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zingmagazine10 autumn 1999

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8 poets making it new
samples
smylonnylon
share
caveat
generation z
blt
lutwidge finch
rel(ev)ations
chris brick & alex gloor

smylonylon

 

I FAILED MY ELEVEN PLUS AND WAS DESTINED TO WORK IN THE LOCAL LIGHT BULB FACTORY (THORN/EMI). IF I WAS LUCKY I WOULD LIVE ON RAT MEAT AND CABBAGE FOR THE REST OF MY EXISTENCE. THEN BY SOME MIRACULOUS TWIST OF FATE I DISCOVERED STYLE IN A LOCAL BOUTIQUE AND SINCE THAT DAY I HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK. WELL ONLY OCCASIONALLY.

SMYLONYLON WAS MY 39TH STORE. CENTER FOR THE DULL IS THE 40TH AND I HAVE HAD A LONG CAREER IN BOUTIQUES RANGING FROM FAMOUS TO COMPLETELY UN-KNOWN. SMYLONYLON CAME TO LIFE WHEN MY WIFE JUDY AND I FOUND A HUGE BASEMENT FULL OF UNBELIEVABLY BRILLIANT DEADSTOCK CLOTHES. THIS WAS IN 1993 AND THE COMPANY WHO HAD STUFFED THIS BASEMENT FULL WAS CALLED RIBA SPORTSWEAR. THEY WERE RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO CANAL JEANS ON BROADWAY BUT NO ONE EVER NOTICED THEM. THE

OWNERS WERE SERIOUS HASIDIC JEWS AND HAD NOT LET ANYONE IN THEIR BASEMENT SINCE 1973. THEY LET US IN AND I WAS BLOWN AWAY. I IMMEDIATELY TRIED TO CARRY IT ALL AWAY. IT TOOK TWO YEARS TO DO SO.

SMYLONYLON WAS FIRST OPENED ON CROSBY ST. IN MANHATTAN BETWEEN PRINCE AND HOUSTON (NOW A HAIR SALON) BUT WE QUICKLY OUT GREW THAT LOCATION AND MOVED TO 222 LAFAYETTE ST. (NOW A SHOP CALLED NYLON SQUID) AND NOW WE ARE CALLED CENTER FOR THE DULL AND ARE LOCATED AT 216 LAFAYETTE ST. JUST 2 BUILDINGS AWAY FROM THE OLD STORE.

BACK IN 1994 ALEX GLOOR CAME INTO THE STORE ON CROSBY ST. AND HEARD ONE OF MY MIXED TAPES. WHEN HE SAW MY RECORD COLLECTION HE DECLARED HE WAS AMONG HIS PEOPLE. WE STARTED MAKING MIXED TAPES TOGETHER, OUR COMBINED RECORD COLLECTIONS MADE US DANGEROUS.

IN 1995 WE STARTED A SMALL CLUB CALLED TYNYNYNY IN THE WEST VILLAGE. IT WAS A SCREAM. IT CAUGHT ON WITH THE MUSIC ENTHUSIASTS AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD. WE WERE BUZZED AS MORE THINGS REVEALED THEMSELVES.

ALSO IN 1995 I BUMPED INTO ADAM PETERS, WHOM I HAD MET PREVIOUSLY IN MY 36TH BOUTIQUE, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN LONDON IN 1990. WE STARTED THE FAMILY OF GOD AND PUT OUT A RECORD OF OUR OWN ORIGINAL MUSIC. THE TRIP WAS PICKING UP BIG TIME.

SMYLONYLON WAS OUT OF CONTROL BUSY AND PEOPLE COULDN'T EVEN STEAL THE CLOTHES AS FAST AS I WAS BUYING THEM. THE 90ÝS WERE COMING IN PERSPECTIVE FOR US. WITH ADAM AND OTHER MUSICIANS I'VE MADE 1 ALBUM, 3 CD'S, AND 2 SINGLES. THEY ARE OUT THERE, SOMEWHERE. WE NOW HAVE A FOURTH CD COMING OUT SHORTLY.

ALEX PUT OUT HIS OWN CD WITH BOLLIGER AND HE MIXED 28 SMYLON TAPES AND IS PUTTING OUT NUMBER 30 ANY DAY NOW.

JUDY IS WORKING ON AN ALBUM AS WELL. WE HAD 2 BABIES BETWEEN 95 AND 97. MUSIC IS A VERY BIG DEAL TO US.

GRAPHICALLY ALEX AND I ARE ALWAYS PUSHING TO NEW PLACES AS THESE PICTURES MAY SHOW YOU. WHAT'S LIFE IF ITS NOT CREATIVE.

