Man, it’s a crazy time to be a geek! Who would thought there would be a time where our sweatiest nerd fantasies would come true? We see The Avengers battling it out on the big screen, Star Wars sequels finally get made and Batman faces off with Supes! Sometimes I feel I slipped into an inter-dimensional crack and ended up in an alternate reality where great comic book movies actually exist. Remember this background from Will Smith’s I Am Legend movie?

What started as an in-joke in 2007 actually becomes nerd reality in 2016… how crazy is that? I just hope that doesn’t mean a breed of mutated vampires will take over the world in a couple of months… 

Whilst I have no idea if the movie will be good or bad ( early reviews indicate a mix of both ), the anticipation of watching this epic team up on the big screen makes me want to talk a little bit about my relationship with the bat-eared vigilante called Batman. Because although I am aware of multiple comic book heroes superficially, only Batman made a lasting impression. So am I Team Batman? F**K YEAH!

I started, like any honest Batman fan, as a young nipper watching re-runs of the camp 1966 TV show. I actually taped each episode on audio cassette by holding the recorder next to the TV set and created custom tape covers after. I think I never listened to them afterwards, I just loved collecting them and adding my own spin on it… what a foreshadowing of things to come! #collector / #hoarder

I even painted a movie poster for my local cinema when they screened the movie from 1968 one weekend. Man was I proud seeing it hanging in the lobby! Good old days! *sigh*

Fast forward a couple of years and I enter Batman’s world again in the late 80ties, actually reading the comics when Batman was spelled Bat-Man. I just loved the premise of Batman being without super powers, having to win using his gadgets, intellect and obsession with avenging his parents death. No cosmic eye lasers here! The logo and his costume were so damn iconic as well. Let’s talk villains: To this day I think Batman has just the best gallery of rogues of any comic book hero out there: Scarecrow, Penguin, Joker, Riddler, Poison Ivy… I just loved the richness and uniqueness of Batman’s world.

I think what kept me personally invested in the character was that Batman’s struggle and villains always were relatable. It was like Batman had to battle his inner demons which were manifested in his villains. I loved Two-Faces coin, Jokers pure insanity and Scarecrows psychedelic horror trips. Somehow other superheroes like X-Men or Superman were just too out there for me to relate to. Batman was the guy every angsty kid wanted to be. And don’t get me started on the pimp Batcave with the massive coin and stuffed T-Rex: Super playalistic fo sho!

Then this happened…

Tim Burtons movie from 1989 just blew my mind. Loved the crazy costumes, the iconic vehicles, the tidal wave of Batman merch and the soundtrack, being it the swooping theme from Danny Elfman or the insane Funk of Prince. The only things that were horrible about this movie were the Amiga 500 computer games which I still played night after night anyway!

The older I got the more I got invested into the f**ked-upness that underlies Batman’s obsessed fight against crime and Jokers psychopathic mass mudering. Things got dark! “The Killing Joke” and “A Death in the Family” really shook me. Seeing Robin being beaten to death with a crowbar by the Joker is as far away from the 1966 Batman vibe as you could get!

Whilst we are on the Joker: My favorite one is of cause Heath Ledger as he nailed the insanity and creepiness the Joker needs to possess to be effective. In that aspect I am very interested in what Jared Leto will bring to the table as he might go more day-glo but is definitely not less unhinged than Ledgers Joker was.


Now things really got exciting when Frank Miller wrote the Dark Knight Returns and it’s sequel: The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Dark as hell, loaded with political allegories and the genius idea to pit clean cut and dull Superman against gritty and mistrusting old Batman. Till this day these books are benchmarks in visual storytelling and I would recommend them HIGHLY… even to people who might not feel like reading comics!

So when I go to the cinema tomorrow I expect a lot of nods to this fan favorite. Ben Affleck already dons the combat suit as we know through the trailers so I am really looking forward to all the other easter eggs they will cram in there surely…

Plus: FINALLY the see some white Bat-Eyes!!!

So am I hyped? YES! Loved Man of Steel and apparently Batfleck nails the darker more violent tone of the new Batman incarnation. So bring it on!!!

Of cause I can’t sign off without giving you my top 5 Batman items out there!

1. 1966 Batman and Robin Hot Toys

Absolute killer, they come even with a can of shark repellent. The detail on these are insane as expected of Hot Toys and they capture the awesomeness AND naffness of the costumes perfectly.

