Welcome to another addition of our 'Wallpaper Wednesday', I feel this post could not have come at a better time simply due to the horrendous Typhoon like weather we have been putting up with for almost nearly a month now (come on now give us a break!).

This wallpaper Wednesday I dedicate to brighter days and triumph over adversity, hence the victory pose below: 


Click the link below to download:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4H6w5xH-crMWVh3aWFLRWJqR28/view?usp=sharing

Literally due to this weather Summer seems to have ended abrubtly, and is now much more like a distant memory than the never ending dream we are use to, but thanks to film, I was able to capture some memories myself that I am happy to share with you:


From Koara's 8th Anniverysary.


The day after in Osaka for the Jaguar XE launch.


Admiring the beauty of Shin-Sekai while broke.


They after that being blazed by the Kyoto heat at Fushimi-Inari.


The last Sumida River Firework festival.


That young man who was touring Japan by Bike alone.


Me and one of the many new friends I made this short summer.

No matter how short it was I'll take these memories to the bank like:



How did you enjoy yours?

In London and Tokyo there has been movement going on during the last week, that I wanted to take time to blog about. 
Starting off with my friends Brassfoot (who is based in London) and JMS Khosah (who is based in Tokyo) who have released a joint cassette tape from their new label imprint NCA:



In you didn't know, analogue platforms have been making a come back in sales over the past few years, and cassette tape is no expection, as the format makes for an excellent collectible item, and retains that charming hiss most of us can remember from our Walkman or car stereos!

With backing from Apron records and a merciless music first approach, NCA is set to be the new standard as far as indie record labels go and they really do mean business, as this music video for NCA001 shows:



You can buy a copy of the tape from the NCA bandcamp, but I suggest you hurry because copies are limited and the tape will most definitely become a sold out nostalgic hero.

If that was not enough Apron Records have dropped a playlist of their entire catalogue onto Youtube:



Furthermore Funkineven's recent release the Apron A16 was featured on Juno as having one of the best records sleeves of August:



Finally Brassfoot also did a guest mix for Radar Radio London:



At Cartel, we believe that music is an important part of keeping an active lifestyle, I am hoping this music and vibes within this post help your to experience your road.

For the past few days we have been running a series of photos by Eric Guzman on our instagram, to commemorate the first shoot Eric and I did for Cartel Bikes this time last year, which happens to be when I started my relationship with Cartel, furthermore it will be Eric's birthday this coming Sunday, that said so far it's been like this:

DAY 1


DAY 2


DAY 3 (Today)


We'll run the series until this coming Sunday, be sure to follow us and not miss a post.

Instagram

Last week I posted about custom Avenue Lo's, and not wanting to be left out we put together our own take on a custom Avenue Lo, something we have come to call the 'CARBON EDITION':



The concept being everything that can be carbon is:

Diner's Carbon Bullhorns


Diner's 3 Spoke Carbon wheels front and back

Cartel's Carbon Forks

Is that carbon enough for you? 

If not don't forget:

Cartel's Carbon Saddle


Cartel's Carbon Seat Post

If you are interested in a carbon edition Avenue Lo be sure to call or visit our friends at Diner:

東京都港区西麻布4-2-10 102
営業時間 : 12:00〜21:00 定休日: 無し
電話 & FAX : 03-6427-2745

Custom Avenue Lo of the week goes to this gentle man here, who just could not resist the carbon wheels:



For more options and carbon goodness check out Diner's original parts here:

http://www.diner-tokyo.com/storetop/brands/diner.html
Our Aqua Blue Avenue and Avenue Lo bikes were featured as a news item on Eyescream.JP:


You can read the article below:

http://eyescream.jp/tyo/news/culture/cartelbikes-newmodels/

Eyescream you have our gratitude, thank you!

Last weekend was not as busy as they come, but I had a great time playing at the 246Commune for Anagra's 'Blank PARTY' where I was joined by BD1982, from Diskotopia:



Vistors came in all shapes and sizes too, like this Russian Wolf Hound for example:



The last days of summer seem to have arrived again...


Mood shot from our instagram

If this afternoon was anything to go by, however though, not to sure how I feel about that myself but none the less things keep coming together as simple as: 


I was introduced to this film today at the end of a meeting.  



With that being said, on this day Konida puts out his latest mix:


 
The timing and tunes come at a good time, no end of summer vibes for end of summer days? Also look out for his upcoming EP.

In the meantime you can also look forward to this Friday's 'Water Works' where you can catch him spinning alongside the home team at Koara:




Photo by Dasuike 'DISK' URANO
 
水 Water Works 水
☔☔☔☔☔☔☔☔☔☔☔
⚓ AT KOARA, SHIBUYA💧
⚓ 9/4 FRIDAY, 22:00 -- ??:??💧 
⚓ MUSIC BY:💧
⚓ TOBY FELTWELL💧
⚓ 1-DRINK💧
⚓ KOKO MIYAGI💧
⚓ KONIDA💧
⚓ TIKINI💧
1st Drink ¥1,000

Koara:
 
1 Chome-13-15 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0041
03-6423-064
🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊
🌊

 

This is a delayed blog post...



