Media - Issue 97 - Magazine | Monocle

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Core assets


Technology giant Apple is making a play for original video content to compete with the likes of Tidal and Netflix. The company is producing its own version of singalong format Carpool Karaoke (minus James Corden) for its Apple Music subscription service in more than 100 territories. It will launch 16 long-form episodes and is searching for a host.

Apple is also making a drama starring Dr Dre and a Dragon’s Den-meets-Tomorrow’s World reality series. Planet of the Apps follows app developers as they compete for funding from venture capitalists. It is co-produced by former NBC boss and Entourage guest star Ben Silverman. These shows will sit alongside new music-related content including Taylor Swift documentaries and doc series The Score, set in the music scenes of Brazil, Iceland and Vietnam.


Naotaro Endo

Film director


In October Tsukiji Wonderland, director Naotaro Endo’s documentary film about Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, will debut in cinemas across Japan. Given unprecedented access, Endo and his small crew recorded 600 hours of interviews and goings-on during 16 months of filming. The project was timely: after 81 years at its Tsukiji location, the world’s largest fish market will move to Toyosu, on Tokyo Bay, in November.

What’s Tsukiji’s appeal?
Nowhere else in Japan do you find so much fish, and so many different kinds. It’s holy ground for our sushi culture. I wanted to show the market professionals whose pride, passion and expertise make it such a thrilling place to visit.

Why focus on the wholesale fish brokers?
They’re on the frontlines; many are the third or fourth generation in their families to run the business. They’re not just trading fish and taking their cut. They know where to source the freshest seafood and what time of year each kind of fish is at its fatty prime. They rely on information that’s changing hourly to supply to chefs, restaurateurs and supermarkets. Climate change has made what they do even more important.

What was challenging about filming at Tsukiji?
The market is constantly in motion. We couldn’t use a tripod and it was dangerous to stand in one place for long. Any time we filmed inside the market we had to apply for access a week beforehand. But almost nothing went as planned. We wanted to film prized bluefin tuna that had been caught in the Tsugaru Strait in late spring and early summer but in 2014 they happened to be extremely scarce.

How will the move to Toyosu change the market?
Tokyo’s fish market has evolved over time; it continues to adapt to declining fish consumption and changing lifestyles. The new market won’t be the same as Tsukiji. I hope this film stirs debate about Tsukiji’s cultural importance and gets people thinking about the role of the new market.

Art of noise


This little chap is a transformer. No, it’s not a Volkswagen Beetle that turns into a robot, but a Mojo: a little box of tricks that will transform your listening pleasure a hundredfold. It contains a digital-to-analogue converter and will turn your sad, compressed digital music files into something punchy and dynamic. Plug the Mojo into your laptop or smartphone and hear it roar. We teamed it with these rather smooth Audio-Technica MSR7s and the whole package had us air-guitaring before we could say Guns N’ Roses.

Fine art


Mantova-based publisher Corraini promotes unconventional children’s titles that use graphic design to tell their stories. With Italian artist Fausto Gilberti, known for his striking stick-like figures, the family-run house has assembled a series dedicated to 20th-century painters such as Marcel Duchamp and Jackson Pollock. Each black-and-white title is a succinct visual biography of the artists’ working lives with brief texts in Italian and English that introduce their genius to a younger audience.

Spirited away


The King’s Cross creative buzz continues in leaps, bounds and classy sounds with a new venue that promises to improve the ever-rocky relationship between great music and good hospitality. Spiritland will be a daytime café and a bar by night (featuring a stellar line-up of whiskies) but the star of the show will be music and the kit on which it’s played. Artistic director Paul Noble, formerly of Monocle 24’s parish, says, “It’s a space to listen to great music on great equipment without the pressures of a dancefloor.” There is an emphasis on vinyl and “delving into the back catalogue across genres”.

A production suite, online radio station and live events will ice the cake. The cherry? Two-metre-tall custom-made speakers that go loud. You’ll need a lock-in to air your Led Zeppelin then. Ask at the bar.

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