2. 1966 Batmobile Hot Toys

 via  Batman66.com
via Batman66.com

Another thing to love from the 1966 incarnation of Batman is the vintage Batmobile! I had a small Hotwheels version of it back in the days and seeing this beauty blown up to fit 12″ toys is a view to behold. Pure raw uncut awesomeness!!!

3. Mondo Batman Vinyl… ALL OF IT!

Mondo doesn’t only creates the best alternative movie posters out there but brings the extra amazingness with their vinyl releases. Although I never watched The Animated Series these vinyl releases are just breathtaking!

4. Rainbow Batman 6 Figure Pack

So apparently these are based on a comic from back in the day but me being a sucker for bright colours and weird variants this is definitely on my shopping list, breaking my self imposed toy buying embargo!


5) The friggin’ 1966 cowl by Mattel!!!

Do I need to say anything more?

The joy of bargain diggin’

I have been a vinyl collector my whole life but the small flats in London with no storage space and the pain of having to carry around crates and crates full of heavy vinyl stopped me to keep expanding my collection.

Another issue for me is the price of vinyl: Spending around £100 just to get 10 fresh new tracks into my DJ bag when I spin just makes no sense, at least not to me. I rather burn CDs with some new bangers I purchased digitally for 99p a song or even downloaded for free from Soundcloud… sorry, purists!

I still have a passion for vinyl though! It’s actually very remarkable that vinyl, a very much antique analogue format, still flourishes amongst the digital revolution. I believe it’s the haptic quality, the great cover artwork and just the pure joy of holding your favorite track in your hand.

So although I rather buy digital music now, I do make the the odd exception and pay full price for a new slice of vinyl. Actually there are only three reasons I buy the odd full price vinyl record here and there:

1) It’s just too amazing

 via  Dj Food
via Dj Food

There is only so much temptation a man can withstand: Star Wars plus 7Inch plus Rave Beats plus an original vintage toy? All for £5? HELL YES! Balkan Recordings just killed it with this one!

2) Recordstore Day suckered me into it

Ahhh the day that appeals to the nerdy, hoard-y side of every Vinyl nerd: Must get the exclusive for the collection! Oh look it’s so special can’t miss out! OMG this looks like a star!!! With it’s high price points and limited pressings it aims straight at the wallet of middle aged collectors like me, d’oh!

3) It’s connected to UNKLE and Futura 2000

If there ever was a record label that made me catch the vinyl collecting bug it must have been MoWax and it’s artist in residency, Futura 2000. With it’s endless special editions, fold out covers, Japan exclusives and rare promos, MoWax made it’s releases insanely collectable. So whenever I see a MoWax record that I don’t own yet it itches me to get it.

Ok, let’s be honest. There is a fourth reason I still buy vinyl from time to time. The reason being when it’s dead cheap!

 via  recordstoresworldwide.com
via recordstoresworldwide.com

Music Exchange in Notting Hill was the first amazing bargain paradise with a basement with thousands of records for £0.50 or less I discovered after moving to London. The place was/is perfect for discovering cheap promos of your favorite label, a forgotten classic on 12″ or an overlooked gem. Nothing feels more satisfying than leaving a record store with a bag full of great music that cost you next to nothing! 

So when I saw that my local record store Love Vinyl had a 20p bargain basement I just had to get involved, being the vinyl cheapskate that I am. The joy bargain digging brings me by far excels buying a rare copy of an overpriced album on Records Store Day.

Because you can just enjoy yourself without the guilty conscience of spending too much money on things you don’t actually need. You can be experimental as it doesn’t matter if you purchase some duds and you can indulge by buying some records for the album cover alone!

It’s a bit like eating low fat Nutella if there were such a thing: All of the pleasure, none of the pain!

With me having had an amazing bargain run this month, I thought I’d share some of my finds for your viewing pleasure…

Category: Who cares about the music, great cover!

Never heard of that Madonna song but I am digging ( pun intended ) the Warhol-esque 7″ cover. Next: Lime green, Apple logo and some vintage printer styles on Ninja Tune, how can I not bag this.

Straight up 80ties rave amazingness next, gotta love that Benz star too: KRUSHing it. Last but not least: Force MD’s. Can we please bring back synchronized dressing? 

The one that got away: I still can’t believe I left this one in the shop…

Category: This actually might be good!

The name Spyder D rang a bell so I just went for it. Turns out the track samples Nu Shooz 1984 Hit “I can’t wait” and is a total oldskool HipHop party rocker!

