Electronic Sound issue 33

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The latest issue of Electronic Sound magazine is a cracker, a huge interview with Gary Numan, an appraisal of Trevor Key’s artwork and an opening page by me, showing the final Rite of Mu with The JAMs that happened in Liverpool recently. You can also get a great remix of Numan’s ‘My Name Is Ruin’ by Meat Beat Manifesto on 7″ if you buy the bundle direct from their website.

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Franco Grignani at the Estorick Collection of Italian Art

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There’s not much to say about this post really, I’ve posted about Franco Grignani before, quite recently. The Italian designer has been featured in a couple of exhibitions in London this year, the second of which has just opened. Just look at these images and then go and see this wonderful artist’s work, it’s on display at the Estorick Collection of Italian Art on Canonbury Sq. in London. The simplicity and precision of execution is simply breathtaking.

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We Are Watching: Oz magazine at Chelsea Space

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Chelsea Space at the Chelsea College of Arts in Pimlico has recently opened an exhibition looking at Oz, it’s obscenity trials and the counterculture magazines of the 60s and 70s that sprang up around it. Featuring every issue of both the Australian and British runs, posters, letters, films and all manner of ephemera from the estates of Richard Neville, Martin Sharp, Felix Dennis and many private collections of those who worked on it, it’s a lovingly curated selection by Cherie Silver who was minding the exhibition when I went last week and was eager to answer questions.
If you’ve never seen issues before then here’s a chance, there are some that can be looked through and one wall lays out the Magic Theatre issue, comprised entirely of a stream of consciousness collage. It finishes on July 14th and is free, usually open between 10.30-11am.
* I rather like the graphic above, subverting George Orwell‘s 1984 maxim, unfortunately they could never have foreseen the Big Brother they’d be watching half a century later.

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Electronic Sound magazine ‘Radiophonica’ CD

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Who says CDs can’t look beautiful too? The Radiophonica compilation CD of new, old and unreleased Radiophonic Workshop material is a lovely piece of minimalist design, bound by a tiny tape loop – lovely touch. It’s only available with Electronic Sound magazine from their online shop, no more free cover mounts I’m afraid, but worth every penny. The 12-track album of never-before-heard collaborations, mixes exclusive to this collection of tracks from their forthcoming album of analogue improvisations, and some Delia Derbyshire archive material that has been worked on by the likes of Tom Middleton (Global Communication) and Dot Product.The same issue has a little ad for something only a few weeks away too…

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Beyond 2000AD exhibition glimpse

Beyond2000_poster Beyond2000_progs Beyond2000_records1 Beyond2000_records2 Beyond2000_TimeOutI finally got time to pop into Orbital Comics and see their small but packed exhibition of 2000AD offshoots, tie-ins, cash-ins, memorabilia, music, magazines, toys and so much more. Not having an opening party because it would clash with the comic’s own 40th celebration a couple of weekends ago they’ve decided to have a closing party on Friday March 10th where there will be a podcast recording and music by yours truly among others.
I also just guested on the Big Mouth podcast pre-record, talking about the comic’s legacy which will be available online this coming Sunday. More details as I have it.

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FourFromFoodFridays: 17.2

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Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things that have been doing it for me. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
Bam Bam – Where’s Your Child? (Desire) 7″ (finally!)
Clocolan – Nothing Left To Abandon (Enpeg) Digital (STILL listening to this, officially out today)
Various – A Krautrock Sampler (ES) CD cover mount w. Electronic Sound mag #25 – really good!
Run The Jewels – RTJ3 (Mass Appeal) LP/DL (you know these guys)

Flexibition 2017: Stephen Coates #4 – Echo magazine No.2

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From the collection of Stephen Coates (The Real Tuesday Weld, Antique Beat, X-Ray Audio), Issue 2 of Echo (“the magazine you play on your phonograph”) arrived in October 1959 containing five off-white, semi transparent flexi discs with features on Steve Allen, Queen Elizabeth‘s Royal Tour, Lady Chatterly’s Lover, the Ahmad Jamal Trio and Le Mans 1959. Art director Tony Palladino did some lovely work in this issue using very modern type treatments, cropped photos and lots of blank space to give it quite a timeless feel.
Echo #2 contents Echo #2 royal tour flexiEcho #2 DH LawrenceEcho #2 Publisher note Echo #2 jazz Echo #2 Riverside recordsEcho #2 flexi stamp Echo #2 Monk stamp2Echo #2 Le MansEcho #2 subscribe2Echo #2 advert2Echo #2 back
Issue 1 was featured a few days back and if you missed a look at issue 3. back in my original Flexibition posts then look no further. To my knowledge Echo lasted for four issues before folding, a potted history of which can be found on Boing Boing by John Wilcock.

