Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ vinyl LP out this Friday

Finally released on vinyl this Friday on Utter – Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ LP – a soundtrack to the
Rian Hughes novel, ‘XX’ published by Picador Books (paperback released Aug 9th)

Music by Celestial Mechanic – a collaboration between DJ Food, Saron Hughes, Robin The Fog (Howlround) & Peter Harris

Yellow vinyl LP + 7″ + print + info sheet – designed by Rian Hughes with silver spot print and inner sleeve – this is limited so don’t sleep as it will be out in shops too.
Pre-order https://bit.ly/3y5C7eK

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*un-mute for sound!

CM packshot full

Matt Black live-remixing ‘Sentinel’ on Pirate TV

On last week’s Pirate TV show, Coldcut‘s Matt Black in his Altered Fist guise live-remixed mine & DK‘s track, Sentinel (from The Search Engine LP) using JAMM Pro software. Every Wednesday night around 9pm (GMT) Matt hosts a 2 hr show of music, visuals, chat and news via Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/coldcutofficial

Mixcloud Select 62 – Openmind Mixxx, 12/02/1995

MS62 OM Mixxx tapeAn early ’95 set for Solid Steel with Jon More and PC, lots of trip hop, hip hop, acid and a bit of drum & bass on the wrong speed. Coming out hard and heavy with RSW and FSOL and a couple of Wagon Christ tracks from one of my favourite eras of Luke’s work, the Throbbing Pouch album and satellite singles. Hustlers of Culture were a short-lived act on early Wall of Sound, Mantronix everyone knows, Art of Noise make an unexpected entry, slightly derailed by Jon having to read the KISS competition. This was the bane of the show, having to do ads was bad enough but there would be promo spots to read out sometimes that DJs were obliged to do to be on message for the station.

Back to the music, Ninja business from 9 Lazy 9 with a remix from Marden Hill who were a Mo Wax affiliate which was a big deal at the time. 4E’s Temple Traxx was a staple of my record box for years as it grooves along at hip hop tempo with acid squiggles, it was a side project of Khan as in Khan & Walker and he made several releases around the mid 90s. Andy Weatherall’s incredible dubbed-out remix for Galliano was another monster cut that was always on hand of which Studio Pressure aka Photek slides out of, on 33rpm instead of 45. A short snatch of Tusken Raiders aka Mike Paradinas aka Muziq plays us out to the news.

Track list:
Renegade Soundwave – Blast ’Em Out
Future Sound of London – Snake Hips
Wagon Christ – Yeah
Wagon Christ – How You Really Feel
Hustlers of Culture – Herbs & Spices
Mantronix – King of the Beats
Art of Noise – Close Up
9 Lazy 9 – Train (Marden Hill remix)
Jungle Brothers – Jungle Beats
4E – Temple Traxx
Galliano – Skunk Funk (Cabin Fever mix)
Studio Pressure – Touching Down… Planet Photek
Tusken Raiders – Gaderffi Stick

Mixcloud Select 61: DJ Food at The Reverb, Toronto, 27/01/2001

DJ Food Reverb flyer 2001
I have no tape or CD-R of this set, only a digital file, and no idea where it came from. I do recall there was a video online, filmed with multiple cameras for a local TV show of this set or a similar one in 2000. But it’s an example of my club DJ sets at the start of the millennium and was recorded on tour in North America at the Reverb in Toronto according to the file title. The first section reprises part of the Xen Cuts 10th anniversary set I made the previous autumn, complete with wobbles, pushes and pulls – remember, this is all coming off vinyl. I

Amazingly I had the flyer for this show so can confirm the date and venue is correct but, trying to find info on the web about this, I found this review on NME.com of all places. It was dated as Sept 2005 so I can only deduce that it was posted later on, possible from elsewhere. I can guarantee you that I wasn’t in Toronto in Sept 2005 though as my kids were about to be born.

DJ Food: Toronto The Reverb Ninja Tunes stalwart rips up the jazz-hop breaks…
By NME 12th September 2005

Tonight, a courageous young gentleman in the audience is decked out, perhaps unreasonably, in full ninja regalia. It’s a cartoonish, obscenely intricate costume – one quite obviously modelled after the pesky record-flinging mercenary that makes up the Ninja Tune logo. This, you see, is indicative of the kind of unabashed devotion that DJ Food and labelmates Fink and Dynamic Syncopation will bask in this evening.

For his part, the chain-smoking Fink performs admirably, wheeling off an expertly constructed set of electroid bleeps and rapid-fire, stuttering breaks. And although they’re questionably occupying the closing slot, Dynamic Syncopation are also wholly dependable, weaving together a heady pastiche of ’70s funk and retrograde hip-hop.

But the night quite obviously belongs to Food, who are on this occasion solely represented by the venerable Strictly Kev. His set is, in a word, fierce. Piecing disembodied remnants of rejigged classics together with more contemporary reference points, Kev’s got the audience in rapture. By the time he gets round to spinning a handful of re-Tuned swing numbers, they’re engaged in the kind of frantic, hands-up revelry normally reserved for someone about to be saved by a gasbag televangelist.

A storming evening then – even Kev walks offstage with a bemused smile. And why not? If it’s good enough for the ninja, surely it’s good enough for the rest of us.

