Beautify Junkyards

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It’s nice to see a band come through who you caught early on. I think Riz Maslen (Neotropic) turned me on to Beautify Junkyards years back after she did some work with them. They had done an excellent cover version of Kraftwerk‘s ‘Radio Activity’ which I stuck on volume 8 of my Kraftwerk Kover Kollection mixes.SONY DSC

They released two albums and a 45 appeared on Ghost Box‘s ‘Other Voices’ single series, and now the label are releasing a third LP this March, ‘The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards’. On first listen, the single, ‘Aquarius’ is their best yet and the video, directed by João Pedro Moreira, suits it down to the ground. Pre-order HERE

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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The American Contemporary Graphics Exhibit book laid out profiles of some of the artists along with their contributions and the aim of the campaign.
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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. “

 

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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.
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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.

Posted in Art, Design, Poster / flyer. | 1 Comment |

Jeffrey Siedler – Logic Formations

Layout 1New from Buried Treasure is this 2 hr DVD of computer-generation animations and electronic music from Australian artist Jerry Siedler – for which I’m going to cut and paste the press release because, by the time I get round to watching the whole thing, they’ll be gone as there are only 100 copies.

The late mathematician, visual artist, musician & EMS employee Alan Sutcliffe was fascinated by programmed randomisation. In 2013 he showed me specifications & sales brochures for a powerful but short lived EMS video device from 1975 called the Spectron.

Used by Tangerine Dream, Todd Rundgren, the BBC & others, the Spectron was, for its time, a powerful & ground breaking video synthesizer but sourcing footage of it in action for this DVD  proved challenging.

Then I discovered the work of Jeffrey Siedler, an Australian academic conducting extensive research into the Spectron’s history & capabilities. Jeffrey’s own audio-visual work follows the logical methodology & synthesis techniques mapped out by original EMS designer Richard Monkhouse using emulation software and modular analogue equipment. The sounds & images produced are mesmerising & hark back to the ground breaking days of early computer generated visuals. 

This DVD release contains over 2 hours of Jeffrey’s video work presented in a full colour, slim line package with an 8 page booklet of notes & images by Jeffrey & Richard.”

Limited to 100 copies and released 31st January, 2018. Pre-order here

Felix Colgrave

I love this – thanks to John Power for flagging it up – animation by Felix Colgrave, an absolutely stunning 10 minutes, made over 2 years that brings to mind the surrealness of Terry Gilliam, the miniature worlds of Richard Williams, and the monsters of Pete Fowler. See more of Felix’s work on his Vimeo page.

Posted in Film. | 1 Comment | Tags:

New Music in 2018

All of a sudden there seems to be a ton of albums imminent for the new year that I’m very interested in…

Meat Beat Manifesto return after years away with a double entitled ‘Impossible Star’

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Cavern of Anti-Matter just announced an album for March, ‘Hormone Lemonade’

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Cut Chemist has finally got round to finishing ‘Die Cut’ after years of bits and pieces dribbling out

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Jon Brooks has a new Library-sounding release on Café Kaput, ‘Applied Music Vol.2 – Plastics Today’ – available Jan 19th from his Bandcamp page.

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Trevor Jackson has been chucking records out in themed chunks on his Pre- label, exhuming his archive of unreleased material before starting a new label, Post.

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Beautify Junkyards release their next record on Ghost Box in March, no pre-order link as of writing but The digital single, ‘Aquarius’, taken from the album is out today

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Nicklas Sørensen‘s ‘Solo 2’ is up for pre-order on El Paraiso Records website as are new Mythic Sunship and Causa Sui LPs.epr045-front

Chris Carter has a new album coming out on Mute, his first in 17 years, ‘Chris Carter’s Chemistry Lessons vol.1’

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Of course, dare I say it? The 5th LP from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Gumboot Soup’ is – despite all expectations – actually really good. More of an off cuts compilation of tracks that didn’t fit on the other four albums, stylistically it’s all over the place but it has some absolute killers on it.

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Posted in Music. | 1 Comment |

Diggers Dozen Most Loved 2017

I’m very proud to say that my set for the Soundsci launch party that Diggers Dozen put on last year won their most loved poll for 2017! “12 records each. Only 2 turntables play. No compilation. No bootleg. Always original vinyl.” is the DD ethos and that particular night saw myself guesting with Mr Thing, Ollie Teeba, Jonny Cuba, Jonny Trunk and Maxwell Pastor – who runs the nights. Listen to the selection above, I’d pulled out a particularly odd Library set, I think there’s at least one bit of dead air (because I was chatting) and at points, if you strain hard enough, you can hear that chatter through the head of the needle in the quiet parts..