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Flexibition 2017: Stephen Coates #3 – French flexi disc magazines

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The French, it seems, went gaga for flexi disc magazines in the late 50s as these four examples from Stephen Coates‘ collection illustrate. The 7″x 7.5″ ring bound format, similar to the American Echo magazines and their own long-running Sonorama seems to have been a winner although there are less pages in these examples which lean towards more specialist subjects. Occasionally included as a supplement with the main magazine, Theatrorama showcased extracts from plays across no less than nine discs and made it to at least a third issue in 1959.Theatrorama flexi 2 Theatrorama indexTheatrorama flexi
Cuisinorama (can you spot a theme emerging here?) followed the same format in the same year with five discs, a full colour cover as well as colour pages inside, concentrating on recipes, restaurants and food prep. You can see more examples of ‘orama’ spin-off publications on this excellent Made In Vinyl page including many of the issues featured here, Echo and the previously featured Soviet magazine, Krugazor.Cuisinorama cover Cuisinorama flexi 1 Cuisinorama flexi 2Cuisinorama back
‘Sound magazine of medical information’ Medicophone, issue seven from 1961. I’ve found evidence of up to 26 issues of this, all with the same cover. This one came with five discs covering such fascinating subjects as the heart and hernias.Medicophone coverMedicophone flexi 1Medicophone insideMedicophone flexi 2
In The Beginning There Was Rhythm, ‘strictly reserved for the medical corps(this is stamped no. 0131 inside) concentrates on jazz and seems to be a freebie produced or sponsored by Vegetaline, a coconut-based lard.

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Flexibition 2017: Stephen Coates #2 – Echo magazine No.1

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Again from the collection of Stephen Coates (The Real Tuesday Weld, Antique Beat, X-Ray Audio), Echo magazine no.1 (“a magazine of sight and sound”) debuted in 1959 with five two-colour, card-backed flexi discs featuring Mike Nichols & Elaine May, Fred Astaire, Larry Alder, ‘Gypsy’ and Alexander King on the Human Dilemma. Art directed by Cynthia Pennell, the issue has an almost medieval look from the choice of fonts with a more ‘jazz’ feel to the discs which include the red and gold of the cover – sadly lacking in later issues, of which no.2 will be featured here soon.

Echo #1 Publisher noteEcho #1 Fashion flexiEcho #1 Intro offerEcho #1 red flexi Echo #1 Fred AstaireEcho #1 Alder flexi Echo #1 EntertreneurEcho #1 Avant GardeEcho #1 King Flexi Echo #1 Needle hereEcho #1 back

DJ Food Russian excursion

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I’ve been so busy of late I’ve not had the time to update the blog. Last weekend I traveled to Russia for a couple of gigs and visited a huge basement record shop in Moscow called Sound Barrier. It was so huge and stuffed with records that I was overwhelmed after two hours in there although that could have been from the heating blasting out and the crazy high prices on the records.

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Whenever I travel I try to buy local records from where I am and luckily the Russian discs I bought were cheap. I found many issues of Krugazor, the 7″-sized magazine with several flexi discs in each issue and some beautiful covers. I’ll feature them more in a separate Flexibition post but here are some shots of the shop and some other finds. SBKrug3 SBKrug2 SBKrug1 SBAlice SB3 SB2 SBGroupo SB1 SBOrg SBcorridor

Electronic Sound Magazine

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Electronic Sound, the online magazine of all things errr… electronic, has now become a physical printed issue too. Entering the analogue world with issue 2.0 (pictured), they’ve just published issue 21 which comes with a free CD of current electronic artists covering old synth classics (Paul Hartnoll does Kraftwerk’s ‘Numbers’ for instance). Well worth picking up with no-nonsense writing, clean design and beautiful photography, they straddle the current, historical and even delve into features on the machines that make the music.

