2019

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What a grim end to the year and the decade, good riddance to the last four years at least. Writing this on the morning of Friday 13th as the results and fallout of the election come in, it’s hard to muster the energy and will to rejoice in anything when the turkeys have voted for Xmas. I used to be largely ignorant of current affairs and politics, back in my youth, I thought it was dull and boring, why would I be interested in any of that? But you grow up, you have a family and these things start to matter because they affect your life whether you like it or not. Back in the first half of December it felt like there was still hope, a chance to pull things back from the brink, but not now when the country has voted overwhelmingly for Johnson’s government in the belief that he will fix things that he helped engineer in the first place.

Sometimes I wish I was ignorant again, as ignorant as those who didn’t vote or voted on personalities, believing the lies and propaganda peddled by the media. But you can’t just turn that tap off, not once you’ve understood how the system works and see the soap opera play out. You CAN however blot it out for a bit by reading, watching, visiting or listening to great art made by your fellow man, or woman or non-identifying person. There was a lot of it this year and here’s some of the favourite ways I blotted parts of this year out.

LPs 2019

Music / podcasts –
way too much new music to keep up with only so much time and money, I probably listened to Adam Buxton‘s shows from the archive more than anything else this year:
Pye Corner Audio – Hollow Earth LP (Ghost Box)
Various – Corroded Circuits EP 12″ (Downfall Recordings)
Chris Moss Acid – Heavy Machine 12″ (Balkan Vinyl)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishes LP (Flightless)
Pictogram – Trace Elements cassette (Miracle Pond)
Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology LP (Fire Records)
Big Mouth podcast (various) (Acast)
Beans – Triptych LP (Gamma Proforma)
Roisin Murphy – Incapable single (Skint)
Ebony Steel Band – Pan Machine LP (Om Swagger)
People Like Us – The Mirror LP (Discrepant)
Coastal County – Coastal County LP (Lomas)
Adam Buxton podcast (various) (Acast)
Ghost Funk Orchestra – A Song For Paul LP (Karma Chief)
Jon Brooks – Emotional Freedom Techniques LP (Cafe Kaput)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Organ Farmer (from Infest the Rat’s Nest LP) (Flightless)
Jane Weaver – Fenella LP (Fire Records)
Polypores – Brainflowers cassette (Miracle Pond)

Seemed to acquire a lot of tapes this year too…

Tapes 2019

 

Designs 2019

Design / packaging – so much good stuff out there, Nick Taylor goes from strength to strength, Reuben Sutherland‘s work for Sculpture always inspires and Victoria Topping continues to do great art for On The Corner Records:
Pepe Deluxé – The Surrealist Woman lathe cut 7″ (Catskills)
Various – Science & Technology ERR Rec Library Vol.2 (ERR Records)
DJ Pierre presents ACID 88 vol. III LP (Afro Acid)
Mark Ayres plays Wendy Carlos – Kubrick 7″ (Silva Screen)
Tomorrow Syndicate – Citizen Input 10″ (Polytechnic Youth)
The Utopia Strong – S/T LP (Rocket Recordings)
Jarvis – Sunday Service LP (ACE records)
Andy Votel – Histoire D’Horreur cassette (Hypocrite?)
Sculpture – Projected Music 5″ zoetrope picture disc (Psyché Tropes)
Lapalux – Amnioverse LP (Brainfeeder)
Hieroglyphic Being –  Synth Expressionism / Rhythmic Cubism LP (On The Corner Records)

films 2019

Film / TV – I really don’t watch too much TV or get to the cinema as often as I’d like to:
Sculpture – Meeting Our Associates (Plastic Infinite)
This Time with Alan Partridge (BBC)
Avengers: Endgame (Disney/Marvel)
Imaginary Landscapes – Sam Campbell (Vinyl Factory)
What We Do In The Shadows (BBC2)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Books 2019.2