Mark Pytlik  https://www.nme.com/reviews/reviews-nme-3935-328553

Track list:
The Herbaliser – Mr Chombee Has The Flaw
The Cinematic Orchestra – Channel One Suite
Mr Scruff – Fish
Neotropic – 15 Levels of Your Stealth
Up, Bustle & Out – Revolutionary Woman of the Windmill
Cabbage Boy – Bean (To This World)
Amon Tobin – Sordid
The Herbaliser – Mrs Chombee Takes The Plunge (DJ Food remix)
Quantic – Lie In The Rain
Jurassic 5 – Swing Set
Wagon Christ – Get Your Head Down
Breakestra – Live Mix Part 2
Colour Climax – Plug It In
Rufus Thomas – The Funky Bird
LL Cool J – Illegal Search (Keep On Searching’ Mix)
Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – Pump Me Up
Art of Noise – Beatbox (Diversion One)
Westbam – Alarm Clock
Banbarra – Shack Up
The Beatmasters – Boulevard of Broken Dreams
De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays
K. Scope – The Set Up
Major Force – The Re-Return Of The Original Artform (Cut Chemist mix)
Jungle Brothers – Beyond This World (acappella)
Unsung Heroes – Daily Intake
LB – Ashes To Ashes
Wagon Christ – Cris Chana
Massive Attack – Safe From Harm
Photek – Complex
Quincy Jones – Soul Bossa Nova

Mixcloud Select 60: Strictly Bites The Big Apple 03/06/2002

MS60 CD In the Spring of 2002 I went to NYC for 10 days and stayed in Manhattan on a working holiday. The plan was to visit the Children’s Television Workshop and go through their archive for a compilation, visit Steinski at his studio and work on a track together and, of course, do some record shopping. I also visited Double Dee in his studio with Stein and DK who was also in town for a couple of days (jet-setter that he is) and we recorded an interview with them both for Solid Steel. The interview with Douglas and Steve was great fun, two personal heroes who were instantly at ease in the studio as I repeatedly cocked up my intro spiel, cracking us all up and breaking what little ice there was.

CTW was amazing, I sat in a small studio for a few days with access to a console with a searchable database of clips and shows from the early 70s through to the 00s and watched old clips all day, making notes of the ones I wanted transferred later for the music and video content. This was all pre-YouTube so that kind of access was a goldmine and a unique form of digging. I was also given a huge pile of records to go through from their archive from all different countries, many I’d never seen before. Steinski’s studio was far less successful, full of wonderful records and memorabilia as it was, we had far too good a time hanging out although we did get a chorus of a song made but little else. Oh, and the tapes for the uncompleted Lesson 4 came up in conversation which I got to re-edit for the interview and the duo later finished and released last year.

But the record shopping was great, as you can imagine, even though I didn’t venture outside of Manhattan and most of this mix was bought on the trip although I chucked in a few New York-centric tracks to flesh out the theme too. It’s a decent mix of then contemporary hip hop, vintage funk with a few cut ups and pop songs for good measure. RIP Duke Bootee. There are several tracks, listening back to the set, that I’d completely forgotten about, one being Si Begg’s ‘It’s the Weirdest Thing’, which I cannot for the life of me remember the origin of. I have to apologise for the Frank Sinatra mix near the end, not sure what I was thinking.

UPDATE: Si Begg tells me it was from Noodles Discothechque Vol.4

MS60 PRS

Various – Back from NY intro
Tino – H-Bomb
Steinski – NY, NY
Tino – Jazz Overload
Blackalicous – Chemical Calisthenics
Baker Brothers – Paste
Natural Self – Raise The Game
Emil Richards – Garnet (January)
Otto Von Schirach – Smelly Mustard
Kenyon Hopkins – Hard Latin
Ursula 1000 – Ooops There Goes the Crowd
Adam & the Ants – Deutscher Girls
The Osmonds – My Drum
Mr Lif – Fulcrum (Edan remix)
Duke Bootee – Broadway
J-Live – Like This Anna
Lighthouse – Love of a Woman
Si Begg – It’s The Weirdest Thing
Odyssey – Native New Yorker
Paul Humphrey & Cool Aid Chemists – Baby Rice
Frank Sinatra – New York
Harlem Underground Band – Smokin’ Cheeba Cheeba

NB: written on the bottom of the PRS sheet was this multiple choice question – presumably, who directed ‘Jubilee’? (because of the inclusion of Adam & The Ants’ ‘Deutscher Girls’ from the soundtrack)

MS60 comp

Mixcloud 59: Solid Steel – Audio Adventure’s in Africa

Africa Adventure BoxThis one may divide people and lose me a few subscribers as it’s not your regular mix set. A few weeks ago Ninja Tune re-shared a small red packet of Ninja Rizlas on their social media from my new Openmindesign Instagram page where I post my artwork and Ninja ephemera. The customised packet had the ‘Rizla’ logo replaced by ‘Ninja’ and a separate tab pasted in with details of a gig in South Africa that Amon Tobin, Kid Koala, PC and I did in 1999.

Ninja Rizla
Promoters Ralph Borland and Adam Lieber bought us out and South African promoter living in Montreal, Victor Shifman came out with us to tour manage and show us around. Whilst out there I had a handheld tape recorder and recorded all sorts of things during our long stay out in Cape Town and Johannesburg. As a result the sound quality is pretty bad but it’s a moment in time that I’m happy I recorded, this is the nearest thing to being on tour and at shows with us back then.

Airport crew
On the bus to the plane: Victor, Amon, Ralph, Adam, Eric, PC

Ralph and Adam
Ralph and Adam
Roadside breakdown
Worse places to break down

As you will hear, we were all watching The Fast Show a lot and had got Kid Koala into it as well. You’ll hear in-flight banter, improvised scratch demos at a youth club, unknown bands jamming at restaurants, gig excerpts with technical problems and running tour gags. The Johannesburg show was plagued with technical problems at the start and we were playing in a disused prison in the open night air, it was awesome but by 5am we had to stop or we weren’t going to catch our flight back to Cape Town in time to which the crowd roared their displeasure. Eric had started to do his ‘Drunk Trumpet’ show piece around this time although I’m not sure it had a title at that point but it was a show-stopper.

