Food & DK in Bastille, Grenoble, France

Sometimes all the elements just fall into place with a gig and last night was one of those times. The perfect balance of great weather, people and food in a stunning location – Bastille, on top of the mountain in Grenoble, France. The quickest way to the top was by cable car and the five bubble cars that descended from the sky were like something out of a 60’s World Expo fair. Once on top of the mountain, our stage was perched on the edge of a courtyard with a stunning view of the city and surrounding countryside below, including Europe’s longest street which you can see carved into the landscape in a couple of shots here.

The gig was to be three hours long between DK and myself but we loved it so much we decided to play the warm up hour whilst people arrived by cable car as well. By midnight the place was packed with more people than expected but at 1.30am the promoters got a call from the city mayor. The music was too loud and the bass could be heard across the city so the sound had to be turned down, much to the annoyance of the crowd. 40 minutes later we ramped things up with some drum n bass and people started surging forward and pushing over barriers, a fight broke out after much moshing and we had to stop the music a couple of times. We decided to curtail the harshness of the music after requests from the promoters as there wasn’t enough security and it all ended well at 3am. It’s unlikely there will be another gig up there again after this and there was talk of us being banned from playing again :). Gig of the year so far for both of us though, thanks to everyone who came and made it so great and thanks to Alban, the promoter who put us up for it.

Posted in DJ Food, Gigs. | 7 Comments |

Cutting and mastering

Spent the day at Soundmasters in Latima Road, West London, cutting my third EP before the album gets compiled. Kevin Metcalfe was again in control and Aaron Thomason aka 2econd Class Citizen came down to oversee the track we had collaborated on. It all went well until the Analogue to Digitial converters started playing up, causing a drop out as we were cutting the actual disc. I had to leave before the end but I’m assured it won’t be on the final cut. Here’s a few shots of the mastering room, the kit and cutting the disc.

This is the third of three EPs which will form the DJ Food album proper, this one totals about 27 minutes over 5 tracks. That means I have nearly 90 minutes of music to choose from for the album, some tracks from the EPs won’t make it, four from the previous two EPs have been reworked or remixed so will be in different states when it’s all finished. I’m mastering these four next week and then compiling a running order for the CD which will be all mixed, with the downloads as separate tracks.

 

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DJ Food – 3rd EP finally finished

It’s been a productive week for music, I finally finished the 3rd EP in the trilogy that will make up my album. Plus the cover version of The The’s GIANT featuring Matt Johnson on vocals that I’ve literally been working on for years. The keen-eyed among you will also have spotted that Matt’s friend and sometime musical collaborator, JG Thirlwell appears on one track too.

I have one more track that I’m reworking from a previous EP to finish for the album and then I have to sequence it all for the CD version and do artwork. Also next week I am remixing Loka for the first single from their second LP, due out this autumn on Ninja Tune. 2econd Class Citizen, whom I collaborated on this EP on one track, has also turned in a remix for this which is a nice touch.

Posted in DJ Food, Music, Ninja Tune. | 5 Comments |

Crazy scenes at the last ever Mixed Bizness

I played in Glasgow last night as the special guest at Boom Monk Ben‘s last ever Mixed Bizness night at the School of Art. After my 90 minute AV set Ben played the final hour and the crowd went progressively crazier until he ended with Beck’s ‘Mixed Bizness’ (what else?) and a full on stage invasion. Predictably ‘one more song’ was requested to which he responded with Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ at which point there was full on crowd surfing! Another stage invasion occurred and demands for one more ‘one more song’ were granted by Roots Manuva’s ‘Witness’ and the place erupted. I think Ben feared the whole table and laptop were going to be pushed over at one point from the amount of people on the front of the stage and behind the decks.

It was a great end to years of regular nights Ben has been doing at the Art School, which is due for renovation and will be closed for at least 2 years while they rip everything out. The week before, I did a phone interview with Shaun Murphy for Mixed Bizness about the forthcoming show and my forthcoming album, which you can listen to here

I stayed in the lovely Citizen M hotel when I was there which is full of great designer furniture by the likes of Panton and Eames with compact rooms that resembled Japanese pod hotels.

Posted in DJ Food, Gigs. | 2 Comments |

DJ Food LP cover, first look

Hot out of the in-box this morning, here’s a detail of Henry Flint‘s cover image for the forthcoming DJ Food album. I’ll post more as time goes on but this is only a close up of part of it, there will be background added (by Henry) and colour (by myself). On the finished product you’ll see how all the different images he’s done for the releases work together too, although I’m trying to find a way to make that work with the packaging!

 

Posted in Art, DJ Food. | 1 Comment |

Food update

I should take some time to fill you in on what’s been going on in Food land this year and some of the reasons why no third EP and album appeared last year. There is one very good reason and it simply translates as 2010 = Ninja Tune XX. As I tried to begin the third and final part of my album/EP trilogy early last year the full enormity of the task of creating the elements that would make up the 20th anniversary for Ninja came into focus.

