Further at the Portico Gallery trailer

Here’s a trailer for what to expect at Further on May 6th at the Portico Gallery

DJ Food & Pete Williams present a new, irregular evening by creating an audio visual space to enjoy. Films, slides, oil projections, food, drink and plenty of seating form the environment to soak up the sights and sounds.

Programme:
7.30 – 8.30: Doors, there will be a record stall with stock picked to compliment the evening by Micheal from the nearby Book & Record Bar and delicious food from local café Pinterdera served alongside the fully licensed Portico bar with beers & ales

8.30 – 10.00: Ghost Box Records in the form of Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Julian House (The Focus Group) will be playing an audio visual DJ set.

10.00 – 10.3: Howlround will perform a live score to ‘A Creak in Time’, a film by Steve McInerney (Psyche´-Tropes), via tape loops and reel to reel machines.

10.30 – 12.00: DJ Food & Pete Williams will open and close the evening with their multi-projection Light & Sound Designs.

Location: Portico Gallery, 23B Knight’s Hill, London, SE27 0HS, UK

Tickets here: (limited cheaper early bird price nearly gone)
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/further-at-the-portico-gallery-tickets-32880361045

Travel:
Train: West Norwood overground station (1 min walk)
Buses: 2, 68, 196, 315, 322, 432, 468, 690

Announcing Further at the Portico Gallery

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Announcing a new venture put together by myself and old friend Pete Williams (Eikon / Out Of The Wood) – a collision of Light, Sound and Design… Further.

An irregular event held in different places, it’s not a club night, it’s not monthly, there’s no dance floor. It has got all the things we love in it though: experimental music and film, food and drink, socialising and a bit of record hunting.
The first event is on May 6th at The Portico Gallery, a hidden treasure in the heart of West Norwood and a venue very dear to us that offers an extremely adaptable space to project, perform and present our guests in.

We have Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Julian House (The Focus Group) from Ghost Box Records playing an audio visual set and Howlround sound tracking Steven McInerney’s short film, ‘A Creak In Time’.
Pete and I will be pulling all manner of projections, films, slides and FX out to illuminate the gallery at the beginning and end of the evening to compliment our DJ sets.

There will be food on sale from local café Pintadera, a fully licensed bar and plenty of seating. Michael from the nearby Book & Record Bar will also have a stall selling hand-picked stock for the event.

Venue: The Portico Gallery, 23 Knights Hill, West Norwood, London, SE27 0HS
Doors: 7.30 and we’re all done by midnight. Let’s go Further…

V. limited early bird tickets are on sale now through Eventbrite

Facebook event page here

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The further adventures of Dan Lish’s Egostrip

DLish_JazzyJYes, it’s that time again, more from Mr Prolific, Dan Lish, in his on-going quest to document the musical heroes and influences that orbit the Hip Hop world for his Egostrip project. (Above) Jazzy Jay, (below) AhmadJamal, Ultramagnetic MCs, Beastie Boys (colour and inks), Robert Glasper’s Dillalude, Gang Starr and a 4Hero / Reinforced label piece for a compilation. As ever, he has prints for sale here or you can see more from the project plus a whole lot more on his website.

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DLish_UltraMagDLish_BeastieBoysDLIsh_BeastiesColourDLish_RobertGlaspersDillaludeDLish_GangstarrDLish_4Hero_Reinforced

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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)

#LoveRecordStores

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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.
https://www.facebook.com/thebookandrecordbar

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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)

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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″ 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/

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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/

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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

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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/

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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 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

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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/

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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.

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Markey Funk – new tape JLM 1913/1921

JLM coverMarkey Funk has finally released his ‘electronic music for silent documentaries’, JLM 1913/1921, which soundtracked silent films of Jerusalem several years ago in his home town. I’ve had these in my possession for around 2 years now (I even played several tracks at the first Further night back in 2016) so I’m delighted he’s finally getting them out there now.
He’s reactivated his Som label, one he uses only for soundtracks and private commissions, to release a very limited cassette edition of the tracks, up for pre-order now.

JLM inside

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Revamped Openmindesign site

With the new year comes the inevitable spring clean and I’ve taken the opportunity to revamp my Openmind design portfolio site. The content is by no means definitive, I’ve taken my favourite designs from the last 25 years and presented just those parts that I feel stand the test of time or represent where my current design tastes lie. Sometimes this might be a label, promo object or back cover but, rather than cram every single thing into a gallery (including some things I dislike) I’ve paired it down to personal favourites.

Many thanks to my Further partner-in-crime, Pete Williams, as one of his many talents is that he’s a super-efficient web designer who can quickly turn wishes into reality with no fuss whilst suggesting all sorts of web-specific things you’d either never thought of or didn’t know exist.

Contact him here if you’d like the benefit of his experience or take a look at his park-studio web portfolio.

Have a look around the new site and contact me if you like what you see and want something similar for your projects…

Openmindesign website

2018 – a vintage year for new music

It’s the end of the year and reading down the list of sounds that have moved me most in 2018 I’m struck by how much new music there is after years of digging a lot of reissues over current styles. This may well be because the well is finally running dry on a lot of the stuff I’m interested in but more likely that the old adage of great music being made in times of great strife is coming home to roost again. There is no order to the lists below, no No.1 or ‘best’ of anything although they are mostly chronological as I write stuff down as I hear or see it.

Special mentions though for the Castles In Space label that continues to go from strength to strength, the Confidence Man album which got a lot of play despite me missing them live twice. Trevor Jackson‘s beautiful design for his ‘System’ CD and cassette, so good I bought it three times, The Advisory Circle‘s ‘Ways Of Seeing’ LP and the Tomorrow Syndicate‘s excellent ‘Future Tense’ album, complete with Nick Taylor artwork.

Supporting both The The (on several UK dates) and the Art Of Noise was the stuff of teenage dreams and the former’s biography by Neil Fraser is a fascinating read. The Karminsky Experience Inc.’s ‘See Inside’ VR single was a genuinely eye-opening experience and having them and Markey Funk down at Further was a treat. Walking into the House of Illustration‘s John Vernon Lord exhibition to be unexpectedly confronted with the original drawing of his 1966 masterpiece, ‘Beneath The Tree’, was the art high of the year and the People’s Vote march in October restored my faith in humanity for an afternoon. Electronic Sound magazine continues to excel and their first LP release, Jack Dangers‘ remix of Terry Riley‘s ‘In C’, was another disc that saw a lot of play this year.

