New music

IndLabMrkt haul

I thought I’d better post some new music recommends on here seeing as the Four From Food Fridays thing took a back seat since I moved house late last year. I went to the Independant Label Market in Spitalfiends the Saturday before last and picked up a good haul of music at affordable prices, direct from the artists or labels. No queues, no waking up at silly o’clock, some limited editions but I managed to get everything I was after and I arrived a good three hours after it had opened.

Clockwise from top left: Pink Lunch (Trevor Jackson alias) – S/T LP (Pre), Dark They Were And Golden Eyed (Trevor Jackson alias) – Design Your Dreams LP, (Pre) Jon Brooks – 52 (Clay Pipe Music), Larry McGee Revolution – The Burg 7″ (Dynamite Cuts), Concretism – For Concrete & Country LP (Castles In Space), Heavenly Records sampler CD, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup LP (Heavenly), Soundhog – Newtown Parkway / Astrablast 7″ (Castles In Space), The Twelve Hour Foundation – Bunch of Fives lathe cut 7″ (Castles In Space), Trevor Jackson – System CD (Pre), Of The Night (Trevor Jackson alias) cassette (Pre).

This is where the spirit of Record Store Day lives for me, it was busy, it was exciting, I spent a chunk of money that went straight to the artists/labels and even grabbed copies for friends who couldn’t make it. Every release I got was new bar one reissue that I was given and I bought vinyl, CDs and a cassette. 7″s were around £5 or £10 for a lathe cut with multiple inserts, LPs between £15 and £20 and there was food and booze nearby to enjoy afterwards. Later we dropped into a local record shop only to see multiple copies of unsold RSD Shaggy 7″s and the Florence & The Machine single retailing for £18.

The clue is in the title, ‘Independent Label Market’, twice annually in London at Spitalfields – and yes, I realise I’m lucky enough to live in a city where such a thing happens – but they’re expanding. Next month sees one in Berlin, another in Soho and October has one scheduled for Paris.

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Castles In Space are really killing it with releases right now, the Concretism album is excellent, the Twelve Hour Foundation‘s 7″ above is a great taster for the album to follow and Soundhog‘s debut for the label bodes well for the future. With the Akiha Den Den album last year and more on the horizon, this Brighton-based label is doing good things in electronic music – lovely design by Nick Taylor on the THF single and Richard Littler (Scarfolk) for the Concretism too.

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Outside the market there’s plenty to be scooped up on the web – The new Delights release is out any day, with only half the stock left – a new Group Modular 45 with an update of their Acid Wheels track and a brand new A side. Each comes with this lovely screen print too and it’s limited to 150 copies. Grab one here

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If deep, dark modular electronics are your thing then you could do far worse than grab one or both of these releases which both feature Camberwell local Guido Zen. Vactrol Park is his band with Kyle Martin and this 3 tracker pre-empts a forthcoming album on Malka Tuti label – really nice stuff, similar in vein to their previous two EPs on ESP Institute. The PNZ ‘Shut Your Eyes On The Way Out’ LP is a collab between Zen, Colin Potter, who has worked with Nurse With Wound among others and Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving.

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Trunk comes up with another winner in the form of the spy-jazz KPM cues for the 2nd and 3rd series of the animated Spiderman cartoon of the 70’s. Fantastic spider-splat vinyl too although these may now be sold out.

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Demdike Stare also just put out a tape of them remixing The Feed-back by Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (Morricone‘s infamous psychedlic jazz outfit) – I was hoping for something a bit more crazed and fuzzed out but it’s an interesting listen. Sadly I think this is sold out already

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DJ Food supporting The The on forthcoming UK dates

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It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ve been asked by Matt Johnson to open for The The on selected UK dates for their comeback tour this year. Matt didn’t want a conventional band support in the slot but asked if I would prepare something cinematic and ambient, incorporating his music from the last four decades. Fortunately this is exactly the place my head’s been at over the last few years and the chance to do this with Matt’s back catalogue is the stuff of dreams. Expect an improvised ‘cineolascape’ to greet you on arrival for the gigs, different for each night.