Kid in Joburg
Johannesburg gig in an open air ex-prison

Record shopping at the Treasury
The Treasury in Johannesburg, a 5 story warehouse, this was one floor, insane amounts of records. Treasury 12

We were lucky to have several days off and went up mountains to see the sunsets, drove round the coast to see Penguins on the beach, went to outdoor markets, did a free performance in a youth club, met all sorts of great people, an amazing trip which I’ll never forget.

Airport farewell
Airport farewell: Eric, Victor, Amon, Kev, PC, Ralph centre, Adam kneeling

Part 1 of this was broadcast at the end of the 02/05/99 show but part 2 has never been heard. Normal service will be restored next week…

Africa Adventure DATPart 1: Cape Town
KLM voice over – Take off
Kid Koala, PC, Strictly, Reddy D – Cape Town Turntable Jam Pt. 2
skit – Amon’s table
Unidentified  bar band 1 – unknown
skit – How old is Eric San?
Kid Koala, PC, Strictly, Reddy D – Cape Town Turntable Jam Pt. 1 inc. technical problems
skit – Suits you
Unidentified bar band 2 – unknown

Part 2: Jo’Burg/Cape Town
KLM voice over – in flight banter
DJ Food – 1sr set intro – Summertime sound problems
skit – Some words with Amon Tobin
Kid Koala – Techno set
Eric San – this week…
DJ Food – 2nd set intro – Yussef meets Jeru
skit – More words with Amon Tobin
DJ Food – Plastic Neotropic Gangstarr
DJ Food – Scruffy
Kid Koala – Easy now chair (Drunk Trumpet)
KLM voice over – Landing

Africa Adventure PRS

Kaleidoscope reissue + Companion album

KAL Comp titleHeads up – New/old release/reissue package now up for pre-order – 4xLP – the original Kaleidoscope LP repressed on blue/white vinyl and the all new Kaleidoscope Companion featuring unreleased/alternate tracks ’97-2000 on orange/red vinyl in gatefold sleeve w. download, out mid July (and yes the label has them in hand, no 6 month wait)

Pre-order here : (support record shops if you can)
Norman Records. http://bitly.ws/dZwy
Bleep http://bitly.ws/dZwC
Resident http://bitly.ws/dZwJ
Sister Ray http://bitly.ws/dZH8
Phonica http://bitly.ws/dZHq
Ninja Tune http://bitly.ws/dZwN
Bandcamp http://bitly.ws/dZwR
Full Digital / streaming links: https://djfood.lnk.to/kaleidoscope

New Companion tracklist: The Crow features in two forms – Crow (Slow) and The Rook + Type 3The Quadraplex EP has been remixed and edited into a new 13 minute epic that includes unreleased material, the keen-eared with recognised Stealth as the backing for the Xen Cuts remix of The Ageing Young Rebel although this is a different mix, and Boohoo is an early version of The Sky At Night. All tracks on the companion were recorded around Kaleidoscope
1. The Ents Go To War
2. Prototype I & II
3. The Crow (Slow)
4. A Strange Walk
5. Hip Operation
6. Skylark
7. Zoom Zoom
8. Quadraplex (A Trip to the Galactic Centre)
9. See Saw
10. Stealth
11. The Rook + Type 3
12. Boohoo

Kal:Kal Comp outer + discs2Kal.Kal Comp inner highKal front + 4 discs2Kal Comp front + 4 discs2Kal front + discs 22 Kal label A KAl back + discsKal discKal inner + discs2Kal Comp label + titlesKal Comp front + disc 22 Kal Comp back + discsKal Comp disc

Mixcloud Select 58: All Killer! 31/05/2004

fullsizeoutput_2ce5This week’s upload is the 2nd version of a mix, the first of which didn’t make the grade because I felt it wasn’t good enough, this happened sometimes during the years when we could pre-record and edit at home. Most of the first half of this has elements of my DJ box at the time including a routine with the Spiritual South remix of Max Sedgley’s ‘Happy’ with acappella’s by the Beastie Boys and Ty overlaid. After an intro by another competition entry by Strikes it launches in an unexpected Theme From Happy Days paired with various cuts from David Shire’s ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ aka one of the greatest soundtracks ever recorded.

The keen-eared will spot the connection here as Sedgley’s ‘Happy’ enters the mix – the original samples said soundtrack and the Happy Days theme refers to the title – still not sure if it was a good idea but I probably thought it was hilarious in its wrongness at the time. The Spiritual South mix plays out and was always a really exciting one to play out as the increasing tempo changes add that spice in the club and the singalong acappellas push it into carnival territory – RIP Ty. More uptempo breaks follow in the 160bpm area by the end with DJ Zinc, Skalpel and First Born’s excellent Northern Soul-esque ‘The Mood Club’ parts 1 & 2. This excellent 7” has another great tempo changer of a mix, this time slowing down before speeding back up, always fun.

To my surprise, sandwiched in-between these two is The Jam’s ‘Funeral Pyre’, probably my favourite song by the trio, mainly for Rick Buckler’s incredible drums and it slides quite nicely in. Then back to the acappella’s with PWEI over RJD2, a snatch of ‘The Message’, a current Breakestra tune and Jane’s Addiction’s ‘Been Caught Stealing’ which would later turn up on DK and I’s ‘Now, Listen Again’ mix CD three years later. There really was little rhyme or reason to this selection, some of the tracks were evidently current releases but mixed up with old favourites in a party style. One that really stands out for me is The P Brothers with Cappo – their loping, almost slo-mo disco beat with that metallic noise just kills me. What is it? Some metallic Gang of Four bass guitar or weird percussion sample ? Whatever, I love it and Cappo’s flow over the rhythm surely marks this as one of the more progressive hip hop collabs of the time.fullsizeoutput_2ce1

After this we get into a reconstructed version of the mix that got trashed before with a slew of mash ups, odd cover versions or just plain wrongness that should bring a smile at least. It’s amazing how an edit, losing a track here and there and a reshuffle can make something a lot better and that’s what it’s all about as a selector, where you place something can make all the difference. I have no idea who attempted the mix ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Holy Thursday’ and ‘Saturday Love’ together but it works in places even if the quality is terrible. Ace of Clubs was Luke Vibert under yet another pseudonym and Autechre’s polyrhythmic collision with the acappella of Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Microphone Fiend’ was taken from a live performance. It’s worth it for the drop into the vocal and the unexpected turn it takes.

