Victoria’s Number Two Magazine
In This Issue:
Complex Turns Nine FREE
You Say Party! We Say Die! Because you’re
The Besnard Lakes the wolf
“Emmanuel” Rwanda/2005 - Emmanuel is one of the few survivors of a massacre (60,000) at the Murambi Technical school during the genocide in
Rwanda. He lost his whole family there and now shows visitors around the memorial (The Murambi Genocide Memorial).
BEN Humanitarian in focus
Ben Fox’s photography is important.Through his large collection of work you witness his struggle and success documenting desperation
and hope from different corners of the world. From LA, to New York, to Mozambique, To Rwanda, to Northern Uganda and Moberly
Lake, Ben exposes and beautifully depicts human connection versus human disconnection. Family versus industry. Life versus death.
His current show, which opened on March 29th at Habit coffee exhibits stills of his trip and experiences in L.A., a city that through its
sheer enormity, has become increasingly impersonal. This is becoming a common climate for modern western society, it’s getting easier
for people to revel in their own importance as a piece of a larger group as opposed of the importance of the group itself. Ben Fox
has not disregarded the group. The Hollywood photos tell a story of intimate situations, otherwise overlooked and forgotten, forever
immortalized in silver gelatin and lightboxes. These images take a step back from Ben’s photo journalism style, but come across more
like reﬂections, candid portraits that speak with light and composition, they are an introspective aside that can speak for that period
of time of his life.
In his past works, he has taken stunning single shots of village and UNICEF camp life in a disheveled Northern Uganda, torn by the
continuing armed rebellion by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) against the Ugandan Government. This ongoing struggle is becoming
one of Africa’s longest running conﬂicts (1987-present), and sees thousands of civilians living in internally displaced person camps.
Nightly, it is a threat to children in IDP camps to be kidnapped by the LRA and trained as soldiers, sold or given to arms dealers as
gifts, or worse. The safest way for the children to avoid this is by walking up to 20 kilometers from IDP camps to larger cities to sleep
safely at night. Seeing daytime photos from the IDP camps of these “night commuters” still somehow ﬁnding the strength to laugh and
play is truly staggering.
Ben has been a part of many great organizations and initiatives in Africa which allow him to explore his ambitions in photo journalism,
namely the Kappasseni project in Mozambique, an organization run by Joseph and Perpetua Alfazema, both former residents of Victoria
now living back in the village.The Kappasseni project has already contributed greatly in re-building a school and aiding in the construction
of a medical centre in rural Mozambique.
After browsing some more of the photos from Northern Uganda, Rwanda and the an ongoing photo essay project of the effects of
industry in the Peace Country, it was clear to me that Ben Fox has captured people in some of their most desperate moments, but he
always juxtaposes them with some of their most hopeful. That is what is so captivating about the way his photos are taken. He visits
these countries, cities and villages not only as a connected, well informed photographer, but a connected, well informed human being.
He loves people and situations and he wants you to love them too so he travels places you rarely hear about, to zones of desperation
and hope. He’s a humanitarian with a camera, taking beautiful photos and trying to hold on to a world of people that are increasingly
ready to let go and forget. |Brandon Velestuk|
“Cows” Tanzania/2004 - View form a truck carrying eye patients to the hospital.
“Elvis and Marylin Walk the Dog” Hollywood /2005 - Impersonators on Fanta and Ak-47” Northern Uganda /2005- A Ugandan Soldier escorts a vehicle
Hollywood Blvd. in Karamojaland.
“Angel” Moberly Lake BC/2006 - Diptych-A baby from the West Moberly First Nation at a yearly “culture camp”/ view of Moberly Lake.
Complex is throwing a party to celebrate its 9 year
anniversary. I stopped in to get my ticket to see the
Team Canada DJ’s and congratulate Jay and Miles. I
found Miles working, as he and Jay split their time
between here and the Vancouver store 50/50. We
shot the shit, and got Jay on the phone a few times
for comedic relief. The story of their store and the
near decade that it has grown would make a hella
Who are these Team Canada DJ’s that are playing your party? I’ve
never seen them come through town before.