1. FROM THE RHYTHMS OF MUNICH TO THE MELODIES OF MANCHESTER HOW ABSURD IS IT WHEN A SYRIAN ARTIST DECIDES TO REMAKE "BLUEBERRY HILL" INTO A TECHNO SONG? OR A PAKISTANI LADY GIVES US HER VERSION OF ýVIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR" IN PAKISTANI, OF COURSE. WHAT DOES DISCO SOUND LIKE SLOWED DOWN? PERHAPS A GROUP OF 80ÝS ITALIAN MUSICIANS ARE GIVEN THE FREEDOM TO MAKE THEIR OWN KIND OF DISCO MUSIC IN THEIR OWN KIND OF ENGLISH. IS THERE ANY VALUE TO ALL THIS? YES INDEED AND YOU'LL KNOW THAT AS SOON AS YOU'VE LISTENED TO A SMYLONYLON TAPE. THAT'S WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT. THE FABULOUS WASTE COMPANY INQUIRES AND RESEARCHES LIKE NO OTHER.

2. DON'T WASTE YOUR LIFE.OCCUPATION IS A STRANGE SUBJECT. DIFFERENT PEOPLE ARE OCCUPIED WITH DIFFERENT THINGS. ME PERSONALLY, I'M INTERESTED IN OCCUPATION ITSELF. YOU COULD SAY I'M OCCUPIED WITH WHAT OCCUPIES. EVEN WHEN WE AREN'T OCCUPIED WE SEEM TO BE OCCUPIED, IT'S A FASCINATING SUBJECT TO GET OCCUPIED WITH. I COULD GO ON BUT THAT WOULD JUST OCCUPY YOUR TIME, IF THERE IS SUCH A THING.

3. CHARLIE CHAPLIN

AS CHARLIE CHAPLIN ONCE SAID, "HOW CAN THESE GUYS COMPETE ?ţ AND WITH THAT IN MIND WE DECIDED NOT TO COMPETE, BUT TO GO IN THE OTHER DIRECTION. THAT IN ITSELF CAN MAKE SOMETHING LOOK OR SOUND COMPLETELY WRONG. ATTEMPTING NOT TO PLEASE THE MARKET BUT DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT CAN SOMETIMES LEAD TO BANKRUPTCY.

4. SMYLONYLON

SMYLONYLON NEVER OFFERED ITS CUSTOMERS THE SECURITY OF A LABEL. IT WAS BASED SOLELY ON THE INDIVIDUAL CHOOSING THEIR OWN DIRECTION. OF COURSE LOOKING CHEAP AND NASTY IS NOT EVERYONE'S BAG. AS WE KNOW, MOST PEOPLE STRIVE TO KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST TRENDS BUT THAT WAS NOT THE STORES MOTIVATION. THE CLOTHES AND MUSIC WE SOLD WERE THE KIND OF THINGS ONE MIGHT HAVE AVOIDED MOST OF ONES LIFE UNTIL IRONY WAS DISCOVERED.

5. FREEDOM IS NOW BUT ITS NOT IN THE FUTURE.

TOO MUCH HASN'T HAPPENED OR MAYBE IT DID AND I WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION. ALL IS JUST AN IDEA A CONCEPT, A THOUGHT. ALTHOUGH A CLOUD IS NOT A THOUGHT IT'S COMPLETELY REAL, I THINK. THESE ARE SOME OF MY IDEAS IN THE PAGES. THEY'RE JUST IDEAS THAT WERE ONCE INSIDE MY HEAD AND NOW THEY'RE A REALITY. THAT COULD BE WHY IT'S SUCH A FUNNY WORLD WE LIVE IN. BECAUSE OF IDEAS AND THOUGHTS THAT ALL OF US HAVE. I CAN'T SAY IF MY IDEAS ARE GOOD OR BAD THEY JUST ARE. SOMETIMES I LIKE TO FORGET ABOUT IDEAS AND THOUGHTS AND LOOK AT THINGS THAT WEREN'T EVER THOUGHT, SUCH AS TREES STARS BIRDS ETC. BUT THEN WHEN LOOKING AT SUCH THINGS I HAVE IDEAS ABOUT THEM AND THE WHOLE THING STARTS UP AGAIN. GREY MATTER.

6. WHY THE CENTER FOR THE DULL?

THE TRUTH IS, AT BEST, A VERY HARD THING TO PIN DOWN. BUT THE SEARCH IS THE VERY THING ITSELF. TRUTH HAS NO OPPOSITES, IT STANDS COMPLETELY ALONE AND SO SELF DISCOVERY WILL LEAD YOU TO CERTAIN FACTS. IN MY CASE THE CENTER FOR THE DULL IS WHAT IS INSIDE ME AND OUTSIDE ME. AND IS ALSO A PLACE WHERE WE MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO DO THESE THINGS

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