On Dec 23rd I played a lot of my favourite releases of 2018 on WNBC‘s Out Of The Wood show which you can hear below, complete with mic. fluffs and wrong track listings.

As we go into 2019 I’m dreading the first three months, leading up to the Br*x*t deadline, hoping against hope for a last minute chance to reconsider but bracing for a fallout post 29/03/19 that could see chaos come to the UK. I hope that I’m writing a more positive missive this time next year, if not then at least the music will only get better and better…

Music 2Music / chat:
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – See Inside 7″ (Patterns of Behaviour)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup LP (Flightless)
Beautify Junkyards – The Invisible Worlds of LP (Ghost Box)
Basil Kirchin – I Start Counting LP (Trunk)
Bigmouth podcast (Audioboom)
The Turbans – Baba Ganooz 7″ (Mona Tone/Delights)
Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Hormone Lemonade LP (Duophonic)
The Advisory Circle – Ways Of Seeing LP (Ghost Box)
Janelle Monae – Make Me Feel (single) (Wondaland)
Confidence Man – Confident Music For Confident People LP (Heavenly)
Concretism – For Concrete & Country LP (Castles In Space)
Trevor Jackson – System CD (Pre_)
Tomorrow Syndicate – Future Tense LP (Polytechnic Youth)
Chaka Khan – Like Sugar (single) (Dairy)
Jonny Trunk – OST show (Resonance FM)
Regal Worm – Pig Views / Use And Ornament (Uranium Club)
Meat Beat Manifesto vs Terry Riley – In C (Electronic Sound)
Patrick R. Park – Library Sounds LP (Castles In Space)
David Shire – The Conversation LP (Trunk)
Amgala Temple – Invisible Airships LP (Pekula)
Adam Buxton podcast
Type 303 – The New Ravelution EP (Insult To Injury)
Luke Vibert – 165 303 – from the Gradients vol.2 LP (Astrophonica)
Luke Vibert presents Garave vol.1 LP (Hypercolour)
Kosmischer Laufer – Vol.4 LP (UCR)

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Packaging / design:
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – See Inside VR glasses (Patterns of Behaviour)
Chop – CDL 10″ (Drumetrics)
Concretism – For Concrete & Country LP (2nd edition) (Castles In Space)
Trevor Jackson – System 1st & 2nd edition CD + Cassette (Pre_)
Sculpture – Nearest Neighbour Cassette & comic (Tapebox)
Tomorrow Syndicate – Future Tense Regular + Ltd Ed. LP (Polytechnic Youth)
Spider Jazz – splatter vinyl edition LP (Trunk)
Spun Out Of Control vinyl + cassettes
Aver – River of Ice Cream 7″ promo flexi disc
Listening Centre 5″ lathe cut picture disc (Polytechnic Youth)

Packaging design

Books/Comics:
VS – Ivan Brandon / Eric Ribic (Image)
A Year In The Country ‘Wandering Through Spectral Fields’ – Stephen Prince
The Adventures of Jodelle – Guy Peellhaert (Fantagraphics)
Batman – White Knight  – Sean Murphy (DC)
Orla Kiely – A Life In Pattern (Octopus Books)
Electronic Sound magazine
Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music – David Hollander (Anthology Editions)
House Industries – The Process Is The Inspiration (Watson-Guptill Publications)
Sculpture – Nearest Neighbour comic (Tapebox)
Proxima Centuri – Farel Dalrymple (Image)
Doomsday Clock – Geoff Johns / Gary Frank (DC)
Saga – Brian K. Vaughn / Fiona Staples (Image)
Long Shadows, High Hopes – Neil Fraser (Omnibus Press)
Judge Dredd – The Small House (Rob Williams & Henry Flint) (2000AD/Rebellion)
Lawless  – Dan Abnett / Phil Winslade (Judge Dredd Megazine/Rebellion)
Pete Fowler – Decades of Lead (Unbound)
Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell (Profile books)

Books + comics

Film/TV:
Inside No.9 series 4 + Halloween special
The Inertia Variations documentary
Flowers series 2
Avengers: Infinity War
Yellow Submarine 50th anniversary remaster
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – See Inside VR + packaging
Bobby Gillespie on Newsnight
The Clock – Christian Marclay, Tate Modern
Bros: After The Screaming Stops (BBC)

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Events / Gigs:
Art of Noise, British Library
‘O Is For Orange’ premiere Archspace, London
The The, Albert Hall, The Troxy, London, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
The Crystal Palace Festival afterparty @ The Paxton Pub, Gypsy Hill, London – one of those gigs where every track flows and lands just right.
The Indie Label Market, Spitalfields, London
The People’s Vote march in October
Jane Weaver at EArtH, London
The Soundcarriers, Gloria and Strange Majick @ The Victoria, London
Dirty Fan Male at the Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club, London

Gigs

Exhibitions:
Sister Corita Kent – Ditchling Art & Craft Museum
Orla Kiely – Fashion & Textile Museum, London
Aphex Twin posters – Elephant & Castle underground, London
The Shape of Light, Tate Modern, London
May The Toys Be With You – New Walk Museum, Leicester
John Vernon Lord – The House of Illustration, London
Peanuts – Somerset House, London
Daniel Mullen – Lisa Norris Gallery, London

Exhibitions 2018

“Another year over and what have I done?”
Designed Peshay‘s ‘Reflections’ LP for the De:Tuned label
Created a 3 minute spoken word collage for Penguin/Random House‘s Voices event at the London Palladium on World Book Day
Supported the Art Of Noise at The British Library
DJed multiple times at Secret Cinema presents Blade Runner
Opened for The The at several of their UK gigs including the Royal Albert Hall, Brixton Academy, Glasgow Barrowlands and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Further at the Portico Gallery with Pete Williams, Markey Funk and the Karminsky Experience Inc.
Designed a nine disc set for De:tuned‘s forthcoming 10th anniversary releases
Mixes for Solid Steel, 45 Live, Brokers, Rat Records, Out Of The Wood, Diggers Dozen and radio show appearances for Resonance and Soho Radio
Overhauled my Openmindesign.uk website

DJ Food gigs

RIP: France Gall, Ken Dodd, Stephen Hawking, Matt Dike, Lovebug Starski, Jabo Starks, Tom Wolfe, Aretha Franklin, Orla Kiely shops, Carlos Ezquerra, Paul Allen, Stan ‘The Man’ Lee, HMV, June Whitfield.

