers I drew for fun and eventually developed one of the styles I still use today. I later returned to school, but still tried out a wide variety of classes before settling on art. I owe so much to my partner Dustin, who supported me through so many periods when I wasn’t making any money, and continues to help me in so many ways.

dynamo-color-adjusted

DD I sense waves of fresh interest towards the power of consciousness. Your energy definitely has that mind expansive quality. What’s your understanding of this area, and what role do you see yourself playing?

MF I believe that we have not yet scratched the surface of what the human brain can do, and that today, more than ever, we have the tools with which to discover its possibilities. It’s really amazing, especially when science and consciousness exploration work together. But what I notice is that people tend to fall in-step with each other. Visionary art (for lack of a better term) is so meaningful for us, because it captures so well the places we’ve been or want to visit. For better or for worse, these works are modern-day icons, like pictures of Jesus and Mary in a cathedral. They subtly direct our minds to have particular kinds of experiences as we expand. And so, there is the possibility that unless we become aware of this type of conformity, that as a community we may hit a collective mental ceiling.

Compare it to our internet use. How much of your time do you spend on Facebook, compared with going out into the wild beyond where Google can barely reach? Facebook users share a lot of awesome things, but if some of us don’t visit pages outside of social media, we’ll all just be recycling the same old memes over and over. And so with our consciousness exploration.

DD Some resist change and the future. Some of your instruments, like the graphics tablet have certain techniques that “old school” instruments wouldn’t be able to do. I like hearing the new positive ways expression can be opened up with developing materials. Could you expand on this?

MF Well, technology hasn’t changed anything about staring at a blank page trying to decide what to make!

One of the things, in 2D art that I’m really excited about is pattern recognition in neural nets. Most people I think, have seen the Google DeepDream images last summer. It’s taking a neural net designed for recognizing certain objects and asking it what it sees in another image, taking that image and feeding it through, over and over until you get weird things like puppy slugs and eyes everywhere. The computer now has pareidolia! But even though the code is freely available, there aren’t that many vast neural nets around yet, so mostly you’re getting the same old puppyslugs and architecture recognizable as Google’s

or MIT’s nets. Right now there’s some loose code and software available through CUDA that lets you train your own neural net through machine learning, but it can only be used on an older version of Linux, which can be massive pain to install. But, DeepDream breaks the predictability of typical Photoshop filters and almost any other 2D image manipulation, so I think there’s a lot of possibility for a new tool. I wish I could code better so I could use it already!

 In 3D art, right now 3D printers are on brink of being available and usable for anybody. It’s very satisfying to model even the silliest thing and then to print it out – but the real strength lies in the ability to print something very complex which cannot be sculpted or assembled by human hands. People have already been designing stunning mathematical objects and displaying them in galleries, and sometimes making the files freely downloadable so others can print them out on their own machines. Furthermore, one can take these printed objects and cast them into a mold, out of which a more permanent and beautiful sculpture can be made.

city-arch-web

DD There are so many layers to this art of yours. “City Arch” for example. It took me many looks to really notice the landscape at the bottom. For a while, the arches and trees grabbed my attention. Do you like the idea of people exploring your visuals, with some elements hidden for discovery?

MF Yes! It makes me so happy to hear you say that. When I was a kid, I went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC with my grandma. We would sit for some time in front of the elaborately assembled dioramas, looking for hidden animals. It was always surprising. I can think of so many instances where my imagination was set aflame just by realizing that all around us are hidden worlds we could find, if we just took a minute to step outside our regular paths. So in many of my ink pieces such as “Wet Cats” and “The Weaver”, I enjoy placing little details everywhere to be found later.

DD What does support mean to you? Has your experience and understanding of this changed over the time you’ve been exploring these other realms and dimensions?

MF Support means a lot of things to me. But I suppose at the end of the day it’s that I can be myself around a few close friends and not feel like I’m out of my mind. And maybe that someone brings me food when I’m in a flow state so that I don’t have to stop. Since my husband and I both tend to get into flow states a lot, we drink a lot of smoothies now.

I am surrounded by the most amazing, supportive people. I suppose it is my greatest fear that I’d let the ones who mean most to me down, and oddly, that fear has grown with time instead of disappearing. It is like a gnawing flame, reminding me to get better and try more. Some people talk about letting that type of motivator go, but I’m not sure if I can. I heard it’s not really a very healthy outlook to have, but I suppose that at my core, I’m just not very Zen. Maybe it keeps me anchored so that I don’t just drift off into strange realms. Being given support of any type to pursue your passion is really meaningful, and I feel like I’d better give some kind of returns to those who have invested in me. Otherwise it wouldn’t be very fair, like some unspoken contract had been broken. Gah, that was a tough question.

DD How can readers get in touch with you about acquiring pieces?

MF You can either visit my Etsy page, or email me at mashafalkov@yahoo.com.

DD As we come close to the end of the year, any insights to share or thoughts on the future?

MF Ummm…there’s a thing you want to do. No, not that thing. Not chores or taxes or emails. That thing, sitting in the back of your mind for a decade. What was it you were planning back then? A trip to someplace you now deem impractical to visit? A painting you think you lack the skill to create? A story you wanted to write? And then you got distracted, and it never made your to-do list, because it wasn’t so important. Go and Do The Thing. Sure, it sounds trite. But do it anyway. Now, you can’t say that nobody ever told you to Do The Thing. Cheers and thanks!

intothevortex

Masha Falkov – Facebook

dreamsandtravels.com

– Jimi Jaxon

technium-web

 

 

Jimi Jaxon here! And this is my new mix alongside Machinedrum in Seattle! In awe that this is the third show I’ve played with Travis Stewart. I consider him to be one of the best artists around, a serious gift to the universe. Disco Droppings draws influence from this dude, and I intend to continue holding my light for diverse sounds such as these.

Wide range, reppin’ allies from this site, 7 Deadly Records, and my local area ++

 

Ambalance – Outwarne

Ana Caprix – Strawberry Moon

Jimi Jaxon – S101115S

XI – Gamma Rain

youryoungbody Bishop

Juakali – Rootz (XI Remix)

Nightmare Fortress – No Exit (Zoolab Remix)

Acre – Effected The Most (Original Mix)

Grimes – Skin (Sorrow Remix)

Lando – Run It

Hxdb – Mustard (Cure Remix)

Canblaster – Triple Ring

Walton – Frisbee

Airhead – Pyramid Lake (Original Mix)

Kingdom – Mind Reader feat. Shyvonne (Bok Bok Remix)

Sphyramid – Selling (MMXV)

 

Mastered by Greyspot

q nightclub
fwd
10.28.15

 

 

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