M- They’re a couple guys from Ottawa who’ve been living in
Montreal.They started doing live 4 turntable tandem party mixes
and quickly gained international recognition in the rock mash up
school that Z-trip is the godfather of. I’ve been talking to them
on the phone for about a year, wanting to book a show and
waiting for them to come out west. They ﬁnally toured out this
way and the timing couldn’t be better.
For years now I’ve seen COMPLEX gear on more teens and hip hop
heads in Victoria than any other label. Walking past Vic High can be
like a block-long add for your store. How many T-shirts and hats and
hoodies and shit have you guys made?
(Phone calls are made, calculators come out)
M- A rough estimate would be around 5000. Nine years ago all
the gear we sold had our name on it. We were mostly music
then, vinyl and mix tapes we’d imported from NYC, LA or TO.
Dope tracks that gave up and coming local DJs cues as to what
they might need in their record bags.
Mainstream hip-hop’s obsession with material gain has become an
ever increasing part of its appeal over the last few years. Do you
ever have moral or ethical conﬂicts with the culture or lifestyle that
M- Nope. There’s a misconception that greed is a new thing.
Right from the start of hip-hop, the Sugarhill Gang for instance,
looking fresh and having the money to do so has always been
an underlying motivation. Only in the early 90’s renaissance, the
culture diverted, taking the focus away from money. But each
sub-genre was still representing from under the umbrella of hip-
Is hip-hop dead?
M- People say that money has killed it, image has killed it, but
they’re just looking at what’s in the limelight. Anyone can ﬁnd
something that represents them in hip-hop; they just have to
know where to look. You know that Ken, don’t fuck with me.
Poster of the Week
So why did you choose to open a store when you a store when you guys
were barely into your twenties?
M- A bunch of people we knew, ourselves included, had to travel
to bigger cities,Vancouver, Seattle or further, to buy ﬂy hip-hop gear.
We ﬁgured, if so many people were making a journey to buy what
they wanted then Victoria was ready to support a store like ours.
J (on the phone from the Vancouver store)- I learned at an early age,
that life ain’t nothing but bitches and money.
M- This is are hobby and it became our career. If you do what you
love it never feels like work.
During our conversation a box has arrived by courier. Miles opens
it and out pops next season’s men’s shorts. I hold a pair up to my
waist and state the obvious: Frog Eyes - April 14th Logans Pub by Brandon Velestuk
“Shorts” are still pretty long huh?
M- Everything’s gone retro and been accepted socially... except for
from the archive
J- “Shorts” is an abbreviatied form of “short-pants”, but they have to
cover your knees. I don’t want to see your knees.
Why is hip-hop clothing so big, and by big, I mean physically large? I was
in Harlem a few years ago trying to ﬁnd a track-suit on 125th St. Every
clothing line started at XL went up to XXXXL.What gives?
M- Trends change faster than you’d think. We track what sizes are
most popular and over the last three months the most requested
size of jeans has been “small”!
Really? Those bastards in America told me that ﬂy gear wasn’t
manufactured in any sizes smaller than “large”!
M- Yeah, I don’t mean to alienate hip-hop, but this season the style
seems to be taking a lot of cues from the indie rock look, lines and
styles are blurring. This is a very confusing time for young people
intending to purchase a pair of jeans.
The COMPLEX 9th Anniversary Party April 11th at
the Social Club featuring the Team Canada DJ’s.
See you there son.
