Monday, April 24, 2017

Q/A with Douglas McCarthy, Music, Running and LA

 Douglas McCarthy does not need much of introduction. In the electronic music scene  he i s a legend and his band Nitzer Ebb has been cult declared. Douglas is know for his energetic music and live performances,  in this interview he gives away his secret to stay in shape and his hidden spots in LA. Douglas is currently on tour in Europe with Fixmer/McCarthy who recently release the new EP "Chemicals"


 
1. Tell us a bit whats going on with your different music projects at the moment? You were over in Europe for some F/M shows, and have recently released a new EP, more to come? I did see a short clip from Terence Fixmer playing "get clean" was it preformed?
Are you writing any material for your solo project at the moment or DJMRex? Other projects you would like to share?

Yeah, spent 2 months being based out of Berlin from the end of august through into october. it was a mixed bag of reasons: playing live with Terence; assisting hazel, my wife, with screenings of her film BIGHT OF THE TWIN in london and tel aviv; doing some studio time with DRUMCELL and LUIS FLORES in their berlin studio; oh and turning 50 years old!!

DJM/REX has morphed into BLACK LINE to produce a more song structured project. there have been a variety of collaborators but mostly myself and CYRUSREX with BON HARRIS when he’s available.
 
 Image result for douglas mccarthy

2. Did question never gets old, whats going on with Nitzer Ebb? Are you and Bon working on new material?

Seems to be a fave ;) no NE but working on music for BL. NE is probably at least a year away, if even that soon, and much more of a limited touring schedule. basically, i can’t make any promises. sorry.

3. What can you tell us about Hazels documentary? How were you involved?

Hazel met GENESIS BRYER P-ORRIDGE whilst working on THEE PSYCHICK BIBLE in 2009. BIGHT OF THE TWIN tells the story of genesis breyer p-orridge journey to ouidah in benin (west africa) to explore the origins of the vodoun (voodoo) religion with hazel. there, p-orridge engaged in a "twin fetish" voodoo tradition, which serves the purpose of reuniting the dead and living, to reconnect with her late partner LADY JAYE BREYER P-ORRIDGE, with whom she pursued forming a pandrogynous couple, a unity of two people as one. this spiritual journey was utterly dramatic - the artist called it “a path both brutal and loving”. 

I also traveled to Ouidah, filming and recording sound. **********


links:

 
Image result for Nitzer Ebb



4. Youre now living in LA, a huge difference from Chelmsford. Do you still stay in touch with your home ground? How do you like LA (big question) and how did you end in LA? Do you follow whats going on in the White House right now?

Yeah,probably the 2 cities Ive spent the longest in are LA and LONDON. i’ve flipped between the 2 a couple of times. we started touring seriously by the time i was 20 or so. it meant i was fairly disconnected with Chelmsford from then on. after a while i moved to cambridge then LA. initially to LA to write and record. i still keep in touch with Simon Granger and Dave Gooday via email and phone but i rarely have time in the UK to do Essex as my kids are in London and Bristol and my mum lives in the Cotswolds. last time i was in Essex was on my way back to my mum’s after visiting my dad’s grave in Suffolk.

LA can be an odd place for people to fathom because it is so spread out and there are various “centers”, which i think is actually very similar to London. i live close to downtown, where i work and mostly go out for dinner, art events and rarely bands even though i'm very close to SILVERLAKE, ECHO PARK, EAGLE ROCK etc we kind of stay local or go to people’s homes. boring basically, but then we do travel and go to great clubs and venues so i feel like we get our fill hated this election. like many people, i felt pretty sure that after BREXIT trump would get in. we’ll see how it all pans out. i was around for the thatcher and reagan years and actually they got people angry and riled up enough to make a lot of creative responses.
 


5. Talking about LA, I understand that you enjoy running and hiking as exercise. Is it hard to find good places in LA. Whats you're favorite hike/run in LA? Do you have any secret spots in LA/CA you wanna share?