Two very early covers of Boards of Canada by a band called The Mathletes follow but I have no idea where I got these from, probably downloaded from the web. What follows was probably ill-advised but could form an earworm if you’re not careful, you have been warned. The final track always makes me laugh as Pitman takes a spot on satirical swipe at The Streets on his Soot FM radio show.

* Dates on the CDR refer to when the mixes were recorded, the PRS sheet says 28th, Solid Steel.net says 31st.

Track list:
Strikes – Solid Steel intro
Pratt & McClain – Theme from Happy Days
David Shire – Mini Manhunt / Goodbye Green / Hello Garber
Max Sedgley – Happy (Spiritual South remix)
Beastie Boys – Hold It Now, Hit It (acapulco)
Ty – Wait A Minute (acapella)
DJ Zinc – Voodoo
Skalpel -1958
First Born – The Mood Club Part 1
The Jam – Funeral Pyre
First Born – The Mood Club Part 2
RjD2 – Exotic Talk
PWEI – Radio PWEI (acappella)
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message
Breakestra – Show & prove
Janes’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealin’ (remix)
P Brothers feat. Cappo – Crazy Man
Mutant Miscreation – Grenadier’s Message
Unknown – Weekday Mix
Dick Hyman – Give it Up Or Turn iIt Loose (Carl Craig re-edit)
Baudolino  – Prince Voodoo Sex
Ace of Clubs – Ace of Clubs
Autechre / Rakim – Microphone Fiend (live)
The Mathletes – Bocuma
Unknown – Fill Me Jobim
The Mathletes – Roygabiv
Pitman feat. The Roads – Live on Soot FM

New ‘Above The Clouds’ guest Mix for Jonny Cuba radio show

JONNY01_FOOD_LISTEN

Long time friend and music ally, Jonny Cuba – of Dynamic Syncopation / Soundsci / Other Mirror and more – invited me to make a mix for his new radio show / podcast via the Jason Charles podcast network. Each show is themed with a different guest choosing the theme and providing a 30 minute – this episode’s is ‘Above The Clouds’.

JONNY_PREMIERE_previewDJFOOD

The Bureau of Lost Culture: The Comix Underground with Tony Bennett

1835756-knockabout_4
I had the absolute pleasure to spend an afternoon recently at Soho Radio with Stephen Coates and special guest Tony Bennett, the founder of Knockabout Comics  – underground and alternative publisher since 1975. We chat to Tony about his history in the counter culture, publishing some of the greats of the genre from Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Alan Moore, Hunt Emerson and more including his run-ins with the law, customs officers and trials for obscenity.

10102534._UY630_SR1200,630_ c2d1f3f53cafb9c5695e80451e8084f2_xl tempest-6-coloured-coverFFFBros

It’s hard to think of another publisher who has done more in the underground comics medium in the UK and Tony was a delight to chat to. He bought along a whole pile of books for Stephen and I including a copy of his very first self-published and very hard to find comic, Trip Strip from the early 70s. Pictured above are just a handful of the comics Knockabout have printed and distributed over the years – for more check their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/knockaboutcomics/

Trip Strip

Mixcloud Select 57: All Quiet On The Western Front 31/05/04

MS57 CDR This was taken from the end of a show I opened with 45 minutes of REALLY odd/awful versions of songs in ways that you wouldn’t expect. I was obviously still into the mash up thing as it pitted Melle Mel with Grenadier Guards, Dick Hyman covering James Brown, an Adam & the Ants cut up and Autechre reworking Rakim (from a live set by the group themselves). A set of tunes named after days of the week are shoehorned together by some unknown creator while Beyonce and Destiny’s Child get twisted into reggae and ragtime styles. It went on and was all a bit of a car crash, lots of it had aged pretty badly so I won’t be featuring it here I’m afraid – believe me, I’ve spared you. But that was version 1 – I’ve since discovered that I felt pretty much the same way back in 2004 and reworked the mix into something much better which I’ll share next week.

Si Begg aka Cabbageboy was the guest that week and then I wrapped up the show with this 30 minute mix which has faired far better over the 17 years since it was first broadcast. Around the early 00’s we had a competition for listeners to rework the show intro and were inundated with material, it was a seriously difficult job choosing favourites. One of mine was by someone under the name of Pangaea who made a beautifully musical version using the bleeps we provided which opens this set.

MS57 PRS

As you might guess from the mix title, this is a restrained affair featuring music for the quieter hours. Max Richter’s ‘The Blue Notebooks’ are featured twice, from the original release on Fat Cat sub label 130701 and this was the first time I’d heard of him. It’s a beautiful album and has since been quite rightly reissued after his later success. Stunningly atmospheric late night music, I used to listen to it in headphones, working to the early hours and it’s all too short. Neotropic appears from a compilation called ‘Crossfaded: Vol.2’ which I don’t remember at all, or it could have come from a CDr Riz gave me at the time because this track also appeared on her ‘White Rabbits’ LP four years later.

