Animated 2-Floor wrap-around neon window installation for Vans Shanghai Flagship store at Nanjing Lu.
The world’s first Vans intelligent retail store – China’s first flagship Vans store houses retail, custom workshops and events within a 3-story immersive experience environment. Located on one of the world’s largest and busiest shopping streets on Nanjing East Road – the promenade comes alive at night and is known for it’s bright neon signage and light-based displays found along the strip.
The animated neon window installation wraps around the terraced building facade over 2-floors and depicts aspects of Vans brand, skateboard, creative and local culture thought the use of text and graphic elements.
Worked with Swatch to develop the 2021 Year Of The Ox Big Bold watch.
OX ROCKS 2021! is a must-have for the New Year and it comes right on time. Warmed up by the fiery black, red, and gold-colored strap, the dial represents the perfectly harmonious Ox in a Ying and Yang shape, adorned with two black crystals.
Marking the end of winter and the beginning of the spring season, the Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in China. Every zodiac year is defined by an animal and 2021 will be represented by the Metal Ox. The golden tones bring luck and prosperity while red symbolizes happiness, success, and good fortune.
Prepared another extended long play Q + A on the subject of Sony Sports Walkmans. Nice to splice together this little feature with audio aficionado and People’s Champ – Matt Langille.
SPORTSMAN: Did you have a Sony Sports Walkman ? From memory can you describe it and the features it might have had ?
LANGILLE: Yes I had one. The thing I remember about it the most was that it was super chunky and heavy. I think they were fairly boxy to start and then got sleeker as time went on. I believe the version I had was water resistant – perhaps that’s why it was a little clunkier ? I really remember the ‘CLICK’ of that outer latch to seal in the cassette – the most satisfying mechanical sound and feel on any electronics I’ve ever owned ! I really want to hold one now and put a tape in, I’m sure it would be overwhelming.
SPORTSMAN: Where and when did you use your Walkman the most ?
LANGILLE: Music was my number one thing besides sports, so pretty much any time I wasn’t playing basketball – I had my Walkman on. At home, definitely walking to and from school, drives with my parents, on the bus to and from basketball games. I have pretty significant hearing loss in my right ear, and I’m sure this was the beginning of that. I listened to my Walkman constantly, and loud.
SPORTSMAN: Well i’m glad your Walkman didn’t have the Mega Bass feature – otherwise you might have total hearing loss in both ears by now. Do you remember the first cassette tape you listened to ? Where did you get the cassette ? Where did you get most of your cassette tapes afterwards ?
I grew up in a tiny town in Nova Scotia, so getting tapes wasn’t easy to begin with, especially the music that I was into. We had one, maybe two music stores in the town, and at the time the rap selection was really small, and most often just the very big major label releases – pop-rap like Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer, Young MC, Tone Loc – that kind of stuff. I was a weird kid and started buying my own tapes really early on with paper route money, I can distinctly remember buying De La Soul’s 3 feet High & Rising the day it came out in ’89 and having my mind blown.
I also remember hassling my father to death one day to drive me to the mall so I could buy the 3rd Bass Cactus album. For whatever reason he decided to park in a handicapped parking spot and got a ticket. He was furious with me and I got yelled at the entire ride back home ! Those 2 tapes were early though, but the 3 tapes I remember getting the most run on my Sony Sports Walkman were Gang Starr – Daily Operation & Leaders Of The new School – Future Without A Past. Both tapes were bought on the same day from Sam the Record Man in Halifax on a day trip with my grandfather. That was an awakening, you couldn’t get those kind of albums at the store in my hometown. Then lastly I can remember when Ice Cube’s Death Certificate came out, I was a big NWA fan like everyone else, then loved Cube’s Amerikkka’s Most Wanted, so was heavily anticipating Death Certificate. We were in Florida visiting my grandparents when it came out, and at that time it was around the whole 2 Live Crew censorship fight – a hot bed topic in the state – and you couldn’t buy an explicit album in Florida if you were under 18. My sister had befriended some older kids that were staying in the same motel complex as us at the time, and I paid one of these kids to buy that tape for me !
Outside of that, I just dubbed every rap tape I could get my hands on, I remember Chris Holstrom had an older brother that had all the rap shit, so I’d borrow his dubs and then tape them for myself. I distinctly remember I got one that was Easy E’s first album on side A and parts of Divine Styler’s Word Power on side B, which blew my mind ! Was like a west coast Native Tongues ! I also got heavily into Donald D through the dubs he had.
That’s also around the first time I heard DJ mixtapes, which eventually led to me getting into DJ’ing on my own. There was a rap group in town called Hip Club Groove, and the DJ – DJ Moves – dated one of my friends’ sisters’, so I’d always take whatever mixtapes he gave her and dubbed them. This was the first time I heard mixing and blending, and also the first time I heard rap songs that were made locally. These early experiences made me realize that it wasn’t a super crazy far off thing – that I could also partake in the world of rap music in some way. It’s partly what inspired me an led me to DJ’ing and further into the music world in general.