As with most people, the exercise keeps me a little fitter and a lot more sane. i am in “FROGTOWN” by the LA river so actually have some lovely places to run and hike on my doorstep. i run the LA river path a lot as it is literally at the end of my street, but it’s not that far to run the SILVERLAKE RESERVOIR and i like to go for shorter hikes in ELYSIAN PARK with our small hound, ADOLFO GUZMAN LOPEZ. GRIFFITH PARK is super close too for biking and hiking. for more adventurous hikes we normally travel a half hour to an hour up the ANGELES CREST HIGHWAY into the SAN GABRIEL mountains or drive a couple of hours east into YUCCA VALLEY and JOSHUA TREE where the desert is incredible but you have to choose your time of year and time of day wisely - it’s very hot in summer and very cold in winter.
6. How do you stay in shape during tours and at home. Do you explore new routes in the cities you visit.Is hotel treadmill an option? Is it hard to find time for runs/hikes/exercise during tours, or studio sessions? Do you take your dog often on hikes?

It’s hit and miss depending on the schedule. in the studio i will either go for a run in the morning then head into Downtown LA where Cyrus’ studio is, or i meet Cyrus earlier and we go to the gym for treadmill and a workout (the summers of late have been brutal so if i miss the morning or don’t have time at night the gym is my preference). touring is hard and as i do a pretty hefty workout on stage i am sometimes having to save my energy for the performance. having said that, i do love to get out in cities that i am familiar with such as Berlin, hamburg and condone where i have a good array of routes to run. if i don’t know the city so well i will do a “there-and-back” route so as not to get lost or distracted as another issue (especially when you’re as old as me) is picking up an injury that impedes the show.
 
Image result for Nitzer Ebb
Natural Running
 

Adolfo is good at hiking but a right pain in the ass for running. it’s ok if it’s myself and hazel as he gets kind of worked up by us both being there but if I'm on my own he’s constantly looking for his “mum”.

What kind of shoes do you prefer for hiking/ running? You have tried Salming D4, they have a "natural running" approach, what do you think? What is “natural 
running" for you?
 
 

Ive been running for over 40 years, initially cross country then street running. over the years i began to suffer bad knee pains and aches that i remedied with straps but until i found the natural running approach i did not fully ease those ailments. i found the SALMING D4 quite recently and am a huge fan. great structural support on the outside and inside of my feet but still with enough space for the full spread of my toes. they fit completely with my running approach after trying at least three other manufacturers.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Salming Race5 Review

Salming Race5




Race and Distance are now the only shoes from Salming original line up that still carry their original midsole shape. Some changes has been made to the firmness and outsole rubber over the years but the shape and outsole patterns remains the same.

Race is a pure racing flat that in the past have been using from 5K up to half marathon. I've been thinking about trying Race for the full marathon, but in the end I have always picked Salming Speed or Distance, thinking Race its not enough shoe for me.

I'm now about two weeks away from Boston Marathon, and I'm thinking Race5 with its brand new upper will be my pick for the race, for two reasons. 1)The new upper, secure the foot much better then previous editions of Race. The foot gets centered more and you can take advantaged of the energy return from the cushion in a more secure way. 2)The old Speed is now discontinued and replaced by Speed5. Speed5 is now more of a performance shoe ( review here ) rather then a marathon flat. The new Race5 has the same "raw" road feel that the old Speed had.

Salming Race5 Data:
  • Weight: 185 g (UK 9)
  • Drop: 5 mm
  • Color: Ceramic Green
  • Gender: Men
  • Stack: 16 mm center of heel 11 mm ball of foot

  • Midsole: Runlite™ + Carbon Torsion
  • Outsole: Lite rubber
  • Lining: Mesh
  • Sizes: UK 6,5-12. EU 40 2/3-48
  • SKU: 1287025-6700
 

Upper:
Salming Race5 gets a brand new one piece upper. Its a stretchy fabric that hugs your feet extremely well, without being to tight. The foot does not move around and feels more centered over the Runlite midsole then previous Race editions. The mesh is not see thru but feels thin and light enough to be breathable. To build up support around the upper fabric, Salming are using Exo Skeleton technology. Its not the traditional "skeleton" we have seen on all other Salming shoes. Here Salming are using a print technology to create necessary support to the one piece mesh. With this technology Salming are saving weight and the support works with one piece fabric to create a solid "one piece" feeling. The printed "blocks" are also reflective at night, which makes the shoe to stand out. Not that you are racing at night to often, but its a cool feature without adding any extra weight to the shoe.