However a fews weeks ago I went to vist the Just Mate team's newest venture 'SCHMATZ' in Akasaka, and in their own words; "Schmatz brings authentic and fresh German food to Tokyo – just the way we have grown to love it back home. It is founded by three Germans with a passion for food and the desire to bring it to Japan".

We at Cartel are already big fans of their Just Mate drink (the sparkling tea beverage), so were eager to visit the Schmatz restaurant to sample their sausages (it's not funny), and get an overall feel of the restaurant.



First of all I must congratulate the team, as the restaurant looks amazing both inside and out, much more than I even expected, the wood decor really adds a clean feel to the space with a wonderful mural by ex Just Another Space's Alex:
 


The menu offers a variation of German Sausage Rolls (hot dogs), Sausages plates, Salads, their special 'Schmatz' burger and more:



I took the Jalapeno Sausage Roll set:



A nice blend of the pepper, tomato and sausage make an excellent combination and the bread used for the rolls is so fresh, with the perfect density meaning it is soft enough to bite and chew, yet it firm enough to be filling...they even offered me a second roll free, but I was too full.. good job guys!

 

Special thanks to the charming Tanabe-san for being a most gracious host!
Schmatz is definitely worth a visit, especially if your riding around and fancy a quick pit-stop:


SCHMATZ AKASAKA!

Hours: 11:00- 23:00 (last order 22:30) Mon-Sat

Address: 港区赤坂3-19-8

Be sure to wash down the Sausages with a Just Mate:


 
A good source of natural energy and good thirst quincher... one of the main reasons we had to add them to our Cartel Network:

 




 

I think in every mans life there comes a time for change, and it's been almost a year since I started riding my Cartel Bike:



Of course I love it and have grown fond of how it responds to me and the road, riding this bike has felt like I have been riding a muscle car of sorts - and it offers me the chance to reach very good top speeds; the only reason I am changing the bike is because of this....:



Yeh I want an Aqua Blue Avenue Lo frame as the base of my next bike!

And have been carefully checking out how customers at DINER have been customizing their Cartel Bikes, and have found some inspiration that I am going to channel into my new bike project.

Today at Diner this customer came through and purchased this custom 'Avenue Lo': 



I think it is a very good example of how to best customize your 'Avenue Lo', with very a streamlined silhouette and good use of carbon parts. 

Using Diner's Carbon Bullhorn Handle Bars:
 







Of course a Chris King Northread Headset:






SRAM Omni Track crankset:





Here is another example, and although it does not as heavily customized as the Avenue Lo featured above it still has some very nice touches to it.



Which are firstly these Nitto Bar Ends:



And secondly these Greddy Hub Nuts:
 


I have left out two particularly important parts as I don't want to give away everything before I put the bike together; and yes you read right I am going to put my new bike together myself, level up, skill up always experiencing my road.

This weekend catch me DJing at club Womb, Shibuya for this:



RESIDENT: SHINICHI OSAWA

SPECIAL GUEST: SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO (DJ SET) 

LINE UP: MASATOSHI UEMURA, TECHRiDERS

VIP LOUNGE "FEEL": KAZUMA TAKAHASHI, KENTA CATS, MR.TIKINI (OSIRIS DCLXVI), AVERY ALAN (PROM), ASHRA (IRMA RECORDS/SUB TRAX), KYOHEI TSUNODA (PLUS RECORDS), WHAT'S UP (GR8)

MIDDLE LOUNGE: YASUKI (RAY-VAN), RYU GODA (FAKE TOKYO), BIGKINBOY (RADD LOUNGE), SC14 (BEAT RESPECT/RADER), JT-ZUN, FANNY & VIVI

WOMB LOUNGE “RE:CEPTION”: KEISUKE MATSUOKA (RE:CEPTION), K (PLAY DECIBEL), GUCCI, BASEMAFIA (LAMED), YASUYO SARAH, ICKY, MARSHALL


Have a good one!

 

So after cursing a whole bunch and convicing myself to calm down, I realised that being stranded in Shinsekai with ¥2000 is not actually *that* bad as Kushikatsu starts at ¥100 per stick, so I made the best out of bad situation and found myself the cheapest vendor I could, and got my fried fix...which only came to about ¥850 ;-) (gotta love Osaka).

Oh and just before making the decision I got a call from an angel who forgot to tell me he booked me a hotel so all was not that bad!

With a little over ¥1000 left in my pocket I took the train from Shin-Imamiya to Osaka station and proceeded to check into my hotel which was in the Umeda area.

