Flexi discs and wobbly sounds

A quick round up of all things flexi disc-related that’s coming up over this month. The good news is that the Wobbly Sounds book by Jonny Trunk and published by Four Corners Books that I contributed to is back from the printers and looking great! It’s 160 pages and is only a tenner – pre-order here for an April 15th release date.

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As a result there’s a plethora of promotion coming up: The Eye on Design blog has just published this article on the book.

Audiogold flyer RSD19On April 13th (Record Store Day) I’ll be at Audio Gold in Crouch End, London with Shane Quentin from The Garden of Earthly Delights radio show, playing flexi disc sets with hidden discs in the racks and free beer as well – check the event page for more details.

April 16th sees the official book launch at Spiritland in Kings X, 6.30-8pm along with Jonny, Shane and Andrew Beedell Coram with an evening set by Jonny from real vinyl.

Later this month I should be joining Jonny on his OST show (4.30-6.30pm) on Resonance FM for a flexi special, playing selections from the book and more, hopefully with the usual competition hilarity.

I’m told print pieces in Record Collector and Shindig magazines are on the horizon too…

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Other non-flexi related things happening: I have a guest mix coming up on The Allergies podcast mid April

I’ll be playing on Out Of The Wood radio at the Book & Record Bar this Sunday 7th with Pete Williams during the first West Norwood FEAST of 2019.

Also at the B&RB on Record Store Day (April 13th, remember?) I’ll be playing records with Ceri Preston after a showing of The Library Music Film and a Q&A from Shawn Lee. Starts at 7.30pm and goes to 1am.

Unfortunately the Kraftwerk AV gig I was to do at the Sheffield O2 Academy on the 27th April has been rescheduled for Nov 8th now but will be locking more in for May/June.

Also, I’ll be supporting DJ Krush on June 20th at Oslo in Hackney – tickets just went on sale yesterday.

DJ Krush Oslo 2019 Instagram-2

Record Store Day 2019

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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

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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

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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

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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.

20 years of Ping Pong, Paris

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I’m doing a special gig in Paris on March 15th – DJing on a mega line up to celebrate 20 years of Ping Pong, the promotion agency headed by Fred/Jais Elalouf aka DJ Oof of Cinemix fame who has worked with Ninja Tune for two decades now. Oof is also the collector and curator of the Psychedelic Art Centre and there will be an exhibition of works featured for six weeks to launch the special issue of Perfect Bliss, the new Graph Zine and review which comes with stereoscopic glasses for 3D.

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RIP Ken Nordine

Ken Nordine autographI was very saddened to hear of Ken Nordine‘s passing today at the the age of nearly 100, my consolations go out to his family. I was first introduced to his amazing voice via a Rhino Records CD compilation of the best of his Word Jazz albums that Mixmaster Morris played me back in 1993 and I instantly became a fan. Finding his records and any info on him in the pre-internet / pre-eBay days was difficult but the excellent ‘Incredibly Strange Music vol. II‘ book held a fascinating interview with him about his career so far. Upon first traveling to the US in the mid 90s, his records were top of my wants list and I managed to find copies of most of his catalogue before hoovering up more in the early 00’s via eBay.

PC and I were privileged to record a version of his piece, ‘The Ageing Young Rebel’, with him back in 2000 for our album, ‘Kaleidoscope’ and it remains one of my favourite collaborations from that time. Over 20 years ago I interviewed him for Solid Steel at Coldcut‘s Ahead Of Our Time studios near London Bridge whilst he was in London playing the voice of God in a Laurie Anderson play – he was cast perfectly. During the interview he was funny, playful, humble and extremely on the ball, at one point striking up a dialogue with the squeaky chair he was sitting on. RIP Ken – you were unique, so glad we met. Listen to our interview below

Kraftwerk – Klassics, Kovers & Kurios premiere this Saturday

One of the reasons it’s been so quiet on here this year is because I’ve had my head in the video editing suite for this Saturday’s premiere of my new AV show; Kraftwerk: Klassics, Kovers & Kurios. I’ll be taking this up to Manchester for its initial outing, at The Deaf Institute, who have previously hosted my other AV sets (why should London have all the good stuff first?). Tickets are available here

