Artifacts #24: Negativland – Zapped! Over The Edge tapes

Zapped covers

Just found these today, sent off for from Negativland around 2000 – their Zapped! (Zappa tribute) Over The Edge 5 hr radio show, personally dubbed, written & stickered on 3 TDK cassettes – not on any discography, I think they’d dub any show for you for a fee back then via their website. Luckily, through the power of the internet, you can listen to this and many more shows from their huge run (1981-2015 I believe) via the Internet Archive.
Seriously, there are so many show up there you many never need to listen to anything else ever again.

Zapped back Zapped x3 closeZapped writing
Actually, I think that’s my handwriting on that edge

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Kaiser George Marionettes

Kaiser George Joe Meek

I saw this on Facebook the other day, reposted by Andrew Divine, and had to investigate further. ‘Kaiser’ George Miller sculpts these marionettes of rock n roll legends, Ursula Cleary makes their clothes, Chris Taylor illustrates the cards and box art and ‘Kaiser’ Johnny Maben prints it all. So far they’ve made Xmas cards, prints and bubble gum cards which you buy here. Here’s hoping one day they get round to doing Kraftwerk
Follow K.G.M. on Instagram

SS card backs SS detail B&W SS detail colour

Coldcut – Solid Sphinx New Year 92-93?

E03-00824
As it’s New Year, and this set possibly dates from then, I’ve decided to put it up for all to hear, not just for subscribers. This is one of the oldest sets I have from Coldcut in my archive and it’s a very good indication of the chill out room aesthetics of the early 90s. I have very little info about this as it’s before my time on Solid Steel but from the track listing and style of show I would guess that it’s a pre-recorded jam with Matt, Jon and maybe PC from around 1992/93.

Periodically in the early to mid-nineties Solid Steel would give up it’s traditional mix / talk / ad break / mix format and morph into a Sphinx for an hour or two. The first time I ever heard of this was when I turned up to do one of the regular Friday pre-records at KISS FM one evening and Matt said that tonight the show was going to be a ‘Solid Sphinx’. What the hell was that?, I asked. ‘That’ meant minimum chat and no ads, just two hours of straight mixing, usually erring on the ambient and electronic side of things. ‘Great!’, I thought, as the usual 15-20-minute-mix-then-break-for-ads format was restricting – just as you were getting into the flow you had to stop for the commercials.

Ranging in title from Alien Sphinx, Return of the Alien Sphinx and More Than An Alien Sphinx (and probably a whole host of others besides), I seem to remember a 3 hour one once when the clocks went back and we suddenly had an extra hour to play with between 12 and 2am. They were sprawling soundscapes inhabiting similar territory to The Orb and FSOL at the time. I always had an inkling that the name came from the supposed Sphinx face that had been ‘discovered’ on Mars and asked Matt about it:

HoagCNN2

“Yes, its from the Alien Sphinx ‘Face on Mars’ thang. I was turned onto it by Fortean Times. Just thought it was a wicked concept, though the images of it never convinced me…humans see faces everywhere, we are optimised for it. We first used the name on the full length Video ‘Global Chaos’, a Hex project. Rob Pepperell and I made a 3D character called ‘Alien Sphinx’. I guess the idea morphed into an inscrutable ancient mystery sound trip after that!”

This show sounds like a studio jam with electronic FX, spoken word jingles thrown in from the sampler and pitch-shifted down at times. Around the 12.40 mark you can hear the original sample that the Solid Steel bleeps is taken from too. One of the infamous ‘K Mixes’ is played midway (Technical Dub – K Mix 67) and several tracks help date it: The Moody Boys’ ‘Free’, The Orb’s remix of Blue Pearl’s ‘Mother Dawn’, The Irresistible Force remix of Coldcut’s ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘Sign’, both from their ‘Philosophy’ LP, and Laraaji to finish. I think this came straight from DAT around the time we were encoding shows for the 20th anniversary of Solid Steel and the title was a guess based on the tape contents. There are still a few tracks I couldn’t identify so, if you recognise anything, then please leave a comment.

Attempted track list:
Gondwanaland – Eagle (?)
Roger Powell – Lumia: Dance of the Nebulae
Polonio – Do (?)
Beaver & Krause – Sequential Voltage Sources, Composition
Unknown
Blue Pearl – Mother Dawn (The Orb’s Buckateer Mix 1)
‘Teknical Dub’ – K Mix 67 1992
Unknown (reggae track under People Hold On)
Coldcut feat. Lisa Stansfield – People Hold On (A cappella)
Moody Boys – Free
The Irresistible Force – War & Peace Live
Jam & Spoon – My First Fantastic F.F.
Unknown (banging techno with spinbacks)
Coldcut – Autumn Leaves (The Irresistible Force Full Chill mix)
Coldcut – Sign
Laraaji – Zither Dance

2020

Stay Alert papers

Where to start? – a horrible year in so many ways and not one I’m sure many will want to remember or repeat in a hurry. Not to want to gloss over the fires in Australia or Trump nearly starting WW3 at the start of the year, the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the BLM movement or Joe Biden winning the US election in November, but 2020 was dominated for many by the pandemic.

