The Pattern Forms LP out today

Out today on LP, CD and DL – The Pattern Forms is a new Ghost Box supergroup formed of the mysterious, media-shy, man-who-can-do-no-wrong Jon Brooks and vocalists Ed Macfarlane and Edd Gibson of Friendly Fires. The album is gorgeous, full of beautiful, yearning songs of love and loss, perfect autumnal audio occasionally lifted by electro/disco stylings, it shouldn’t work but it does. I wasn’t sure at first, after the dark electronica of Pye Corner Audio‘s ‘Stasis’, it seemed quite a whimsical release, but the more I listen the more the songs seep into me and it may be one of the most accessible GB releases yet. Order here

Artwork comes from the ever-excellent Julian House as well as the teaser promo film above and there’s a Rough Trade exclusive version of the LP with an alternate cover and translucent green vinyl. The band will be playing tonight from 6pm at Rough Trade East off Brick Lane in London to launch the record and Julian will be DJing too. Check the special library records mix they knocked up the other week too for Radio Belbury.

Peel-Away-CDandLP-small-450x450Peel Away - Poster

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FourFromFoodFridays 21.10.16
Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four music releases that have been doing it for me. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
Vanishing Twin – Choose Your Own Adventure LP (Soundway)
Orlando & Tomaga – Play Time: Music For Video Games DL (The Association for the Re-Alignment of Magnetic Dust (RAM)) *cassette sold out
Clipping. – Wriggle / CLPPNG / Splendor & Misery EP / DL / LP (Sub Pop)
This week has been dominated by Clipping. – hence five entries here rather than four. Checking out their back catalogue as well as the latest album on repeat. Also upon discovering Vanishing Twin’s album I checked out band leader, Cathy Lucas’ previous guise as Orlando.

Vanishing Twin

I’m loving this new album by Vanishing Twin, a new group spawned from members of Orlando, Zomgamin, Neon Neon and more and produced by Malcolm Catto. Taking off where The Soundcarriers left off on their last album for Ghost Box and drawing immediate comparisons to Broadcast and Stereolab‘s blend of pop meets radiophonica they create an otherworldly mix of tunes, tones and textures on the album, ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’.

Check the video and band photo below too, thank god we still have people willing to put as much effort into presenting themselves as they do writing music, there’s only so many bored / earnest producers standing against brick walls or sitting in studios that one can take. The album is available on Soundway Records, there’s LP, CD and DL but the regular black vinyl is sold out, only the green version is left. There’s even a gorgeous screenprinted poster of the artwork too! (no credit for the designer on the album though?)

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Clipping. seemingly came out of nowhere and blew my head off last week. They’ve actually been around for a few years but were well under my radar and I’m not the only one judging by the comments I’ve had from various friends I’ve played them to. I was drawn to them by the cover to their latest album, ‘Splendor & Mercy’, which riffs off the Philips Prospective 21st Siecle LPs with silver foil covers that I collect and adds a cosmonaut in silhouette. It caught my eye, can’t remember where, so I thought I’d check it out, assuming it would be a synth-y, spacey kind of thing but then noticed it was on Sub Pop Records, the legendary indie rock/alternative label of old. OK, so maybe I’ve misjudged this. A full album stream on YouTube revealed the broody rumble of deep space, static and star transmissions before a rasping voice interjected, shortly before bursting into double time raps against hyper drive engine throbs – or is it the sound of a star dying?. Crackling distortion, warning sirens and sub bass pulses, this is hip hop, just not like anything I’d heard before.

The trio of Daveed Diggs (vocals), William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (electronics) have set up camp in their own little corner of hip hop, one that no one else I can think of is inhabiting right now. It’s such a deep corner that few have even ventured near before that I’d say they’ve got a lot of space to move around in right now. One of the most interesting aspects is that the music is entirely free of conventional music samples, instead consisting of noise, fx, found and electronic sound and that it’s entirely subservient to Diggs’ voice. He drives the compositions, weaving in half, double and triple time through the sometimes barely-there rhythms – witness the performance for Moog below.

As an MC he’s incredible, up there with Busdriver, Mika 9 or Andy Cooper in the vocal acrobatic stakes with raps that pull no punches but don’t kowtow to traditional cliche´s of keepin’ it real or playing the game. Equally, Hutson and Snipes’ jagged digital landscapes fight and intrude with the vocal’s restless energy. They’ve previously composed soundtracks for TV and film, most notably the documentary on Stanley Kubrick‘s hidden meanings in ‘The Shining’,Room 237′, on Death Waltz Recordings.

I forgot to mention; it’s a concept album too, from the release page on Bandcamp: “Splendor & Misery is an Afrofuturist, dystopian concept album that follows the sole survivor of a slave uprising on an interstellar cargo ship, and the onboard computer that falls in love with him. Thinking he is alone and lost in space, the character discovers music in the ship’s shuddering hull and chirping instrument panels. William and Jonathan’s tracks draw an imaginary sonic map of the ship’s decks, hallways, and quarters, while Daveed’s lyrics ride the rhythms produced by its engines and machinery. In a reversal of H.P. Lovecraft’s concept of cosmic insignificance, the character finds relief in learning that humanity is of no consequence to the vast, uncaring universe. It turns out, pulling the rug out from under anthropocentrism is only horrifying to those who thought they were the center of everything to begin with. Ultimately, the character decides to pilot his ship into the unknown—and possibly into oblivion—instead of continuing on to worlds whose systems of governance and economy have violently oppressed him.”.