The show (at the moment) is very dance-orientated with the obvious techno, electro styles accompanied by hip hop, samba, breaks, mash ups and maybe a bit of juke if I can make it fit. Above is a tiny excerpt from one track where I got a bit carried away. The show takes the band’s various eras, looks and line ups and combines them into a 60 track, 90 min+ collage of Teutonic Techno, European Electro & Kraut Crunk together with the visual history of the group. I’ve really dug around for old archive for this one, which is hard on the older material as there is so little and in bad quality but I’ve been collecting this stuff since the early ’00s so have a fair bit. Below are some screen grabs of an Italian performance of Pocket Calculator where the cameraman really wanted to know what they were playing.

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Bluedot festival

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Very happy to announce that I’ll be playing my Boards of Canada-centric Audio Visual show, ‘O Is For Orange’ at the Bluedot festival this year, on Sunday 21st of July. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, just hope I’m not on at the same time as Kraftwerk! See these links for more details
Website – https://www.discoverthebluedot.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bluedotfestival
Twitter – @bluedotfestival
Instagram – @bluedotfestival
Hashtag – #discoverthebluedot

Revamped Openmindesign site

With the new year comes the inevitable spring clean and I’ve taken the opportunity to revamp my Openmind design portfolio site. The content is by no means definitive, I’ve taken my favourite designs from the last 25 years and presented just those parts that I feel stand the test of time or represent where my current design tastes lie. Sometimes this might be a label, promo object or back cover but, rather than cram every single thing into a gallery (including some things I dislike) I’ve paired it down to personal favourites.

Many thanks to my Further partner-in-crime, Pete Williams, as one of his many talents is that he’s a super-efficient web designer who can quickly turn wishes into reality with no fuss whilst suggesting all sorts of web-specific things you’d either never thought of or didn’t know exist.

Contact him here if you’d like the benefit of his experience or take a look at his park-studio web portfolio.

Have a look around the new site and contact me if you like what you see and want something similar for your projects…

Openmindesign website

2018 – a vintage year for new music

It’s the end of the year and reading down the list of sounds that have moved me most in 2018 I’m struck by how much new music there is after years of digging a lot of reissues over current styles. This may well be because the well is finally running dry on a lot of the stuff I’m interested in but more likely that the old adage of great music being made in times of great strife is coming home to roost again. There is no order to the lists below, no No.1 or ‘best’ of anything although they are mostly chronological as I write stuff down as I hear or see it.

Special mentions though for the Castles In Space label that continues to go from strength to strength, the Confidence Man album which got a lot of play despite me missing them live twice. Trevor Jackson‘s beautiful design for his ‘System’ CD and cassette, so good I bought it three times, The Advisory Circle‘s ‘Ways Of Seeing’ LP and the Tomorrow Syndicate‘s excellent ‘Future Tense’ album, complete with Nick Taylor artwork.

Supporting both The The (on several UK dates) and the Art Of Noise was the stuff of teenage dreams and the former’s biography by Neil Fraser is a fascinating read. The Karminsky Experience Inc.’s ‘See Inside’ VR single was a genuinely eye-opening experience and having them and Markey Funk down at Further was a treat. Walking into the House of Illustration‘s John Vernon Lord exhibition to be unexpectedly confronted with the original drawing of his 1966 masterpiece, ‘Beneath The Tree’, was the art high of the year and the People’s Vote march in October restored my faith in humanity for an afternoon. Electronic Sound magazine continues to excel and their first LP release, Jack Dangers‘ remix of Terry Riley‘s ‘In C’, was another disc that saw a lot of play this year.

On Dec 23rd I played a lot of my favourite releases of 2018 on WNBC‘s Out Of The Wood show which you can hear below, complete with mic. fluffs and wrong track listings.

