2013 has been an odd year – I wouldn’t go as far as to highlight the ’13’ as one to be wary of but it was full of ups and downs for me personally. 2012 was always going to be a hard year to beat but this one has been like a yo-yo, full of more uncertainty, doubt, procrastination and frustration than ever before.
There have been plenty of highs, not least with my family, of which my children are a constant source of wonder and pride. I do feel as if something has been holding me back but haven’t been able to pin down any one reason, more a general series of events that just didn’t let me get on with the things I need to do.
The proportion of great music being released has definitely gone up this year on previous ones, I read more comics than ever before, didn’t see half the films I wanted to and had more memorable nights out than I have in a long while. Experiences playing in clubs and with promoters seriously challenged me as to whether I actually wanted to continue DJing at times though. I’ve written more than ever before this year, having several articles published and conducted several interviews under my own steam with subjects whom I wanted to quiz on specific subjects. There are things bubbling for 2014 already, some of them very exciting for me but I need to make some more music and art as that’s been pretty barren this year.
Highs of 2014 (in no particular order)
Editing the Coldcut meets the Orb 2 sessions and then fine-tuning them with Matt Black
Seeing Kraftwerk in Dusseldorf then making a pilgrimage to their old studio.
Taking part in the Image Duplicator show at Orbital Comics and selling my piece on the opening night.
Being featured in a Judge Dredd strip as part of a Mega City One cult called ‘Strictly Kevs’.
Meeting and interviewing photographers Tony Barratt and John Stoddart and chatting about their time photographing bands for the ZTT label.
Being photographed for the Dust & Grooves book and then conducting an interview with Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet for it.
Releasing the quadruple ‘Search Engine’ package for Record Store Day with 10 random inserts.
Being asked to remix The Amorphous Androgynous
More large-scale art pieces in my local neighborhood than ever
Remixing, rehearsing and performing with Cheeba and Moneyshot as part of the ‘3-Way Mix’ show – also signing on as part of the Elastic Artists agency with Ben Coghill.
Interviewing Gary Langan about the making of ‘Duck Rock’
Boards of Canada ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ (Warp)
Spacedog & Belbury Poly – ‘Study Series 10’ (Ghost Box)
Melt Yourself Down – S/T LP (Leaf)
Lone – ‘Airglow Fires’ (R&S)
Mark Pritchard ‘Lock Off’ EP (Warp)
David Bowie ‘The Next Day’ LP
Sinoia Caves ‘The Enchanter Persuaded’
Black Moth Super Rainbow – ‘Dandelion Gum’ LP
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth – ‘Halloween 3’ (Death Waltz)
David Bowie ‘Love Is Lost’ (James Murphy Hello Steve Reich remix)
Boy George – ‘Coming Home’ (Psychemagik remix)
Chop – ‘Illuminate’ LP (Now Again)
Black Swan – ‘Alone Again With the Dawn Coming Up’
Tame Impala – ‘Be Above It’ (Erol Alkan remix)
rediscovering my love of Gary Numan and The Human League
• Books / Comics:
John Higgs – The KLF: Chaos, Magic & the Band Who Burned a Million Pounds
Julian Cope – Copendium
Moebius – Chaos & Chroniques Metalliques
Mike Mignola – Hellboy in Hell
The Judge Dredd Megazine
Brandon Graham – Prophet
B.P.R.D Hell On Earth
Brandon Graham – Multiple Warheads
The Best of Milligan & McCarthy
Jim Mahfood – Visual Funk
Ed Piskor – Hip Hop Family Tree
Batman Black & White no.3
Robbie Morrison & Jim Murray – Drowntown
Brandon Graham – King City
Despicable Me 2
Bonobo’s ‘Cirrus’ video
Melt Yourself Down’s ‘Fix My Life’ video
Solid Steel 25th party at Fire, London,
19: Eighties concert at the QEH, London
playing my first gig with my kids in the audience at Big Fish Little Fish, London
DJing between Coldcut and DJ Shadow in Bristol at the In:Motion night
Kosmic Krash at the Herstmonceux Observatory
A Few Old Tunes, London
Adam Ant at the Roundhouse, London
Finally reading Jodorowsky and Moebius‘ ‘The Incal’ and Milligan and McCarthy‘s ‘The Electric Hoax’ in full.
Making my first solo video mix for Solid Steel
Giving my first talk on graphic design in Madrid
Designing a zoetrope 12″ picture disc for Bonobo from Cyriak image sequences.
Having a piece published on The Quietus about Solid Steel and another about Kraftwerk for Clash Magazine
Launching my Art of ZTT website and having a feature on it published in Classic Pop magazine
• Artists / Designers:
Ian McQue / Augustine Kofie / Luke Insect / Giorgio Comolo / Peeta / Khomatech / Julian House / Jonathan Edwards / Andy Votel
United States of Audio – How High’s The Water Mama?
Doug Shipton – All Will Be Set Right
Hexstatic – Clink Mix
DJ Moneyshot – Solid Steel & The Hour of Chaos
Coldcut meets The Orb – The Return Trip
David Bowie (The V&A)
Mark Bodé (London West Bank Gallery)
Ralph Steadman @77 (The Cartoon Museum)
Pop Art (The Barbican)
Deathwaltz (undisputed label of the year), Trunk, Ghost Box, Themes For Great Cities, Civil Music
• Sleeve / Packaging design:
Dark Seed ‘Nocturnes’ 12″ (Ohmega)
Various ‘A Psyche For Sore Eyes’ 7″ comp (Sonic Cathedral)
The Simonsound – ‘The Beam’ 10″ (Pilot Pack) (Project Blue Book)
Broadcast – ‘Berberian Sound Studio’ (Warp)
Clone – ‘Hallowe’en 1976’ cassette (Finders Keepers)
Machinedrum ‘Vapor City’ LP (Ninja Tune)
Christine ‘Death On Wheels’ 12″
DJ Format & Phill Most Chill ‘The Foremost’ LP (Project Blue Book)
Various ‘Classroom Projects’ (Trunk)
Various ‘Cosmic Machine’ comp
Kid Acne ‘Council Pop’ 10th anniversary edition
The Focus Group ‘Elektrik Karousel’ (Ghost Box)
Madlib ‘Pill Jar’ LP (Rappcats)
John Carpenter – ‘Assault On Precinct 13’ (Death Waltz)
Drums of Death ‘Waves Series Remixes’ (Civil Music)
Serato ‘Thre3style’ 10″ controller series
Being taken for a ride over payment by the promoter who booked me to give my first talk on graphic design in Madrid
More cancelled gigs and promoters messing me about than ever before
My laptop failing the night before a gig, necessitating a repair session until 3am
More people expecting me to do something for nothing than ever before, time to make a stand against this culture of people expecting people to work for ‘promotion’ in 2014.
‘The Persistence of Vision’ – a great documentary marred by sound and vision quality so bad it was virtually unwatchable.
Martin Sharp, Nelson Mandela, George Duke, Storm Thorgerson, Carmine Infantino, Claude Nobs, Dome Club Mk.1, Equinox Records.
• Things to look forward to in 2014:
Ghost Box night at the ICA in Jan
3-Way mix tour in Australia in Feb
Dirk Wears White Sox at the Apollo in April
The Dust & Grooves book released in April
A Very special Record Store Day release I can’t talk about yet in April
another big graphic project that I should be involved with for Autumn 2014 that I also can’t talk about yet