At the beginning of 2012 the Lomography Gallery Store Berlin played an important part in a video shoot by German music magazine ‘Electronic Beats’. An interview with the electronic music duo and avowing analogue fans ‘Solar Bears’ was recorded in the store. After finding out that the guys have several Lomography cameras at home we couldn’t resist to ask if they’d like to share some photos with us. Check out the experimental Holga shots from John Kowalski and read more about the band’s analogue passion.
NAME: John Kowalski
First of all, it was a pleasure meeting you guys at our Berlin store! Hope you enjoyed the stay! How did you like the Gallery Store and Berlin in general?
We did not want to leave in truth, the staff at the store were incredibly kind to us as were the people of Berlin. It offers everything and it is certainly somewhere where we would like to live and create music in the future.
How many Lomography cameras do you have? Which one is your favourite?
I gave away my Diana to a friend but I still have my Holga 120. Berlin based blog No Fear Of Pop asked me to do an article on Irish music this year which I incorporated some of my photography. More recently I asked my colleague Dorje De Burgh to provide the shots as he is highly skilled in that area. His work is superlative and I would ask you to investigate it further. He also exhibited in Berlin this year. My favourite would be the Diana as it was my first and first love is strongest.
Tell us a bit about your pictures. Where were they taken?
My use of the Holga has been purely experimental to date, mainly trying out the different features it offers. There were mostly taken in Dublin and the coastal town of Malahide. I try to take it with me when we tour to document our experiences.
Which ones are your favourite shots from the photo galleries shown and why?
Any shot that has a visceral emotional core whether it is of people or simply light and shade. One element I look for is ultimately dystopian in nature, hinting at the degradation of nature and society.
Describe the Holga in 5 words.
Compact, simple, stylish, versatile and valued.
What’s your favourite film for your camera?
Portra 400VC for the saturation, texture and colouring it provides.
In the Electonic Beats interview you said that you have a passion for analogue things. Why is that and what is so special about it?
It has so much character. Digital recordings and photography can be quite sterile and clinical in my opinion. Analogue has far more humanity in it for me plus it has a different effect on the human brain.
‘Photo Negative Living’ by Solar Bears on Soundcloud
How would you describe your music?
Varied and melodic.
You are from Dublin. What do you like about your hometown? Do you have any sightseeing or insider tips for us?
The architecture of the city is changing year in year out, it is morphing all the time. Our music scene is what I am most proud of. The city centre has a place called the Ivy Gardens which is a sanctuary away from normality.
What can we expect next from Solar Bears? New recordings or tour plans? We would love to see you soon again in Berlin!
We have a new album entitled Supermigration which will be coming out in the first quarter of 2013. There are tour plans for Europe and America. We would love to play Berlin.