As we go into 2019 I’m dreading the first three months, leading up to the Br*x*t deadline, hoping against hope for a last minute chance to reconsider but bracing for a fallout post 29/03/19 that could see chaos come to the UK. I hope that I’m writing a more positive missive this time next year, if not then at least the music will only get better and better…

Music 2Music / chat:
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – See Inside 7″ (Patterns of Behaviour)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup LP (Flightless)
Beautify Junkyards – The Invisible Worlds of LP (Ghost Box)
Basil Kirchin – I Start Counting LP (Trunk)
Bigmouth podcast (Audioboom)
The Turbans – Baba Ganooz 7″ (Mona Tone/Delights)
Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Hormone Lemonade LP (Duophonic)
The Advisory Circle – Ways Of Seeing LP (Ghost Box)
Janelle Monae – Make Me Feel (single) (Wondaland)
Confidence Man – Confident Music For Confident People LP (Heavenly)
Concretism – For Concrete & Country LP (Castles In Space)
Trevor Jackson – System CD (Pre_)
Tomorrow Syndicate – Future Tense LP (Polytechnic Youth)
Chaka Khan – Like Sugar (single) (Dairy)
Jonny Trunk – OST show (Resonance FM)
Regal Worm – Pig Views / Use And Ornament (Uranium Club)
Meat Beat Manifesto vs Terry Riley – In C (Electronic Sound)
Patrick R. Park – Library Sounds LP (Castles In Space)
David Shire – The Conversation LP (Trunk)
Amgala Temple – Invisible Airships LP (Pekula)
Adam Buxton podcast
Type 303 – The New Ravelution EP (Insult To Injury)
Luke Vibert – 165 303 – from the Gradients vol.2 LP (Astrophonica)
Luke Vibert presents Garave vol.1 LP (Hypercolour)
Kosmischer Laufer – Vol.4 LP (UCR)

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Packaging / design:
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – See Inside VR glasses (Patterns of Behaviour)
Chop – CDL 10″ (Drumetrics)
Concretism – For Concrete & Country LP (2nd edition) (Castles In Space)
Trevor Jackson – System 1st & 2nd edition CD + Cassette (Pre_)
Sculpture – Nearest Neighbour Cassette & comic (Tapebox)
Tomorrow Syndicate – Future Tense Regular + Ltd Ed. LP (Polytechnic Youth)
Spider Jazz – splatter vinyl edition LP (Trunk)
Spun Out Of Control vinyl + cassettes
Aver – River of Ice Cream 7″ promo flexi disc
Listening Centre 5″ lathe cut picture disc (Polytechnic Youth)

Packaging design

Books/Comics:
VS – Ivan Brandon / Eric Ribic (Image)
A Year In The Country ‘Wandering Through Spectral Fields’ – Stephen Prince
The Adventures of Jodelle – Guy Peellhaert (Fantagraphics)
Batman – White Knight  – Sean Murphy (DC)
Orla Kiely – A Life In Pattern (Octopus Books)
Electronic Sound magazine
Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music – David Hollander (Anthology Editions)
House Industries – The Process Is The Inspiration (Watson-Guptill Publications)
Sculpture – Nearest Neighbour comic (Tapebox)
Proxima Centuri – Farel Dalrymple (Image)
Doomsday Clock – Geoff Johns / Gary Frank (DC)
Saga – Brian K. Vaughn / Fiona Staples (Image)
Long Shadows, High Hopes – Neil Fraser (Omnibus Press)
Judge Dredd – The Small House (Rob Williams & Henry Flint) (2000AD/Rebellion)
Lawless  – Dan Abnett / Phil Winslade (Judge Dredd Megazine/Rebellion)
Pete Fowler – Decades of Lead (Unbound)
Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell (Profile books)

Books + comics

Film/TV:
Inside No.9 series 4 + Halloween special
The Inertia Variations documentary
Flowers series 2
Avengers: Infinity War
Yellow Submarine 50th anniversary remaster
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – See Inside VR + packaging
Bobby Gillespie on Newsnight
The Clock – Christian Marclay, Tate Modern
Bros: After The Screaming Stops (BBC)

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Events / Gigs:
Art of Noise, British Library
‘O Is For Orange’ premiere Archspace, London
The The, Albert Hall, The Troxy, London, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
The Crystal Palace Festival afterparty @ The Paxton Pub, Gypsy Hill, London – one of those gigs where every track flows and lands just right.
The Indie Label Market, Spitalfields, London
The People’s Vote march in October
Jane Weaver at EArtH, London
The Soundcarriers, Gloria and Strange Majick @ The Victoria, London
Dirty Fan Male at the Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club, London

