Hot moves: how a Glasgow venue harvests heat from dancers
The Guardian, October 2022
In 2019, Andrew Fleming-Brown realised that the venue he manages in Glasgow called SWG3, a collection of industrial warehouses “designed for holding tobacco, not people”, was falling behind when it came to sustainability. Then he had an idea: “We realised that our audiences could be our source of energy.”
He recruited inventor David Townsend and his company TownRock Energy to investigate greening the complex and, in just over a year, they developed and built Bodyheat: a system that provides carbon-free climate control by storing heat from SWG3’s visitors.
“Bodyheat is a crazy dream born from being in lots of hot clubs, working in geothermal energy, and bringing the two together,” Townsend says. “This dream is now a functioning, complex energy system that hopefully can inspire lots of other businesses and venues to reach net zero.”
Like a whisper rippling through a crowd, excitement is mounting as venues prepare to reopen their doors. But over a year on from the first UK lockdown, what’s changed? In its absence, clubbing’s power to unite us has never been more needed. As stories about racist, misogynist, transphobic and homophobic violence continue to dominate headlines, the past year has led promoters, venues and artists to reckon with how clubs can still act as sites of exclusion for the vulnerable and marginalised.
In the North of England, the dance music scene has, like the rest of us, been in hibernation. But as spring’s birdsong swells outside our windows, the sounds of the underground are returning, this time with a renewed emphasis on inclusion.
Love In The Time Of COVID
Gallery Magazine, February 2021
Fed up of long walks on the beach? All Zoomed out? Physically nauseous at the sight of the Netflix logo? Stuck at home with the apple of your eye but tragically unable to go out and spend hundreds of pounds on a mediocre-tasting meal in a crowded restaurant with poor service and tacky table decorations?You, dear reader, are not alone.
This year, Valentine’s Day is going to look a little different for all of us. It might be tempting to cocoon yourself in a large duvet for the rest of February or, indeed, the year, but should you feel like emerging, there are options a-plenty to celebrate Valentine’s in 2021.
"Multi-Multi-Dimensional": LCYTN Interviewed
CLASH Magazine, January 2021
Having written, produced, mixed and mastered her debut EP in 2018, LCYTN’s been steadily building a cult following: amassing over 170,000 streams on her single ‘Ride’, becoming the first artist invited to live-stream a DJ set from London’s Facebook Studios, and recently collaborating with Gucci and Schuh. Her latest release, the EP 'Every Thursday Night / Spotlight', encapsulates a world of energies in just three tracks, sliding from dreamy longing to darkly glittering, bass-heavy frustration to Afrobeats-inspired pure vibes in a rollercoaster 12 minutes.
Between shows, LCYTN (real name Lucy Tun: like a good Countdown contestant, just add vowels) has been keeping busy studying Economics and Burmese at SOAS and crocheting enough cute hats to supply an army of cottagecore TikTokers. Her wisdom belies her age; as the vibes began to flow and we got deep into discussions about the ailments facing today’s youth and the seductive power of death metal, it became clear that Lucy’s songwriting is deeply informed by a perceptive, introspective character determined to carve out a space of her own.
Climate fiction is a vital tool for producing better planetary futures
The Lancet Planetary Health, January 2021
Given that readers will find themselves currently in the middle of a pandemic, an ongoing climate emergency, and a global economic recession, they might be forgiven for wanting to kick back with a book on the lighter side. Yet across the world, audiences are instead opting to wade deeper into the darkness. It seems counterintuitive that, in an era when the novel seems especially designed for escapist purposes, climate fiction has seen a steep rise in engagement, even as it deals directly with one of the most threatening prospects at this moment in history: the end of life as we know it. Yet fiction's ability to hold a mirror to our collective fears and triumphs in equal measure makes it the ideal instrument for productively grappling with the dizzying possibilities of humans' impact on the place we, for now, call home.
Interview with Joycelyn Longdon: Challenging Colonial Climate Futures
Aligned Magazine, October 2020
AI is a hugely powerful instrument emerging in the climate space, allowing us to make deeply complex predictions about future climate events and more accurately ascertain the biggest problems facing our planet as it warms. Yet these advanced forms of prophecy point directly to events which many Indigenous groups have long been preparing for in a multiplicity of ways, including encouraging crop diversity to avoid pest-borne famine and making careful observations of the surrounding lands to avoid causing imbalances which may continue to snowball many generations later. Indigenous insight, steeped in interaction with and respect for the local environment, is profound. Composed of subtle truths and details that scientists and engineers easily miss, its long-term perspective stands in sharp contrast to the short-term quick fixes so highly favored by our culture of instantaneity. It’s vital that we take this approach to heart if we seek to achieve planet-wide systemic change that our great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy.
The politics of time, space and the rewind
Common Ground, July 2020
The rewind doesn’t just shake up time and space in the club. It has a history that reverberates across history all the way across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, where it flourished among the dance halls of 1960s Jamaica before travelling in the minds and suitcases of Jamaican immigrants to Britain. This is the origin story of soundsystem culture: born in Jamaica, homegrown in the UK, and the proud mother of drum & bass, dub, garage, grime, drill… and showing no signs of slowing its extraordinary birth rate.
The A-Z of climate change
Gallery, December 2019
Climate change is big. So big, in fact, that sometimes it can be hard to grasp. Hearing stories of floods and heatwaves far removed from our little island inspire feelings of pity and powerlessness against a problem too large to be handled in the abstract.
It’s time to bring it home, and take a closer look at the everyday things that climate change is threatening. This A-Z is a wakeup call of what we and our children stand to lose if we don’t get off our collective a**es and take action...
Solastalgia: why so many of us have it
The Mind Map, November 2019
The concept of ‘home’ is difficult to define. For some people, it’s another person; for others, it’s an indefinable feeling. But all of us have places that we call home, whether they’re imbued with childhood familiarity or borne of new attachments made later in our lives.
That connection to a familiar environment brings with it community, identity and comfort – and a sense of permanence, reassuring us that whatever may change in our own lives, home will still be there to welcome us back. But our homes are changing, and the damage it’s doing to our collective psyche is profound...
In the land of the rising sun, climate efforts are falling behind
Uneven Earth, August 2019
At the beginning of the millennium, faced with a capital city susceptible to cataclysmic flooding, the Japanese government poured millions of dollars into the creation of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, the largest underground water diversion system in the world that can divert the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool into the Edo River every two seconds.
But even with the support of the Channel’s miles of tunnels, Tokyo today—not in some distant climate future, but right now—still faces the prospect of a flood severe enough to require the immediate evacuation of up to 1.78 million people...
This summer, go to Goto
Metropolis Japan, March 2019
If you prefer beaches and stars to people and cars, then welcome to Goto: you’ve come to the right place. Scattered off Nagasaki’s coastline, the historic archipelago’s five islands proffer the kind of local charm that’ll transport you far from any kind of madding crowd.
First things first: to get the most out of an island that’s surprisingly hilly for its size, it’s recommended to rent a car. As for staying the night, my top pick is Utojuku Hostel for its comfortable beds and clean facilities, but more particularly, for its double life as a futon shop by day and buzzing bar by night. Say hi to the owner’s dog, Chikuwa...