The 20 Most Anticipated Albums of 2014

2013 is over, and now it’s time to look at the future! Stop with all the charts with the best albums of 2013 or best tracks; now we must move forward and keep an eye on the future releases. This is a list of the albums that will come out in 2014, not all have been confirmed with a precise date, but let’s keep our fingers crossed!


Release date: February 25th via TDE/Interscope

-No mythologies to follow

Release date: February 24th via Chess Club/RCA Victor


Release date: January 21st via Rough Trade Records

-ST. VINCENTSt. Vincent

Release date: February 25th via Loma Vista/Republic

-BECKMorning Phase

Release date: February via Capitol Records

-SAM SMITHIn the lonely hour

Release date: May 26th via Capitol Records


Release date: Spring via Carpark Records

-EMAThe future’s void

Release date: April 7th via Matador Records


Release date: Spring via Domino Records


Release date: Spring via Tri Angle

-BLACK LIPSUnderneath the rainbow

Release date: March 18th via Vice


Release date: January 28th via Sub Pop

-THE WAR ON DRUGSLost in the dream

Release date: March 28th via Secretly Canadian


Release date: April 28th via Ninjatune

-METRONOMYLove letters

Release date: March 10th via Because Music/Elektra Records


Release date: March 18th via Columbia Records


Release date: January 27th via Werk Discs/Ninjatune

-RIFF RAFFNeon icon

Release date: January 28th via Mad Decent

-ADDISON GROOVEPresents James Grieve

Release date: February 28th via 50 Weapons


Release date: February via WeDidit/Def Jam

Enrico Chinellato 
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Ying Gao, Wearable Technologies in the Mood for Coolness

“Wash at your own risk – we do. We recommend washing projects by hand with a mild detergent. Drip dry. Make sure you remove your power supply first!”. That’s what is stated in black and white on the official website of LilyPad, Arduino’s microcontroller devoted to the development of e-textiles projects. The high-maintenance of LilyPad based garments isn’t only about care. Their fragility, in fact, talks about the current state of the art of the wearable technologies sector. While few electronic components have become a mature and affirmed standard, their applications still live in the age of infancy: full of unbridled enthusiasm, broken steps and great expectations, looming an intriguing horizon of new shapes and functions, that we only glimpse in the distance.

Back to the present and its underground world of tech nerds, we have been looking for an exception, somebody engaged in developing a personal aesthetic vision that might be closer to a meaningful artefact, instead of a feasible application. Thus, we came across the wonderful talent of Ying Gao, a Montreal-based fashion designer who stands out for her capacity to satisfy both the demanding taste of fashion victims and the quest for interaction of design geeks. Her approach to e-textiles is not focused on implementing the most widespread tech features (such as the geolocalization or the embedded energy recharging systems). On the contrary, she’s keen on researching a new poetical language that puts together sensitive dresses and imaginative concepts into an unprecedented interactive process.

The spectator has a key role: triggering the dialogue between the garment and its environment. In Incertitudes, people’s voice activates the garments’ pins, which start moving and simulating a halting dialogue with humans. In Walking city, inspired by Archigram’s mobile structures, the breath provokes a garment inflation through the launch of a pneumatic mechanism embedded between the two materials used, cotton and nylon, with electronic components.

Inspired by Jacques Tati’s masterpiece, her Playtime stimulates the viewer to reconsider the perception of her dresses: the flashes of cameras (and tablets) light up their surfaces, transforming both of them into a dazzling surface: a metaphor of the trompe l’oeil that keeps on making our society, and even its most intelligent contemporary coutures, invest.

Giulia Zappa 
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Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art

The Folk culture has been on trend for several seasons now. It is actually one of those trends that never disappears. The reason probably lies in the fact that it is relatively easy to achieve, quite comfortable to wear and almost reachable to different ages. We have seen through the years the ethnic and gipsy moods and eventually the boho chic, that is still on vogue – think about the Coachella festival and other similar music events. Donna Karan took inspiration from folk prints for the Spring/Summer 2014 catwalk. The result was a collection based on huge skirts and capes, playing with Aztec motifs, too. Also Valentino worked with different races in a swing of fringes and Renascence details with a sartorial approach.

