Whilst researching the Dreaming with Stanley Kubrick exhibition last week I dug into the iconography of A Clockwork Orange, looking up David Pellam‘s classic Droog design for Penguin (above) first revealed several earlier book covers and then the tidal wave of fan film posters. Cogs, eyes, eye lashes, milk glasses and, of course, the colour orange were in abundance. There were several great ones that managed to capture both the era and the menace of the film as well at a very nice Gorillaz droog wallpaper by Jamie Hewlett.
A double dose of Kosmischer Debris round ups in this post – selections from the past month or so of experiments, works in progress or random graphics from my desktop – all self-generated and posted (nearly) daily on my Instagram
Above: details from a Circuit Bending Mandala and the full thing at a larger scale
Below: Top row: lights from my Rane mixer, Middle row: Circuit Bending, multiple logo tests for a band called Psyence, B&W Rane lights. Bottom row: Inkubation collab with Sarah Coleman, Circuit Bending + detail.
Gamma Proforma are dropping all sorts of treats and freebies on their site, here’s a taster for an upcoming LP on the label from Deflon Shallahr. All artwork by the amazing Will Barras.
Divine Styler remixed: Over the coming weeks Gamma will be dropping the complete set of Def Mask Remixes, grab the digital album for free and each week you’ll receive a new track. Here’s Mophono‘s take on ‘Carriers IQ’
This is SO awesome – all the background music by Ray Ellis from the first season plus some from seasons 2 and 3 of the late 60s Spider-man cartoon series. Check the tracks at 54:52 and 1:04:50 ! YouTube user 11db11 explained how he put it all together:
“I cut out every piece of music from all 3 seasons (that took like a month) – Then I grouped them together (multiple incidents of each song) – Then I built each song from the best parts of the multiple versions. – I had to EQ each individual clip to even the levels, bass, treble … – – I left the video alone so people could see where the clips came from.”
The Daydreaming With Stanley Kubrick exhibition started a few weeks back at Somerset House in London’s West End and it’s well worth a look. Curated by James Lavelle, it features many familiar names that hint that his phone book must be a thing to behold. Artists, film makers and musicians from around the world have contributed but with over 40 pieces to look at there’s always going to be some stronger than others.
For the most part, I enjoyed the more literal, graphic interpretations; the hexagon-patterned floor from The Shining, Space Invader‘s Rubix-cubed Alex from A Clockwork Orange and Doug Foster’s homage to the stargate scene in 2001, ‘Beyond The Infinite’ – a mesmerising widescreen kaleidoscope that constantly shifted to a soundtrack by UNKLE. I was surprised there wasn’t more reference to Hal from 2001 outside of some of the graphics for the exhibition branding though and there was a missed opportunity to do something with Kubrick toys seeing as James has had an affinity with them for so long.
One of my favourite pieces was Philip Castle‘s 70s airbrushed illustration for the original film of Alex with dentures in a glass. Unfortunately this was represented as a slide blown up rather than the original painting but it still had enough presence, menace and period textured beauty to outshine most of the other exhibits.
Elsewhere, several installation pieces were the most successful in invoking Stanley’s spirit. A vertical pulsing strip of LED lights by Chris Levine burned images onto the retina from the end of a corridor so that, when you looked away, you saw split second flashes of Kubrick’s face. A ‘breathing’ camera by Nancy Fouts, sat eerily in another corner, rasping in and out to itself. A room of 114 wireless’ all tuned to the same channel in a dimly-lit workshop created a WWII-like atmosphere and the exhibition guide revealed that a huge cast of celebs had made the soundtrack playing through the tinny speakers. Peter Kennard‘s ant-war collages were further bolstered by additions from Dr. Strangelove although it felt largely transplanted from his recent Imperial War Museum exhibit with some added Kubrickisms.
