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Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India

Photographer Dan Eckstein traverses the subcontinent's vast highways, documenting elaborate lorries and their drivers

by Hans Aschim in Culture on 28 August 2014

Art Direction, Books, Cars, India, Photography, Photography Books, Signs, Trucks, Typography


From the mountainous city of Leh in the north to the palm tree-lined tourist-haven of Goa in the south, India is a vast nation of rich diversity—whether it's landscape, language, food or even automobiles. The country's intricate and ever-growing network of highways is the stage for some of the most elaborately designed and eye-catching trucks in the world. To document the phenomenon, photographer Dan Eckstein recently travelled throughout the country, shooting these bright, bold and beautiful machines. The resulting hardcover tome published by Brooklyn's powerHouse Books "Horn Please" represents a melange of folk art, Indo-psych aesthetic and vulnerable humanity.


The book's title is a nod to a phrase commonly heard and read on India's motorways. It's written on the back of nearly every truck in the country. Because drivers are often away from home for weeks at a time, the trucks are a great source of pride and attention to detail—both inside and out—is staggering. Interiorly speaking, the trucks serve as both a home and place of worship. With India's religious diversity in mind, Eckstein portrays a society more united than divided. While the intricate patterns and vivid colors are inspiring from a design perspective, portraits of the drivers are equally captivating. Eckstein manages to communicate both the allure of the open road and the loneliness that comes with it.

Peruse the slideshow for a few standout shots from the book. "Horn Please" hits bookstores in December and is currently available for pre-order from Amazon for $35.

Images by Cool Hunting

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State of Folly Three-Way Bag

With their convertible clutch, the Melbourne-based label delivers function without sacrificing aesthetics

by Katie Olsen in Style on 28 August 2014

Australia, Backpacks, Bags, Design, Fashion, Luggage, Melbourne, Women's Style

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Carrying a clutch looks great, but once you need to use both your hands—whether for holding snacks, riding a bike or throwing shapes on the dance floor—the accessory can be a hinderance. Enter the State of Folly three-way bag, which transforms from a clutch to a shoulder bag to a backpack—all by switching around its adjustable and detachable strap. Unlike so many functional and convertible bags for women, this circular piece remains spot on aesthetically in each of its three iterations. Made from high-quality, soft leather (with nickel hardware), the bag houses several pockets inside to keep all your treasures safe.

Available exclusively in black, for now, the clever three-way bag is set for release 30 August, though pre-orders are now available online for $179 AUD.

Found thanks to Frankie, images courtesy of State of Folly

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Interview: George Awwad of Odd Castles

A music nerd digging deep into the SoundCloud abyss and his creative expression from it

by Cajsa Carlson in Culture on 28 August 2014

Interviews, Mixtapes, Music, Blogs, Cassettes, Creativity, Portals, Odd Castles, SoundCloud


For anyone interested in emerging artists and musicians working outside the mainstream, the internet is a goldmine. While the underground music scenes of past generations required word-of-mouth knowledge, today we can all, in theory, find exactly what we want to listen to—anytime, anywhere. But it still takes serious dedication and passion to find those great, relatively unknown talents hiding deep within the web. Luckily, there are people with the skills (and ears) for filtering through to discover the artists of tomorrow and the artists of right now.

One of them is George Awwad, staff writer at music community Portals. When he started his Odd Castles site, its first incarnation was as an MP3 blog that lasted a little over two years. Today though, the Odd Castles site consists of excellent SoundCloud mixes selected by Awwad, featuring everything from lo-fi electronica to Korean hip-hop. Earlier this year, Awwad took the mixtape aesthetic one step further by creating actual cassette tapes of his mix “those who were once friends are now fam,” featuring artists including R.L. Kelly, Yohuna, Dead Boy and Foxes in Fiction. We caught up with him to talk about the ethos behind the blog and find out what Awwad’s favorite tracks are right now.

What’s the idea behind Odd Castles?

I've just always wanted to be able to own so much music on physical media myself, but I've also always wanted to find a special way to share some of my favorite tunes. Curating mixtapes made a lot of sense when bringing Odd Castles back and curating actual cassette compilations is basically a dream.

There are so many incredible artists and producers on your mixtapes. How do you find them and their music?

All the musicians and producers I find real late at night honestly give me life. There's just so much wonder scattered around the web and a lot of the times, the talented individuals I come across are simply sharing their tunes for fun, but don't necessarily realize how great their songs are. There's really nothing special about the way I look for new tunes.

…if you start somewhere where sincerity is present, you'll likely end up finding some music that you can truly connect with.

It all starts on Soundcloud and once I find a song I really like, I start digging into that musician's faves or I start listening to the stuff from the collective they've identified with. Sometimes I just go through faves to the point where I've ended up so far from Point A and the music could be completely different, but equally incredible. Doing this, you end up listening to so many different songs you could never imagine listening to anywhere else and of course not all of it is amazing, but if you start somewhere where sincerity is present, you'll likely end up finding some music that you can truly connect with.

Some of the artists whose music you share aren't signed and are releasing their own stuff—do you want OC to eventually turn into its own label?

I'd love to become a more focused label. That's easily the dream, but I know it's a process and all the talented artists I've shared on mixtapes are definitely being kept in mind going forward. I have a lot of tentative plans for releases in the future, but right now I'm only focusing on a few while I have the time that I do.

Why did you decide to send out the friends/fam mixtape as an actual cassette, and do you think you'll do that again?

Cassettes are cool. I started collecting them four years ago and almost all of them are tapes that were released in this decade, which is an incredible thought because tapes were never about being the superior format for music. They're really not very convenient, but I think they exist as a heartwarming way to show support towards so many DIY musicians out there and some of those same artists don't ever get the opportunity to have their songs on vinyl, so tapes are a cool middle-ground and their unique packaging makes them a lot of fun to own. I knew it would be cool to try and get creative by doing a tape release with the fam mixtape. I'm definitely going to do that again, but I'll also still be posting digital mixes.

Can you give us three of your favorite new tracks at the moment?

Let's see. One of them is definitely Tomggg's "LovelySummer" remix and I've been listening to the Drake remix of “Tuesday” a lot. The last song might have to be the new Secret Songs release, “Keep U Warm” by Lucas. Three is a tough number to narrow everything down to; that’s why I like to make mixes!

Images courtesy of George Awwad

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