Next, the XL sleeve and the artist name “Hardcore” gave me an instant Rave vibe and I do enjoy my vintage rave music so this one went into the bag. Another winner as it turned out indeed to be some good old rave tune in the tradition of early Prodigy. WIKKKIT!

Next up good old Tony Touch. The title had me loop “He is the greatest dancer” by Sister Sledge in my brain straight away. Turns out, that’s exactly the song Tony messed with so another party track for the DJ bag.

Last but not least a record I found at Oxfam, fam! Priced at £0.99 DEFINITELY upper price range but AV8 from New York are known for their party Hip Hop mashups. 

Championing the style long before Insane Bangers, Hot Cakes and other Party Breaks labels, they can be hit and miss but the 12″ turned out well with 6 playable tracks! Yes Yo!

Biggest surprise: Bob Sinclar! I loved his first album back in 1995 but he since walked the dark path of commercial house music and looks today like David Guettas evil twin brother after a night of shagging models in a New York penthouse. But the lovely lady on the cover, the retro vibe and the happy price of 20p convinced me to give it a shot. 

Truth be told, the original mix is horrible. Good I checked the flip as a dude called Tommy Musto Aquavela managed to craft a remix that is actually pretty damn enjoyable. Well done! 

Last but not least…

Category: This is a certified hit! Go on, judge me!

It’s always fun to find guilty pleasures and childhood hits on 7″, especially abandoned in the bargain bin! This is barely the tip of the iceberg of my finds, other highlights include “Working 9-5” by Dolly Parton and “Magic Fly” from Space… 

Standout find: This crappy plastic bag. When I asked for bargain records in my local record store in Dalston the record dealer fished out this scruffy looking bag of scruffy looking 7″ from a hook in the back room.

I walked away with 10 records costing me £2 total. Songs purchased: “In the ghetto” by Elvis, “It’s not unusual” by Tom Jones ( banger! ), “Downtown” by Petula Clark , “Da Ya Think I’m sexy” by The Rodster. Just to mention a few of the oldies but goldies acquired. Now all I need is a drunken house party with a record player and it’s ON!  

So as you see, there is no shame in the bargain digging game! By the way… did you know you can replace scruffy looking vintage sleeves quite easily? Me not either. Check this out…

Ok I am off to collect a free 7″ from my local pub which they placed next to the beer tabs for decoration.:  Jefferson Airplane “White Rabbit” with “Someone to love” on the flip. OH YES!


Music and Video Exchange | 38 Notting Hill Gate | Notting Hill

Love Vinyl | 5 Pearson St | Hoxton

Eldica Records | 8 Bradbury St | Dalston

A Solaris guide to doing EVERYTHING!

It has been a busy this year so far: Trying to keep blogging on a regular basis, pushing forward my design work, paintings and musical endeavours like DJing. And my energy invested has been paying off. Not in a big way, more like in a “I am happy with myself” way. 

This focus on getting things done might have been connected to me hitting the big 4-0 last year and realizing that my time on this planet is limited. Some people might call it a midlife crisis, but I rather call it a “motivational awakening”! Actually, I always enjoyed doing many different things at the same time instead of committing my sole focus on one big goal and I must admit I always kind of felt guilty about it. The term “Jack of all trades, Master of none” is not a great label to be attached to.

Funny thing though: I know a lot of people who are stuck in a similar situation. People who want to do so many things that they never actually cross the start line doing at least one! 

This fascinates me. Especially when I see so many people depressed, dreaming of adventures they never embark on which leaves them miserable and unhappy whilst living in one of the richest and safest places in the world ( talking about the middleclass parts of Europe here).

So what’s the root of all this ambition and unhappiness?

The reason of this internal suffering is very well explained in this Huffington post article “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy” by Tim Urban of Wait But Why:

“The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security. The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY. Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.”  

( “A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.” It’s all explained in the article so go on and read it! It’s worth it! )



I think trying to live your own dream and having ambitions is not inherently wrong. Especially when you realize that you are crazy lucky to even have these issues. Not only did you win the sperm race against millions of other competitors, but you managed to manifest yourself on this tiny spec of dust in the vast emptiness of the known universe. Oh, and apparently this show called life has no rehearsal and jumps straight into the main play! No pressure there!

So I ‘d say it’s OK to feel at least A BIT special whilst hearing the clock of life ticking!

Our society and media are not really supporting a humble outlook on life goals either, fanning the fire of ambition even further. How does my career having a 9 to 5 compare to this entrepreneur that keeps on Instagramming all these damn yacht pictures? Badly is the answer!

