The Art of ZTT updates

I found some time to add some more to my Art of ZTT blog, we’re on to Propaganda‘s ‘Dr Mabuse’ now with interviews with John Stoddart, Paul Morley, David Smart, Lo Cole and Garry Mouat to come this year… I’ve had to start watermarking some of the content as it’s been shared around on certain social networking sites without credit.

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so80s ZTT editon by Blank and Jones

Forthcoming mix set by Blank & Jones for the So Eighties series where they’ve been given access to the master tapes for some of ZTT’s classics. Here’s the cover, which was made with a little help from my image archive, and a short video of them in the studio going through the process, they’re keeping the mixes in a classic sense rather than trying to update the sound into todays styles.

Art of ZTT updates

My other site – Art of ZTT – is finally getting some updates after I’d let it languish all summer. It’s a design blog showcasing the design work of XL and the work they and assorted photographers did for the Zang Tuum Tumb label which was a huge influence on me in my teens. The label is 30 years old this year and putting out several compilations in early 2014 with rarities and wonders from their archive.

Yesterday I went to see photographer John Stoddart who shot Frankie Goes To Hollywood before and after they were famous and an interview with him will be online soon. Recently put up is an interview with Yvonne Gilbert, the artist responsible for the iconic two bodies image on the sleeve of ‘Relax’. I’m working my way through their releases, semi-chronologically so next year will be a big one.

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ZTT turns 30

The great Zang Tuum Tumb Records turns 30 years old this month and to celebrate they have a compilation out called ‘The Organization of Pop’. I’ll be reactivating my dormant Art of ZTT site to post a host of updates later this month too featuring exclusive images from some of the people who were there at the beginning.

The label issued a short press release last week with the phrase, ‘Today is officially the end of the beginning.”


Looking down the track listing there aren’t too many surprises in the form of unreleased gems but the inclusion of both Grace Jones and Seal as the first two tracks hopefully means that some sort of legal agreement has at last been worked out and we can expect to see proper reissues of their work in the future. Also note that this is the New York Edition – further London and Tokyo Editions are planned for next year…

ZTT Records Presents The Organization of Pop (New York Edition)
Music From The First Thirty Years of ZTT Records

Disc 1: The Organisation of Pop (the Action Series, from ZTT)

• Grace Jones – Slave To The Rhythm
• Seal – Kiss From A Rose
• Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax (New York Mix)
• 808 State – Pacific (Justin Strauss 0101 Mix)
• Art of Noise – Beat Box
• Propaganda – Dr. Mabuse (Abuse)
• Tom Jones – If Only I Knew (Cold Stop Version)
• MC Tunes vs 808 State – Dance Yourself To Death (Dust Brothers Radio Edit)
• Propaganda – Sorry For Laughing (Unapologetic 12” Mix)
• 808 State – Cubik (Pan American Excursion)
• Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes
• Shane MacGowan and Sinead O’Connor – Haunted
• The Frames – Star Star
• Art of Noise – Moments In Love (Beaten)

Disc 2: The Disorganisation of Pop (the Incidental Series, from Zang Tuum Tumb)

• The Buggles – We Can Fly From Here (Part One)
• The Frames – Say It To Me Now
• Shane MacGowan and Maire Brennan – You’ve The One
• Lee Griffiths – Sweet Baby James
• Das Psycho Rangers – Homage to the Blessed
• Art of Noise featuring Rakim – Metaforce
• Nasty Rox Inc. – Escape From New York (12” Mix)
• ACT – Snobbery & Decay (That’s Entertainment Mix)
• The Buggles – I Am A Camera (12” Mix)
• Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome To The Pleasuredome (Fruitness Mix)
• Lisa Stansfield – The Moment
• The Buggles – We Can Fly From Here (Part Two)
• Andrew Poppy – Kink Konk Adagio

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New ‘Art of ZTT’ blog online

I’d like to bring your attention to a new blog I’ve set up about the Art of ZTT Records (or ‘Who’s Afraid of the Art of Zang Tuum Tumb’ to give it its full title).

For years I’ve been collecting everything I can find from the early 80’s incarnation of this label and tracking down the designers and photographers responsible for some of the artwork. It’s a constant work in progress, starting off as a possible magazine article then progressing to a book idea and now, finally, I’ve decided to make it a website.

Inspired by Paul Gorman‘s rehabilitation of Barney Bubbles‘ work into today’s design community I hope the same can happen for the work of ZTT as it was hugely influential on my own desire to design for the music industry. XL, Accident and The London Design Partnership aren’t exactly household names in the same way as Vaughn Oliver and Peter Saville are but I think that the work they produced for the label in their golden age is at least an equal of the Factory and 4AD portfolios.

The site will eventually feature sleeves, promo posters, print ads, photos, exclusive interviews and associated ephemera connected with the label, its artists and designers. At the very least it should be an exhaustive gallery of an innovative label with a host of rare and forgotten imagery.

Classic Pop magazine – 4 pg XLZTT design article

Just out is issue 3 of Classic Pop magazine with a 4 page article I co-wrote with editor Ian Peel about the 80’s music design work of the XL design studio. You don’t hear much about them but they’re a big passion of mine because they largely defined the look of the Zang Tuum Tumb label from 1983 through to the end of the decade, greatly influencing myself in the process.

Whereas some had Saul Bass, Hipgnosis, Peter Saville or Vaughn Oliver, I had XL who, in conjunction with press officer Paul Morley and another group, The London Design Partnership, created the look of my favourite record label of the 80’s. They did many other sleeves for pop acts on other labels as well but the combination of their work with design briefs from Morley (collectively XLZTT) really stands out from the pack and it’s this that we focus on.

ZTT – The Art Of The 12″ vol. 2

First look at the cover and tracklist for next February’s second ‘The Art of the 12″ Two’ compilation via the ZTT Facebook page!

Disc One:

01. ‘you are warmly invited to come inside’

02. Frankie Goes to Hollywood: ‘Two Tribes’ (Keep the Peace) *

03. Paul McCartney: ‘Spies Like Us’ (Art of Noise Remix) **

04. Godley & Creme: ‘Cry’ (Extended Remix) *

05. Instinct: ‘Swamp Down’ (12” Mix) **

06. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: ‘Julia’s Song’ (Extended Version) *

07. 808 State Vs. Art of Noise: ‘Moments in Love’ (Massey Mix One) **

08. Thomas Leer: ‘Heartbeat’ (Extended Mix) *

09. ‘bassline interlude’ **

10. Act: ‘Chance’ (Whammy Mix) **

11. Frankie Goes to Hollywood: ‘War’ (Coming Out of Hiding) **

12. Propaganda: ‘Dr Mabuse der Spieler’ (An International Incident) *

 

Disc Two:

01. Scritti Politti: ‘Absolute’ (Version)

02. Art of Noise: ‘Close Up’

03. Propaganda: ‘Sorry for Laughing’ (12” Mix) **

04. Das Psych-Oh! Rangers: ‘He He Radical’ (Episode 2) *

05. ‘piano interlude’ **

06. Nasty Rox Inc.: ‘What Is It’ (Live Instrumental Wonder) **

07. Mint Juleps: ‘Every Kinda People’ (Parts I, II and III)

08. Anne Pigalle: ‘Hé Stranger’ (Parts I, II and III)

09. 808 State Vs. Art of Noise: ‘Moments in Love’ (Massey Mix Three) **

10. ‘the flash forward’

11. Frankie Goes to Hollywood: ‘Relax’ (Man Has a Sense for the Discovery of Beauty, Part I) **

12. ‘zang tuum interlude’;

13. Art of Noise: ‘Close Up’ (Hop)

14. Propaganda: ‘Dr Mabuse’ (Special Instrumental Mix) *

15. ‘cadenza’

** previously unreleased

* previously unreleased on CD

 

It’s out on Feb 20, 2012 on Zang Tuum Tumb

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ZTT reissues out today minus Frankie…

Back in December I posted about three forthcoming releases on ZTT: Claudia Bruken‘s ‘Combined’ compilation, Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s ‘Liverpool’ expanded edition and ‘The Art of the 12″‘ overview covering the label’s famed 12″ remixes from the 80’s and beyond. They are released today but only two will be available due to an 11th hour pulling of the ‘Liverpool’ release for reasons yet to be explained by either the record label or members of the band. Speculation is rife on the Alternate ZTT board as to the cause of this last minute recall as copies have been around for a few weeks now in industry circles with a few even turning up for sale on the continent before the release date. The main culprit seems to be (and this is pure speculation based on what has been said online) the appearance of several tracks as bonuses which had both hardened collectors and members of the band scratching their heads in puzzlement as to their origins.