2M v2

Like many, when lockdown came, I started sorting, clearing, taking stock. Archives were dug into, things thrown away, digitised, uploaded, sold. Old projects that had laid dormant for years were revived, restarted, some even finished. All those jobs that I’d meant to do started getting done. I turned 50 in May, in the middle of the first lockdown and that all gave pause for reflection. Did I need all this stuff? What could I live without? Oddly, the limiting nature of the lockdown seemed to unlock the creative gates and I had time again to do musical projects. I’ve always juggled graphic design, DJing and music production and, if I’m honest, the music side always comes last as I just don’t have the time and head space to do all three. With gigs firmly out of the picture there was suddenly space again.

2M v3

After the initial shock and adjustment had passed, I started to like lockdown, the quiet, the space and pace of life in London when I did venture out, the fact that it was Spring helped too. The cleaner air, the public displays of affection for the NHS and key workers in windows around my neighbourhood which I took the time to explore far more than before. Just the time to stop, reflect, get off the deadline treadmill and do some personal life evaluation was welcome. Of course there were down days too, frustration at the government’s handling of the situation, the futility of it all, the not knowing when it was going to end, the cabin fever.

The realisation that the entertainment sector was not going to get back on its feet any time soon and any thoughts of gigs should be put out of mind for the foreseeable future. More importantly though, copious amounts of friends who work in the live sector of the industry who suddenly have no job to go to and no income once the furlough period ends. The thing about the creative sector though is that they are resilient, fast-acting and respond to situations like these in many different ways. There have been numerous charity compilations, protests, self-help articles, the #weareviable movement and online gigs and forums set up to help people’s mental health. Without a doubt, in terms of coming to the aid of artists trying to see a decent return on their music, Bandcamp have been the heroes of the music industry in 2020. Their revenue-waiving Fridays have become like monthly record store days (a now barrel-scraping exercise in unnecessary reformatting of material no one was asking for by the majors). It has also re-ignited the discussion about stream revenue from platforms like Spotify which can only be a good thing. Mixcloud too jumped into the fray with their Select subscription channels and streaming upgrade, each paying a portion of proceeds to the artists being played as well as those playing them.

2M v1

Turning off the news became a necessity to stay sane, just tuning out to protect from spiralling down into a day of depression and inactivity. But there were unexpected pluses once things began to reopen, the break had given some a chance to change, bring their businesses up to date, upgrade, expand, come back better than before. More space in shops and restaurants, increased hygiene, less people on public transport – great! For those who don’t live in the city, it’s packed at the best of times and not always the better for it. Buying a round of drinks at the pub on an app and having it bought to your table rather than fighting your way to the bar, viewing the menu through a QR reader and paying for it on the phone, I’m up for that although I’ll no doubt be cursing once the targeted advertising starts. The sale of bikes soaring and more people able to work from home, giving them new options for home locations, less commuting stress and more family time – all welcome.

I’ve neglected this blog a fair bit other than my weekly archive mixes and the odd release-related news, I’d like to get back on it a bit more in 2021 but can’t promise. The speed and immediacy of Instagram has taken over where some things like street art and record finds are concerned. Looking back over the year it’s been another vintage one for music releases and books, obviously less so for gigs and exhibitions. I’ve listened to more podcasts and audiobooks than ever before though, a noticeable change in wanting to hear informative chat or comedy over music sometimes. The creative roll that the Castles In Space label has been on this year has been a constant with the regular label and now the subscription library to add to that in 2021 plus I’m pleased to have a release forthcoming on the label early in the new year. Discovering the Astral Industries and Russian Library labels via Bandcamp were two highlights and Robert Fripp‘s continuing weekly Music For Quiet Moments series gave me something to look forward to each Friday. Likewise the weekly 2000AD progs never faltered when most comic lines derailed, even reaching new heights with the incredible new story, The Out whilst season 2 of The Mandalorian reinstated a love for the Star Wars universe again. Without wanting to focus on the negatives (we’d be here all week), there was a lot to love in 2020