This perpetual connection between folk culture and fashion has recently inspired the American Folk Art Museum in New York, to challenge thirteen couturiers, invite them to choose works from the museum’s holdings and create an original piece of couture – it could be a sculpture, a painting, a decorative quilt or even a picture. Alexis Carreño, guest curator of Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk art, says “there is not a literal translation of the artwork into the ensembles, spectators have to find the connections”.

Fashion designers as Chadwick Bell, Creatures of the Wind, Catherine Malandrino, ThreeASFOUR, and many others have given life to a variety of fashion pieces with diverse stylistic approaches. The confirmation of the relation between one world and the other comes also from the designers themselves: they have also been influenced by folk culture in the past, mostly because of its geometric patterns and the feeling of freedom.

The show will run until April 23rd.

Francesca Crippa 
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When objects speak: Quattro muri e due case for Alessi

It is an undeniable truth that objects speak: they speak about how they were made, about who made them, they speak about our past, present and future, but most importantly they speak to and about us, their users. Nevertheless, as Richard Buchanan states, never has one idea been so central and yet so elusive in design studies as communication. In fact, he states that “although not so obvious at first glance, the themes of communication and rhetoric in this larger field [of design production] exert strong influence on our understanding of all objects made for human use.” And yet, we cannot exactly understand how and why a certain object communicates, even less so we can clearly understand what it is supposed to convey.

One of those objects that appear to communicate in a powerful, yet not entirely comprehensible way, was presented last week at Maison et Objet, in Paris. The object in question was designed by Michele De Lucchi for Alessi and it is a simple bamboo tray with handles shaped as tiny houses, named Quattro muri e due case (Four walls and two houses). This simple object speaks about its designer’s personal poetics and sensibility, while also speaking about values of craft and properly made objects, it speaks about ever-growing crisis in design world, as well as about us, its users.

Taking it step by step, we can analyse the material of which the tray is made: bamboo. First of all, if you are familiar with Michele De Lucchi’s work, you will surely know about his love for wood: “Wood has a great sensibility and it’s very contemporary because of the interest humans have in nature today. It’s a natural material and can be grown responsibly.” In particular, the fact that this tray is made of bamboo conditions the way it is produced. In fact, De Lucchi states that “It’s a very simple design and I would call it a craftwork product. It’s not interesting from a production point of view to mechanise such a product. So this tray is more or less produced by hand.”

What appears to be a simple choice of materials, actually conditions the production process itself, revealing much about the present condition of design market and production. De Lucchi, in fact, reveals the inspiration behind the tray’s form: “The industrial culture is moving away from the real needs of human beings. I wanted to use this opportunity to communicate through industrial products and spread a little bit of calm, a little bit of consciousness. This is a product with a very poetic inspiration. It’s not performing any special functionality. I think what it does is bring to the table, on a small scale, a landscape – a very simple piece of land with four walls, two houses. Landscape has become a very poetic condition and something we’re increasingly worried about damaging.”

It might strike you that, as De Lucchi says, a simple object made of “four walls and two houses” can reveal so much about our culture, the way we affect our surroundings, it can reveal our values and passions. So, the next time you find yourself looking at what may appear only a simple piece of wood, metal, plastic or glass, remember that even the simplest of object shouldn’t be easily dismissed.

Rujana Rebernjak 
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Style Suggestions: Sweatshirts

Sweatshirts have been reinvented on the runways for both men and women, and there is an array of styles you can choose from! The classic grey, colour blocked and printed matched with great accessories will have you looking stylish and feeling cozy in no time.