2 +1

In this internet age it’s rare that any scrap of information slips past uber-fans, some known for collecting every known foreign pressing of each release alongside demos, live recordings, session tapes and any scrap of print relating to their favourite bands. For instance it’s well known to the average Frankie fan that the band recorded a demo version of ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ before the song was immortalised by Grace Jones at Trevor Horn‘s hand, but few have ever been lucky enough to hear it. But when a track list for the expanded version of ‘Liverpool’ appeared last December, several tracks were complete unknowns to the legion of online fans, with one member of the band who frequents the boards even asking if anyone knew what they were or had mp3s of them.

Liverpool deluxeI was lucky enough to receive a copy over a week ago from an industry source and the tracks in question sound like demo ideas, jams or basic track building, including a vocal-less cover of the Rolling Stones‘Satisfaction’. Frankie did many cover versions, both released and unreleased, over the course of their short career. Some were for B-sides, some were simply a way to let off steam and take a break during recording sessions that stretched for months during the making of ‘Liverpool’. Holly Johnson tweeted last week that he had no problem with the release and a statement is promised soon, interesting…

Fortunately we are in the middle of the biggest archive reissue / remaster / repackage period of ZTT’s history at the moment – courtesy of Ian Peel –  and the other two releases can tide us over until any problems get ironed out with Frankie’s second coming (sorry, couldn’t resist). Art of 12"I’ve not received a copy of ‘Combined’ yet but ‘The Art of the 12″‘ 2xCD compilation is one of the best from the label, including several completely new and unreleased gems from the archives that add a few more pieces to the puzzle that fans of the label strive to unravel to this day. Newly unearthed versions of classic’s like Frankie‘s ‘Two Tribes’ and ‘Relax’, Propaganda’s ‘Dr. Mabuse’ or Nasty Rox Inc‘s ’10th Wonder’ sit alongside extended workouts of ‘Moments In Love’ and ‘Close (To the Edit)’ by Art of Noise, ‘Pacific’ and ‘Cubik’ by 808 State and Act‘s vastly underrated ‘Snobbery & Decay’.

A couple of infamous ‘lost’ ZTT groups have tracks presented for the first time too – Instinct, who only had one track appear on the label previously before disappearing into the vaults, have what was to be their first single debuting 25 years later. Also another piece of the Art of Noise puzzle is here for the first time to tantalise us – a glimpse of what Paul Morley and Trevor Horn did next after the rest of the band jumped ship and played the Pop game. The group Art & Act were bandied about in various press releases at the time but nothing was released until an AON box set a few years back yielded a few snippets. Here we get 8 minutes of a group that could have been but wasn’t destined to be until over a decade later with the reformation of three of the Art of Noise proper. Both absolutely essential for any ZTT fan.

Art of 12" inside

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ZTT re-issue series rolls on

18068871x18068872x18068873x You wait for ages (well, not that long actually) and then 3 come along at once – loving these ZTT reissues from Salvo. A fanboy’s wet dream come true and more archive excavations than straight represses. Due early next year…

‘Liverpool’ tracklist:

Disc 1:
1. Warriors Of The Wasteland
2. Rage Hard
3. Kill The Pain
4. Maximum Joy
5. Watching The Wildlife
6. Lunar Bay
7. For Heaven’s Sake
8. Is Anybody Out There?
9. The Waves
10. “Pamela”
11. Pocket Vibrator
12. Suffragette City
13. Roadhouse Blues
14. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
15. (Don’t Lose What’s Left) Of Your Little Mind
16. Rage Hard (Voiceless)

Disc 2:
1. Rage Hard (Montreux Mix)
2. Warriors Of The Wasteland (Montreux Mix)
3. Warriors Cassetted (Featuring Highlights From Both The 7″ And 12″ Single, Warriors Of The Wasteland, The Twelve Wild Disciples Mix And A Phenomenon Of Megabytes)
4. Drum Loop (Monitor Mix / Wisseloord Sessions / November 1985)
5. F*** Off (Monitor Mix / Wisseloord Sessions / November 1985)
6. Wildlife Cassetted (Featuring Orchestra Wildlife, Watching The Wildlife (Hotter), The Waves, Bit 1, Bit 2 And The Frankie Condom Mix (For A Wilder Time)
7. Our Silver Turns To Gold (Monitor Mix / Ibiza Sessions / May 1985)
8. Delirious (Monitor Mix / Ibiza Sessions / May 1985)
9. “Stan”
10. For Heaven’s Sake (Monitor Mix / Wisseloord Sessions / March 1986)

‘Art of the 12″ ‘ tracklist:

Disc 1:
1 Propaganda – Jewelled 7:48
2 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Rage Hard (The Young Person’s Guide To The 12” Mix) 12:07
3 Art Of Noise* – Closely Closely (Enough’s Enough) 7:10
4 Act – Theme From Laughter (06.12.87, Extract) 1:08
5 Act – Snobbery & Decay (Extended, For Stephanie Beacham) 8:31
6 Instinct (7) – Sleepwalking (12” Extended Mix) 9:36
7 Art Of Noise* – Moment In Love 1:12
8 808 State – Cübik (Kings County Perspective) 6:00
9 Nasty Rox Inc. – 10th Wonder (12″ Mix) 7:02
10 MC Tunes Vs. 808 State – Dance Yourself To Death (License To Thrill) 5:40
11 808 State – Pacific 909 (Mellow Birds Mega Edit) 7:05
12 Art Of Noise* – Moments In Love (Beaten) 6:58
13 Propaganda – Testament Two 0:24

Disc 2:
1 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power Of Love (Singlette Mix, Extract) 0:28
2 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax (Sex Mix Edit) 8:15
3 Anne Pigalle – Souvenir d’Un Paris (Mix Aguicheur) 7:14
5 Glenn Gregory & Claudia Brücken – When Your Heart Runs Out Of Time (6’20”) 6:20
6 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Warriors (Compacted, Extract) 0:51
7 Andrew Poppy – 32 Frames (Drummed Up) 8:33
8 Propaganda – Dr Mabuse (12″ Master Mix For Germany) 6:13
9 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes (Hibakush-ah!) 6:59
10 Art & Act (A pArt Of Noise)* – Life’s A Barrel Of Laughs (Out Of This World Mix) 8:05
11 Art Of Noise* – Dreaming (Silver Mix, Extract) 2:00
12 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome To The Pleasuredome (Pleasurefix) 9:37
13 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Only Star In Heaven (Starfix) 3:47
14 (lomax•)* – Waiting In Vain (Extended Dub) 4:44
15 808 State – Pacific (Bonus Bird Beats) 2:58
16 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Rage Hard (++, Extract) 0:22

‘Combined: The Best of Claudia Brucken’ tracklist:

1. Dr.Mabuse (A Paranoid Fantasy) – Propaganda
2. Duel – Propaganda
3. (The Beta Wrap Around Of) P:Machinery – Propaganda
4. Absolutely Immune – ACT
5. Snobbery And Decay – ACT
6. Femme Fatale (The Woman With The Orchid) – Propaganda
7. Absolut(E) – Claudia Brücken
8. Delicious – Andy Bell And Claudia Brücken
9. Cloud 9ine – Onetwo
10. Thank You – Claudia Brücken
11. Sequentia – Onetwo
12. Light The Way (Radio Seduction Edit) – Chrome Seduction Feat. Claudia Brücken
13. This Is Not America – Claudia Brücken And Paul Rutherford
14. Night School – Claudia Brücken
15. In Dreams – Claudia Brücken And Andrew Poppy

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Mixcloud Select #10 Openmind – Daydreaming at Night (Float 1 side B) 1993

10 Openmind - Daydreaming At Night tape

Track notes:
Side B of a mixtape created for a Floatation Centre in Brixton called Aquatonics who wanted a mix of continuous ambient music and sounds to play to their customers that would aid their floatation trips. Recorded live on two turntables and a basic CD player with no pitch control direct to this cassette in the house I shared with fellow Openmind associates David Vallade, Mario Aguera and Chantal Passamonte (later Mira Calix). The title was coined by David and was also used as a track title on Chantal’s debut album for Warp.