Looking forward to: The Delaware Road 2019, Keith Haring retrospective at Tate Liverpool, the Wobbly Sounds book, Further at the Ace Hotel, Sister Corita Kent at the House of Illustration, De:tuned‘s monthly 10th anniversary 12″s, Avengers: Endgame

Happy New Year!

Rammellzee show at Laz Inc. London

Ramm portrait

So, there’s a Rammellzee exhibition running right now in the middle of London at LazInc. until 10th November. Lots of 80’s and early 90s canvases from private collections, the likes of which have never been seen in the U.K. Overall (much like Basquiat) there’s never a full piece which I truly love but I love what Ramm stood for and all the stuff he strung together to make his world. Little details spring out and there were a couple of pieces with with his line drawings in that were nice (see further down).

Really though I went for the opportunity to actually see this stuff in the flesh, to see a largely hidden part of the more abstract end of graffiti that’s not really been documented. You can see him visually searching for things, he’s trying all sorts, even painting on a carpet at one point, and to see that was enough. Sadly no battle suits or letter racers but this is a pretty decent collection for free and I’m not holding my breath for the Red Bull Arts New York exhibition to come to these shores any time soon.
LazInc. Sackville, 29 Sackville Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 3DX

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Markey Funk DJ sets in London, Sept 2018

Further 15th Sept-21WarmGlowOur friend Markey Funk stopped off with us for a few days mid September in the middle of his annual Delights tour and played three sets in London – two of which were recorded and posted here for your perusal. His opening set at Further will have to remain in the the memory of those who were there but the next day he graced the decks at the Book & Record Bar for WNBC‘s Out Of The Wood radio show. Made up of tunes from his set vs tunes he’d picked up along the way, it’s 2 hours of treats and he left a bunch of his Delights releases with the shop if you want to pick them up in London.

Markey@Spiritland

After a quick dig through the shop and some late lunch we headed to Kings Cross and Spiritland for a 4.5 hr set stretching into the evening. Monday saw us outside Rat Records in Camberwell at opening time and then back off to West Norwood for a proper dig at the BARB, opened specially for Markey on Michael’s day off.

Markey@RatRecords
After lunch it was into Soho for a look in Reckless and coffee with Shindig magazine’s Paul Osborne and then back to mine for a breather after the whirlwind three days. It was great to catch up, show him some London spots and play host, our whole reason for doing Further that weekend centered around the fact that Markey was coming to the UK and looking for a London gig.

Splice festival 2018

SPLICE 2018 /// FESTIVAL TRAILER /// from Splice Festival on Vimeo.

An incredible line-up of AV performances to explore, workshops to participate in, films and talks to expand your knowledge, Splice Festival 2018 is back for a third time.

Tickets are selling fast, there’s just a handful of discounted joint tickets remaining for Splice Festival Friday and Splice Festival Saturday. http://www.splicefestival.com/tickets/

The Sunday features a very special family friendly performance from Graeme Miller : Moomins and the Comet Live Re-score and a brilliant hands on workshop for the yung’uns from School of Noise : Childrens AV workshop: http://www.splicefestival.com/sunday-13th-may-kids-family/

There’s an additional venue on Sunday at Stour Space which looks just as good with Howlround reprising their live soundtrack to ‘A Creak In Time’ from last year’s premiere at Further plus Mixmaster Morris DJing, and some amazing – looking film from iloobia and Graham Dunning‘s mechanical techno project.

They have limited space available for the very popular workshops so get ’em now to avoid being disappointed.
http://www.splicefestival.com/splice/2018/workshops/

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A Year In The Country – Wandering Through Spectral Fields book

01-AYITC book-front coverA Year In The Country, Stephen Prince‘s website dedicated to cataloguing, compiling and unearthing all things Hauntological, Radiophonic, Wyrd and uniquely British, is releasing a book of writings from the first three years of it’s output. Collected, revised and revisited, alongside some new writing, ‘Wandering Through Spectral Fields’ – subtitled ‘Journeys in Otherly Pastoralism, The Further Reaches of Folk and the Parallel World of Hauntology’ is now available to read as an e-Book via Am*z*n (if you must) or for pre-order for a print release on April 10th.

Contents include: (deep breath) Hauntology, Acid Folk, Folk Horror, Ghost Box Records, The Wicker Man, Peter Strickland, Finders Keepers, Vashti Bunyan, Broadcast, Children Of The Stones, psychedelic cinema, The Owl Service, Kate Bush, The Stone Tape Theory, The Folklore Tapes, Jane Weaver, Howlround, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and lots, lots more. I’d say that’s more than enough reasons to order a copy right there and that it’s the first book of it’s kind to catalogue all these disparate strands, many of which cross over time and space to influence one another.

A-Year-In-The-Country-Wandering-Through-Spectral-Fields-book-Stephen-Prince-back-cover-published-version

It’s also available via their Bandcamp and you can peruse the, now extensive, release catalogue that’s sprung from the site, even if the monochrome nature of all their releases makes it increasingly harder to discern one from the other. The label is a completist’s joy/nightmare being that they make night/day or dawn/dusk editions of each release but as a singular vision it’s a beautiful set of objects when seen en mass.

A full list of the contents and order links is available here – definitely on my reading list

 

Elzo Durt

couv-livre-elzoThrough an odd set of web links I chanced upon the work of Elzo Durt today, his modern take on collage and psychedelia catching my eye and making me investigate further. This Brussels-based artist works with the Recyclart people (I’ve played for them a couple of times and maybe, unknowingly, seen his work) and runs a record label too. Find out and see more of his work at www.elzodurt.com

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William Stout bootleg covers

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A second reading of Clinton Heylin‘s excellent ‘Bootleg: The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry book led me to these covers and I remember seeing a few at record fairs over the years so decided to investigate and post a collection of the best here. As I dug even further into their history it became apparent that one artist was responsible for almost all of them – William Stout – and mostly for one label too.

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I was aware of his work from several different underground comix in my collection but didn’t realise how versatile he was as an artist, able to switch styles to suit different subject matter, hence why I thought the covers were works by different artists. For instance, who would associate the Rolling Stones style above with the Spicy Beatles one below? But they’re from the same hand. One of Stout’s visual calling cards on the bootlegs was to turn some of the artists he was illustrating into pigs, to tie them to the pig logo of the label (which he later redesigned as a smoking, bespectacled pig which became the logo for a breakaway label).