2020 LPs

Music –
Type 303 – Sticky Disco / Analogue Acidbath 7″ (45 Live)
The British Space Group – The Ley of the Land CD (Wyrd Britain)
Squarepusher – Be Up A Hello LP / Warp 10 NTS mix (Warp)
Future Sound of London – A Controlled Vista ‘I Can’t Find You’ (FSOL Digital/Touched Music)
dgoHn – Undesignated Proximate (Modern Love)
LF58 – Alterazione LP (Astral Industries)
Brian Eno – Music for Installations CD box set (UMC / Opal)
Robert Fripp – Music For Quiet Moments series (DGM)
Run The Jewels – RTJ4 (BMG)
Simf Onyx – Magenta Skyline / The Unresolved 7″ (Delights)
Luke Vibert – Modern Rave LP (Hypercolour)
JG Thirlwell & Simon Steensland – Oscillospira (Ipecac)
Aural Design – Looking & Seeing 7″ / DL (Russian Library)
Luke Vibert – Rave Hop (Hypercolour)
Clipping. with Christopher Fleeger – Double Live (Sub Pop)
APAT – Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ performed on Modular Synthesizer (YouTube)
Field Lines Cartographer – The Spectral Isle LP (Castles In Space)
Jane Weaver – The Revolution of Super Visions single (Fire Records)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – K.G. LP (Flightless)
Humanoid – Hed-Set – forthcoming on (De:tuned)
Ghost Power – Asteroid Witch 7″ (Duophonic Super 45s)

Sleeve designs 2020

Design / packaging –
Jon Brooks – How To Get To Spring LP (Clay Pipe Music)
Bernard Grancher – Soleil Gris Eclatant LP (Castles In Space)
Plone – (Ghost Box)
Various Artists – Portals LP (Behind The Sky Music)
Luke Sanger – World of Inherent Noise Cassette (Miracle Pond)
Proto Droids – Cybernetic World LP (Spun Out Of Control)

Podcasts

Podcasts
Adam Buxton – Podcast (Acast)
Louis Theroux – Grounded (BBC)
The Bureau of Lost Culture (Soho Radio/Mixcloud)
Richard Herring – RHLSTP / Retro As It Occurs To Me
Broken Record episodes w. Rick Rubin (Pushkin)
Cartoonist Kayfabe (YouTube)
The Bunker (Acast)

films 2020

Film / TV –
Inside No.9 (BBC)
What We Do In The Shadows Season 2 (Netflix)
Tales From The Loop (Amazon)
Keith Haring – Street Art Boy (BBC)
John Was Trying To Contact Aliens (Netflix)
The Social Dilemma (Netflix)
The Mandalorian (Season 2) (Disney+)
Long Hot Summers – The Style Council documentary (Sky Arts)
Zappa (Alex Winter)

Books 2020

Books / Comics / Magazines
Confessions of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell (Profile books)
The Often Wrong – Farel Dalrymple (Image Comics)
Take It Like A Man – Boy George (Harper Collins)
Adam Buxton – Ramble Book (Harper Collins)
Edwin Pouncey – Rated SavX (Strange Attractor Press)
Jeffrey Lewis – Fuff (all issues – really late to the party on this one)
Elton John – Me (MacMillan)
2000AD / Judge Dredd Megazine (Rebellion)
Rian Hughes – XX – A Novel, Graphic (Picador)
Cosey Fanni Tutti – Art, Sex, Music (Faber)
Caza – Kris Kool (Passenger Press)
Dan Lish – Egostrip Vol.1
Electronic Sound magazine
Decorum – Jonathan Hickman & Mike Huddleston (Image)
Discovering Jack T. Chick’s ‘Chick Tracts’ mini comics
John Higgs – Stranger Than We Can Imagine
Simon Halfon – Cover To Cover (Nemperor)

Tomaga

Gigs / Events –
Tomaga & Pierre Bastien @ King’s Place, London (RIP Tom Relleen)
Discovering my neighbourhood more intimately than ever before on regular walks

Exhibitions –
Aubrey Beardsley @ Tate Britain
Shoreditch and Brick Lane never ceases to be a constant source of inspiration art-wise
Secret 7’s – Greenwich Peninsula


Another year over and what have I done?
Got burned by an artist and agent overseas on some ‘prospective’ design work they never paid me for
Designed ‘Blood’, Dreams’ & ‘Bone for the Swan Songs trilogy of albums for The Real Tuesday Weld, available in 2021/22 as well as the 2020 foldout Xmas card & 3″ CD.
Made some zoetrope labels for the band Peninsula‘s ‘Constellations/Constelaciones’ LP
Designed a zoetrope picture disc for an as yet unannounced reissue project that was a dream job…
Promo mixes for the 45 Live record label, De:tuned‘s 10th anniversary round up, Out Of The Wood, Soundwave blog, Shane Quentin‘s Garden of Earthly Delights show and did an Instagram takeover on @forgottengraphics for a week.
Unearthed and digitised old DJ Food mixes for my new Mixcloud Select channel with full track lists and notes.
Made the ‘Kaleidoscope Companion’ mixes with PC on the 20th anniversary of our album and compiled a version for a vinyl release on Ahead of Our Time in 2021
Started a label, Infinite Illectrik, for turntable experiments and other one-offs including a remix of Four Tet‘s side of locked grooves from his ‘Sixteen Oceans’ LP
Designed three covers for Nebari on OTA Recordings plus one for Syon Ward
Finished the Howlround meets DJ Food release, ‘The Superceded Sounds of…’ The New Obsolescents, inc. a track on Castles In Space’s ‘Isolation Tapes’ comp with the LP due on the label in 2021 sporting five different screen printed foil covered sleeves.
Cut my own hair for the first time
Designed a zoetrope for Pendulum that went unused and several for BT Sport’s European Final TV spot with Doves that sadly didn’t make the cut because of a technicality.
Made the Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ album in collaboration with Saron Hughes for Rian Hughes‘ book, ‘XX, a novel, graphic’, as well as a 30 minute EP. Both available on Bandcamp with a vinyl LP forthcoming in 2021 on Utter
Created the cover image for Clocolan‘s 3rd album, due in 2021 on Castles In Space
Designed De:tuned DE:10 courier bag + slipmat for Bleep‘s Xmas advent calendar and saw the label repress the DE:10 series from last year on coloured vinyl
Designed Steven Rutter and Humanoid releases for De:tuned
Created a one hour long ‘Cineolascape’ from my The The support set material in 2018 for release on Matt’s Cineola label in the future.

