Dust & Grooves Weekly Grooves giveaway

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The #WeeklyGroove Series & #Giveaway Week 5: Strictly Kev (DJ Food)

This week Dust & Grooves have made me the subject of their Weekly Groove giveaway series

By end of week, they will give a fine-art print from their photo archives, signed by @eilonpaz and a signed, quadruple 12” version of my album ‘The Search Engine’.

To participate in the giveaway, tag a friend on the #WeeklyGroove posts on @dustandgrooves Instagram account ONLY.
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Soundsci at Cavendish Music part 2

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This is the second part of a special exclusive on the new Soundsci album, ‘My Boosey Weighs A Ton’, the music of which is made completely (and legally) from samples provided by the Cavendish music library (formerly Boosey & Hawkes). Below are photos and recollections by Darrell Krum who also designed the album artwork, he focuses on the details during their visit to the archive to search for material to sample. You can see more photos in part one here and order the album here, freshly released today – only 500 copies and half of them are already spoken for apparently.

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“Our visit to the Boosey & Hawkes archives; quite literally, for a nerdy, nostalgia obsessed, record collecting geek like myself, the type of experience dreams are made of! And I’m not even joking – I actually do have dreams about discovering places like this! From the minute Jonny told me we’d been granted access to the B&H vaults my mind began racing, excitedly picturing this mythical little world I’d had a brief glimpse into through the Whosampled “2014 Samplethon” promo video. I was really quite envious watching that footage of Jonny and the other guys digging through boxes and boxes of Library music in some dingy old basement so couldn’t wait to get in there and start rooting around for myself!

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My recollections of the day itself are much like Jonny’s – I’d describe it as some what of a sensory overload! Within a matter of 30 seconds or so, we’d transitioned from a hive of noise and activity up on the manic Holborn high street, through a very bright, plush reception area, down to this dark, damp, underground vault hidden away amongst a labyrinth of corridors. What we stepped into was exactly what I had imagined and hoped for – a mass of seemingly organised chaos! That lovely musty smell was rife throughout, with walls saturated in mould; ideal conditions for treasure hunting – diggers know! The tranquility of the place as well, such a huge contrast to hustle and bustle of the busy streets just a few meters above our heads. If given the choice, I know where I’d rather be!

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I must admit, from a record collectors point of view, it was some what of a bitter-sweet experience; on the one hand an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to explore these historic archives, but on the other, slightly frustrating knowing we couldn’t take anything away with us! Kinda like putting a kid in a sweet shop and telling him he can look and marvel at all the delicious treats on offer but unfortunately can’t eat any! From that perspective I always knew it was going to be a tease, but essentially we were there to do a job, and the objective of that job was to document the Boosey / Cavendish archives with the aim of utilising some of the photos for Soundsci’s album cover. So while it was hard to resist the temptation of spending the whole day listening through the huge catalogue of vinyl at our fingertips, we were very aware that our time was limited and an opportunity like this couldn’t be wasted. I think we were down there for five or six hours but could easily have spent a couple of days sifting through everything, and still not scratched the surface!

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Simon’s focus was predominately on the wide angle shots, trying to capture the vastness of our surroundings, while my attention was drawn to some of the finer details contained within. Besides the thousands of records, there were endless amounts of original reel-to-reel masters (who knows, maybe some great unreleased material amongst it all?), account ledgers, publishing contracts and payment receipts (I loved reading through these, seeing the names of many legendary Library musicians and composers written on general admin documents – was a real buzz!), copyright manuscripts, etc, etc, just tons of really interesting artefacts… some of it dating back hundreds of years. And the patina… Wow! That was attracting my eye as much as anything else! Using the word “patina” is a very nice, fanciful way of putting it – basically we’re talking about some serious, heavy duty rot and decay! Many of the reel-to-reel boxes were damp and riddled with mould, some falling apart at the seems. Obviously not great for the tapes stored inside but the subject of absolute beauty to me! So, while Simon was working his way round the rooms with a camera and tripod snapping scenes of a broader nature, I was feverishly rifling through the shelves and boxes scouting out material to use for more detailed close-ups. Included here are a selection of photos I took on my iPhone, some of which were used for reference when directing shots of a higher quality on Simon’s Canon.

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It was a real privilege experiencing what was probably the closest I’ll ever get to a working space within the 1970s music industry. Like being in a time capsule, and surely one of the last of it’s kind. Such a shame that pretty much everything contained within those walls is now packed away in cold storage, unlikely to ever be seen, or appreciated in the same way, again.

