The Swedes who converted the mighty Taylor Swift


The Swedes who converted the mighty Taylor Swift

ALI VAN WYK recommends a series about two Swedes who have converted even the mighty Taylor Swift, while LIENTJIE WESSELS points your cursor at five Instagram accounts showcasing great innovations with food.

  • 03 May 2024
  • Lifestyle
  • 4 min to read
  • article 10 of 14


Ali van Wyk's recommendations

The Playlist
 | Six episodes

Musicians strongly resent disruptive subscription streaming services such as Spotify. Lesser known artists' earnings in particular are meagre.

In turn, the Swedish founders of Spotify, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, feel they saved the music industry because around the year 2000 it was the Wild West, with CD sales almost dead and young people happily sharing MP3 songs for free on Pirate Bay and Napster. In that scenario, artists were even worse off.

The industry is still chaotic and dynamic, as demonstrated by several powerful artists such as Taylor Swift and Neil Young crawling back to Spotify after leaving it. They realised that Spotify sits like a queen bee in the centre of the music world, ruling over all.

These days, the streaming services and the consumer are king, the production companies scurry around in the middle and the disorganised musicians suck at the hind teat. The Playlist, a mini-series on Netflix, is a Swedish dramatisation of Spotify's origin story, and the facts don't need much embellishment to make a compelling watch. The charismatic Lorentzon is the glamour boy and money and ideas king who bounces around with anarchic energy. Ek is the opposite — a geek and technical genius, on the spectrum and unpolished. Together, they form a destructive team.

Each episode tells the same story from a different perspective — first the artists', then the partnership, then the programmers, and so on. The technique works and the series makes for thought-provoking viewing.

Director: Hallgrim Haug, Per-Olav Sørenson. Cast: Edvin Endre, Gizem Erdogan, Christian Hillborg.

Lees hierdie artikel in Afrikaans:

True Detective: Night Country
| Eight episodes

The fourth season of HBO's True Detective is finally available on Showmax. It's a good one, on the same level as the excellent first season with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.

Two female detectives' dynamic relationship oscillates between scenes where they almost lunge for each other's throats and others where the sisterhood blossoms. Jodie Foster, as police chief Liz Danvers, is in full combative mode, but the surprise is the relatively unknown Kali Reis as detective Evangeline Navarro, who performs with an intensity as explosive as in Reis's other career as a professional boxer with several world titles.

This season breaks away geographically from the previous ones. It follows a recent pattern, in Scandinavian television in particular, with a story being set in the long night of winter somewhere in the icy northernmost parts of the planet. In such series, a murder or seven is committed in an isolated village and a solid shot of folkloric horror myth is mixed in. One can already speak of the polar thriller as a genre.

Night Country takes place in the fictional town of Ennis, in northern Alaska. Reis's character is a member of the indigenous Iñupiat community. She is a bridge between the Western legal system and lifestyle and an ancient mythical and spiritual world.

The frozen corpses of six top scientists, macabrely stacked like in a Hieronymus Bosch painting, are found outside a research station. The severed tongue of someone else turns up in the station kitchen. What the hell is going on here?

Director: Issa López. Cast: Jodie Foster, Kali Reis.


Lientjie Wessels shares her five favourite Instagram accounts.

#1 Noma restaurant @nomacph

It's inspiring to see what this restaurant in Copenhagen, the headquarters of chef René Redzepi, comes up with. It makes things like cod roe waffles and mealworm jam.

#2 Dan Barber @chefdanbarber

Barber is the chef and co-owner of Blue Hill in Manhattan and Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. I love his ideas about sustainable food.

#3 Pascal Baudar @wildcraftedceramics

Pascal Baudar creates incredible ceramics and is a wild food and fermentation artist from Los Angeles.

#4 Marian Cottle @marian_cottle

Marian's food is phenomenal, and vegan to boot. Crazy about her. She lives in Nelspruit.

#5 Marie Viljoen @marie_viljoen

Marie is a South African writer, flavour hunter and forager who lives in New York. Her urban and edible gardens have been covered in the New York Times and Martha Stewart Living. I find her inspirational and constantly learn something new.

And we add favourite artworks from Lientjie's #365daychallenge

After getting an iPad Pro and an Apple pen as presents, Lientjie decided to start the #365daychallenge just after last Christmas. The challenges cover a healthier lifestyle, diet, exercise, writing, reading and so on. For Lientjie, it was about creating a work of art every day. She says it's difficult — apart from not feeling like it, she doesn't always have the time and doesn't always like what she has done. She's already on day 125 and we've intercepted five of her works to share.

1. "Libelle Saterdag". 2. "Elusive". 3. "Poppies". 4. "On my table". 5. "Blueprint". Artworks are made on Procreate on iPad Pro and A3 prints are on German etching paper for R1,500 + courier.
1. "Libelle Saterdag". 2. "Elusive". 3. "Poppies". 4. "On my table". 5. "Blueprint". Artworks are made on Procreate on iPad Pro and A3 prints are on German etching paper for R1,500 + courier.

♦ VWB ♦

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