An extra 20 minute supplement to the ‘Cutting Up the Cut Up’ documentary that aired on BBC Radio 4 earlier this month.
This Thursday sees a half hour documentary about the cut up on Radio 4 at 11.30am narrated by Ken Hollings and featuring, Cassetteboy, Armando Iannucci, Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Lenka Clayton, William Burroughs‘ biographer Marry Miles, Matt Black and myself talking about the art of the cut up.
Put together by Dan Shepherd at Far Shoreline productions over what feels like two years or more since he first contacted me and picked my brain for content and angles, it deals with the spoken word cut up rather than the musical mash up. Focusing on spoken word (well, this is Radio 4) meant that the programme could narrow its sights and navigate a precise lineage from Burroughs’ literary and spoken cut ups through to today’s practitioners. I can’t give much more away as I’ve not actually heard the finished thing yet but, knowing Dan’s work and love of the medium and with Ken on board I’m confident it will be a great listen.
Ken has written a blog post about the making of the half hour programme here and was fascinating to meet, if you don’t know his writing then it’s quite something and not for the casual reader. The documentary will be online to UK listeners for a month and Dan promises an extended podcast version should be available to all at some point afterwards via his site.
(The top image is unrelated to the doc but illustrates a different kind of cut up perfectly, Lola Dupre‘s Robert Oppenheimer, paper collage – check her amazing collage work here)
PS – Ken has also written a piece for The BBC website giving an introduction to the Cut Up here that’s well worth a read.
I’ll be in esteemed company on the morning of June 25th at 11.30am on BBC Radio 4 when Ken Hollings narrates ‘Cutting Up The Cut Up’ a 30 minute documentary that jumps off at Williams Burroughs and splices through to the present. Others featured include Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Armando Iannucci, Cassetteboy, Coldcut and more.
The show explores the spoken word side of cut ups, satire and agitprop and has been put together by Dan Shepherd of Far Shoreline Productions who also has another doc. airing two days before, ‘The Fast & The Furioso’. It should be online for a month or so after transmission so I’ll post it here then.
A new The The album is always a cause for celebration and today is such a day. As usual with Matt Johnson, you think he’s disappeared and then there’s a flurry of activity that confirms that he’s been very busy indeed. His brother, Gerard’s new film, ‘Hyena’, is out on general release in cinemas today after showings at selected film festivals and already winning a couple of European awards. The Brothers Johnson, as they are fast becoming known (call the lawyers!), are appearing at the Watershed in Bristol on Sunday March 8th for a Q&A with Mark Cosgrove about ‘Hyena’ and the power of the score in cinema.
Matt’s own Cineola label is releasing the soundtrack on CD in the usual hardback book format which is slowly forming a beautiful series of releases. The 20 track album comes with an 84 page photo book and is available now from the The The shop. A vinyl version will follow shortly on Death Waltz Recordings.
Last summer I interviewed Matt at Rough Trade East about his classic album, ‘Soul Mining’, and today you can get a free download of ‘Soul Food’, our one hour chat, newly edited by myself with added instrumental accompaniment. Also check out the previous installments of Matt’s Radio Cineola series which contain all sorts of rare and unreleased moments from The The‘s back catalogue as well as interviews with his collaborators.
The photos above and below were taken by Gerald Jenkins, during the interview and on Brick Lane shortly after.
Few can’t have heard that earlier this month user48736353001 started uploading copious amounts of old tracks to their Soundcloud account claiming that they were a fan of Richard D James aka Aphex Twin and had made lots of tracks in his style. Very quickly speculation spread that this was actually Richard and these tracks were selections from his mythical archive or thousands of unreleased tunes, some dating back from before he broke through in the early 90’s. As more and more tracks appeared and comments started appearing from the user it became apparent that this was indeed the real deal and Xmas had either been delayed by a month or arrived ridiculously early.