Mates of State - February 28 2005 by Dani Vachon
Ninkovic’s vocal stylings matched those of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and got the
crowd clapping along.Their rhythm was rock steady, accompanied by belting
from the assemblage. The rolling bass and hip Casio backdrop let them
‘shut out the world’ and gave the night a killer kick-off that was successfully
sustained by DJ Champion, AKA Maxime Morin, and his talented
guitarists. Despite a few technical difﬁculties, their performance was
nothing short of awe inspiring and rhythmically slamming. The group’s in-
CR Avery with Mihirangi the-moment presence lead a musically intoxicated audience through every
Thursday March 23rd at Central Bar rock riff and synthesized beat. The resonating cadence became irresistible
Whether he’s up on stage doing his beat-boxing-harmonica-poetics or to the audience, and when Champion jumped, they did too. With vocalist
helping me mop up an overﬂowing toilet (as on a previous visit), CR Avery Betty Bonifassi pumping an enthusiastic ﬁst in the air and keeping the
is always a pleasure. On this night CR, who also tours with a band and other rhythm moving through the audience, it was impossible not to succumb
spoken word artists, used his solo situation to focus on some of his more to the energy. The ground shook as the crowd jumped, danced and yelled
lyrically complex material, accented by his signature beat-boxing through in anticipation for the 2004 hit “Keep on Ridin’ “. At the end, the band
a harmonica sound and that lovable instrument, the Key-tar. Next up was expressed their appreciation for Victoria and a desire to come back, which
New Zealand’s Mihirangi, who creates her music by recording sounds was great news for a crowd hankering for more. |Lauren Morley|
and beats on the spot and replaying them through a loop pedal. In this way,
she lays down a bass rhythm using a range of percussion instruments and Patrick Watson
then interweaves hums, bird-calls, Maori songs and spontaneous words into Thursday March 22nd at Logan’s
a rich, danceable tapestry. The highlight of the evening was at the end of Patrick Watson and his band of brothers have just rolled off the South
Mihirangi’s set, when CR was pulled away from his smoke-break to join by Southwest festival, only to play a packed show at Logans on a Thursday
her on stage. Immediately, CR seemed to lose the toned-down cloak he’d night – I had a chance to catch the show and even managed to corner the
been wearing and started belting out ridiculous free-style over Mihi’s beats man at the end of the night. Despite the whole band being completely
while bouncing up and down like a demented jack-in-the-box. The energy exhausted, their good humour and enthusiasm were a winning combination,
was contagious and the crowd leapt into a joyful last hurrah before drifting along with their repertoire of excellent tunes. Patrick started his recording
off into the night. Both artists are known on the folk festival circuit - it’s tooworking on a project with a friend who asked him to write music to couple
bad they won’t be playing here. |Juniper English| a book of images she had put together. He had always played with bands,
but his ﬁrst solo project was released in 2003 Just Another Ordinary Day. His
Go It Alone, Fired Up, Get The Most, AK-47, Laying Waste, Hierophant current release, Close to Paradise is a circusy, melodic trip with an eclectic
Saturday March 24th at James Bay Community Centre collection of sounds which I identiﬁed as harmonium, lapsteel and balloon
There are three reasons why the hardcore scene in Victoria is fantastic. – yes, balloon. Patrick and his band also employ the use of many pedals
Number one is the fact that as many bands as possible get crammed into and effects to give the music a bit of a “ghost at sea” kind of sound. The
one three-hour block of time. Number two performance was very fun, Patrick was stationed
would have to be the free vegan baked goods at the edge of the stage on keys for most of the
brought by Jodi Bezpalko of AK-47. Mmm, evening, with his guitar player centre-stage, seated,
coconut cupcakes. Number three would be that unless things got rowdy. Patrick conﬁrmed the
Brian Clement continues to regularly bring band as being very close, having known one of the
in small-name, out-of-town hardcore bands guys since he was a child and having played with