I made my mind up to eat cheapest Ramen I could find and get some the drinks from the conbini afterward, which I did and went to sleep soon after.


¥600

The next day I linked up with my brother-in-law as we had planned to visit Kyoto, and we went straight for a lunch at Okonomiyaki Sakura:          
                                                                                 

A really great place to enjoy lunch with a friend.

We then took the train and headed toward Kyoto, the train we took had this omamori (good luck charm on it):


Stopping off at Inari station, my brother-in-law wanted me to see the Inari-Fushimi Taisha Shrine located there, which is actually the headquarters of Inari and as such was filled with Shrines. I had no pre-concieved idea about the place but I soon found that the Fox holding the bank key in his mouth represents the shrine bringing good financial fortunes for it's patrons. I also soon learnt the Fushimi site is HUGE and is on a mountain, a small one but a mountain none the less:






So we climbed:



Climbed some more:



Until we finally reached the top; well that is actually a half truth, because we reached the top, but the trail still continued but since I was carrying my DJ equipment er, it was time to descend.



I would show you more pictures of the Shrines that were there, but somethings don't need to be captured; an elderly woman pointed out to a tourist who had setup a tripod, smack bang in the middle of a stairway; which not only obstructed the way of people, was just TOO much, besides we should really think twice before taking pictures of spiritual artifacts - as not everything is mean't to be captured.

From Inari we headed to Kiyomizu Temple; which was fine, but too full of people for me to have any real impression of comment, here is a complimentary picture though:



After the temple we headed to the Gion area, and then to our hotel, where we dropped of our bags (which the good lord knows is all I wanted to do). With the weight of my shoulders it was time for us to explore properly, and that we did:



I stumbled across the store which belongs to my friends at Timai, who I also modelled for and pointing this fact to the store keeper was quite fun...ahahaha!

Kyoto is a really beautiful city, and I guess that is all people say because it really is aesthetic heaven:



With the exception of the chain stores and brand stores, I was impressed at just how romantic everything seemed and the effort that has been putting into making EVERYTHING cool, but in a real subtle way that left me wanting wine and dine till either my stomach or wallet gave in!


We had Macha shaved Ice here.

Talking of wining and dining dinner time arrived and my brother picked out this splendid restaurant called ???? and we ordered this amazing wagyu dish:


Shed a tear, and wanted to slap the cow for being so delicious

Everything served was delicious and the traditional Japanese style building also had some strong European furniture and features that added another dimension to the already special ambiance:




After diner we wanted to get more of a feel of Kyoto a night, so hit the streets:





Finishing the night with a glass of sake was a wise choice and we headed back to our hotel (after downing some ramen!). 
Kyoto is a place I 200% recommend for experiencing your road!
 
The next day we decided to head over to the Arashiyama area, but before leaving the city I was really impressed to see how popular Kabuki still is in Kyoto:



After we arrived at Arashiyama we had ourselves a wonderful buffet style lunch, that allowed us to eat as much as we liked for an hour, an hour worth of on-site made washoku dishes:
 


We got filled after about 30 minutes though, and left soon after to explore more and walk off the excesses.

We came to this small bamboo forest, which again was beautiful to behold but the amount of people and the noise of there chatter, spoiled the overall vibe for me:




We went across the Oi river to get away from the crowds but to also climb Iwatayama to visit the monkey park on site there, of course fed the Monkeys, enjoyed the view... then I found myself again contented again, just enough to able to leave Kyoto and the Kansai area.



When I was headed back to Tokyo, I received a message from a good friend who had just flown in from Hong Kong; inviting me to join him for dinner:




It was a very nice welcome home for me and kept the holiday feeling a live that bit longer.
We then headed to a nice music bar in Shibuya (lol no not JBS); where we were joined by the dark stranger below: 




Yeh that bar also had this small roulette table, and my esteemed collegue from Macau taught me how to use it, and from there we ate ramen and said farewell.

Well it has been an intense weekend indeed...and I am actually still in the thick of it.

I say that because I am writing this blog from a capsule hotel in Kyoto (the capsules are bigger than I imagined, if however a little hot).

Well actually thats how the blog started but the wifi in the hotel was too slow, so let me just re-cap back to last Friday where I was mentioned in this instagram post:



It's actually a rather large poster that is on display somewhere in Daikanyama, from a shoot I did with the emerging brand TAC:TAC.

Friday evening I made my now regular visit to Burgermania, in Hiroo as I knew I was going to need Stamina for the weekend ahead:



Where this guy an olde friend of mine is learning the ropes of the burger trade.

That night I was invited to a magic show, yes you read right a magic show at a bar in Marunouchi House.



It was actually a magic bar where you are entitled to drink as much as you like for your stay, while enjoying the table service magic show, and the on stage magic show performed by this guy called 'Mac':



The show is very tongue in cheek and moves at a quick pace, and plays on the fact that visitors expect to be wowed...and man we were:



An unopened bottled of water with a card I wrote my name on earlier...I don't know how 'Mac' got it in there, but wow!