Possibly equal to Foster’s AV piece was Toby Dye‘s small room showing four different scenes from The Corridor, each one using a Kubrick technique of focus pulling in or out of a centralised corridor. This, when shown full frame on each of the four walls, gave the viewer a sense of unease or vertigo as the walls appeared to shift around them. Very effective if off-balancing. David Pellam‘s classic Droog design featured twice, once in the show branding and once in Paul Insect‘s updating of his work, ‘Clockwork Britain’. An iconic design, connected with Kubrick by the simplification of his visualisation for the Droogs, it sits alongside the Shining carpet as a graphic motif instantly connected to his films. A VR headset with interior 2001 space station scenario was also installed but the queue was just too long so don’t head to it at peak weekend hours if possible.
Electronic Sound, the online magazine of all things errr… electronic, has now become a physical printed issue too. Entering the analogue world with issue 2.0 (pictured), they’ve just published issue 21 which comes with a free CD of current electronic artists covering old synth classics (Paul Hartnoll does Kraftwerk’s ‘Numbers’ for instance). Well worth picking up with no-nonsense writing, clean design and beautiful photography, they straddle the current, historical and even delve into features on the machines that make the music.
Synthesizer Dave’s Workshop goes step-by-step through repairing an Italian Multiman-S, Jack Dangers is their resident archivist, giving a brief lowdown on Lovely Music’s Ltd‘s output and Dave Henderson unearths the genesis of his Wild Planet column for Sounds magazine. Add a ton of current release reviews, including Kris Needs‘ weird grab bag and interviews with everyone from Karl Bartos, Tim Gane, Beth Orton, Alan Rankin and more and it’s a must read. They have a subscriber deal on right now – 3 issues for a fiver. The next issue is out in September after which it should run monthly and there are more CDs promised over the next few issues.
I just discovered John Mahoney‘s work via the latest issue of Heavy Metal magazine – which now has a new lease of life with Grant Morrison installed as Editor-in-cheif – these are scenes from his psychedelic ‘novel’, ‘Zentropa‘. His style reminds of elements of Moebius, Egon Schiele or Hans Bellmer‘s multi-limbed dolls. He also sculpts in both real and virtual applications and has worked as a concept artist for many big hollywood films. Learn more here
I just got my beautiful Altered States print from Glass Siren Studios framed – what do I see in the inbox this morning? 50% off sale until the end of July. His prints are already a steal at £75 and under but this is just too good to pass up. Photos can’t do these prints justice IMO, use the code below when ordering from www.glasssiren.co.uk
I picked this up a few weeks back, a short book with a record by Cornershop called, ‘What Did The Hippy Have in His Bag?’. It’s a lovely little thing with a simple song going through the content of said bag (not what you’d expect), perfect for kids and with an instrumental on the B side you can learn it and then sing your own version. Released a few years back on the band’s Ample Play Records’ Singles Club, you can still find copies in their shop for £12.
The Gosh Comics signing of the new Judge Dredd ‘The Cursed Earth uncensored’ book was smash hit on Saturday. When I arrived the queue snaked out of the shop, across the road and round the block and they’d just sold out of the graphic novel in question. A quick run to the nearby Orbital Comics revealed the same and Forbidden Planet too. No joy but I did manage to get a snap of the legends, Mike McMahon and Brian Bolland inside the shop before I departed – not a wasted journey at all.
In case you’re wondering what all the fuss was about, the story in question was the first ever Judge Dredd ‘epic’ (ie. a multi-issue story that spanned over 20 issues) that ran in 2000AD back in 1978. Several episodes featured characters from the McDonalds, Burger King and Jolly Green Giant companies who swiftly slapped the comic with a legal warning that these properties were their copyright. Since the original issues, all reprints of the story have been missing these episodes but recent changes in the law meant that they can now be restored because they fall into the parody category and thus, don’t infringe on copyright as they once did.
From what I’ve seen, the new hardback version is beautifully restored and features both character and career-defining artwork from McMahon and Bolland, the only artists on the strip, alongside writer Pat Mills. Co-incidentally, the first issue of the comic I ever picked up, as an impressionable eight year old, contained the first episode of the story and I was hooked. I even went so far as to commission Mike to recreate his cover for that prog (61) for me a few years back. The initial print run is now apparently sold out so good luck in tracking one down.