A excuse back in the day not to get going used to be: Well I don’t have the equipment!

With digital technology at our fingertips enabling us to film awards winning movies on our mobile phone if we only choose to, there really is NO excuse anymore to not follow your dreams, existent or not!

When even a multimillionaire and iconic rapper/producer that already achieved the highest of highs like Kanye West is sad that he can’t be the next Michaelangelo, then the issue of “Generation Y Yuppie Unhappiness” goes all the way to the top and is blatantly not connected to just earning money and being famous.

It’s the annoying feeling that there are still so many ventures left unexplored! 

These days it’s not enough to just be amazing in one thing if you can have a go doing all these other things too. So although “Jack of all trades” used to be a bad term connected to mediocrity in the past, today it’s all about exploring all the possibilities this short life of ours has to offer.

One can imagine my delight and feeling of validation stumbling across this TED talk:

Whilst I DEFINITELY prefer having a specialist for a heart operation as a surgeon, I think it’s ok to embrace all the different paths that might appeal to you in order to have the most fun on this planet without carrying the stigma of being indecisive or being called a “Jack of all trades”. 

As I try to walk the path of many roads at the same time without feeling guilty about it, I thought I could share my Top 5 Tips on how to try to indulge in as many passions as one can without getting lost…

1) Embrace your unique shittyness

You might not be the best potter in the world, but that should not stop you from pottering. I know a lot of people might criticize this article, but I had fun writing it and I am more than up for a discussion. Being exposed to all the talent in the world via our digital appliances can be a massive demotivator, but if you feel something might be worth it just stop thinking and start doing! Embrace the fact that the initial product might not be up to the level you wanted to but hey: Life is about the journey, not the destination!

This attitude did not only lead me to start blogging again, but to think less about it. It made me take acting classes, drum lessons, do improv theatre and even end up doing stand up on stage just to see how it feels.

2) Stop distracting yourself

Yeah a night down the pub with mates getting wasted is great fun but it’s zero productive… most obvious fact ever! One day I was realizing that I was so busy consuming stuff I liked like magazines, clothes and screenprints that I actually stopped producing anything tangible myself I could feel proud of!

Again.. Why But Why explains this whole ordeal perfectly.


This realization led me to be motivated go home getting things done rather than going for a quick fix of feelgood to the next party or pub. It’s still a daily struggle, but a struggle that pays off. 

3) Get real with what you want

So you want to crochet a blanket, do stand up, learn how to juggle and take up boxing? It’s important to figure out what’s first, what’s second and what’s actually maybe interesting but not urgent at all. A good way to figure this one out is by checking your pain tolerance. For what are you willing to suffer?

For example I really enjoyed boxing but when I realized I had to get real with my fitness regime to reach the next level I stopped because it wasn’t that important to me at that time. Then again the urge to being able to enjoy and DJ music was strong enough to fill my Mixcloud account with 43 one hour long mixes!

4) Try to stop caring about recognition

Super hard as we are all online and the world is watching our every move! Plus we all want to be super awesome, let’s be real. It still should not hold you back from posting your latest track or publish that gallery of images you just took on Facebook if you feel like it.

But what if the track you just did in Garageband sucks? What if your stencil Graffiti of Mickey Mouse peeing on a Mc Donalds sign is getting hated on the internet? What can I say, try to get over it. Some people gonna dig it, some people gonna hate it, if you are personally happy with the outcome at that time just roll with it.


5) Be less Kanye and more Pharrell

Talking about two renaissance men doing many things at the same time!

A mantra I tell myself time and time again when that little self entitled douchebag turns up at my doorstep that get’s all pissy and outraged about how his genius is not getting acknowledged and how he should get this or that… I just breathe in and tell myself: BE LESS KANYE AND MORE PHARRELL!

While Kanye’s behaviour with his hissy fits, megalomaniac statements, self entitlement and disrespectfulness to his fellow artists really doesn’t win him any fans, Skateboard P just hugs a minion and does all the things Kanye craves doing like it’s no biggie: Running his own fashion label CHECK, creating art pieces with Murakami CHECK, doing jewelry and product design CHECK CHECK, releasing Number One hit albums CHECK! So l rather follow the gospel of P than the scriptures of Yeezus. There’s just a better vibe going on!

So keep on crafting and don’t be afraid to be jacking all the trades… it’s a waste of life if you don’t at least give it a shot!