I’ve already gone into detail about what was involved in creating the look, book and box set for the whole campaign elsewhere but breaking down 2010 went roughly like this:

Jan – Jun – creating the identity for the whole event, designing, researching and laying out the entire ’20 Years of Beats & Pieces’ book. Also beginning consultation as to what the box set would contain and designing the package from scratch.

Jun – Aug – designing the box components alongside many other offshoot releases such as the separate CDs, multiple 12″s, posters, flyers and more. I also curated and put together the exhibition of artwork that opened in London for the book launch before getting a week off for a family holiday.

Sept -Dec – preparing an audio visual best of Ninja / Big Dada DJ set with DK, helping with design elements for the big London show, designing King Cannibal‘s ‘Way of the Ninja’ mix CD and then taking it all on the road. I did every city on the NTXX tour, taking in Europe, the States and Japan and even went to China for a one-off gig near the end of it. The final gig was in Brighton on December 10th and to say that I was burnt out would be pretty accurate. I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity for the world though because what came out of it was my biggest design project ever, the celebration of the label I love and have grown with for over 15 years and a great load of memories to go with it. Trying to find the energy and imagination to create new tracks as the year drew to a close went nowhere, a new DJ Food record could wait another year, Ninja XX couldn’t.

Now it’s time to look forward rather than back though, so, in January, I began work on the final phase of the Food album. At the moment I have no title for the EP but the album is called ‘Stolen Moments’ although that may change. I’ve remixed some of the tracks from the first two EPs for the album and have a few more collaborations but I don’t want to reveal them until they’re properly in the bag. One that’s almost finished is a multi-part track with 2econd Class Citizen called ‘Magpie Music’ that’s currently clocking in at nearly 12 minutes. Stylistically it’s all over the place but features Bollywood, Gamelan, Rock and Turkish influences and more with a ton of spoken word.

Cover artist on the previous EPs, Henry Flint, is completing the final part of the cover art (detail left) and I plan to spend most of May mixing down the final tracks and versions. There should be a 12″ with four or 5 tracks for the final EP and then a CD for the album collecting all the major tracks in a continuous sequence while the digital version will have them all separate. Release is pencilled in for Sept/Oct if I deliver in June and a new DJ Food-centric AV set will be in the works as soon as the album is mastered to go out and tour with. There’s more but I’ll save that for another time.

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64 Bar Music challenge no.6

In June I’ll be mixing the next installment of the 64 Bar Music challenge, first instigated by members of the Ninja Tune forum. A quick crash course in 64 Bar Music: the concept is simple, a tempo is decided upon for each new challenge and you write a piece of music, in any style, no longer than 64 bars. The poll to decide the bpm for 64:6 (there have been five so far) has just been set at 110 bpm.

Anyone can join in and the best of the entries will be turned into a mix by yours truly, debuting in July. If you fancy a bit of that then hop along to 64BarMusic and check out the details, deadline is June 1st. It’s an excellent way to get your production heard in amongst producers both released and unreleased. People like Dr. Rubberfunk, Proof of Concept, Remdog, Tom Central, dtnl, AGT Rave Cru and DJ Moneyshot have already contributed and there are many excellent unknowns who have taken part in the past.

Posted in DJ Food, Event, Music. | 3 Comments |

‘The Crow’ animation by Tom Webb

[vimeo width=”636″ height=”484″]http://vimeo.com/19748315[/vimeo]

Tom Webb contacted me with this film he made as part of his 3rd year Illustration Minor project. It’s the first half of the DJ Food track ‘The Crow‘, written by PC, from our Kaleidoscope LP. Here are his comments about the making of it;

“I set myself the task of trying to illustrate the DJ Food album Kaleidoscope. Initially, I was trying to produce stand alone images but eventually decided to dive into the world of animation for the first time. I created a sequence for the first half of The Crow. I was hoping to animate to the whole track, I storyboarded a lot of it but the deadline got the better of me.”

TW sketch1TW image4TW image5TW image1

“The images were created as spontaneous responses to the sounds and atmospheres I was hearing inside some of the tracks. I started investigating ‘Full Bleed’, ‘Cookin’, ‘The Riff’, ‘The Crow’ and both the ‘Sleep Dyad‘s’ a lot because of their particular energies.

The idea was to finish making the image before the track finished, so I started painting with my hands to help speed things up and build a small library of personal reactions in texture. I then scanned the images at hi-res and chopped out suitable macro sections which were then imported into the animation. There was a lot of trial and error involved. It’s also the first time I’ve had a go at animating so I had to learn the program from scratch as well.”

I personally love the syncopation he’s got and the movements from dark to light corresponding to the moods of the track. You can see more of Tom’s work on his blog calamridropkick.com