Art Interview | posted 13.06.2013
Eliot Lee Hazel
The Stranger
Eliot Lee Hazel’s photographs of musicians are often gritty, raw, filled with cinematic language. British Hazel lives in America, is only 21 years-old and yet he’s already photographed Yeasayer, Thom Yorke, Ariel Pink and Cat Power.
Text Grashina Gabelmann , Photos Eliot Lee Hazel , Translation Julia Hinz
Eliot Lee Hazel’s photographs of musicians and bands are often gritty, raw, filled with cinematic language and American visual symbols. He shot Ariel Pink sitting within a broken television set, pushing around a junk filled shopping cart, walking along train tracks or hanging out in what seems to be a desolate house looking out the window contemplatively. These images are shot either in over saturated oranges and blues reminding of Warhol’s generous use of color or shot with natural light with an added grainy, polaroid-like layer. Both color scales and all motives couldn’t be more American. Hazel is British though. Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne he has recently moved to America: »If I was living in Britain then my pictures would most likely look different,« he reckons. Maybe it’s because of his status as a foreigner that his country of residence’s stereotypical symbols and visual language are so pre-dominant. Perhaps it is the just 21-year-old’s way of exploring his adopted home’s visual history and a way to connect with his American subjects like Yeasayer, Cat Power and Mars Volta. Spontaneity and energy are continuously embedded in his shots and a feel of familiarity and ease, which might come from the fact that Hazel never studied photography but merely really got a kick out of photographing his friends. »Some of them were musicians and the ball kept rolling as more and more musicians would ask if I could shoot them.« His work process is pretty chilled as one would expect from a 21 year-old who absolutely loves what he does; »90% of the time I’ll have a random idea on the day of the shoot. Sometimes a musician brings an idea and I’ll work with that.«

If a musician wants to express his artistic persona while discreetly revealing something about their private them in front of Hazel’s camera would be a pretty good place to go Hazel’s photographs are cinematic. They are more than straight-faced band pictures used for press packages. If a musician wants to express his artistic persona while discreetly revealing something about their private them in front of Hazel’s camera would be a pretty good place to go. It’s surprising than that Hazel doesn’t see a connection between the cinema and his work: »I like movies and I like theatre but it does not play much of a role in my photography although people tend to often think so.« Maybe it really doesn’t play a role but I’m not convinced; perhaps Hazel’s photos contain subliminal messages of aestheticism, which cinema has so cleverly interwoven that not even the photographer noticed because one thing is for sure: Hazel is a story teller.

Your Comment
Related Articles
Art Interview | posted 09.11.2012
Geordie Wood
Face to Face
The 27 year-old Boston-born, Brooklyn-based photographer Geordie Wood is a photographic traditionalist avoiding anything trendy or gimmicky yet his subjects are very much in your face and flashy.
Music Review | posted 16.06.2015
Aidan Baker & Idklang
In The Red Room
In Idklang, Aidan Baker has found a partner who provides an informal frame to his exuberant arts.
Music Review | posted 10.06.2015
Jamie xx
In Colours
On his debut, Jamie xx hat got it all right. It’s an incredibly exquisite record – exquisite enough to be disgusted.
Music Review | posted 15.06.2015
HELM
Olympic Mess
Overcoming stress through music: On »Olympic Mess«, Luke Younger aka HELM is trying to handle his very own chaos.
Music Review | posted 08.06.2015
Ben Zimmermann
The Baltika Years
The musical opportunities deriving from an old operating system have hardly ever been explored – Ben Zimmerman has dedicated ten years to this endeavor.
Music Review | posted 19.06.2015
Ken Camden
Dream Memory
On »Dream Memory«, Ken Camden is trying to close the sound gap between guitar strings and synthesizers.
Music Interview | posted 18.04.2011
Knxwledge
Beats and Soul as a Mind Set
The beat scene knows a broad variety of names, producers and people who are pushing the game to the next level constantly. One of the names you should definitely be familiar with is Knxwledge.
