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

O Is For Orange AV set for Glasgow

McChuills flyer
Glasgow friends, I’ve finally managed to sneak in a performance of my ‘O Is For Orange’ AV set in your fine town, during the two days I’m in Scotland with The The next month.
I performed the 1st AV mix – Selected Aphex Works – last year and Glasgow was one of the best audiences ever.
This is the 2nd and if you like Boards of Canada then this mix is for you…
Sept 4th, McChuills bar, limited tickets here

Further 2 at the Portico Gallery, November 2017


Seeing as I never got round to posting these at the time (I moved house the week after) and with a new event upon us in a month’s time, here’s a quick look back at the last Further at the Portico Gallery, November 2017 with guests Sculpture and Simon James (The Simonsound). Photos by Martin LeSanto-Smith and myself

Simon James at the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box


Here’s a film of Simon’s performance by his brother, Curtis James

Simon James Buchla 200e performance at Further from Simon James on Vimeo.

The record and merch stall was kindly provided by Michael and Dorian from the local Book & Record Bar



Sculpture at soundcheck and during their performance

Tickets for the next one – Sept 15th, 2018 with myself, Pete WIlliams, The Karminsky Experience Inc. and Markey Funk (Delights) are available here.

Further returns Sept 15th

Further 3 Portico poster

Further returns to its spiritual home at the Portico Gallery for another night of Light, Sound & Design.

Markey Funk flys in from Jerusalem to present his take on the heavy fuzz and psych sounds coming from his Delights label.
I’ll be bringing my AV ode to Boards of CanadaO Is For Orange – to the big screens with exclusive visual extras.
The Karminsky Experience Inc. grace the decks with their selection of swinging library, soundtrack and beatnik grooves.
And just when you think you’ve heard it all, Pete WIlliams pulls out those special audio treats he’s been hoarding for just this occasion, all accompanied by the sensory overload of the Further slide, oil and video projections.

Delicious food will be available from Pimento ’62 Catering and a fully licensed bar.

V. ltd. early bird tickets available here now!

Saturday July 28th – The OST Show and Upfest

Mark your calendars, diaries or whatever you use to save a date for this Saturday 28th of July because Robin The Fog and I are hosting a 2 hour edition of Jonny Trunk‘s OST show on Resonance FM.
With Le Fog and I at the controls it can only mean one thing: Sesame Street, we’ve collected our favourite songs, skits, incidental music and themes for a joint celebration of all things from the Children’s Television Workshop.
Tune in to Resonance 104.4 FM on Saturday the 28th, 4.30pm-6.30pm – or if you can’ t then the show will be on the Mixcloud archive

SS mock up cover

UPDATE: And here’s the show!

Simultaneously (because we’ve pre-recorded the show) I’ll be in Bedminster, Bristol at Upfest, the annual street art paintathon, providing music outdoors to soundtrack the art. There will be food, drink, sunshine if this weather keeps up and it should be a great family day out.

Upfest 2018 flyer

Dig magazine

Dig #1
Dig magazine is a new mini magazine that will fit in your pocket (perfect to take to the record shop) full of esoteric info and ones to watch for from a selection of fine DJs. Mr Thing, DJ Format, Mr Krum, Si Spex, Susanslegpolicy and more all spill the beans on a curio from their collection including anecdotes, info and cover images and there’s even a URL at the end so that you can preview said tracks in an online mix. It comes in a neat stickered sleeve that makes it look like a milk crate which the (ironically) CD-sized mag slips inside, waiting to be dug into.

Dig contents

Oh yeah, and some chancer called Strictly Kev has a page in it too, you can order it for £3.50 here…

Dig Format:Food

It was 20 years ago today

AAApass

June 23rd, 1998, Brixton Academy, London, UK. A date I’ll never forget, the day I was part of the support package on the London date of the Beastie BoysHello Nasty tour. Pretty mind-blowing, humbling and scary-as-f**k.
The warm up were the Invisibl Skratch Piklz (Mixmaster Mike, Q-Bert and Shortkut) and Money Mark featuring Kid Koala. Mike acted as compere between acts as I recall and we hung out backstage with him, Kid Koala and Money Mark before the show whilst MCA quietly ate at a nearby table. The Beasties were the main attraction of course and played a 30+ song set which I couldn’t completely enjoy because I was so nervous about playing afterwards.