RIP: Wolfgang Dauner, Neil Peart, Steve Millington (Dry British), Terry Jones, Wes Wilson, Nicholas Parsons, Kirk Douglas, Andy Weatherall, Max Von Sydow, Tom Watkins, Genesis P. Orridge, Manu Dibango, Albert Uderzo, Eddie Large, Bill Withers, Hal Wilner, Mort Drucker, Tim Brook-Taylor, Tony Allen, Florian Schneider, Ben ‘Ty’ Chijioke, Little Richard, Christo, Steve Priest, Bonnie Pointer, Ian Holm, Milton Glaser, Ennio Morricone, Q magazine, Time Out, Russell Mears aka Rusty Spray – an original artistic inspiration, Tom Relleen, Simeon Coxe, Diana Rigg, Terence Conran, Eddie Van Halen, Sean Connery, Geoffrey Palmer, DJ Spinbad, Dave Prowse, Harold Budd, Richard Corben, Barbara Windsor, Jeremy Bullock, MF Doom.

Looking forward to:
More designing, more music making, releases of some of the above records after what seems like years in the wilderness – trying to remain positive against all the odds although I can’t wait for 2021 to be over already, it’s not going to be much fun.
The Castles In Space Subscription Library
Beautify Junkyards – Cosmorama LP (Ghost Box)
Jane Weaver – Flock LP (Fire Records)
The Book of Boba Fett
Tales To Enlighten (come on Matt, this year, eh?)

 

Happy New Year x

Lennon Ono Tiers

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Mixcloud Select 38 – DJ Food – The Sounds of Christmas 13/12/2004

TSOC front I performed as part of Christian Marclay’s ‘The Sounds of Christmas’ in December 2004 in a tent erected outside the Tate Modern gallery in London. Marclay was in town with his collection of Christmas records and invited various artists to come down, rifle through the racks, pick a selection and then improvise a set with them. I joined Matt Black, Janek Schaefer, Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Ergo Phizmiz, Matt Wand (Stock, Hausen & Walkman), Paul Hood and The Bohman Brothers.

It was a tough gig, there were two performers per night and I forget who I was paired with but I bought my Line 6 delay pedal to loop things up with. Marclay had hundreds of Christmas albums and I was working largely with no knowledge of what any of them would contain so went for stuff that looked funk, jazz or electronic-based. I remember pulling a great Lou Rawls album, a Jacksons LP, The Beach Boys and some sort of electronic synthesized carols LP.

Rushing through piles of LPs during soundcheck I made notes on each one, which tracks were good and discarded the ones I felt I couldn’t use. The crowd filed in and the tent filled up, it was freezing cold being mid December and I think I had to wear a coat and hat while I wrestled with the vinyl and delay pedal to construct some sort of Christmas soundscape / DJ set out of records I’d only heard snatches of an hour or so before. Apparently Marclay also used a Line 6 pedal and was heard to exclaim, ‘oh wow, he actually knows how to use it!’ :)

TSOC back

I’ve not heard the set for a good 10 years before digging it out again and it’s rough around the edges and barely holds together in places but has a kind of charm of its own and was probably the earliest example of a kind of turntablism that I’d later explore on the forthcoming New Obsolescents record and my Infinite Illectrik releases. Also, earlier this year, I discovered that Marclay had actually put out a record compiled of selections from the performances himself, mixing everything into his own collage and including locked grooves on the B side. I remember signing a release form when agreeing to the gig but never heard anything about a physical release but there it is. A beautiful embossed snowflake adorns the plain white cover and there’s my name on the back in the line up.