Paul Smith, A.P.C., Valentino, Givenchy, Levis, Roy Roger’s, Kart Luggage, Acne Cap, Marc Jacobs Sunglasses

Paula C Clutch, Kenzo, J. Crew, Rag & bone, Preen, Roy Roger’s, Elizabeth Cole Earrings, Acne Sunglasses, Givenchy

Styling by Vanessa Cocchiaro 

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Darren Almond – To Leave a Light Impression

The White Cube Gallery, in London, hosts an exhibition of Darren Almond‘s new works (b. 1971, Wigan, UK). The British artist exploits different media – including photography, film and sculpture – to present landscapes that recall the sensibility of romantic paintings. In To Leave A Light Impression, Almond displays once again his typical atmospheres full of poetry, with a strong intimistic power, that open new perspectives and digs into memory. The fil rouge that links the two series entitled Fullmoon and Present Form, as well as the six pairs of small cylinder-shaped bronze sculptures featured in the show, is the connection between human beings and the moon, along with the concept of time, analyzed as a “here and now” concept and as the measure of the cultural sedimentation.

The bronze sculptures represent, through his initials, the relative weight of one of the astronauts who went to the moon, while Fullmoon consists of photographs that have been taken by Almond over a period of 13 years, using long exposure to point out the details of the wild, exotic and natural panoramas captured in Patagonia, Tasmania and Cape Verde, during full moons. These volcanic rocks, depicted in large-scale images – with a unique pictorial attitude and a classical composition – join the standing, vertical stones of Present Form, shot in the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides: they were supposed to have been used to determine the moon phases. The stillness of the rocks, sometimes covered by vegetation and pervaded by an unusual light that mixes up night and day, and the men’s need to control the passing of time – as in Tide (2008), where 600 clocks aligned on the wall to register the relentless passage of time – are part of Darren Almond’s poetics and research, which leads to a deep and touching meditation.

To Leave A Light Impression, the latest exhibition of one of the greatest artists featured in Sensation (1997-1999), in the legendary opening of Saatchi’s collection, in the Venice Biennale (2003) and winner of the prestigious Turner Prize, among the others, will run until April 13th, 2014: it is definitely worth a visit!

Monica Lombardi 
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London’s East End

“If you are in London and want to feel cool, East End is your place”. September 2013: I heard a middle-aged lanky hippy whispering this sentence to a kid, while I was walking alone near Brick Lane. Before the 90′s, the East End was considered the suburban zone of London, its tatty and poor daughter, inhabited mainly by middle eastern butchers, bengali restaurateurs and indian barbers. After the 90′s, what was considered the homeland of the english working class changed its face.

Brick Lane, also known as Banglatown (one name, one reason), is East End’s most famous street and the emblem of this transformation: what used to be the seediest part of the town in the past is today a fashion and modern location full of pubs, art galleries, restaurants and small vintage markets. The Docklands Light Railway opened in 1987 to link the East End with the city, and the 2012 Summer Olympics Games signed this process of requalification.

In the last years, the East End has become synonymous of an area full of liveable neighborhoods. From the Whitechapel district – famous due to Jack the Ripper‘s murders – to Bethnal Green Road, the cross-cultural heart of London, the metropolitan fauna is a key element – from ‘chavs’ to hipsters, from businessmen to workmen – that creates a melting pot of different styles and cultures.

But there is something that has not changed: walking through the alleys and tiny streets, under flyovers not far from sparkling shop windows and new buildings, the air breathed in the 90′s has stayed the same. Not too distant from museums and new theaters, the working class houses and the abandoned offices are still there, with old rusted cars in front of them. If you turn the corner, you will see that integration sometimes doesn’t work, when for example, a white skinny boy with a rough cockney accent take out a clasp knife and thrust it into the thigh of an indian boy the same age. Then, you realize that sometimes neither the Olympic Games nor a commercial street can transform the real and ancient face of a place. East London will always have a rough, suburbian and dangerous soul that will never change.

Antonio Leggieri – Image Courtesy of Antonio Leggieri, Tim Rich and Lesley Katon, David Jones, Eric Parker, Hectate1 
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Fashion Double Jeopardy

The law is – in the word of Aristotle – reason free from passion. This isn’t quite the case within the fashion laws. At least not when you take into consideration what creates a fashion forward look, innovation and bending the rules. Fashion rules have always existed as well as those who break them, repeatedly. Although this could also be a case of fashion double jeopardy.

