The Beatles’ Revolver art & Klaus Voormann

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A random web search threw up the image above, citing that it was a rejected cover for The BeatlesRevolver album. More searching revealed that it wasn’t by Klaus Voormann, whose classic black & white collage and line cover everyone knows, but by photographer Robert Freeman. The Beatles passed over it for Klaus’ work and googling that cover image brings up masses of variations of the final piece, as many by Klaus as by fans who have reworked it for their own ends. Voornman not only did many different versions before he arrived at the final but has revisited it many times over the years as well as creating several works centered around Beatles songs in the same style for various projects.

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The image below visualises ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, I’ve found some details so that you can see what’s going on a little more easily. There’s also a book, ‘Revolver 50’ that tells the story of how he made the cover.

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Pierre Henry’s Liverpool Mass completed after 50 years


Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral is to host ‘The Liverpool Mass’ (Messe de Liverpool) by Pierre Henry on May 13th.

Developed by one of the godfather’s of musique concréte for the Cathedral’s inaugural mass in 1967, it wasn’t completed it in time and another work was substituted. Now, 50 years on, in a unique collaboration between Henry and Bluecoat, the piece will be staged in full at the Cathedral, in an immersive experience. With a sound design created especially for the space using 40 speakers arranged around its circumference, The Liverpool Mass will be presented as a live mix by Henry’s collaborator Thierry Balasse.

Consisting of six movements – Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei and Communion – the work interprets the traditional mass through recitation of its texts, accompanied by musical instruments ‘treated’ by Henry to produce a composition fitting for the ceremonial and celebratory occasion of the Cathedral’s inauguration.

This will be the first time The Liverpool Mass has been presented with Henry’s cooperation and a new sound design in the setting for which it was originally intended: a mid-20th century modernist structure with distinctive ‘brutalist’ architecture of concrete and stained glass. Henry’s electronic score was intended to complement this daring new building, as the sound would resonate in the magnificent, cavernous, light-filled circular interior. Watch this fascinating short film about how the stained glass was made for the top tower.

The evening programme will begin at 7.30pm with a set by Vincent Epplay and Samon Takahashi, made in response to Henry’s music in the Cathederal setting. Tickets cost £10 or groups of ten or more get a discount of £7 per head – on sale here.

Announcing Further at the Portico Gallery

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Announcing a new venture put together by myself and old friend Pete Williams (Eikon / Out Of The Wood) – a collision of Light, Sound and Design… Further.

An irregular event held in different places, it’s not a club night, it’s not monthly, there’s no dance floor. It has got all the things we love in it though: experimental music and film, food and drink, socialising and a bit of record hunting.
The first event is on May 6th at The Portico Gallery, a hidden treasure in the heart of West Norwood and a venue very dear to us that offers an extremely adaptable space to project, perform and present our guests in.

We have Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Julian House (The Focus Group) from Ghost Box Records playing an audio visual set and Howlround sound tracking Steven McInerney’s short film, ‘A Creak In Time’.
Pete and I will be pulling all manner of projections, films, slides and FX out to illuminate the gallery at the beginning and end of the evening to compliment our DJ sets.

There will be food on sale from local café Pintadera, a fully licensed bar and plenty of seating. Michael from the nearby Book & Record Bar will also have a stall selling hand-picked stock for the event.

Venue: The Portico Gallery, 23 Knights Hill, West Norwood, London, SE27 0HS
Doors: 7.30 and we’re all done by midnight. Let’s go Further…

V. limited early bird tickets are on sale now through Eventbrite

Facebook event page here

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Dust & Grooves Weekly Grooves giveaway

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The #WeeklyGroove Series & #Giveaway Week 5: Strictly Kev (DJ Food)

This week Dust & Grooves have made me the subject of their Weekly Groove giveaway series

By end of week, they will give a fine-art print from their photo archives, signed by @eilonpaz and a signed, quadruple 12” version of my album ‘The Search Engine’.

To participate in the giveaway, tag a friend on the #WeeklyGroove posts on @dustandgrooves Instagram account ONLY.
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Eduardo Paolozzi at The Whitechapel Gallery

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Continuing the Paolozzi love on this blog, I visited the new retrospective of his work at the Whitechapel Gallery in East London. Over 250 of his works are on display and it’s more than worth the price of admission. Prints, sculptures, paintings, textiles, photos, films and collages stretch over two floors and the breadth of his work is amazing. What’s also apparent in most of it is that it’s barely dated and is quite timeless, his early Pop Art collages being the only exceptions which can be forgiven as he was one of the originators. The technical level achieved in the screenprints is beyond anything I’ve seen as well, I would love to see the original screens for these or the prints that went wrong. Two mediums I hadn’t seen his work in before really stood out: the textiles and a couple of works in wood, the latter, made with different kinds and varnishes, were gorgeous. Highly recommended.

