Flexibition #27: Echo magazine #3

DSC00022Echo‘the magazine you play on your phonograph’ – was first published in 1959 and came with 5 or 6 flexi discs fixed inside each issue, mostly containing music and interviews with the subjects profiled within. The ring-binder design let each page fold back under the last and a spindle hole through the centre meant that you could place the whole magazine on the turntable to play each disc.
An 8″ x 8″ quarterly publication that ran for at least 4 issues as far as I can tell (of which this is #3), it had beautiful page layouts courtesy of Designers’ Collaborative from New York and United Artists served as the agent supplying the entertainment talent. This one features music and interviews with The Trapp Family / Mary Martin / Brigitte Bardot / France Nuyen / Eva Gabor / Siobahn McKenna / Brendan Behan / a Shelley Berman monologue / an interview with The Kingston Trio / Fiorello La Guardia reads the comics and an advert for Springmaid Fabrics.
DSC00035 DSC00034DSC00032DSC00031DSC00033 DSC00028 DSC00026 DSC00025  DSC00014
There are some extracts from the discs over on WFMU’s excellent 365 Days Project entry by Katya Oddie for the same issue. Here’s the cover for #2 – pretty advanced design for 1959 – if anyone has any of the other issues that they’d like to sell then I’m interested.Echo mag #2

Posted in Flexibition. | No Comments | Tags:

Found In Sounds #7 (Old School Hip Hop special)

Electro Funk cover Sounds 14.04.84

An Old School special this time round with vintage cuttings from early 80s copies of the weekly UK music paper, Sounds. Traditionally a Rock and Heavy Metal-biased magazine, they still found time to cover some of the bigger stars from the emerging New York scene. They went all out in 1984 with an Electro Funk special issue (above).
Below is an early Bambaataa chart – check #10. An early UK rap gig at the Comedy Store is reviewed and Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash, Bam, the Sugarhill Gang and more are interviewed.

I like looking back on images and articles like this from a time when I was too young to know that this was even happening, you see a less revisionist history as the movement and artists are in the midst or even before their peak years. Details that have been lost in time are revealed and a few oddities pop up that make you re-evaluate accepted norms. Click on each image for the full size.

Rap chart Sounds 1984 Rap review Comedy Store Kurtis Blow Sounds 15.08.81 GMFlash Sounds 18.09.82 GMFlash Sounds 11.12.82 Afrika Bam SOUNDS_19.02.83 Rapping 2 Sounds 13.03.82 Rapping 3 Sounds 13.03.82


I only just discovered this – there was a launch for a iOS app to go with it last night – Longplayer is a one thousand year long musical composition. It began playing at midnight on the 31st of December 1999, and will continue to play without repetition until the last moment of 2999, at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again. Conceived and composed by Jem Finer, it was originally produced as an Artangel commission, and is now in the care of the Longplayer Trust.”

Posted in Event, Music. | 1 Comment | Tags:

Kilian Eng 2001 posters

A beautiful 2001 poster by Kilian Eng that I came across today whilst looking for something else. Two years old, long gone from Mondo like so many of his others, there are three variants and some unused versions that are just as nice. I also found a Heavy Metal one too that’s of a similar ilk – I don’t always like his images, usually down to the colour choices he makes, but these are superb.

KilianEng_2001.2 KilianEng_2001.3 KilianEng_2001testsKilianEngHeavyMetalposter

RIP Shusei Nagaoka

RIP Shusei Nagaoka – not a name I was familiar with but all of us must know at least a handful of these album covers? ELO, Earth Wind & Fire, Maze, Deep Purple, Boston and more. Big respect.
elo-out-of-the-blue-artmaze EWF original  DeepPurple greatest Caldera.jpeg boston1 16_space_teriyaki_900 15_space_teriyaki

Flight3Shusei Nagaoka EWF_Raise_Shusei Nagaoka Earth_Wind_And_Fire_-_All_N_All Dazz_Shusei Nagaoka i-am-51469aacab8fc

snagaoka3 s_nagaoka_10_large s_nagaoka_5_large
Notice how this poster for The Humanoid uses one of his images and flips it, I doubt the added characters are by him.
MunichMachine-AWhiterShadeofPale-2 Calderaskyislands

