New Vanishing Twin video and european tour

The excellent Vanishing Twin have just premiered a new video for ‘You Are Not An Island’ from their ‘Age of Immunology’ LP. Most of their videos so far have been monochromatic, surreal mini-masterpieces, harking back to various visual movements of the 20th century (check the Man Ray-isms of ‘Telescope’) but the new one changes the format somewhat. Adding muted colours and a Moebius-like world vision full of bowl helmeted figures and pulsing black spheres.

They are also off on tour around the UK and Europe over the next few months. Go and see them, buy their records, they’re one of the most interesting bands out there at the moment.

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Imaginary Landscapes film from the Vinyl Factory

An excellent film about the use of the turntable as instrument (not in the hip hop scratching sense) and especially fascinating to see as I’m currently developing something along the same lines for performance. Go here for the original article on the Vinyl Factory site and try to see Graham Dunning live if you can, what he does is incredible.
Also just premiered via Resident Advisor is a film about dubplate cutting and present in both films is Shiva Fesharecki who performs both in clubs and concert halls with turntables.

Big Mouth podcast

BigMouthThe king of puns, Andrew Harrison, and the lovely Siân Patternden invited me back onto the Big Mouth podcast this week to review the Warp 30th anniversary, the new Thom Yorke album, Anima, and the current TV adaptation of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. The Quietus’ Luke Turner also joined us and we each chose current favourite tunes and stories we’d seen in the news recently. It you become a Patreon backer of the podcast you’ll get the show at least a day early and an exclusive ‘Extra Bit’ each week, where we describe our worst and best festival experiences this time round.

New music round up – June 2019

New releases web
The current musical landscape is awash with great new music in equally great design and packaging – at least in the independent sector, I can’t speak for the mainstream because I rarely dip my toe in. On the fringes there are some fantastic records and tapes being made and I’ll attempt a potted round up here as much for my own sanity as anything else because I can barely keep up. Phew! This took ages to compile, buying links in descriptions…

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Jane WeaverLoops In The Secret Society 2xLP (Fire Records) A gentler, deeper, cosmic take on parts of Jane’s last two albums, The Silver Globe and Modern Kosmology, with new tracks and interludes to tie it all together into one sublime trip. Buy here NOW!

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Luke Vibert – Valvable 2xLP (Balkan Vinyl) – Luke makes an entire double album using only a Roland TB303, TR808 and JX-3P, on random variant coloured vinyl. It’s funky, minimal and instantly recognisable as Vibert. Coloured and black vinyl has sold out at the label’s Bandcamp but check the shops as black variants are shipping this week.

Various Artists – Corroded Circuits EP 12″ (Downfall Records) Great contemporary acid, ConSequence‘s ‘Glass Of Water’ is one of the most joyous, funky pieces of dance music I’ve heard all year. Downfall shop – warning, no digital.

Beans Lps

Beans – Triptych (Gamma Proforma) A curveball from Gamma, who ceased operations a while back, these are the last two releases from that phase of the label, finally released. The Beans album is a collection of works from 3 albums that were released simultaneously and isn’t available in any usual retailers unless directly from either Beans, artist O.Two who hand-painted all 140 of the covers or Rob at Gamma. The shame is that it’s a cracking hip hop record that’s provided one of the only breaths of fresh air I’ve heard in the genre for years. Worth it for the Broadcast-sampling ‘Pendulum’ alone, destined to be a sought after classic. Listen to selections here
DJ Krush – Cosmic Yard LP (Gamma Proforma) The Krush album was actually released late last year, also has its fair share of banging beats plus two collaborations from old cohort Toshinori Kondo and this one should at least be more generally available. *Also catch him with me in support on July 21st at Oslo, Hackney, London, plug plug*
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Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology LP/CD/Cassette/DL (Fire Records) One of the albums of 2019 already and a cracking live band – the comparisons with Stereolab and Broadcast are warranted but only a starting point, they’re far more cosmic than that. Beautiful artwork, spiral picture disc version and full colour fold out band poster – a very special record, why they’re not bigger is a mystery to me. Buy here from the label or find the cassette direct from the group’s Bandcamp page.