Double jeopardy is a term used within judicial instances in for example the United States. The term simply put concerns the fact that a defendant cannot be sentenced for the same crime twice. Something I would like to plea is also an occurrence within the fashion world. When committing a fashion crime there can be harsh sentencing. Magazines raving about the fashionable heroes but condemning the criminals. Remember the ridicule Lady Gaga faced for wearing a meat dress a few years back? Or the iconic Swan dress Björk wore to the Academy Awards? These were naturally women with an already eccentric style but the ruling of the jury was still a unanimous “guilty”. Ironically, designer Jeremy Scott later produced his own take on the meat dress validating the act of communication instead of a fashion crime.

The ruling of fashion double jeopardy is made possible since the argument can be made that the defendant has no criminal intent but is simply expressing a personal style, a sartorial communication. Even though the fashion court may not find it “chic” the criminal has paid its due and made it their own. Perfectly matching an outfit from top to toe was for several seasons unthinkable. Instead it should look as if you just happened to wear something that went together. Today, wearing the same print on both top and bottom is simply “stylish”, a result of monochromatic influences.

Another reason to embark upon fashion double jeopardy is that it will nourish the invention of new street style which can inspire designers and therefore aid the industry. For a very long time the fanny pack was a fashion faux pas of grand proportion. Some listened, others did not and for SS14 it was seen on several runways, including Tory Burch. There are many other so called fashion crimes that, when broken, have created a new way for fashion, the aspect of “more is more” is one that comes to mind. So before you object, the notion of fashion double jeopardy can infuse the industry with the innovation and creativity that is needed to move forward in the cycle with or without passion.

Victoria Edman 
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Through the Lens of Thomas Albdorf

Thomas Albdorf 
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Green Porno for the Wild at Heart

I’ve been curious about Isabella Rossellini ever since I first saw her stumble, naked and badly bruised, off the front porch and into Kyle MacLachlan’s meager little arms near the end of Blue Velvet. “He put his disease in me!”, she screams in agony. Then she looks up. “Jeffrey, love me!” – all of this, of course, after she’d witnessed the kidnapping of her husband and child and been forced into sexual slavery by a raging drug addict who gets off on huffing gas and babbling like an infant. It was almost too much to watch, but here she was in the middle of it, possessed by madness, and she seemed to be enjoying it.

Uninhibited sexual violence, it turns out, lies at the heart of Rossellini’s career. Her recent television series, Green Porno, explores the often-brutal sex lives of insects and sea mammals. Part science education, part absurd DIY comedy, the show suggests that the psychotic primitive depravity going on in Blue Velvet bedroom wasn’t entirely David Lynch’s idea. Many things in nature are downright terrifying.

Green Porno teaches its audiences many useful things about sex in nature as well as the nature of sex in human culture. Did you know, for instance, that a male bee loses his penis and dies from blood-loss after mating, or that male spiders have to make up for their penis-less bodies by rubbing sperm on their ‘palpi’ (their hands) and sticking them into the females’ unsuspecting vagina(s)? Most of us are well-aware that the female praying mantis bites off her lover’s head after ejaculation, but did you know that dolphins are voracious swingers who regularly fin-fuck each other and encourage guy-on-guy blowhole sex? No joke. Makes all those coke-and-quaalude-fuelled stripper scenes in The Wolf of Wall Street seem kinda tame by comparison.

Now Rossellini is taking Green Porno to the stage, performing her avant-garde educational gag solo in front of a live audience at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In addition to intimate scenes of Rossellini in a day-glo costume mating with paper mache puppets, the show will also feature informational videos and monologues by the leading lady. Fun fact: Rossellini is also currently working toward a master’s degree in animal-behavior from Hunter College. If Green Porno presents itself as any sort of thesis statement, she should be just fine.

Green Porno: Live on Stage runs at BAM through January 25th.

Lane Koivu 
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