This was no ordinary gig (because The Beastie Boys, who else?) so there was a full-on party DJ roster afterwards too, kicking off with Rob Swift and Total Eclipse from the X-Ecutioners, then Ollie Teeba from The Herbaliser and myself on 4 decks, followed by the original Scratch Perverts (Tony Vegas, DJ Primecuts, Mr Thing and DJ First Rate) all topped off by Alec Empire to clear the place out (which he did in fine style). What a line up! Playing at ‘home’ there were numerous friends and such in the absolutely rammed venue and walking out after the X-Ecutioners was pretty daunting, even though Ollie and I had been practicing our set for weeks. It all flew past and before we knew it we were being hustled off for the Perverts to rip it up.

BeastieBoys Backstage supportAbove: backstage shot, clockwise from top left: Q-Bert, Mr Thing, DJ First Rate, DJ Primecuts, Harry Love, DJ Ollie Teeba, myself, Tony Vegas, Mista Sinista, and Kid Koala centre left.

The few photos I have from that night are pretty terrible but the show poster, complete with guest pass, has hung in my home for the past two decades.

BBBrixton poster
Below: Rob Swift on the decks.

RobSwift

The The’s comeback tour in Leeds and London

Leeds soundcheck
It’s been quiet on here for a bit because I’ve been so busy I’ve not had a minute to put things together. After last week I really had to sit down and write something to summarize what’s been going on though. It’s very hard not to gush over being asked to support The The for three nights in London for their comeback concerts but the experience was a unique one that I’ll never forget. I’ve known Matt Johnson now for about 15 years, we’ve done a few things together and when he asked me to spin a set of cinematic ambience from his back catalogue before each show it couldn’t have been any more of a dream job.

Mattx3LeedssoundcheckMatt is a very astute character, virtually everyone I met during the past two weeks was either a friend, relative or had worked with him in the past at some point. Surrounding himself with such people brings something unique to the events that I’ve not experienced since the early Ninja Tune days. Everyone was top class in their field, approachable, friendly and relaxed. There was no ego, pecking order or division between the crew, everyone ate together and mingled after the shows and I felt accepted very quickly and easily. Matt especially was extremely attentive to everyone’s needs despite having to deal with the awful news of his dad’s death the weekend before. That he pushed forward and went ahead with the shows is a testament to his character and resilience, lesser men would have crumbled.

TheThe Leeds soundcheck
Leeds was the first show, a ‘warm up’ or ‘public rehearsal’ on a Sunday at the end of May, and I was nervous dropping into the middle of a crew after they’d been on the road for a couple of days already. Despite this I knew a couple of people already, Vicki Bennet aka People Like Us and her partner Peter, had put together the video backdrop for the show and were traveling up to preview it. James Eller, the bassist, I’d met the year before and he’s one of the nicest people you could ever meet; calm, warm and funny, a rock solid person and just what you need in a band such as this. Kate Wilkins, the production and lighting designer whose work gave the gigs more of a theatre mood than rock concert, was immediately friendly and welcoming as was Levi, the road manager and the tech crew.

TheTheLeedscrowd

Stepping out onto the small stage in Leeds was pretty daunting, the place was full with hardcore fans and I’m sitting in the middle of the stage playing a collage of samples, edits, loops and atmospheres from nearly 40 years of The The productions. Some were obvious, some very obscure and I quickly realised that a lot of subtlety was lost in the live setting with people talking. The support slot is an odd one, no one is there for you, they’re waiting for the main event and you’re really just filling time, treading water until the clock ticks round to the time the band take the stage. For anyone paying attention I hope I at least filled the gap with something interesting for half an hour, a duration that went by in a flash, having only played half of what I’d prepared.

BrixtonSoundcheck

The band are quite the revelation, Matt’s voice is as strong, clear and commanding as I’ve ever heard it, James’ basslines never wavering. Earl Harvin on drums, a reserved but warm person to chat to, told me that he cannot speed James up or down in tempo if he tries, once he’s locked in that’s it.

JamesEller-Brixtonsoundcheck

Harvin is a killer drummer, whether lightly wielding brushes on ‘The Beat(en) Generation’, pounding out ‘I’ve Been Waiting For Tomorrow…’ or simultaneously playing the beat AND the percussion to ‘Infected’ with separate hands, I never heard him drop a beat in four nights. DC Collard on keys is a friendly, hilarious character whose star turn on the solo during ‘Uncertain Smile‘ is a set highlight and crowns him man of the match every night. I had to wait until after the first gig to meet ‘Little’ Barrie Cadoghan properly, a red hot guitarist with the unenviable job of filling Johnny Marr‘s shoes who rapidly felt his way into the set and banished any such comparisons by the end of the first run.

