Since at least the 14th century, motley has referred to a type of cloth made from two or more colours.  Imagine, a healthy crew of five, each clad in their own motleys -- the outcome is eye catching and attention-commanding --  partly due to their outfit choices, but more so because of the personas that emanate from these rainbow-clad bodies, twisting and conveying emotion in their every movement.

Someone who probably ended up with parents about as kind as wolves once said, “friends are the family you choose for yourself.”  There is some truth to that; nobody is given the chance to choose the family they are born into - while the close relationships we keep with friends can go deeper than bloodlines.   For Andy Butler, the friends and other members who currently fill out H&LA are the family he’s chosen.   DJ Mark Pistel is by his side on the knob machines and Kim Ann Foxman, longtime bandmate, acts as the ham to Butler’s cheese.  They make wonderful surrogate parents, fit with the intuitive knowledge and understanding of age-long companionship to seek out and adopt other kindred accomplices.  Their roster of adopted children continuously changes and grows, as they’ve either had the knack or need for adding to the varied lineup of dazzling voices and personalities. 

Their most recent adoptees include the flamboyant Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based Aerea Negrot, whose powerful voice can kill.  She’s the kind of woman who’s not afraid to bitch slap or throw a punch when it’s needed, light up a cigarette onstage as she swaggers from one end to the next, all the while switching from a countertenor falsetto to a spinal cord-quivering baritone at the drop of a hi-hat.  The other newbie Shaun Wright has a predilection towards some seriously vivacious vogueing and doubles-up with Negrot for several songs, drawing a very respectable parallel to Antony Hegarty during his performance of “Blind.”

Nervous about how to approach this array of people and relate some sense of thoughtful inquisition, Anastasia and I sit by the river in Kreuzberg shortly before the interview begins, scribbling down notes but always getting caught up in singing the addictive hooks of their songs.  Instead of going off on one, straight into the dirty depths of the Spree, we finish our beers and make our way inside the venue.  Any lingering of anxiety or possible star-stupefaction dissolve upon entry.  Kim Ann and Aerea say hi while sat next to each other on the sofa eating grapes and watching a funny video clip.  Moments later, Andy jumps out of the bathroom exclaiming, “Here you girls are!  I’m running a little late...  can we do the interview in the bathroom while I shave?”  And with a question like that, I’m fully bang up for it...

Text: Yasmin Martinelli | Film + Photography: Anastasia Loginova | Film Editing: Giorgio Poloni


NAN GOLDIN - Berlin Work 1984 - 2009

CORY ARCANGEL - Here Comes Everybody

STEPHEN SHORE - Uncommon Places


Graham Caldwell



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Isn’t it mean to dangle a piece of juicy steak above a dog’s head? The pup knows the meat is within close reach yet the person in control keeps yanking it back just before he can chomp down.  The whole scene is funny, for a bit, and some dark hearts even like to leave pups and people alike dangling infinitely, victims to their endless tease. For whatever reasons, Hercules and Love Affair have twice-delayed releasing their long-awaited second album, Blue Songs, although in all likelihood, fan torture tactics were hardly at the core of these slight setbacks.  The album is on its way and expected to be out in early 2011. When the pup finally gets that juicy chunk of meat in his mouth, it’s even better than he thought it would be. And what, with a guest spot from Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke on there and a cover of ‘Shelter’ by The xx, this could cause cardiac arrest.

In addition to their upcoming release, H&LA have specially curated a night of music in collaboration with Frieze Art Fair.  Friday, October 15th will see H&LA perform in London where their new material will be debuted. Guten Appetit.