This week I’ve dug out one of the original flyers used to advertise this in the Ambient Soho record shop, this was an incredibly early computer design by yours truly, probably one of the first. I think this was done on Mario’s computer at his work as we didn’t yet have one at the flat. He was a computer game programmer at that point (working on a game for Queen (the band) I seem to remember) and later worked with Hex creating visuals and animation for a game they were working on. Float A5 flyer frontThe music selection is a pretty good representation of what we were playing at the Telepathic Fish parties at the time: The Orb (of course), Future Sound of London, Dreamfish (Mixmaster Morris & Pete Namlook), Sven Vath and a few side steps like ambient sections from ZTT and 4AD releases. We used to play bits of This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Grace Jones and there’s even a bit of U2 in there (!) There’s also a fair bit of stuff that I just cannot work out in amongst the layers so if anyone spots anything I’ve missed then please comment.

There is one particular moment that makes me cringe on this side – at the end of an Orb mix of whale noises I’m playing over the ‘Return’ mix of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Warriors of the Wasteland’, suddenly a fairground Wurlitzer strikes up the opening notes of ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’. I wasn’t paying attention whilst mixing with three decks and this caught me off guard, quickly being faded out before it could launch into full flow. It may have ruined a few floats… I used to have two copies of the Frankie tune and the intro to this mix is a lovely ambient piece before going into the full song, I would crossfade them together three of four times to extend the intro, sometimes at different speeds or pitches.

Track list:
The Orb – Back Side of the Moon
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Well…
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Warriors of the Wasteland (Return)
Grace Jones – The Crossing (Ohh The Action…)
Sven Vath – Caravan of Emotions
U2 – Mysterious Ways (Apollo 440 Magic Hour Remix)
Brian Eno – Lantern Marsh
System 7 – ?
The Orb – O.O.B.E.
This Mortal Coil – Filigree & Shadow
Kraftwerk – Europe Endless
Dreamfish – School of Fish
This Mortal Coil – Firebrothers
Future Sound of London – Papa New Guinea
Sven Vath – Caravan of EmotionsFloat A5 flyer back

Record Store Day 2019

RSD 19 AG flyer front web
I was going to post about Record Store Day releases last week when the list was announced but wanted to wait for the announcement above as well. For once I’m heading to North London, after spending years down South or in the West End… to Audio Gold, those fine purveyors of vintage audio equipment, hi-fi components and records, old and new. My good friend Robin from Hexstatic has worked there for many years and has been trying to get Jonny Trunk and I up there for nearly as long.

Jonny will be promoting his RSD release on Trunk, the official reissue of Basil Kirchin‘s ‘World’s Within Worlds’, by playing original reels from Basil’s archive via one of the shop’s lovely machines no doubt. I’ll be joined by fellow flexi finder Shane Quentin who, along with Jonny and I, has contributed to the forthcoming book, ‘Wobbly Sounds’ which is all about British flexi discs. Shane’s collection of the disposable discs is enough to make any collector envious and between us we pulled out some sweet examples of the different uses they had from household product advertising to pop music promotion, event invites to educational aids, and yes, porn.

The book is published by those lovely people at Four Corners Books and forms part of their Irregulars series of Great British oddities, I don’t think I’m allowed to show you the cover yet though as it’s not online. Hopefully copies will be back from the printers and available at Audio Gold for April 13th. We’ll be playing some of our collections in the shop and I’m even going to hide some freebies in the racks for people to find…

Now – to my RSD ones to watch list – if your pockets are deep enough of course:

808 State – Four States of 808 (ZTT) 4×12″ box set

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 01.11.51

Limited edition 4 x 12″ box set exploring four very different sides of 808 State; Hacienda-inspired acid house classics, Thunderdome-inspired full-frontal aural assaults, renowned collaborations, and downtempo sonic baths. Featuring 27 tracks across four discs, including rare and previously unreleased mixes, hidden tracks, brand new artwork and liner notes. Includes three previously unreleased tracks and three previously unreleased on vinyl. The entire set is remastered from the original master tapes.

Art of Noise – Daft As A Brush! (ZTT) 4×12″ box set

AON

Limited edition 4 x 12″ box set and a vinyl companion piece to the renowned 1986 CD compilation, Daft. Hear a fresh take on three game-changing records – ‘Beat Box’, ‘Close (to the Edit)’ and ‘ Moments in Love’ – while a fourth disc finally unleashes Trevor Horn and Paul Morley‘s mythical post-AoN project, Art and ACT. Featuring 25 tracks across four discs, including hidden tracks, brand new artwork and liner notes. 20 tracks previously unreleased on vinyl with the entire set remastered from the original master tapes.

Basil Kirchin – Worlds Within Worlds (Trunk) LP

Basil

Worlds Within Worlds (Part I and II) is one of the most important improvised jazz-based recordings of all time. Released in 1971 it sold just a handful of copies, but has become a keystone in the development of experimental and ambient sounds – originals now fetch £1000+. This pressing features a new gatefold sleeve (Kirchin hated the original sleeve), with images of Kirchin, his original field recording tapes and notes by WWW fan Thurston Moore. There are just 1500 being pressed with 250 on gold vinyl, which will be mixed randomly in with the 1250 black versions. There will be no way of telling which colour is which as all LPs will be sealed. The LP will not be repressed.

Bob Dorough – Multiplication Rock (Original Soundtrack Recording) (Jackpot) LP

Multi Rock

LP Colored Vinyl (Red/Blue Swirl on Multiplication Rock). 1st ever reissue, from the original master tapes. 1500 total worldwide. Original ABC 1973 TV soundtrack, part of the Schoolhouse Rock! Series. Jazz Bop Vocalist Bob Dorough (1923-2018) composed “Multiplication Rock” as a way for children to remember multiplicaton tables. Colored Vinyl LP from The Original Master Tapes with original Tape Box artwork. includes ‘Three Is A Magic Number’, as sampled by De La Soul.

Deadly Avenger – Your God Is Too Small (Burning Witches) LP

DA 3d

More sonic electro infused speaker decimation from Deadly Avenger in a brand new follow up to 2018′ s ‘I Am Godzilla You Are Japan’.Your God Is Too Small’ picks up the DA Godzilla story from the very begining in a prequel to IAGYAJ. Includes 3D artwork and glasses, Insert, and download card. UK Exclusive variant. Artwork by Luke Insect.

Desmond Briscoe, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop – The Stone Tape (Silva Screen Records) 10″

Stone Tape

10″ EP on Green Vinyl Long awaited BBC 1972 soundtrack, previously unreleased. Numbered Edition.

DJ Pierre presents / Various Artists – ACID 88 volume 3 (Afro Acid) 2xLP

Acid

A double LP of 1 Black + 1 White vinyl of 12 killer acid trax selected by legendary pioneer DJ Pierre featuring Mark Archer, A Guy Called Gerald, K Alexi, Lauren Flax, Type 303, Hiroko Yamamura & many more.