RAH soundcheck

The set list is far from an obvious collection of crowd-pleasing hits, with a couple of relative obscurities from Matt’s solo ‘Burning Blue Soul’ debut alongside cuts from the excellent but overlooked ‘Naked Self’ album from 2000. There were a lot of ‘Dusk’ era songs (six!) which were well-judged as the crowds seemed very familiar with them, but only three apiece from ‘Mind Bomb’, ‘Infected’ and ‘Soul Mining’. Notable exclusions were ‘Perfect’, ‘GIANT’ and ‘The Mercy Beat’ but it was a treat to hear ‘Flesh & Bones’ – a ‘Soul Mining’ era compilation track – thrown in near the beginning. Highlights for me were the more uptempo numbers; ‘Armageddon Days…’, ‘This Is The Day’, ‘Infected’ and ‘Uncertain Smile’ and by god DC’s reinterpretation of that piano solo was great EVERY night.

RAH soundcheck2

I’ve Been Waiting For Tomorrow…’ is a challenging number to play as the bass parts waver between four and six bar runs against the original 6/8 drum track which seems to have its own random arrangement. At the end, just as you think they’re done with it, there’s a huge snare roll from Earl and the band drop into a funky jam where Barrie gets his chance to shine. For a taste of the sound of the new band you can check out their recent session on BBC 6 Music for the next month including an interview with Matt where an unexpected link between his and interviewer Steve Lamacq‘s childhood is revealed.

DJFoodRAH-Le@l_n0tePhoto: Leo @l_n0te

RAH panorama

I’d forgotten what a beautiful and intimidating building The Royal Albert Hall is, having not been there since the early 90s, huge but with fine acoustics, it was the perfect setting for the comeback proper. For this gig, Tim Pope filmed the show and I got to watch from the center, back behind the mixing desk. It took ‘This Is The Day’ to get the crowd completely on their feet but it was a fine show.

RAH soundcheckfrombehindRAH behindmixingdesk
DJFood-RAHsoundcheck-PeterPhoto: Peter Knight

BrixtonAcademy-NancyBrown
Photo: Nancy Brown

The Brixton Academy was a lot rowdier and I was asked to play on longer as hundreds of people were still outside, presumably thrown by the band’s 8.30pm stage time and the summer weather that day. Things got a little tense as the audience already inside got impatient, there’s nothing like being on stage, having to tread water when thousands want to see and hear the main event. The band had real trouble with the sound on stage with this gig, although you’d never know from their performance, but apparently it was bouncing around all over the place for them.

BrixtonAcademyfromthedecksDJ Food-Brixton-PaulNoblePhoto: Paul Noble.
Matt bought his youngest son, George onstage at the start of the Academy gig, it was the first time he’d seen his dad on stage and did a great job of breaking the ice immediately.
BrixtonAcademyw.GeorgeBrixton side of stageTroxy

The Troxy was new to me, I’d heard all about its Art Deco interior and it didn’t disappoint. Neither did the crowd – a hugely appreciative lot who sang along to everything and even applauded after another extended set from myself as more latecomers were squeezed in.

Troxy crowd
Troxy-Earl+DCTroxyBarrie+DCTroxyUncertainSmilesoloTroxy-TrueHappiness

Johanna St. Michaels‘ documentary, ‘The Inertia Variations‘, is now available to watch online and it’s well worth checking out if you have a passing interest in Matt’s history and want to find out where he disappeared to for all those years. I could have watched another hour of it easily as there are so many competing threads left hanging so tantalisingly. Next stop will be Neil Fraser‘s official biography, ‘Long Shadows, High Hopes’, just released this weekend, to fill in the gaps. This is all starting to sound like a huge advertorial so I’ll stop here, honestly, you wait 16 years and then all the buses come at once! A fantastic comeback and I’m so glad people are finally hearing Matt’s songs live and on daytime radio again in the present day. I’ll be supporting again at the Newcastle and Glasgow dates in September…

Posted in DJ Food, Gigs, Music. | 7 Comments | Tags: ,

DJ Food supporting The The on forthcoming UK dates

the_the_THETHE2byJohnClaridge1
It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ve been asked by Matt Johnson to open for The The on selected UK dates for their comeback tour this year. Matt didn’t want a conventional band support in the slot but asked if I would prepare something cinematic and ambient, incorporating his music from the last four decades. Fortunately this is exactly the place my head’s been at over the last few years and the chance to do this with Matt’s back catalogue is the stuff of dreams. Expect an improvised ‘cineolascape’ to greet you on arrival for the gigs, different for each night.