I’d just like to say thanks to Arun Sethi at Cavendish, and of course Jonny and the Soundsci crew for the such a great opportunity!” – Darrell Krum

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Thanks to Darrell for sharing these photos and thought and you can get your hands on the results now! The LP is released today and I’m pleased to announce a launch party in conjunction with Digger’s Dozen on March 9th at the Joyeux Bordel bar in Curtain Rd, Shoredtch on March 9th. Ollie and Jonny will be playing as well as Chris Read (Who Sampled), Jonny Trunk and myself. Each DJ gets twelve records only and the theme will be library of course.

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Soundsci at Cavendish Music part 1

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This is the first part of a special visual exclusive on the new Soundsci album, ‘My Boosey Weighs A Ton’, the music of which is made completely (and legally) from samples provided by the Cavendish music library (formerly Boosey & Hawkes). Below are photos by Simon Ashton and recollections from group member Jonny Cuba on their visit to the archive to search for material. These are the last days of the archive as you see it here, shortly after this it was packed up and put into storage so thanks to Simon and Jonny for these pictures and thoughts. Part 2 on Monday will feature more shots by sleeve designer Darrell Krum.

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My pace quickened as we strode towards our destination, High Holborn in the heart of old London. As we crossed the road, I wondered what treasures were stashed just out of sight of the bustling High Road. I ushered my fellow adventurers Darrell and Simon into a grand building. The dull glow of architectural light was in high contrast to the brightly lit area immediately around a smart reception desk. We were surrounded by an aura of quality and affluence. However, before we even reached the desk we took a sharp turn through a set of almost invisible double doors.

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We traveled along corridors and down numerous staircases. The decor took us back time the further we ventured and at last we reached our destination. The vault. There was a heavy door made of thick steel and as we stepped inside Darrell immediately remarked upon the strong odour, a mixture of musty paper and damp. As we ventured deeper into the labyrinthine cave the smell enveloped us and the damp was clearly manifest on the walls and on some of the treasures contained within.

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Amongst the prizes I saw was a huge leather bound master score, handwritten, of Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’. Ledgers and books of ancient share certificates spilt out of numbered boxes. However, all these things were secondary to the real treasures. Shelves and shelves of reel to reel tapes, vinyl LP’s and shellac 78’s. Digger’s Manna.

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The archive has now been packed away and moved to an industrial space outside of town. London changes, but the nooks and crannies where culture and mystery collide are remembered by us in our music and art. – Jonny Cuba

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Listen to Jonny, joined by Ollie Teeba – the other half of the production duo in Soundsci – on Jonny Trunk‘s OST show a few weeks back where they layout how they went about making the album, play cuts and joust with Señor Trunk over who has the rarest library and soundtrack cuts. You can pre-order the album here before it drops on Monday – only 500 copies and half of them are already spoken for apparently.

DJ Food at Spiritland 11.12.16

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Sunday night saw my second set at Spiritland, this time for a 5 hr slot instead of 4. The chance to spread out and play a non dance floor selection in public is always welcome and the sound system there is particularly good with highly polished electronic music and deep bass tones I’m finding. In the mix you’ll find a short Xmas medley and part of an exclusive 54 Minute fan mix of The Orb’s ‘A Huge, Ever Growing, Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld’ interspersed with some special mixes of Grace Jones‘Slave To The Rhythm’ that I compiled. Some of the photos below are by Karla Davis and Arthur Arkin.
(The mix is a bit quiet, you need to turn it up) I’ve remastered the file now for maximum volume.

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Alex Bartsch – Covers book kickstarter

COVERS – a book by ALEX BARTSCH from Alex Bartsch on Vimeo.
Sometimes someone comes up with an idea so simple it has ‘surefire hit’ written all over it. Here’s one coming now; photographer Alex Bartsch is taking the sleeveface craze to the next logical stage (‘sleevescape’ anyone?) by matching architectural aspects of London with record covers that feature them. Specifically it seems, reggae records, and the results so far are excellent. A Kickstarter for a book of the photos has just launched, you can pledge here and there’s an exhibition in the planning. Follow Alex on Instagram too buk-in-hamm+V.2 Rain Musical+Doctor_0024171+copy

Tim Walker does Hieronymus Bosch for Love Magazine

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Photographer Tim Walker has channeled Hieronymus Bosch for this new shoot for Love Magazine‘s Spring issue. These are the more ‘safe for work’ images but there are loads more here.

Bosch is back in the news at the moment as there is a major exhibition of his work at the Noordbrabants Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands at the moment with paintings and drawings assembled from across the globe to mark 500 years since his birth.