Future Sound of London, The – Yage 2019

Yage

In 1996 iconic group The Future Sound of London released the UK Top 40 chart album ‘Dead Cities’, from which came a track ‘Yage’. Such has been the interest in this masterpiece of electronica over the years that the guys have been back into the studio to revisit it. Here, on this limited edition, individually numbered LP press exclusively for 2019′ s Record Store Day comes the results. ‘Yage 2019’ takes the core of the original and rebuilds it. All together there are eleven tracks reconstructions and interpretations, woven together (as FSOL do) into a 42 minute dreamscape journey across the 2 sides of vinyl. Only 1000 copies of this release will be pressed on vinyl.

Herbie Hancock – Dedication (Get On Down) LP

Herbie

Vinyl has never been officially issued outside of Japan. 3000 made worldwide. ‘Dedication’ is a unique Herbie Hancock outing in more ways than one. This is a solo Hancock release, all sounds heard on this recording are Hancock at the keyboards, be it an acoustic piano, a Fender Rhodes or a synth. The project was recorded live in Tokyo in July of 1974 and never saw release outside of Japan until well into the 21st century. For Record Store Day 2019 Get On Down presents the first ever US vinyl release of this important piece of Hancock’ s artistic legacy.

Worth it for ‘Nobu’ alone, no poster though!?

Propaganda – The Eight Testaments of Propaganda (ZTT) 4×12″ box set

Prop

This limited edition 4 x 12″ box set dives deep into the hits and mythology of Propaganda‘ s highly influential ZTT years. Take a fresh look at their two biggest singles – ‘Duel’ and ‘Dr. Mabuse’ – and their two most beloved live/album tracks, ‘Dream Within A Dream’ and ‘Frozen Faces’ . Featuring 24 tracks across four discs, including rare and previously unreleased mixes, brand new artwork and liner notes. Includes two tracks previously unreleased, and 13 tracks previously unreleased on vinyl. The entire set is remastered from the original master tapes.

Wendy Carlos /Rachel Elkind – Kubrick (Silva Screen) 7″

Kubrick

7″ Die Cut Sleeve/ Printed Inner Sleeve Transparent Orange Vinyl Double A Side: The Shining/ A Clockwork Orange For both these iconic films, Stanley Kubrick chose to work with the extraordinary Wendy Carlos, who wrote (or realised, as both are based on classical pieces) the main themes to both movies. The 7″ AA Side, March from A Clockwork Orange (1971), is an arrangement of Beethoven‘ s rousing Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (fourth movement) and is the first recorded song using a vocoder. Almost ten years later, Carlos was to work with Kubrick again on The Shining (1980). The Shining – Main Theme on the 7″ A side takes as its starting point the Dies Irae from Hector Berlioz‘ s Requiem (Op5), appropriately taken to new levels of darkness by Carlos and Rachel Elkind‘ s electronic treatment.

Art Of Noise, live at the British Library


Last Friday I was thrilled to be asked to play before Dudley / Jeczalik / Langan aka The Art of Noise at the British Library in London. I put together a set consisting entirely of music they had written, remixed, reworked or had a hand in – careful not to play any obvious tracks that they would be playing as they rebooted their In Visible Silence album plus some of their biggest hits. I recorded my mix and you can hear it above, complete with exclusive edits made specially for the show and a rare appearance from AON fan Kenneth WIlliams at one point.
Witness the group below at the soundcheck performing ‘Moments In Love’.

AON soundcheck
Highlights were thundering versions of ‘Beatbox’, ‘Close (To The Edit)’, ‘Legs’ and ‘Peter Gunn’, a beautiful ‘Moments In Love’ (with blink and you’ll miss it ‘In The Army Now’ interjections) and lots of story-telling in between. Many friends and familiar faces from ZTT fandom were present and I had the pleasure of chatting to Anne Dudley‘s husband before the show about her early library recordings for Amphonic (some of which are soon to be reissued by Buried Treasure). JJ Jeczalik strolled up and introduced himself before my set and, during an airing of Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s ‘Pleasurefix’ (a fan favourite remix of the epic album cut by Gary Langan), I turned around to see Langan himself watching and listening only a meter away with keen interest. “Hi, I’m Gary”, he said, leaning over to shake my hand. :)

Crowd behind leftCrowd behind stage Crowd above front
The whole evening was a fan fest with signed prints, records and T shirts on sale, people watching from the stairwell’s and balconies and an incredible Bowers and Wilkins sound system that made everything shine. I chatted to ex-ZTT artist Andrew Poppy after the main set who regaled me with tales of rescuing his artwork from a skip outside the label one day! Big thanks for the ‘Where’s DJ Food?’ crowd photos above by Peter Williams and shots of me by the stairwell below by Mark Nicholson. Another one for the CV and highlights of 2018.

DJ Food 2DJ Food 1

Openmind ambient mix on Solid Steel 26.09.94

Telepathic Fish 4 webI was asked by the m.cast website to write some background history on a mix I did for Solid Steel with old friend Mario Aguera under the Openmind DJs name back in 1994 (this was before I became part of DJ Food or had been given the Strictly Kev moniker). Here’s a little slice of London ambient history as I remember it:

Openmind originated at 102 Tintagel Crecsent in East Dulwich, South East London around late 1992. The shared house spread across three floors above a shop, rented out by a local chemist specifically to students at a very reasonable £37 each per week, and the occupants came together by chance from different circumstances. Computer programmer Mario Aguera and 3rd year Camberwell School of Art students David Vallade and Kevin Foakes were later joined by Chantal Passamonte at some point in 1993. They frequented many of the clubs, gigs and underground parties of the time like Club Dog, Tribal Energy and Megatripolis but often found themselves enjoying the post-club comedown chill out sessions more than the actual clubs themselves.

After an incident with a synthesiser, a Rastafarian and a bowl of fish (see David Toop’s excellent ‘Ocean of Sound’ book for details) they formed a collective called Openmind and started a series of ambient parties under the name Telepathic Fish. Nearby neighbour Mixmaster Morris took them under his wing and introduced them to many of his contacts.

The first party was held in their house across two floors which held a rave room with strobe lighting and a chill out complete with tower of scavenged TV sets broadcasting trip videos, black lights and Morris DJing from decks on the next door kitchen counter. Advertised through word of mouth and a few posters at the college, the party drew 300 people and they realised that they had to find somewhere else to do the next one.

A squat in Tunstal Road, Brixton was located and a line up of Mixmaster Morris, Aphex Twin and the Openmind DJs (Mario and Kev) with Matt Black (Coldcut) on visuals played throughout a Sunday afternoon into the evening. A second gig was held at the same venue later that year (’93) which saw members of The Black Dog, Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia and The Future Sound of London checking out what was happening. Early flyers included shaped fish pendants and tea bags, hand-assembled using tracing and holographic paper.

After Matt Black’s initial revelatory experience at the Fish (his first ever VJ set) he invited Mario and Kev to guest on his and Jon More’s weekly KISS FM radio show, Solid Steel in the summer of ’93. They appeared a number of times (11.07.93 / 07.11.93 / 04. 03.94 / 15.07.94) and Matt and Morris continued to guest with music and visuals at the parties.

The venue then changed to the Cool Tan building in Brixton for a fourth excursion that included Matt Black on decks with PC (DJ Food), a pre-Leaf Tony Morley and visuals by Hex. Just before that party Mario and Kev were invited back onto Solid Steel on 26.09.94 and you can hear Matt giving the party a shout out in the mix. The sets played here are a pretty good indication of the sort of thing they played at the Telepathic Fish parties, sometimes pooling their then meagre record collections to fill out the nights.

There were more parties after this, usually as part of bigger events – Orbital’s Brixton Academy gig VIP room, Quirky, Megatripolis, a New Year’s Day party at the derelict Roundhouse and a Dutch excursion that saw them playing in a gas silo. They also produced four issues of an ambient fanzine called Mind Food which they sold at the parties, by mail or in various record shops in London.