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Soundsci at Cavendish Music part 2

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This is the second part of a special exclusive on the new Soundsci album, ‘My Boosey Weighs A Ton’, the music of which is made completely (and legally) from samples provided by the Cavendish music library (formerly Boosey & Hawkes). Below are photos and recollections by Darrell Krum who also designed the album artwork, he focuses on the details during their visit to the archive to search for material to sample. You can see more photos in part one here and order the album here, freshly released today – only 500 copies and half of them are already spoken for apparently.

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“Our visit to the Boosey & Hawkes archives; quite literally, for a nerdy, nostalgia obsessed, record collecting geek like myself, the type of experience dreams are made of! And I’m not even joking – I actually do have dreams about discovering places like this! From the minute Jonny told me we’d been granted access to the B&H vaults my mind began racing, excitedly picturing this mythical little world I’d had a brief glimpse into through the Whosampled “2014 Samplethon” promo video. I was really quite envious watching that footage of Jonny and the other guys digging through boxes and boxes of Library music in some dingy old basement so couldn’t wait to get in there and start rooting around for myself!

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My recollections of the day itself are much like Jonny’s – I’d describe it as some what of a sensory overload! Within a matter of 30 seconds or so, we’d transitioned from a hive of noise and activity up on the manic Holborn high street, through a very bright, plush reception area, down to this dark, damp, underground vault hidden away amongst a labyrinth of corridors. What we stepped into was exactly what I had imagined and hoped for – a mass of seemingly organised chaos! That lovely musty smell was rife throughout, with walls saturated in mould; ideal conditions for treasure hunting – diggers know! The tranquility of the place as well, such a huge contrast to hustle and bustle of the busy streets just a few meters above our heads. If given the choice, I know where I’d rather be!

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I must admit, from a record collectors point of view, it was some what of a bitter-sweet experience; on the one hand an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to explore these historic archives, but on the other, slightly frustrating knowing we couldn’t take anything away with us! Kinda like putting a kid in a sweet shop and telling him he can look and marvel at all the delicious treats on offer but unfortunately can’t eat any! From that perspective I always knew it was going to be a tease, but essentially we were there to do a job, and the objective of that job was to document the Boosey / Cavendish archives with the aim of utilising some of the photos for Soundsci’s album cover. So while it was hard to resist the temptation of spending the whole day listening through the huge catalogue of vinyl at our fingertips, we were very aware that our time was limited and an opportunity like this couldn’t be wasted. I think we were down there for five or six hours but could easily have spent a couple of days sifting through everything, and still not scratched the surface!

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Simon’s focus was predominately on the wide angle shots, trying to capture the vastness of our surroundings, while my attention was drawn to some of the finer details contained within. Besides the thousands of records, there were endless amounts of original reel-to-reel masters (who knows, maybe some great unreleased material amongst it all?), account ledgers, publishing contracts and payment receipts (I loved reading through these, seeing the names of many legendary Library musicians and composers written on general admin documents – was a real buzz!), copyright manuscripts, etc, etc, just tons of really interesting artefacts… some of it dating back hundreds of years. And the patina… Wow! That was attracting my eye as much as anything else! Using the word “patina” is a very nice, fanciful way of putting it – basically we’re talking about some serious, heavy duty rot and decay! Many of the reel-to-reel boxes were damp and riddled with mould, some falling apart at the seems. Obviously not great for the tapes stored inside but the subject of absolute beauty to me! So, while Simon was working his way round the rooms with a camera and tripod snapping scenes of a broader nature, I was feverishly rifling through the shelves and boxes scouting out material to use for more detailed close-ups. Included here are a selection of photos I took on my iPhone, some of which were used for reference when directing shots of a higher quality on Simon’s Canon.

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It was a real privilege experiencing what was probably the closest I’ll ever get to a working space within the 1970s music industry. Like being in a time capsule, and surely one of the last of it’s kind. Such a shame that pretty much everything contained within those walls is now packed away in cold storage, unlikely to ever be seen, or appreciated in the same way, again.