This is a far more mature set than the one that preceded it with M Craft and Animal Collective providing some contemporary folk songs before The Free Design beam in from the 60s. I think their records were being rediscovered and reissued around this time and Stones Throw did a series of remix EPs. I have no idea how Status Quo got to close the show but I was delving into psychedelia around this time and was surprised to find out that their early, pre-denim riffing was quite a bit different. From their second album, ‘Spare Parts’, and not written by the group, it’s a full on post-Sgt. Pepper ‘flower children’ epic with strings and brass but they were a little behind the times with this arriving in ’69 and it was a commercial flop. They changed musical course after this, dropped the psychedelia and the rest is history…

* Dates on the CDR refer to when the mixes were recorded, the PRS sheet says 28th, Solid Steel.net says 31st.

Track list:
Pangaea – Solid Steel intro
Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks
Neotropic – Feeling Remote
Max Richter – Shadow Journal
M Craft – Cone To My Senses
Animal Collective – Leaf House
The Free Design – 2002 A Hit Song
Satus Quo – Mr Mind Detector

Mixcloud Select 56: Strictly Kev – Space! The vinyl frontier 21/05/2001

MS56 Disc

From almost 20 years ago, a space-themed mix which was a favourite of Dean Smith who worked in the licensing dept. at Ninja Tune HQ at the time. I’d be lying if I said eyebrows weren’t raised with the inclusion of Destiny’s Child in this mix, I even remember a few annoyed comments from punters when DK and I dropped them into a mix at Cargo months later for the ‘Now, Listen launch party. But whatever, a good song is a good song, it was also the dawn of the mash up as you can hear but the inclusion of the Girls On Top mix of the Human League and TLC, one of the first of this wave. Frederick & Nina was an alias for Paul Jason Fredericks and Riz Maslen aka Neotropic and featured on one of her Council Folk releases with this great little samba.

Brian Eno made one of his best albums in 2001 and few people noticed, ‘Drawn From Life’, a collaboration with percussionist J. Peter Schwalm is full of beautiful tracks and features Laurie Anderson, Holger Czukay, Leo Abrahams and more. The strings in ‘Persis’ reminded me of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Suite Revenge’ from the Deathwish soundtrack so I added that next then remembered that the Major Force West album on Mo Wax a few years before contained a track which had sampled them.
MS56 BBC card
The space theme really only starts at Tom Dissevelt’s ‘Drifting’, a favourite from a 4-track 7” I’d found recently by the Dutch electronic pioneer. I’d also found a huge National Geographic box set with a book about man in space with several records telling the story of the space race. I added choice bits of this into the set at certain intervals and they can be heard from here on. An excerpt from Jimmy Cauty’s Space project follows, this was due to be The Orb’s debut album but Jimmy and Alex Paterson had a disagreement and it was put out under this name without Alex’s contributions, it’s so sparse that it makes ‘Chill Out’ seem full on.

Banabila is Michel Banabila from a 12” on Pork Recordings, the only thing he did for them, I really need to check him out, he’s done loads of albums and is still recording. Neotropic in This Mortal Coil mode precedes the opening track from Autechre’s ‘Confield’ album and then more Space. An excerpt from Harold Budd’s ‘The Pavilion of Dreams’ appears before Joe Meek closes the set with a track from his legendary ‘I Hear A New World’ LP that had recently been rediscovered and bootlegged.

*The difference in the dates on the CD and the BBC card is most likely because Solid Steel went out on a Monday evening when we were broadcasting on the radio with the corporation and then go up on the web on the Friday after.

Track list:
Simian – The Wisp
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Timbaland mix)
Squarepusher – Red Hot Car
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (original mix)
Girl’s On Top – Being Scrubbed
Frederick & Nina – Running
Eno & Schwalm – Persis
Herbie Hancock – Suite Revenge (excerpt)
Major Force West – Sonic Scale For Percussion No.113
Tom Dissevelt – Drifting
Space – Space (excerpt 1)
Eno & Schwalm – Bloom
Banabila – Voices from a Secret World
Neotropic – Cornershop Candy
Autechre – VI Scose Poise
Space – Space (excerpt 2)
Harold Budd – Bismillahi Rrahmani Rrahim
Joe Meek – Valley of No Return

Mixcloud Select 55: Strictly Kev Solid Steel 06/05/2002

MS55 CDR
Almost 19 years ago today I opened a Solid Steel show of two halves, the 2nd being taken up by my deconstruction of DJ Shadow’s ‘The Private Press’ album under the title, ‘Press Cuttings’. That mix is already on my Mixcloud and Soundcloud so I won’t be posting it but the half hour that preceded it has a lot to recommend it too.

Kicking off with The Flashbulb totally destroying LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’, this is an acquired taste but I love it and can’t hear the original without thinking of how some of the lines are mangled here. This of course was during the period where mash ups were big news and I was constantly looking for things of this ilk that would push the boundaries of how well known songs were retro-fitted with others. Scuzzy Buffer Underrun’s version of The Orb’s ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ was just such an example and there was a whole site full of these kind of versions. Using an artificial speech generator to replace lyrics was something that I thought was going to be the next fad in the mash up genre but it never caught on.

At the time a lot of this material was only available via the web so lots were downloaded and burned onto CD-Rs and I’d use a Numark CDJ in my sets in addition to the two turntables. This particular model could pitch up or down + or -100% with pitch lock and you can hear this in the playing of Negativland’s ‘Yellow, Black and Rectangular’ which is pitched right down to mix in to the “purple and red and yellow…” of The Orb (see what I did there?). You can hear the fragmented audio throughout the start and it gradually speeds up to the 124bpm of the Wookie track.