TSOC text

I’m not sure if this went out on Solid Steel at all, I have a feeling it did because I found an extended version with extra Xmas-related content edited onto the end marked as Dec’05 but the Solid Steel site has no track lists to check. It’s also very hard to do a tracklist for this as I have none of the records and it’s very chopped up. I’ve included an excellent Doors parody medley Christmas themed lyrics as a coda as it’s so well done.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to everyone, thankyou so much for subscribing, it means a lot. There are many more hours of mixes and stories to fill 2021 and beyond. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts and discovered some great music along the way. I have at least three physical releases in production for release in 2021 including a reissue of ‘Kaleidoscope’ with an extra double album of unheard music from 20+ years ago. See you on the other side…

Kev

Mixcloud Select 37 – Bendy Uptempo Funk + The Rocket 14/02/99

Bendy : Rocket : Chicago

Special request upload for Anton Kibeshev: an early 1999 mix that was part of a show with Funki Porcini on Solid Steel although, sadly, the Funki Porcini part is missing as he must have recorded it elsewhere. I transferred these mixes from a DAT earlier in the year but part of the first mix is missing, there was something else on the tape recorded over it (part of an Autechre live set I think). It’s only the first track and a half but it bought the first mix – titled ‘Bendy Uptempo Funk’ – in at 24 minutes so I thought I’d couple it up with the second set – ‘The Rocket’ to make it to nearly an hour. Next week is Xmas so I’ll dig out something suitably themed.

There’s a lot here that I don’t recall, most of it would have been current buys/releases and I always seem to recall that the end of the 90s was a bit patchy after the yearly new genres that the rest of the decade had sprung on us. There’s plenty to digest here though, First Born ‘The Mood Club’ still gets plays out from a great little 7” with a variety-speed mix on the B side., Klute’s ‘Blood Rich’ has aged well, The Fantastic Plastic Machine remix was from a Japanese remix album of anime soundtracks I think.

310’s ‘Prague Rock’ EP is something I return to annually, 5 tracks of classic British Prog Rock chopped and sliced into polyrhythmic soundscapes on the Leaf label, all totally illegal samples from giants like Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. It’s fantastic, every track a winner and I’ve never heard anything else come close aside from some early DJ Shadow productions. The record is easy to find and sells for around £2 on Discogs and was only ever a promo because of the samples. ‘The Voice of Britain’ is a Genesis cut up and the video on YouTube just adds to the weirdness, honestly, this is one of my all time favourite sample records ever, still sounds fresh 21 years later and 310’s own productions are nothing to be sniffed at either, amazing skills. You can hear and download it for free via their site including 2 remixes not on the 12”

Bendy DAT

‘Trama Nella Metropoli’ is one of the only old tracks here but it was new to me via a compilation that the Karminisky Experience Inc had given to me of old I Marc 4 tracks, this was one of the first legal library compilations out there and they still drop this track to this day. Apologies for my abstract / awful scratching into Q-Bert’s ‘Redworm’, I was so into this kind of turntablism in the mid to late 90s, unfortunately this kind of 100% purism rarely formed into anything other than a technically impressive but rather mediocre arrangement. Tracks like ‘Bear Witness’ were a far better showcases of exceptional Q-bert’s skills.

Part 2 is called ‘The Rocket’ – I have absolutely no idea why. Dodo kicks it off who was a quirky producer affiliated with the Digidub collective for a while I think who seemed to make a couple of singles and an album and then disappear. Roots Manuva’s excellent ‘Motion 5000’ sounds so good, loved this era of Rodney’s music but this Black Dog track I have no memory of. Tom Tyler made some great records for D C Recordings for a while and it looked like he was going to go the same way as The Cinematic Orchestra but it seems like he’s not made a record for 15 years according to Discogs. DJ Vadim finishes things off with the first single from his then second album which reminds me of a story connected to this date.

Valentine’s Day 1999 – I was living in the basement of a converted mental hospital in Camberwell, sharing with The Herbaliser’s Ollie Teeba and had gone to Sunday dinner with my girlfriend at her parents’ place in South West London. Midway through the afternoon her dad burst into the room, ‘It’s Ollie on the phone, you’ve been burgled, they’ve taken everything’, he deadpanned. Just like that, I didn’t know whether to be shocked at the message or his directness, it was a terrible piece of news to receive so we drove back to South East London to find that they hadn’t actually taken everything but had had a good root around and made off with a fair bit.

My decks and mixer went, that was gutting, not only because I needed them but because they were my first Technics, bought with money my late grandmother had left me when I first came to London. As a student, Technics were out of my price range and I wasn’t so foolish as to spend my grant on them and live off toast for the rest of the year. I wanted the money she left me to mean something so invested it in a pair of secondhand decks as I knew they would repay themselves several times over. One of them had been customised too with a black and yellow reverse switch, so if you ever come across a 1210 with an extra switch near the on/off button then it was probably mine. So this mix here is the last one made on my original turntables.

My Mac computer, monitor (one of the super heavy blocks, pre-iMac), money and a camera also went. Luckily I had an internal door lock on my room so they couldn’t actually get into the rest of the flat so Ollie’s room escaped untouched but my first thought was the work that was on the computer. One of the projects was the artwork for this Vadim single and forthcoming album as well as early designs for The Herbaliser’s ‘Very Mercenary LP. Another thing was an external drive under the table that had all my work for the ‘Kaleidoscope’ LP so far on it, luckily they’d ripped the wires out and left it, just taking the monitor and tower. That was an unhappy Valentine’s Day.