Mario went on to join Hex for their early explorations into visuals and software and then headed up a team at a major video game developer. Chantal, David and Kev all worked at the Ambient Soho record shop in Berwick St. at certain points. Chantal went on to become Mira Calix and sign to Warp. David designed record sleeves for Warp, Ntone, Worm Interface, MLO and Reflective among others. Kev became part of DJ Food, carrying the Openmind name on as his design alias whilst shaping the look of the Ninja Tune label in the 90s and 00s.


You can down load this mix directly from the m.cast website here

First hour: Mario Aguera (Openmind/Telepathic Fish)

Coldcut – Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force remix) (BMG)
UVX ‎- Elevator (13th floor spectrum) (Magick Eye Records)
Frankfurt – Tokio Connection – Luminescent Avatar (Harthouse / Rising High)
Golden Girls – Kinetic (Morley’s Apollo mix) (R&S)
Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia – Obsidian (Deconstruction) (KK Records)
The Grid – Crystal Clear (The Orb remix) (Virgin)
Ongaku – Mihon 2 (Fax/Rising High)
UVX ‎- Elevator (13th floor spectrum) (Magick Eye Records)
Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby (Natural Trance Mix) (Columbia)
Peter Gabriel – At Night (Real World)
Amorphous Androgynous – Mountain Goat (Virgin)
System 7 – 7-7 Expansion (Double Edged Sword mix) (Big Life)
David Morley – Calibration (Apollo)

Second hour: Kevin Foakes (Openmind/Telepathic Fish – pre-DJ Food)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Warriors of the Wasteland (End) (ZTT)
Harold Budd & The Cocteau Twins – Memory Gongs (4AD) / S’Xpress – Coma (Record Mirror) No-Man – Days In The Trees (Reich) (One Little Indian)
KLF – What Time Is Love (Virtual Reality mix) (KLF Communications)
Jesus Jones – Zeroes & Ones (Aphex Twin Reconstruction 2 mix) (Food/EMI)
David Sylvian – Home (Virgin)
This Mortal Coil – Andialu (4AD)
B12 – Soundtrack of Space (Warp)
Spacetime Continuum – Fluorescence (Reflective)
Eurhythmics – The City Never Sleeps (Capitol)
Moody Boys – Free (XL)
Depth Charge – Depth Charge (Drum Death Version) (Vinyl Solution)
Material – Mantra (Praying Mantra mix) (Axiom)
Dub Syndicate – What Happened? (On-U Sound)
Moody Boys – Pumpin Dumpin (XL)
Plaid – Yamemm – (Warp)
unknown (Digidub or Moody Boys?)
Minnie Ripperton – Lovin’ You (Epic)

Remastered Spiritland set from 11.12.16 + track list

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My set from Spiritland on Dec 11th was uploaded to Mixcloud but was so quiet you could barely hear it. I got to work on the file and remastered it whilst compiling the track list for the full 5 hours. Photo by Karla Davis

DJ Food – Spiritland 11/12/16 track list…

The Heliocentrics w. Melvin Van Peebles – Prologue (Now Again)
Bernard Szajner – The Fremen (Cache Cache)
Voyager – Arrival (excerpt) (Union City Recordings)
Basement Jaxx – Stanley (Sunday Best Records)
unknown – Blue (CDR)
DJ Shadow – I’ve Been Trying (Third World Orchestra’s Folkumbia Remix – DJ Food edit) (https://soundcloud.com/punk-cho)
DJ Shadow – Come On Ride (Through The Cosmos) (Secret 7s / Island)
DJ Shadow – Dark Days (Spoken For Mix) (MCA)
Andre Previn – Executive Party Dance (UA)
The Dragons – Peace Garden (Rural)
Kool & The Gang – Summer Madness (De-Lite)
Stan Getz – Bonjour Tristesse (MGM)
Fourtet – I’m On Fire (part 2) (Text)
Lalo Schifrin – Joy To The World (Lo Recordings)
Warner Jepson – Deck The Halls (Shinkoko.com)
The Soulful Strings – Little Drummer Boy (Cadet Records)
Warner Jepson – Silent Night (Shinkoko.com)
J. P. Massiera – Silent Night (Finders Keepers)
Warner Jepson – Good King Wenceslas (Shinkoko.com)
Vincent Geminiani – Ophis Le Serpentaire (Jazzman)
Paul Schutze – Doubts About Waking (edit) (Extreme)
Alice Coltrane – A Love Supreme (Impulse)
Arnaud Robotini – The Choir Of The Dead Lovers (Blackstrobe Records)
Brain Machine – Massive Dying Stars Vibrating Like Giant Speakers (Tinae)
Chapterhouse – Beta Phase (Global Communication remix) (Dedicated)
Voyager – Arrival (excerpt) (Union City Recordings)
Howlround – OH feat. abandoned playground (The Fog Signals)
Sheila Chandra – One (Indipop)
Eurhythmics – The City Never Sleeps (Capitol)
Annabel (lee) – (1849) (IF Music/Ninja Tune)
Beautify Junkyards – Constant Flux (Ghost Box)
Cavern of Anti-Matter – Zone Null (Duophonic UHF Discs)
Stepkids – La La (Stones Throw)
Broadcast & The Focus Group – The Be Colony (Warp)
Vanishing Twin – Floating Heart (Soundway)
Stereolab – Miss Modular (Duphonic UHF Discs)
Sirconical – Moondance (Twisted Nerve)
The Twelve Hour Foundation – Sun and Air (Part 2) (Bandcamp/Environmental Studies)
Voyager – Arrival (excerpt) (Union City Recordings)
The Orb – A Huge 54 Minute Mix Mk.2 (excerpt 1) (CDR)
Grace Jones – Don’t Cry, It’s Only The Rhythm (ZTT)
Grace Jones – Rough Slave (Better Days version) (unreleased)
Flying White Dots – Slave To The Grid (soundcloud.com/flyingwhitedots)
Grace Jones – The Crossing (Ooh The Action) (ZTT)
The Orb – A Huge 54 Minute Mix Mk.2 (excerpt 2) (CDR)
Szuletet – Domino (Bandcamp) https://afxtribute.bandcamp.com/releases
David Sylvian – Home (Virgin)
Paul Schutze – Doubts About Waking (edit) (Extreme)
Sheila Chandra – Nada Brahma (Indipop)
Camille – Ta Douleur (EMI)
The Beastie Boys – Something’s Got To Give (Live) (Grand Royal)
NT – Distances By Air (RCA)
Annis le Neve – Stories (Apeman)
Grandmagneto – Night Fever (Big Single)
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – The Fifth Peg (Patterns of Behaviour)
The Hellers – Take 46 (Command)
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – Through A Prism Backwards (Patterns of Behaviour)
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – The House Band Takes A Break (Patterns of Behaviour)
The Casuals On The Square – Moonbound (Trans International Airlines)
Nino Nardini – Tropicola (Jazzman)
Vincent Geminiani – Ophis Le Serpentaire (Jazzman)
Jacky Chalard & Dynastie Crisis – Les Scandales (Fat City)
Bomb The Bass – One To One Religion (Skankapella) (Stoned Heights)
Scarper – Lacuna (Jani R Remix) (Plexus)
Drog – Curtains (Bandcamp) https://afxtribute.bandcamp.com/releases
The Shamen – Possible Worlds (Reverse) (One Little Indian)
Nico Motte – Morning Mist (Antinote)
As One – Where Did He Go… And Why? (De:tuned)
Steve Hauschildt – Same River Twice (Kranky)
Queen – In The Space Capsule / Ming’s Theme (EMI)
As One – Where Did He Go… And Why? (Heinrich Mueller Lamb Shift Model) (De:tuned)
Nico Motte – Necroville (Antinote)
The Emperor Machine – Introduction To Outer Space (part 1) (DC Recordings)
E.A.R. – Interlude (Earworm)
V.I.V.E.K. – Mantra (System Music)
E.A.R. – Transistor Music (Earworm)
Boards of Canada – Satellite Anthem Icarus (Warp)

Found In Sounds #12: Malcolm McLaren special

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Malcolm McLaren would have been 70 years old today, here’s a collection of articles surrounding his seminal ‘Duck Rock’ album release in the early 80s from Sounds. Click to enlargeMcLaren Sounds 4.12.82 2web
I’ve added a small news piece about the Double Dutch girls to the interview above to fill space. Big interviews were frequently cut up and placed at different points of the paper and I’ve cobbled this one back to a double page spread.