And then this a card I choose earlier Mac some how shrunk and placed on my chain... very sneaky, scary and genius... because I believe he placed this card onto my chain even before I had selected my card, which is very mind baffling stuff, especially under the influence of drink!

That was enough for my Friday night, so I retreated back to the 'Tik Cave', knowing that Saturday would also be a busy day, well kind of busy day.

Linking up with the guys at Diner, we headed to the Azabu Juban masturi, as 2 of the Diner guys are from that area and because I also used to live there and wanted to catch up with some of my old friends and neighbors.




It was crowded and hot, but still a lot of fun as we ate and drank our way up and down the SHOTENGAI (high street), the best drinks for me were the Mimozas (freshly squeezed orange and Champagne), which provided the right lubrication,  before we all had to make our way to Koara Summer Camp of course 1) To celebrate their 8th anniversary and 2) Because I had to DJ...

It was a great night and I am really thankful to everyone who came through to celebrate with us!!!



And man did we celebrate:



Which made for a difficult Sunday, even more so as I had to DJ that evening in Osaka: 



The ride was great as I slept most of way and also checked out the new Apron NTS show:



Oh yeh I was playing for the Jaguar XE car launch:




A car I would seriously consider if I had a budget of ¥8,000,000 to purchase a new car, and also if I was going to purchase a new car anyway.
The launch was a success, but I had not eaten all day and I had only one calling; KUSHIKATSU (deep fried things on sticks!), seriously I must east KUSHIKATSU if I go to Osaka, I mean MUST!

So I jumped a cab to the Shinsekai area of Osaka...



Ran to the nearest conbini, only to find out my bank had stopped ATM transactions that night; who does that ?!?
SO COLD, SO EVIL I mean HOW could they leave me stranded and hungry in Shinsekai with only ¥2000...

I was very unimpressed:



So what is a brother to do? 

Tune in tomorrow on the Cartel Bike Blog Show with Mr.Tikini!
 

The 20mm clincher wheel was a nice experience for me especially when taking my bike on the train as the front wheel was easy to remove, however I wanted to take the challenge of removing my front wheel with use of a tool set, in order to continue to develop my skill and knowledge of bicycles as a whole. 

So....BACK TO CARBON TIME!


Photo by Eric Guzman

The first thing I realized about the Diner Carbon wheels is the added power to floor they give the bike, meaning you can gain greater top speeds due to the momentum the aero dynamics build, while you pedal a long, so before you know it you'll find yourself at a cruising speed, with ability to dash at any moment.

That a side they look so damn purposeful:




Shots taken for the Cartel Insta this week

If you already own a Cartel Bike why not try customizing yours?


A customized Avenue Lo.

The 3 spoke Carbon Clincher I use as my front wheel, it makes a magnificient noise when your pedalling and is a head turner for sure:

Available now at Diner Tokyo

To offset the 3 Spoke, I am using the 88mm clincher wheel on my rear:


Also Available now at Diner Tokyo


Lets see how it goes when I travel with them!
Yes, that is right we have added a new color way (SKY BLUE!)  to both our Avenue Lo and Avenue bikes:



I am very happy with how the colors came out, even in there standard form they look amazing, but my sixth sense tells me that with some customization these bikes will really look amazing!

Here are some more detailed shots for you to enjoy: 







With this new color way, now is the perfect time to join the Cartel - for custom ideas look no further than to our friends at Diner Tokyo!!!

In other news, starting this Friday our friends at Koara will be celebrating their 8th anniversary with a two day summer camp!!!




Since Koara is the home of Water Works, and they are a part of the network we will be celebrating with them also, and for those that missed it here is the video from their Cartel Network shoot:



You can catch me playing on Saturday (8/22), and can expect the vibes to be nice and tight (as always!).




2015.8.21(FRI)-8/22(SAT)
22:00 START
--
DAY1.2015.8.21(FRI)22:00ST ART ENTRANCE 1000YEN
MUSIC BY VINYLIZM CREW:

KZA(FORCE OF NATURE)
EZ(TILT/Mild bunch/Junior Cartier DJ Club)
MATSUSHIMA(Mutant Disco/SSSoundSystem)
YMKW(SCRAMBLE)
&
Toshiyuki Goto
DJ MOO

--
DAY2.2015.8.22(SAT)22:00ST ART ENTRANCE1000YEN
MUSIC BY:


クボタタケシ
Roger Yamaha
YZMZ(#303)
Tikini(Water Works)
KANETOSHI(SINDBAD/ SUBSTANCE)

--
Koara:

Web: www.koara-tokyo.com/
Address: 
B1F, 1-13-15 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku

Telephone: 03-6423-0644