Bendy PRS

I’ve not included the ‘Unreleased Chicago Connection’ set as it was fairly minimal and was mainly taken up with Bundy K Brown‘s 18 minute Ariel M remix, all the material came from a DAT he sent me at this time when we were working on ‘Full Bleed’ for the aforementioned DJ Food album. The Chicago Underground Trio track has long since come out although I’m not sure if the Red Red Meat track ever made it.

Part 1 – Bendy Uptempo Funk
The Isolationist – Intro (from original tracklist, missing here)
Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra – Daunerfisch
Klute – Blood Rich
Firstborn – The Mood Club
Fantastic Plastic Machine – Theme From Lupin the 3rd (FPM Reconstruction mix)
310 – The Voice of Britain
I Marc 4 – Trama Nella Metropoli
Q-Bert – Redworm

Part 2 – The Rocket
Dodo – Iridium
Ian Simmonds – N.V.Y.
Third Eye Foundaion – Fear Of A Wack pPlanet
Roots Manuva – Motion 5000
The Black Dog – Babylon (Blue mix)
Tom Tyler – Swing Children
DJ Vadim – Friction

Zappa documentary by Alex Winter

Alex Winter’s new Zappa documentary is an amazing treasure chest of delights and essential for any fans of the man and his music. Given access to his legendary vault, Winter spent 2 years transferring and restoring films and tapes of every kind to build the visual elements and it’s incredible. Along the way he also came across lots of Frank’s original artwork including flyers and greeting cards he drew as a jobbing artist in the 60s. This is another string to his bow that is rarely acknowledged but always a treat to see. Below are some screen grabs, check out the doc if you can, go here to find it www.thezappamovie.com plus there’s a soundtrack available.

Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.51.31 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.52.03 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.52.25 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.53.13Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.52.50 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.53.58 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.54.34

Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 23.05.21Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 23.05.29 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 23.04.52 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 23.01.57 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.59.00 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.58.49 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.58.36 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.57.43 Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.56.09Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.57.17Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 22.57.30
PS: I know this last one is a Cal Schenkel illustration – for more Zappa art go here and here

The Real Tuesday Weld Xmas card 2020

3 CD template back 2020 webI designed this year’s The Real Tuesday Weld Xmas card for the very patient Stephen Coates :) – very limited 3″ CD in fold out sleeve – link to buy here. I’ve also been hard at work on a trilogy of album sleeves for him this year, the first of which – ‘Blood’ – is at the pressing plant now and should see the light early next year to be followed by ‘Dreams’ and ‘Bone’ later.

Mixcloud Select 36 – Strictly’s Home Economix Part 2 31/05/1998

MS36 Kev:Riz 18:01:98 PRSIt seems apt to kick off with UNKLE’s Silver Apples-sampling ‘Rock On’ seeing as Simeon Cox passed away a few months back. DJs were catching onto krautrock, moog, library and psychedelia by the end of the 90s as new avenues from the by this time well-depleted soul, funk and jazz sample staples of much hip and trip hop. London was awash with bootlegs from the US and Italy of all sorts throughout that decade with many spurious compilations appearing laden with choice treats plucked from closely guarded digger’s secrets, sometimes with fake names. I think I chanced upon a boot of the first Silver Apples album around this time, the originals were out of my prices range but no matter, the music was there and this was still before sites offering copious such treasures for free download. In a way, the piracy of the physical form was killed by mp3s and the like in the Wild West Web of the 00s although there were still some doing the respectable thing and licensing library compilations like Jonny Trunk, Martin Green and Mark B.

Of the tracks here, only UNKLE, David Holmes and Red Snapper still seem to be active, The Sons of Silence were an interesting group on the Leaf label who put out a great cut up promo 12” with a B side called ‘The Golden Age of Men’s Music’, you can find it very cheap and it samples some very big names as well as another mysterious 12” called Black Helicopters which cuts up Led Zeppelin and Kenneth Williams. Cartel Productions I’d completely forgotten about, this was from a Clear Records side label called REEL Discs and sounds very like Kirk Degiorgio to me but is actually Dave Kempston aka Clatterbox. The Trolley Dollies was something to do with DJ Harvey and samples Mort Garson’s ‘Hair Pieces’ extensively I think. At the time he was doing his Black Cock re-edit boots with Kraftwerk and Dick Hymen cut ups that were big in clubs. Not sure what Buddy Rich and Tom Jones were doing in here, probably big club records at the time, Rich having been sampled by All Seeing I and Jones having a nice breakdown. David Holmes remixes Red Snapper to finish, pre-empting his later alias, The Free Association, with all manner of psychedelia, he must have done his Essential Mix around this time where he surprised everyone by pulling out a crate of funk, rock and psych instead of the techno he was known for.