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Synthesizer Dave’s Workshop goes step-by-step through repairing an Italian Multiman-S, Jack Dangers is their resident archivist, giving a brief lowdown on Lovely Music’s Ltd‘s output and Dave Henderson unearths the genesis of his Wild Planet column for Sounds magazine. Add a ton of current release reviews, including Kris Needs‘ weird grab bag and interviews with everyone from Karl Bartos, Tim Gane, Beth Orton, Alan Rankin and more and it’s a must read. They have a subscriber deal on right now – 3 issues for a fiver. The next issue is out in September after which it should run monthly and there are more CDs promised over the next few issues.

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Pork free magazine from Goblinko

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I found this by the door of a record shop along with all the other piles of free magazines the other day. It’s nice to see something like this in amongst the slickly designed, oh-so-cool others that vie for your attention. Crammed full of alt. / weirdo / mondo / trash / whatever you want to call it culture and proud of it. Goblinko is a store in the States that sells all sorts from badges to posters to T-shirts, records and fanzines. There’s not many left like this

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Found In Sounds #12: Malcolm McLaren special

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Malcolm McLaren would have been 70 years old today, here’s a collection of articles surrounding his seminal ‘Duck Rock’ album release in the early 80s from Sounds. Click to enlargeMcLaren Sounds 4.12.82 2web
I’ve added a small news piece about the Double Dutch girls to the interview above to fill space. Big interviews were frequently cut up and placed at different points of the paper and I’ve cobbled this one back to a double page spread.

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Above: The Garry Bushell-penned review of ‘Duck Rock’ which is rather damning – see the three ads below that were run in the paper the next week, all deftly extracting a rather different angle using quotes from the piece. There’s a definite whiff of Paul Morley on the tagline at the bottom and this would have been around the time when he and Trevor Horn, the album’s producer, would have been setting up their ZTT label.

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It quickly became common knowledge that McLaren had ripped off several compositions and taken writing credits on the album (something he had already done with Bow Wow Wow and would do again with ‘Fans’). Not even two months after the album’s release the writs were already flying.
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Back in 1981, Fred Vermorel – never one to mince his words and badly burned by his experience with Malcolm over the extremely dodgy ‘Chicken’ magazine – laid into him over two pages. It’s hard to justify what McLaren was intending with this publication (and I wouldn’t try) and thankfully we’ll never find out. There’s also a piece about the pirate fashions McLaren and partner Vivienne Westwood created that they launched Bow Wow Wow with.
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Laugh-In magazine’s Moonlighting Monsters from Sept ’69

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Laugh-In magazine was one of a host of humour publications that sprang up in the wake of Mad magazine’s success. It was a spin-off from Rowan & Martin’s TV show of the same name, cheaply produced and only lasted a year before folding. Going by the copy that I picked up in a basement over the summer, it’s not hard to see why, it wasn’t very funny at all, stuffed with filler to pad out the little of quality. I was drawn to some of the letter and graphic designs more than the humour content, for example the hand drawn headers and patterns you see here.

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There was however one other redeeming feature worth keeping, a Moonlightling Monsters series of pin ups by John Strejan (who I’m presuming is the paper engineer of the same name), complete with period psychedelic lettering, that I’ve scanned and posted for Halloween.

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Rodney Matthews Vortex cover

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I found this the other day, Vortex #2 from February 1976. Lovely Rodney Matthews cover and there’s a 5 page interview with him inside as well as short stories from Michael Moorcock and others. The pages are all watermarked and the cover was filthy with all sorts of grime stuck to it, I’d wager that it had been skinned up on many a time over the years. Still a thing of beauty and I love that Vortex typeface.

The Dragons in Shindig! magazine #49

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My article on The Dragons is in issue #49 of Shindig! Magazine – out now, 6 pages too. New interviews with Doug & Dennis Dragon plus Donn Landee who produced their BFI album. After their recent publisher troubles the mag is back and as good as ever, you should be able to find it in most WH Smiths and decent record shops. If the article piques your interest and you want to hear the music they made then Ninja Tune still has digital and CDs in stock although the vinyl is long gone.
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