The Monocle Minute

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 19 November 2016

Image: Getty Images

Class act

Here it is. A Tribe Called Quest released We Got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service, their first studio album in 18 years and something that will remind you how and why the Queens foursome changed the musical landscape in the 1990s: that wit and literacy that did social commentary with such style, that unbeatable musical facility, those beats. Now there are three, since Phife Dawg’s death, and they are tighter than ever for this, their final LP. The rhythm, bass and samples are all checked and correct: Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” turns into a dancehall workout on “Solid Wall of Sound”, super fan Jack White pops up all over the place and Kendrick Lamar’s in on the act too. An essential history lesson brought bang up to date.

Grand slam

One print product causing something of a racket around the Monocle offices is dedicated to a very specific sporting pursuit: tennis. Racquet is a quarterly tennis magazine that started life as a Kickstarter campaign in spring 2016. We’re glad to report they netted the cash. Founders Caitlin Thompson and Dave Shaftel oversee a small but experienced team of editors who keep the offering crisp, fresh and free from the interferences of advertising. The title serves stories that span from the anatomy of rackets through the ages to untold tales of sportswear designers and the future of French tennis (Yannick Noah has the answer, apparently). One issue in and the team is already mulling over the second instalment (which we’re told will feature much more Oceania and Asia). All in all it’s an ace in our eyes.

Image: Alamy

Guests of honour

Last week the German Ministry of Finance was enlivened by an evening of Slovakian song, dance and art as part of its biannual event The Sound of Europe. The showcase celebrates the musical and artistic heritage of a chosen member state, while highlighting the diversity of Europe’s cultures. Estonia was toasted at the inaugural event in June 2013 and Slovakia, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, was the most recent guest of honour. As a prelude to tunes by the likes of musician Michal Pal’ko, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble and his Slovak counterpart Peter Kazimir opened the event with a speech about the EU’s importance as a cultural as well as political and financial co-operative at a time when its future remains uncertain.

Image: Alamy

Nordic vernacular

Green spaces are gaining ground. New plans for an elderly housing complex in Norway are placing as much emphasis on outdoor space as the physical development. London and Oslo-based architecture firm Haptic, established by Nikki Butenschon in 2009, recently won the design competition for a housing scheme in Drobak, a town situated on the banks of the Oslofjord. The architects are placing an equal importance on communal and living areas in an effort to encourage interaction between the residents. Next to timber homes that resemble the region’s traditional architectural language there will be gardens and public squares as well as communal restaurants and shops.

From Monocle 24

"I’m as mad as hell!”

In the mid 1970s one film predicted the rise of news as entertainment with chilling accuracy. But sharp political satire has a rich history on the screen. We look at what happens when politics, media and the movies collide.

From Monocle Films

Market value

Monocle Films travels to Helsinki to visit Vanha Kauppahalli – the city’s oldest waterside food market – in order to meet the merchants serving the very best in Nordic cuisine.

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