Beatles SpicySongs bob-dylanmelbourne-australia-1966-jethroTull JeffBeckFast LedZepCalifornia LennonOnoVirginThreeBack McCartneyWingsGreatDane R_SAllMeatMusic R-S-BrightLights R-S-CopsnRobbers

Originally working almost exclusively for the Trademark of Quality company originated by ‘Dub’ and ‘Ken’ out of LA in the early 70s, he gained a wide audience through his sleeve art and went on to illustrate many more, sometimes for legitimate releases by the very artists his images were covering the first time round. Later he moved into film posters and concept art and still works today.

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His website has a fascinating three-part interview about these times, extensively illustrated and peppered with personal photos of many great musicians from back in the day, taken backstage at numerous gigs. His comments about the reality of pre-stadium rock gigs back then are especially illuminating.

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And on my trawl I found a few, later examples that aren’t by William but are worthy of inclusion …

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7Up – the UnCola posters

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Browsing eBay over the Xmas holiday, a friend came across a psychedelic Submarine poster not a million miles away from Heinz Edlemann’s classic Yellow variant, created for The Beatles‘ film of the same name. In the same brightly-coloured, cartoonish style of the late 60s and early 70s – much popularised by artists like Edelmann, Milton Glaser, Nicole Claveloux and Peter Max – this sub was in fact green and advertising the drink, 7Up – billing itself as ‘The UnCola’. What was remarkable about this eBay listing though was that it was for an original 60″x36″ poster, not the sort of thing that turns up every day.

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Indeed, further investigation revealed that the seller, Dallas resident, Robert Trent, is the foremost collector of this era of 7Up advertising and was selling off duplicates from his collection. Even crazier was that he was also selling huge billboard versions of some of the designs, some as an un-pasted set of 12 panels over 12 meters in length. Over the course of many entries he had compiled a huge resource of information, links and imagery, all expertly checked and presented without fuss and in meticulous detail. These kind of posters don’t come up every day and he has the whole history up there to give context to the images. After seeking his permission I hereby reproduce some of the imagery and details before it’s lost.

From Robert’s listing: “‘Wet Un Wild (green submarine, aka yellow submarine) 60” x 36” horizontal poster by Ed George

Note:  This is made of thick quality poster paper, not dimpled yellow plastic tablecloth material (modern-day Tyvek construction wrap vapor barrier or “paper dress” nylon material) like the other “Wet Un Wild” posters occasionally offered on eBay. 

This one is in excellent, but not perfect condition. This illustration is highly sought after and may be the holy grail of all 7Up UnCola poster images. Ed George illustrated this in 1969, (he) held multiple posts in-house at the J. Walter Thompson [advertising] Co. in Chicago (JWT) over many years.”

Below: 28 of the billboards in Robert’s collection as of writing…7Up UnCola Virtual Billboard Museum (28) 3x10_011518_2

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From Robert’s listing: “Most of these images actually graced highway billboards and dorm rooms. They were so popular that the Seven Up Company offered them for sale – few survived. The first batch of billboard sized images were up nationwide when colorful VW vans full of hippies drove to the Woodstock Festival in August of 1969. A “Fallpaper Poster Offer” on the bottom of page 8 of the October 5, 1969 Chicago Tribune Sunday Comics offered a set of (4) 34″x21″ reproductions of their famous billboards seen earlier in the year for, read it and weep – ONE DOLLAR TOTAL (plus 6 bottle cap liners). That offer expired on 12/31/69. The sizes also ranged from small Size “D” posters to giant Size “A” 21’x10′ billboards. These are all ORIGINAL vintage posters – NOT modern giclee photo reproductions.”

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From Robert’s listing: ‘The Light Shining Over The Dark’  This is a vintage 33″ x 20″ horizontal poster that is in excellent condition and VERY RARE.  I’m only aware of 2 or 3 other copies, some of which have passed through my hands. The artist’s signature can be seen at the right center in the bottom of the girl’s white dress. 

The artist was Pat Dypold who illustrated this by 1973 as a free-lance artist.  She did the bulk of the other outdoor ads (billboards) for the J. Walter Thompson [advertising] Company of Chicago (JWT) that orchestrated the famous UnCola ad campaign from about 1968 through 1975.”

 

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From Robert’s listing: “‘See The Light’ (psychedelic bicycle) 60″ x 36″ horizontal poster by the late Tom Kamifuji (1922-2015) (original concept by Bill Bosworth)

“Hiroyuki “Tom” Kamifuji ran a design studio in San Francisco. He was an illustrator, poster designer, typographer, art director and designer. Yet, for all his legacy of brightly-colored works, there is very little biographical information available. Perhaps his most universal success was the inspiration for the rainbow swath of color within the Apple Computers apple. The concept for this image came from Bill Bosworth who worked in-house at the J. Walter Thompson [advertising] Co. in Chicago (JWT) over many years.  However, the actual finished artwork was done by California artist Tom Kamifuji. There is no signature on this “Size B” poster, but the larger “Size A” 21’x10′ “See The light” billboard in my possession has Tom Kamifui’s signature.”

7UPUncanny

From Robert’s listing:‘UnCannny In Cans’ This is a vintage 33 3/4″ x 20 3/4″ poster that is in excellent, near mint condition. This is an authentic, traceable representation of late ’60s, early 1970’s pop art advertising. The artist was John Alcorn who illustrated this in 1969 as a free-lance artist. His signature is in the bottom middle brown band. At the age of 24 Alcorn was the 4th person to join Push Pin Studios which was the place to be in the graphics community at the time.

The Seven Up Co. sold 4 different sizes of most images to the general public. BTW – My collection also includes one of the “UnCanny In Cans” Size “A” billboards plus a 60″ x 36″ Size B” version. The poster for sale here is a 34″x21″ Size “C”.

John did a number of well known illustration advertisements in the prior years for Pepsi and Campbell’s Soup and his career flourished for many more years. These outdoor ads (billboards) were commissioned by the J. Walter Thompson [advertising] Company of Chicago (JWT) that orchestrated the famous UnCola ad campaign from about 1968 through 1975. Most of the 53+ extremely colorful billboard & poster images were illustrated by invited outside freelance artists who were allowed to sign their names on the originals if desired – not all did. Only a few images were produced in-house, and never with the artist’s name on them. JWT wisely chose to invite only up and coming artists and not well known graphic stars so as not to let the notoriety overshadow the product itself.