I’d just like to say thanks to Arun Sethi at Cavendish, and of course Jonny and the Soundsci crew for the such a great opportunity!” – Darrell Krum

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Thanks to Darrell for sharing these photos and thought and you can get your hands on the results now! The LP is released today and I’m pleased to announce a launch party in conjunction with Digger’s Dozen on March 9th at the Joyeux Bordel bar in Curtain Rd, Shoredtch on March 9th. Ollie and Jonny will be playing as well as Chris Read (Who Sampled), Jonny Trunk and myself. Each DJ gets twelve records only and the theme will be library of course.

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Soundsci at Cavendish Music part 1

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This is the first part of a special visual exclusive on the new Soundsci album, ‘My Boosey Weighs A Ton’, the music of which is made completely (and legally) from samples provided by the Cavendish music library (formerly Boosey & Hawkes). Below are photos by Simon Ashton and recollections from group member Jonny Cuba on their visit to the archive to search for material. These are the last days of the archive as you see it here, shortly after this it was packed up and put into storage so thanks to Simon and Jonny for these pictures and thoughts. Part 2 on Monday will feature more shots by sleeve designer Darrell Krum.

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My pace quickened as we strode towards our destination, High Holborn in the heart of old London. As we crossed the road, I wondered what treasures were stashed just out of sight of the bustling High Road. I ushered my fellow adventurers Darrell and Simon into a grand building. The dull glow of architectural light was in high contrast to the brightly lit area immediately around a smart reception desk. We were surrounded by an aura of quality and affluence. However, before we even reached the desk we took a sharp turn through a set of almost invisible double doors.

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We traveled along corridors and down numerous staircases. The decor took us back time the further we ventured and at last we reached our destination. The vault. There was a heavy door made of thick steel and as we stepped inside Darrell immediately remarked upon the strong odour, a mixture of musty paper and damp. As we ventured deeper into the labyrinthine cave the smell enveloped us and the damp was clearly manifest on the walls and on some of the treasures contained within.

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Amongst the prizes I saw was a huge leather bound master score, handwritten, of Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’. Ledgers and books of ancient share certificates spilt out of numbered boxes. However, all these things were secondary to the real treasures. Shelves and shelves of reel to reel tapes, vinyl LP’s and shellac 78’s. Digger’s Manna.

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The archive has now been packed away and moved to an industrial space outside of town. London changes, but the nooks and crannies where culture and mystery collide are remembered by us in our music and art. – Jonny Cuba

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Listen to Jonny, joined by Ollie Teeba – the other half of the production duo in Soundsci – on Jonny Trunk‘s OST show a few weeks back where they layout how they went about making the album, play cuts and joust with Señor Trunk over who has the rarest library and soundtrack cuts. You can pre-order the album here before it drops on Monday – only 500 copies and half of them are already spoken for apparently.

Delta at the Mima Museum, Brussels

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Over the weekend I was in Brussels to play a couple of gigs and was lucky enough to have enough spare time before my train home to visit the Mima museum in Molenbeek district about 20 minutes walk from the Central station where I was greeted by the figure above. Created by Boris Tellegen aka Delta or Mess (in his graffiti days) the construction advertised the ‘friendly takeover’ of the museum he had undertaken over three of its floors.

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Once inside the viewer is greeted with a very different experience to the usual galleries with work around the edges. Boris’ work is all about 3 dimensional space and he has a legitimate claim to popularising the 3D graffiti lettering style in Europe later taken up by artists like Daim, Toast and Loomit. His work also uses collage, layers and exposed sections and the contents of the exhibition are displayed thus.

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His many record sleeves are on display including a few we collaborated on in the late 90s for DJ Vadim and Ninja Tune. I’m also featured in some of the films dotted around the galleries talking about how we met and worked together. For me this was the most interesting room, when he work was a hybrid of letter forms and architecture, always suggesting three dimensional forms, blueprints and later, broken, ripped or smashed structures that give a looseness and random feel to his work.

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You’re forced to peer inside, through or at cross-sections of several pieces which have themselves become part of a larger artwork in what almost seems like an anti-exhibition, hiding more than half of some works in the pursuit of a new way to experience them. See some examples from a 2011 exhibition here.

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His letter figures (extract the name DELTA from some of their forms) remind me of Giacometti, Paolozzi and vintage robots. In fact, on the first floor he adds in some of his inspirations, including a huge collection of toy robots and a page of original art from a Judge Dredd story. When I visited his studio in ’97 one of the first things I saw on the shelf was a Japanese Gundam toy and a Todd McFarlane Spawn robot figure and it all made sense.