Books / Comics / Magazines I read constantly, all sorts of stuff, a lot online, I found less interesting new comics this year or there were fewer that made an impression. Also many of my regular reads came to an end so there was less to consume on that front.
Beastie Boys Book – Mike Diamond & Adam Horowitz (Spiegel & Grau)
Cosmic Comics – A Kevin O’Neill Miscellany (Hibernia Books)
Electronic Sound (Pam Comm Ltd)
Eve Stranger – David Barnett / Philip Bond (Black Crown)
Bicycle Day – Brian Blomerth (Anthology Editions)
Moebius – 40 Days In The Desert (expanded edition) (Moebius Productions)
Rock Graphic Originals  – Peter Golding w. Barry Miles (Thames & Hudson)
2000AD / Judge Dredd Megazine (Rebellion)
Silver Surfer Black – Donny Cates/Tradd Moore (Marvel)
Help – Simon Amstell (Square Peg)
The Scarfolk Annual – Richard Littler (William Collins)
Wrappers Delight – Jonny Trunk (Fuel)

Gigs 2019

Gigs / Events – I spent a lot of time in Café Oto, socialising to the sights and sounds of Jonny Trunk & Martin Green or watching groups that featured Cathy Lucas this year:
Vanishing Twin @ Prince of Wales Pub, Brighton
Stereolab @ Concorde 2, Brighton
People’s Vote march 23rd March, London
Wobbly Sounds book launch @ Spiritland, London
Confidence Man @ The Electric, Brixton, London
Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival, Moseley, Birmingham
Bluedot Festival, Jodrell Bank, Manchester
HaHa Sounds Collective play David Axelrod’s Earth Rot @ Tate Exchange, London
School of Hypnosis play In C @ Cafe Oto, London
Palace Electrics, Antenna Studios, London
The Delaware Road, New Zealand Farm, Salisbury
Breaking Convention closing party, Greenwich, London
Jonny Trunk & Martin Green’s Hidden Library @ Spiritland, Southbank, London
Negativland / People Like Us @ Cafe Oto, London
HaHa Sound Collective plays the David Axelrod songbook @ The Church of Sound, London,
Sculpture, Janek Schaefer, Mariam Rezaei + the 26 turntable ensemble @ The Old Baths, Hackney, London Vanishing Twin & Jane Weaver’s Fenella @ Studio 9294, Hackney Wick, London

Art 2019

Exhibitions – there was so much art to see in 2019, I managed most of it but London does spoil you sometimes and you can’t see it all. Just a stroll round the Brick Lane area of east London will delight with the free art painted, stuck or sprayed on the walls for all to see:
Sister Corita Kent @ House of Illustration, London,
Augustinbe Kofie @ Stolen Space, London,
Victor Vasarely @ Pompidou Centre, Paris,
Mary Quant @ V&A Museum, London,
Stanley Kubrick @ The Design Museum, London,
Tim Hunkin’s Novelty Automation Museum, London,
Keith Haring retrospective @Tate, Liverpool,
Nam June Paik, Tate Modern, London,
Takis @ Tate Modern, London,
Shepard Fairy @ Stolen Space, London,
Damien Hirst ‘Mandalas’ at the White Cube, London,
Bridget Riley @ The Hayward, London,
Museum of Neo-liberalism, Lewisham, London.

Openmind 2019

Another year over and what have I done? quite pleased with this lot this year:  
Become by own agent for the first half of the year (not fun)
Designed As One’s ‘Communion’ LP sleeve for De:tuned
Toured my Kraftwerk: Klassics, Kovers & Kurios AV set
Contributed to the Wobbly Sounds book on flexi discs published by Four Corner Books
Performed a 30 minute reimagining of Kraftwerk’s ‘Radio-Activity’ album
Appeared on Big Mouth, Out Of The Wood, Jonny Trunk’s OST, Dusk Dubs, Mix-Ins, 45 Live, Mostly Sounds podcasts / shows
Continued the design for De:tuned’s 10th anniversary with a 10th volume, poster, tote bag and more
Built a modified turntable with three extra floating arms for future performances
Designed a fold out 3″ CD Xmas card for The Real Tuesday Weld – more to come in 2020…

For no other reason – Badges, along with the cassettes it’s like the 80s never stopped

Badges 2019

RIP: Daryl Dragon, Ron Smith, Ken Nordine, Peter Tork, Mark Hollis, Keith Flint, Magenta Devine, Hal Blaine, Scott Walker, Quentin Fiore, Dr John, MAD magazine, Vertigo comics, Rutger Hauer, Ras G, Peter Fonda, Richard Williams, Pedro Bell, David Cain, Patsy Colegate, Clive James, David Bellamy, Phase 2, Gershon Kingsley, Emil Richards, Dave Riley (Big Black), Vaughn Oliver, Neil Innes, Syd Mead.