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Above: The Garry Bushell-penned review of ‘Duck Rock’ which is rather damning – see the three ads below that were run in the paper the next week, all deftly extracting a rather different angle using quotes from the piece. There’s a definite whiff of Paul Morley on the tagline at the bottom and this would have been around the time when he and Trevor Horn, the album’s producer, would have been setting up their ZTT label.

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It quickly became common knowledge that McLaren had ripped off several compositions and taken writing credits on the album (something he had already done with Bow Wow Wow and would do again with ‘Fans’). Not even two months after the album’s release the writs were already flying.
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Back in 1981, Fred Vermorel – never one to mince his words and badly burned by his experience with Malcolm over the extremely dodgy ‘Chicken’ magazine – laid into him over two pages. It’s hard to justify what McLaren was intending with this publication (and I wouldn’t try) and thankfully we’ll never find out. There’s also a piece about the pirate fashions McLaren and partner Vivienne Westwood created that they launched Bow Wow Wow with.
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Flexibition #52: Christmas Cuts, Dreams & Smurps

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This being the night before Christmas it makes sense to have a festive-themed Flexibition entry this week. It should be the last one being week 52 but there will be one final post next week with something I’ve been saving until the end. First up here and now though is last year’s 8″ Xmas audio postcard from People Like Us, ‘Dreaming’. Each were individually lathe-cut on laminated cardboard in a tiny edition by the good people at Hasenbart in Germany with artwork by Vicki Bennett (full colour printing on both sides, stamped on the back, audio on the front side). Only produced until Dec 24th and then deleted forever. The previously unreleased Dreaming was a new edit of a plunderphonic collage of several versions of a well known Christmas tune (originally dubbed over selected horror film samples) and was part of a People Like Us live performance entitled The Magical Misery Tour.


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The next flexi is one of the weirdest in my collection with an even odder back story. In 1978 Jonathan King made a record commenting on a story that the paint that Smurf toys were being made with contained high levels of lead which led to their withdrawal from sale for a while. Naming himself ‘Father Abraphart’ and misspelling the Smurfs as Smurps so as to avoid a legal situation the innocently sung ditty was a little more subversive than it first appeared, encouraging kids to ‘Lick a Smurp For Christmas’ after it was reported that the lead levels in the paint had been causing children to be taken ill when putting them in their mouths.

Originally given away at petrol stations (where you could also get free Smurf toys as special offers) it has the GAS 1 catalogue no. but was later pressed as a regular vinyl 45 on Magnet Records and made number 58 in the UK charts. Only someone as odious as King could make a song wishing for kids to ‘all fall down’. The song isn’t currently on YouTube but you’re not missing much to be honest.
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‘Xmas Cuts’ may just be the most 80s-looking piece of graphic design I’ve ever seen. This was a playable Christmas card from the Island Records stable of sub-labels: Stiff, ZTT, Ensign and 4th & Broadway sent out to DJs at the end of the year. It’s a three and a bit minute megamix of many of the label’s hits from 1984 using Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’ as the foundation and might just be the sloppiest example of the genre yet. Remember, back in ’84 the megamix was still a fairly new thing and few outside the US had perfected the art, certainly not inside the three minute mark with 29 tracks in the mix anyway. The mash up is credited only to ‘The Lexington Posse’ (Lexington Street in Soho maybe?) and I’m guessing it would have been done with a mixture of turntables and tape edits. My copy is pretty battered with jumps and scratches I’m afraid but it’s a curio worth hearing.


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As it’s Xmas I should just mention some of the most famous festive flexi’s out there, The Beatles‘ Fan Club Christmas records – none of which I have incidentally – but which are renown for their creativity and behind-the-scenes look into The Beatles mucking about in the studio. They were sent out to the UK and US fan club members at the end of each year between ’63-’69. You can chart the band’s career through the years from the stilted boy band at the beginning to the jolly japes of the Sgt. Pepper era, the sound collage and FX-scapes of the ’68 disc is a real highlight and was edited together by none other than Kenny Everett. There was some really nice cover art of some of them too which you can see in the YouTube clip.

By the end the cracks are beginning to show though as John alludes to ‘some of my beast friends’ not getting on too well with Yoko and there’s a Tiny Tim cameo that takes up a bit of the ’68 recording. The final disc is pretty depressing listening as you can hear the band falling apart, it’s mostly John & Yoko controlling the show with interjections from the other Beatles intercut, seemingly from elsewhere, the Python-esque camaraderie of the mid-sixties totally gone. Some kind soul has compiled them all on YouTube which will save you a lot of time and money as, to the best of my knowledge, these haven’t been officially reissued aside from one song on the Anthology years ago.

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And finally to a mysterious – and sometimes very expensive – Xmas flexi disc that some believed involved The Sex Pistols at one point. That myth has largely been debunked in recent years as the mega-rare ‘LENTIMAS’ one-sided flexi with Christmas card is a freebie that was given out to journalists with the message, ‘A Seasonal offering to you from Virgin Records‘ in 1975. There’s nothing to suggest the Pistols are anywhere near it with a hippy message about lentils making you go at Xmas interspersed with carols and snippets of Ras Michael’s ‘Run Come Rally’. It sounds more like a Kenny Everett or Python sketch and, ironically, Graham Chapman pops up at the end. There’s also the cynical sound of cash registers ringing over Phil Spector‘s Xmas massage which is the only slightly punk aspect about it.

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Zang Tuum Tumb ‘The Value of Entertainment’ reissue

Value_Blitz_advertMay85In May 1985 Zang Tuum Tumb occupied the Ambassadors Theatre in London’s West End for two weeks with a showcase of their current roster (minus Frankie and some of Art of Noise) entitled ‘The Value of Entertainment’. In October they released their first label roster compilation which largely mirrored the show’s line up but, thankfully, reinstated Frankie into the mix, cleverly word-playing on the bit of studio kit they’d become associated with due to Trevor Horn‘s production techniques.

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‘Sampled’ was an odd duck but then the label was never going to do the obvious best of so far was it? “So what happens now?” intones a voice early on in Art of Noise’s ‘Closing’, which strategically opened rather than closed the album, posing the question, setting the scene, having the last laugh first. None of the hits from the past two years were included, not in their original form anyway, the closest you got was Propaganda‘s ‘P-Machinery’, a track not even 6 months old, and snippets and snatches from the Art of Noise’s debut LP, ‘Who’s Afraid…’ Instead of celebrating the previous 24 months with ‘Relax’, ‘Two Tribes’, ‘Dr Mabuse’, ‘Close (To The Edit)’, ‘Moments In Love’, ‘Duel’ or ‘The Power of Love’ we got cover versions by Frankie and Propaganda, interludes by Art of Noise and a host of new artists who were making their debuts on the label with this release. And quite right too.

The one exception was ‘Disneyland’, the previously mooted double A side of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ single which, if included, may have got them that fourth No.1 after all. It was held over to help sell this compilation (“a bait, comrades” as Paul Morley‘s sleeve notes confirmed) and is still one of the highlights of the set. ‘Don’t be bland in Disneyland, it’s very good in Hollywood’ being the standout line in a short burst of energy that would have bolstered the sagging third side of their debut LP no end.

