Tag Archives: 1992

FRIENDS & LEGENDS

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With it being the three-year (which has flown by, as if to remind me how much I’m wasting my life) anniversary of the legendary MCA’s passing early last week, it seemed relevant to have a hunt for something with a Beastie connection. The House of Style interview with Adrock and Mike-D from June 1992 is fairly well documented, but I hadn’t seen the full version of the interview before. I’ve mentioned it here before at some point, but the Porkys1982 YouTube account is one of the very best channels dedicated to a band, and they upped a near 10-minute long version of a Check Your Head era chat about X-Large (in which nobody seems to have told the boys that the Gazelle preempts the Campus) and a certain era of clothing that resonates with them. It’s a great accompaniment to the MTV Sports appearance from the same year, Adrock’s 1995 Valentine’s shopping trip, the 1994 X-Girl fashion show segment, or the 1995 X-Girl film that Nowness unearthed back in 2013 (Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band has some good background on X-Girl too). This Pump It Up interview is also something I hadn’t stumbled upon before. It’s important that the whole Beastie movement’s subcultural role is reiterated time and time again, but it’s also worth underlining how important they were in defining streetwear as we know it now.



On that mid 1990s note, a shoe I saw then completely lost track of has made a reappearance on shoe-selling site, Klekt. I’m not down with blowing up eBay auctions because it’s ungentlemanly, but I’m not sure what the unspoken rules are with Klekt. The Friends SMU of the Air Edge completes the trinity (I know there’s actually more — like the gear created for the Martin cast — but trinity just sounds nice) of Nike TV specials that Nike created in the mid 1990s. The Nike Binford for Home Improvement cast and crew and the Air Seinfeld version of the GTS for Seinfeld cast and crew aren’t as nice as the 2nd Season edition of the Edge specifically for friends of Friends in 1995, even if Friends and Home Improvement are trash compared to Jerry and company’s antics. This is extraordinarily rare. A gentleman by the name of Joe is currently taking offers for these.

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WRITING

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I’ve never ever considered myself a journalist, because I’m not qualified to be one and I generally write about the same topic, using the same words and phrases, again and again and again. I write as a hobby, and it’s always an honour to be asked to write for magazines I pick up — especially when they actually engage in an editing process, rather than hurling my semi-proofed copy straight in there. Participating in the back and forth of a good edit session is part of the pleasure as far as I’m concerned, because I’m prone to drop a typo or ten. INVENTORY — whose attention to detail is something that I admire —asked if I wanted to speak to Erik Brunetti about his career for their new issue, and he was more keen to talk art than dwell on Fuct. Which is fair enough. Plus I spoke to him about clothing and controversy for ACCLAIM a couple of years back. Because it’s Erik in conversation, he drops plenty of quotables on several subjects, plus there’s some great Tim Barber photography to accompany it.

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LAW just dropped an excellent short video on Slipmatt (who was part of SL2 — the kind of act XL used to sign back in the early 1990s). This electrician/hardcore DJ legend embodies an era and is still putting in the hours today. There’s something admirable about the British subcultural characters who carve a niche that they persist in, whether it’s considered cool or not. Shouts to the Bedford crew who were buying the cassette packs from Not Just a Ticket back in the day, while I was haunting Andy’s Records for rap tapes.


Seeing as Slipmatt embodies the spirit of 1992 like few others can, it’s worth noting that Ian Powell upped a Dance Energy from Monday, November 23rd 1992 in its (almost) entirety, from the House Party era of the show, complete with a comedy subplot where Vas Blackwood schemes to earn some money for some trainers and Normski executes the laceless Huarache look with a certain panache. The performances by Secret Life and Reese Project will smear that nostalgia a little for you by reminding you that the good music was generally a one in three affair on this programme.