Looking forward to: – not much to look forward to except a year of Brexit, economic downturn and US Presidential campaigns but these might lighten the mood…
Paul Weller and Plone on Ghost Box
A Touched Music special release in conjunction with De:tuned for World Cancer Day – 4th Feb.
The second Revbjelde LP, ‘Hooha Hubbub’, from the Buried Treasure label
More designs for The Real Tuesday Weld…
The next Group Modular album, released on a UK label
The Castles In Space label releasing a remastered vinyl version of Clocolan’s excellent 2019, cassette-only, ‘It’s Not Too Early For Each Other’ album.
The return of Slow Death Comix
45 Live releasing their first acid 7” with Type 303 in Feb
Ian Holloway from The British Space Group’s new label, Wyrd Britain – the first release will be his own ‘The Ley of the Land’.
The Amorphous Androgynous album, ‘Listening Beyond The Head Chakra’ and album-length single, ‘We Persuade Ourselves That We Are Immortal’ around Easter
Ninja Tune’s 30th anniversary in the Autumn
An exhibition about electronic music at the Design Museum featuring Kraftwerk, Jeff Mills, Ellen Allien, Jean-Michel Jarre and BBC Radiophonic Workshop among others
The Masters of British Comic Art book by David Roach in April
The return of Spitting Image (we really need this)

Happy New Year x

Instagram Top 9 2019

Instagram Top9 2019
There’s a way to go until my own end of the year post (Dec 31st) but I did that Top 9 thing over on my Instagram account and this is what came back. Interesting to see the old Ninja Tune logo three times (!) which bodes well for the label’s 30th birthday next year.
No surprise to see Beastie Boys and Kraftwerk there but odd that a patterned 12” record got so many hits.
I guess nostalgia is the biggest attraction and the FunkiPorciniFast Asleep’ cover was way ahead of the pack.

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Vote!

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There are a lot of good memes, slogans and piss takes surrounding this election, here are some that have caught my eye. The slogan above, using the same fonts at the mastheads of the right wing press, is by spellingmistakescostlives.com aka Darren Cullen. He has a pop up Museum of Neo-liberalism in Lewisham right now that’s worth a visit to find out the origins and architects of how the UK is in the state it is now.

I’m not sure where the Tories Over if you want it originates but the Heavenly Social posted it and I thought I’d Photoshop it into a picture of John and Yoko to bring the reference full circle.
The Monopoly box rearranged to No More Tory is by Andy Votel and I’m unsure about the rest but the sentiments either ring true for me or make me laugh. Please remember to vote on Thursday, unless it’s for the Tories.

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Sculpture, Projected Music release party

Projected Music poster
A huge night coming up on November the 29th in East London, Psyché Tropes celebrate the release of the 5″ picture disc of locked grooves Sculpture have done with them by putting on a gig of avant garde turntablism. Janek Schaefer, Mariam Rezaei and Sculpture themselves will be headlining and interspersed will be a 26 turntable ensemble made up of: A’Bear, Arran Bolders, Ben Rodgers, Billy Pleasant, Bjorn Hatleskog, Blanca Regina, Chloe Frieda, Chris Thomas Allen (The Light Surgeons), Dan Hayhurst (Sculpture), Daniel WJ MacKenzie, DJ Food, Graham Dunning, Hems, Horton Jupiter, Janek Schaefer, Lia Mice, Mariam Rezaei, Merkaba Macabre, Odd Lust, Pierre Bouvier Patron, Rado Bogasch, Reuben Sutherland (Sculpture),  Robin The Fog (Howlround), Spatial, Tida Bradshaw, Tom Richards.

I doubt the same people will ever be in the same place on 26 turntables ever again – should be a riot!
The record is great and available here and tickets for the event are available here for the absolute steal of £5.

