Some Food excursions coming up

I should do a little round up of a few things I’ve had a hand in that have recently come to light:

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The rarely seen 360 degree dome show version of my 2012 album ‘The Search Engine‘ is playing in Bristol at We The Curious, the Bristol Planetarium on January 30th and Feb 27th – tickets here. I won’t actually be at the shows, it’s a straight playback of the AV set I created in 2012. I was present at those but it’s always been a pre-rendered thing.

I did an interview for online magazine Fat Hipster – available in both English and Serbian.

Alex Fitch‘s Panel Borders podcast includes some of the talk about music and comics I was part of at the Caption festival in Brighton last December.

I’ll be supporting The Art of Noise (legends!) at The British Library in March! Tickets here

Eat Or Heat flyer

I’m on the bill again at the Eat Or Heat fundraiser at the Wild Card Brewery on Feb 17th – great cause, donation on entry. Talking of fundraisers – the Resonance FM fundraiser is on now – a radio station very dear to my heart for many reasons – support independent leftfield radio here.

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And talking of radio – I’ll be on Out Of The Wood radio this Sunday (Jan 21st) – attempting something different. Taking place live at the Book & Record Bar, West Norwood between 12-2pm – tune in to WNBC.london here.

Bigmouth podcast guest appearance

I was very pleased to be asked to guest on one of my favourite podcasts: Bigmouth, talking about 2000AD’s 40th anniversary, the new Magnetic Fields album and the first part of new BBC drama SS-GB alongside guest Matt Allen and regular hosts Andrew Harrison and Matt Hall. Also hear which track of the week I chose and what closing time chatter gem I dredged up.
UPDATE: Annoyingly I go the date of the Orbital Comics closing party gig wrong at the end, it’s March 10th, not 9th.

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.

The Delaware Road At Kelvedon Hatch Audio Apocalypse Survival Kit on OST

OST show 18.02.17
(Mark, Robin, Dan, Chris, me, Ian – out of shot Zoe, Hannah and Alan – who was taking the photo)

On Saturday I was invited to be a guest on the OST show on Resonance FM – this time with Robin The Fog ably sitting in for an absent Jonny Trunk (away on Basil Kirchin business in Hull). Joining us in the studio were Alan Gubby (Buried Treasure), Mark Pilkington (Strange Attractor Press), Dan Wilson (Radionics), Hannah Brown (Kvist), Ian Helliwell (Tape Leaders book and so much more), Chris Sharp (Concretism) and Zoe ‘Lucky Cat’ Baxter who stayed on after her show beforehand.

The reason was twofold – to try and present a sonic picture of all the artists who would be contributing / playing at The Delaware Road event at Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker on July 28th. If you’re not up to speed on exactly what The Delaware Road is then please go here.

The gathering was also to highlight a very special prize bundle assembled from all who’d be taking part that’s being auctioned off in aid of Resonance FM’s annual funding drive. Here’s a photo of most of the items to be included:

Delaware Road bundle

Here’s a link to The Delaware Road At Kelvedon Hatch Audio Apocalypse Survival Kit auction in aid of ResonanceFM

Here’s a link to buy tickets for The Delaware Road gig on July 28th

and here’s a link to the 2 hour show featuring music from a lot of the prizes featured above.

FourFromFoodFridays: 17.6

FourFromFoodFridays 17.6
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:
David Axelrod – The Solid Steel interview (2001) Radio mix – RIP The Axe
Kid Koala feat. Emiliana Torrini – Music To Draw to: Satellite (A&C) LP – first ever ambient turntablist album?
The OST show feat. Soundsci (Resonance FM) Radio – Hip Hop, Library and Soundtracks
Aphex Twin – entire back catalogue in preparation for the Archspace gig on April 25th

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RIP David Axelrod

Axe SS CD CoverSo sad to hear of the passing of David Axelrod tonight. If you don’t know the man’s music then all you need is this interview that DK and Dean Smith did with the man back in 2001 for Solid Steel. It’s unlikely that most people wouldn’t know parts of his music, being that he was sampled so widely by hip hop artists like Dr. Dre, DJ Shadow, Black Sheep and more. DK has been an uber-fan for as long as I’ve known him so this interview goes deep.


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What is The Delaware Road?

