De:tuned Brainbox compilation artwork

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As you’ll be aware if you read this blog, I’ve designed the artwork for the new 6xLP ‘Brainbox’ compilation from Belgian label, De:Tuned. This was somewhat of a dream job in every sense as not only did I have multiple surfaces to play with but the design brief was an ideal one from the start. Ruben Boons, label manager, came to me over a year ago wanting something that jumped off from my work with Amon Tobin around the ‘Out From Out Where’ album sleeves which is one of my personal favourite designs and was exactly where my head was at this particular time. Using similar methods of assembly and composition I created a main image that everyone was happy with (which became the cover) and then remixed it mulitple times to form images for the rest of the compilation. Everything you see here stems from at least part of the cover image.

From the off it seemed that Ruben and I was on exactly the same page and any suggestions he made always bettered the designs and, as I’d been given pretty much free reign over what to produce, this made the whole process even more enjoyable. There’s nothing worse that presenting a client with multiple variations of a job and them picking the weakest one. From experience I try never to send any examples of prospective designs on a job that I ultimately wouldn’t be happy to see in print but there are always favourites. No such worries on this job, it was bliss from beginning to end and I couldn’t be happier with the final result. There are only 300 box sets out there (I know mine says 304 below, that’s part of a small overun for the artists involved) and each comes with a download code for those who like their music digital – there is no CD though, another godsend as one of the most boring parts of a job like this is reformatting a design down to a small version for a CD.

You can hear excerpts from it and more above in this Solid Steel mix I made and buy it from the many links below:
Juno: bit.ly/2eD3NzG Bleep: bit.ly/2dsrXzY Hardwax: bit.ly/2f51Tdr Rushhour: bit.ly/2eN9dsN
Norman: bit.ly/2errQmc Japhy: bit.ly/2eaHxOU Decks: bit.ly/2emIWni Deejay.de: bit.ly/2eN2VwO

NB: Each disc was given a subtitle as well as a number, referring to different parts of the brain: Frontal, Cerebellum, Parietal etc. also, the last image below is of a sticker that comes with the box.

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De:tuned ‘Brainbox’ compilation preview and pre-order

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You can now pre-order and listen to parts of all the tracks for the forthcoming ‘Brainbox’ compilation that I have provided the artwork for on De:tuned records from Belgium. The line up is immense and all the tracks are exclusive, this has taken a long time and a lot of care to put together. The box consists of 6 vinyl LPs, each in full colour inner sleeves with unique artwork and is limited to 300 copies. There is a digital DL version too but no CD, the box set also comes with a DL code and a sticker. The line up reads like a who’s who of 90s electronica: Plaid, As One, FSOL, Scanner, Meat Beat Manifesto, Speedy J, MuZiq, B12, Mike Dred, David Morley, Christian Vogel… and the quality of the content is very high. Pre-order here

New reissue of Frankie’s ‘…Pleasuredome’ album

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I still get buzzed off the fact that my name is on the design credits of the recent reissues of this classic album which meant so much to me as a 14 year old and still means so much to me 32 years later. Not two years after the huge ‘Inside the Pleasuredome’ box set that I worked on with Philip Marshall comes a standalone vinyl reissue of the LP contained inside the set.

WTTPcreditThe music is the same but there are some slight differences to the packaging: mainly the actual vinyl itself which now has the original label designs with the F, G, T and H restored (I had to remake them from scratch) and white vinyl instead of black. Eagle-eyed collectors will also notice that the fig leaves have been restored on the back cover image to cover the animal’s modesty whilst in the midst of their orgy. Philip had to remake each one from scratch too.

WTTPFlabelWTTPTdiscWTTPSainsburysThis edition will be available exclusively, I’m told, from Sainsburys – that bastion of record emporiums where we all go when we need our fix of the black crack. Whether this is just the white vinyl version or whether there will be other colours available elsewhere, I do not know.

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I do know that this is the nicest looking vinyl reissue since the box set version though; heavy card, full colour inner sleeves, coloured vinyl, different labels etc. Also, high quality images, not the anti-aliased, bitmapped, jpegged, over-saturated coloured version that the Music On Vinyl issue had some years back – quite possibly the worse reissue of any album I’ve ever seen, an insult to this album’s legacy and one of the only undamaged records I’ve ever thrown away.

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Kosmischer Debris x9.15 & 16

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A double dose of Kosmischer Debris round ups in this post – selections from the past month or so of experiments, works in progress or random graphics from my desktop – all self-generated and posted (nearly) daily on my Instagram

Above: details from a Circuit Bending Mandala and the full thing at a larger scale
Below: Top row: lights from my Rane mixer, Middle row: Circuit Bending, multiple logo tests for a band called Psyence, B&W Rane lights. Bottom row: Inkubation collab with Sarah Coleman, Circuit Bending + detail.

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Jonny Trunk / DJ Food hook ups

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Two dates for your diaries: June 25th I’ll be DJing with Jonny Trunk at Camberwell’s finest used record emporium, Rat Records. They recently bought in a really good selection of soundtrack, electronic, library and weird records which we’ll be playing selections from before adding them to the racks for punters to buy. Let US try, before YOU buy.

But before that  – this Saturday to be precise – I’ll be sitting in for Jonny on his OST radio show on Resonance 104.4 FM from 4.30-6.40pm. There’ll be a theme to the show and I’ll have special guest Jonny Cuba from Soundsci talking about library digs and soundtrack finds. Listen here this weekend

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Kosmischer Debris x9.14

KDx9.14Things have been a bit quiet on here recently due to various changes happening in my life right now, 2016 is turning out to be quite a rollercoaster. I’ve been a little more active over on Instagram though, with almost daily postings of personal miscellania, record finds and the Kosmischer Debris series, but even that’s taken a hit this month.

Above – top row, some experiments that date back a fair few years now with manipulated audio waves put through a spectral visualiser. Middle row – left: collage detail, middle: ‘Circult Skull 1′ test, right: ‘weird jazz thing’ that was the unexpected result of an old Freehand file where I held down the wrong key. Bottom row – experiments with a flexible material and light reflections – more to come with that…

Kosmischer Debris x9.13

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Another nine examples of the Kosmischer Debris floating around my computer: off cuts, try-outs, archive work, experiments and the like. Top left and right are distorted barcodes, middle top and bottom is a typeface called ‘Attention!’ that I created from a Soviet postmark I found. Middle left and right are two unused pieces from a recent project and the middle is a photo collage I did of a building in Osaka, Japan back in the late 90s. More, daily, on my Instagram.

Kosmischer Debris x 9.9

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Been a bit quiet on here of late, sorry for the lack of activity but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, making some big changes this year. Just finished a fantastic graphic design project that I can show in full soon. Also I’ve been more active on Instagram this year than last so you can find quite a few things cropping up there daily.

The pieces above are some circular experiments with circuit boards (Circuit Mandalas), colour shift try-outs with recent collages and some digital trickery with an old photo collage I made in the late 90s of a 180 degree shot of a Tokyo street. In April I’m going to do a month’s worth of B&W Op Art designs I made one afternoon recently before launching into something a little different…

Kosmischer Debris x 9.7

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You know the deal by now, the latest 9 daily experimental designs from my Instagram – these were made from miscellaneous photos of analogue kit I’ve had kicking about for years: a Russian reel to reel machine, Abbey Road desks, Sarm Studios patch bays and the like. I started with the central image, photos divided up and decreasing in size on themselves and then started putting mirror images together. Sometimes it’s amazing what forms itself when you place to edges together.

Kosmischer Debris x9.6: Circuit Mandalas

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Here’s the last selection of the daily Kosmischer Debris image experiments from my Instagram. These were all made using various sections of different circuit boards and I’d like to return to them at some point but I’m working on multiples of nine for now before moving on so as not to get stuck on one thing. They point the way towards something I’m trying to develop that updates the original psychedelic practices and brings them into the electronic present without slavishly copying what went before.

Kosmischer Debris – Op Art edition

KDx9.5Another round of Kosmischer Debris entries – these were from a series of experiments and tests I did for a Ninja Tune thing last summer that didn’t get used. A couple work for me and elements of them have since led down a different path – I recently created 60 different images from them in one day, yet to find a home. You see my daily postings from the hard drive on my Instagram along with other images shot whilst out and about, record finds, art and more.

The return of the Ninja Tune slipmat

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The slipmat has long been a part of Ninja Tune‘s merch lines, alongside the T-shirt, record bag and Ninja Skinz. The last one I designed for them was back in 2007 for mine and DK‘s ‘Now, Listen Again’ Solid Steel comp. At the time sales of vinyl were seriously in freefall, Serato and Tractor were taking over and people were looking at digital as the way forward, slipmats weren’t exactly flying out the door.
By the end of the decade I don’t think the label even considered making any for their 20th anniversary, they just weren’t on the radar anymore. But things have a habit of coming back again and, nearly a decade on, here’s a new twist on an old design – available now from the Ninjashop.

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Kosmischer Debris x9.4

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Some of the recent Kosmischer Debris experiments from my Instagram – not sure about these, there are a couple of interesting ones but nothing I’m super happy with. These images are all generated from one piece, collaged elements of the Musée des Confluences that I took in Lyon last year. I want to see how far I can push them before they look like visual soup. The lower right one is pretty much there I’d say.

Resonance FM fundraiser and radio show

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I’m doing / have done a couple of things for Resonance FM – London’s great station of the weird, wonderful and avant garde. Last week Robin The Fog, aka Howlround, came errrr… round and we spent a hugely enjoyable three hours going through the odder ends of my collection. It rapidly descended into, ‘have you heard this? you haven’t? oh my god, check this out’ etc. etc. We’ve all been there but Robin’s and my tastes are quite acutely tuned to a specific end of the musical spectrum marked ‘miscellaneous’. This is all for a new series on his and station cohort, Hannah Brown‘s ‘Near Mint’ show about ‘excessive record collecting’.

He left with over an hour of audio and a lot more of me wittering on about German concept albums about the body, a children’s alphabet in space LP, one-off record booth finds and cut up psychoanalysis experiments. We touched on old favourites like Ken Nordine, John Rydgren and Marshall McLuhan too but our shared love of Sesame Street‘s more experimental side wasn’t discussed. Below are some examples of some of the delights we explored and you can hear the show next Tuesday, February 9th at 6pm. NOW! (Well, part 1 anyway)

The week after that I’ll be joining both of them. as well as host of the station’s Luck Cat show, Zoe Baxter, at the West Norwood Book & Record Bar to help raise money for the station as part of their annual funding drive. There will be a raffle with prizes, some from my own collection, but most of all, there will be great music (see flyer above for details).

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