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The Relations – Night’s Prelude cassette/DL (Spun Out Of Control) – CorrelationsNeil Hale unveils a multi-collaboration side project with touches of psychedelia, krautrock and a lovely cover by Eric Adrian Lee. Buy digital here

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Justin Hopper & Sharron Kraus w The Belbury Poly – Chanctonbury Rings LP/CD/DL (Ghost Box)
Another essential GB release – see full review here

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Pictogram – Trace Elements cassette/DL (Miracle Pond) Beautiful ambient music from one man graphic factory Nick Taylor on his new Miracle Pond label, is there no end to this man’s talent? Buy Miracle Pond releases.

Humaoid LP

The Future Sound of London – Yage LP/DL / Humanoid – Built By Humaoid LP/CD/DL (FSOLDigital) – While they finish their Amorphous Androgynous magnum opus, ‘We Persuade Ourselves That We Are Immortal’, there’s more than enough to keep hungry FSOL fans happy. ‘Yage’ from their Dead Cities album has been revived, remixed and expanded into an album and Brian has reactivated his Humanoid alias for a new album of acid experimentation. Order here, including new T-shirts, magazines, posters and more, it’s hard to keep up.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishes LP (Flightless) Back for their first LP of the year (so far) Giz decide to go glam boogie and it works! Comes with full colour fold out poster and seaweed-coloured vinyl.

Home Current LP cover

The Home Current – Civilian Leather LP (Castles In Space) A unique album of 80’s post punk electronics meets Plaid-like hyper-detailed composition, a real mixed bag of a record, sometimes sounding more like a compilation because of the variety of styles. Lovely Nick Taylor cover and inserts too Check it out here

Heat Death – Dalham LP (Castles In Space) – Shades of Boards of Canada permeate this album of instrumental electronica on the now essential Castles In Space label. There’s more going on here than mere BoC pastiche though, I’ve not had enough time with it to fully immerse yet, hear a couple of tracks on the mix below to judge for yourself. Or preview / buy here

Andy Votel – Archipelagogo cassette (Hypocrite) Soundtrack to the exhibition of Felt Mistress and Jonathon Edwards figures inspired by the work of Tove Jansson and first release under the Votel name for a while.
Colours May Vary in Leeds have copies.

Simon James Cosmic Surgery
Simon James – Cosmic Surgery cassette / DL (Spun Out Of Control) Soundtrack previously only available with a book gets a full release via the excellent Spun Out Of Control label. It’s hard to keep up with James’ output of late, not only did he release a tape on Nick Luscombe‘s Musicity label of foley and Buchla recordings in China but also has a meditation/relaxation release entitled Space No Space out on Golden Ratio Frequencies at the beginning of July.

Posthuman – Voyager 3 cassette (The Dark Outside) More cassette-only madness with The Dark Outside and a concept album based on the (possibly fictitious – or is it?) Voyager 3 space probe from Posthuman. More ambient than acid, this tape goes deep and needs the full headphone treatment for full effect. Unfortunately this is all sold out so it’s a hunt on the secondary market for this one. UPDATE: Digital is now available here

WXAXRXP

Various artists – WXAXRXP 30 broadcasts (NTS) Boards of Canada dropping a rare mix of inspirations scattered with little unreleased sketches from their archive, Autechre delving into their unreleased pre-Warp tape archive, Brian Eno with Extinction Rebellion, Aphex Twin live sets, a vintage mix tape made by Trish from Broadcast, unreleased Mark Pritchard club edits, Warp really know how to celebrate a birthday in style. 100 hours of exclusive material, they even played my Blech 20.1 mix from 10 years ago as well apparently :)

If you want to hear some of the above then here’s a recent Out Of The Wood radio show I did for WNBC.London which features selections from about 50% of the above and other recent purchases.

Forthcoming:
Clocolan – It’s Not Too Early For Each Other cassette, July

As One – Communion LP (De:tuned) – First new album from Kirk DeGiorgio in 10 years with a cover by yours truly. Also don’t forget the monthly DE.10 releases (up to #5 currently) of a variety of artists celebrating a decade of the Belgian techno label. Listen on their Soundcloud

DeT 1-3covers

TS Cit Input
Tomorrow Syndicate – Citizen Input mini LP (Polytechnic Youth) Who knows what this will bring but the previous LP was one of my albums of the year.
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King Gizzard & The Lizard WizardInfest The Rat’s Nest – yes, another LP, album no.15, merely 2 months after the last, rumour is that this is the heavy thrash record fans have been waiting for.

King Giz, new vidz

Nutters, no idea what is going on but looks like the thrash metal album is go
Invest The Rat’s Nest – album XV – out Aug 16th on Flightless Records
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– Deluxe yellow and black galaxy wax (2000 copies)
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– Deluxe black smokey wax with brown, red & gold heavy splatter (2000 copies)
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– Deluxe highlighter yellow wax with blue & green splatter (2000 copies)

– Gatefold sleeve with matte lamination
– 24″ x 36″ fold out wall poster
– 4″ iron on embroidered patch
– Record sleeve comes packaged in a custom paper bag
– Comes with FLAC Lossless Download of the album

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Kubrick, Kunz and Quant in London

Last weekend I did the rounds of some current and newly-opened exhibitions in London, Stanley Kubrick at the Design Museum, Emma Kunz at The Serpentine and Mary Quant at the V&A.

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I wouldn’t call myself a Kubrick fan particularly but I’ve always been drawn to the design and imagery in 2001 and A Clockwork Orange in particular and this exhibition doesn’t disappoint on those fronts with many examples of props, artwork and ephemera associated with the films on display at close quarters. Philip Castle‘s airbrush paintings and foreign logo designs are a treat as are the Allan Jones-esque Korova Milk Bar figures and Droog costume.

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If you’re a Kubrick fan who hasn’t visited his archive I’d say there is probably everything you could want here. It was particularly nice to view Saul Bass’ concepts for The Shining poster up close complete with letters to Kubrick and the latter’s rejection comments.

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Emma Kunz was a wild card, I’d never heard of her but seen the work online and decided to give it a go as I was nearby. Not hugely impressive technically and with little to explain what and why she’d chosen to make these drawings with the most perfunctory titles, I was a little underwhelmed. The art was very hard to photograph in the light of the Serpentine so don’t take these as the complete picture.

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For Mary Quant I went for the packaging and graphics more than the clothes (although plenty were to my taste). The slightly confusing layout of the exhibits took some navigating if you wanted a chronological experience but the display design was excellent. I left wanting just a bit more than was on display and if this had been coupled with the content of the recent Fashion & Textlie Museum contents along similar lines then I think it would have felt more fulfilling.

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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

Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn’ animation by Roger Mainwood upgraded A/B comparison

Autobahn AB6

Whilst putting together my recent Kraftwerk: Klassics, Kovers & Kurios AV set I’ve been searching for the best quality footage possible for the visuals. One thing that has always alluded me is a decent copy of Roger Mainwood’s trippy video for ‘Autobahn’ that was commissioned by EMI in the late 70’s, originally to be issued on laserdisc. Bad to worse copies have cropped up on YouTube for years, hazy, blurred and cropped, always seemingly encoded from video sources which was the only official release it gained eventually.
Well, I finally bit the bullet and ordered a French DVD compilation of the Halas & Batchelor studio which features a whole host of animations, including the aforementioned Kraftwerk hit. I was expecting a better quality version with un-muddied colours but was blown away by not only the crystal clear clarity of the image (you can see pencil lines on the figures) but also new areas of each frame, much of which had been cropped off when encoded for the web. See above and below for some A/B comparisons of what I’d been missing, the new edition on the right will now be making its way into my future sets for your viewing pleasure.

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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.

Kraftwerk – Klassics, Kovers & Kurios premiere this Saturday

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

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

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2018 – a vintage year for new music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Packaging design

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

Books + comics

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

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

Gigs

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

Exhibitions 2018

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

DJ Food gigs

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

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

Happy New Year!