Music Review | posted 09.06.2015
Jenny Hval
Apocalypse, girl
Hval doesn’t nag and moan – she asks questions. You’ll find the answers by following her into the unpleasent. In the end, you’ll know what’s to go down.
Music Interview | posted 02.07.2011
Gold Panda
Just to make it better
Last year’s Lucky Shiner was one of the records, where the Beat-enthusiasts, the Caribou-listener and the electronic nerd come together sharing the headphones. Valentin Menedetter met Gold Panda for an interview and explains the basics.
Music Review | posted 08.06.2015
Container
LP
Crackpot-polyrhythmics, hickup-groove, hip hop from hell: Container doesn’t give a damn. His third record, »LP«, is racy, frenetic and awesome.
Music Review | posted 17.07.2012
TNGHT
TNGHT
Trance and 8-Bit meets Traprap-Instrumentals and Crunk. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife; TNGHT are tearing everything down.
Music Portrait
Tidal Waves
Riding the Wave
A powerful wave has already washed many treasures ashore. Seen in this way, the name fits, because the Belgian reissue label Tidal Waves searches for, discovers and publishes pearls of music history believed to be lost.
Music Portrait
Mort Garson
Music for plants and people
He was involved in over 900 songs and reached number 1 on the Billboard charts, but Mort Garson’s current fame is based on an encounter with Bob Moog, whom he persuaded to give him one of his synthesizers. A rediscovery.
Music Portrait
Dark Entries
Between Disco, Goth and Porno Soundtracks
Since 2009, Josh Cheon has been running his label for underground music from the 1980s and those who want to be the next big underground hit. Next year he will have released over 300 records. We introduce you to the label from San Francisco.
Music Interview
Makaya McCraven
»I'm excavating sounds«
Makaya McCraven is one of the most leading jazz musicians of these days. Not only his hometown Chicago, but the whole world seems to be inspired by the free approach to the jazz heritage in his music. We had the chance for an interview.
Music List
Record Store Day 2020 – 3rd Drop
12 releases you should look out for
On October 24, 2020 the third of three Record Store Days will take place this year. More than 120 exclusive releases have been announced. We have picked out twelve records that we would like to recommend to you.
Music Essay
A Journey Into Turkish Music
Gastarbeiter*innen Musik
Simultaneously with the genesis of Anadolu Pop, a viral infrastructure is developing in West Germany. This »guest worker music« has always only touched the public consciousness. The economic exchange could have also been a cultural one.
Music Essay
A Journey Into Turkish Music
Anadolu Pop
Altın Gün, Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek or Gaye Su Akyol: more and more bands are again referring to the sound of Anadolu Pop, which was formed in Turkey in the 1960s. But is it a revival? We clarify.
Music List
Record Store Day 2020 – 2nd Drop
Another 12 releases you should look out for
On September 26, 2020 the second of three Record Store Days this year will take place. More than 150 exclusive releases have been announced. We have picked out twelve vinyl records that we would like to recommend to you.
Music Portrait
Melody As Truth
On the threshold of sound and silence
With his label Melody As Truth, Jonny Nash moves between balearic and ambient. The journey leads from new age to a new art of world chamber music.
Music Interview
Kelly Lee Owens
»We store emotions in our body«
The Welsh musician released her second album »Inner Song« which wipes tears from cried-out eyes with one hand after the closing set while opening the window into everyday life with the other. A conversation with Owens about rave memories, trauma sessions and her challenge with Four Tet.
Music List
Harmonious Thelonious
10 All Time Favs
With »Plong« Stefan Schwander shakes the foundations of club music. His new solo album as Harmonious Thelonious lets everyday noises develop an eerie life of their own. He told us which 10 records have have shaped, improved and formed him.