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I’ll be joining the band – who have video accompaniment from Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us and design by Kate Wilkins – on
May 27th – Leeds, LMUSU
June 5th – London, Royal Albert Hall
June 6th – London, Brixton Academy
June 7th – London, Troxy
Sept 3rd – Newcastle, Newcastle University
Sept 4th – Glasgow, Barrowlands
Sept 5th – Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall

Also just announced: the new band line up (see above photo by John Claridge), the long-awated biography by Neil Fraser release date and more screenings of The Inertia Variations documentary at the ICA.
Go to https://www.thethe.com/ for more info…

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Confidence Man – Confident Music For Confident People

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It’s seldom that I hear something so fresh, so immediate and so mind-numbingly good that I have to go out, buy it straight away and then play it on repeat. I found Confidence Man via a recent Bigmouth podcast (thanks Andrew Harrison), a group described as a cross between Dee-Lite and Girls Aloud by no less than The Quietus and who live up to the hype. It’s pop with a capital P, a male and female fronted quartet with two shadowy (literally) background players/producers who crank the sound up for the clubs as much as the radio (I see Ewan Pearson was on mix duties for most of the album).

303 acid squiggles vie with sampled breaks, Italo piano and singalong hooks galore, one minute there’s a dead-ringer for ‘Come Together’ from ‘Screamadelica’ and the next it’s going all ‘I Feel Love’. It’s played with a straight face but tongues are firmly in cheeks and if the basslines don’t have you from the off then you must be partially dead or deaf. The LP, ‘Confident Music For Confident People’, came out last month on Heavenly in the UK and if it’s not in every album of the year list at the end of 2018 then there’s something seriously wrong. Get a load of this

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Big Mouth podcast (with Infinity War spoilers)


I was a guest on Bigmouth last week – the weekly pop culture podcast – pontificating/nerding out on Avengers: Infinity War, Janelle Monae’s ‘Dirty Computer’ LP, new Sky Atlantic series, ‘Barry’ and the latest ‘Too Slow To Disco: Brasil’ compilation. There are masses of spoilers for Avengers so don’t listen if you’ve not seen it yet but it is at the end of the show so there’s plenty to listen to before we start giving the game away.

The Advisory Circle – Ways of Seeing album

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It’s that time again, for another Jon Brooks album to grace the turntable and record shelf/box/bag, returning under his The Advisory Circle guise to the consistently dependable Ghost Box label. Wrapped, as always, in a gorgeous gold mirrorboard sleeve design by Julian House, Jon has conjured up another set of gorgeous melodies and lush scenarios loosely based around the theme of photography. Gone are the uneasy undercurrents of his last outing for the label, ‘From Out Here’, and instead we get a summery set of beautiful library-like cues, never outstaying their welcome (some leaving too early) with a guest vocal from The Pattern Forms’ cohort, Ed MacFarlane on the final track. Pre orders just went live, get it here on LP, CD or DL.

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Haendehoch! phonographics

IMG_7597 A mystery package of three 45s and 3 posters arrived a few weeks ago from Dutch label Haendehoch! phonographics. Each single is hand-stamped on the label, wrapped in a risograph printed sleeve, folded inside a plastic sleeve and comes with an A3 sized poster to compliment the release.

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The idea for the label is to rescue music from the web that was never given a release on a physical format at the time and the first three releases glean their contents from Soundcloud files uploaded between 2011 and 2014. It’s a novel way to start a label and, whilst the music wasn’t really to my taste, the graphics are absolutely beautiful.