to keep everything alive. This show marked his all of them for a number of years, their kinship
30th birthday, hence the cupcakes. Hierophant is obvious and the best kind of band to watch is
opened. This was their ﬁrst show ever. Despite the kind that is having fun together. When I asked
the fact that their vocalist was not present, they Patrick what his next venture would be, he showed
delivered an engaging attack of technical guitar the inﬂuence that his recent travels to Iceland and
riffs and start-stop chaos. Comparisons to past Texas have had – he’s hoping to acheive a sound
local band Citadel are pretty easy to make, he calls “Icelandic Nashville”. Something to look
considering two of the members are the same. Get The Most at the JBCC photo: Tyler Pantella forward to. |Kirsten Wright|
Laying Waste followed up with metallic riffs and a singer who liked to
make invisible spirals in the air with his ﬁnger. Locals AK-47 gave a quick and Ed Banger Tour feat. Justice, SebastiAn, DJ Mehdi & Busy P
furious dose of youthful anger channeled through a bunch of old guys still in Sunday March 25th at The Caprice Nightclub, Vancouver
touch with issues that matter. And among them is Jodi, who is neither old, For those of you not privy to global trends in dance music (um, I imagine
nor a guy, and is in touch with making amazing cupcakes. Get The Most most of you can just go ahead and raise your hand), Ed Banger is a
received perhaps the most enthusiastic reaction, with plenty of people who label out of France that is currently taking dance ﬂoors all over the globe
knew the words. Their positive message (“When the world is looking so by storm (including here in Victoria at Lucky Bar on Saturday nights). The
bleak, this shelter is the only thing for me. When it feels like this room is label’s sound is heavily inﬂuenced by house, hip-hop and shitloads of alcohol,
all we have, can we make it last? I’m proud to say I’ll try.”) was expressed with the end result often sounding like Daft Punk through a distortion
in a passionate, energetic, and heartfelt manner over their ﬁfteen-minute pedal turned up to 11. A sold out crowd of 400-plus uber-excited hipsters
set. Between bands, I tried to keep my hands off the cupcakes. Connecticut happily paid $35 to see these 5 guys from France get wasted and have a
band Fired Up was next. Their style of hardcore is in the same vein as blast playing a broad array of party tunes. After local DJs got the festivities
The First Step, powerful and in-your-face. Go It Alone ﬁnished off the cracking, the Ed Banger crew ﬁnally arrived on stage around 11:30pm to
night. The frontman, a little guy with long hair, got in everyone’s face and rapturous applause. All ﬁve guys tag teamed throughout the night, mixing
made it clear why his band is known across the country as one of the up- tracks at a ferocious pace, keeping everyone on their toes and adding to
and-coming leaders of melodic hardcore. I never see this kind of electricity a general sense of absolute chaos on the danceﬂoor. Highlights included
and crowd connection at indie rock shows. Someone needs to stick it in a “Windowlicker” by Aphex Twin, Prodigy’s classic “Smack My Bitch Up”, Mr.
bottle and sell it. I’d buy it. Then again, it would probably just be a bottle of Oizo’s new banger “Transexual” and a mega-tweaked version of “Killing In
man-sweat. |Tyler Pantella| The Name” by Rage Against The Machine. These Euro-nuts made our waify
North American tamina for partying look pathetic, as many people tapped
Champion, You Say Party! We Say Die! out before the grand ﬁnale at 3:30am and many who stuck it out to the
Sunday March 25th at Sugar Nightclub end looked like they’d lost most of their motor skills. But when Justice
For a band that didn’t expect to escape the suburbs of Abbotsford, the ﬁnally dropped the record that everyone was waiting for, “Never Be Alone”,
clever collision of spastic synthy beats and viciously fun shows of You Say there was just enough energy left in the room for one last blast of speaker-
Party! We Say Die! have come a long way. Since their kick off in 2004, blowing insanity. The chorus blared loud and proud: “WE - ARE -YOUR
the band has been breaking into the scene with their richly diverse dance- - FRIENDS! YOU’LL - NEVER - BE - ALONE - AGAIN - SO COME ON!!!”