Pros/Cons
+Extremely hug friendly upper. It just wraps your foot, without causing any hotspots from the support elements.
-Cant come up with any negative regarding the fit, but some of the design feels unnecessary. I'm pretty sure that if you buy the shoe, you're aware of Salmings website.....

Midsole/Outsole
The Salming Race Midsole/Outsole unit has been pretty much been untouched since the very first edition. Runlite has been tweaked over the years a bit but Race5 has the same Runlite as last years edition. Last years Runlite was lighter and more responsive. You will find a carbon fiber torsion unit in the midfoot, to give the shoe some support and a "snappy" feeling. Outsole has lightweight rubber place on strategic places only, to save weight. To save more weight I can see different pattern, perhaps a bit more aggressive outsole, to get a faster feeling. 65% /75 angle is in cooperated as with all Salming shoes. In Race5 case, the shoe feels very supportive as it is also built low to the ground at the same time as 65% remains supportive without flex.

Pros/Cons
+Runlite compound feels very fast and "snappy".
-Race could used 1-2mm more stack height to make it more versatile and accessible.



Over All  
I can understand why Salming keeps its Runlite compound midsole/outsole the same on the lighter racing flats. Its fast, responsive and protective. If you're one of those runners who are missing the old Speed, you can still find the "raw" feeling with Race5 as many of the runners loved with Speed. This feeling might not be for everyone but Salming D5 is the next step up and can be used as an excellent racing flat for the longer distances as marathon.

The Race5 became a much more solid and complete shoe with the new one piece upper, it works better with the Runlite midsole then previous editions, as the foot feels centered in the shoe and secured. Race5 is a good option for the full marathon, as it now feels more secure and supportive
https://www.salming.com/us/running/men/shoes/race/c-756

Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive Running shoes from Salming Running North America as part of their Salming brand ambassador program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.





Sunday, March 5, 2017

Salming Speed5 Review


Salming Speed5
For 2017, Salming Running has decided  to do a total make over of Speed, one of Salmings original line up shoes. Speed has been my to go shoe for faster runs and the marathon distance. A snug, low to the ground and light shoe that have served me really well. The new Speed5 is something totally different. With Speed5, Salming are placing Speed in the same category as their new shoe EnRoute, but Speed is a hair lighter then Enroute. They both are built on the same last, with some minor differences. EnRoute has a softer cushion and a torsion unit in the midfoot. Speed5 is more firm and does not  carry the same torsion unit. The uppers in the both shoes are totally different.  Here are some of Salmings data regarding Speed5:
  • Weight: 8.7 oz (US 10 Men)
  • Drop: 6 mm
  • Color: Ceramic Green/Black (Men)
  • Color: Shocking Orange/Dark Orchid (Women)
  • Stack: 22 mm center of heel 16 mm ball of foot
  • Midsole: Recoil™ + Recoil R™
  • Outsole: Durable lightweight rubber
 https://shopsalmingusa.com/products/salming-speed-5-shoe-men-ceramic-green-black
 


Salming Speed3 in the background

 Upper:
Salming are using two different types of mesh in the upper. In the the midfoot, together with the EXO Skeleton we see a very thin, firm mesh. Same mesh has been used on earlier Speed as the third layer, but server here as a single layer. You can literally see straight thru the shoe.  Together with the Exo Skelton the midfoot is very secured and at the same time the mesh breathes very well. I could see how this mesh can benefit a triathlete who need good drainage. 