Spun Out Of Control tapes for Cassette Store Day

SOOC tapes frontIt’s Cassette Store (Shop) Day today in the UK and two of the best-looking entries this year are from Spun Out Of Control . Namely the third Stefan Bachmeier release – a clone-obsessed author gets paranoid when he starts to discover other dopplegangers – and Grayson by Jane Borré, a conceptual sci-fi soundtrack in a glitter-speckled shell. These will go quick, they usually sell out in a few hours so be ready if you want one. Also out is The The‘s See Without Being Seeing which also sold out from their site on pre-order last week.SOOC tapes back

The Delaware Road 2019

Delaware Road flyer crop
It’s been nearly a week and I’ve been away since returning from this madness so this is late but: The Delaware Road, 2019 : Ritual & Resistance, a 1 day event deep in the heart of Salisbury in a working army base was a blast. Hidden at the end of a road which went through a ghost village and fields of rusted tanks and distant watch towers, red Routemaster buses ferried us to the destination, driven by a man who asked us to reset our watches to the local time of 1944.

DR Salisbury plains DR Salisbury tankDR Salisbury buses DR Danger sign

Along the way locals muttered about a rave happening at the military base but this was no ordinary party. 40 performers ranging from live bands to DJs, poets, installation art, spoken word artists, a witch and a lot of men looking very intently at laptops, tape machines, keyboards and modular synths filled the concrete spaces with a huge amount of sonic beauty and debauchery. The stark concrete and brick huts and outhouses housed all manner of the most leftfield electronica and alternative music and performance you’ll see in any venue or festival, let alone a working M.O.D. facility.

The Delaware Road encampmentDR MOD campDR bus stopDR camping

The main gathering space and stage inside the curved Nissen hut

DR fest site

Stand out moments are hard to quantify as there was so much on and it was a battle to either catch certain acts or get into the rooms they were playing in as some were cramped/crammed by the time you’d arrive. The exception was the main Nissen hut/stage which was big enough to accommodate many and came into its own once the sun went down and the projections kicked in. In the Psyché Tropes room, Sculpture rocked as they always do and Howlround with Merkaba Macabre in a tape loop/modular synth soundclash definitely blew the cobwebs away and probably affected the baby swallows in the nest up in the rafters forever. The Castles In Space room was rammed for Polypores, The 12 Hour Foundation and Concretism and the Buried Treasure room hosted Ian Helliwell, Simon James and Soundhog whose set I caught the last part of with the memorable special lighting effect deployed during his ode to the Commodore 64. Add Andrea Parker playing an electronic pioneers set and Doug Shipton layering cosmic sounds in the main hut before a frankly terrifying performance by Lone Taximermist after which Steve Davis and myself closed things and this was still only half of what was on offer. You could have gone again and had a completely different festival so props to Alan Gubby for all his hard work making it one of the most memorable and manic line ups yet in the Delaware Road saga.

Andrea ParkerDR Andrea Parker
Doug Shipton
DR Doug Shipton

Polypores
DR Polyphores

The 12 Hour Foundation DR 12 Hr Foundation

I never did find out who this lot were but they seemed to play all over the place, Push and Neil from Electronic Sound magazine look on over the wall.DR unknown

Frances Castle from Clay Pipe Music exhibiting her wares DR Frances CastleFrances Castle prints 2Frances Castle prints

Ben SoundhogDR Ben Soundhog

Ian HelliwellDR Ian Heliwell

Simon JamesDR Simon James

Nick Taylor from Spectral Studio exhibiting his workDR Nick Taylor printsDR Nick Taylor

Howlround and Psyché Tropes DR Howlround + Psyche Tropes

Sculpture DR Sculpture

A short blast from their set at this link https://www.facebook.com/strictly.kev/videos/10156224556540025/

Steve Davis and yours truly courtesy of Robin The Fog
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Steve having a wail of a time closing the festival.
DR Steve Davis

Last call for Delaware Road tickets – this Saturday it all happens

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(above) The line up for Saturday’s event, I’ll be on before Steve Davis, playing acid/kraut/electronica to get you moving.
(below) Event guides, one for each audience member. Some ticket options have now sold out. Visit FIXR, Bandcamp or Ticket Tailor for availability:

Ticket Tailor: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/thedelawareroad/212840
FIXR: https://fixr.co/event/839412645
Bandcamp: https://buriedtreasure.bandcamp.com/merch/the-delaware-road-2019-festival-camping

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(below) Exclusive Spectral Studio merch by Nick Taylor, available at the event, there should be plenty of goodies for sale so bring cash (no wi-fi on site so no card payments) and Frances Castle of Clay Pipe Music will be selling her wares too.