Many of the artists have gone on to great fame in the graphics community Milton Glaser (I [heart] NY logo) (Mad Men final Season 7 poster; co-founder of Push Pin Studios), Seymour Chwast (co-founder of Push Pin Studios) with Isadore Seltzer, John Alcorn (Push Pin Studios), Kim Whitesides, Barry Zaid, Jacqui Morgan, Simms Taback (1st Happy Meal Box in Smithsonian & Caldecott Honor for children’s books), Skip Williamson, Robert Abel (Tron movie), Charlie White III (permanent collection at MOMA), John Craig, Ray Lyle, Heather Cooper, Nancy Martell, Roger Chouinard, Pat Dypold, Bob Taylor, Tom Kamifuj, Bill Bosworth, Ed George, Joanne _ and probably several others.

The Seven Up Company executives chose rough “comps” without the artist’s names attached to the submissions. If 1 or more sketches were chosen, the artist would eventually earn up to $2,000 per completed piece. I’ve spoken with some of the retired ad execs from JWT and they reported that this was a fantastic assignment with a dream client that encouraged bold moves. These Midwest Mad Men boosted sales by anywhere from 30-60% under their highly creative reign from 1968 until the mid-seventies.”

7UP The YouthFare 7UPAirship

From Robert’s listing: Bob Taylor was an art director at the famed J Walter Thompson [advertising] Company based in Chicago – the Midwest Mad Men.  An American Contemporary Graphics Exhibit booklet from about 1972 featured Bob and a different “cartoony” billboard image of his on pages 9-10.  Bob was one of the driving forces behind “The UnCola” ad campaign from the beginning in 1968 until the end in the middle 1970’s. Bob also illustrated “The Youth Fare” in a similar “cartoony” style depicting a green bottle of 7Up as a bi-plane.

This is the 21’x10′ Size “A” billboard version of this blimp image by Bob Taylor available as Design #10 for $7.00 in the billboard and poster offer that expired on 5/31/72.  A small 21″x11″ poster was available for FREE if you responded to the poster offer that expired on 12/31/70.  Another folding billboard and poster offer that expired on 5/31/72 offered this billboard as Design #12 for $8.50.

As of today, I only know of one other copy besides the 2 billboards in my possession. This piece of advertising history is in NEAR MINT condition and ready for display. To get a sense of scale, a standard sized vehicle would not cover up the blimp itself if laid out flat on a driveway.”

7UP free poster offer

The American Contemporary Graphics Exhibit book laid out profiles of some of the artists along with their contributions and the aim of the campaign.
7UP3xposters7UP2xposters 7UPbookBobTaylor 7UPbookCharlesWhiteIII 7UPbookJohnAlcorn 7UPbookKimWhitesides 7UPbookMiltonGlaser

From Robert’s listing: Milton Glaser (b. 6/26/29) This image was created during his Push Pin Studios era which is the firm he co-founded with Seymour Chwast.  It would be another 6 years before he created the most copied “I [heart] NY” logo on the planet in 1977. Scans from 2 different booklets from about 1971 independently attribute this work to Milton Glaser.  Here are his own words about the concept for the image: 

“Well, basically the idea of being ‘turned on’ by 7Up was buried somewhere in my consciousness, and I transferred that feeling into a visual pun.  The word ‘can’ was my focal point.  To make something extraordinary happen out of this particular can seemed like the right attitude to have at the time.  Graphically, it’s an interphasing of two phenomena – electricity and 7Up”. 

My extensive collection includes the ONLY 2 KNOWN COPIES IN ANY SIZE of this particular image. The originals are 21’x10′ Size “A” billboards acquired from someone in the Out Of Home (OOH) [billboard] business that set these aside in the early 1970’s thinking that they might be something special.  They are.  Even world famous graphics guru Milton Glaser doesn’t have any copies in his vast collection per his archivist.  I’ve never seen ANY other copies in ANY other size.  I also collect 7Up UnCola “poster offers” but I’ve also never found any offering this image to the general public.  Most of my other billboards were offered to the general public for prices between $3.50 and $8.50.  For some reason, this one and a few others were not made available although a few like this one were squirreled away. “

 

7UPbookPatDypold

Pat Dypold seems to be the unsung heroine of the piece, contributing many illustrations in various styles but she’s not a name I’m familiar with. Robert had a class reunion and hung several of the billboards from the balcony at the venue they held it at, you get a sense of scale with these photos plus some close up details.

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From Robert’s listing: “Giant 21′ x 10′ 7Up UnCola original unused vintage paper billboard illustrated in 1971 by Kim Whitesides. An American Contemporary Graphics Exhibit booklet from about 1972 featured Kim Whitesides and this image on pages 11-12.  He did at least 3 other billboard images for The UnCola ad campaign, 2 of which were issued in billboard and/or poster formats.

The billboard itself consists of 12 thick paper panels, each 43″ wide x 59″ tall.  There’s about a 1″ white margin on the top and right edges of each panel so it can be installed in an overlapping “rainlap” pattern designed to shed water like shingles on a roof (see last image). These were only meant to last outdoors for 30-60 days, and then the next billboard would be pasted over the top – destroying the paper underneath.  The only way any of these survived for nearly 5 decades was for them to be set aside and not used as intended.  This is one of the rare examples of that being done.  Although rare, I have 3 copies of this billboard image in my collection.  All 210 square feet of my copy has been painstakingly reinforced with acid-free scrapbooking tape on the rear side, but only as needed to stabilize small rips, week fold lines and other minor imperfections.  Any small holes have been patched with matching paper from donor panels from the same era and are barely noticeable up close.  In places, colored pencils or markers have been used to refresh missing ink.”

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There are examples of many order forms including this fold up mail out, such great thinking going into something so ordinary.
7UPOffer47UPorder form27UPButterflypasteupinstructions 7UPfallpaper7UPorder form7UPposter selection
There are two very good articles / interviews with Robert on the web: one with Collector’s Weekly
and one with the ever-reliable Dangerous Minds so head there if you want more info. You can follow Robert on Instagram, view his whole collection on Flickr or peruse his eBay entries for yourself. Masny thanks to Robert for letting me repost these pictures and info.

2017: WTF was going on?

DJ Food Bill brief

The above photo was my brief from Bill Drummond for the set I was to play at the JAM‘s Welcome To The Dark Ages event in Liverpool. I stuck it above my mixer as I was preparing the set, it’s something to keep in mind as we go forward into 2018. I spent most of the year in limbo, waiting in a chain for a property to come through. When it finally did in mid September, I pretty much ate, drank and slept it in between jobs as it needed a lot of work doing, hence no posts for the past two odd months. I’m in now and can see the wood for the trees but it did mean I largely dipped out of social media for the latter quarter of the year (probably not a bad thing).