The toebox of Speed is wide and offer a more softer mesh, to avoid hot spots. The toes get a lot of room to spread out. The wide toe box takes away the snug fast feeling, the original Speed offered the runner. Speed offer a soft thick ankle collar that protects and heel does not slip.
Together with the snug fit in the midfoot area and the wide spread toebox you get a nice fit, but it does not feel as fast as the name Speed should, more like a performance shoe.
 EnRoute upper kind of looks like the old Speed upper so maybe the EnRoute upper would have been more suitable for Speed5 and the other way around?

+ Nice mid-foot wrap, with open mesh

-Too wide toe box for my like, feels like toe box and mid-foot wrap are not synchronized together.



Outsole/Midsole
Speed and EnRoute are built on the same last, with a Recoil compound as the main ingredients. While EnRoute offers more cushion, Speed5 has a more firm Recoil solution. The firmer Recoil works better when you pick up the pace, but can be a bit harsh on your legs at lower paces. Speed does not have the same torsion unit as EnRoute, instead its built in, like Salming Miles, in the Recoil material for a better heel-toe transition. Speed5 and EnRoute share the same outsole pattern, blown rubber. The rubber cover most of the parts of the outsole and offer good grip on pavement, wet and dry. Of course Salming 62%/75 degree approach is in cooperated in the midsole/outsole. With first flexgroove after 62% of the shoe in a 75% degree for a natural flex . The flex grooves are deep and offer a great flex in the fore foot that works with your transition.

+Firm ride, but need to be high pace to take advantage
+Great flex in the forefoot

-At the same time the firmness of this shoe can be to much when you run easy pace.
-Could see a more aggressive outsole pattern, for a faster feel.

EnRoute on the left, Speed5 to the right



Over All/Ride
Speed has got a bit of a cult status back in Europe and Sweden, so I can see how many runners questions the extra weight and "more shoe". Speed5 is more in the performance category now and Salming D5 will represent the brand in the marathon flat category, as D5 have lost some of its weight. The new Race5 is also like a good option for the runner who seek the old raw"Speed feeling".

As mentioned above the ride of Speed5 is firm and responsive, according to me, this is a shoe for the faster days, not the recovery day or easy miles. I have now over 50 miles on my Speed5 and I feel the Recoil foam has started to ease up a bit, so my conclusion is that Speed5 needs some break in time. This is my second shoe from Salming that are using the Recoil foam, Miles was my first shoe. I hope Speed5 Recoil offers the same durability as my Miles. My first pair of Miles has now over a 1000 miles and still going strong. If I can get 1000 miles out of a pair of performance shoes, that would be fantastic!

Salming Speed5 is very close to Salming EnRoute and I can see how Salming wants to build on the EnRoute momentum and have a faster option for those runners who are using EnRoute as their daily trainer. To get an even more faster feeling of Speed5 I would have loved to see a more streamlined upper.


 Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive Running shoes from Salming Running North America as part of their Salming brand ambassador program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.



 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Salming 2017 Overview




 












Salming enRoute Men


enRoute: This is an awesome addition to the Salming  line.  Very lightweight, yet with premium cushioning. Incredible dual density midsole makes for a very responsive and snappy ride. The only shoe available in multiple colors.  High recommend.  Size up half size in the enRoute!
www.believeintherun.com/2016/12/12/salming-enroute-running-shoe-review www.roadtrailrun.com/2017/02/salming-enroute-review-and-comparisons.html

 


Salming Miles Men
Miles: This is our heaviest shoe,and robust. Despite this the Recoil midsole material offers a great energy return and a pop feeling. You can easy pick up pace with Miles, it feels lighter on the run.  Any Florida Gator fans out there will love the men’s color scheme.  Great daily trainer, you will get upwards of 600-1000 miles in this shoe.
http://shopsalmingusa.com/collections/mens-running-shoes/products/salming-miles-shoe-men-electric-blue
 http://www.runningshoesguru.com/2016/05/salming-miles-review/
 www.believeintherun.com/2016/04/10/salming-miles
Salming Distance D5 Men
 Distance D5: The Distance is the shoe that put us on the map, after being named the 2014 Runner’s World Best Debut.  Check out reviews of the D4 for an idea of how this shoe will perform, D4 for was more of a preformance trainer. Some tweak on the upper, with a wider toebox. D5 could be your best friend on marathon day.  Great trainer or race day shoe.
http://shopsalmingusa.com/collections/mens-running-shoes/products/salming-distance-d5-shoe-men-gecko-green