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ZTT did the unexpected, which is what we expected and wanted them to do and why we love them so much for it. They also knew what we didn’t, that there were tensions in the camps of their main three artists and that the wheels were coming off the wagon. Indeed three members of Art of Noise had already flown the coop and were about to release their debut single for China records, having pulled out of the Ambassadors Theatre shows at the 11th hour. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The compilation acted as a crossover from the first round of signings to the second, introducing Andrew Poppy, Anne Pigalle and Instinct to Zang and cleverly bought the label some more time in the spotlight whilst everyone else was trying to catch up (again). Instinct were the most conventional of the new artists but one that I felt never matched up to the excitement or daring of Frankie or Propaganda, a good support band maybe but never a headline act. Until recently their contribution, ‘Swamp Out’, was their only release on the label outside of their short performance on the rare ‘The Value of Entertainment’ video or even rarer Japanese laser disc. Without wanting to sound unkind, that was probably for the best as it’s not a great calling card.

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Anne Pigalle, a visually stunning model and singer of the Edith Piaf persuasion who’d been seen in all the right places in London for some time, had the look and just about managed to pull off the voice for her two contributions, of which ‘Intermission’ was probably the best track from her debut LP for ZTT, released around the same time. Her inclusion certainly wrong-footed a few but fitted into the label’s European-leanings like a glove. Unfortunately the pop world was just taking a turn for the commercial in ’85, the post punk, new wave, Futurists and synth brigade were about to be steamrollered by the Stock, Aitken & Waterman juggernaut and the fist pumping stadium rock of U2, Simple Minds and Springsteen. There would be little place for Anne in such a world, despite the fact that she was on one of the most forward thinking labels of the time, but the times they were a-changing.

Andrew Poppy, the third newcomer to the roster was a genuine head-turner, a British avant grade composer with previous form as a member of The Lost Jockey, forward thinking and influenced by industrial music as much by his contemporaries. His pieces (or extracts from) were and are things of beauty that were both out of place with the company on the LP but fitted perfectly into the ZTT ethos. He also had an ace up his sleeve; he didn’t need Trevor Horn to produce him, something that every other act up until then had a connection with and one that was rapidly becoming an albatross around both his and the label’s neck. Not a man exactly known for his fast work rate, it was unrealistic to expect Horn to produce every band on the label and Poppy was the first to completely break the mould.

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This new version of ‘Sampled’ has never sounded so good with an excellent transfer from a new master source instantly noticeable. The album was originally released on a single piece of vinyl and cassette, never on CD and it’s great to hear such a clean, crisp version. It’s been bumped up to 75 minutes with two more ‘sides’, the first of different mixes of earlier tracks subtitled ‘Director’s Cuts’. Art of Noise’s ‘Closing’ gets a 21 second extension but it’s so full of jump cuts the difference is hard to tell. There’s a new mix of Instinct’s ‘Swamp Out’ that was found in the vaults although I didn’t notice until I read the sleeve notes. A new version that did stand out was Frankie’s take on ‘Born To Run’ which sounds like an early attempt to get a live sound of the studio recording. Unfortunately it’s an inferior mix to the original release, drenched in reverb with Mark O’Toole‘s intricate bass lines half buried in the mix. The fourth ‘side’ has edits from ‘The Value of Entertainment’ shows themselves and provides the only genuinely exciting new unreleased recording in a live version of Andrew Poppy’s ‘The Amusement’.

Hearing how close the players come to nailing the recorded version’s sound and arrangement is something to behold and this is only a six minute extract from the original 45 minute performance. 30 years later it sounds extraordinary that such a piece was presented at what was, at the time, a pop label showcase, let’s hope the full performance surfaces one day too. The other extras are sadly unremarkable in that they sound like literal room recordings of playbacks of the Art of Noise ‘performance’ complete with faulty mic introduction for the last track. I consider myself a hardcore ZTT fan but this is scraping the barrel by most people’s standards – for diehards only.

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In a calculated move to avoid the obvious and tame the critics who were, predictably, beginning a backlash after Frankie’s winning streak the previous year, ‘The Value of Entertainment’ live show struck out boldly and promised something new. The paired down Art of Noise performance, little more than a playback with dancers, despite Morley’s self-deprecating asides, ended up falling short of expectations. Original compere John Sessions quit after one show to be replaced by a new MC, now disgraced comedian Chris Langham* who failed to ignite the crowds at the time and you can see some awkward exchanges backstage in the second half of the DVD that comes with this reissue package.
*Sources differ on this, see Ambient Sheep’s recollections in the comments below.

Of the performances in Time Capsule One – a version of the original VHS release in all it’s grainy 80’s glory – only Propaganda ignite any interest, looking and sounding like a pop band in charge of their material. Pigalle is a rabbit in the headlights and Instinct are breathtakingly ordinary, any art house pretence hinted at in the recordings dashed by a spectre of a tight Brit funk band with average material. Mercifully, Morley vox pops are scattered throughout their performance and a visibly nervous Paul wonders whether he’ll be lynched or booed off once he takes the stage. The second half of the DVD – Time Capsule Two – has further excerpts of songs and backstage banter excised from the original film, taken from the Japanese laser disc from 1986, ending with an excellent photo gallery from the original nights set to part of Andrew Poppy’s score.

Poppy is sadly absent from the whole film, his only appearance in the photo gallery and as backing music for the menu, a real shame, and a missing ingredient that would have added to the *ahem* value of the package. Knowing how thoroughly Ian Peel goes about compiling these reissues I suspect the footage either no longer exists (if it ever did) or wasn’t high quality enough to include. Philip Marshall‘s minimalist design pays homage to the original release with a new take on the Kenneth Martin cover image and the inclusion of unseen photos from the shows by Andrew Catlin. As it stands, in terms of value and entertainment this set definitely fulfills the former admirably, taking care above and beyond the usual call for an oddity such as this but falls a little short on the latter. As a ‘Time Capsule’ it’s perfect, a delight to see mid-80s Soho on film in all its scaffolded, dingy hustle & bustle in contrast with ZTT’s avant pop, its pristine, slick exterior radiating ideas and bucking trends they couldn’t hope to replicate in the everyday gig or performance setting.

At one point in a backstage tour of the theatre Morley chances upon Instinct sound checking and apologies that, “it’s come to this”, a sentiment echoed by his on stage dialogue concerning the Art of Noise’s non-appearance. ‘A Radiant Obstacle in the Path of the Obvious’ was an early ZTT mission statement and you get a sense that he knows that that mission is starting to fail. The label’s acts worked best in the controlled isolation of the recording studio or video edit where the fantasy could be molded, re-mixed and perfected. Once the live element was introduced the illusions created were torn away and, no matter which context you set them in, the theatre or the concert hall, the fallible human side shattered the utopian vision.

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‘Sampled’ saw the beginning of a new phase for the label but it was the end of their first two glorious years where they were at their most experimental and daring. ‘The Value of Entertainment’ was largely savaged in reviews although many conceded that it WAS something different at least. Instinct failed to release another record, Pigalle tanked and Propaganda split into a different version of the group soon after, signing to Virgin with only Claudia staying at the label. Frankie, as we know, returned a year later with the lacklustre ‘Liverpool’ before imploding themselves. Only Andrew Poppy really made a mark from the compilation, going on to release two albums and singles of exciting, forward-thinking material before he too was cast adrift, the third promised LP emerging years later as part of a box set. The label would have one last shining moment in Grace Jones‘Slave To The Rhythm’  before the changing pop landscape rendered their first incarnation yesterday’s news and they began their second phase, cannily reborn and re-aligned to the emerging dance music scene at the end of the decade.

‘The Value of Entertainment’ is out now from ZTT/Union Square Music – CD+DVD+16 page booklet in card digipak that lines up with all the previous reissues beautifully. The Art of Noise ‘at the end of the century’ 2xCD+DVD is also out, review coming soon…

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Food Favourites of 2014

This isn’t a ‘best of 2014’ list – just the things that I liked more than most, they’re not definitive or in an order other than the one I thought of them in.

