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Real Recommendations | 01

The thirst for quality entertainment is on the up in these times of lockdown. A popular awkward silence filler in our video meetings tends to be ‘have you seen, read or heard anything good lately?’ - the results are often refreshing.

One thing that has become apparent in recent years is the algorithmic rabbit hole we find ourselves in; our digital aperture narrowed on our behalf based on a few random choices and some know it all well coded bots. Soon more of the same seems to be all that is on offer, until a friend or colleague suggests something unfamiliar to our browsing habits and our faith in media consumption is restored.

In an attempt to cast the net of inspiration a little wider than the office into something more thoughtful, we’re embarking on a series of individual staff picks, all nicely written down and summarised so it isn’t forgotten the minute we leave a video chat.

To kick us off, G, one of our many Creative Directors, reveals the results of his recent obsession with audio osmosis such as podcasts and audio books alongside some stand out visual fodder that is off the beaten path.


The Obstacle is the Way

Ryan Holiday - Audible by Amazon

Never has a more aptly named book been so serendipitous to the times. It’s as if it was written yesterday just in time for the pandemic of today. Published in 2014, the book is an inspiration in the face of adversity. Structured around perception, action and will, it uses historical anecdotes and popular figures to illustrate that obstacles in life create success with the right philosophy governing our attitudes.

Available here on Audible by Amazon


The Portal

Eric Weinstein - Spotify & YouTube

From the guy that coined the term ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ comes a podcast of discovery with guests across a wide gamut of disciplines. Eric’s poetic prose and own incredible intellectualism sets about picking apart modern day culture and sciences with unapologetic fervour. This long form podcast allows genuine and thought provoking conversations to flow between a mind bending calibre of people. Having listened to them all, it’s hard to set aside any from another - so let’s just opt for a modern day Knight of physics, Sir Roger Penrose.

See Eric's episodes on Youtube


Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan - Amazon Prime

A 2016 American drama that meanders in and out of joy and tragedy as the plot reveals the depth of profound sadness. A blue-collar man, played by Casey Affleck, is enduring with a brave face as he forges ahead with his loner lifestyle. With a harsh humour throughout a delicate tension, the film reveals moving heartbreak without any Hollywood glitz.

Take a look on Amazon Prime


The Midnight Gospel

Duncan Trussell and Pendleton Ward - Netflix

A philosophical and psychedelic animation born out of a collaboration between a comedian's podcast and the show runner of Adventure Time. A visual feast of abstraction with musings from meditation to drug addiction makes for an incredibly unique concept that balances the meaningful with the absurd. Short 20-minute episodes seem to be just the right balance for the visual onslaught and weight of the content.

Check it out on Netflix


White Right: Meeting The Enemy

Deeyah Khan - YouTube

What a woman, Deeyah Khan, a human rights activist and documentary maker, puts herself in the centre of racist extremism in the bravest way possible, by being the subject of her fascists interviewees' hate. The raw power of her work and ability to infiltrate the minds of those wishing to have her dead will leave you speechless, as good and evil collide in this eye opening documentary.

Watch the full doc on Youtube


Illusion of Seclusion


Another bit of content with a title of the moment, a bit of electronic instrumental from 2014 that builds from a sooth to a groove and gets you focussed on the task at hand.

Check it out on spotify

To read Silvie's recommendations, click here.

To read Al's recommendations, click here.

To read Sean's recommendations, click here.

To read Ed's recommendations, click here.

Author Gareth Rowson