I was suspicious at first but when a track named ‘8 Utopia’ was uploaded I knew that even if the person uploading and commenting wasn’t Aphex then the music was. Way back in the mid 90’s I was made a ‘best of’ tape of unreleased work by a friend of Richard’s on the condition that I kept the content to myself. As you can see from the track list above, the compiler wasn’t 100% sure on a lot of the titles but the track that starts side 2, ‘The one that makes you shiver’, was the same as ‘8 Utopia’, albeit in far worse quality. As more tracks were uploaded I started recognising more tunes with even a couple of titles matching. A total of 5 out of the 17 tracks from the tape appeared, with another 7 having been heard on RDJ-related records elsewhere since the tape was made, leaving me no doubt that this was Aphex. Here’s how the original tape titles match up (and bear in mind that the cassette titles could be wrong in the first place):
i. ‘AFX vs UZiq’ = not uploaded to Soundcloud
ii. ‘-?-‘ (’94) = track 11 from the Joyrex tape that was uploaded a few years ago, although at a faster speed
iii. ‘Untitled Jungle tune’ = track 10 from the Joyrex tape that was uploaded a few years ago, although faster
iv. ‘Epic Breakbeat’ = not uploaded to Soundcloud
v. ‘Mantra’ = the track known as ‘Humanoid Must Not Escape’ from the Caustic Window ‘Joyrex J9′ picture disc (303 side), you can hear a sampled voice say what sounds like ‘Mantra’.
After ‘Mantra’ comes a short 30 second piece of electronic glitching with the sample, “I had to kill Bob Morgan because he made a mistake”, the same as on the ‘Bob Morgan’ track included in the uploads.
vi. ‘AFX vs. Uziq’ = ‘Giant Deflating Football’ from the Mike & Rich album on Rephlex
vii. ‘unreleased Ventolin’ = ‘phlangebeat’ although a lot slower on the tape
viii. ‘Bradley Styder’ = the first track from ‘Bradley’s Robot’ from the Strider B. 12″ on Rephlex
+ scanning by R.James = ‘Phone Pranks’ (Part 1 & 2) from the original Caustic Window LP that was finally released via a Kickstarter by WATMM.
i. ‘The one that makes you shiver’ = ‘8 Utopia’
ii. ‘-?-‘ (’93) = not uploaded to Soundcloud
iii. ‘GAK track’ = ‘d15-10 dulcimer dub’
iv. ‘—- ” —–‘ = ‘Untitled’, track 5 from the officially unreleased ‘Analogue Bubblebath 5′ EP
v. ‘-?-‘ (’91/92) = not uploaded to Soundcloud
vi. ‘Dance To The Beat’ = ‘dance2thebeat’ although the tape version is speeded up noticeably so that it clocks in at under 4 minutes.
vii. ‘Fresher + Cleaner’ (The Best Aphex Track Ever!) = ‘Fresher + Cleaner’ minus the intro hi hats
viii. ‘AFX vs Wagon Christ’ (Hissy Mix) = not uploaded to Soundcloud
Looking at some of the dates on the titles – mid to late 80’s – I’m slightly dubious as this would mean RDJ was making fully-formed gabba Techno at the same time as the Detroit pioneers were weaving their magic. Anyway, back to the present day and, eventually, 155 tracks appeared and, after making my way through them all, I pulled out 40 favourites for a mix. These were further whittled down to 31 with the addition of interview snippets from Radio 3‘s Mixing It show and John Peel‘s Sounds of the Suburbs TV program, and the whole thing clocks in at 86 minutes.
My Top 10 AFX Soundcloud tracks in no particular order:
Red Calx / Red Calx [slo]
Make A Baby
Luke Vibert – Spiral Staircase [afx remix]
Th1 / th1[slo]
An illuminating look into the MC’s life and career as well as some educational insights into Hip Hop’s beginnings in New York from the perspective of someone growing up as it happened. Styler gives an alternate view of the originators, skewed from the usual triumvirate of Bambaataa, Flash and Kool Herc.
Keen-eyed listeners to the Solid Steel weekly radio show may have noticed a logo makeover last week. A new, slimline logo has taken place of the previous single ‘S’ one as we continue to streamline the show for online consumption. The logo comes in white on black circle but can be reversed and I designed it in three weights with the heaviest being for small usage where the centre circle is offset with the outer circle also in box form. Expect a new responsive website redesign in April too.
It’s been a while but here’s my first mix for 2015 and Solid Steel and it’s a second installment of ‘Magpie Music’, the name for mixes where I generally group the more psychedelic, fuzzed up, heavy beat productions I like. If it’s got a live band feel then it’ll probably be in one of these mixes for the moment but they can also include rawer, sample-led Hip Hop and Trip Hop cuts. My other series – Future Shock – is reserved for more electronic, sci-fi synth and soundtrack work although there’s always room for cross over.
I’ve decided to split music into there two camps for the foreseeable future as I find they focus the mixes more and make for a better overall listen rather than lumping the two together. There will of course be other themed mixes coming your way (I must get round to KKK9, The Lynch Party pt.2 and the Duck Rock audio documentary one day). Oh, and there’s the Alphabet Series too which comes and goes when it feels like it of which the mythical lost Sesame Street compilation is part of.
Anyway, this mix features some of my favourite songs from 2014, certainly from the second half of the year anyway. Plenty of The Heliocentrics, Jane Weaver, Temples and Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger whose albums I adored and still do. I’m finishing up the second Future Shock mix right now so hopefully that should be along sometime next month too.
Here’s a really good half hour documentary from the BBC World Service about graffiti which interviews original NYC writers and has a great selection of relevant music rather than the usual well-worn tunes. Unfortunately they won’t let you embed the programme so here’s the link.
There are quite a few vintage New York-centric graffiti items popping up at the moment. The ‘Training Days’ book is out which I mentioned a while back, a ‘where-are-they-now?‘ book which interviews old writers and finds out what they’ve done in the past 40 years.
The Seen book, ‘They Call Me The Godfather of Graffiti’, finally shipped out last week too and it’s a treasure trove of unseen images or different views on old classics from one of the undisputed Kings. Also the restored ‘Style Wars’ Blu-ray is finally ready after years of work on the original reels which adds 40 minutes of unused footage from the original shoot.
Here’s the 3hr all-star electronica mix I contributed to as part of Terminal Radio 22 – curated by Nmesh – and featuring FSOLDigital (aka Yage / Brian Dougans with an “Electric Brainstorm 10: Micro Edition”), Mixmaster Morris, Neotropic, Youth, Akkya, LMS and Surface 10. There’s a long 5 minute intro before the mixes start and my section starts around the 1:12:45 mark
I was Virgil Howe‘s guest on his Hidden Level radio show on Soho Radio last Saturday – we chatted and played music for 2 hours and swapped stories and tunes in the tiny studio in the heart of Soho. I’d not met Virgil face to face before but we’d been in contact and remixed each others material via The Amorphous Androgynous who he drums for. Virgil’s had his hands in loads of bands from the Killer Meters to Little Barrie to his own work on the Breaking Bread and Scenario labels. He’s the son of Steve Howe, guitarist for Yes and Asia and his brother Dylan also plays drums and has just released an album of jazz versions of Bowies‘s ‘Berlin’. He’s also DJed since the mid 90’s and can eat 12 cream crackers in 1 minute (I may have made this one up).
Anyway, top bloke with skills and great taste in music and we chatted and played two hours away in no time, taking in recording stories, mutual friends, even comics and at one point Virgil told a tasty little anecdote about a recording session that his dad disrupted whilst Trevor Horn and co. were constructing Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s ‘Relax’. Yes, the world is that small. Anyway, here’s the podcast and look out for Virgil’s name, he’s everywhere and has a new solo album called ‘Hidden Level’ on the way soon which is excellent. Also check out his three Drum Series 7″s on Breaking Bread where he teams up with Malcolm Catto, Shawn Lee and Mark Claydon.
After waiting years, it’s finally here, Jeremy Schmidt‘s soundtrack to Panos Cosmatos’ ‘Beyond The Black Rainbow’. It’s short but it’s more than sweet and beautiful to behold in the packaging we’ve come to expect from the mighty Death Waltz label.
Also, here’s the new More Than Human radio show in handy downloadable form: it features a full-length interview with Jeremy (aka Sinioa Caves) plus some of his soundtrack picks; a final preview of the New Forms Festival (in Vancouver this weekend just gone) and lots of new, old and obscure electronic and experimental treats.
You can subscribe for free to the podcast in iTunes – that way the show auto-downloads every week.
A podcast I took part in with Ben Eshmade, organisor of the upcoming ‘Space In This Place’ event at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park in South East London on August 8th. The Anish Kapoor-designed structure will play host to music all night with a definite space theme, from Grasscut, Paddy Steer‘s homemade instruments, to Astronauts and myself, there will be music at different levels. Ben speaks to Paddy and myself about this and more in this podcast themed on the night to come.
The night runs from 6.30pm – 11pm and tickets are £20 – this might seems steep but it’s £15 just to go into the structure with no music so an extra fiver for all this is a pretty good deal. This is actually the first time they’ve ever had music inside, tickets can be bought from here or call 0333 800 8099 to book – and there’s more info about the various lates on at the structure here.
His online blog has been dormant for a year now, rumours that he had come into some money and taken up morris dancing remain unsubstantiated, but now, the legend that is Steinski speaks:
I’ve emerged from hibernation to post 2 shows on WFMU.org. They’re streaming online, they’re NSFW, and they emphasize my favorite non-instrumental portion of the musical spectrum: the talking part.
Show #1 (3 hrs.) showcases monologue artists ranging from Ruth Draper and Lord Buckley to Ana Deavere Smith and Danny Hoch. The listenable playlist at WFMU.org is here:
If you want, you can download the show (.zip) in easy-to-listen-to tracks here:
The second show’s title is “Walkin’ and Talkin”; all the tracks are spoken word over music (3 hrs.). Speakers range from The Last Poets, Jack Kerouac and Jean Shepherd to William Burroughs, Jean Grae, and Saul Williams. The show ran once a few years ago and got buried because I never added any information about it. A listenable playlist has been coaxed into existence on WFMU.org here:
Download (.zip) here:
Thanks very much,
I’ve never heard this before, an interview with Matt Johnson playing some of his favourite records on Greenwich Sound Radio way back in 1983 when ‘Soul Mining’ was first released.
Last minute post I know but I’ll be on Altar Ego Radio at 6 – 8pm tonight with a show of electronica that sounds like the past predicting the future called ‘Future Shock’. You can listen live here – I’ll even be talking.
Then tomorrow, Sunday 25th I’ll be doing another show with 2econd Class Citizen called ‘Magpie Music’ – one hour each of heavy psychedelia and the like.
On the last full day of the Australia 3-Way Mix tour we met up with Tom, Raine and the guys from Hardcore Classic, a Hip Hop show that goes out on the 2SER station in Sydney. We were quizzed for over an hour and played a short section of the live 3-Way Mix version before escaping the air condition-less studio and enjoying some down time. The interview starts at the 1hr 21 min mark and the mix follows it.
We got back from Australia at 5am on Wednesday morning after what seemed like days of flying in cramped seats but it was worth it. The first mini tour of the Paul’s Boutique 3-Way Mix went well and I’ll throw out some highlights here rather than going into a prolonged tour diary.
Landing in Melbourne to a torrential rainstorm, worse than back in the UK but being taken around by tour manager Joel to see local graffiti spots and ERT, shop sporting a tattoo parlour, recordstore, clothing, posters and spices.
Seeing old friends at the Melbourne show and rocking it despite the show being advertised as ‘Beastie Boys (USA) Paul’s Boutique feat. DJ Food, Cheeba, Moneyshot‘ (grrrrr). Finding out about ‘Vaporwave’, ‘Sea Punk’ and ‘Business Funk’ via a radio show on Melbourne radio.
Recording an impromptu mix of originals from ‘Shake Your Rump’ and ‘Hey Ladies’ for Jack Shit‘s show on FBI radio – you can listen back to it here.
Playing our best show in Sydney in front of more friends but ducking out of the proposed after party with Grandmaster Flash as it became a roadblock.
Taking the ferry to Manly to hang out with Moneyshot’s girlfriend’s ex-pat mates who served up the best BBQ.
Meeting up with DJ Hickory Dickory Dock who took me round various Sydney record spots, ending up at the excellent Revolve store near Newtown.
There’s an interview with Cheeba, Moneyshot and myself on this edition of Bristol’s Universal Magnetic Radio show with Ben One and Awkward. It was conducted inside the boat shortly after we’d nailed the InnoFADER routine a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the other two don’t get much of a word in until about half way through as a lot of the questions seemed to be directed at me. The show deals with the theme of cut ups in general and also has a section dedicated to William Burroughs who would have been 100 this month. Our interview starts about an hour in…
The soundtrack mix to my fulldome version of The Search Engine has just gone up as part of the latest podcast on Solipsistic Nation. Alongside a short interview you can hear an altered, slightly more ambient version of the album with remixed versions and edits of a lot of the tracks.
This is the version that plays at the dome shows and includes the ‘Deep Space’ version of ‘GIANT’ remixed for Matt Johnson‘s as yet unreleased Lazarus compilation ‘The Others’. You can listen to the podcast here or download it directly here.