Seeing as 2016 was such a shitter, in 2017 I wrote down all the good things that happened as the year progressed:

Events 2017

Got implicated in the KLF/JAMMs/K2 comeback media scrum because of an innocent quote in my 2016 round up
Started Further with Pete Williams – a multimedia music & projection night playing non-dancefloor sounds with analogue-based visuals plus food and a record stall – and founded a studio/ HQ in S. London
Pete Isaac (45 Live) found me a perfect copy of a long time wants list staple, Bam Bam’s ‘Where’s Your Child’ on 7″ for free
Got asked to play as Further at The Orb‘s ambient evening at the Royal Festival Hall in April and lit up the 5th floor balcony with 20 projectors
Mixed a Death Waltz Originals CD which was given away free at Halloween with Mondo/DW orders
Appeared on the Big Mouth podcast and played at the opening of Orbital Comics‘ exhibition, both celebrating 40 years of 2000AD
Found a set of Thomas ‘Eclipse’ plates, cups and saucers for a bargain price from an eBay seller
Pete managed to find a broken 6k projector for free and fixed it for £50
My kids got into the secondary school we wanted them to go to and aced it in their first term
The first Further event at the Portico Gallery was sold out and a great success with Ghost Box and Howlround as guests
Played the first Big Fish Little Fish in Athens which promptly sold out
Played three different street food festivals in the summer, love those sort of gigs, more please
Found a huge Barbara Brown dinner service in the charity for £15 – find of the year
Played at The Delaware Road performance in July inside a nuclear bunker with a host of electronic artists – a very special night

Further 2017

Asked to play the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu happening in Liverpool, which turned out to be one of the events of the year – who’d have thought it? A career highlight that saw me playing many of the tracks they’d sampled in their career alongside acid house classics and ending at 3am with a version of ‘In The Ghetto’.
Further went to Spiritland and we supported The Heliocentrics as part of the SYNthesis festival, both very special occasions even though we worked our balls off to set them up
The return of The The in musical, film and live capacity
Scoring a long time wants list LP – Yves Hayat‘s ‘Conversations Between The East & The West’ – direct from the archive of the composer himself and meeting him in London to receive the record.
Blade Runner 2049 was actually amazing and a worthy follow up to the original
The second major Further gig at the Portico Gallery featured Simon James playing a Buchla set to bespoke visuals we made and Sculpture slaying the place with their AV act.
Asked to support the Art of Noise at the British Library next March
Further featured twice in Electronic Sound magazine and I had an opening spread printed of my end of night image of the funeral pyre from the JAMs event in Liverpool
Taking my boys to the Colourscape on Clapham Common
Finally moved in and moved on
Asked to play a very special run of shows in 2018 that I’ll reveal soon…

Music 2017

Music:
OK, so 2017 was the year of the Lizard for me, I listened to more hours of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s music than any other band, but considering they released 5 albums this year alone it ‘s not surprising. Each album was different and they steadily got better with each release as the year progressed (disclaimer: I can’t speak for album no. 5 ‘Gumboot Soup’ as it came out today but ‘Polygondwanaland is probably my album of the year)
Brian Eno – Reflection (Warp)
Cavern of Anti-Matter – Blood Drums (reissue) (Duophonic)
Clocolan – Nothing Left To Abandon (Enpeg)
Run The Jewels – RTJ3 (Mass Appeal)
Revbjelde – Revbjelde (Buried Treasure)
Thundercat – Them Changes (Brainfeeder)
Jamiroquai – Automaton (the single)
The Dandelion Set – A Thousand Strands (Buried Treasure) (technically 2016 but copies got held up by distribution and it was more widely available in 2017)
The Heliocentrics – A World Of Masks (Soundway)
The Heliocentrics – The Sunshine Makers (Soundway)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana (and still playing the hell out of Nonagon Infinity and It’s In My Mind Fuzz)
Klaus Weiss – Time Signals (reissue) (Trunk)
Vanishing Twin – Dream By Numbers EP (Soundway)
The Allergies – Entitled To That (Jalapeno)
Jane Weaver – Modern Kosmology (Fire Records)
Ulrich Schnauss & Jonas Munk – Passage (Azure Vista Records)
Ilia Gorovitz – Turmoil/Simmering With No End (Rassh Records)
John Brooks – Un Autre Directions (Clay Pipe Music)
King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard – Murder of the Universe (Flightless)
Markey Funk – Witch Doctor / The Brew (Delights)
Nevermen – Mr Minute (Boards of Canada remix) (Lex)
The The – Radio Cineola Trilogy (Lazarus)
Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch – Blade Runner 2049 OST
King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard – Sketches of Brunswick East (Flightless)
King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard – Polygondwanaland (Flightless)

Exhibitions 2017

Exhibitions:
Future Shock – 40 Years of 2000AD – Cartoon Museum (London) / Paolozzi at the Whitechapel Gallery (London), Will Barras at Sector 25 (London) / Barbara Brown and Lucienne Day at the Whitworth Gallery (Manchester) / Franco Grignani at Estorick Collection of Italian Art (London), We Are Watching: Oz Magazine – Chelsea Art Space (London) / Delta – Mima Museums (Brussels) / Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at the V&A (London), British Underground Press of the 60s at the A22 Gallery (London) / Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? – Wellcome Collection (London) / Snub 23 at the Boz Boz Gallery (Brighton)

Books / Comics:
Out Of Time – Miranda Sawyer / Ian Helliwell – Tape Leaders (Sound On Sound) Book + CD / British Underground Press of the 60s (Rocket 88) / The Process Is The Inspiration – House Industries / B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth (Dark Horse) / Barbarella (Dynamite) / Swifty – FunkyTypo Graphix (Gamma Proforma) / Boris Tellegen – 86/97 – a black book (A Paper Book) / Batman: White Knight (DC)

RIP: Jaki Liebezeit, David Axelrod, Alan Aldridge, Dick Bruna, Clyde Stubblefield, Larry Coryell, Toshio Nakanishi, Chuck Berry, Skip Williamson, Jay Lynch, Mika Vainio, Adam West, Brian Cant, Pierre Henry, Anne-Marie Bergeron, Glen Campbell, Bruce Forsyth, Holger Czukay, Virgil Howe, Sean Hughes, Christine Keeler, Keith Chegwin, Dennis Dragon, Jim Baikie

DJ Food vs Death Waltz Originals mix CD

DWOvsDJFoodCDHi there, sorry for the lack of posts recently, the home renovation continues as does the 2 week (!) half term my kids have been bestowed with and many other things like preparation for the next Further at the Portico Gallery on Nov 18th. The mix that I made of material both released and unreleased from the Death Waltz Originals label run by Spencer Hickman has materialised as a free CD available with all orders of Death Waltz or Mondo releases while stocks last. It should also be available at selected independent record shops too and you can also listen to it here via Soundcloud. The spoken word throughout is from a private tape where my friend Steve Cook is interviewed by John Tomlinson about experiences he and his family experienced growing up in a haunted house.