PEER PRESSURE

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Music videos get mentioned here a lot as an inspiration and introduction to brands for a sheltered Bedfordian back in the day. Big up Ronan at Nike for pointing me in the direction of this one: with the M-O-B-B being the party house band of choice this year (with both Supreme and KITH drafting them in), Havoc and Prodigy (who, despite claiming he invented everything a few years back, is one of the original heavily tattooed east coast rappers, back when MCs were showing off a solitary piece on their shoulders) are getting some coin to compensate for their contribution to hard rock style. With the recent ACG relaunch (and the eventual arrival of some proper winter weather in the UK), the 1992 Peer Pressure video deserves some retrospect. Not only is it the track where P reveals his George “It’s called a T-square” Costanza style dream of becoming an architect, the gear being worn is notable too. In a discussion with Ronan from Nike, he pointed out that Puba isn’t the only Air Revaderchi king — Mobb Deep rocked matching pairs of the 1992 classic in this promo, back when they were on their sickle and teen thug rap wave. The Blink-and-miss Raids, that yellow Carhartt sweat and Air Force 1s with tucked in socks and faded denim were huge looks too. Now, hip-hop videos are cheap again, but this era of getting a crew into a couple of locations and doing a lot of walking towards the camera and behind fences is golden. The sickle (which, if my memory of the Prodigy autobiography is fully operational, was referring to his sickle-cell condition as well as their bleak outlook — though it may have been coincidence) and zip up Champion hoods to give them grim reaper looks is a nice, Queensbridge gothic touch.

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BANGERS

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At the ACG relaunch event at London’s NikeLab store, all eyes were on the future, but there was a small amount of archive material on display to provide a little context. With the 1989/1990 wave of inaugural All Conditions Gear apparel being designed by a former Patagonia man its functionality and attention to detail is underrated. The budget blockbuster that is the Air Mada was on display alongside the proto-ACG greatness of the Escape, but that 1989 GORE-TEX Cervino Parka to match your Baltoros, Snowpatch Spire Pullover from the same year with the asymmetric zip and 1992’s ClimaF.I.T. Micro Fiber Anorak. These hastily shot iPhone images don’t do the products justice. As the owner of a couple of pieces from this period, I can testify that those layering system fits aren’t ideal for everyday wear, unless you have fleeces and base layers to accommodate the generous sizing. Those colours are still perfect to me.

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This was the year of the underwhelming collaboration, but Zomby (who soundtracked an ACRONYM® video back in 2012) dropped an unexpected winner with his collaboration with Jonny Banger’s Sports Banger line. Sports Banger’s FILA homaging, Tulisa supporting, Polo meets Sports Direct, Mr Freeze addled worldview is part of a new wave of gleeful bootlegging with British corner shop and high street staples being given tributes in a post T-Shirt Party realm where things sneered at a few years back are being celebrated. 2014 is the year when people who were preoccupied with Shawn J Period when two-step was big and picking at Rawkus’ dying embers when Pay As U Go were popping can claim to be garage and grime heads, but it’s good to see British scenes get their recognition and artists like Skepta get room to move in that renaissance on their own terms. The fact no American could understand this mass of reference points is a pleasant polar opposite to hapless, once-you-go-crap-you-never-go-back attempts to break the States. If you buy both of the Zomby x Sports Banger ’92 t-shirts, you get a tub of dual-branded wet look ’92 hair gel — the gunk that created crispy barnets in schools, clubs and pubs 22 years ago. You can almost smell the Davidoff Cool Water, skunk and Marlboro Lights in the air.

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For anyone that moans about Gildan tees on marked up shirts not being removed (and anyone who bought street or skate wear back in the early 1990s can testify that a Hanes, Camber or Champion label left in was commonplace on the output from some of the greatest brands of the time), this Gildan one is a perfect middle-finger:

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6:25pm ON A MONDAY

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If my kids or grandchildren ever ask me what 1992 looked like, I’ll try to find them some footage from Dance Energy in whatever the format of choice is. There has been some great footage uploaded before, but shouts to Ian Powell for uploading some late 1992 episodes of the short-lived Dance Energy House Party dating back almost exactly 22 years — it had a Vas Blackwood-assisted comedy element back then and some of the music picks were just crap (just to dispel the revisionist depictions of this as some kind of flawless glory time), but there’s too many great moments to list right here. The brief boots in clubs trend segment with TLC, a Happy Mondays performance and the Essex dance music feature with Suburban Base had me having to have a sit down. Part of me finds a cathartic warmth from watching this kind of thing, but it also reminds me of my mortality when I realise just how long ago it was since I kicked back with some Turkey Drummers and Kia-Ora at 6:25pm on a Monday to see it the first time around.