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The label seems to be the brainchild of the Haendehoch typographics studio in Utrecht who have been creating work for the music and club scene in the Netherlands for over a decade. You can judge for yourself and buy the single now here
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Frank Zappa advert + poster collages Pt.2

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Continued from part 1
I’m not sure who did the design above but, from the date, I’d guess it was Zappa, regardless it’s a great poster

Around the end of making The Mothers of Invention‘s ‘Absolutely Free’, Cal Schenkel started working with Frank Zappa on artwork (he also appears on the ‘Freak Out’ album as one of the studio voices). From then on he became the graphic artist most associated with the Mothers and some of Zappa’s solo works, his collages, paintings and sculptures adorning many of their classic LPs. Here’s an ad for ‘Absolutely Free’

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Cal created several ‘Moop’ ads, odd comic-styled pages, “…yeah, and we also did a series of ads which you might have seen at one point… for MOOP. You ever seen any of the MOOP ads? …but they were the weirdest ads, they were like just funny little surrealistic comic strips…and there’s a bunch of ads that were running–like, Hit Parader, and just the oddest places…” – from this interview

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This beauty below appeared in Marvel comics’ Daredevil #38

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By the 70s, things had started to change graphic-wise in publications and we go into what I call the ‘statement’ era of advertising where text played a big part in hooking the viewer in via an intriguing ‘headline’ and then selling the product in a quirky sales-pitch style similar to these examples below. Crazy graphics, surrealism and excessive detail were out and, as a designer, I can’t blame them. Much the same as the sometimes impenetrable psychedelic posters of the late 60s were only meant for the heads in the know to decipher, their time was up and now the marketing men had to sell this stuff to the masses rather than keep it underground. Cue straight, no-nonsense text in blank space and packshots of the album or group in question.

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Splice festival 2018

SPLICE 2018 /// FESTIVAL TRAILER /// from Splice Festival on Vimeo.

An incredible line-up of AV performances to explore, workshops to participate in, films and talks to expand your knowledge, Splice Festival 2018 is back for a third time.

Tickets are selling fast, there’s just a handful of discounted joint tickets remaining for Splice Festival Friday and Splice Festival Saturday. http://www.splicefestival.com/tickets/

The Sunday features a very special family friendly performance from Graeme Miller : Moomins and the Comet Live Re-score and a brilliant hands on workshop for the yung’uns from School of Noise : Childrens AV workshop: http://www.splicefestival.com/sunday-13th-may-kids-family/

There’s an additional venue on Sunday at Stour Space which looks just as good with Howlround reprising their live soundtrack to ‘A Creak In Time’ from last year’s premiere at Further plus Mixmaster Morris DJing, and some amazing – looking film from iloobia and Graham Dunning‘s mechanical techno project.

They have limited space available for the very popular workshops so get ’em now to avoid being disappointed.
http://www.splicefestival.com/splice/2018/workshops/

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Frank Zappa advert + poster collages Pt.1

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Lately I’ve been studying the collage art of Frank Zappa and Cal Schenkel from the Mothers of Invention albums. On reading up on this material, including a long interview with Schenkel, I realised that Zappa himself seems to have done a lot of the artwork for the first two Mothers albums, ‘Freak Out’ and ‘Absolutely Free’, with Cal coming in at the end of the latter and doing some of the adverts. What you see below is – as far as I can tell – is mostly the work of Zappa who was a pretty decent visual artist in his own right is seems.

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An ‘official New of the Mothers’ would occasionally get printed in the LA Free Press, below is the first one, a four page digest that includes a poster for a forthcoming gig.

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Some variations on gig posters
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Collage made to illustrate an interview in a music magazine

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The original paste up for an advert / flyer
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Penguin Live at the Palladium

DJ Food at the Palladium - photo Liz CatchpoleI was recently asked by Penguin/Random House to go through their audio books and put together a 3 min piece for World Book Day. They then asked me to perform it onstage at the London Palladium! It’s at the end of the podcast here but I can’t seem to embed it so here’s a link.

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Crowds outside the Palladium beforehand, this was an employee’s only event, just after we’d had that huge snowstorm.