Gigs

Exhibitions:
Sister Corita Kent – Ditchling Art & Craft Museum
Orla Kiely – Fashion & Textile Museum, London
Aphex Twin posters – Elephant & Castle underground, London
The Shape of Light, Tate Modern, London
May The Toys Be With You – New Walk Museum, Leicester
John Vernon Lord – The House of Illustration, London
Peanuts – Somerset House, London
Daniel Mullen – Lisa Norris Gallery, London

Exhibitions 2018

“Another year over and what have I done?”
Designed Peshay‘s ‘Reflections’ LP for the De:Tuned label
Created a 3 minute spoken word collage for Penguin/Random House‘s Voices event at the London Palladium on World Book Day
Supported the Art Of Noise at The British Library
DJed multiple times at Secret Cinema presents Blade Runner
Opened for The The at several of their UK gigs including the Royal Albert Hall, Brixton Academy, Glasgow Barrowlands and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Further at the Portico Gallery with Pete Williams, Markey Funk and the Karminsky Experience Inc.
Designed a nine disc set for De:tuned‘s forthcoming 10th anniversary releases
Mixes for Solid Steel, 45 Live, Brokers, Rat Records, Out Of The Wood, Diggers Dozen and radio show appearances for Resonance and Soho Radio
Overhauled my Openmindesign.uk website

DJ Food gigs

RIP: France Gall, Ken Dodd, Stephen Hawking, Matt Dike, Lovebug Starski, Jabo Starks, Tom Wolfe, Aretha Franklin, Orla Kiely shops, Carlos Ezquerra, Paul Allen, Stan ‘The Man’ Lee, HMV, June Whitfield.

Looking forward to: The Delaware Road 2019, Keith Haring retrospective at Tate Liverpool, the Wobbly Sounds book, Further at the Ace Hotel, Sister Corita Kent at the House of Illustration, De:tuned‘s monthly 10th anniversary 12″s, Avengers: Endgame

Happy New Year!

The Delaware Road 2019

Delaware Rd 2019Tickets are already on sale and the line up is being drip feed out over the Xmas period for The Delaware Road‘s third incarnation next August at a secret military base somewhere in Salisbury. This promises to be the biggest and most ambitious version yet, and those who were present at the first two will know that there is nothing quite like them. I’m very pleased to be asked to play for a second time and so far the whole line up is looking like a who’s who of the leftfield electronica/radiophonic/hauntology scene. Put August 17th in the diary and get in on the early bird tickets before they’re gone.

“A unique festival of music, theatre, film, sound & light inside a secret military base near Stonehenge.
Featuring an incredible line up of artists, DJs, video producers, sound designers, record labels, speakers, writers, illustrators & agitators. Gathered inside the austere military complex of New Zealand Farm near West Lavington, artists will perform work inspired by landscape, myth, broadcast propaganda & the transformative nature of sound. 
Performances start at 5pm Saturday evening & end at 3am Sunday morning. Licensed bar, food & merch stalls.
Overnight camping & parking. This event contains adult themes & strobing effects. Under 18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.”

The line up so far:

THE SEANCE / FRONT & FOLLOW / KEMPER NORTON / THE SLOWEST LIFT / EMBLA QUICKBEAM / ARC SOUNDTRACKS / DJ FOOD \ SARAH ANGLISS / CLAY PIPE MUSIC / SIMON JAMES / REVBJELDE / CASTLES IN SPACE / THE TWELVE HOUR FOUNDATION  / CONCRETISM  / POLYPORES  / PSYCHE TROPES / SCULPTURE / HOWLROUND / MERKABA MACABRE / A’BEAR / DOUG SHIPTON / NICK TAYLOR / ALISON COTTON / IAN HELLIWELL / RADIONICS RADIO

Tickets : https://fixr.co/event/839412645
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30 years of Solid Steel

Solid Steel 30Solid SteelColdcut’s weekly 2 hour mix show – is 30 years old – wow, now I feel old too. To celebrate they’ve commissioned a clutch of special mixes which will air throughout the first week of December. Juan Atkins (the show’s first guest back in ’88), The Bug, Bernd Friedman, Gerd Janson, HAAi and Mark Pritchard have all recorded mixes as well as Coldcut, DK (with an epic 4 hr effort) and myself.