Given some of the toss I’ve read in press releases and reading that AFTER I’ve heard the record I can actually get with it. Oh, and the reason I even checked it in the first place – the cover – it’s a beautiful package on vinyl: a clear vinyl ‘Loser’ edition with faux Philips label designs co-opted to the band name and a reflective silver foil triangle.


This is pushing things forward, breathing new life into a genre that’s been coasting alternatively on waves of pop commercialism, independent underground hustling or niche nostalgia for some time. This, and the records they’ve made before them, show a new way, give permission to the next generation, are as important as De La‘s ‘3 Feet High…’, PE‘s ‘It Takes A Nation of Millions…’  or NWAs ‘Straight Outta Compton’. You’ll love it or hate it, and it’s not always an easy listen (or watch – their videos are just as uncompromising) but it won’t go unnoticed for much longer. One of the most important albums of 2016. Check some of their other releases too, the ‘Wriggle’ EP, released earlier this summer, is just as raw and possibly just a bit more accessible.

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Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four music releases that have been doing it for me. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
The Future Sound of London – Environment Six (& 6.5 not pictured – both are great) ( available together or separately
Space – This Is Not What Space Is About 2xCD (2nd edition) (Recovered and Remastered) *technically not available, you have to know who to speak to, sorry
RunningOnAir – Running On Air CD (Patterned Air)
Clipping – Splendor & Misery LP (Sub Pop)

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Victoria Topping

Screen Shot 2016-10-13 at 10.16.46I just discovered Victoria Toppings work and it’s blown me away – touching on so many elements I love; music, African patterns, synths, records, collage, circles, eyes, crazy detail, textures…. just stunning. She sells hand-embellished prints, originals, cards, slipmatts and wallpaper over at her site – so much there I can barely take it all in. She’s also on Instagram and Mixcloud

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New reissue of Frankie’s ‘…Pleasuredome’ album

I still get buzzed off the fact that my name is on the design credits of the recent reissues of this classic album which meant so much to me as a 14 year old and still means so much to me 32 years later. Not two years after the huge ‘Inside the Pleasuredome’ box set that I worked on with Philip Marshall comes a standalone vinyl reissue of the LP contained inside the set.

WTTPcreditThe music is the same but there are some slight differences to the packaging: mainly the actual vinyl itself which now has the original label designs with the F, G, T and H restored (I had to remake them from scratch) and white vinyl instead of black. Eagle-eyed collectors will also notice that the fig leaves have been restored on the back cover image to cover the animal’s modesty whilst in the midst of their orgy. Philip had to remake each one from scratch too.

WTTPFlabelWTTPTdiscWTTPSainsburysThis edition will be available exclusively, I’m told, from Sainsburys – that bastion of record emporiums where we all go when we need our fix of the black crack. Whether this is just the white vinyl version or whether there will be other colours available elsewhere, I do not know.


I do know that this is the nicest looking vinyl reissue since the box set version though; heavy card, full colour inner sleeves, coloured vinyl, different labels etc. Also, high quality images, not the anti-aliased, bitmapped, jpegged, over-saturated coloured version that the Music On Vinyl issue had some years back – quite possibly the worse reissue of any album I’ve ever seen, an insult to this album’s legacy and one of the only undamaged records I’ve ever thrown away.


FSOL – Environment 6 + 6.5 albums


The Future Sound of London dropped the sixth installment of their Environments series on Friday, not just the sixth but also a 6.5 edition too. Available now from their FSOLDigital online shop – Six (17 tracks on vinyl / 23 tracks on CD/digital) and 6.5 (18 tracks on vinyl / 23 tracks on CD/digital) combine to form a double album of 46 tracks (you get the digital download content with the vinyl).
The CD double pack comes with an exclusive sleeve and there’s a very cool release of a physical 2017 calendar plus an optional digital music package version where a new digital track is delivered monthly from FSOLdigital starting in January 2017, creating an exclusive new album. There’s a couple of previews below and more floating around on their Facebook page.


I Love Acid 45s Too mix for 45 Live radio show

A brand new mix – all 7″, all acid, this took a long time to get together, being that Pete Isaac and I have rinsed a lot of the classic acid cut to 45s over the years in our previous mixes. The search continues though and I’ve still to acquire my acid 45 holy grail of Bam Bam‘s ‘Where’s Your Child’... Thanks to Greg Belson as ever for running such a tight ship out of LA with the show, his selection is up first with mine at about the 30 min mark.

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Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four music releases that have been doing it for me. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
Yves Hayat – ‘Le Chemin de L’ascension’ – from ‘Conversation Between The East & The West’ LP (Music de Wolfe)
Radiohead – ‘The Numbers’ – from ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ LP (XL Recordings)
David Morley – ‘The Origin Of Storms’ 12″+10″ (De:Tuned)
Chris Carter – ‘The Man-Machine’ – from ‘Electronic Sound Covers Collection 2’ (free with Electronic Sound magazine #22)