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The Delaware Road currently exists in several forms; an actual road in London where the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop was originally situated, a compilation released in 2015 by the Buried Treasure label and a multi-faceted performance piece based around a story created by the label’s founder, Alan Gubby and David Yates aka Dolly Dolly. The Radiophonic connection is no coincidence, being that the piece that ties the music contained on the album and play together is loosely based on two key figures working at the BBC Workshop at the height of its powers. Gubby describes it as, “…a work of fiction based on actual events & some unusual anecdotes gathered whilst researching for archived electronic tape music albums released in recent years”.

The story is situated in London, the possibilities of technology and tape are being stretched by inquiring minds and the swinging sixties are upon us. “Two pioneering musicians compose electronic themes for television & radio. They discover a recording that leads to a startling revelation about their employer. Fascinated by the occult nature of the tape they conduct a studio ritual that will alter their lives forever.” Add in dashes of psychedelics, orgies, spirits summoned via stone tape theories and the relentless march of progress and you have the ingredients for a wild ride through the middle of 20th century London, from analogue to digital as the 80s approach and new ways replace old.

The live staged version of the concept album is narrated by the incredible Dolly Dolly, sitting stage right at his desk throughout the performance, suit and tie in place, illuminated by a single anglepoise lamp. His earnest delivery ties the acts together that sonically illustrate the different chapters in the piece, his speeches becoming more animated as the story progresses, enhanced by oil and video projections. The first performance was held at the South Street Arts Centre in Reading and featured a host of acts using tape manipulation, analogue synths, ancient percussion and home-made electronic devices, each in roughly chronological order as the years played out. There was even some jazz on the menu and the whole thing was book-ended by Jonny Trunk and Pete Wiggs playing suitably-themed tunes for the occasion, I covered the night for Shindig! magazine at the time and you can read my review here.

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The album suffered distribution problems upon initial release, as did other Buried Treasure output, but a new deal should mean greater availability and a re-release is planned, there’s even talk of some kind of illustrated version too with various artists being commissioned to bring scenes to life. I can’t recommend the record enough as it perfectly soundtracks the piece put together to showcase it and there’s nary a bad tune in its 20 tracks. Listen to it and buy via Bandcamp.

Which brings me to the reason I’m writing this now as a second performance will be taking place on July 28th, this time at the Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker site in Essex. Tickets are on sale now but places are limited, there’s even a chance to book a place on a double-decker bus that will take you to the venue from the nearby Brentwood station and discounts for groups of four people. I’m also delighted to reveal that I will be opening and closing the event in a DJ capacity too! I’ll be bringing visuals and delving into my collection for a suitable selection to mark the occasion.
Follow the event and the bands playing it on Facebook, this is going to be a very special evening.
The line up so far is: DOLLY DOLLY, HOWLROUND, TELEPLASMISTE (Mark O Pilkington & Michael J York), RADIONICS RADIO, IAN HELLIWELL, GLITCH, SAUNDERS & HILL, CONCRETISM, SIMON JAMES (The Simonsound), THE TWELVE HOUR FOUNDATION, LOOSE CAPACITOR, DJ FOOD.

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Openmind ambient mix on Solid Steel 26.09.94

Telepathic Fish 4 webI was asked by the m.cast website to write some background history on a mix I did for Solid Steel with old friend Mario Aguera under the Openmind DJs name back in 1994 (this was before I became part of DJ Food or had been given the Strictly Kev moniker). Here’s a little slice of London ambient history as I remember it:

Openmind originated at 102 Tintagel Crecsent in East Dulwich, South East London around late 1992. The shared house spread across three floors above a shop, rented out by a local chemist specifically to students at a very reasonable £37 each per week, and the occupants came together by chance from different circumstances. Computer programmer Mario Aguera and 3rd year Camberwell School of Art students David Vallade and Kevin Foakes were later joined by Chantal Passamonte at some point in 1993. They frequented many of the clubs, gigs and underground parties of the time like Club Dog, Tribal Energy and Megatripolis but often found themselves enjoying the post-club comedown chill out sessions more than the actual clubs themselves.

After an incident with a synthesiser, a Rastafarian and a bowl of fish (see David Toop’s excellent ‘Ocean of Sound’ book for details) they formed a collective called Openmind and started a series of ambient parties under the name Telepathic Fish. Nearby neighbour Mixmaster Morris took them under his wing and introduced them to many of his contacts.

The first party was held in their house across two floors which held a rave room with strobe lighting and a chill out complete with tower of scavenged TV sets broadcasting trip videos, black lights and Morris DJing from decks on the next door kitchen counter. Advertised through word of mouth and a few posters at the college, the party drew 300 people and they realised that they had to find somewhere else to do the next one.