• New Music:
The Soundcarriers – Entropicalia LP (Ghost Box)
Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun LP (Chimera)
Jane Weaver – The Silver Globe LP (Bird)
Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles – The Last Transmission LP (Now Again)
Jeremy Schmidt / Sinoia Caves – Beyond The Black Rainbow LP (Death Waltz)
Jokers of the Scene – End Scene LP (Throne of Canada)
Nico Motte – Rheologia EP (Antinote)
An-I – Kino-i 12” (Cititrax)
The Advisory Circle – From Out Here LP (Ghost Box)
Temples – Sun Structures / Sun Restructured LP (Heavenly)
Andy Votel / Doug Shipton – Polivox Orthodox mixtape (Finders Keepers)
Daniel Haaksman – Duck Rock – A Sonic Essay (mixtape)
tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain 7″ (4AD)
Pye Corner Audio – The Black Mist EP (Front &Follow)
Mac McRaw feat. Audessey & Oxygen – B-Boy Bionics / Dust 12″ (Cold Rock Stuff)
Ukkonen – Change Time EP (Uncharted Audio)
Syd Arthur vs The Amorphous Androgynous LP (Monstrous Bubble Records)

2014 Music

• Reissues:
John Carpenter / Alan Howarth – Halloween III (updated version) LP (Death Waltz)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Inside the Pleasuredome box set (ZTT/USM) (biased obviously)
The The – Soul Mining box set (Sony)
Z – Visions of Dune LP (Infiné)

2014 reissues

• Sleeves / Packaging:
Astralasia – Wind On Water LP (Fruits De Mer)
Jack White – Lazaretto LP (Third Man)
(Not so much for the cover but for the whole package and vinyl cutting extravaganza)
Joe Mansfield – Beat Box: A Drum Machine Obsession (Gingko Press)
Andrew Lilies – The Equestrian Vortex 10″ (Death Waltz)
Temples – Sun Restructured LP (Lenticular sleeve) (Heavenly)
Various – Wild Style Breakbeats (7″s + book) (Kay-Dee)
Sage Francis, B. Dolan, Buddy Peace – Epic Beard Men 7″ (Blunt Force Trauma)
Rave Wars 3 – The Return of the Old School (7″ + Star Wars figure) (Balkan Vinyl)
Clone – Son of Octabred (Finders Keepers)
Sculpture – Plastic Infinite
The Soundcarriers – Entropicalia LP (Ghost Box)

2014 sleeve art

• Books / Comics:
Prophet – Simon Roy & Brandon Graham / various artists (Image)
B.P.R.D. – Various (Dark Horse)
Punks – The Comic – Joshua Hale Fialkov & Kody Chamberlain (Image)
God Hates Astronauts – Ryan Browne (Image)
Black Science – Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, Dean White (Image)
Hip Hop Family Tree 1&2 – Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
Sandman: Overture – Neil Gaiman & J. H. Williams III (Vertigo)
Discovering Scarfolk – Richard Littler (Ebury Press)
Dust & Grooves – Eilon Paz (self-published)
The Art of Smallfilms – Oliver Postgate, Peter Firmin, Jonny Trunk (Four Corners Books)
Urban Archaeology – 21 Years of Mo Wax – James Lavelle (Rizzoli International)
2000 TC – John Higgs (self-published)
2000ad / Judge Dredd The Megazine – Various (Rebellion)
Moosekid Comics – Various (self-published)
For Whom The Cowbell Tolls – Dan LeRoy (6623) (biased again)

2014_Books_comics

• Films: (I didn’t watch too much this year sadly)
Blade Runner (finally saw it at the cinema)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Jodorowsky’s Dune documentary with Jodorowsky Q&A
The Cobbler & The Thief with Richard Williams Q&A
Future Shock: The Story of 2000AD documentary with Pat Mills, Kev O’Neill & crew Q&A
The Lego Movie
Ghost Box Night at the ICA
Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys
Jet Propelled CinemaHow Psychedelia Infected Hollywood Sci-Fi at the BFI

2014 films

• Moments:
Touring the 3-Way Mix with Cheeba & Moneyshot
Cosmic Trigger – The Play
Meeting Brian Eno
Kid Koala‘s ‘Nufonia Must Fall’ show at the Roundhouse
Interviewing Matt Johnson at Rough Trade East
Future Shock gig at the Watershed, Bristol with Cheeba & Tom Lumen
Designing for Frankie Goes To Hollywood / ZTT
Space In This Place gig at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London
Welcome To The Pleasuredome playback at Sarm West Studios
Digital Revolution exhibition at the Barbican with the family
Visiting underground caves in Switzerland
4 deck AV show at Madrid Espacio with DK
One of my sons getting a drawing printed in the Phoenix comic
Ryoji Ikeda‘s ‘Spectra’ installation in the Queen Victoria Park
Adam Ant playing Dirk Wears White Sox at the Hammersmith Odeon
Crazy DJ weekend in Eketerinberg and Samara in Russia
Mike McMahon finally finishing my Dredd commission after 2 years.

2014 moments

• Heros:
Ben Coghill (agent)
DJs Cheeba & Moneyshot
Philip Marshall (designer), Ian Peel (writer) & Steve Bunyan (USM organiser)
Eilon Paz (photographer)
Carlos Ezquerra (artist)
Rob Williams (writer)
Jamie Smart (childen’s comic creator)

• RIP:
Rik Mayall
HR Giger
Robin Williams
Tony Benn
Idris Muhammad
Bob Hoskins
Hope & Greenwood (East Dulwich branch of the sweet shop)

MUSEUM, ALIEN, EROEFFNUNG, AUSSTELLUNG, SCHLOSS

• Looking forward to:
Renegades of Rhythm tour (DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist)
Mad Max : Fury Road
21st Century Tank Girl book
The Writing On The WallRoger Perry book
John Carpenter – Lost Themes LP
Create A Mess
Trevor JacksonFormat LP
The TheHyena soundtrack
Black Channels
Prophet: Earth War
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘Inside The Pleasuredome’

  • RELEASED: 29 Oct 2014
  • FORMAT: Deluxe box set / LP / 3×10″ / DVD / Cassette / Book
  • LABEL: ZTT / Union Square Music
  • CAT No.: SALVOFLBX001
  • DESIGN: Openmind / Philip Marshall
  • WRITING: Paul Morley / Ian Peel
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: John Stoddart / Peter Ashworth / AJ Barratt / Anton Corbijn
  • ILLUSTRATION: Lo Cole / Anne Yvonne Gilbert
  • SPOTTERS DELIGHT: Funded by fans via Pledge Music, 2000 sets were produced with over half of those going to pledgers before the remainder were offered via conventional channels.
  • EXTRA ZEN: BUY

The opportunity seemed too good to be true – getting to co-design a deluxe box set of a pivotal album from my youth and a chance to use unseen interviews and visual material I’d been collecting for the best part of a decade. The request arrived early in January of 2014 from Union Square who would be producing the set with material licensed from ZTT and releasing it via Pledge Music, a kind of Kickstarter for new releases.

A workload of Ian Peel’s musical and written curation would be supplemented by design and graphic input from myself and Philip Marshall in the form of a box that would house a remastered replica of the original LP, three 10″ discs, a DVD, a cassette, three prints, a book and more. Without any confirmed track list I sat down to sketch out some ideas for this based on existing designs from the 1984 time period and started creating themes based on wordplay and recurring visual motifs. This was all pure play and speculation on my part and I had a ball with it, pretending I was both the XL design team of old and Paul Morley writing his cryptic sleeve notes.

‘Inside’ became the optimum word here as Ian had been crafting an angle for the set to reveal the expanse that it would cover. An early thought was that it would be called the “Pleasurebox’ but this was quickly discarded when Ian came up with ‘Inside The Pleasuredome’. From here on we had a concept to hang a lot of our ideas on, the die cut holes in the sleeves revealed the contents inside, the book: the inner thoughts of those who created the imagery.

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