Posted in Art, Packaging, Records. | No Comments |

X-Ray Audio book pre-audio


Soviet flexi discs, ‘bones’ or ‘ribs’, music pressed on old X-Rays due to lack of resources. Stephen Coates aka The Real Tuesday Weld has been collecting and exhibiting these for a while now and Strangeattractor Press are publishing a book of them this autumn. Pre-order is here and there is a limited edition with a free flexi disc which I will no doubt be featuring in the Flexibition at some point.
Next week, Tuesday 30th June, Stephen will be telling the story of the X-Ray Bootleggers at The Last Tuesday Society. More details and tickets here
…and on Friday 3rd July Stephen and Aleks Kolkowski will be presenting a special evening at the Masonic Temple of the Andaz Hotel as part of the East End Film Festival. A new x-ray record will be cut live with a 1940s recording lathe from a live performance by Marcella Puppini of The Puppini Sisters. Go HERE for more details and tickets

RIP Kája Saudek

I’ve spent most of the evening looking at the work of Kája Saudek – a Czech artist and designer who worked in comics and created film posters – after being tipped off about him by Markey Funk. Markey had just visited ‘Batalion’, a bar and museum in Prague dedicated to the man and thought I would like the work. He was right, check out all that amazing detail and hand drawn typography – what a find.
I’d seen the Barbarella poster before but never checked on the name, the rest was new to me, a mixture of Rockin’ Jellybean, Robert Williams with shades of Moebius in places. Sadly, upon checking the wikipedia entry it seems that Saudek died the same day that I discovered him after spending nine years in a coma at a hospital in Prague. Art like this can never die though, he left a huge body of work for us all to enjoy.

029 b_c44-e974072974f8a490cb2e12549669b63c b_c219-4035d9983d54725c5097636cf06482d4 JOG518e9a_w_sixie_01 kaja_saudek_presskit_03 OB4b54e6_Barbarella_nerealizovan_nvrh OB4b54f0_x_nestvurazvesmiru vystavy_2014_saudek_plakat_nahled

Posted in Art, Comics. | 1 Comment | Tags:

2econd Class Citizen ‘Hall of Mirrors’ album

2CC album3
Out today is ‘Hall of Mirrors’, the third album by 2econd Class Citizen aka Aaron Thomason, another beautiful collection of haunted beats, raps and atmospheres that I’ve been lucky enough to hear develop over the last few years. You can hear echoes of parts of ‘Magpie Music’ – the track we collaborated on – in some of the tracks and if you enjoyed his two previous albums you won’t be disappointed as he’s crafted another winner and advanced his sound another notch.

2CC album3.3
The album (very limited vinyl, CD & download) is out on The Content Label from California since Aaron’s previous label, Equinox, closed its doors two years ago. You can order all formats here in various bundles as well as a T-shirt and I nearly forgot, there’s a remix from The Herbaliser that closes the album too. I helped with the typography on the front cover and the excellent front cover was created by French surreal-collagist Albane Simon. Here’s a 15 minute taster for the album mixed by Aaron and he also has all sorts of free downloads, re-edits and videos over on his revamped website here.

2CC album3.2

Flexibition #26: F.C. Judd ‘Electronic Sounds & Effects For Electronic Music’

It’s been a while since we’ve had a guest post in the Flexibition and we celebrate the half way mark with Jonny Trunk, someone who should be no stranger to readers of this blog. We start a run of flexi’s given away with magazines with a minor classic of the genre and a treasure trove of sample material, I’ll let Jonny give you the lowdown:

“The Practical Electronics flexi by F.C.Judd (F. C. for Frederick Charles) was only available once, with the magazine’s October 1967 issue. F.C. Judd was a regular writer for PE and other home electronic titles and this comes four years after his own Castle Electronic Music 7” series.

Although issued together, it’s hard to find the magazine and the flexi together these days. If I recall I found the flexi first in an old brown paper bag at Spitalfields market a few years ago. Cost a couple of quid. I found the bag in a box that had come to the market via a North London auction house. The magazine I tracked down a couple of weeks later through a mag dealer. Again a couple of quid.