Music List
Record Store Day 2020 – 1st Drop
12 vinyl records to look out for
On August 29, 2020 the first of three Record Store Days will take place this year. More than 350 exclusive releases have been announced for this event alone. We have picked out twelve records that we would like to recommend to you.
Music List
Jonathan Bree
10 All Time Favs
Jonathan Bree hides his face behind a latex mask. Well, right. But that’s not the most remarkable thing about the new zealander. Because he is first and foremost a first-rate songwriter. He told us which 10 records have shaped, improved and formed him.
Music Portrait
Light In The Attic
Everything Is Illuminated
For almost 20 years, the Seattle-based record label Light In The Attic has been shedding light on those releases that have been in the dark. The fact that they focused on vinyl right from the start, today the label is considered a pioneer.
Music List
Jay Glass Dubs
10 All Time Favs
»Soma« means »body« in Greek and that’s who the music of Jay Glass Dubs is aimed at. »Soma« is also the name of his new album. This was the chance to ask the Greek musician for 10 Vinyl records that formed him. He answers in, well, Greek.
Music Portrait
WeWantSounds
Contagious passion
WeWantSounds has been publishing music from the 1970s and 1980s since 2015. The name of the label is a catchphrase. When the Parisian two-man company selects the reissues, genre and country borders don‘t matter.
Music Essay
Baltic & Finnish Jazz
Removing Boundaries
While jazz from London to L.A. is evolving a fresh pop sensibility or even tries to update the fusion heritage, cool flavors between new blood and nostalgia are cultivated on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Here the genre is cosmopolitan as well and yet totally distinct.
Music Portrait
International Anthem
In search of the truth
For six years the label International Anthem from Chicago has been reliably delivering jazz with their own attitude and idea. Although the founders refuse to be ascribed almost any kind of attribution to a genre. For them, the most beautiful sound is just always: the truth.
Music Portrait
We Jazz
With emphasis on We
We Jazz, that stands for edgy, surprising jazz from the north. And also not. Since 2013 the festival has been held in Helsinki, since 2016 the label was founded. Matti Nives mainly publishes Finnish bands there. And acts as one of the most important networkers of the local scene.
Music Portrait
Roy Ayers
Warm vibrations with universal attraction
The American vibraphonist, singer, songwriter and arranger Roy Ayers is one of the most sampled contemporary musicians. With songs like »Everybody Loves The Sunshine«, the soul jazz legend, which celebrates it’s 80th birthday in September, became the main inspiration for Acid Jazz in the late 90s. His new album “Roy Ayers JID 002” on Jazz Is Dead with Adrian Younge and ex-ATCQ producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad continues his golden period of the Polydor years in the 70s seamlessly.
Music Interview
Gary Bartz
»We no longer see reality«
The Grammy-winning soprano saxophonist shared the stage with Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Max Roach. Now he has recorded an album with British outfit Maisha — and discovered something new.
Music Portrait
Dekmantel
Infinite Holidays
For the better part of a decade now, the Dekmantel imprint from Amsterdam is successfully squaring the circle as label, festival and promoter of several events: Connecting innovation and underground with a quality standard that is by now globally recognized without failing its aspirations. An end? Even in times of crisis far away.
Music List
Rafael Anton Irisarri
10 All Time Favs
Ambient? Maybe. But with splinters of metal, neo-classical and other stuff. Rafael Anton Irisarri paints overwhelming sound paintings with thick brushstrokes. For us the American composer has revealed his influences.
Music Portrait
Muriel Grossmann
Abstraction with a sea view
Saxophonist Muriel Grossmann reaches abstraction on the Balearic Islands, rides the waves with hard bop and even amazes billionaires with standards. Who is the secret pioneer of the spiritual revival?
Music Portrait
Roza Terenzi
Rave in a time capsule
Roza Terenzi turns past rave days upside down and brushes it with jungle breaks and techno cuts. On »Modern Bliss« she finally ends up in the future.