The mix from ‘Scrappy’ into 808 State’s ‘Cubik’ caught me off guard listening again, I’d noticed the similarity of the descending bass lines in both and scratched the latter to fit the former. This is a really random set with The Herbaliser’s serious overhaul of their own ‘Something Wicked’ track in the form of a bossa nova which, to me, is even better than the original. Another rework that radically retools the original is the Lotek version of Roots Manuva’s ‘Dreamy Days’ which rolls into an excerpt from Steinski’s as then unreleased ‘Nothing To Fear’ mix. Coupling Nelly and Marvin Gaye and peppering it with references to weed hence the subsequent track about marijuana that follows.

Tracklist:
The Flashbulb – Mama Said Knock You Out
Scuzzy Buffer Underrun – Little Fluffy Clouds
Negativland – Yellow, Black and Rectangular
Wookie – Scrappy
808 State – Cubik
The Herbaliser – Something Wicked (Bossa remix)
Evolution Control Committee – K-Tel-commercial
Roots Manuva – Dreamy Days (Lotek Bonanza Relick)
Steinski/Nelly/Marvin Gaye – Country Grammar
unknown – Marijuana

Part 2 can be heard here: https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/press-cuttings-the-private-press-compacted/

Celestial Mechanic – Citizen Void vinyl pre-order

CM packshot full
Online today is the vinyl version of the Celestial Mechanic album, ‘Citizen Void’, that I co-wrote with Saron Hughes last year. The album is a soundtrack of sorts to Rian Hughes‘ book, ‘XX – a novel, graphic’ after he tasked us with created the actual music for a fictitious album review featured in the book.

The release which is immaculately designed by Rian, is a lavish package featuring an LP and 7″ on yellow vinyl with inner sleeves, 12″x12″ print and original album press release. The cover is finished with silver ink and features a slightly reworked version of the sleeve that appears in Rian’s book. Part of the book focusses on an alien signal from space that is detected on Earth and is used at one point to make an album, a QR code inside takes the reader to a Bandcamp page with the music on it. For more info see my original post about the book.

Upon release we were contacted by Alex Egan of Utter who was excited to put it out on vinyl to compliment other multi media entries on his label. We had a problem in that ‘side 1’ of the album on the digital release was 30 minutes long and an LP can generally only cram 24 mins tops onto one side before the sound deteriorates. After unsatisfactory edits and deleted track line ups the solution was to snip the final two tracks and place them onto a bonus 7″ – more artwork for Rian! The whole package is a perfect visual companion to the book and differs slightly from the original digital version in that side 2’s side-long epic, ‘The Signal’ is the remixed version from the follow up digital EP.

UPDATE: It’s come to my attention that the pre-order from Bandcamp now adds tax onto the record and shipping total for the LP – seemingly as a result of Brexsh*t continuing to shaft us in all sorts of ways we never could have foreseen in the name of ‘taking back control’. If you pre-order via the Phonica link you should be able to get around this. It’s limited to 300 copies so be quick if you want one – release is early July.

Mixcloud Select 54: Solid Steel DJ Food Part 2 18/01/1998

MS53 DAT

This mix was the third part of a show where I tag-teamed with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic, each doing two half hour mixes. Recorded up at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St before it moved and engineered by Ali Tod who added samples and effects whilst watching the levels.
A more restrained intro with Fridge’s Steve Reich-esque ’Astrozero’ from their Anglepoised release on Output Recordings blending into ‘Orgien IV’ which was a really odd LP by Khan I found in New York on tour. Khan is the brother of Cem Oral, part of Air Liquide, and they would often feature on the same compilations so I’d always look out for his work which could range from acid techno to ambient. Around the time he was living in NYC and owned a record shop in Manhattan called Temple Records (quite possibly where I found this) and a label of the same name. The album came wrapped in a huge A1 sized poster printed on newsprint that was folded around the disc.

We pick up the pace with the excellent ‘Ape Shall Never Kill Ape’ from UNKLE, possibly the last everyone-pile-into-the-studio-and-see-what-comes-out track from James Lavelle and co. before Shadow stepped in a took the reigns. It’s an excellent breaks and Planet of the Apes soundtrack cut up with scratching by Tony and Joel from The Scratch Perverts and production by Jadell but we can now see that James had his eyes on something a bit bigger in scope. This was later retitled as ‘March of the General’ and released on Nigo’s album in 2000, this would have been from a Japanese 12” release at the time I played it. A really rather ropey mix of Stasis‘Samba de Fat Bloke’ lurches into the fray and shows that just because two things are in time, they don’t necessarily go together smoothly.

I’d completely forgotten this A Reminiscent Drive track, aptly named ‘The King & The Elephant’ because it sounds like a large mammal lumbering along, from his debut album, Mercy Street on F Comm. ‘Iced Cooly’ by Boards of Canada is from their debut 12”, Twoism and yes, this was played from an original copy which I still own – proof I had one back in ’98. The Fifty Foot Hose track isn’t from an original sadly, from another one of those dodgy Italian compilations that were so prevalent in the late 90s (The Might Mellow – A Folk – Funk Psychedelic Experience) and we close with the beautiful ‘Lillian Lust’ by Dudley Moore from the Bedazzled soundtrack.

Fridge – Astrozero
Khan – Orgien IV
UNKLE feat. Nigo & Scratch Perverts – Ape Shall Never Kill Ape
Stasis – Samba de Fat Bloke
A Reminiscent Drive – The King & The Elephant
Boards of Canada – Iced Cooly
Fifty Foot Hose – Rose
Dudley Moore – Lillian Lust

Mixcloud Select 53: Solid Steel DJ Food Part 1 18/01/1998

MS53Box

This mix was part of a show where I tag-teamed with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic, each doing two half hour mixes. Recorded up at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St. before it moved and engineered by Ali Tod who added samples and effects whilst watching the levels. Ali was the resident engineer around this time and also helped mix tracks on Kaleidoscope and loads of club and live events.