Welcome To The Dark Ages Pt.4 – Friday: Toxteth Day of the Dead and MuMufication

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Friday – the day of The Great Pull North, the Day of MuMufication, the Graduation Ball and many other things. At 2pm I was to be at The Florrie, a community centre / flourishing arts lab in the heart of Toxteth to complete my task as ‘Skull Painter’. Trying to second guess what I’d be doing all week I’d run through several scenarios: they had built a huge skull effigy that needed to be decorated? Badger Kull needed a backdrop painting? The JAMs had 400 Toxteth Day of the Dead masks that we would wear that needed customising? I was almost correct with the last one, not masks though, faces – I and 22 others had to face paint skulls onto the 400 and we set to work transforming many friend’s and stranger’s faces alike.

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The Ice Kream Van was parked up outside, now with looped rope attached to the front and graffiti’d Dalek on wheels* behind – so that’s what we were going to pull North then, but what fate lay at the other end? (*Update: see comments below for Dalek origin)

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At 5pm we were ushered upstairs to a church-like auditorium with seating arranged either side, three vertical video screens framed by an arch above the stage at the far end. A ‘hymn book’ was on each seat which contained the words to ‘Justified & Ancient’ inside but on a quick scan some of the words had been changed. “They called me up in Sheffield town, they said ‘Jarvis, stand by The JAMs'” – surely not? Was Jarvis Cocker going to join the JAMs? The room fell silent and all phones were ordered to be turned off (hence no photos for this part), this didn’t deter some people as you may well have seen by now on the web but it did mean that one of the highlights of the week was captured at least in part.

We were treated to the 23 minute version of the film ‘2023’, a triptych of dark, menacing imagery and iconography that was beautiful, disturbing, baffling, unnerving and loaded with symbolism, the soundtrack mostly ambient industrial sounds and radio noise finishing with Nilsson‘s ‘Everybody’s Talking ‘Bout Me’ over the end credits.
I’ve yet to read the book so most of the imagery has little context at the moment but I noticed revolving grapefruit and Yoko Ono as the Starbucks logo (already seen on some of the merch and the free paper cups when you bought drinks at the Dead Perch). These are both surely a reference to Yoko’s book ‘Grapefruit’ and could allude to the ‘Grapefruit Are Not The Only Bombs’ book we all contributed to the day before, itself an allusion to Jeanette Winterson‘sOranges Are Not The Only Fruit’ maybe? The Shard blazed, black pyramids turned above seas and rolling corn fields, stormy skies filled with black clouds, a fox padded the London streets and four bullets from North, South, East and West collided in slow motion in the final scene.

What followed was a long presentation / sales pitch by ‘green undertakers’ Claire and Rupert Callender – a very dark, depressing, occasionally humorous but deadly serious meditation of death that served to bring the mood down to rock bottom. The assertion was not to be afraid but that we were already dead, that The JAMs were now in business with them as undertakers to the underworld and we were all invited to take part in ‘MuMufication’. In a nutshell this meant that they had engineered their own house bricks (stamped with the words ‘Mu Mu’) which each participant could have part of their ashes poured into when they died. These bricks would be collected annually on November 23rd which was now designated ‘Toxteth Day of the Dead’ and a ‘People’s Pyramid’ would be built, year on year, until it was 23 feet high. The pyramid will be situated in Toxteth (site yet to be determined) and it will take 34,592 bricks to build it. Participants who sign up pay £99 and get a brick plus Certificate of MuMufication – this is all real, anyone can do it, check out www.mumufication.com for more info. IMG_5118

The ‘MuMufication’ sticker I’d snapped a few days earlier on the side of the Ice Kream Van suddenly made sense, and the 99 Mu Mu Bricks, the signs had been there all along. This was the one point where the internet jokes that we’d all be committing some Jim Jones-style suicide pact by the end of things started to gain some credence and I started to wonder if there was anything in the face paint we’d just all applied. I pity anyone in the crowd who had recently lost a loved one or was preparing for a funeral. It was wrist-slashingly sombre.

But Lo! Suddenly a procession sweeps into the room, standard-bearers holding a Toxteth Day of the Dead banner, monks in Mu Mu gowns, coffin-bearers carrying two no-frills bare wood coffins, gravediggers, I also remember traffic cones worn on heads, a choir, there were more but it’s all a but of a blur. Also a blue robed, hooded figure in their midst, face concealed, who mounted the stage behind the congregation and started to speak; ‘They’re Justified, and they’re Ancient, and they drive an ice cream van’ in a soft northern brogue that could only belong to Jarvis Cocker. As the choir mournfully intoned the lyrics the cloak was pulled back to reveal the man himself, brilliantly hamming it up for all his worth in a slow, understated gospel version of their 1991 hit. The videos on the web don’t do it justice without the proceeding events described above, the song lifting the mood higher and higher as the incredulous crowd joined in with the end chant of ‘All Bound For Mu Mu Land’ before exiting the hall in a procession that followed Jarvis, the choir and all performers from the stage and out into the street.

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Outside the crowd spilled onto the road and a small gaggle of locals had gathered to watch, Gimpo quickly got the first team to man the ropes of the ice cream van and we were underway on the three mile pull North to The Invisible Wind Factory. Heading the procession were a bagpipe and drummer duo, standard bearers, the pullers, the van with Drummond & Cauty inside, the choir, assorted Mu in robes and sacks and then the rest of us spilling out on both sides and behind. Ragwort was thrown from shopping carts at the front and then collected by more carts at the back and run up to the front again.