A squat in Tunstal Road, Brixton was located and a line up of Mixmaster Morris, Aphex Twin and the Openmind DJs (Mario and Kev) with Matt Black (Coldcut) on visuals played throughout a Sunday afternoon into the evening. A second gig was held at the same venue later that year (’93) which saw members of The Black Dog, Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia and The Future Sound of London checking out what was happening. Early flyers included shaped fish pendants and tea bags, hand-assembled using tracing and holographic paper.

After Matt Black’s initial revelatory experience at the Fish (his first ever VJ set) he invited Mario and Kev to guest on his and Jon More’s weekly KISS FM radio show, Solid Steel in the summer of ’93. They appeared a number of times (11.07.93 / 07.11.93 / 04. 03.94 / 15.07.94) and Matt and Morris continued to guest with music and visuals at the parties.

The venue then changed to the Cool Tan building in Brixton for a fourth excursion that included Matt Black on decks with PC (DJ Food), a pre-Leaf Tony Morley and visuals by Hex. Just before that party Mario and Kev were invited back onto Solid Steel on 26.09.94 and you can hear Matt giving the party a shout out in the mix. The sets played here are a pretty good indication of the sort of thing they played at the Telepathic Fish parties, sometimes pooling their then meagre record collections to fill out the nights.

There were more parties after this, usually as part of bigger events – Orbital’s Brixton Academy gig VIP room, Quirky, Megatripolis, a New Year’s Day party at the derelict Roundhouse and a Dutch excursion that saw them playing in a gas silo. They also produced four issues of an ambient fanzine called Mind Food which they sold at the parties, by mail or in various record shops in London.

Mario went on to join Hex for their early explorations into visuals and software and then headed up a team at a major video game developer. Chantal, David and Kev all worked at the Ambient Soho record shop in Berwick St. at certain points. Chantal went on to become Mira Calix and sign to Warp. David designed record sleeves for Warp, Ntone, Worm Interface, MLO and Reflective among others. Kev became part of DJ Food, carrying the Openmind name on as his design alias whilst shaping the look of the Ninja Tune label in the 90s and 00s.


You can down load this mix directly from the m.cast website here

First hour: Mario Aguera (Openmind/Telepathic Fish)

Coldcut – Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force remix) (BMG)
UVX ‎- Elevator (13th floor spectrum) (Magick Eye Records)
Frankfurt – Tokio Connection – Luminescent Avatar (Harthouse / Rising High)
Golden Girls – Kinetic (Morley’s Apollo mix) (R&S)
Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia – Obsidian (Deconstruction) (KK Records)
The Grid – Crystal Clear (The Orb remix) (Virgin)
Ongaku – Mihon 2 (Fax/Rising High)
UVX ‎- Elevator (13th floor spectrum) (Magick Eye Records)
Deep Forest – Sweet Lullaby (Natural Trance Mix) (Columbia)
Peter Gabriel – At Night (Real World)
Amorphous Androgynous – Mountain Goat (Virgin)
System 7 – 7-7 Expansion (Double Edged Sword mix) (Big Life)
David Morley – Calibration (Apollo)

Second hour: Kevin Foakes (Openmind/Telepathic Fish – pre-DJ Food)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Warriors of the Wasteland (End) (ZTT)
Harold Budd & The Cocteau Twins – Memory Gongs (4AD) / S’Xpress – Coma (Record Mirror) No-Man – Days In The Trees (Reich) (One Little Indian)
KLF – What Time Is Love (Virtual Reality mix) (KLF Communications)
Jesus Jones – Zeroes & Ones (Aphex Twin Reconstruction 2 mix) (Food/EMI)
David Sylvian – Home (Virgin)
This Mortal Coil – Andialu (4AD)
B12 – Soundtrack of Space (Warp)
Spacetime Continuum – Fluorescence (Reflective)
Eurhythmics – The City Never Sleeps (Capitol)
Moody Boys – Free (XL)
Depth Charge – Depth Charge (Drum Death Version) (Vinyl Solution)
Material – Mantra (Praying Mantra mix) (Axiom)
Dub Syndicate – What Happened? (On-U Sound)
Moody Boys – Pumpin Dumpin (XL)
Plaid – Yamemm – (Warp)
unknown (Digidub or Moody Boys?)
Minnie Ripperton – Lovin’ You (Epic)

FourFromFoodFridays 17.1

FourFromFoodFridays17.1
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:
Brian Eno – Reflection (Warp) LP
Coldcut – 6 Music New Year takeover (BBC6Music) Radioshow
The KLF – The Sound Of Mu(sic) (Mixcloud) DJ Food / Mr Trick Fan Mix
Depeche Mode – Big Muff (K_Master Remix) (Soundcloud) Fan Remix

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FourFromFoodFridays17Four 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:
Trevor Jackson meets Trevor Horn (NTS) Interview
Clocolan – Nothing Left To Abandon (Enpeg) LP
Manuel Gottsching – E2:E4 (MG.ART) LP
DJ Food – Live at Spiritland 11.12.16 (Mixcloud) DJ set

Trevor Jackson meets Trevor Horn


Trevor Jackson‘s 3hr interview with Trevor Horn from his NTS show is unmissable. Aside from being full of track after track of Horn-produced classic pop and experimental remixes it also manages to yield details and anecdotes that even on old devotee like me who’s listened and read everything going hasn’t heard before.
Great to hear something about ‘Legba’, ‘Relax’ just never ages and ‘Don’t Cry… It’s Only The Rhythm’ is broken down for you. Great work Trevor.

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Four From Food Fridays (except it’s been a very busy weekend so it’s Sunday) – 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:
Agnes Burnelle & Desmond Leslie – The Lost Noises Office – (HMV) 7″
Howlround – A Creak In Time (psyche-tropes) LP
Rendezvous – Suoni Della Paura II (Origin Peoples) Mixtape
The Soulful Strings – Little Drummer Boy (Cadet) LP

Solid Steel: DJ Mighty Atom vs DJ Shadow + DJ Food vs De:tuned

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The latest Solid Steel show features DJ Mighty Atom‘s deconstruction of DJ Shadow‘s ‘Endtroducing’ album, now 20 years old, in hour 1 and my taster mix for the new De:tuned Records ‘Brainbox’ compilation in hour 2. I’m biased but that’s a great way to spend 2 hours this weekend IMO.

Mighty Atom’s mix follows Solid Steel’s tried and tested blueprint of finding the original sources used in heavily sampled classics (see Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Beck and Nas of past shows) and adding spoken word snippets relating to the making of said album. He rises to the challenge admirably and this has to be one of my favourite mixes of the year.

My own mix takes a sample of tracks from the huge new 6xLP ‘Brainbox’ compilation, adds some past releases from the same label and hides some exclusives not due until next year in too. For fans of 90s era electronica from labels like Warp, R&S, Red Planet or Axis then this is for you – lots of familiar names, all brand new tracks.
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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:
JG Thirlwell vs Tim Ritchie on Triple J interview – (DJ Food Mixcloud)
The OST Show – The Pattern Forms library music special (Resonance FM)
DJ Bobafatt – Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill 30th anniversary mix (first aired on The Huey Morgan Show, BBC 6 Music)
Queen – Flash Gordon Original Soundtrack LP (EMI)

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JG Thirlwell / Foetus interview with Tim Ritchie, Triple J, 1986

This 30 year old, one hour radio interview with JG Thirlwell (aka Foetus / Steroid Maximus / Wiseblood / Clint Ruin and more) was recently was found on cassette & re-mastered by my good friend DJHDD in Sydney.
A fan-based tribute to all three Aussie artists, it serves as the beginning of an archive of lost Antipodean radio-phonic works. JG, himself a native Australian who had just settled in NYC after a period living in London, is interviewed by Tim Ritchie whose rep and standing in DJ lore at radio station Triple J cannot be understated.

Tim Ritchie

DJ HDD gives some context: “Tim Ritchie’ (Australia’s version of John Peel) has been on air for over 30 years, after blagging his way onto Sydney’s Double J airwaves, as a cheeky schoolboy, in the late 70’s. He went on to be the leading force of new music for the national upgrade to Triple J. Introducing an Aussie audience to the weird, wonderful & strange style of the avant garde mash of rock, reggae, dub & industrial dance via his successful ABC National Radio Show, Sound Quality. More than a radio announcer, Tim has been a major DJ in Sydney, including Mardi Gras, Sleaze & numerous clubs, for a good 30 years. Triple J posted him to New York in the 80’s to discover Hip Hop & this interview with Jim Thirlwell is from that time in 1986.”

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JGT had just released his album, ‘Nail’, widely thought to be the high water mark of his 80s set of recordings, was visited in NYC by Ritchie and, aside from the three decade-old historical curiosity unearthing such an interview provides, what’s so special about this is the format that it takes. From start to finish the whole piece is a radiophonic collage in itself, sliced and diced to within an inch of its life by Triple J’s wizard of studio engineering John Jacobs (aka Garry Litter), himself a Foetus fan.

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To say he goes to town on it is an understatement, vocals are stretched, distorted, stuttered and effected, music is cut, looped, reversed and interjected with spoken word to form a new kind of interview format. Clearly influenced by what acts like Foetus, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Art of Noise where doing with samplers but only access to basic equipment, the nearest thing I can think of to compare it would be Negativland‘s ‘A Perfect’ Cut’ or some of The Future Sound of London‘s early Test Transmission radio shows – neither of which would be realised for some years at this point.

DJHDD: Tim was never satisfied with the standard 15 questions style, indeed this interview shows the irreverent spontaneity of both Tim’s & Jim’s larrikinism & disdain for the natural order of radio-phonics. Produced by Triple J’s wizard of studio engineering John Jacobs (aka Garry Litter) who used a William Burroughs style, cut & paste stream of consciousness, sampling Jim over his own works. We asked John about how he put it together –

John Jacobs: “It was one of my first radio features as a producer after graduating as an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Sound engineer”, remembers John. “I think my work has always benefited from not having been actually trained as a producer. In retrospect I can hear the youthful obsession and earnest overstatement as well as the free wheeling experimental-ism”.

SK: How did you do all the edits? Not with tape surely? Did you have a sampler?
JJ: “The main voice and music edits were made cutting analog tape. We had access to an Akai S700 sampler (operated by Athol Spraggs) oh the joys of Maxell Quickdisks :-) We also used a Lexicon Super Prime Time for looping and stutter edits. Other gear; Reverb: Lexicon 224, Phaser: MXR rack, Compressor: UREI 7110, Synth: EMS Synthi AKS, Mixer: Studer A779. There was no fixed multi tracking, the mixes were assembled in short sections with multiple reel to reels mixed down and cut together.”

JohnJacobs studio setup

SK: Did you get voice-over artists to record the lyric inserts?
JJ: “The lyrics were voiced by co-workers. This was all pretty standard radio-phonic feature method and tech. of the time.”

SK: It’s done with such love and attention to detail and the work that’s gone into it is incredible for the time it was made, it’s like a new kind of interview format. Did you do this kind of thing for other interviews?
JJ: “I have made other mixed genre radio experiments. We went on to do a late night series for JJJ called The Works and I also produced The Night Air for Radio National 2002-12″

SK: When I sent this to Jim Thirlwell he wasn’t keen to listen to a 30 year younger version of himself but gave his blessing for us to air it as fans, how do you view it in hindsight?
JJ: “Listening to a thirty years younger version of yourself can make you wince and smile in surprise at the same time. I guess that’s what Jim felt too. I do know that right after it was made he told Tim that he loved it… I would be right chuffed to have my real name associated with it, Garry Litter was just a fun spur of the moment pseudonym.”

Jean Jacques Perrey meets Coldcut on Solid Steel

Jean Jacques Perrey on Solid SteelRIP Jean Jacques Perrey – a true pioneer and a man not afraid to keep the comedic in electronic music – here’s an archive interview Coldcut did with JJP back in 1997 for Solid Steel.

“Coldcut meet Jean Jacques Perry. This occurred in early 1997, at their Spacelab studio in the old Ninja HQ in Clink St. (now luxury flats with a Starbucks underneath). E.V.A. was enjoying a huge revival as the soundtrack to a Lucozade commercial and Moog, Easy Listening and Music Concréte were all back in vogue. Jean Jacques was
promoting the reissue of the track and playing his first gigs for years. Matt Black had recently acquired three huge Korg PS3300’s, was deep into his analogue kit and instantly struck up a rapport (Richard James would later buy one of the Korgs from him when studio space grew tight).”

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FourFromFoodFridays8Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four music releases podcasts / radio shows / mixes 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:
Markey Funk – Where My Head Is At This Time Pt 1: Hauntology (Mixcloud)
Near Mint – Ben Soundhog Pt 1 (11th Oct) + Pt 2 (18th Oct) (Resonance FM/Mixcloud)
Bigmouth – Episode 25 / 26 (audioboom)
Akiha Den Den – Episode 4 (Soundcloud)