The Psychedelic Beach Trip Part 3 remix of The Lightning Seeds was by Ashley Beedle, from a promo 12” of the time that includes Psychedelic Beach Funk Part 1 & 2 mixes on the flip and can be had for less than £1 on Discogs. The bizarre but brilliant version of Melle Mel and the Furious Five’s ‘White Lines’ was by UK hip hop DJ’s Pogo and Cutmaster Swift. This was from some reissue around this time and their slowing down of the song to make a jazz version using the same bassline that The Herbaliser had half-inched for ‘Scratchy Noise’ a few years earlier was pure genius. ‘King Wasp’ was Add N To X’s second single on Satellite Records before then signing to Mute and old flatmate Chantal Passamonte’s debut on Warp as Mira Calix, ‘Sandsings’, features briefly. Two takes on Lalo Schifrin’s ‘Bullit’ theme tune appear in the form of The Midnight Funk Association (a Mark Broom project) and The Black Dog’s late 90’s remix version.

The Giancarlo Gazzani ‘Under Drama’ track was alas not from an original but from the excellent set of Easy Tempo compilations out of Italy that were around at the end of the 90s. At this point there were so many comps of soundtracks, easy listening and library around, some legal, most bootlegs, that it was hard to keep up but these were definitely good ones and ran to ten volumes by 2003. Tadashi Takatsuka’s ‘Odd Job’ was from a great little 4 track 7” EP titled Man From Electone that I must have picked up in Tokyo on tour.

The Lightning Seeds – Psychedelic Beach Trip Part 3
Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – White Lines (Swift & Pogo mix)
Kid Loco – Relaxin’ With Cherry
Add N To X – King Wasp
Mira CalIx – Sandsings
Midnight Funk Organisation – Byte The Bullet
Lalo Schifrin – Bullit (Black Dog mix)
Giancarlo Gazzani – Under Drama
Tadashi Takatsuka – Odd Job
Rhys Chatham – Domestik Life

Songs To Enlighten mix for the Tales To Enlighten Kickstarter

TTE cover 4
Earlier this year I put together this mix for Megatrip as a sweetener to accompany the ‘Tales To Enlighten’ Kickstarter that began on April 1st. It’s the second of three sets made to add some more online content to push the fundraiser along during the month. We didn’t need it as the book was funded in 6 hours and continues to gain ground, currently at four times its target! Regardless, not wanting to let a good mix go to waste Matt is pushing ahead with them anyway with Bobby Corridor’s Trip Hop Faster mix debuting last week and mine this.

TTE SYNOPSIS SQUARE
Given the heavy religious content of the book I decided to do a second mix of religious rock and spiritual spoken word. Following on from the first one, Songs Of Praise – which featured on Shane Quentin‘s Garden of Earthly Delights radio show last year – here’s Songs To Enlighten, more of the same with spoken sample contributions from Megatrip’s Soundbank library. It’s an hour long romp through rock operas and church run label releases by obscure bands spreading the good word and has been a joy to put together. Go here for the full lowdown including a download of the mix.

TTE DIE SATAN
If you’re not familiar with the Kickstarter and enjoy blasphemous anarchy, psychedelic mayhem and a load of great art then take a look as there’s still two weeks left to go even though the project is funded. This won’t be sold in book shops, it’s ready to print and a second volume is also at an advanced stage.

COUNTDOWN 001 youGet-v2

Mixcloud Select 52: Openmind on Solid Steel 26/09/1993

MS52 CDR52 uploads – just over a year since this subscription started (I missed at least 1 week I think) and over hundred subscribers – thanks to everyone for the support, the newcomers just joining and the hardcore for sticking with it. There’s still plenty more to get through, in fact the amount is hard to navigate sometimes. Not only the audio but the visual too as I’ve been going through my artwork archives and digitizing lots of material like flyers, postcards, stickers, badges, posters and associated ephemera, mainly to do with Ninja Tune and my design work under the Openmind alias.

Part of this is to create an online visual archive which you can see the first few uploads of here https://www.instagram.com/openmindesign/
Please give us a follow if you want to see rare and classic Ninja Tune and Openmind items from over the last 25+ years as well as contemporary design work I’m doing. There will be lots of rarely seen promo items I’ve hoarded but what’s the point of having these things unless you share them, right? Much like the audio archive it will take years to go through all this stuff so bear with me but I will eventually be selling some of the items I have multiple copies of via my openmindesign site. Anyway, on to this week’s show…

Matt Black at KISSFM 1995

*UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me by super Solid Steel collector Anton Kibeshev, that this set was actually from 1993, not 1994!
Another early Openmind guest mix from myself – actually the second appearance – partnered with Mario Aguera on the first hour of this show while Matt Black held down the mic and jingles, seen here in the KISS studio from a later session around 1994/5 that I found this week. Ambient is still very much the order of the day but supplemented with dubbed-out beats, electronica and even a bit of pop. Matt mentions a Telepathic Fish gig we were doing around this time and I think this was the one we did at the Cool Tan in Brixton which David Toop later reviewed for some publication around the time. This was recorded up at KISS FM, live on a Saturday night with the two of us getting a cab back south of the river to the flat we shared in East Dulwich at the time.

Kicking off with two copies of the intro to Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Warriors of the Wasteland (Return)’ mix faded back and forth we then go into the Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd’s collaboration – this one-off album is seriously worth tracking down. This was overlaid with S’Xpress’s ‘Coma’ (essentially ventilator breathing and sonar pings) which was only available on a 7” given away with Record Mirror magazine in the UK and was a stable of ambient sets of mine at the time. Steve Wilson’s first band, No-Man make an appearance with a Twin Peaks sample before one of the more out there KLF mixes of ‘What Time Is Love’ which comes on like a mini version of ‘Chill Out’.