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The police turned up within half an hour to escort us along the busy riverside road and contain traffic, at one point trying to stop the procession but failing – did they have a permit to march? FUUK knows.
Halfway along the route a car parked up and helpers proceeded to throw yellow kagools out to the marchers, emblazoned with the pyramid blaster and JAMs logos and the legend ‘Delivering Sustainable Death’. The sea of yellow with black and white skull masks moved forward at a brisk pace…

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Finally we reached a waste ground, opposite the Invisible Wind Factory, the sunset earlier was a blazing orange sky which would have framed the occasion all the better had we arrived an hour before. A wooden pyramid / pyre was erected in the centre of a circle and the wooden coffins in the back of the Ice Kream Van (I did mention those didn’t I?) were ceremoniously loaded into it. Bill and Jimmy, Mu Mu horns now on their heads, wasted no time, lit long torches and quickly set fire to the structure, it catching almost immediately, going up in a yellow blaze against the night sky as the robed 400 watched and cheered. I’m not going to lie, I was hoping they’d pile the Dalek, the T-Speaker and the van onto the pyre too, cleanse their past in one fell swoop and put the lid on it once and for all but it wasn’t to be.

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Some said the plan was to drive the van into the Mersey but I don’t think that happened. After this events got confused, Daisy Campbell, megaphone in hand, struggled to make herself heard to the widely assembled crowd, some of who wanted to eat and drink after the fun and games and some who made for the toilets nearby. The undertakers were in the Ice Kream Van signing up people for ‘MuMufication’, bricks on display, but now wasn’t the time for this on a dark patch of wasteland with the light gone and the temperature dropping. A huge queue formed but with only a small window to explain the process from they were fighting a losing battle.

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I retired to the club opposite to set up the decks for my set later on and grab some food backstage. Pete Wylie was there in the dressing room, having schooled Badger Kull half the week and we could see the gathering outside winding down from our high vantage point on the top floor. Punters started arriving at 10pm, a mixture of the 400 and paying public who could also buy tickets, you could tell who was who from the face paint. Greg Wilson was on stage whipping the crowd up with pumped up versions of electronic classics like Gary Numan‘s ‘Cars’, The Human League‘s ‘Being Boiled’ and ‘The Message’ and Kermit from Black Grape was dancing around in bunny ears.

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The T-speaker was behind the merch table, selling Badger Kull T-shirts to the faithful and the bemused and it was all about their impending one and only performance at 23 seconds past midnight, a fitting end to the proceedings. The mood was electric as they took to the stage, four guys, all on bass guitar, in face masks and robes with yellow and black warning tape decorations, playing their one note riff over and over to strobes, chanting ‘Toxteth Day of the Dead’ repeatedly, leaving the stage three minutes later to a squall of bass feedback. It was never going to win any prizes for subtlety but it was all the crowd needed.

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Lastly it was my turn, pretty daunting to step up to the decks after that performance to a club packed to the rafters with JAMs fans on a total high after what they’d just witnessed I can tell you (I took the photo above as I stepped up). When Jimmy asked me to play at the Ball my first question was, ‘Should I play any JAMs / KLF?’ and the answer was an unequivocal ‘no’, which was fine. Bill wanted ‘no revisiting of one’s acid house days’ and gave me a superb brief to play dangerously, wide and lateral. They also provided me with a glimpse at a page from ‘2023′ where it lists the line up for a fictitious Xmas day episode of Top of The Pops.

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(photo by George Stewart-Lockheart)
I took that list fairly literally and decided to source as many original samples that The JAMs, Timelords and KLF had used as possible, I wouldn’t be playing their records, just the records they’d played with. I opened with the MC5’s ‘Kick Out the Jams’ (of course) and proceeded through Abba, The Monkees, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, various TOTPs themes, Tommy Vance spoken word, The Sweet, the Dr Who theme, The Human League‘s version of ‘Rock n Roll’, themes from Jesus Christ Superstar, Sly & The Family Stone, James Brown and more before dropping a ton of club classics and a full final hour of downtempo tunes including ‘Wichita Lineman’ and ‘War Is Over If You Want It’, ending with ‘In The Ghetto’ at just shy of 3am.

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(photo by George Stewart-Lockheart)
As gigs go, it was a milestone in my career that I’ll never forget. As an event it was a success on so many levels I doubt the participants will ever fully get their heads around it. As a comeback it was unparalleled, everything and more that a fan of this duo could have wanted but never dreamed up. As an exercise in the closing of one chapter and the opening of another, with the fans helping to write that chapter from the building blocks the JAMs had put in place, it was genius. That they closed the event with the opportunity to eventually place part of those fans and others inside the blocks and build a People’s Pyramid to commemorate the event on the very ground it took place in was another nice touch. Best graduation party ever…

UPDATE: After thinking the audio for my set was lost when only an 11 minute file appeared on my laptop after saving the recording I’d made, it turned out that I found the rest of the set as an untitled file a few months later. Here is the set, re-instated to its full length.

Saturday, the aftermath:

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Some graduated early that night and received their certificates at the club, for most though it was one final trip to the Dead Perch Lounge on Saturday morning to be met by an unexpected series of posters that had been plastered up outside overnight. Someone had expressed their displeasure at the events in a very JAMs-esque way, enough to make most question if these weren’t an elaborate double-bluff by Drummond & Cauty themselves.

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Inside, The JAMs were handing out signed Certificates Of Graduation with stern handshakes and little banter and we stayed for a drink and an explanation on how exactly The People’s Pyramid was going to be constructed by the architect who had drawn up the plans, now displayed in the gallery. Finally we were ushered into a previously hidden back room where a tower of TV sets showed video loops whilst the choir’s A cappella from Friday’s ‘Justified & Ancient’ quietly played in the background.

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Whether Bill and Jimmy ever do another event, make another record or create any more art together ever again (and there were rumours that this could happen elsewhere in the future) doesn’t matter. They and the team around them pulled off an incredible experience that could have crashed and burned (pun intended) so many times and in the process must have inspired many of the participants to go forth and continue this kind of work and thinking in their daily lives from this point on. There were rules, there always is with Drummond, but these were also guidelines to break out of conventional thinking and you have to know the rules before you can break them – always accept the contradictions with The JAMs. Worth the £100 ticket price? Many times over. The experience was priceless and SO much more thought-provoking, entertaining and genuinely life-changing than most of what’s happening in current music, literature and art at the moment.

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Travelling back home, to ‘real life’, was surreal, what had happen constantly churning around in my head, the NEED to get this all down and make some kind of sense of it for my own selfish reasons of paramount importance. The desire to talk to people about it burns bright, to those that were there and friends who witnessed it secondhand via the web. The urge to look further into The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, the Green Funeral Company and, of course, read ‘2023’ – things that were completely alien to myself and many others a week ago – is strong and will no doubt point to other people and places as The JAMs begin a new chapter…

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