product_d_e_deep_space_cover

I’ll be joining the band – who have video accompaniment from Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us and design by Kate Wilkins – on
May 27th – Leeds, LMUSU
June 5th – London, Royal Albert Hall
June 6th – London, Brixton Academy
June 7th – London, Troxy
Sept 3rd – Newcastle, Newcastle University
Sept 4th – Glasgow, Barrowlands
Sept 5th – Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall

Also just announced: the new band line up (see above photo by John Claridge), the long-awated biography by Neil Fraser release date and more screenings of The Inertia Variations documentary at the ICA.
Go to https://www.thethe.com/ for more info…

the_the_LongShadowsHighHopessmall

Posted in DJ Food, Gigs, Music. | 3 Comments | Tags: ,

Big Mouth podcast (with Infinity War spoilers)


I was a guest on Bigmouth last week – the weekly pop culture podcast – pontificating/nerding out on Avengers: Infinity War, Janelle Monae’s ‘Dirty Computer’ LP, new Sky Atlantic series, ‘Barry’ and the latest ‘Too Slow To Disco: Brasil’ compilation. There are masses of spoilers for Avengers so don’t listen if you’ve not seen it yet but it is at the end of the show so there’s plenty to listen to before we start giving the game away.

Sure Shot Tools custom 45 adaptors

Pablo+Food@PB I spent Record Store Day in sunny Krakow, Poland this past weekend, playing an instore at the excellent Paul’s Boutique record shop and later spinning at Club Alchemia.

IMG_7541Whilst I was there I was graced with a pair of custom made 45 adaptors by new kid on the block, Sure Shot Tools. Having recently invested in a pair of the SydDefJam 7″ middles I’m pretty much set up for life as far as centers go as they do everything you’d ever need an adaptor to do. The difference here though, is the personalised machine-finished logo on the top, which sets them apart from the Australian leader of the pack. Syd offers hand-punched lettering but it’s rough and ready whereas Sure Shot can take a logo and engrave it perfectly onto the top of the middle for that professional finish.

IMG_5681His centers are as heavyweight as Syd’s but lack the rubber ring that holds the records firmly in place. Another plus point for us Europeans is that the postage costs aren’t as prohibitive on the Sure Shot’s than on Syd’s but really it’s down to individual taste in the end, they both do the job admirably and look great into the bargain.

IMG_7544

Penguin Live at the Palladium

DJ Food at the Palladium - photo Liz CatchpoleI was recently asked by Penguin/Random House to go through their audio books and put together a 3 min piece for World Book Day. They then asked me to perform it onstage at the London Palladium! It’s at the end of the podcast here but I can’t seem to embed it so here’s a link.

IMG_7131
Crowds outside the Palladium beforehand, this was an employee’s only event, just after we’d had that huge snowstorm.

IMG_7136
Squid Soup‘s lighting rig with Ruth Jones on the video screen shortly before I took the stage.

IMG_7135
Emily Maitless gives me possibly the best intro ever…

DJ Food onstage Palladium

What you sadly can’t see is the animated video I also made to go along with it and the lighting by Squid Soup (who did the recent Four Tet gigs). The photo at the top was taken by an old friend of mine from the Camberwell College days, Liz Catchpole, who works for Penguin and had no idea I was playing until she saw me on stage. Massive thanks to everyone at Penguin / Random House who helped out on this, especially WiIliam Smith at Vintage and Richard Lennon from the audiobook dept.

Penguin podcast

Diggers Dozen DJ Food set

DD set
On March 13th I was invited to be one of the selectors at Diggers Dozen, a monthly get together at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, where each DJ is asked to play 12 records. The rules are: vinyl only, no reissues, no compilations – aside from that there’s no stipulation on music policy but it’s a sort-the-men-from-the-boys kind of situation in an age where anyone can have anything in digital format and a large proportion of what were once holy grails have been reissued or compiled over the last two decades or so.

Which of course isn’t to say there isn’t still plenty of gold out there, not all of it expensive either, you just have to know where to look, be patient and dig a bit deeper sometimes. Of late I’ve been getting into spiritual records and rock operas which have provided many unexpected treasures, especially from certain eras. Above are the records I played and the mix itself. Thanks to Maxwell, who runs the night, for inviting me and you can check out the other sets and more over on the DD website.