NB: – the DAT and box pictured above isn’t the same one that this session came from, I did two separate shows with Riz from Neotropic and, although this was one of them, the other is on the DAT pictured. I’m 99% certain the date on this show is correct.

Track list:
U.N.K.L.E. – Rock On (Nutcracker mix)
Depth Charge – Romario (Rio Percussion Unit mix)
Sons of Silence – Vibra Slap (Ronnie & Clyde mix)
Cartel Productions – Park Central
The Trolly Dollies – Spacecake
Buddy Rich – The Beat Goes On
Tom Jones – Looking Out My Window
Red Snapper  – Bogeyman (David Holmes remix)

Mixcloud Select 35 – Strictly’s Home Economix 31/05/1998

MS35 Strictly Home Economix pt.1 DATThis is an odd set although I’m enjoying discovering some forgotten gems in these end of the 90s sets recently. The track list was labeled ‘Strictly’s Home Economix’ which suggests (to my mix-titling logic) that it was recorded at home. It came off a DAT originally and has none of the Solid Steel jingles or chat on it so bears out this theory and the levels are all over the place which also suggests that it was recorded straight to portable a DAT player that I had around the end of the 90s.

When we recorded sets at KISS or the Ahead of Our Time studio there would always be someone on hand to watch the desk levels and even things out or the signal would go through some sort of limiter. Some of the mixes here are pretty slack too so I wasn’t yet into the mix/edit stage of my Solid Steel sets that I’d begin around 1999/2000 – this is all still one-take, slips and slides and all. There was no date on the track list or the DATbut it was part of a show with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic and I remember we did a couple together around this time, one was at the studio but this one can’t have been. DK had the answer in his Solid Steel PRS archive, it was from 31/05/1998.

There are 3 parts on the DAT, with one very ambient / illbient / deep jazz set of nearly 30 minutes that I’ll spare you because A) it’s not that interesting and B) it has some nasty distortion on some of the tracks. It’s highly likely that it was never transmitted for just that reason. Regardless, there are two other parts that bear repetition on the tape, the first of which is here.

Part 1 kicks off with a recording of Company Flow – featuring El-P – doing a freestyle session over an MF Doom instrumental for Solid Steel and name-checking Coldcut(s). This was cheekily recorded and pressed up by DJ Vadim for a now very rare release on Mark B’s K’Boro label. I think it only came out as a white label and a quick check on Discogs reveals it’s one of 31 TPs and now goes for around £30! I actually designed some labels for it as I was doing lots of Jazz Fudge and some K’Boro artwork at the time and later on we get a Mark B & The MUD Fam track from the same label.

A mix of hip hop and trip hop from Ninja Tune and MoWax makes up a lot of this set plus Autechre remixing Stereolab, The Cinematic Orchestra’s Jason Swinscoe remixing Ryuichi Sakamoto and the Psychonauts reconstructing label mate, Money Mark. One half of King Kooba was Charlie ‘6 Ft’ Tate who also worked with The Herbaliser on occasion and Mr Quark was a producer from France I think who did some very twisted and hilarious trip hop-ish tracks that remind me of Sukia or Kid Koala. Excuse the mix of the loose 6/8 time Arsonists out of J Swinscoe’s even looser jazz mix, should have escaped from that a lot earlier. The mix of ‘Turtle Soup’ into ‘Chat ‘Bout’ is inexcusable though, should have got a red card, really not sure what’s going on there.

Part 2 next week!

Track list: Part 1
Stereolab – Refractions in the Plastic Pulse (Autechre remix)
King Kooba – Brown Blood (Campaign mix)
Ryuichi Sakamoto – Salvation (J Swinscoe remix)
Arsonists – Geembo’s Theme
Money Mark – Push the Button
Mr Quark – Am I Really Different?
DJ Food – Turtle Soup (Wagon Christ remix)
Mark B & The M.U.D. Family – Chat ‘Bout
Money Mark – Maybe I’m Dead (Psychonauts remix)

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)

Mixcloud Select 33: Strictly’s Adventures in Wonderland Pt.2 05/12/99

DJFoodMixcloudSelect33I mistakenly listed last week’s mix as Part 2 for some reason, probably because it was that way wrong on the PRS sheet despite an opening sample starting, “tonight on Solid Steel we have… “. Anyway, tonight we have a lesser known Boards of Canada remix from Funkstorung’s Michael Fakesch’s first solo single, ‘Demon. 1’ opening the show. It flows into a Pilote track I’d completely forgotten but am very glad to be reminded of (bit out of tune but have you ever tried mixing Boards with anything melodic? Virtually impossible).

The Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia track is one of my very favourite techno tracks of the 90s, as you can hear by my attempt to mix the whole thing in and under Four Tet’s ‘Glasshead’ despite the latter being loose as hell and the tuning being off, bass lines fighting etc. Trevor Jackson’s Output label was really firing on all cylinders around this time, his Skull EP, Kieran’s 12” and 7-Hurtz’ first release, all top drawer material and we’d hadn’t even got to the DFA connection yet.