It seems to be indie / electronic ping pong here with Jesus Jones remixed by Aphex Twin, This Mortal Coil next to B12 – I had a big thing for 80s 4AD at this point in time and was mining some of their back catalogue for a slightly different take on the ambient genre. The Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil were always good for this, the Future Sound of London seemed to think so too, sampling DCD and working with Liz Fraser. Nice to hear Spacetime Continuum’s debut, ‘Fluresence’ again, an ambient classic gifted to me by Mixmaster Morris and recently compiled on the excellent ‘Virtual Dreams: Ambient Exploration In The House & Techno Age 1993-1997’ compilation by Music From Memory.

The second half of the mix gets dubbier with the very end of a Moody Boys track serving as an intro to the Eurythmics from the 91/2 Weeks soundtrack. ‘Free’ (which would later appear on Coldcut’s ‘Journeys By DJ’) kicks off a trip-hop-ish section with Depth Charge woven in and out of Material’s ‘Mantra’ whilst parts of the Orb’s remix of same track surface before Dub Syndicate’s excellent ‘What Happened?’. This is on a 10” with another brilliant track on the flip that samples the soundtrack to Peter Whitehead’s ‘Tonight, Let’s All Make Love In London’. More Moody Boys in the form of ‘Pumpin Dumpin’ and then into one of my favourite Plaid tracks and a highlight of the mix where it really feels like it’s rocking. I have no idea what the bassy rim shot break is near the end, I thought it might be more Moody Boys or from some breakbeat album but nothing springs to mind, please refresh my memory if you recognise it. I play out with Minnie Riperton’s classic ‘Lovin’ You’, an obvious reference to the Orb using it on ‘An Ever Growing Pulsating Brain…’ before Matt hits the news jingle too early, live radio eh?

This whole mix evokes great times, music free-floating and experimental, making connections in the music industry and early days working with Ninja Tune as well as my flatmates under the Openmind name with our Telepathic Fish events. As well as that, having left college and started working I finally had some disposable income to spend on records and the hunt for knowledge about artists and genres was constant (still is).

Track list:
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Watching The Wildlife (return)
Budd, Fraser, Guthrie, Raymond – Memory Gongs
S’Xpress – Coma
No-Man – Reich
The KLF – What Time Is Love (Virtual Reality Mix)
Jesus Jones – Zeroes & Ones (Aphex Twin Construction #2)
David Sylvian – Answered Prayers
This Mortal Coil – Firebrothers
B12 – Soundtrack To Space
Spacetime Continuum – Fluresence
The Moody Boys – Lion Dance
Eurythmics – This City Never Sleeps
The Moody Boys – Free
Depth Charge – Depth Charge
Material – Mantra (Doors of Perception mix)
Depth Charge – Depth Charge
Dub Syndicate – What Happened?
The Moody Boys – Pumpin’ Dumpin’
Plaid – Yamemm
Unknown – unknown
Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You

Big Mouth podcast – 10th April

I was asked back as a guest reviewer on Andrew Harrison and Sian Pattenden‘s excellent Big Mouth podcast this week. If you want to hear me getting tongue-tied and being largely less eloquent then Andrew, Sian and other guest Michael Hann, then hit the link. The film, Nomadland, TV series, Wellington Paranormal and new albums from Raf Rundell and Matthew E. White all get reviewed.

Mixcloud Select 51: Strictly Kev – War Is Stupid 07/04/2003

MS51 CDR Going back in time 18 years ago this week, I’ve dug out the second of the two anti-war mixes I did around the time of the Iraq war kicking off. There were plenty of songs to choose from as you can imagine and I remember performing a version of this live at the Autechre ATP, arriving super late, just as I was due to go on and setting up on stage with 2 decks and a CDJ and tearing through this in a burst of adrenalin.

MS51 PRS

There’s a lot of angry music here as you would expect although not without its more poignant moments like the end trio of The Disposable Heroes, Roberta Flack and Timmy Thomas. A strong start with two copies of Time Zone’s classic ‘World Destruction’ sees multiple mixes cut back and forth with additional spoken word and a nice little slow down trick from 45 to 33 into Zack De La Rocha and DJ Shadow’s ‘March of Death’ (was this ever properly released?). There were a lot of spoken word cut ups criticizing or making fun of world leaders appearing on the web around this time as uploading audio became the norm although I think this is still pre-YouTube. A highlight for me is the Tackhead / S’Express section with Jello Biafra hollering over the top, stacking tracks up only to knock them down again. Sadly the world is no better off, there were no WMDs, the Chilcot Report deemed the war unnecessary and over 150,000 people died – beyond stupid.

Track list:
Time Zone – World Destruction (original/industrial remix)
Zack De La Rocha/DJ Shadow – March of Death
Trouble Funk – Drop The Bomb
Organised Konfusion – Prisoners of War
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Satanic Reverses
The The – Sweet Bird of Truth
Kurtis Blow – America (Dub/Original)
Coldcut feat. Sweet Toothed Sonny – Acid Drops (Bomb The Mix)
Unknown – The Duke of Hazzards
Bill Hicks – The War
The The – Heartland
IDC – Safe From Us
Saul Williams – Made You Look (freestyle)
Organised Konfusion – Drop Bombs
Tackhead – Mind At The End of the Tether
S’Express – Coma 2 (AM/OK)
Jello Biafra – Die For Oil Sucker
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy – Winter of the Long Hot Summer
Roberta Flack – Compared To What
Timmy Thomas – Why Can’t We Live Together?
The KLF – America No More
Whingy Manone – Stop The War