Roughly translated as, “Modern as the time in which we live“, this beautifully designed flexi disc was given to me in exchange for an interview, having been picked up in a Berlin flea market. The disc has printed paper labels which is a rarity for flexi discs and it contains four tracks, the best of which is here – ‘Beat’ by F King‘.
Found in the basement of a local South London record store and liberated to the surface this Brit oddity come complete with an envelope-style sleeve and a personalised birthday message (as long as your name is John). A quick google search reveals that versions for Charles, Annabel, Leslie, Anthony and Granny all existed with presumably many more too. Considering the amount of potential names to cater to and that each recording would have to be different it’s hard to think how this was a cost-effective idea.
‘Happy Birthday from Radio Wonderland’ states the bottom of the sleeve whilst Fermaley Flame (a cartoon-ish candle with his head on fire) sings for you. No idea who or what Radio Wonderland was but a quick search reveals an artist of the same name and not much else. On the reverse Fermaley plays the piano – careful you don’t get too close and reduce the thing to ash Ferm! Unfortunately mine only had the flexi disc inside but not the greeting card it was originally meant to come with, some also came with an ‘It’s My Birthday’ sticker.
There is a limited run of 500 copies of Circle Of Light on clear vinyl here, but, if that’s sold out by the time you read this, then there’s a run of black vinyl copies – not limited, which can be found here.
A radio drama written and directed by Neil Cargill with music and sound production by Simon James (The Simonsound). This mysterious voice is picked up by a radio ham (Ian McDiarmid) – it’s the voice of a girl (Joy McAvoy) trapped in an abandoned amusement park called Akiha Den Den. Launching September 2016.
As Simon posted on his Facebook page; “I’ve been working on this project for a while – a radio drama that brings together all the things I like in sound and story telling. Anyone that knows me will have heard me moan about the stale state of BBC radio drama and how hard it is to get original ideas commissioned (I’ve tried). Well this is radio outside of the rigid scared to do anything different confines of that traditional broadcaster. It’s going to be weird, and a bit challenging but it’s going to be an interesting listen.”
Stunning video by Aujik with music by Daisuke Tanabe
I’m really liking that there seem to be a lot of grass-roots level nights popping up that cater for the more esoteric tastes in music at the moment. Shindig! magazine start a new one in North London at the end of the month – good luck guys but points deducted for taking someone else’s artwork for the flyer.
This amazing late 70s Hunt Emerson poster is on eBay right now with less than 2 days to go, never seen it before, probably never will again.
Sonic Cathedral will be releasing a very special glow in the dark vinyl 12″ of Kraftwerk covers especially for the Independent Label Market, which takes place at Old Spitalfields Market in London on Saturday, July 23. It comes with a DL card and a badge of the centre label – top of my wants list! Check out this new version of ‘Neonlicht’ by Remover (a new band that is essentially three fifths of Hookworms)
The ‘Kraftwerk? Ja Bitte!’ EP includes the two songs from the long-sold-out 7” they released back in 2013 – Disappears doing ‘Trans Europa Express’ and Cloudland Canyon covering ‘Radioaktivität’ – alongside a raucous reboot of ‘The Robots’ by Californian space-rockers White Manna, which was actually recorded live in soundcheck at Ramsgate Music Hall in September 2014.
Last night I played at the launch party for Funki Porcini‘s new album, ‘Conservative Apocalypse’, at the BFI (never a more apt title that in the last two weeks). He showed his rescore to the Russian film, ‘Chemi Bebia’ which was crazed and dark and hilarious in equal measure. You can now see the new short that goes with the album of the same name via the magic of YouTube too…
Lots of old faces came out for the night, it was like a small reunion of people from the last 20 years, back when Ninja Tune was in Clink Street, London Bridge. Graeme Ross took this photo of me with a strategically placed BFI notice.