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Squid Soup‘s lighting rig with Ruth Jones on the video screen shortly before I took the stage.

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Emily Maitless gives me possibly the best intro ever…

DJ Food onstage Palladium

What you sadly can’t see is the animated video I also made to go along with it and the lighting by Squid Soup (who did the recent Four Tet gigs). The photo at the top was taken by an old friend of mine from the Camberwell College days, Liz Catchpole, who works for Penguin and had no idea I was playing until she saw me on stage. Massive thanks to everyone at Penguin / Random House who helped out on this, especially WiIliam Smith at Vintage and Richard Lennon from the audiobook dept.

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Diggers Dozen DJ Food set

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On March 13th I was invited to be one of the selectors at Diggers Dozen, a monthly get together at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, where each DJ is asked to play 12 records. The rules are: vinyl only, no reissues, no compilations – aside from that there’s no stipulation on music policy but it’s a sort-the-men-from-the-boys kind of situation in an age where anyone can have anything in digital format and a large proportion of what were once holy grails have been reissued or compiled over the last two decades or so.

Which of course isn’t to say there isn’t still plenty of gold out there, not all of it expensive either, you just have to know where to look, be patient and dig a bit deeper sometimes. Of late I’ve been getting into spiritual records and rock operas which have provided many unexpected treasures, especially from certain eras. Above are the records I played and the mix itself. Thanks to Maxwell, who runs the night, for inviting me and you can check out the other sets and more over on the DD website.

 

O Is For Orange teaser

I’m working away on this at the moment after creating a three minute track for Penguin Books from audio book samples for World Book Day and last week’s support slot mix for the Art Of Noise. The new ‘O Is For Orange’ AV set will take the mix I created in 2013 as the starting point but add plenty of new material, not least tracks from ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ and newer songs influenced by the group. It won’t be 100% Boards of Canada like the Aphex Twin set of last year, more using their sound as a basis for the tone of the set and visuals.

Tickets for the Deaf Institute gig are available here. Final tickets for the London premiere at Archspace here

Updates on here are still sporadic as I slowly get my house in order after last year’s move but I can see the wood for the trees now so hopefully things will get back to normal. I’m more visually active on Instagram at the moment as it’s more, well… instant, so you can follow me there and see what I’m up to with lots of incidental stuff that doesn’t make it to this blog. The premiere of this mix is only three weeks away and there will be a second in Manchester at the Deaf Institute in June. Hopefully there will be more bookings to come, keep an eye on the column on the left or my Facebook or Twitter feeds for more info.

Art Of Noise, live at the British Library


Last Friday I was thrilled to be asked to play before Dudley / Jeczalik / Langan aka The Art of Noise at the British Library in London. I put together a set consisting entirely of music they had written, remixed, reworked or had a hand in – careful not to play any obvious tracks that they would be playing as they rebooted their In Visible Silence album plus some of their biggest hits. I recorded my mix and you can hear it above, complete with exclusive edits made specially for the show and a rare appearance from AON fan Kenneth WIlliams at one point.
Witness the group below at the soundcheck performing ‘Moments In Love’.

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Highlights were thundering versions of ‘Beatbox’, ‘Close (To The Edit)’, ‘Legs’ and ‘Peter Gunn’, a beautiful ‘Moments In Love’ (with blink and you’ll miss it ‘In The Army Now’ interjections) and lots of story-telling in between. Many friends and familiar faces from ZTT fandom were present and I had the pleasure of chatting to Anne Dudley‘s husband before the show about her early library recordings for Amphonic (some of which are soon to be reissued by Buried Treasure). JJ Jeczalik strolled up and introduced himself before my set and, during an airing of Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s ‘Pleasurefix’ (a fan favourite remix of the epic album cut by Gary Langan), I turned around to see Langan himself watching and listening only a meter away with keen interest. “Hi, I’m Gary”, he said, leaning over to shake my hand. :)

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The whole evening was a fan fest with signed prints, records and T shirts on sale, people watching from the stairwell’s and balconies and an incredible Bowers and Wilkins sound system that made everything shine. I chatted to ex-ZTT artist Andrew Poppy after the main set who regaled me with tales of rescuing his artwork from a skip outside the label one day! Big thanks for the ‘Where’s DJ Food?’ crowd photos above by Peter Williams and shots of me by the stairwell below by Mark Nicholson. Another one for the CV and highlights of 2018.