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Back from a week overseas, so apologies for the delayed update here. In conversations over Szechuan food, Stüssy art director Mr. Adam Weissman mentioned that, as an enthusiastic 15-year-old, he co-directed, produced and wrote a hip-hop cable TV show in the vein of Fab 5 Freddy’s section of Yo! MTV Raps with a young Alchemist/Mudfoot on presentation duties during some early episodes that transmitted solely to the people of Beverly Hills. With Al wildly gesticulating and using slang I haven’t heard in a minute (one day we’ll have to explain to kids that a name like Funkee Phlavaz didn’t seem weird or dumb a few decades ago) while stood in a Cross Colors strewn Fred Segal, this is a loose-fitted time capsule of hip-hop from 1992 and 1993. Most of the videos are classics of the time, but it’s good to see them in good quality and the earnest nature of the whole thing, down to Adam interrogating Apache with a giant mic and the strangely flamboyant serif font on the end credits. There’s a whole load of barely told stories from this era (though Brian Cross’s It’s Not About a Salary is a great primer), with Blood of Abraham, Atban Klann, Bud Bundy, Balistyx and early Dilated Peoples making up the story of Los Angeles rap connecting with that famously wealthy postcode without having to descend into discussion of Brian Austin Green spitting those Demon Boyz/Das EFX wiggedy-diggedy multiple syllables. Adam told me one of the greatest anecdotes regarding Ruthless that I ever heard, so I’m looking forward to seeing some related acts on the show when more episodes get upped (there were 15 more made) on the show’s new website later this month.

TOOLS

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It’s nearly Christmas and — if you recall this blog’s content from Christmases past, you might recall the hate filled lists I used to drop here. I thought about doing one again, but the blog world is already full of folks getting all cynical despite being as obsessed with emperor’s new clothes as much as the next person, so it doesn’t need me doing it too. I think much of what I wrote in previous entries stands anyway — the world is at least 15% more corny and easily impressed than it seemed to be in late 2011. But why piss on people’s picnics? Plus, much of the work i contribute to every day is hardly firing on all cylinders, so I’m not in the position to take potshots right now. It’s still fun to fire off a few though, even if they backfire.

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Just because you’re a pro skater and you’re meant to be all artistic and expressive automatically means that you get to contribute to art shows with some lo-fi photography or a nosebleed on a canvas. It also means you get to start a brand as a passion project, which may or may not be utterly unremarkable. If you’re Geoff Rowley, that brand will be awesome and you’ll spend more time punching people in the face for talking shit, making your own jerky and shooting guns in a canyon. CivilWare, launched in the summer, didn’t catch my attention the first time around, because it just seemed to be another simple tee line. The current store inventory includes coffee beans, an axe made with Base Camp X, paper shooting targets and a custom-made knife with Anza Knives. Because it’s Rowley-affiliated, you know that he puts this kind of thing to use, rather than this being some self-aware attempt to reassert masculinity in the era of organic produce and hurt feelings on social media. I’m looking forward to seeing what CivilWare does next.

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Here’s a brief Shawn Stüssy interview from 1992 that calls him the “Urban Armani” and includes him shouting out Brand Nubian and discussing the brand’s expansion plans. it’s no the most in-depth discussion, but it belongs here for completist’s sake.

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Shouts to Joerg at 032c for letting me write some end of year shoe-related stuff for their site. Getting to big up Olympus Has Fallen onsuch a prestigious platform was quite a privilege.

Whoever decided to switch up “dog” for “gun” in this Timberland newspaper ad from the 1980s makes this promotion more memorable. Timbs beat guns — anyone who ever had that outsole imprinted on their face or chest and lived to tell the tale can concede that it probably beats a bullet in the assault stakes.

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While we’re talking axes and weaponry, just like Bad Santa, Home Alone, Gremlins, Father Ted, Scrooged and A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Tales From the Crypt episode And All Through the House is a Christmas necessity — you can see the original EC comic story here (don’t read it if you haven’t watched it yet) and the shorter British adaptation starring Joan Collins from the 1972 film Tales From the Crypt is here. Larry Drake is terrifying in the 1989 version and Fred Dekker and Robert Zemeckis do great things with the source material. I hope Santa brings all of you what you want and doesn’t arrive in the shape of an escaped psychopath…