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05.08.11

Culture Lust
Angus Hyland


The Editors

Angus Hyland is a partner at Pentagram. His most recent book is Symbol, a celebration of the ‘beauty of the purely visual trademark’

What music is currently on the Hyland turntable? 

Ah, that's an interesting one. This summer it's been decidedly retro (even more so than usual). For a while I've been caught in some strange dislocated pop-space (or Space Pop) between Julian Cope and Todd Rundgren. Thankfully, courtesy of a gift from Mr Harry Pearce, I'm now heading towards the folkier realms of Roy Harper. RH has a new collection out entitled Songs of Love and Loss. Usually I don't go in for compilations but this set which has been sensitively remixed holds together extremely well. Such quiet intensity. 

My persistent guilty pleasure is 'primal' country rock from the late sixties/early seventies and at the moment I'm playing the third Flying Burrito Brothers album (minus the errant genius of Gram Parsons). It includes a track entitled Colorado which sounds remarkably close to All The Young Dudes.

Finally, on a train trip between Bordeaux and Brussels last week, I repeat played Half Past France by John Cale; context is everything, I guess.

Read any good books lately? 

I've recently finished The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock which was great. On my recent trans-Europe express journey I started and finished Identity by Milan Kundera which I hated as much as a particularly bad existential French movie. I'm now on to The Book of Laughter and Forgetting which is much more to my taste.

How has your consumption of culture (music, art, TV) changed with the advent of the internet? 

I seem only to watch BBC4 on TV these days and I spend way too long on the sodding computer - not least in writing posts like this. It may be wishful thinking but at some point in the future the only surfing I wish to do, in the cultural sense, is the one that requires only a fibreglass board and the correct sea conditions. I may need to improve my swimming first. 

You have recently published a book on symbols, have you come across any other good design books? 

Actually, I'm kind of toying with the idea of buying your Unit Editions book on Total Design [Terrific idea, Angus. Ed.] Otherwise, no.

Movies - do you have time to keep up with cinema?

My wife and I are self-confessed Marvel fans so we'll see anything which involves an X-Man or Captain America.

What about galleries and exhibitions - anything caught your eye lately? 

Yes - most definitely. The last V&A exhibition, The Cult of Beauty, on the Victorian aesthetic movement. Luxurious, dreamy and languid to the point being soporific, this subject appeals to my periodic need to escape modernism and replace it with the romantic. Inspiring too, as it prompted me into pursuing a book idea I've being considering for some time around the themes of sensuality and fantasy in contemporary illustration.

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