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

Further is getting closer

Not long now until the final Further of the year on Nov 18th at the Portico Gallery, West Norwood, London – here’s a trailer and some little excerpts from shorts we’ve made for Simon James‘ Buchla performance.

Come down from 7.30-midnight for food, drink, a record stall and lots of leftfield music and visuals – Tickets here

You should definitely check out Sculpture‘s amazing site too as it’s full of stuff like this

and this

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Crumbling Castle

How do they do it? They must just live and breath music. This is from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard‘s 4th album THIS YEAR (!) (they’ve said they’ll release 5). Not content with releasing ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ containing the instant classic, ‘Rattlesnake’ they then released ‘Murder of the Universe’ with the astonishing prog-rock ‘Altered Beast’ and all sorts of references to existing King Giz records. Then just a couple of months back they collaborated with Mild High Club on ‘Sketches of Brunswick East’ which showcased a mellower jazz vibe and now this, apparently from an album called PollyWollyGonnaWannaDoodleAllDayLand  EDIT: (never believe YouTube comments)Polygonawanaland’. None of this is simple music, the time signatures are all over the place and it’s played ridiculously tight, if they don’t go down as this generation’s Hawkwind or Zeppelin it’ll be a crime. No idea when this one’s out but check out the previous album if nothing else as it’s been on repeat when I can get near a record player.

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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.

Further at the Portico Gallery – Nov 18th

Further Portico 2.5 Poster A3 portraitThe next Further at The Portico Gallery is on Sat Nov 18th. Pete Williams and I are very excited to be joined by Sculpture for one of their incredible live AV sets and Simon James (Simonsound / Black Channels /Akiha Den Den) will be performing a live set from his Buchla easel system. Early bird tickets on sale now

We’ll also have the Book & Record Bar stall with releases from both acts and a hand-picked selection to compliment plus delicious food and plenty of seating. See below for what to expect on the night.
Sculpture

Simon James

The last Further at the Portico Gallery

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool

Metro CathLiverpool1This summer, during my visit to Liverpool to attend The JAM’s ‘Welcome To The Dark Ages’ event I found some time to visit a few landmarks around Liverpool. My first stop was the 50 year old Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King which has some of the most stunning architectural features and stained glass windows I think I’ve ever seen. Metro CathLiverpool2

The photos speak for themselves but my camera just couldn’t capture the vividness of colour created by the sun lighting up the windows. For a building half a century old it’s an incredibly modern piece of art, right down to some of the imagery and sculptures they have installed.

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Further & The Heliocentrics at the SYNthesis festival

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Pete Williams and myself set up our Further environment in support of The Heliocentrics at the Synthesis festival at Stanley Halls in South Norwood at the end of September. The group were utterly spellbinding with their vocalist tying everything together with an incredible vocal range somewhere between Roisin Murphy and Shirley Bassey. They played for two hours with visuals by Innerstrings and for a Thursday evening in deepest South London (nearly Croydon if we’re honest) it was pretty mind blowing.


Following dates featured DJ Krush, Andrea Parker, Juice Aleem, Beak and more in a hugely ambitious three day event – all the brainchild of Rob Swain, owner of the Gamma Proforma label and the local Sector 25 bar/gallery. If you check out the streets of South Norwood now you’ll see all sorts of new murals and paintings adorning walls and hoardings by international artists like Mode 2, Delta, Kofie 1, SheOne, O-Two, Will Barras and more.

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Oddities: What lies beneath

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The reason there haven’t been as many posts here recently is because my time has been taken up with renovating a new home that I’ll be moving into soon. The whole place is in need of modernising and I’ve been peeling back layers upon layers of paper and paint, revealing some quite beautiful reminders of yesteryear. I’ve taken to documenting the best bits before it’s all gone forever, there’s lots of wallpaper hidden behind plug sockets and trunking plus the hidden spaces behind radiators and an extremely faded carpet.

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Posted in Oddities, Photography. | 1 Comment |

The Colourscape on Clapham Common

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Back in 1999 I went to Colourscape on Clapham Common and took a ton of photos, some of which ended up on the cover of the ‘Kaleidoscope’ album. 18 years later, with my two children in tow, I revisited it and was as wowed as I was nearly two decades before. If you get the chance, it’s a beautiful environment to wander around in for an hour, there’s contemporary classical music in the centre chamber and these photos don’t do it justice because it’s impossible to photograph and sends camera phones into convulsions. For more info where Colourscape is going to be next ,check them out on Facebook.

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East London street art

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A recent trip to East London to see the British Underground Press exhibition (see previous post) yielded a wealth of great street art including the new Banksy homage to Basquiat at the Barbican (the former street artist’s show was booked up but you could see the Banksy for free – just how it should be)

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Down the road on Coin Street there was a huge installation that was a companion to another in a park near Spitalfields market, unfortunately I didn’t get the name of the artist.

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Over in Brick Lane there was almost too much to see and it’s hard to process the good from the bad. A huge Shok 1 I’d not seen before covered an entrance gate and there are plenty of paste ups of strange animals.

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Hasworld, who’s work I’ve been enjoying for about a year, had been busy with some new posters too.

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A Space Invader cemented to a wall on Brick Lane and, for no apparent reason, a stencil of Adam Ant.

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British Underground Press of the Sixties at the A22 Gallery

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Just opened at the A22 Gallery in Clerkenwell is an exhibition supporting the British Underground Press of the Sixties book by Barry Miles and James Birch that collects the covers to all (big claim I know) the major magazines of the late 60s and 70s together. The exhibition features much more than just the magazines though with archive posters, badges, promo material and memorabilia collected together in a mass of psychedelic colour and badly registered print.

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Oz, International Times, Frendz, Gandalf’s Garden, Black Dwarf, Ink, cOzmic Comics and more all feature and it’s a wonder to behold. Some of the covers verge on pornographic and serve to remind of more anarchic and sometimes unsavoury times. The book is spectacular, highly recommended at £35 from Rocket 88 and is also available at the gallery with a deluxe edition containing vintage copies of original undergrounds for a silly money price too.

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Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner IMAX *SPOILER-FREE*  I saw this a couple of days ago and I’m still thinking about it. The film is a triumph, something I never thought would or even needed to happen. The perfect film that didn’t need a sequel now has one and it’s incredible.

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Dennis Villeneuve and his team have done the impossible, taken the essence of the original and created something that expands on the world Ridley Scott, Syd Mead and Doug Trumbull made in 1982.

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Blade-Runner-2049-with-Ryan-GoslingThe look and grit of the original are all there and more, the sound of Vangelis‘ score is in there with a contemporary twist, and any worries about Hans Zimmer‘s late involvement should be put aside, he and Benjamin Wallfisch have crafted something beautiful and gripping that I immediately had to buy afterwards. The design and visuals… oh my god, where to begin, there is so much I need to watch it on slow mo when the Blu Ray comes out and there’s plenty of fan service paid but I only thought one particular scene was unnecessary.

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Gosling is good, Leto as the main villain, Wallace, is good if a lot hammier than his predecessor, Tyrell and Ford acquits himself of his last two franchise returns. Villeneuve’s pacing is perfect, the film clocks in at over 2.5 hrs but it didn’t feel like that to me, the director takes his time with every scene and nothing felt rushed, and the ending, oh the ending is just sublime.

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Go and see it, go to the biggest screen you can find with the best sound, make sure you go to the toilet beforehand and just sit back and bathe in the glory of it all. Also, try to watch the three prequel shorts before you do, they will help flesh out some of the backstory.
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FourFromFoodFriday #17.36

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Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things I’ve been loving in the last seven days. Old or new, whatever’s been on in the studio. From top left:

Blackash – Black Witch EP (Swordfish Records) 12″ – Freaky psych rock with meditational ambient tracks straight out of Birmingham

The Belbury Circle – Outward Journeys (Ghost Box) LP – Jim Jupp and Jon Brooks join forces with John Foxx again to whip up an album of early 80s inspired tracks.

Misha Panfilov – Kallaste Elektrooniline Muusika (aina lomala) 7″ – Superb hauntological / radiophonic / electronic 45 from prolific Estonian producer Panfilov

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard live session in the KEXP studio (YouTube) – I have to watch this about once a week, such fantastic timing and musicianship

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