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A Year In The Country – Wandering Through Spectral Fields book

01-AYITC book-front coverA Year In The Country, Stephen Prince‘s website dedicated to cataloguing, compiling and unearthing all things Hauntological, Radiophonic, Wyrd and uniquely British, is releasing a book of writings from the first three years of it’s output. Collected, revised and revisited, alongside some new writing, ‘Wandering Through Spectral Fields’ – subtitled ‘Journeys in Otherly Pastoralism, The Further Reaches of Folk and the Parallel World of Hauntology’ is now available to read as an e-Book via Am*z*n (if you must) or for pre-order for a print release on April 10th.

Contents include: (deep breath) Hauntology, Acid Folk, Folk Horror, Ghost Box Records, The Wicker Man, Peter Strickland, Finders Keepers, Vashti Bunyan, Broadcast, Children Of The Stones, psychedelic cinema, The Owl Service, Kate Bush, The Stone Tape Theory, The Folklore Tapes, Jane Weaver, Howlround, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and lots, lots more. I’d say that’s more than enough reasons to order a copy right there and that it’s the first book of it’s kind to catalogue all these disparate strands, many of which cross over time and space to influence one another.

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It’s also available via their Bandcamp and you can peruse the, now extensive, release catalogue that’s sprung from the site, even if the monochrome nature of all their releases makes it increasingly harder to discern one from the other. The label is a completist’s joy/nightmare being that they make night/day or dawn/dusk editions of each release but as a singular vision it’s a beautiful set of objects when seen en mass.

A full list of the contents and order links is available here – definitely on my reading list

 

Calibro 35 ‘Decade’ LP

The Italian quintet are back with a new album, video and tour, reaching the UK this week with a special Morricone songbook set at the Church of Sound on Thursday. The new album, ‘Decade’, looks and sounds fabulous and their new video is nuts, the weirdest one yet. If you’ve never seen a Calibro 35 video, go and check them out on YouTube, always high quality, super stylish and original. The album is available is a number of bundles over on their Bandcamp: gatefold vinyl, cassette and CD and with optional black or clear vinyl 7″ too.

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More Search Engine 360º fulldome shows in Bristol

More dates have been added through Feb-May for my 360º fulldome show, ‘The Search Engine’ at the WeTheCurious Planetarium in Bristol. Feb 27th / 23rd Mar / 20th Apr / 18th May – get tickets here: https://www.wethecurious.org/group/dj-food-search-engine-16

“Just had my mind blown watching @djfood‘s ‘The Search Engine’ at @WeTheCurious planetarium. SOOOO TRIPPY AND AWESOME! GO SEE IT!!” – Rebecca Evans, Bristol

Mr Chop – CDL-001 EP 10″

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“New release on Drumetrics”, a phrase that strikes fear into the hearts of hardened record collectors. How limited will it be? How dope will the drums be? How cool with the design look? How much will it cost plus shipping? The latest release, a 10″ by Mr Chop featuring Malcolm Catto is not cheap by any means but it is such a beautiful package you can just about swallow that side of things. A die-cut ‘D’ in the front cover shows through an op-art Chop logo printed on mirrorboard card. On the reverse side there’s an embossed Drumetrics D logo and the inner boasts a debossed Chop logo. I hate to think how much that must have cost but that’s one of the reasons it’s expensive. The music bangs of course, as do all Chop releases, no need to worry about that. Get one here before they sell out, only 500 copies but digital is coming soon

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