What do you do when you’re faced with a blank canvas to commemorate a 30 year anniversary? I’ve been with the show for 25 of those years and so much music has flowed through it in that time it’s impossible to crystalize that into one set. Instead I thought I’d attempt something I’d not done before and put together a collection of classic minimalist songs by the masters – Kraftwerk, Eno, Reich, Riley, Can etc. – and weave other elements in and out of the mix. In some respects I succeeded but I started out with seven hours of music! A lot had to go as flow and tuning just didn’t work and I also didn’t want too much 4/4 kick drum to pin things down, rather just the throb of forward motion.

Mixing this stuff takes time and patience, the tracks are long, you can lose your place in the rhythm very easily and most of them are played live so not locked into any steady metronome or midi clock. Getting the mix tight was a constant headache. I’ve used some tracks more like samples to add textures to others rather than to have their own spotlight and the intention was to always have at least two things creating a third, which is the basis of all the best mixes.

When compiling sets for the Solid Steel mix CD series, then Ninja A&R for the series, Dean Smith, used to talk about ‘moments’. Each mix should have at least two or three points that would make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up or blend the sound to such a point that you got a rush. It’s not enough to just blend two ends of a track together, we’re sculpting here, making connections that wouldn’t normally sit together and, in the best instances, mean that you can never hear one of those tracks on it’s own again without hearing the other playing in your head. There are subtleties at play in recorded mixes that can never be experienced in clubs as the volume and crowd noise often pushes out the details.

Two thirds the way through the set I also did something I’ve never done before too – inserted another guest mix. Chatting to Brian Dougans from Future Sound Of London, he’d confessed to being a Solid Steel fan, regularly taping shows throughout the 90s and being inspired by the weekly mixdowns. When I told him it was the 30th anniversary he offered an exclusive mix of new Humanoid tracks, an alias he’s just reactivated as it’s three decades since he first had a hit under the moniker with ‘Stakker Humanoid’. It seems fitting to have a contribution from an artist whose career started at the same time as the show, FSOL’s own radio shows in the 90s similarly inspired me and this is a nod to their idea of inserting guest mixes into their early Kiss FM shows. The six acid tracks are a stark contrast to my own selection but rather than surround them with similar material I’ve let them occupy their own space within the set, you might have to adjust your mood though. A massive thanks to Brian for this mix and all the music he and Gaz have bought us over the years.

After 25 years as part of the Solid Steel team and after hundreds of hours of mixes, it’s great to still be inspired to push myself and be among such esteemed company as the show morphs once again into a new era. Solid Steel moves to a new format next year, already with some killer guests lined up, and there are around 8 years worth of mixes in the archive online along with an extensive database of dates and guests from the past 30 years.

DJ Food Solid Steel 30th mix featuring Humanoid

Linda Perhacs – Parallelograms (Kapp Records)
Brian Eno & David Byrne – The Carrier (Virgin)
Pink Floyd – On The Run (Harvest)
Kraftwerk – Autobahn (Vertigo)
Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois – Ascent (An Ending) (Virgin)
The Beach Boys – Our Prayer (Brother/Reprise)
Vapour Space – Gravitational Arch of 10 (Internal)
David Bowie – Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix) (Columbia)
Herbie Hancock – Rain Dance (Columbia)
Can – Messer, Scissors, Fork & Light (Spoon )
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick (Virgin)
Cavern of Anti-Matter – Tardis Cymbals (Duophonic HF Discs)
Pat Metheny – Electric Counterpoint fast (Nonesuch)
Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians (ECM)
10cc – Wet Rubber Soup (Polydor)
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick (Virgin)
David Sylvian – Answered Prayers (Virgin)
Manuel Gottsching – E2:E4 (MG-Art)
The KLF – Deep Shit (The Cult of Mu 7″ mix) (CDR)
Jon Brooks – A Mechanical Eye (Ghost Box)

Humanoid In Session 2-4th Nov 2018 – guest mix
– 1 Acid Ho
– 2 Spore
– 3 Point Cloud
– 4 Co-Pilot
– 5 Koma Flow (808 State)
– 6 Far-Point
– Recorded live at 9L West, Engineered by Yage for EbV. Fsoldigital Recordings.

Terry Riley vs Meat Beat Manifesto – In C (Version 4.2) (Electronic Sound)
Boards of Canada – Telepath (Warp)
Psychic Warriors of Gaia – Obsidian (Organically Decomposed) (KK Records)
This Mortal Coil – Waves Become Wings (4AD)
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick (Virgin)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – A New Day (RVNG INTL)
Vapour Space – Gravitational Arch of 10 (Internal)
Linda Perhacs – Parallelograms (Kapp Records)

X-Ray Audio pop up at Soho Radio

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I recently took part in a radio show hosted by Stephen Coates (aka The Real Tuesday Weld) and his co-conspirator in X-Ray Audio Project, Paul Heartfield for Soho Radio. The pair are doing a takeover for two weeks with a series of themed radio shows and a small exhibition in the front of the station. (photos by Hannah Brown)

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The show I took part in was about flexi discs and we were joined by Barry Cain, the original publisher of anarchic early 80s Flexipop magazine. Other episodes on X-Ray discs, self-made records, bootlegs and a live performance & x-ray cut are also archived on the soho radio site.


I mention the Flexibition during the program so here’s a handy link to all the entries if you’re wondering what it is and want to have a look & listen.

New mix for The Word radio show Brokers

I was asked to contribute a guest mix to Belgian radio show Brokers on The Word radio station in Brussels, which just aired on Monday morning. It’s a little glimpse into what’s currently floating my boat from recent releases with the odd old gem thrown in for good measure.

Hinterhof – Molecular Love With A Molecular Sound (Deep Distance)
Trevor Jackson – Machine Worshippers (Pre_)
Correlations – Resistance Is Underground (Spun Out OF Control)
Todd Rundgren – Born To Synthesize
Meat Beat Manifesto vs Terry Riley – In C (Version 4.2) (Electronic Sound)
The Tomorrow Syndicate – A Glitch In Time (Polytechnic Youth)
Kallaste Elektrooniline Muusika – Pohjast Pinnani Aina Lomalla)
Silke Schwinger und Fatty George – Sexsong (Digitone)
Concretism – Black Special (Castles In Space)
The Tomorrow Syndicate – Altered State (Polytechnic Youth)
Rodinia – Neusi (Now Again)
Nicola Spiromarino – Senza Titolo Uno (Delights)
Popera Cosmic – Batman (Finders Keepers)
Silke Schwinger und Fatty George – SchluBmusik (Digatone)
The The – Occupy Your Mind (Lazarus)
The Natural Yoghurt Band – Satellites (Black Milk Music)
Embryo – Tausendfussler (Wah Wah)
Popera Cosmic – Etreinte Metronomique (Finders Keepers)
Nicola Spiromarino – Senza Titolo Due (Delights)

Rat Records instore to mark Pete’s last day


A little 7″ only set I did instore at my local, Rat Records in Camberwell, this summer to mark Pete’s last day after working there for years. It was sweltering hot and we were all dripping with sweat but it was a fun, laid back day just hanging out and drinking on a Saturday. Rat is one of my favourite record shops in London, always something new in there to find, cheap prices and weekly rack restocks keep me coming back regularly.

Further 3 at the Portico Gallery – by Warm Glow Photo

Further 15th Sept-logoWarmGlow
Many thanks to West Norwood local, Anna Hindocha of Warm Glow Photo for coming down at the last moment to shoot for us at on Sept 15th at the Portico Gallery. She managed to capture the ambience of the night in still form and convey the luminescence of the slides perfectly. Pictured below are Markey Funk, myself and The Karminsky Experience Inc. amongst the projections at various stages during the night.