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Some smaller figures are hidden inside larger ones including a train set nestled inside the body of a huge reclining figure on the third floor, visible through a glass window. The exhibition is on until the end of May and is a fascinating retrospective of sorts of an artist who keeps on pushing and evolving. Also look out for the incredible ’86-97′ book which faithfully replicates his two graffiti black books created between these years.

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Swifty Book launch at the Exposure Gallery

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Ian ‘Swifty’ Swift and Gamma Proforma launched the book they’d been working on for 2 years last night at the Exposure Gallery on Little Portland Street, London (opposite the Heavenly Social). Packed to the rafters with faces I recognised from over the years (Ross Allen, Neville Brody, Chris Allen…) it was a resounding success even though I couldn’t stay long. The book in question is huge and everything you’d want in an overview of the man’s career – go get it here now before it sells out.

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Boris Tellegen / Delta exhibition at MIMA in Brussels

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A retrospective exhibition of the extraordinary artist Boris Tellegen aka Delta opens in Brussels this week for nearly 4 months at the MIMA museum. Promising ‘A Friendly Takeover’ there should be a broad spectrum of his work from sculpture, painting and constructions. I contributed images and filmed memories of our time collaborating on DJ Vadim’s ‘Life From The Other Side’ album for Ninja Tune. I’ll be visiting Brussels next month so hope to post a full report, certainly one of my favourite artists working today.

What is The Delaware Road?

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The Delaware Road currently exists in several forms; an actual road in London where the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop was originally situated, a compilation released in 2015 by the Buried Treasure label and a multi-faceted performance piece based around a story created by the label’s founder, Alan Gubby and David Yates aka Dolly Dolly. The Radiophonic connection is no coincidence, being that the piece that ties the music contained on the album and play together is loosely based on two key figures working at the BBC Workshop at the height of its powers. Gubby describes it as, “…a work of fiction based on actual events & some unusual anecdotes gathered whilst researching for archived electronic tape music albums released in recent years”.

The story is situated in London, the possibilities of technology and tape are being stretched by inquiring minds and the swinging sixties are upon us. “Two pioneering musicians compose electronic themes for television & radio. They discover a recording that leads to a startling revelation about their employer. Fascinated by the occult nature of the tape they conduct a studio ritual that will alter their lives forever.” Add in dashes of psychedelics, orgies, spirits summoned via stone tape theories and the relentless march of progress and you have the ingredients for a wild ride through the middle of 20th century London, from analogue to digital as the 80s approach and new ways replace old.

The live staged version of the concept album is narrated by the incredible Dolly Dolly, sitting stage right at his desk throughout the performance, suit and tie in place, illuminated by a single anglepoise lamp. His earnest delivery ties the acts together that sonically illustrate the different chapters in the piece, his speeches becoming more animated as the story progresses, enhanced by oil and video projections. The first performance was held at the South Street Arts Centre in Reading and featured a host of acts using tape manipulation, analogue synths, ancient percussion and home-made electronic devices, each in roughly chronological order as the years played out. There was even some jazz on the menu and the whole thing was book-ended by Jonny Trunk and Pete Wiggs playing suitably-themed tunes for the occasion, I covered the night for Shindig! magazine at the time and you can read my review here.

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The album suffered distribution problems upon initial release, as did other Buried Treasure output, but a new deal should mean greater availability and a re-release is planned, there’s even talk of some kind of illustrated version too with various artists being commissioned to bring scenes to life. I can’t recommend the record enough as it perfectly soundtracks the piece put together to showcase it and there’s nary a bad tune in its 20 tracks. Listen to it and buy via Bandcamp.

Which brings me to the reason I’m writing this now as a second performance will be taking place on July 28th, this time at the Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker site in Essex. Tickets are on sale now but places are limited, there’s even a chance to book a place on a double-decker bus that will take you to the venue from the nearby Brentwood station and discounts for groups of four people. I’m also delighted to reveal that I will be opening and closing the event in a DJ capacity too! I’ll be bringing visuals and delving into my collection for a suitable selection to mark the occasion.
Follow the event and the bands playing it on Facebook, this is going to be a very special evening.
The line up so far is: DOLLY DOLLY, HOWLROUND, TELEPLASMISTE (Mark O Pilkington & Michael J York), RADIONICS RADIO, IAN HELLIWELL, GLITCH, SAUNDERS & HILL, CONCRETISM, SIMON JAMES (The Simonsound), THE TWELVE HOUR FOUNDATION, LOOSE CAPACITOR, DJ FOOD.

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