Salming Speed 5 Men

Speed 5: The Speed received a complete makeover this year, and it now is without question my favorite shoe in the lineup. I have used both Speed 2 and 3 as my Boston shoe and are looking forward to again use Speed for this year. Now with the new Recoil midsole, that will give extra energy return.
   http://shopsalmingusa.com/collections/mens-running-shoes/products/salming-speed-5-shoe-men-ceramic-green-black
Salming Race 5 Men


Race 5: This shoe will get you noticed, especially at night with its completely reflective upper.  Great for tempo work or those 5k – 10k races. In the past some of our elite ambassadors have worn it during marathons. 
 http://shopsalmingusa.com/collections/mens-running-shoes/products/salming-race-5-shoe-men-ceramic-green


Salming Trail T3 Men



Trail T3: Great all terrain and all round trail shoe. Very sticky grip but can be used on just about any surface, including asphalt.  The T3 was designed to keep water out.
 http://shopsalmingusa.com/collections/mens-running-shoes/products/salming-trail-t3-shoe-men-shocking-orange-deep-blue
Salming Elements Men


Elements: A more robust trail shoe with a very aggressive tread.  Best for OCR, single track trail races.  Designed to let water out. Drains exceptionally well.
http://shopsalmingusa.com/collections/mens-running-shoes/products/salming-elements-men
 www.runnersworld.com/shoe/salming-elements-mens
 www.runningscotland.com/single-post/2016/04/21/Review-Salming-Elements

Monday, January 2, 2017

Salming Winter Gear - Tights

The Swedish brand Salming has been known for its running shoes for a couple of years now. A few runners (at least in US) are aware of Salmings apparel.



As a nordic brand, Salming knows a few things about cold weather running gear and how to design functional tech gear, that works. Of course each runner is different and can tolerate weather differently, some runners put tights on at 40f others at 30f etc. Myself like to put thin long tights on around 32f, which leads  us in to:

Salming Core Tights .This is a basic pair of tights with that will hug your legs without out getting to sloppy. What I really like with Salming Core tights is the wide waist band that does not cut in to your waist while running. This tights are for late fall, when the winds and temps can get a bit brisk and chilly.  I have not put any layers under these other then underwear/short tights.




Plus vs Minus

Plus
-Wide waist band
-Reflective logos in back and front
-Back pocket (Enough for a few gels and a key)

Minus
-Lack  of zipper for ankles, a bit annoying to put on and off.

Salming Run Wind Tights
These are a pair of tights you wanna wear when the weather gets really tough and rough. Wind, snow, really cold, rain, you name it. These guys can handle it all. The big bonus on a really cold day is that you can layer up under these tights. They are tight enough to wear without base layer, but gives you enough space for your base layer,when you need it.
 The windstopper protection and water repellent  in the front blocks the wind and the chills and will keep you warm. I will take these tights on really windy day or a rainy day around 32f, just to block wind and rain. If you don't have the winds around these temps, the thermal layer makes them to warm.
Wind tights shines on the really cold days, layered up with base layer and wind proof under wear (the secret to a pain free and warm run). The thermal part of these tights makes you feel secured and warm during your run.
Same as the Core tights, the Wind has a really nice wide waist band, that does not cut in, and secures the fit. Add to this the preshaped knees for a better fit and a 4-way stretch fabric.

Plus vs Minus

Plus
-Windstopper and water repellent
-Reflective logos, strategically placed
-Thermal layer
-Great fit

Minus  
None (on a cool winter day)

Again, Swedes know how to do apparel for cooler and gnarly conditions, if you like their shoes, you will like the apparel.....


Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive Running shoes/gear from Salming Running USA brand ambassador program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”