Music Portrait
Soviet Grail
Collective memory
Amid jazz experiments, electronic brutalism and psychedelic underground, Sergey Klimov digs for treasures for which musicians ended up in prison. With Soviet Grail, the Russian label boss traces the history of Soviet music.
Music List
ADULT.
10 All Time Favs
ADULT. have been making music for more than 20 years now. And they still don’t want simple attributions, sunlight, self-deception. Instead they wanted to call us records, which they shaped, improved, formed.
Music Interview
Quelle Chris
Accepting the chaos
He’s the most prolific oddball of the rap underground. And he’s on fire. With »Innocent Country 2« Quelle Chris follows up on his groundbreaking record »Guns« and a process where hopelessness is contradicted by accepting a surreal anxiety.
Music List
Peaking Lights
10 All Time Favs
In these days the new album «E S C A P E» of the Peaking Lights is released on Dekmantel. We had the opportunity to ask Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis about 10 records that they have shaped, improved and formed.
Music Portrait
Patricia Kokett
Part of his own Movement
Patricia Kokett blends rave with mysticism, futuristic industrial with shamanistic noise, the spirit of Coil with imaginary records from Kompakt Records. The music of the Lithuanian producer Gediminas Jakubka, who turns into Patricia on stage, balances between borders. An attempt at orientation.
Music List
Jeff Parker
10 All Time Favs
The guitarist Jeff Parker is no newcomer to the music scene. And yet you get the feeling he’s just starting out. But he already wrote music history as part of Tortoise. Now his new album »Suite for Max Brown« has been released on International Anthem. For this occasion we have asked Jeff Parker to choose 10 records that have shaped, improved and formed him.
Music Portrait
Kalahari Oyster Cult
The best of all possible worlds
Diving for pearls in the mud, tracking down rave classics from the nineties and working with producers for whom it doesn’t matter if the record ends up in the Beatport charts: Colin Volvert’s label Kalahari Oyster Cult mixes up the underground with its DIY ethos.
Music List
Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics
10 All Time Favs
The Heliocentrics have just released »Infinity Of Now«. The album has the potential to inspire future musicians. Malcolm Catto, however, has first revealed to us the records that have shaped, improved and formed him.
Music Portrait
Mad About Records
Sinfully summery
With his label Mad About the Portuguese Joaquim Paulo takes care of the really hard to find records from Jazz to Bossa Nova. With success. We introduce you to the label in detail.
Music Portrait
Blackest Ever Black
Search for alienation
Among connoisseurs of fucked up, intoxicating sounds, the record label Blackest Ever Black was appreciated like no other. IAt the end of the year 2019 it was suddenly closed. We look back on a label that musically determined the 2010s like few others.
Music Comment
RSD Black Friday 2019
12 Vinyl records to look out for
We’ve browsed through this year’s list of exclusive Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 releases and put together a selection of twelve Vinyl records that we’ve identified as possible highlights.
Music List
Polish Jazz
An introduction in 10 vinyl records
The Polish jazz scene is considered one of the most important and creative in Europe. Today it oscillates between superficial conventions and hidden ruptures. A little search for clues.
Music Essay
Women Of Jazz
We Insist Female
Women in jazz are still not a matter of course. That has to change. For in the past, female musicians have had a decisive influence on jazz and the future is also in their hands.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Lootpack – Soundpieces: Da Antidote! (1999)
The breakthrough: »Soundpieces: Da Antidote« lifted the still young West Coast label Stones Throw from the circle of experts to the cult Olympus. Now the underground classic is 20 years old.
Music Essay
British Jazz
On The Hot Spot
Jazz in Great Britain is in the midst of a generational shift. New talents from Manchester to London are revising gridlocked listening habits and are testing the limits of the genre. But why now?
Music List
Record Store Day 2019
12 releases to look out for
We’ve searched through this year’s list of releases exclusively released for Record Store Day 2019 and put together a selection of twelve records that we’ve identified as possible highlights.