Part 2:
MICHEAL FAKESCH  – SERFAISE (BOARDS OF CANADA MIX)
PILOTE – JUNIOR
PSYCHIC WARRIORS OV GAIA – OBSIDIAN
FOUR TET – GLASSHEAD
7-HURTZ – 7-HURTZ THEME
PSYCHIC WARRIORS OV GAIA – OBSIDIAN

Mixcloud Select 32: Strictly’s Adventures in Wonderland Pt.1 05/12/99

Adventure in Wonderland DATWe’ve had a lot of the ’00’s recently so I thought I’d reach back into the 90s a bit and pulled these from the DAT files, a couple of mixes from the same show near the end of ’99. Both are quite different so I’ve split them up as the part 1 and 2 that I recorded them as. We kick off with a hip hop-heavy half hour full of crashing beats and samples from a time when R’n’B hadn’t quite started to invade hip hop and the underground scene was in rude health.

Trevor Jackson’s Skull alias kicks the door in and crops up later too, there’s a healthy UK/US crossover with The Herbaliser collaborating with Latyrx on ‘8 Point Agenda’. I can hear a few samples that were floating around during the making of ‘Kaleidoscope’ in this and we would have been finishing it around this point. The computer ‘ghost voice’ also appears, programmed from an app and used as a presenter for the mixes as we’d left KISS FM by this time and were either recording mixes up at Ninja HQ in Ahead of Our Time studios or at home. There was no way to talk on the mic in the studio and, freed up from the need to play ads and ‘reads’ for the station, we just got on with the music. Streaming in a basic form was being explored by Matt Black via the Ninja Tune website ‘Pipe’ and track lists could be posted but this was early days and only a few were engaged on that level. This was sort of a wilderness period when we weren’t officially on the radio, just the web but we never stopped recording a show each week. Coldcut were very insistent that we keep going and not stop the weekly routine as something would come up, and it did in the form of the BBC a year down the line.

Porn Theatre Ushers’ ‘Me & Him’ is an under recognised classic and Public Enemy had made a decent enough single to get featured after a string of so-so releases. I first heard the second Skull track appearing here at a gig I was doing with DJ Vadim somewhere, he played the track from the beginning and let it run to an increasingly puzzled crowd, once the beat dropped everyone was on board though and I had to know what it was. The looseness and uniqueness of the production really made you stop in your tracks and pay attention. Finishing off with Shadow’s Lifer’s Group remix which got bootlegged at some point in the 90s along with the Zimbabwe Legit mix, this is pretty straight up but leads us into a more mellow late night techno excursion next week.

Part 1:
SKULL – SPAZTIK
THE HERBALISER – 8 POINT AGENDA
D.I.T.C. – GET YOURS
STEADY – TRICKNOLOGY
PORN THEATRE USHERS – ME & HIM
SKULL – CRASH
PUBLIC ENEMY – WHAT WHAT
LIFERS GROUP – THE REAL DEAL (DJ SHADOW REMIX)

XX book US edition and Celestial Mechanic EP release

XX US edition

The US release of Rian Hughes’ debut novel, ‘XX’ happened yesterday, the book, as mentioned before, is a sci-fi epic coupled with graphic design elements throughout. To mark the occasion we have a new 30 minute Celestial Mechanic EP out via Bandcamp with a 17 minute remix of ‘The Signal’ and several piano pieces created for the album but unused in the final mix.
Check it out here https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-signal-retransmission and if you like it there’s a whole album too, made by myself and Saron Hughes with contributions from Robin The Fog on tapes and Saron’s husband, Peter Harris on guitar.
Rian’s book is out on Overlook Press with a different cover, if you’re in the US you can order it here.
Also, Thursday night, Nov 12th, Rian is doing another web chat with writer Grant Morrison online and it’s free! Log on at 7pm Eastern Time, more details here

US DUSTJACKET AS EP COVER (Black)

New Celestial Mechanic EP

US DUSTJACKET AS EP COVER (Black)To celebrate the US publication of Rian Hughes book, ‘XX, A Novel, Graphic’ on Nov 10, we have a new 30 minute Celestial Mechanic EP out today, including a 17 minute remix of ‘The Signal’ alongside satellite piano variations made during the ‘Citizen Void’ LP.
https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-signal-retransmission

Celestial Mechanic is a new project I’m part of, directed by Rian Hughes and in collaboration with his sister, pianist Saron Hughes. Rian put us together and commissioned a soundtrack for his book earlier this year. In his novel “XX” he includes a review of a fictional album based on a mysterious signal of extraterrestrial origin. I and Saron were tasked with the job of taking this review and making the album a reality. In what may be a first, the review actually preceded the music.

“XX” is published by Picador (UK) August 20 2020, Overlook Press (US) November 10 2020.