inducing rock. YSP! performed a brief set at Sugar nightclub on the 25th, This already-classic clarion call wrapped up a surreal night that spilled beer
blowing their fans and a newly-captivated congregation away. Everyone all over the place, made many asses shake and smacked Vancouver upside
was partying, but none so hard as the quintet of stunners onstage. These the head with one hell of a good time that, unfortunately, likely will never
pioneers are pure entertainers with no onstage subtlety. With a tambourine return. Look for Ed Rec.Vol. II, a compilation featuring all the artists from Ed
around her wrist and old school boots hitting the stage, lead singer Becky Banger Records, in mid-April. |Chris Long|
Myths Of The Near Future
Much has been made of these chaps in the
UK over the last year. The NME’s hype
brigade, fawning over Klaxon’s dancey
rock, has basically set them up to be hated
by North American hipsters that usually
would champion this sort of record.
Mentioning the stupid genre the band is
apparently spear-heading is pointless (OK... the Brits are calling
it “Nu-Rave”). But it is worth mentioning that Myths Of The Near
Future is sounding more and more like the album everyone was
hoping Bloc Party would make in 2007. It’s full of energetic post-
punk and dancey electronic-inﬂuenced pop that actually evokes
new wave, new romanticism and, at certain points, the brash but
accessible layers of chaos and psychedelia that made the Chemical
Brothers stand out amidst the rest of the big beat failures ﬁve
years ago. “Atlantis To Interzone” starts with a rave siren but
bursts into the best post-punk track that 2007 will likely see. For
the chorus, the song completely switches gears and actually amps
up the verse’s already-gnarly vibe. Opening track “Two Receivers”
shows a less hectic, more cinematic sound never hinted at with
their debut EP last year, and the ﬁrst single, “Golden Skans”, recalls
brit-pop when it was great, fully equipped with oohs and aahs
and great vocals that scream “Scissor Sisters!!” Bottom Line: this
album is by no stretch ‘album of the year’ material, but trust me,
it’s better than you want it to be. And although it’s hard to ignore
the plethora of hype shat everywhere by NME, it’s too bad that a
lot of people will too quickly ignore this fun and catchy pop record
for all the wrong reasons.
The Besnard Lakes
The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
On the second release from these
Montreal indie rockers, the band’s ���������������������������
sound is built on layers of vocals and ��������������������������������������������������������������
�� � � � ��� � � � � � � ���� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ��� � � � � � � �
jangly shoegazer guitar, most of which
�� � � �� � � � �� � � � � � � � � � �� � ��� � � �� � � � � � � � �����
is drenched in a healthy dose of reverb.
They push and pull numerous sonic ������������������������������
benchmarks through their cavern of song
- The Beach Boy’s lush vocal arrangements, epic psychedelic-rock,
droning doom-inﬂuenced monster riffs and Broken Social Scene’s
wall of sound pastiche. Opener “Disaster” swoons in with lazy
vocals amid violins, horns and lightly strummed guitars, eventually
building to a charming Brian Wilson-esque chorus that relieves a
barrage of random stabs of distorted guitar. “Devestation” starts
with a treated vocal/guitar drone and then decimates you with a
monolithic riff and waves of gospel-styled vocals. It’s one of the
record’’s ﬁner moments that begs one to wonder how pummeling
the songs would be live. The austere drama and tension of “And
You Lied To Me” keep throbbing until after the four minute mark,
when a rolling, double-time chorus alleviates the song’s prodding
anxiety, only to be thrust right back into - you guessed it - a blazing,
epic two-part guitar solo. Obviously overshadowed by Montreal’s
already established acts, The Besnard Lakes have quietly made one
of 2007’s most pleasant surprises thus far. Anyone into Broken
Social Scene or My Bloody Valentine should give The Dark Horse
By Hank Pine
Colored by Evan Pine
Big tiny smalls employees of the month
Retro Paul! Leethal!
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