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Sephora ad campaign

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I came across these at the weekend in a window of a shop in Lyon, they were so striking I had to take a photo. A quick google reveals they’re for a campaign for Sephora makeup from a few years back and there are more in the series. A great example of how a simple visual idea can attract the attention & subvert the usual clichés.

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Roger Perry ‘The Writing On The Wall’ reissue

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Arriving the morning after the recent UK election result, finally holding the reprinted, expanded edition of Roger Perry‘s ‘The Writing On The Wall’ was a bittersweet experience. In George Melly‘s original introduction he says; “With the ballot box effective why spray walls?” a statement a fair few people would most likely have a bone to pick with right now. Looking through the beautifully printed pages at the replica version I cherry-picked a few shots that struck a chord and prove that not much changes when it comes to public opinion of those in charge.

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It’s not all socio-political commentary though, there are oddities, messages of love, the inevitable football allegiances and more bizarre offerings. Often there are some poignant juxtapositions on either side of a spread, the ‘God Is Love’ / ‘Clapton is God’ example below being just one of them. New forewards by Bill Drummond and George Stewart-Lockheart (who organised the whole project via Kickstarter last year) bring context via hindsight to the photos. and while Drummond is the name you’ll recognise, Stewart-Lockheart’s essay is a fascinating, expertly-researched history of much of the content, something the original book lacked.

Expertly laid out by Pearce Marchbank – the original designer and Time Out art director in the 70s – the reprinted facsimile of the book has a yellowed, off-white tint to the pages which distinguishes it from the clean white of the new material. The end section features profiles of those involved in the making of the original volume as well as a host of newly discovered images and negatives from the archives which expand on and reveal how the book came together. It’s a lovingly put together edition with its cloth-bound, foil-blocked front cover and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in seeing 70s London and the marks made by ordinary people in the days before the art of Hip Hop graffiti writing came to these shores. More info about where you can obtain a copy is here at the rogerperrybook site or you can buy it direct.

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More archival work on the Pleasuredome box set

Another look behind the scenes at some work I’ve been doing on the Frankie Goes To Hollywood box set for the 30th anniversary edition of their ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ album. Earlier this year I visited photographer Steve Rumney who took a set of photos backstage at the London launch party of ‘Relax’ at the Camden Palace (now Koko) back in November 1983, one of which ended up on a promo poster, cassette and sheet music.

FGTH backstage AOZTT restoration © Steve Rumney

We looked through boxes of negatives and found very little aside from some prints and one badly damaged negative strip. Nevertheless, on that strip was an image that I recognised from the inside sleeve of the original album and he graciously let me take it away. After having it scanned at a professional lab I took the digital files and proceeded to repair all the dust and scratches it had incurred over the years. See above the 5-step cleaning and cropping process, this will then be used on the inner sleeve of the new version of the album. Quite a bit of work for one small 4 x 5.5cm image.

Scenes from the Easter weekend

Two views of Lisbon; inside my hotel and out on the street by the MusicBox club where I played on Thursday night.

Sun through the clouds in Switzerland, driving towards France on Friday afternoon.

Sound check in La Rodia, Besancon, France with our new banner featuring every artist sampled on the ‘Paul’s Boutique’ LP.


The not-quite-finished hotel in France the next morning – note the 2 stars – it was actually OK inside. Next, a fantastic view on the road back to Geneva.


Saturday night back in London – Adam & The (original) Antz do ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’ at the Hammersmith Apollo.

Beastie fans get ready for the 3-Way Mix at the Moon Club in Cardiff on Sunday night and we premiere our new picture disc controller records from 12InchSkinz during the set.

Dust & Grooves Book out RSD 2014

I’m pretty thrilled to see this book, by photographer Eilon Paz, make its way out into the world. If you’re not familiar with his Dust & Grooves site and you’re a vinyl collector then it’s a must. Not only am I featured in it as a collector (a full photo feature, interview and mix will be online some day after the book is done) but I also contributed to the text by interviewing Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet for a chapter of it. Here’s the blurb for the book:

“Eilon Paz’s 416-page coffee-table book illuminates over 130 vinyl collectors and their collections in the most intimate of environments—their record rooms. With a foreword by the RZA, compelling photographic essays are paired with in-depth interviews to illustrate what motivates record collectors to keep digging for more records.

Readers get an up close and personal look at a variety of well-known vinyl champions as well as a glimpse into the collections of known and unknown DJs, producers, record dealers, and everyday enthusiasts. The book is divided into two main parts: the first features 250 full-page photos framed by captions and select quotes, while the second consists of 12 full-length interviews that delve deeper into collectors’ personal histories and vinyl troves.”

US Street Date: Record Store Day, April 19, 2014
Worldwide Street Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014