I asked Matt to fill out this cassette track listing postcard with a selection of songs that came out in the same year that his first Sony Sports Walkman – the WM-AF54 – came out.Matt is left handed and as a result – this – and all his past cassette tape liner listings from youth – always appear smudged as a result of his hand dragging through the freshly written wet ink.
You can listen to the partial playlist on Spotify here :
During the process of collecting personal stories on the subject of Sony Sports Walkmans I was able to press pause on my busy pace and put in some extended time with prolific producer Vaughn Robert Squire AKA Sixtoo for a little rewind down Memorex lane.
SPORTSMAN: Did you have a Sony Sports Walkman ? Do you remember why, where and when you got it ? From memory can you describe it and the features it might have had ?
SIXTOO: My first Sony walkman was a WM-F35 model that I got in 1986. It replaced my micro Aiwa that I had a friend purchase for me on a trip to Japan – that got stolen from my locker at Langstaff High – a couple weeks before Christmas – the year before I moved to Nova Scotia from Toronto.
I turned into such an asshole without a walkman; my single mom really couldn’t afford it, but the price of her sanity far exceeded the price tag of the yellow box. I guess in retrospect it would have been equivalent to the J’s that everyone wanted – but even today I would take some Super Pro Keds AND a Walkman over J’s and no music. This was 86… I never fucked with the 2’s anyway.
I loved the Aiwa walkman… it was sleek and small and just super cool, this pinnacle of technology at the time. Everyone bugged out on when they saw it !
I was not excited to get this big yellow clunker with the water-flap that everyone else also had. Even as a kid I cared about individuality, and didn’t want to rock no clone-shit. That said, time obviously changed my feelings about the walkman, and I suppose in some way, it kind of solidifies the idea that some things become ubiquitous because they are just good ! The Sony Sports Walkman was one of those things.
In retrospect I can say that the Sony was absolutely a bulletproof and considered design. I remember it had the auto-reverse feature, which I loved. It was more or less a water resistant walkman, which sometimes would fog up – or temporarily die – when walking in from out of the cold.[…but it always came back to life !]
SPORTSMAN: Any particular memories of making mixtapes and getting into cassette culture ?
SIXTOO: My best friend at the time (DJ Moves) had a turntable setup, a subscription to a New York record pool, and a high speed dubbing deck – so every couple weeks we would make a new mixtape at his folks place. We would dub a bunch of tapes, draw up and print our own photocopy covers, then sell ‘em at the high school before the weekends so we would have some party money or whatever. The tapes we made always got the head-nod test on the walkman before they got sold at our high school. I started fucking around making my own records and mixes around this same time, so the walkman naturally became the thing I would test my mixes on – and was kind of this weird lifeline to my old life in Toronto – listening to old Ron Nelson and Mastermind radio shows – the CKLN vs CHRY radio station era – trading dubs of NY rap radio shows – and making little pause-tapes and mix comps with my friends. I would listen to all this stuff on the Sony. It somehow gave me this weird confidence when I started making my own music stuff… putting things on tapes made it feel every bit as ‘real’ as this stuff I was buying and listening to from radio… even when my music and djing was trash.
SPORTSMAN: Where and when did you listen to your walkman the most ?
SIXTOO: During my last year in high school I was working night shift at a bakery and saving up money for my first real DJ + production equipment. I would bake a couple thousand loaves of bread per night ! I would go in at midnight, listen to cassette tapes all night, go home, shower, go to school, and then come home and sleep after school. Wake up, smoke a blunt, go to the bakery, put my headphones in, and make bread all night. I got really good at stealing boxes of batteries because of those shifts. I also lost a finger in one of the bread machines because I didn’t hear it turn on. I guess that’s why they didn’t want me listening to my walkman at work.
SPORTSMAN: Do you remember the first cassette tape you bought or listened to ? Were there any particular cassettes you owned that you played until the track listings rubbed off ?
SIXTOO: There are a couple tapes that I bought years after I got the walkman that I literally burnt out in it. Big Daddy Kane – Long Live the Kane, Beatnuts – Intoxicated Demons, P.E. – Nation of Millions were a couple that all got played right down to the hiss, and while the Aiwa was hungry…. The Sony never ate a single tape.
SPORTSMAN: Any last thoughts or random memories about your Sony Sports Walkman ?
SIXTOO: The Sony Sports Walkman was just like, this really personal way of collecting things that resonated with me musically, from my own stuff, to the type of stuff I listened to at the time, but was also this personal bodyguard in that you just be sort of invisible and invincible in your own world. Catch a fade, walk around the town with your hood up and zone out, and go steal some batteries. It’s the simple stuff, you know?