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Music Declares Emergency

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Proud to add my name to this new initiative by the UK music industry calling on the government to recognise and act on climate change/emergency whilst attempting to minimize current impacts created by our sector. For more info.

Completely separately, yesterday I stumbled across this online resource, Anything But Plastic which has alternatives to everyday household items I’d not even considered replacing with greener alternatives.

I currently use Naked Larder for package-free shopping on certain items – you sign up, order from them once a month (minimum order £25) then book a pick up time to collect your order in your own containers.

And to the eBay user who gave me my first negative feedback in 18 years because I used recycled packaging to send him his record – F**K YOU!

Chanctonbury Rings album by Justin Hopper, Sharron Kraus & The Belbury Poly

Chanct CD front The newest release from Ghost Box is another leftfield curveball, even for a label so esoteric. In a scene currently awash with acts sporting tenuous back stories to the origins of their material (usually involving Satanic rituals, fictitious B-movie composers or uncovered master tapes), GB has unearthed a tale deeply rooted in UK history. In the South of England lies Chanctonbury Ring, an ancient site that contains a hill-fort and a ring of beech trees said to be haunted or the site of weird visitations. Scour the web and you’ll find numerous accounts of incidents said to have taken place there at different times of year from unnatural acts to strange sightings.

Chanct CD insideJustin Hopper, an American writer based in the UK, takes us on a journey to the Rings where several occurrences make his trip more than a quiet ramble in the countryside. His soft American accent is in stark contrast to the very British history and myth he explores but it works and bears repeated listens. Accompanying him musically is Sharron Kraus, folk singer and multi-instrumentalist who has previously appeared on the final Other Channels 7″ release from the label. I can’t say I was a huge fan of that release personally so I approached this album with some trepidation but needn’t have worried as, aided by Belbury Poly aka Jim Jupp, she fleshes out Justin’s observations beautifully with just enough to evoke the scenes he’s witnessing.

Chanct CD disc

Much like the best examples of Mike Mignola‘s original Hellboy comics, where ancient local myths and locations are explored in silent panels before a big reveal, Chanctonbury Rings, weaves its tale over 16 short chapters/tracks that work best as a whole rather than singularly. Listened to in one continuous, seamless sitting it has some genuinely affecting moments and I wasn’t expecting to be so easily transported to the South Downs whilst sitting at a computer in my concrete residence in such a busy city. The album explores and unsettles as it unfolds and I imagine would be quite the companion in headphones on a walk through the countryside it describes. Top marks to all involved for pushing out of the usual comfort zone but still exploring the essence of the hauntology genre the label is known for.
Pre-order it here: LP/CD/DL
Chanct CD back

To launch the above album, Ghost Box and Trunk records are holding an incredible gig on June 21st in London, featuring Justin and Sharron performing live, Pye Corner Audio, The Soundcarriers soundtracking a Julian House film, Jonny Trunk and Robin The Fog playing original Basil Kirchin tapes, a Wisbey request set, DJ sets, T-shirt printing, food and an exhibition of Clay Pipe Music artwork.

GB Summer Solstice poster

Delaware Road festival updates

The Delaware Road event in August continues to ramp up the line up as word gets around about it with more announcements to come. This will be a truly unique event, the likes of which haven’t been seen on this scale before. Transplant yourself to a secluded army base in the middle of the Salisbury countryside for over 12 hours of sonic, audio visual and performance-based adventures in sight and sound with a who’s who of the current crop of leftfield electronic, weird, and experimental practitioners working on the margins today. Buried Treasure, the label who hosted the last two experiences, have put together a mix showcasing some of the acts playing.

Tickets are available for the event, including group and camping options and follow the Facebook event for updates and competitions to win tickets and packages of merch from some of the featured acts and labels.

Delaware final back

Flexi Record Store Day stuff

RSD19 haulJust so much going on at the moment, hard to keep track – Record Store Day was great fun, got a few releases (the Yage and Acid 88 releases are excellent, the Stone Tape less so). Played silly flexi discs at Audio Gold with Shane Quentin first thing, the shop was bustling and my Jonathan King ‘Lick A Smurpf For Christmas’ disc got a cheer. The staff generously treated us to pizza and drinks as well as pushing a couple of filthy flexi’s my way – thanks guys!

Kev@AudioGold Shane@AudioGold New Flexis

Excellent package of the day goes to the Kubrick 7″ from Silva Screen which is a delight on many levels even though it’s actually Wendy Carlos arrangements re-recorded by Mark Ayres and not quite what it was sold as on the original RSD info mail out. The Acid 88 design is also particularly tasteful with the label designs causing some excellent flickering motion when revolving.

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After this we headed down to Palace Vinyl in Crystal Palace for a bit of acid techno with the Downfall crew and a dig through their considerably stuffed crates – if you want any kind of secondhand electronic dance music from the last 30 years then this is the place to go although they mainly sell online. The new Corroded Circuits EP on their label is another winner.

Last stop was the Book & Record Bar in West Norwood where we nearly didn’t get in it was so packed for the showing of Shawn Lee‘s ‘The Library Music Film’, a 2 hr journey through the medium that had our legs aching as we had to stand the whole way through. Records were bought, played and beers consumed afterwards too and it rounded off a great day with friends and a set from King Michael that culminated in a shop-clearing Goblin tune.

Monday saw a private showing of Vickie Bennet‘s ‘Gone, Gone Beyond’ 360 degree film at Goldsmith’s College, a kind of fever-dream across multiple screens with surround sound that made me wonder if she was sane. Collage cross-referencing across multiple decades and genres was the order of the day with a particularly successful hall of mirrors sequence and crazed compression of what seemed like my 70’s childhood for a finalé. If you get the chance, go and see it but it’s only showable in a tiny amount of spaces due to the nature of the surround medium.

Shane&Jonny@spiritland Flexis@spiritland Flexi set RSD

Tuesday night saw Shane, myself and Jonny Trunk at Spiritland in Kings X for the Wobbly Sounds book launch, playing flexi discs on their mega sound system – it sounded awful! 😀 It didn’t matter though as the place was packed and everyone had a great time, especially the Four Corners Book publishers Elinor and Richard. I ended up chatting to actor Paul Putner (aka The Curious Orange from This Morning With Richard Not Judy among many other roles) who is a massive music fan who really knows his stuff.

Off to Bristol this Saturday for the second performance of my Kraftwerk: Klassics, Kovers & Kurios AV show at the Cube Cinema with DJ Cheeba, which is sold out! There are two mixes forthcoming this month too, one imminently and one on the 27th – both very different, more info soon.

Victor Vasarely retrospective at the Pompidou Centre, Paris

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The highlight of my recent trip to Paris to play at the Ping Pong 20th anniversary party was a trip to the Pompidou Centre to bask in the first major Victor Vasarely retrospective. A comprehensive overview of his work was on display, from earliest experiments through to his breakthrough op art achievements. Whilst a lot of his large scale work wasn’t present there were some 300 pieces to admire including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, prints, logos, textiles and more. The final room was particularly good with very low light and excellent lighting that picked out the paintings in a glow that seemed to make them radiate and become even more three dimensional. The level of skill and draughtsmanship on display was incredible and I’d highly recommend a day trip over before it finishes in May, the book shop at the end is something else too, take lots of money and a strong bag is all I can say!

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Sister Corita Kent exhibition, London

SCK 2The new Sister Corita Kent exhibition has been on at the House of Illustration in Kings X now for a month, expanded from the version shown in Ditchling last year. It’s still small but packed with lots of beautiful prints, books, posters and ephemera that she created during her lifetime both in and outside of the church. I urge you to go and see these beautiful prints in the flesh and pick up a free copy of her ‘rules’ taken from an art department classroom.

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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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Pinball Number Count and Sesame St anniversary

According to Sesame Street, who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, Walt Kramer‘s ‘Pinball Number Count’ (featuring the Pointer Sisters on vocals) debuted today 43 years ago in Season 8 of the show. To celebrate they’ve made an online pinball game version that you can play here.

Pinball game

Of course Ninja Tune were the first label to release the track on vinyl back in 2003, on the B side of the Larry Levan remix of ‘C Is For Cookie’, which I also had the pleasure of designing the sleeve for.
Pinball label cookie monster cover websesame pinball cover

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

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