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Acid House 7″ mix #3 for 45 Live

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It’s my turn again to provide a guest mix for the 45 Live radio show, hosted by Greg Belson and featuring only music played from 7″ vinyl. As usual I wanted to stray from the path and have been digging hard to find rare or obscure acid house singles that either I or 45 Live co-founder, Pete Isaac, haven’t played before on our 303-heavy mixes. Pete and I have been collecting acid 45s alongside one another for the last few years now and a healthy competition has developed between us in finding tunes from this tiny niche. But it’s a microscopic playing field, even counting today’s modern acid scene, and only numbers in the hundreds of releases on the 7″ format. It’s heartening to see current labels like BBE and Get On Down finally putting some classic house and acid gems on 45 in recent months to add to this finite corner of the digging world.

My first all-7″ acid mix was for the I Love Acid radio show a couple of years ago, the second for 45 Live last year and for this third outing I’ve spent months finding euro oddities from the 80s to give an authentic period mix – the one exception being the lead track, Mr. Fingers’ ‘Washing Machine’, which was first released in 1986 but not issued on 7″ until 2018. All other tracks featured were released in ’87, ’88 or ’89 with one lone 1990 release (ACR’s ‘Good Together’ which first appeared on a stamped pink label 12″ in ’89). At times I’ve felt like I’m scraping the barrel but there’s always an unexpected gem to be found where you least expect it.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned whilst digging for acid 45s over the years:
Most of them originate in the UK or Europe, there weren’t many US 7″s pressed as it was the longer running 12″ that was the most ideal format. Because the music charted heavily in the UK, record labels pressed 7″s with edited versions of many releases into the early 90s when they were eventually replaced by CD singles around ’92/’93. You can also find a limited supply of rave 45s fairly easily but by the time jungle happened they were a dead format for dance music save for the odd magazine freebie.

In Belgium, Spain, Italy and Germany there was a small industry in copycat cash-in singles feeding off the MARRS ‘Pump Up The Volume’ / Bomb The Bass ‘Beat Dis’ / Coldcut ‘Doctorin’ The House’ / S-express style of cut-up house, often using whatever synths they could find to emulate the Roland TB-303 acid sound. All these singles are peppered with ‘enjoy this trip’ radio announcer-style samples, Run DMC ‘ah yeah’s’ or ‘check this out’s’ and cries of ‘acieeeeeed’ if they were released in ’88. They must have all been sampling from the same sources and, with only a few exceptions, these records are universally awful, have smiley’s on their sleeves and have dated horrendously.

For a short period of time in the late 80s it seemed that any old pop act got an acid makeover – Bros, Bananarama, Yazz, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Army of Lovers, even Sam Fox got into the act (‘Love House’ – the ‘Sulphuric Mix’ is actually passable). There are all sorts of acid mixes hidng on the B-sides of British pop artists, by some of the greats of the house genre – Bam Bam, Adonis, DJ Pierre, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley and Kevin Saunderson all have some of their earliest major label remixes hidden away on singles by the most unlikely artists. Some of Saunderson’s first remixes were for the Wee Papa Girl Rappers (‘Heat It Up’, ‘We Know It’ and ‘Blow The House Down’ alongside Adonis) and he also serviced Neneh Cherry, Paula Abdul, Sam Fox and Loose Ends.
Bam Bam – of acid classics ‘Where’s Your Child and ‘Give It To Me’ – had his fingers in many pies remixing Coldcut, Yazz, The Shamen (years before their 90s pop success) and most bizarrely, Brass Construction.

Ex-Frankie Goes To Hollywood backing singer, Paul Rutherford, had some of the best acid makeovers for his debut single, ‘Get Real’, produced not by natives of Detroit or Chicago but by Martin Fry and Mark White aka Sheffield’s ABC! Of the three 12″ versions of the single out there the rare nine minute ‘Hardcore’ mix is the best but hardest to find as it was pressed with the ‘Sinister’ mix label and cover and you can only tell a copy by checking the matrix number on the run out groove. I’m betting Hardlfoor heard this mix before writing their huge ‘Acperience’ track years later.

But we’re straying from the subject of the 7″ – typically, few of these remixes made it to the 45 version but occasionally one would turn up on a foreign pressing. There’s an acid version of a worldwide late 80’s hit that exists only on one of two different french pressings that’s so far alluded me, the differences between the versions being so minescule that most sellers simply list the wrong version when it comes up for sale. By 1990 things had died down as the fad had passed in the fast-moving world of dance music and Hip House and the Italo sound replaced the unfashionable acid squiggle and smiley. But it had made its mark, the Madchester scene, Deee-lite and Screamadelica were all products of acid house and the Dutch and Germans sped up the tempo and pushed it into new forms of techno throughout the 90s. I already have nearly enough 45s for a 90s-00s acid mix but this new one is possibly my last word in 80s era cuts save for a handful of singles that I’ve yet to find.

The 45 Live Radio show airs twice a month on a Friday night from dublab in LA but you can catch up from their Mixcloud page or subscribe through iTunes. Much love to DJ Greg Belson for hosting and curating it over the last three years and Pete and Scott for steering the 45 live ship.

 

Further preview radio show

It’s less than a week until the next Further at the Portico Gallery, and i’ve has put a special preview together of the acts playing for the Out Of The Wood radio show on WNBC.London.


The first hour consists of a primer for special guests The Karminsky Experience Inc. and Markey Funk followed by a selection of Boards of Canada – the subject matter for my ‘O Is For Orange’ audio visual performance. Finishing with the kind of eclectic set co-host Pete Williams will be spinning in the last half hour, you get the gist of the sounds going down this Saturday 15th in West Norwood.

Add copious amounts of retina-singeing visuals, the Karminsky’s giving away copies of their new VR glasses (see above) and tasty local food on sale via the Pimento ’62 people (see menu below) and you get the idea about what to expect. Final batch of tickets for Sept 15th available here.

DJ Food – Welcome To The Dark Ages – Invisible Wind Factory 25.08.17

WTTDA DJ Food

Finally, my 3 hr set at the Welcome To The Dark Ages Graduation BallInvisible Wind Factory, Liverpool, 26.08.17

Originally thought lost after only a recording of the final 11 minutes could be found on my laptop after the gig, the remainder of the set was hidden as an untitled file, found months later during the Christmas TOTP special of 2017. Re-edited back together with the odd touch up, I present the full set played after Badger Kull‘s debut/final performance.

Contains JAMs/Timelords/KLF samples and sources tribute / acid house classics club set / winding down to 3am with occasional attempts to clear the dance floor (didn’t work, the diehard stayed until the end).

For my fully illustrated ‘diary’ of the events of ‘Welcome To The Dark Ages’ check here
Part 1. / Part 2. / Part 3. / Part 4. and my post-happening comedown Chill Out tribute mix at Emotion Wave the day after.

UPDATE: I recently also found my notes for this mix with a rough outline and potential other sections that I could have played including a ‘Liverpool bands’ medley and ‘money’ section that never made it. Bill Drummond had sent me a scan of the page from 2023 that lists the performers at the Xmas Top Of The Pops so I could cram a lot of things into the set list that would later be relevant. Of course, all this stuff is well and good in theory and in the safety of your studio but in the heat of the moment you have to judge what will work and what might not with a crowd in front of you. I was passed a USB stick by Phil Blake on the day of the gig with two fan-made tracks featuring badger samples (Little Fluffy Badgers…) that I threw into the line up at the 11th hour too.

DJ Food JAMs set list

Artifact #23: DJ Food vintage record box

DJFoodRecordBoxFrontMy first flight cased record box – long retired. This has seen some places, miles and times. I used this throughout the 90’s on the early Ninja Tune DJ package tours around the world. I would pack a Line 6 FX pedal, needles, leads, slipmats and headphones inside as well. It was heavy as you like when full and this was before trolleys or record bags with wheels. The stickers tell the times it was used in, see how many you recognise. Made a nice seat too! These days it’s packed with archive materials, sketchbooks, artwork, all protected until needed. See the last pic for a flat pack, make-your-own version.

DJFoodRecordBoxLSide DJFoodRecordBoxBack DJFoodRecordBoxRSide DJFoodRecordBoxBottom DJFoodRecordBoxTop Record box flat