 

O Is For Orange teaser

I’m working away on this at the moment after creating a three minute track for Penguin Books from audio book samples for World Book Day and last week’s support slot mix for the Art Of Noise. The new ‘O Is For Orange’ AV set will take the mix I created in 2013 as the starting point but add plenty of new material, not least tracks from ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ and newer songs influenced by the group. It won’t be 100% Boards of Canada like the Aphex Twin set of last year, more using their sound as a basis for the tone of the set and visuals.

Tickets for the Deaf Institute gig are available here. Final tickets for the London premiere at Archspace here

Updates on here are still sporadic as I slowly get my house in order after last year’s move but I can see the wood for the trees now so hopefully things will get back to normal. I’m more visually active on Instagram at the moment as it’s more, well… instant, so you can follow me there and see what I’m up to with lots of incidental stuff that doesn’t make it to this blog. The premiere of this mix is only three weeks away and there will be a second in Manchester at the Deaf Institute in June. Hopefully there will be more bookings to come, keep an eye on the column on the left or my Facebook or Twitter feeds for more info.

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

More Search Engine 360º fulldome shows in Bristol

More dates have been added through Feb-May for my 360º fulldome show, ‘The Search Engine’ at the WeTheCurious Planetarium in Bristol. Feb 27th / 23rd Mar / 20th Apr / 18th May – get tickets here: https://www.wethecurious.org/group/dj-food-search-engine-16

“Just had my mind blown watching @djfood‘s ‘The Search Engine’ at @WeTheCurious planetarium. SOOOO TRIPPY AND AWESOME! GO SEE IT!!” – Rebecca Evans, Bristol

DJ Food AV series #2: O Is For Orange

Archspace DJFood flyer crop
Here we go, after last year’s ‘Selected Aphex Works’ shows, the next installment in my live AV Series premiere’s on April 6th at Archspace, London with a new version of my ‘O Is For Orange’ mix – chock full of Boards of Canada and their influences with psychedelic video accompaniment. Tickets available here

Teach The Each

Teach The Each
A new initiative just launched by Edzy from Unique 3 is Teach The Each, a pool of producers, artists, DJs, designers, promoters and music industry veterans with decades of experience to draw on in multiple disciplines. The aim is to create a one stop shop where these people can be booked to speak, teach and pass on their experiences and knowledge to up and coming students wherever they should be needed. I’m very pleased to be one of the people asked to take part, that’s some esteemed company to be in. More info here

Posted in Design, DJ Food, Music. | 1 Comment | Tags:

DJ Food – Out Of The Wood show #92

The Out Of The Wood show is back, firing on all cylinders for 2018; each Sunday a local, invited guest or patron of The Book & Record Bar in West Norwood gets 2 hours live on the decks inside the shop, playing to whoever wanders or tunes in. It’s a chance to grab a bag of anything and play around for yourself, try things out and spread out. In my first show of the year I’m bringing a box of recent buys, gifts, samples, a few forthcoming gems and throwing out some improv soundscaping into the mix in places, something I’ll be building on all year.

Some Food excursions coming up

I should do a little round up of a few things I’ve had a hand in that have recently come to light:

visitbristol.co.uk

The rarely seen 360 degree dome show version of my 2012 album ‘The Search Engine‘ is playing in Bristol at We The Curious, the Bristol Planetarium on January 30th and Feb 27th – tickets here. I won’t actually be at the shows, it’s a straight playback of the AV set I created in 2012. I was present at those but it’s always been a pre-rendered thing.

I did an interview for online magazine Fat Hipster – available in both English and Serbian.

Alex Fitch‘s Panel Borders podcast includes some of the talk about music and comics I was part of at the Caption festival in Brighton last December.

I’ll be supporting The Art of Noise (legends!) at The British Library in March! Tickets here

Eat Or Heat flyer

I’m on the bill again at the Eat Or Heat fundraiser at the Wild Card Brewery on Feb 17th – great cause, donation on entry. Talking of fundraisers – the Resonance FM fundraiser is on now – a radio station very dear to my heart for many reasons – support independent leftfield radio here.

OOTWFood

And talking of radio – I’ll be on Out Of The Wood radio this Sunday (Jan 21st) – attempting something different. Taking place live at the Book & Record Bar, West Norwood between 12-2pm – tune in to WNBC.london here.