Mixcloud Select #8 Coldcut & DJ Food – Shibuya FM session 1996

08 Shibuya FM tapeTrack notes:
A live multi-deck and laptop set recorded at Shibuya FM in Toyko whilst on tour in Japan, 1996. Messy, scratchy, improvised turntable decknology mixing up ambient, jazz, drum n bass, electronica and other beats as only the Solid Steel crew can.

This was recorded on the evening of October 28th from my tour itinerary and ended a day of interviews. The itinerary says we did two sets which explains why it says Pt.1 on the tape. Not sure where Pt.2 went but I think I’ve seen the DAT of the whole thing somewhere, if I find it, it will appear here if it’s any good. The set was fun and furious and Japan was a revelation as anyone who’s been there will tell you.

08 Japan itinerary 96
This particular recording comes from a tape of a Solid Steel once we got back to the UK so I’d date the UK broadcast as somewhen in November 1996.

Track list:
Morton Subotnick – Silver Apples Of the Moon
Spacetime Continuum – Flouresence (on 45 rpm)
Photek – Rings Around Saturn
Miles Davis – Fast Track
Photek – K.J.Z.
DJ Food – Scratch Yer Hed (Squarepusher remix)
Kruder & Dorfmeister – Shakatakadoodub
The Herbaliser – A Mother (For Your Mind)

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Mixcloud Select #7 – Strictly Kev – Magic Transistor Radio Pts. 1&2 10.04.00

07 Magic Trans Radio CDI have this down as the first set I made for Coldcut Solid Steel in its new home at BBC London Live on 10th April 2000 – a busy month what with the release of ‘Kaleidoscope’ just a week before. We’d left KISS FM a year ago when they announced an impending overhaul of the roster, jumping before we were pushed basically. I’m sure it hurt Matt & Jon more than the rest of us as they had been with the station over 10 years and seen it come up from a pirate to a legal entity. As with everything, things had changed there as commercial concerns took over but it was strange not to suddenly have a weekly show broadcasting around London to go to.

All was not lost though, over the previous five years studio editing technology and CD-R burning had become more commonplace and we were all in the position to either record in our home studios or in Coldcut’s Ahead of Our Time set up at Ninja Tune. We’d been doing this since the KISS studios became unavailable and Matt had already set up Ninja’s first website (Don’t Believe The Pipe) and investigated early streaming technology, keen for us not to lose our weekly flow. Streaming wasn’t what it is today though, you had no idea if anyone was listening, the sound quality was terrible and the technology unreliable – it didn’t feel like being on the airwaves of a ‘real’ radio station. But, as in a lot of instances, Coldcut forged ahead and were early adopters, dragging us into the future with them.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD cover

When Ninja HQ moved from Clink St. to Kennington at the turn of the decade the studio set up changed so, more often than not, I would record sets at home and bring DATs or CD-Rs into the office for Darren ‘DK’ Knott who was now officially producing the show each week. He would organise who was playing when, co-ordinate guests, assemble each 2 hr show in time for Friday and mail out CD-Rs to stations around the world who subscribed to the weekly sessions.

When we first found out we’d got the London Live slot we were overjoyed that we’d finally, officially, be back on the airwaves. Reborn from GLR (Greater London Radio) and later rebranded as Radio London, then Radio LDN, they were having a mini renaissance with DJs like Dr Bob Jones and Ross Allen in early evening slots that were capturing the 20-30 something club goers.

Our joy was slightly curtailed when we got to the BBC studios to present the show and discovered a rather pedestrian set up with turntables over a meter apart and a broadcasting mixer fitted into the desk between them – definitely no turntable gymnastics with that set up. KISS, being a dance music station, was set up for club DJ-style sets, the mixing desk and mic one side and a table with Technics and DJ mixer the other, plenty of room and maneuverability if you wanted to plug in extra FX or move things around.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD backIt was decided that the best way to keep doing what we did was to prepare the mixes beforehand, that way we could be as radical as we liked and not have to worry about any technological limitations. This also meant we could be a lot more creative, didn’t have to rely on one take mixes thus keeping things tighter and also overdub other tracks if need be. Things could be edited but it also meant that things generally took longer as they could be more complex than before. The mix format suddenly opened up to me because of this and I think I did some of my best work in the next decade.

By this time I was getting increasingly into themed mixes or a set with a connecting or recurring factor, I also started naming the sets as I now had years worth under my belt for Solid Steel, only identifiable by date. The theme for this mix was Brian Wilson’s odd 7” single that came free with the Beach Boys Holland LP,. I was deep into my BB obsession at this time, hoovering up the late 60s and 70s LP and mining them for the gems they mostly contained until they went full-cheese as disco took hold. ‘Magic Transistor Radio’ is a children’s fairy tale about a pied piper who lives inside a radio and is Wilson is full blown la-la land mode. I threaded excerpts from it throughout the mix as it was so apt, being that it took part inside a radio.

There are so many great tracks here, Broadway Project’s LP is a forgotten classic IMO, David HolmesOrganisation-sampling ‘Living Room’, early DJ Format, Tommy Guerrero (arguably the last great record on Mo Wax), Sirconical on Twisted Nerve, 7-Hurtz on Output, Broadcast

But I’ve gone on WAY too long with this one, have a listen and see what you think. One more thing, I was so enthused I even made a CD cover for this one, I’m sure I intended to do this with all the mixes but only managed two like this. Turn on, tune in and freak out to the Magic Transistor Radio.

Kev

07 Magic Trans Radio CD + PRS

Track list:
Part 1
Brian Wilson – Mount Vernon & Fairway
Broadway Project – Sea of Change pt2
7-Hurtz – Stokes Motor (version)
DJ Format – Extra Lesson
Sirconical – Choppy
Timmy Thomas – Funky Me
Broadcast – Minus 1
Tommy Guerrero – So Blue It’s Black
A.L.O. Orchestra – The Last Time
Brian Wilson – Magic Transistor Radio
David Holmes – Living Room

Part 2
Brian Wilson – I’m the Pied Piper
Meat Beat Manifesto – Oblivion/Humans
Speedy J – Balk Acid
Recloose – Get There Tonight
Family Values – Last Days & Time
Freeform Arkestra – ?
She 1 – Kwaidan
Broadway Project – Clouds
E.A.R. – Sputnik
Gershon Kingsley – The Sound of Silence
Brian Wilson – Radio King Dom

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Mixcloud Select #6 – Openmind – Coldcut Solid Steel 16.12.94

Openmind - Coldcut Solid Steel 16.12.94 tape

Track Notes:
Very much from a golden age of electronica (The Black Dog’s ‘Spanners’ on Warp, Gescom’s debut EP, Anthony Manning on Irdial) and trip hop (Skylab, DJ Krush, 9 Lazy 9). The spoken word that lays across Skylab’s opening track in this mix is from an odd German test pressing I found back in the 90s, full of spoken word from old gangster films. I spotted the famous Lauren Bacall line, sampled in part by Double Dee & Steinski on ”Lesson 3′ but also later used as a KISS FM jingle with the ‘blow’ substituted for ‘kiss’, and thought it would be a nice nod.

The Anthony Manning track, ‘Untitled’ (track 3) is from his excellent album, ‘Islets In Pink Polypropylene’ on Irdial, there was nothing quite like it at the time and I’m not sure there’s been much since, a lost gem. The Gescom track is from the first ever release on Skam records, which I incidentally designed the labels for, and the 9 Lazy 9 track was from their second LP which was the first cover I ever designed for Ninja Tune.
The Eon track, ‘Inner Mind’, is played on 33rpm rather than 45 intentionally :) as it and the track preceding it – something by Kris Needs apparently which I just can’t identify – both use the same sample.

Track list:
Coldcut – ‘Welcome, I am your genie’ sample jingle
Skylab – River of Bass
Sheila Chandra – Nada Brahma
The Black Dog – Raxmus
(There’s what sounds like a short snatch of The Jedi Knights’ ‘May The Funk Be With You’ in between these two tracks)
Ronnie Jordan meets DJ Krush – S**t Goes Down (But I Got Phunked Up Mix)
Gescom – Sciew Spoc
Anthony Manning – Untitled (track 3)
Kris Needs – Unknown
Eon – Inner Mind (Freebase Mind) (on the wrong speed)
9 Lazy 9 – Electric Lazyland

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Mixcloud Select #5 – Strictly Solid Steel Side A – Bundy Mixes 21/12/97

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I held off a day posting this seeing as my social media feed was crammed with Bandcamp posts, didn’t want to add to the noise. But on that note I’ve started a label on the platform, digital-only for the moment, for my multi-armed turntable experiments with. locked grooves + FX. 1st releases are up now including a couple of pay what you want freebies.

https://infiniteillectrik.bandcamp.com/artists

Anyway, here’s Side A to last week’s side B – the ? in the title on the tape refers to me originally not knowing the date this went out and I’ve tracked it down to approximately 21/12/97 via a series of PRS sheets I have with track lists.

This set sports two amazing remixes by Bundy K Brown – the ones with the long Cheech Wizard subtitles, a thing of his back then. Bundy (by then ex-Tortoise) was someone we’d met on our first tour of the US when we showed up in Chicago and we had enough time to hang out a bit and do some record shopping. I really rated him as a producer mainly for his stand out remix on Tortoise’s ‘Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters’ mini album and we bonded over similar musical tastes.
He turned me onto a lot of electronic jazz and used to work in the Dusty Groove record store so was steeped in digging culture. I put him up for the ‘Timber ‘remix and we resolved to work together on something (‘Full Bleed’ on the Kaleidoscope LP). I just really like his off-kilter rhythms and the cyclic nature of what he does, maybe it’s because he’s a musician approaching sampling from an engineering perspective, whatever it is he has a unique ear and years later I found out Four Tet was a fan too.

This set is such a typical mash up of the times, lots of sample-based material that flits from jazz to electronica to downright huge dirty beats by the end for Skylab and Techno Animal. Bearing in mind this was going out between 1-3am I think we sometimes pushed things to extremes but it was (and still remains) anything goes – the Broadest Beats in London, right?

Kev

BTW: the Techno Animal/Nav Katze mix at the end really goes on too long and the bass distortion near the end is on the tape.

Track list:
The Sea & Cake – Sporting Life (The Cheech Wizard Meets Baby Ultraman In The Cool Blue Cave (Short Stories About Birds, Trees And The Sports Life Wherever You Are)) (Thrill Jockey)
Small Fish With Spine – High Fibre (Oxide)
Frederic Galliano – Espaces Baroques Pt.1 (F Communications)
Coldcut & Hexstatic – Timber (The Cheech Wizard’s Polythump Requiem For The Ancient Forests Mix) (Ninja Tune)
Skylab – Nickers of a Girl (Eye Q)
Techno Animal – Demonoid (City Slang)
Nav Katze – Wild Horses (Global Communications mix) (Dedicated)

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Feel Good Friday and 3 Wyrd Things

FGFI did a thing for my good friend Jari from Pepe Deluxé that he does on Facebook called Feel Good Friday – the idea is to recommend good music to help sooth Fridays – here it is

Fog Cast #1 – Robin The Fog / Howlround

https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/fogcast-1-april-2020/?fbclid=IwAR1ukzclds2DPV22Z_w8hp7dXbq8WtLnBZnNcDepgwvL-lipYkKMEofQYzI

If deep, minimal ambient is your thing then look no further, the first 14 minutes alone is just drone, this is a new weekly show on Resonance FM, #2 should be up by the time you read this (actually #4 is out now, with an exclusive DJ Food track from the archives)

Misuse Me – Andy Votel tribute to Bill Withers

https://soundcloud.com/finderskeepersrecords/andy-votel-misuse-me-bill-withers-tribute

A short one, multiple versions of Bill’s wonderful song, ‘Use Me’, mixed expertly into an 8 minute epic.

Johno – A Theme From An imaginary Western

https://www.mixcloud.com/dondi74/a-theme-from-an-imaginary-western/

Paul Johnson is a friend of mine, occasionally he makes these hilarious mixes in a cut and paste style, full of very British humour and silliness. If you want something to bring a smile then try this 30 minute beauty.

I wouldn’t normal do this but what the hell – I recently put together an hour long mix of records referencing mothers, mums, mama’s and the like for Mother’s Day in the UK for the Out of the Wood show. (I did this a few weeks ago, just before lockdown started)

https://www.mixcloud.com/wnbclondon/dj-food-out-of-the-wood-show-191/

Funk, pop, psych, beats, rap, even a bit of jungle and a very rude ending.

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AAAAAAND: if and when you run out of music to listen to

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I’ve also just set up a Mixcloud Select channel for vintage Solid Steel mixes from my archive, the third one will be up this week.

https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/

Also up from last week but I forgot to post it, I did the 3 Wyrd Things post for Ian Holloway‘s Wyrd Britain blog where you’re asked to name three British oddities that have influenced you, have a look and see how this Pop annual fits into the story. https://wyrdbritain.blogspot.com/2020/04/3-wyrd-things-dj-food.html

kevin foakes

Mixcloud Select 04 – Strictly Solid Steel Side B – 3/4 DnB – 21.12.97

IMG_5313I don’t remember much about this session except that the tape states ‘3/4 DnB’, meaning Drum n Bass in 3/4 time. Looking at the track listing it states no less than three tracks in a row from DJ Suv from his Freebeat EP on Full Cycle which seems to be credited as one of the first to feature rhythms in 3/4 time within the genre. We were obviously taken with it to have played three in a row. The opening track is credited to DJ Food as ‘Parp, Thump, Crack ’n’ Hiss’ which I recognise at a typical PC joke. The opening sounds like PC and I messing about with all manner of FX and vinyl over the top and I’m definitely getting a bit carried away with it all.

I think about this time I may have had a mixer with a little loop sampler and FX built in so maybe I bought that into the studio to mess about with but I’ve not idea if this was made up at KISS FM or at Ahead of Our Time studios in the Ninja Tune offices at Clink Street. Either way, the first 10 minutes of this mix are a bit crazy.

Track list:

DJ Food – Parp, Thump, Crack ’n’ Hiss
DJ Suv – Output (Full Cycle)
DJ Suv – Free By Four (Full Cycle)
DJ Suv – Everyone Plays The Same (Full Cycle)
Danny Breaks – The Ratio (Universal Language)
Acustic – No 2 (April Records)
Toshinori Kondo & DJ Krush – Fu Yu (Sony)
Mr Scruff – Fish (Ninja Tune)
Kensuke Shiina – Ring of Fire (Salon Kitty remix) (Pussyfoot)

P.S. Side A next week…

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Above is a scan of the tape inlay, an old photo from a US tour I did with Coldcut around the time of their Let Us Play album, – they took their own projection screens and played from laptops for the first time to the amazement on many. In the background you can see Rob Pepperell, part of Hex who controlled the visuals, Coldcut’s Jon More is to my right. On screen you can see the Vestax PMC 06 mixer in between the decks, a super-thin 2 channel mixer popular with scratch DJs at the time due to its tiny size, bringing the turntables closer together to make juggling records easier.

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Mixcloud Select 02 is up

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Thanks to everyone who got on board with my new Mixcloud Select channel last week, it really means a lot, please spread the word if you can, there are some treats coming up this month including at least one exclusive that isn’t a vintage show but is a mix of vintage tracks, many never heard before in this form.

This week’s upload is a session I did for Coldcut’s Solid Steel show from 17th of February 1995, at this point still going under the Openmind name for mixes but as you will hear, the Strictly Kev moniker was in place which originated in ’94 on a trip to Amsterdam for the Triplex Festival gig. We would have been working on A Recipe For Disaster’ at this point and I was inducted into the DJ Food project at some point between here and its release in Autumn ’95.
This was the final section of the 2 hour show and I’ve included the break for some vintage KISS FM adverts and jingles of the era, I even left the news on the end to add to the period charm.

Sign up for £2.99 to have access to these recordings, tracklists and notes plus a few exclusives as I put them up https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/

02 CCSS Openmind Mixcloud

New DJ Food Mixcloud Select channel

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Given the times we’re currently in and the loss of gigs and jobs all round, it’s time to open the archives and let people hear all those tapes, DATs and CDRs that have been sitting there for decades. I’ve set up a new subscriber channel via Mixcloud SELECT – and I’ll be uploading exclusive, newly-encoded vintage mixes from my Solid Steel archive regularly for a monthly fee.
I like the Mixcloud model because over half the fee goes to paying royalties for the artists being played, Mixcloud take a cut for providing the service and then I get a bit for all those hours spent making the mixes in the first place. The fee is £2.99 a month (although you can pay more if you wish) and for that you’ll have access to mixes from my personal stash (some pictured below).

Mixcloud Select 1

These will date back to the 90’s and even predate Solid Steel occasionally, they’ll all be mixes that I’ve made or occasionally collaborated on. I’ll endeavour to make sure none of them are currently available anywhere else and include track lists and making-of details where I can. These will be exclusive to subscribers only for the foreseeable future, I’ll still upload free new mixes to my regular Mixcloud account but subscribers will also have some exclusive new mixes that I make specially for several months ahead of them being made public – sign up here

The first one is the complete session PC & I did for John Peel’s legendary BBC Radio 1 show 20 years ago this month, just before the release of our Kaleidoscope album. Only half of it was broadcast at the time and I’ve restored it from CDRs I found recently.

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Track notes: (Mixcloud’s word count is quite low for text so I’m adding notes here)

A restored version of the original session PC and I did for the late John Peel just before the release of our Kaleidoscope album. This was jammed out live on 4 decks in my studio at the time in Camberwell and then overlaid with spoken word later.
I think we were way too over-eager on the first half with all the scratching but some of it manages to be pretty humorous in places. It all gets way deeper once we calm down and I was surprised how ambient it got, listening back.
It’s very rough and ready but you have to remember that this is completely improvised on 4 decks with one of us ‘driving’ the mix and the other embellishing it in response at different points. This is how PC and I worked, I can’t think of any time that we rehearsed anything in the same way that DK and I did later for our 4-deck shows.

The intro and outro skits are from a great album called ‘Miniatures’, 1 min sketches and songs compiled by Morgan Fisher in the 80s, when we knew we were doing a John Peel session I thought it’d be a laugh to have ‘John’ introduce the mix. The Steady track, ‘Alarming Frequency’ is the first ever release on the Tru Thoughts label. The Leonard Nimoy read of Ray Bradbury‘s ‘Marionettes Inc.’ turned up in another form a year later on our first Solid Steel mix CD. The Spontaneous Sound gong record is actually an alias of Christopher Tree, a percussionist whose album I found in the US one time, it had virtually no info on it other than the title and the stamp of a drum shop where it had been sold.
I had to look up some of these tracks using Shazam and Discogs, both still twinkles in a programmer’s eye at the time this mix was made, twenty years is a long time ago but we’ll be going even further back soon…

John Peel session track list:

Norman Lovett – John Peel Sings The Blues Badly (Pipe Records)
David Shire – The Taking of Pelham 123 (Music On Vinyl)
Steady – Alarming Frequency (Try Thoughts)
Tortoise – Died (UNKLE Bruise Blood mix (Thrill Jockey)
Ray Bradbury read by Leonard Nimoy – Marionettes Inc. (Nonesuch)
RYU – Rhythm Asobi (feat. DJ Krush & Tunde Ayanyemi) (Cross)
Spontaneous Sound – Spontaneous Sound (Private Pressing)
Sun Ra monologue from Space Is The Place film
Rhythm Devils – The Apocalypse Now Sessions (Passport Records)
Fridge – Of (remix) (Go! Beat)
Kid Koala – Tricks & Treats (Ninja Tune)
Slowly – On The Loose (Autechre remix) (Chill Out Label)
Eric B & Rakim – Follow the Leader (acappella) (4th & Broadway)
Bushflange – Redokov (Hard Hands)
Child’s View – Shift (Blue Note)
Kid Koala – Scurvy (Ninja Tune)
DJ Food – Turntable improv
Major Force – Sitting On the Edge Of The World (Apeman Records)
George Duke – North Beach (MPS Records)
Morton Subotnik – Silver Apples of the Moon loop
Weather Report – Milky Way (Columbia)
Herbie Hancock – Raindance (Columbia)
Unknown breakbeat
Andy Partridge – The History of Rock ’n’ Roll (Pipe Records)

DJ Food – The Mother Lode for Out Of The Wood, WNBC

Your MotherDuring Mother Nature’s current reminder that we’re mere tiny specks in the scheme of things it felt right not to go to the Book & Record Bar to record my guest slot for Out of the Wood radio. Seeing as the date for the set was Mother’s Day I thought I’d use this as a theme so here’s a mother lode of tunes to see you through and remind us that we should always respect our mothers.

Tears For Fears – Mothers Talk (Extended version)
Fun-da-mental – Mother India (Moody Boyz Spirit of the Tiger mix)
Ramsey Lewis – Mother Natures’s Son
Hodges, James and Smith – Momma
DJ Food – Your Mother
Goldie – Mother (excerpt 1)
Genesis – Mama
The Herbaliser – Another Mother
Funkadelic – Music For Your Mother
Parliament – Mothership Connection
Paul McCartney – Momma Miss America
Jonny Guitar Watson – A Real Mother For Ya
Pharcyde – Ya Mama (J Swift UK remix)
Roxanne Shante – Big Momma
Queen Latifah – Mama Gave Birth To The Soul Children (The Infant Mix)
Lyn Collins w. The J.B.s – Mama Feelgood
James Brown – Mother Popcorn
Kool & The Gang – Mother Earth
Derek & Clive – Alfie Noakes
The Mothers of Invention – Motherly Love
Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother (excerpt)
Blue Pearl – Mother Dawn (The Orb Buckateer Mix 1)
Goldie – Mother (excerpt 2)
Julian Cope – Peggy Suicide is Missing
The Rolling Stones – Mother’s Little Helper
Can – Mother Sky
Jonny Zamot – Hey Mama
Lonely Island feat Justin Timberlake – Motherlover

The Bureau of Lost Culture

Bureau of Lost Culture

Stephen Coates is a busy man, aside from his The Real Tuesday Weld recording project and his X-Ray Audio talks, exhibitions and book he also has his hand in radio with The Bureau of Lost Culture alongside co-conspirator Paul Heartfield. This takes the form of interviews with people who were present and took part in corners of the counterculture who may not have had their stories heard. First person accounts can differ from the accepted narratives and everyone will have personal experiences associated with events and times that have gone undocumented.
One such example is Nick Laird Clowes, musician and composer with The Dream Academy among other talents, who gives some quite extraordinary experiences in the first part of an interview with Stephen. Recounting going to the Isle of Wight festival at just 13, hanging out at Oz magazine and tales of the underground London scene through the eyes of a fresh-faced young teen, his tales seem to flow endlessly and will make some yearn for simpler times.

If you want more of the same then there are plenty of past shows archived on Soundcloud. Ranging from groupies to psychedelic visions, punk, flexi discs, mescaline and much more.

Update: Part 2!

Acid Valentine mix for 45 Live

To mark the release of the excellent new Type 303 release on 45 Live RecordsSticky Disko / Analogue Acidbath – I was asked by label head and fellow acid 45 collector, Pete Isaac, to make a promo mix to celebrate. ‘Acid Valentine’ is my love letter to both old and new acid on the 7″ format, showcasing a lot of contemporary releases as well as a clutch of old classics too.

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I’ve been getting into B sides a lot recently, going back to the well-worn bangers of the day and turning them over for dubs, forgotten tracks or alternate mixes seldom played out. So you get Arcade Fantasy from A Guy Called Gerald rather than Voodoo Ray, the Suck Mix of Bam Bam‘s Where’s Your Child and the Dub Mix of Longsy D’s This Is Ska instead of the overplayed A sides.

Acid Valentine 1
Of the newer releases, most are recent or from the last 5 years or so and pressing runs are way lower than back in the day. DimDJ’s Aerotrak was only produced on flexidisc in an edition of 50 from Greek label Kinetik and Chevron‘s Smud 7″ wasn’t even sold, just given to DJs who had supported the Balkan Vinyl label. All that to say, the scene is in rude health and 7″s both old and new are still turning up, I thought I’d pretty much grabbed everything from the classic late 80s era but there are still a handful out there to find…

To grab a copy of the Type 303 7″ just go here

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2019

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What a grim end to the year and the decade, good riddance to the last four years at least. Writing this on the morning of Friday 13th as the results and fallout of the election come in, it’s hard to muster the energy and will to rejoice in anything when the turkeys have voted for Xmas. I used to be largely ignorant of current affairs and politics, back in my youth, I thought it was dull and boring, why would I be interested in any of that? But you grow up, you have a family and these things start to matter because they affect your life whether you like it or not. Back in the first half of December it felt like there was still hope, a chance to pull things back from the brink, but not now when the country has voted overwhelmingly for Johnson’s government in the belief that he will fix things that he helped engineer in the first place.

Sometimes I wish I was ignorant again, as ignorant as those who didn’t vote or voted on personalities, believing the lies and propaganda peddled by the media. But you can’t just turn that tap off, not once you’ve understood how the system works and see the soap opera play out. You CAN however blot it out for a bit by reading, watching, visiting or listening to great art made by your fellow man, or woman or non-identifying person. There was a lot of it this year and here’s some of the favourite ways I blotted parts of this year out.

LPs 2019

Music / podcasts –
way too much new music to keep up with only so much time and money, I probably listened to Adam Buxton‘s shows from the archive more than anything else this year:
Pye Corner Audio – Hollow Earth LP (Ghost Box)
Various – Corroded Circuits EP 12″ (Downfall Recordings)
Chris Moss Acid – Heavy Machine 12″ (Balkan Vinyl)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishes LP (Flightless)
Pictogram – Trace Elements cassette (Miracle Pond)
Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology LP (Fire Records)
Big Mouth podcast (various) (Acast)
Beans – Triptych LP (Gamma Proforma)
Roisin Murphy – Incapable single (Skint)
Ebony Steel Band – Pan Machine LP (Om Swagger)
People Like Us – The Mirror LP (Discrepant)
Coastal County – Coastal County LP (Lomas)
Adam Buxton podcast (various) (Acast)
Ghost Funk Orchestra – A Song For Paul LP (Karma Chief)
Jon Brooks – Emotional Freedom Techniques LP (Cafe Kaput)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Organ Farmer (from Infest the Rat’s Nest LP) (Flightless)
Jane Weaver – Fenella LP (Fire Records)
Polypores – Brainflowers cassette (Miracle Pond)

Seemed to acquire a lot of tapes this year too…

Tapes 2019

 

Designs 2019

Design / packaging – so much good stuff out there, Nick Taylor goes from strength to strength, Reuben Sutherland‘s work for Sculpture always inspires and Victoria Topping continues to do great art for On The Corner Records:
Pepe Deluxé – The Surrealist Woman lathe cut 7″ (Catskills)
Various – Science & Technology ERR Rec Library Vol.2 (ERR Records)
DJ Pierre presents ACID 88 vol. III LP (Afro Acid)
Mark Ayres plays Wendy Carlos – Kubrick 7″ (Silva Screen)
Tomorrow Syndicate – Citizen Input 10″ (Polytechnic Youth)
The Utopia Strong – S/T LP (Rocket Recordings)
Jarvis – Sunday Service LP (ACE records)
Andy Votel – Histoire D’Horreur cassette (Hypocrite?)
Sculpture – Projected Music 5″ zoetrope picture disc (Psyché Tropes)
Lapalux – Amnioverse LP (Brainfeeder)
Hieroglyphic Being –  Synth Expressionism / Rhythmic Cubism LP (On The Corner Records)

films 2019

Film / TV – I really don’t watch too much TV or get to the cinema as often as I’d like to:
Sculpture – Meeting Our Associates (Plastic Infinite)
This Time with Alan Partridge (BBC)
Avengers: Endgame (Disney/Marvel)
Imaginary Landscapes – Sam Campbell (Vinyl Factory)
What We Do In The Shadows (BBC2)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Books 2019.2

Books / Comics / Magazines I read constantly, all sorts of stuff, a lot online, I found less interesting new comics this year or there were fewer that made an impression. Also many of my regular reads came to an end so there was less to consume on that front.
Beastie Boys Book – Mike Diamond & Adam Horowitz (Spiegel & Grau)
Cosmic Comics – A Kevin O’Neill Miscellany (Hibernia Books)
Electronic Sound (Pam Comm Ltd)
Eve Stranger – David Barnett / Philip Bond (Black Crown)
Bicycle Day – Brian Blomerth (Anthology Editions)
Moebius – 40 Days In The Desert (expanded edition) (Moebius Productions)
Rock Graphic Originals  – Peter Golding w. Barry Miles (Thames & Hudson)
2000AD / Judge Dredd Megazine (Rebellion)
Silver Surfer Black – Donny Cates/Tradd Moore (Marvel)
Help – Simon Amstell (Square Peg)
The Scarfolk Annual – Richard Littler (William Collins)
Wrappers Delight – Jonny Trunk (Fuel)

Gigs 2019

Gigs / Events – I spent a lot of time in Café Oto, socialising to the sights and sounds of Jonny Trunk & Martin Green or watching groups that featured Cathy Lucas this year:
Vanishing Twin @ Prince of Wales Pub, Brighton
Stereolab @ Concorde 2, Brighton
People’s Vote march 23rd March, London
Wobbly Sounds book launch @ Spiritland, London
Confidence Man @ The Electric, Brixton, London
Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival, Moseley, Birmingham
Bluedot Festival, Jodrell Bank, Manchester
HaHa Sounds Collective play David Axelrod’s Earth Rot @ Tate Exchange, London
School of Hypnosis play In C @ Cafe Oto, London
Palace Electrics, Antenna Studios, London
The Delaware Road, New Zealand Farm, Salisbury
Breaking Convention closing party, Greenwich, London
Jonny Trunk & Martin Green’s Hidden Library @ Spiritland, Southbank, London
Negativland / People Like Us @ Cafe Oto, London
HaHa Sound Collective plays the David Axelrod songbook @ The Church of Sound, London,
Sculpture, Janek Schaefer, Mariam Rezaei + the 26 turntable ensemble @ The Old Baths, Hackney, London Vanishing Twin & Jane Weaver’s Fenella @ Studio 9294, Hackney Wick, London

Art 2019

Exhibitions – there was so much art to see in 2019, I managed most of it but London does spoil you sometimes and you can’t see it all. Just a stroll round the Brick Lane area of east London will delight with the free art painted, stuck or sprayed on the walls for all to see:
Sister Corita Kent @ House of Illustration, London,
Augustinbe Kofie @ Stolen Space, London,
Victor Vasarely @ Pompidou Centre, Paris,
Mary Quant @ V&A Museum, London,
Stanley Kubrick @ The Design Museum, London,
Tim Hunkin’s Novelty Automation Museum, London,
Keith Haring retrospective @Tate, Liverpool,
Nam June Paik, Tate Modern, London,
Takis @ Tate Modern, London,
Shepard Fairy @ Stolen Space, London,
Damien Hirst ‘Mandalas’ at the White Cube, London,
Bridget Riley @ The Hayward, London,
Museum of Neo-liberalism, Lewisham, London.

Openmind 2019

Another year over and what have I done? quite pleased with this lot this year:  
Become by own agent for the first half of the year (not fun)
Designed As One’s ‘Communion’ LP sleeve for De:tuned
Toured my Kraftwerk: Klassics, Kovers & Kurios AV set
Contributed to the Wobbly Sounds book on flexi discs published by Four Corner Books
Performed a 30 minute reimagining of Kraftwerk’s ‘Radio-Activity’ album
Appeared on Big Mouth, Out Of The Wood, Jonny Trunk’s OST, Dusk Dubs, Mix-Ins, 45 Live, Mostly Sounds podcasts / shows
Continued the design for De:tuned’s 10th anniversary with a 10th volume, poster, tote bag and more
Built a modified turntable with three extra floating arms for future performances
Designed a fold out 3″ CD Xmas card for The Real Tuesday Weld – more to come in 2020…

For no other reason – Badges, along with the cassettes it’s like the 80s never stopped

Badges 2019

RIP: Daryl Dragon, Ron Smith, Ken Nordine, Peter Tork, Mark Hollis, Keith Flint, Magenta Devine, Hal Blaine, Scott Walker, Quentin Fiore, Dr John, MAD magazine, Vertigo comics, Rutger Hauer, Ras G, Peter Fonda, Richard Williams, Pedro Bell, David Cain, Patsy Colegate, Clive James, David Bellamy, Phase 2, Gershon Kingsley, Emil Richards, Dave Riley (Big Black), Vaughn Oliver, Neil Innes, Syd Mead.

Looking forward to: – not much to look forward to except a year of Brexit, economic downturn and US Presidential campaigns but these might lighten the mood…
Paul Weller and Plone on Ghost Box
A Touched Music special release in conjunction with De:tuned for World Cancer Day – 4th Feb.
The second Revbjelde LP, ‘Hooha Hubbub’, from the Buried Treasure label
More designs for The Real Tuesday Weld…
The next Group Modular album, released on a UK label
The Castles In Space label releasing a remastered vinyl version of Clocolan’s excellent 2019, cassette-only, ‘It’s Not Too Early For Each Other’ album.
The return of Slow Death Comix
45 Live releasing their first acid 7” with Type 303 in Feb
Ian Holloway from The British Space Group’s new label, Wyrd Britain – the first release will be his own ‘The Ley of the Land’.
The Amorphous Androgynous album, ‘Listening Beyond The Head Chakra’ and album-length single, ‘We Persuade Ourselves That We Are Immortal’ around Easter
Ninja Tune’s 30th anniversary in the Autumn
An exhibition about electronic music at the Design Museum featuring Kraftwerk, Jeff Mills, Ellen Allien, Jean-Michel Jarre and BBC Radiophonic Workshop among others
The Masters of British Comic Art book by David Roach in April
The return of Spitting Image (we really need this)

Happy New Year x

45 Live radio show episode 100

show 100 instagram

What a way to end the decade, the 100th edition of the 45 Live radio show, hosted by DJ Greg Belson on Dublab, features the 20 strong crew of DJs given 5 minutes each to do whatever they want. As long as they use vinyl 7″s of course. I chose to mash parts of 48 different tracks together to form a classic house and acid megamix – hear it and the others on Dec 20th from 8pm-10pm PST via Dublab or the archive on Mixcloud.

45 Live Radio Show - offical mixcloud figures

New mix for Mostly Sounds

I was asked to do a mix of soul, funk and jazz for Mostly Sounds who run the Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul festival in Birmingham which was one of the most fun gigs party-wise for me this summer. There’s an amazing amount of great music around at the moment that roughly falls into this category so this was the perfect place to get all that down in one mix.

Silke Schwinger & Fatty George – WeiBer Sand (Digatone)
The Relations – She Only Wanted To Be With You (Spun Out Of Control)
Ghost Funk Orchestra – Seven Eight (Karma Chief)
Coastal County – The Drop (Lomas)
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – Summer Storm (Patterns of Behaviour)
Vanishing Twin – Cryonic Suspension May Save Your Life (Fire Records)
Coastal County – The Landing (Lomas)
Serge Gainsbourg & Jean Claude Vannier – Les Chemins De Katmandou (opening titles) (Finders Keepers)
Jane Weaver – Mission Desire (Fire Records)
Jorge Navarro – Repartamos El Funky (Mukatsuku)
Popera Cosmic – Batman (Finders Keepers)
Ghost Funk Orchestra – Skin I’m In (Karma Chief)
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – Gemini Calling (Patterns of Behaviour)
Serge Gainsbourg & Jean Claude Vannier – Le Roi Des Phlébotomes (Finders Keepers)
Planet Battagon – Moon Of Dysnomia (On The Corner Records)
Silke Schwinger & Fatty George – StraBenfahrt durch Wien (Digatone)
Vanishing Twin – Backstroke (Fire Records)
Ebony Steel Band – Spacelab (Om Swagger)
Ghost Funk Orchestra – A Conversation (Karma Chief)

Weekend mixes, radio and podcasts

A few new things I’ve been listening to online over the UK bank holiday weekend – a brand new Future Sound of London ambient mix – The Electronic Brain Storms 12 – very deep, the usual high standard, great for the comedown into the new week.

The second of George Stewart Lockhart‘s radio series exploring the roots of the London club scene and beyond from the people who were there, newly re-christened Fiver On The Door. This time round his guest is Femi from The Young Disciples who goes into depth about the London scene in the 80s and 90s.
Part 1 (then titled Nights Over London) featured yours truly and can be found here or the full run compiled on George’s site http://gslstudio.com/radio/

The latest episode of Big Mouth, the weekly pop culture podcast, this week featuring a review of the new DAISY Age compilation, Friendly Fires LP and a look back at Definitely Maybe among other things. Always good for a listen and Andrew Harrison‘s quick-fire punnery, recent episodes have tackled Jeremy Deller‘s acid house doc and exhibition, Mick Houghton‘s book on his time as publicist for The KLF, The Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes and Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Find all previous episodes here.

New music round up – June 2019

New releases web
The current musical landscape is awash with great new music in equally great design and packaging – at least in the independent sector, I can’t speak for the mainstream because I rarely dip my toe in. On the fringes there are some fantastic records and tapes being made and I’ll attempt a potted round up here as much for my own sanity as anything else because I can barely keep up. Phew! This took ages to compile, buying links in descriptions…

Loops cover web
Jane WeaverLoops In The Secret Society 2xLP (Fire Records) A gentler, deeper, cosmic take on parts of Jane’s last two albums, The Silver Globe and Modern Kosmology, with new tracks and interludes to tie it all together into one sublime trip. Buy here NOW!

LV LPweb
Luke Vibert – Valvable 2xLP (Balkan Vinyl) – Luke makes an entire double album using only a Roland TB303, TR808 and JX-3P, on random variant coloured vinyl. It’s funky, minimal and instantly recognisable as Vibert. Coloured and black vinyl has sold out at the label’s Bandcamp but check the shops as black variants are shipping this week.

Various Artists – Corroded Circuits EP 12″ (Downfall Records) Great contemporary acid, ConSequence‘s ‘Glass Of Water’ is one of the most joyous, funky pieces of dance music I’ve heard all year. Downfall shop – warning, no digital.

Beans Lps

Beans – Triptych (Gamma Proforma) A curveball from Gamma, who ceased operations a while back, these are the last two releases from that phase of the label, finally released. The Beans album is a collection of works from 3 albums that were released simultaneously and isn’t available in any usual retailers unless directly from either Beans, artist O.Two who hand-painted all 140 of the covers or Rob at Gamma. The shame is that it’s a cracking hip hop record that’s provided one of the only breaths of fresh air I’ve heard in the genre for years. Worth it for the Broadcast-sampling ‘Pendulum’ alone, destined to be a sought after classic. Listen to selections here
DJ Krush – Cosmic Yard LP (Gamma Proforma) The Krush album was actually released late last year, also has its fair share of banging beats plus two collaborations from old cohort Toshinori Kondo and this one should at least be more generally available. *Also catch him with me in support on July 21st at Oslo, Hackney, London, plug plug*
Vanishing-Twin-Age-of-Immunology-PICTURE-DISC
Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology LP/CD/Cassette/DL (Fire Records) One of the albums of 2019 already and a cracking live band – the comparisons with Stereolab and Broadcast are warranted but only a starting point, they’re far more cosmic than that. Beautiful artwork, spiral picture disc version and full colour fold out band poster – a very special record, why they’re not bigger is a mystery to me. Buy here from the label or find the cassette direct from the group’s Bandcamp page.

SOS029_Digital_Cover web
The Relations – Night’s Prelude cassette/DL (Spun Out Of Control) – CorrelationsNeil Hale unveils a multi-collaboration side project with touches of psychedelia, krautrock and a lovely cover by Eric Adrian Lee. Buy digital here

Chanct CD front
Justin Hopper & Sharron Kraus w The Belbury Poly – Chanctonbury Rings LP/CD/DL (Ghost Box)
Another essential GB release – see full review here

Pictogram - Trace Elements - web_
Pictogram – Trace Elements cassette/DL (Miracle Pond) Beautiful ambient music from one man graphic factory Nick Taylor on his new Miracle Pond label, is there no end to this man’s talent? Buy Miracle Pond releases.

Humaoid LP

The Future Sound of London – Yage LP/DL / Humanoid – Built By Humaoid LP/CD/DL (FSOLDigital) – While they finish their Amorphous Androgynous magnum opus, ‘We Persuade Ourselves That We Are Immortal’, there’s more than enough to keep hungry FSOL fans happy. ‘Yage’ from their Dead Cities album has been revived, remixed and expanded into an album and Brian has reactivated his Humanoid alias for a new album of acid experimentation. Order here, including new T-shirts, magazines, posters and more, it’s hard to keep up.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishes LP (Flightless) Back for their first LP of the year (so far) Giz decide to go glam boogie and it works! Comes with full colour fold out poster and seaweed-coloured vinyl.

Home Current LP cover

The Home Current – Civilian Leather LP (Castles In Space) A unique album of 80’s post punk electronics meets Plaid-like hyper-detailed composition, a real mixed bag of a record, sometimes sounding more like a compilation because of the variety of styles. Lovely Nick Taylor cover and inserts too Check it out here

Heat Death – Dalham LP (Castles In Space) – Shades of Boards of Canada permeate this album of instrumental electronica on the now essential Castles In Space label. There’s more going on here than mere BoC pastiche though, I’ve not had enough time with it to fully immerse yet, hear a couple of tracks on the mix below to judge for yourself. Or preview / buy here

Andy Votel – Archipelagogo cassette (Hypocrite) Soundtrack to the exhibition of Felt Mistress and Jonathon Edwards figures inspired by the work of Tove Jansson and first release under the Votel name for a while.
Colours May Vary in Leeds have copies.

Simon James Cosmic Surgery
Simon James – Cosmic Surgery cassette / DL (Spun Out Of Control) Soundtrack previously only available with a book gets a full release via the excellent Spun Out Of Control label. It’s hard to keep up with James’ output of late, not only did he release a tape on Nick Luscombe‘s Musicity label of foley and Buchla recordings in China but also has a meditation/relaxation release entitled Space No Space out on Golden Ratio Frequencies at the beginning of July.

Posthuman – Voyager 3 cassette (The Dark Outside) More cassette-only madness with The Dark Outside and a concept album based on the (possibly fictitious – or is it?) Voyager 3 space probe from Posthuman. More ambient than acid, this tape goes deep and needs the full headphone treatment for full effect. Unfortunately this is all sold out so it’s a hunt on the secondary market for this one. UPDATE: Digital is now available here

WXAXRXP

Various artists – WXAXRXP 30 broadcasts (NTS) Boards of Canada dropping a rare mix of inspirations scattered with little unreleased sketches from their archive, Autechre delving into their unreleased pre-Warp tape archive, Brian Eno with Extinction Rebellion, Aphex Twin live sets, a vintage mix tape made by Trish from Broadcast, unreleased Mark Pritchard club edits, Warp really know how to celebrate a birthday in style. 100 hours of exclusive material, they even played my Blech 20.1 mix from 10 years ago as well apparently :)

If you want to hear some of the above then here’s a recent Out Of The Wood radio show I did for WNBC.London which features selections from about 50% of the above and other recent purchases.

Forthcoming:
Clocolan – It’s Not Too Early For Each Other cassette, July

As One – Communion LP (De:tuned) – First new album from Kirk DeGiorgio in 10 years with a cover by yours truly. Also don’t forget the monthly DE.10 releases (up to #5 currently) of a variety of artists celebrating a decade of the Belgian techno label. Listen on their Soundcloud

DeT 1-3covers

TS Cit Input
Tomorrow Syndicate – Citizen Input mini LP (Polytechnic Youth) Who knows what this will bring but the previous LP was one of my albums of the year.
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King Gizzard & The Lizard WizardInfest The Rat’s Nest – yes, another LP, album no.15, merely 2 months after the last, rumour is that this is the heavy thrash record fans have been waiting for.

Nights Over London radio show premiere

Kev & George

A couple of weeks ago I joined friend George Stewart-Lockhart at Soho Radio to chat about my clubbing experiences from the 80s to present. George has a new show at the second Soho Radio building just opened on Broadwick St. He has an old head on young shoulders and his show aims to interview people who have been around a bit, seen and done things and can honestly use the LCD Soundsystem adage, “I was there”.

We cover the mid to late 80’s hip hop and acid house era, the 90’s chill out clubs, Blue Note and Ninja Tune nights, the 00’s mash up scene and the Solid Steel residency which continued throughout the decade from London to Bristol. I also bought along a handful of records that resonated with me as being key milestones or reminders of these days but I have to stress, this is just my take on things, my memory is fairly good on dates but we’re going back over 30 years here in places.

DJ Food records

Update: George’s show is now re-titled ‘Five On The Door’ and he’s been steadily adding more great shows – all handily compiled over on his site http://gslstudio.com/radio/

Flexi discs on the OST show

Flexis OSTI was happy to be asked onto Jonny Trunk’s OST show on Resonance FM yesterday to feature various selections from my flexi disc collection. Listen back to our Flexible Finds and Wobbly Sounds from earlier, lots of stupidity and hilarity, inc.Star Wars, Biz Markie covering Elton John, Humpty Dumpty, Fenella Fielding, Ken Nordine, Blondie doing a Christmas version of Rapture and a silly competition.