The PE Electronic Sounds And Effects For Electronic Music record is one-sided and contains a basic introduction to electronic sounds and electronic music generation – all introduced in fairly serious, dry announcements:” (reminiscent of Peter Cook‘s E.L. Whisty character if you ask me – Kev)

Basic Sound Sources
Pure sine wave, square wave, pulse wave from mulitvibrator, Unfiltered white noise

Electronic Treatment
Ring modulated tones, filtered white noise, pulsed tones, attack and decay

Reverberation Effects
Mechanical reverberation, tape echo, excessive echo, pre-echo

Tape Recording Techniques
Replay speed, replay speed doubled, reversed recording, tape loops

Rhythmic Electronic Music
A specially composed short cue for this disc, utlising a melody for which F.C. Judd was awarded first prize in the 1965 British Recording Contest (professional section).

Judd was an early electronics pioneer (still largely unknown next to his Radiophonic Workshop peers) who contributed the music to the British puppet TV show, ‘Space Patrol’ and, as Jonny stated, released several 7″s of electronic music and sound FX on the Castle label. He also wrote several books including, ‘Electronics in Music’, which was reprinted in 2012.

Posted in Flexibition. | 1 Comment | Tags:

Nicolas Godin ‘Orca’ video

This is pretty interesting, both visually and musically, ‘Orca’ – the first track from Nicolas Godin‘s debut album ‘Contrepoint’, due for release later this year on Because Music. You may recognise Nicolas as being one half of Air and although I’m never going to like that bitcrushed guitar sound there’s a lot going on here that makes me want to hear more.
Download the single here : http://po.st/OrcaSingle

Posted in Film, Music. | No Comments |

‘Cutting Up The Cut Up’ – 11.30am BBC Radio 4, Thurs 25th July

This Thursday sees a half hour documentary about the cut up on Radio 4 at 11.30am narrated by Ken Hollings and featuring, Cassetteboy, Armando Iannucci, Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Lenka Clayton, William Burroughs‘ biographer Marry Miles, Matt Black and myself talking about the art of the cut up.

Put together by Dan Shepherd at Far Shoreline productions over what feels like two years or more since he first contacted me and picked my brain for content and angles, it deals with the spoken word cut up rather than the musical mash up. Focusing on spoken word (well, this is Radio 4) meant that the programme could narrow its sights and navigate a precise lineage from Burroughs’ literary and spoken cut ups through to today’s practitioners. I can’t give much more away as I’ve not actually heard the finished thing yet but, knowing Dan’s work and love of the medium and with Ken on board I’m confident it will be a great listen.

Ken has written a blog post about the making of the half hour programme here and was fascinating to meet, if you don’t know his writing then it’s quite something and not for the casual reader. The documentary will be online to UK listeners for a month and Dan promises an extended podcast version should be available to all at some point afterwards via his site.
(The top image is unrelated to the doc but illustrates a different kind of cut up perfectly, Lola Dupre‘s Robert Oppenheimer, paper collage – check her amazing collage work here)

PS – Ken has also written a piece for The BBC website giving an introduction to the Cut Up here that’s well worth a read.

Flexibition #25: Jazz C-60 Style

Flex24_Jazz C-60 disc
Not so much a flexi but more of a sound card being that the grooves are pressed into cardboard. The sound quality is terrible but it’s all about the graphic here as this was one of the first discs that gave me the idea to do this weekly show and tell. Not much contextual information with this one but the reverse ‘label’ states that the image artist is John Trotta (correct spelling) who did cover illustrations for many classical titles on the Nonesuch label as well as some work for Sesame Street.
He is woefully under-represented on the web it seems, with a style reminiscent of Milton Glaser or Heinz Edelmann. There are also a couple of spelling mistakes on some of the players’ names too, most of them reputable jazz players with many titles under their belts. If anyone can shed any more light on this disc I’d appreciate it.

Flex24_Jazz C-60 detailFlex24_Jazz C-60 label

Posted in Flexibition. | No Comments | Tags: