De:tuned DE:10 series repress full series

DE10x10

The final four coloured vinyl represses from the De:tuned DE:10 series were released yesterday including a clear vinyl DE:10, still with the silver foil blocked sleeve. There is one more piece in the puzzle for this series that should make an appearance in the next two weeks…

Here’s some handy order links if you’re looking to pick up the last batch
Bleep: bit.ly/3dQ23RF
Juno: bit.ly/2Zb4iLd
Red Eye: bit.ly/2yaq4nb
Norman: bit.ly/3h9gQI9
Deejay: bit.ly/3dQwPty
Decks: bit.ly/35nZ5mz
Horizons: bit.ly/2WCfMWr
Intense: bit.ly/322VM1H

Into 2021 there’s much more great music to come from this label and I’ve designed two fantastic releases that are currently in production with another to start on before the year’s end. The two in the can are dream come true projects and I’m extremely happy with the results.
If you’re not familiar with the De:tuned label then the DE:10 releases are an excellent place to start. Some of their contents are in this special promo mix I made for them earlier this year.

In the mean time, look at these beauties…

DE01

DE02

DE03

DE04

DE05

DE06

DE07

DE08

DE09

DE10

DJ Food ‘Songs of Praise’ mix

DJ Food - Songs of Praise web
In recent years I’ve become increasingly interested in religious records, specifically rock operas from the late 60’s, early to mid 70’s era. Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar are the most obvious ins to this genre and there are many, many versions of those but they’re the tip of the iceberg once you get into pressings from independent labels run by the church. The astounding thing with this genre – and possibly because of the success of Hair and JCS – is the budgets and records that come out of the woodwork. Box sets with foil printing, 12″x12″ booklets, double albums, full chorus, strings, horn sections, top notch session musicians right down to hand drawn covers and small ensembles recorded in halls with bad sound. Generally though, there was a lot of money about to do this stuff and it shines through in the passion and creativity poured into the songs and performances on these records.

A recent trade with fellow collector, Shane Quentin, (co-contributor to the Wobbly Sounds flexi disc book last year with Jonny Trunk and myself) resulted in me offering an exclusive mix for his long-running The Garden of Earthly Delights radio show. Having chanced upon an incredible religious album recently, full of great tracks, I was looking for a reason to put a load of them together and offered a mix of religious rock and such as I knew he’d get a kick out of it. The results can be heard in my new mix, ‘Songs Of Praise’, tonight on his show between 10pm and midnight – point your browser at http://www.crmk.co.uk/listen. It’ll also be available via Shane’s Mixcloud UPDATE: Full show below, my mix starts at the 33 minute mark.

I love every one of these records and have been playing the mix daily since I made it earlier this month which is unlike me, there’s something both weird and wonderful about them. I had to cut 20 minutes of material to get it in at an hour and already have enough for half of part 2 so this may become an annual, pre-Xmas affair on Shane’s show. A lot of these records are available for very little (one of them I bought for £1) but there’s a lot to plough through in the genre to find the gems.

Mixcloud Select 34: Strictly Kev – Solid Steel 03/06/1995

MS34 Strictly Kev - Solid Steel 3:5:1995 tapeThis is one of my favourite sessions from the 90s, KISS FM, Friday night (we often pre-recorded then and it was broadcast ‘live’ 1-3am Saturday), Matt, Jon, PC and I piled into the tiny studio on the Holloway Road with a bunch of new records, the word treasure jingle CDs that housed all the various samples we’d ’slurp’ over each other’s mixes and no plan but to record 2 hours non stop.

There’s another hour that precedes this that PC should be putting up on his Sound/Mixcloud soon where it’s his turn and possibly Matt Black before him. There’s also a missing 20 minutes at the end of my mix which may well have been Jon finishing off the set. This is a classic trip hop selection taking in blunted beats, turntablism, downtempo electro and hip hop B sides, a bit of ambience and spoken word thrown in and some new Ninja productions at the end.

Things were getting busy and exciting on all fronts in 1995, the year that the label finally broke through with the first Ninja Cuts compilation and solidified things with Coldcut’s Journeys By DJ mix, our first overseas tours and the start of the club, Stealth. Gigs around the UK and Europe were becoming more and more regular and I was designing everything Ninja Tune could throw at me. It was a slow build, not some overnight sensation, things just grew and continued to grow for the next few years, maybe slowing somewhat by 1998 but then we were at the 10 year anniversary by the year 2000.

If anyone can tell me what the opening track is I’d be grateful, Shazam has nothing, I have no record of the set list but I’m thinking it might be something from the New Breed label maybe? DJ Smash? Something from one of the Fat Jazzy Grooves comps? You can tell it’s the 90s with those kind of names. The Ken Nordine sample makes me think it’s from the US as few had sampled him by 1995. *UPDATE: Edward has come through with the answer, it was JazzadelicMessage From Outer Space, he also pointed out that the date was 3rd of June 1995, not May – thanks Edward. The Prunes track that follows is definitely from that label, still quite underrated/forgotten over in the UK, there’s all sorts of great trip hop on that label going back to 1992.

DJVadim_NonLat_12_label

I had a trick that I used to do, it’s an old hip hop thing that DJ Vadim showed me with a roll of gaffe tape and a turntable, you can see it illustrated on the cover of his first Ninja Tune single. You place the roll of tape on the platter, sit a record on top of it, making sure it’s as central as possible, unscrew the headshell of the tonearm and slot it back in upside down. Tip the tonearm weight back as far as it will go and then place the needle on the underside of the elevated record so the needle is facing up. Put it in the middle of the record, not the edge, as the grooves will be carrying the needle from the inside to the outside of the disc once the platter is rotating. Press start on the deck and the sound comes out reversed as the needle is tracking it backwards now. I would do this in clubs and it would always get a great response as it’s such a visual trick, you had to do it with something recognisable and that didn’t change too much plus it was hit and miss where you got the needle but you could get it in time in the mix with a bit of push and pull. I did this with the 45 King’s ‘900 Number’ during this show to general amazement as I don’t think the others had seen it done before.

We get a scratch-fest of DJ Cheese, the Jeep Beat Collective (shout out to Dave the Ruf and DJ Mark-One) and 2 Live Crew’s Mr Mixx before some more downtempo beats from The Prunes and Mike Paradinas alias, Jake Slazenger. I must have just got his album as two tracks feature in quick succession here. Early Wall of Sound makes an appearance in the form of Mekon from the first Back To Mono compilation and then it’s the evergreen Solid Steel staple of Forrest Ackerman’s ‘The Tin Age Story’ from Music For Robots. New Coldcut/Food collab ‘The Worm Turns’ leaps in before we close with a fresh-out-the-studio DJ Food remix of Nobukazu Takemura from the Japan/Germany-only Child’s View Remix album which, if you haven’t heard it, is excellent and features amazing remixes by Aphex Twin and Wagon Christ.

Such fond memories of this time, people and music, not a care in the world.
UPDATE!
PC has put his mix that preceded mine from this show up on his Mixcloud – check it out, there’s an unreleased DJ Food remix in there too – and give him a follow while you’re there
https://www.mixcloud.com/knobblyknee/solid-steel-030695/

Track list:
Jazzadelic – Message From Outer Space
The Prunes – Vinyl Anal
45 King – The 900 Number
Spacepimp – K9 Law
Word of Mouth feat DJ Cheese – King Kut (Dub)
Jeep Beat Collective – Nah, Nope It’s Dope (Scratch Mix)
Anquette – Ghetto Style (instrumental)
The Prunes – Somethin’ Funky
Jake Slazenger – Megaphonk
E.A.R. – Sub Aqua
Jake Slazenger – ERP
Mekon – Minnie’s Broken Arm
Forrest J. Ackerman – Music For Robots
The Illuminati of Hedfuk – The Worm Turns
Nobukazu Takemura – Crescent (DJ Food remix)

Bandcamp Recommends November 2020

It has to be said, there’s a tidal wave of good music coming out on a near weekly basis now and a lot of artists are saving releases for Bandcamp Fridays which can be slightly overwhelming but let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth, great music is needed in such grim times so let’s get to it.

Groop Mod TM LPGroup Modular – Time Masters DL and very limited vinyl pre order (also vinyl coming any day now from Polytechnic Youth so follow them on Facebook or sign up to their mailing list)
A long time in the making but finally here, Markey Funk and Mule Driver‘s collaboration continues…
https://groupmodular.bandcamp.com/album/time-masters

Markey Funk 45

Markey Funk – Magic + Sparks Remixes 7″ (Delights)
Two old remixes for other bands make it to 45, if psych rock with distorted vocals and drums is your thing then you’ll love these https://delights.bandcamp.com/album/magic-sparks-apdlt016

Jane Weaver – Flock LP pre-order (Fire Records)
It’s going to be a long wait until March for this to finally arrive but on the strength of the single alone it will be worth it
https://janeweaverfire.bandcamp.com/

JW LP cover

US DUSTJACKET AS EP COVER (Black)Celestial Mechanic – The Signal: ReTransmission, An EP (Bandcamp)
*Self promo dept.* There’s a new 17 minute remix of ‘The Signal’ from Saron Hughes and my ‘Citizen Void’ LP to welcome the US release of Rian Hughes‘ book, ‘XX, A Novel, Graphic’, out today along with satellite piano variations made during the album that form a 30 minute EP.
https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-signal-retransmission

KGATLW KG LP

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – K.G. DL/LP (Flightless)
New album, vol.2 of the Flying Microtonal Banana series, ‘Honey’ in particular is beautiful. https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/k-g

also there’s a Live in San Francisco album from 2016 from the ‘Nonagon Infinity’ era https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-san-francisco-16

Scarred 2

Various Artists – Scarred For Life 2 DL/LP (Castles In Space)
The sequel to the original comp of themes to imaginary spooky TV shows that never were, all in aid of charity.
https://scarredforlife.bandcamp.com/

CiSSUBLib cardVarious Artists – Castles In Space Subscription Library – I may as well just open an account with Castles In Space – Oh I just did! 10 releases over the next year – how they’ll do it alongside the heaving schedule of the regular label I don’t know but it looks great! £8 digital or £15 vinyl subscription per month, first releases are a members library card and badge and a new Field Lines Cartographer LP (the last one is one of my favourite releases of 2020). All beautifully designed buy Nick Taylor too, lathe cuts, T-shirts and more to come, there’s a provisional list floating around the web but I can’t find it now…
https://cissublibrary.bandcamp.com/community

FLC LP
FLC LP 2

Stefan Bachmeier The Strange Worlds Of

Stefan Bachmeier – The Strange Worlds Of Stefan Bachmeier DL/LP (Spun Out Of Control)
Compilation of previously released works from the three LPs so far, wobbly analogue synth horror on vinyl rather than cassette now and wrapped in a lovely Eric Adrian Lee sleeve.
https://spunoutofcontrol.bandcamp.com/album/the-strange-worlds-of-stefan-bachmeier

6S4wzuss.jpg large

AI 21 cover

The Abyss Within Us – Life In A Circle LP (Astral Industries)
I love everything on this label, if 20 minute ambient pieces are your thing then you can’t go wrong
https://astralindustries.bandcamp.com/album/ai-21-life-in-a-circle

AI-04 LP
They’ve also repressed the fourth release on the label, long out of print, from Wolfgang Voight & Deepchord – up for pre-order today but be quick as the scalpers are out in force, buying them to flip on Discogs (what is wrong with these people?)
https://astralindustries.bandcamp.com/album/ai-04-colours-of-time-re-interpreted

In C David Harrow

David Harrow – In C
I’ve been on a bit of an ‘In C’ binge this year and David sent me his versions a while back, looks like he’s decided to release them now. https://rattle-records.bandcamp.com/album/in-c

A couple of recommends for fellow artists whose work I’ve always admired who don’t have new releases but have their catalogue on Bandcamp.

Screen Shot 2020-11-06 at 12.13.49

Vicki Bennett‘s People Like Us project, decades of cut and paste audio collage – dive in
https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com

Screen Shot 2020-11-06 at 12.14.23
Riz Maslen‘s Neotropic and Small Fish With Spine aliases plus selections from her Council Folk label
https://music.neotropic.net/music

Posted in Music, Records. | No Comments | Tags:

Mixcloud Select 30: Strictly Kev – Going Through A Phase 26/03/2001

30 CD disc Subtitled ‘Canadian Vinyl Excavation series’, these two mixes were very much a result of going through the spoils of touring the US and Canada in 2000 and mixing in a sprinkling of new releases from the time. As I’ve no doubt previously mentioned, the international tours of the day were also excuses to go wild in record shops overflowing with vinyl post-CD boom, pre-vinyl resurgence, all cheap with a strong pound against a dollar conversion and an even better Canadian dollar rate. Regular day routines would be to travel to the next city, check in and either hit the record shops or do the soundcheck and try to squeeze in a dig before dinner. Days off were a free for all and the van or bus bays would fill up with bags of vinyl pretty quickly.

I’m using the trusty Line 6 FX pedal in some of this, it has a lovely long sustain on it and a gritty analogue sound, very versatile but a bit of a beast to control. This and next week’s mixes were based around the opening track by Vanilla Fudge whose concept album ‘The Beat Goes On‘ was split into four phases. Some great UK hip hop in here from Stylee C and Def Tex, both from the Son label, run by Al from the Ninja Tune office at the time. Some background on the Peter Cook & Dudley Moore track, a 1967 track that got put on a Beatles bootleg and led some people to speculate that it might be the band incognito. Dudley Moore wrote, “Regarding “The L.S. Bumble Bee“, Peter Cook and I recorded that song about the time when there was so much fuss about L.S.D., and when everybody thought that “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” was a reference to drugs. The exciting alternative offered to the world was L.S.B.!, and I wrote the music to, in some ways, satirize the Beach Boys rather than the Beatles. But I’m grateful if some small part of the world thinks that it may have been them, rather than us !”.

30 PRS

The Gil Trythall ‘Nashville Moog’ track was the last track on a frankly terribly Country Moog album I picked up but is a genuinely enjoyable piece of comedy filler. The Jonny Dankworth ‘Experiments with Mice’ is also a gem, fished out of a Toronto 45 bin, a fantastic retooling of the nursery rhyme in a jazz context, renaming the three mice after famous players and using their signature styles to flesh out the story, a kind of live mash up. At this point I’d been buying up jazz and soundtracks at a rate of knots for several years on tours, the costs being minuscule compared to UK prices, but was beginning to dip my toe into the psych rock pool with The Mothers of Invention and anything that said ‘psychedelic concept acid freakout’ on the cover. Of course I picked up a few duds along the way as many bands and artists cashed in on the summer of love but it made for some great sleeves. Apropos to nothing, the Quincy Jones track sounds like the Batman theme to me. That’s a very ambitious mix from The Mothers into Herbie Hancock, it just about holds together, the search for his ‘The Spook Who Sat Behind The Door’ flexi still goes on… For the final track I see I included Andy Summers & Robert Fripp, I have no recollection of this, or of ever owning any of their albums, although I’ve since become a Fripp devotee, very odd.

Parts 3 & 4 next week…

Phase 1
Vanilla Fudge – And The Beat Goes On
Stylee C – Old 3 Piece Suite
Mondo Grosso – MG2SS
Miroslav Vitous – Bassamba
The Soul Destroyers – Blow Your Top
Sandy Nelson – Bang That *%$£@+ Drum
Lord Buckley – Willie The Shake
5th Dimension – Good News
Def Tex – Sad Songs
Peter Cook & Dudley Moore – LS Bumble Bee
Gil Trythall – Nashville Moog
The Avalanches – Thank You Caroline (Andy Votel mix)
Phase 2
Jonny Dankworth – Experiments with Mice
Paul Horn – Interludium
Arthur Lyman – Taboo Tu
Quincy Jones – Boogie Bossa Nova
The Mothers of Invention – Help, I’m a Rock
Herbie Hancock – The Spook Who Sat Behind The Door
Fingathing – Slop
Sonny Terry – Blue’s Last Walk
Jack Nitzsche – No. 2
Andy Summers & Robert Fripp – Maquilage

New 45 Live mix – Aug 6th PST on Dublab

DJ Food 45 Live Mix 2020 web
It’s that time again, my now annual guest mix for the 45 Live radio show hosted by DJ Greg Belson on Dublab premieres on Aug 6th PST which will be early in the morning of Aug 7th in the UK. This mix is a trip through the incredibly fertile years during and after the second summer of love and the fallout from acid house. The fast-moving dance scene is splintering with influences cross-pollinating into indie, hip hop and techno. Early signposts to rave and hardcore can be heard and Mr Fingers‘ evergreen ‘Can You Feel It’ seems like it comes from a different time.

It comes with a touch of sadness too, just as I’d finished the mix and after I’d taken this shot of the records used, I heard the sad news that Denise Johnson had died. A vocalist for A Certain Ratio, New Order and Primal Scream at various points among many more, this was the era where she came to public prominence for perhaps her most well known feature on ‘Don’t Fight It (Feel It)’ from the latter’s ‘Screamadelica‘. I quickly reworked the intro of the mix to include this classic which sits perfectly in the set as it was a staple of the turn of the decade club scene. RIP Denise.

PS Spot the one track from 2020…

Mixcloud Select 14 – Steinski vs Strictly Sevens for Solid Steel 12/08/2005

fullsizeoutput_191fTrack notes:
Steinski was coming to the UK, cut up collagist and all-round nice guy legend that he is. We’d known each other since 1998 when we played together in Brighton for a night Krafty Kuts had put on and had kept in touch ever since. He was visiting the UK for a holiday with his wife and we asked if he would play unannounced at our monthly Solid Steel night in London to which he agreed.
The night had a policy of never announcing who the guests were, it was DK and myself as residents and you paid £3 on the door and found out who was on the bill when you got downstairs to the basement where the club was. This meant that people genuinely wanted to be there and felt part of something when they could say they saw Four Tet or Diplo or Luke Vibert the night before in a sweaty basement in central London for less than a fiver.

So Stein comes over and hangs out and has made two special mixes for the night too, which he gracefully let us play on Solid Steel a few weeks later. Not only that, I’d bought a box of 45s on eBay a few months before but the seller only shipped them within the US. I got them sent to Steve’s place in New York and he bought them over. There were a couple a quite rare Christian spoken word 7”s in the box, one including John Rydgren but there was plenty of other good stuff too. This mix is made up of the contents of the box plus a few random flexi discs I also added to the mix. Add in Steinski’s two mini mixes and you have an hour of very random beats, bits and bobs.

There’s a lot of drug messages in this as several of the records were about that. The Fenella Fielding flexi disc is a classic and Jonny Trunk swears that she farts at one point in it. The Kenny Everett and Michael Aspel disc, ’On Love’ is very strange, Kenny seems pissed or high, Michael makes an inappropriate confession about his daughter and Kenny confesses to unrequited love with someone called Henry which, given that this was made way before he was out of the closet, is another one for the list of now obvious clues he dropped throughout his broadcasting career.

Track list:
Steinski – Ruby Lo mix 1
Dr Donald B. Louria – Is Marijuana really habit forming?
Rhythm Heritage – Theme From Rocky
Dr Donald B. Louria – Does LSD Increase creativity?
Marc Hamilton – Tapis Magique
Everyday People – I Like What I Like
Guitar Self instructor For the Very Beginner
The Cousins – The Robot (Madison Twist)
John Rydgren – The Butterfly
Steinski – Ruby Lo mix 2
Doobie Brothers – Listen To The Music
Grand Funk – Destitute and Losin’
Cliff Richard – A Personal Message To You
Kenny Everett & Michael Aspel – On Love
Love Unlimited Orchestra – Sweets Moments
Fenella Fielding – Limber Up with…
Elton John – Bennie & The Jets
Dr Donald B. Louria – Are people using other potent hallucinatory drugs?
John Rydgren – The Lord Is My Shepherd
Dr Donald B. Louria – Is Marijuana really dangerous?
John Gibbs & the US Steel Orchestra – Steel Funk
Jerry Samuels – Who Are You To Tell Me Not To Smoke Marijuana?
Kenny Everett & Michael Aspel – On Love

DJFoodMixcloudSelect14

Four Tet in Sixteen Locked Grooves by Quadraphonic Stylus Ensemble

Using the Quadraphon turntable, a customised deck with three additional arms, I remixed side D of Four Tet‘s ‘Sixteen Oceans’ album which contains only locked grooves. These grooves play one revolution infinitely, looping the sound, and played in multiple combinations with added FX you can create endless remixes. I call them ‘Phonomontages’ – two are released today via my label, Infinite Illectrik https://infiniteillectrik.bandcamp.com/

ii08 cover colour web

Circles In Squares record collecting film now online

Circles In Squares from Adam Bell Film on Vimeo.

A film about the different aspects of record collecting that I appeared in some years ago, ‘Circles in Squares’ has just been made available to view online. Unfortunately, one of the contributors, Naoki E-Jima recently lost his battle with cancer and any proceeds from the pay per view stream will go to Naoki’s family. It’s £4 for a 48 hr viewing window and it’s a really well made little film https://vimeo.com/ondemand/circlesinsquares

Circles In Squares poster

Kaleidoscope turns 20

kaleidoscope-main

It seems today is the 20th anniversary of ‘Kaleidoscope’, the album PC and I made in 2000 for Ninja Tune. I thought it was more like mid April but a quick look on Discogs shows a promo CD I designed with April 3rd on it so there it is.

We’re still immensely proud of this record and the collaborations with Bundy K. Brown and the late Ken Nordine (RIP) it contains. It also features one of the songs most asked about in the DJ Food discography, ’The Crow’. I’ve lost count of the times this has been used to soundtrack scenes in independent films and it was once adapted for a school orchestra.

PC and I have been digging through our archives for recordings we made around this album – including The Quadraplex EP which was supposed to be a part of it originally but was saved for later. We’re currently compiling selections from them for an anniversary mix that will feature outtakes, alternate versions and other curios from the time.

These will go online later this month via Mixcloud, stay tuned… Meanwhile – the album is available here:

https://ninjatune.net/release/dj-food/kaleidoscope

https://djfood.bandcamp.com/

https://music.apple.com/gb/album/kaleidoscope/416333639

https://open.spotify.com/album/6NZdnBIelaaa2jVnrZL5jV

#LoveRecordStores

IMG_3463

I thought I’d jot down a few words to contribute to the Love Record Stores initiative launching today to send love and thanks out to independent record stores/shops that have a big place in the hearts of artists everywhere at this uncertain and troubling time. The idea is to tag indie record shops you love, show support and encourage others to check them out and shop online whilst their physical shops are closed. Here’s a list close to my heart:

The Book & Record Bar, West Norwood, London
This shop, more than any in the last few years, has been a very big part of my life. From my first visit on RSD back in 2014 to last week, Michael Johnson‘s shop has become a hub of musical and artistic activity including a radio station, party nights and much more besides. I’ve met so many people who I consider to be good friends through this place, including the love of my life, and even ended up lodging with Michael at one point a few years back when a house purchase was taking way too long. When we first met I foolishly offered to try and sort out his packed to the ceiling basement. It was like digging a hole only for the earth to keep falling back in, as soon as I’d clear some floorspace by installing shelving, it would be filled by more records or audio equipment.

The shop has a fine line in left field new releases and an excellent selection of used electronica, jazz, psych and the encyclopedic Michael to ask for any wants. In fact, if you send him your wants list whilst the shop is closed he will endeavour to find what he can in his stock and send you a quote – message him on the Facebook link below. To add to this the shop has many rare books, a very good used sci-fi section and a fully licensed bar, what more do you want? The shop’s Discogs page is here if you want to support while it’s closed.

DJ Food WNBC

Big shouts out to Peter Williams, my Further partner in crime who was central to getting the Out of the Wood radio show started through the shop (fast approaching its 200th show). Alex ‘the Orb’ Paterson who I see in there most visits and who set up WNBC.London to broadcast his numerous shows, the weekly Thursday shop show and the aforementioned OOTW each Sunday between 12-2pm. Also to Dorian, the regular Sunday staff member and great anecdote-teller, who puts up with all our selections each week.
http://www.bookandrecordbar.co.uk/

IMG_0214

Rat Records, Camberwell, London
Still the cheapest, most regularly restocked record shop I know, my local, 21 years at this site, small but perfectly formed, a beacon of light in the haven of scum and villainy that is Camberwell. A used record shop in every sense, you won’t find new releases here unless it’s a fluke but you will find a small queue outside at 10.30am every Saturday when the New In racks are restocked from collections bought up and down the country by owner Tom.

Their policy of pricing to sell keeps stock turning over constantly and they will wait several weeks before putting a rare record on their Discogs page, (closed at the moment due to the shop being shut) preferring to let visitors and regulars have first dibs. They also do a fine line in extremely cheap CDs and have a record cleaning service. I’ve done several in-store DJs sets including a goodbye set for Pete on his last day working in the shop and also Philippe‘s 40th birthday party in the local pub after closing. But my favourite was when Jonny Trunk and myself delved into a collection of soundtracks the shop had bought, playing our favourite tracks after which the records were sold to punters who came to listen.
https://www.ratrecordsuk.net/

(Markey Funk below, waiting for the shop to open)

IMG_9321

The Music & Video Exchange, Notting Hill and Greenwich, London
The old M&VEx shops were the second hand Mecca’s of London, Camden, Soho, Shepherd’s Bush, and four or five shops in Notting Hill alone. Sadly only one remains in that location these days, the Dance & Soul and Classical shops being folded into the Rock & Pop premises over the last decade. The 80s and 90s, even part of the 00s, for these shops were digger heaven with bargain basements of records for £1 a pop (or less) that would take you days to get through and would always yield treasure of some sort. In the golden days of the vinyl promo I would save up several months of unwanted 12″s and take a full bag in there and wait whilst the staff went through them and quoted a price. “Cash of exchange?”, always exchange, which was double the cash value in vouchers to spend in the shops (including the book and comic ones). The trick was to have a few really hot current promos in there which would get you more than if you waited another month.

Back in the early 90’s I blew my first ever pay cheque from a full time job after I left college there. The bargain basement in the Notting Hill shop was the first time I ever saw a wall of Paul Young’s ‘No Parlez LPs, a foretaste of the ubiquity of that album which now enjoys its own account on Twitter. In the 90s I bought an original UK Stereo copy of Dudley Moore’s ‘Bedazzled’ from the Soundtrack shop, probably the most I’ve ever spent on a single record. I remember finding a Mike Oldfield 12″ acetate for £1 in the basement, it’s one of the only records I’ve ever ‘flipped’ on eBay, it made a lot more than a pound and ended up in the hands of an Italian fan.

Sadly those days are long gone although they do still buy and sell the same way, marking the records down by a pound each month or so until they’re eventually bought or end up in the bargain bin. The Greenwich shop has mysteriously survived and thrived over the years and every buyer will know the pain of trying to remove some of their old stickers, especially the burgundy brown ones, which would ultimately rip, mark or tear the covers of the records you’d just paid for, even if you used lighter fluid.
The Greenwich shop also has a really good Instagram account.
https://www.facebook.com/MusicandVideoExchange/

IMG_2136

Reckless Records, Sister Ray, Sounds of the Universe, Soho, London
Not much survives of the glories of Soho past, the original Sister Ray shop is gone to the developers, as has the M&VEx that was there, Groove, Cheapo Cheapos, Mr Bongo, Selectadisc, the 2nd Reckless shop, Unity, Quaff, Ambient Soho (my first job in a record shop) and a ton of other small dance music shops.
Plenty still cling on though within its square mile, Reckless being my favourite because of its used nature and the general scuzziness that still lingers from the old days. Both Sister Ray and Sounds of the Universe (formally Soul Jazz) have moved about over the years but are always reliable for new and old releases from specialist dance music to reggae to rock with everything in between. SOTU also has a great downstairs packed with books, DVDs and more music and the label puts out some cracking compilations.
https://www.reckless.com/       https://sisterray.co.uk/     https://soundsoftheuniverse.com/

DJ Food SOTU

Audio Gold, Muswell Hill, London
A specialist hi-fi retailer, hire company and repair shop with plenty of records to boot. I’ve only been a few times but loved it and my old mate Robin from Hexstatic works there. They had collector Shane Quentin and myself in for a special flexi disc set for the last RSD and treated us to free pizza afterwards – always worth a visit and the staff are lovely. https://audiogold.co.uk/

56828195_10158455267397729_520357810718900224_o

IMG_4082

The Diskery, Birmingham 
This is a dusty diggers paradise, one of the oldest record shops in the UK, it’s housed in a ramshackle building with back and upstairs rooms you can root around in to your heart’s content. Downstairs is the main shop with LPs, 45s and 12″s and the back rooms have boxes of 7″s to rifle through.

DJ Food Diskery
Upstairs, if you brave the rickety stairs and don’t go in the room with the ceiling about to fall in, is a lottery of broken audio equipment, soiled and sleeveless dance singles and more. Last time I was there I found a rare Universal Indicator 12″ (early Mike Dred/Aphex Twin) discarded and coverless in a pile for £1. They also occasionally offer tea or coffee if the shop isn’t busy and once I even got a mince pie at Xmas.  The Diskery Facebook page

IMG_2270

IMG_8089

Kingbee, Vinyl Exchange, Piccadilly Records, Manchester
Kingbee is out in Chorlton, a few stops from the city centre on the train. Well worth the trip, it’s a packed-to-the-gills used shop with decent prices and lots of choice. I was once looking for a white label 12″ of A Certain Ratio’sGood Togetherand, seeing as I was in Manchester thought it was more likely then anywhere else, and there it was in the bargain bin for £1. https://www.kingbeerecords.co.uk/

IMG_8097
Vinyl Exchange is your northern equivalent of Reckless or the Music & Video Exchange, used records in every category you can think of, all a bit scruffy, some a bit pricey on the wall, tons of cheap bins, CDs upstairs, vinyl downstairs, just dive in. https://www.vinylexchange.co.uk/

Piccadilly Records across from Vinyl Exchange, is just one of the best records shops in the UK selling new music. Similar to the Rough Trade East model, they have meticulously worded/reviewed info on all the underground /independent titles with a depth of knowledge that only comes from working in a record shop and hearing everything and anything that comes through the door. Their mail order online is also excellent https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/

DJ Food Dig Vinyl

Dig Vinyl, Liverpool
Upstairs in the Resurrection clothes shop now (it used to be down in a basement when I first visited), Dig has an excellent, well-priced selection of random dance music and much more. I bought loads when I was there last time but spent very little. https://digliverpool.co.uk/

Rarekind, Wax Factor, Brighton
Rarekind is your hip hop-centric diggers shop with new independent releases as well as tons of used stock including jazz, funk, soul, library and soundtracks. Friendly and with loads to get stuck into, even my partner (who’s a hardened digger herself) had to go and get coffee last time we were there as I was taking so long. It didn’t help that there was a tiny techno shop upstairs too. https://rarekindrecords.co.uk/

DJ Food digging

Wax Factor is one of my dream shops, books and records combined, I remember it from the 90s and it’s still there, virtually unchanged. The amount of 7″s in the adjoining room is astounding, if you can’t find something you want in there you either haven’t looked hard enough or don’t have the time to sift through. They don’t appear to have much of an online presence unfortunately but the reviews here say it all https://www.yelp.com/biz/wax-factor-brighton

IMG_9154

Monorail, Mixed Up Records, Glasgow
Monorail is your quintessential indie shop, expanded out into the left field realms of avant garde electronica and soundtracks. It reminds me a bit of Rough Trade West in London but it has better decor, it’s also located in a very cool part of the city adjoining a bustling bar and restaurant and has an excellent mail order service. https://www.monorailmusic.com/

Mixed Up is further out in the Hillhead area, down a small side mews and is well worth the trip for used records, all in great condition at reasonable prices. I always come away with something from there and have been down on the floor rifling through the 7″ boxes many a time.  https://www.mixeduprecords.com/

IMG_8448

Island Vintage Vinyl and Vinyl Head, Ramsgate Island Vintage Vinyl is a father/son-run business with specialist hi-fi and audio equipment and used vinyl, super-friendly-service and tons of stock, especially good for dance music and vintage rock https://www.islandvintage.co.uk/

Vinyl Head is probably the funkiest looking shop I’ve visited in the UK, it’s full of cool design objects, mobiles and has a huge Octopus snaking its tentacles across the floor. A lot of the stock wasn’t priced when I went there which is a usual no-no for me but I found plenty of stuff. The shop’s Discogs is here (with prices, obviously) being that you can’t visit the physical location at the moment.

IMG_2058

Posted in Music, Records. | No Comments | Tags:

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.

Acid Valentine 2
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

analogacidbath-720px

Andy Vella design interview

R-76722-1356639563-9261.jpegA few weeks ago I posted a selection of sleeves from the acid house era of Desire records‘ releases which, for a brief moment, showcased some of the best house music to come out of Chicago. The uncredited designer, Andy Vella, was tasked with wrapping these releases in a distinctive house style and, curious about how they came about and who made them, I did some detective work and tracked him down. He is best known for his work with The Cure for the Fiction label (of which Desire was a subsidiary) and I fired him a few generic questions first, to give context and history:

Where, when and what did you study?
I studied at various places, which to be honest were less than effective, however, luckily I ended up at The Royal College of Art and my creative life started to fly.

What was your first notable design that the public would have seen?
The first bit of work the public would have seen was the 60×40 fly poster for the cure’s ‘Primary’ single (it got to number 44 in the charts 1981), I do remember being 18 and walking down Oxford street thinking, ‘that looks familiar’, then realising I had worked on it.

The Cure Primary poster

How did you come to work with the Cure and Fiction Records?
Pure fluke really….and as luck has it I am still working with them.
(From the biography of Andy’s website: “It all began when Andy, then a teenage student in Worthing, had a chance encounter on a train with Porl Thompson, some-time guitarist in the Cure. The pair would go on to form the Parched Art design company, but not before Andy’s photographs had caught the eye of the Cure’s front man Robert Smith who asked him to design the covers of the album Faith and its single Primary.”

Looking you up on by name on Discogs, there’s a gap between 1981 and 1988 and this seems to be the golden period of your collaborative work with Porl Thompson for the Cure under the ‘Parched Art’ banner. Obviously it’s not a complete list of your work though as you aren’t credited for any Desire sleeves at all. 
I went through a phase of not putting my name on lots as I thought it was uncool.

R-241040-1345654713-9447.jpeg

Whose decision was it to start releasing dance music on Desire, up until the mid 80s it had been sporadically releasing indie rock I think?
Chris Parry, he was also the manger of The Cure and supremo A&R maestro.

Where you into the music? Did you go clubbing in those days?
I loved it. I used to go and hang out with all the guys in Chicago Trax (Chicago of course), they were great and so accepting of me, Fingers Inc, CAN YOU FEEL IT…Yes, Ben Mays, Bam Bam, Destry, Lil Louis was always hanging about.
I remember Chris gave me £20 and an ecstasy tablet and said go to the Café de Paris and design me an album sleeve (In the Key of E) it was great, changed my whole world, shame as later that night ended up in Harry’s and DJ Fat Tony and his mates esp. some bloke who is now a famous author (I should name him) kept referring to me as a rent boy with total hatred in their eyes. Glad I had had the mitsibushi tab otherwise I probably would have thrown them out of the window, homophobic DJs and posse for you.
The world will come and eat you up boys.

R-49179-1303153265.jpeg

R-40254-1286272962.jpeg

You used photocopying extensively for those early sleeves, not just for distorting type but also for texture too, What influenced you?
Being experimental was always key in my design, trying things out.

You were working in largely uncharted territory with very little except the smiley logo and the early DJ International graphics from the US as any kind of look for the genre, were you left to interpret the music in your own way?
Always like a challenge, recently I designed a book for Glen Matlock about the Sex Pistols (Filthy Lucre tour) and like then, coming up with design/art that does not follow the cliche known style is what good design should be.

Were you working in isolation or did you have assistants? Were you aware of what other designers were doing in the field like Trevor Jackson at Champion and Gee Street or the Designers Republic at Warp?
At this time just working on me own and the artists in Chicago, they loved this stuff.

R-120686-1256245123.jpeg

You had a thing for type wrapped around curves, I’m presuming this is was all pre-computer and hand-cut and pasted?
Sure was, its so easy now, every letter cut out and pasted down.

There seem to be several releases that re-use old sleeves folded inside out, was this a money-saving exercise?
It was me being really early into re-cycling, this was in 1989, the printers throw this stuff away, I hated the idea of this, so re-purposed it and used it inside, my fav is ‘In The Key Of E’ printed on the reversed board with the Desire house bag on the inside.

R-4463774-1365594558-1093.jpegR-1175960-1319314039.jpeg

The Charles B ‘Lack of Love’ release has multiple different covers in different colours, was this to distinguish different versions or because of printing errors?
I can’t remember that, maybe I liked the idea of the sleeve forever changing, I did used to swap the printing plates about.

RMC Humanity

Double Trouble and Rebel MC (both together and separately) were most prominent on the label after ’88 and both hugely successful. The licensed US releases stopped, and your stretch lettering and snakeskin look with them. Why was this?
Not sure, guess it was because it was way more commercial. Later on I designed all the Rebel and his Tribal Bass label and created very nice roots-based paper cut-out graphics, based on African art.

RMC Richer

Did you work for any other labels around this time (aside from Fiction) or do other work for dance music like flyers, posters and T-shirts we wouldn’t have seen?
On the back of working with Rebel MC and creating the drum and bass rootsy style, Island records snapped me up and later I worked with many companies and designed all the paperback book covers for Bloomsbury publishing.

Bloom1 Bloom2 Bloom3 Bloom4

The rest of your work seems to have been more in the indie rock sector, was Desire a case of being in the right place at the right time?
Just love designing and creating.

Are you aware that some of those early releases are now considered classics of the genre and worth a lot of money?
That’s nice, eh?

Do you have any favourites from this time, both musically and design-wise?
All of them, I had a blast and still am. I guess ‘In The Key of E’, it’s a great compilation too. Roger Dean of Yes fame always loved ‘In The Key of E’ and asked me to send him a signed version of the cover, I was flattered beyond belief as he was the hero of every school kid when I was growing up, so nice!

R-49179-1303153247.jpeg

Andy’s website is here with an extensive gallery of work, you can see him reference the eye from his ‘In The Key of E’ LP cover above at least twice.

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 23.44.12 Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 23.45.05

 

Detuned vs Touched Music

Box+10xDE.10+bag+stickers

The final phase of the De:tuned 10th birthday releases (or is it?) is a collaboration I’ve been hinting at for a while with Touched Music. To mark World Cancer Day 2020, Detuned and Touched have created a limited number of ultimate box sets for fans and collectors. A handmade, laser-etched wooden slipcase to house all 10 releases from the recent Detuned 10th anniversary DE:10 series will be offered with a variety of options including a full set of finished 12″s, a full set of test pressings and black or silver versions of DE:10.10. All options come with a unique tote bag colourway and sticker sheet and they are VERY limited.

10xtest pressings set up Box side on Box side + spines10xDE.10+bag+stickers Bag 1

Desire Records covers

R-140451-1308328712.jpeg

The Desire Records sleeves I mentioned Pete Isaac referencing on the new 45 Live release were a brief series at the end of the 80s when the label switched into the dance music genre, most specifically, acid house. Artists like Adonis, Bam Bam, Corporation of One, Fingers Inc.,Charles B and Dolbie D all got the snake skin and twisted Xerox type treatment. Desire was a subdivision of the indie Fiction label, most known for releasing The Cure. The design for these sleeves is uncredited but I believe them to be the work of Andy Vella, at least he did the ‘In The Key Of E’ LP cover and a lot of work for Fiction.

R-144776-1177843991.jpeg R-241040-1345654713-9447.jpeg R-801960-1308329407.jpeg R-1175960-1319314039.jpeg R-4463774-1365594558-1093.jpeg R-40254-1286272962.jpeg R-40274-1259762419.jpeg R-43506-1356639075-5067.jpeg R-76722-1356639563-9261.jpeg R-120686-1256245123.jpeg R-129727-1512430973-1122.png

Posted in Design, Music, Records. | No Comments | Tags: