Sculpture 5″ zoetrope picture disc of locked grooves

Sculpture: Projected Music from psyché tropes on Vimeo.

“Sculpture meets Psyché Tropes for a post-transitory broadcast in reductionist methodology, exploring the non-standard definitions in a petri dish from the other side”. (it says on the press release)

Projected Music is a 5-inch zoetrope picture disc containing 26 locked grooves. Each loop is 1.33 seconds in duration cut at 45rpm reaching a total playing time of 34.58 seconds although the loops are intended to be played at any speed. In the possession of two or more disks, the listener can interact with a modular album whereby the source material is open to interpretation. Despite its minimalist size and composition, this release is intended as an LP. With the expansive nature of the turntable, there are almost limitless possibilities.

Remixes by Maria Chavez, Philip Jeck, Janek Schaefer, Mariam Rezaei, Me, Claudius, Graham Dunning and Tom Richards will accompany the 5-inch as a free download. The official release will be on 29th November at The Old Baths in Hackney Wick with live performances by Sculpture, Janek Schaefer and Mariam Rezaei. An ensemble of 26 turntables for 26 locked grooves (including myself) will improvise throughout the intervals.
Event info: https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1327194

5” Vinyl Pre-order. Releases 29 November 2019 via Bandcamp
https://plasticinfinite.bandcamp.com/album/projected-music

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Who are this generation’s psychedelic poster artists?

Black Amgels posterWhen discussing psychedelic poster art from the 60s and 70s you often read about ‘The Big Five’, namely Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley. Of course there were many more; Martin Sharp, Nigel Weymouth, Hapshash & The Coloured Coat, Bonnie MacLean, Peter Max… all and many more can lay claim to have contributed to a new movement in poster art that took from Art Nouveau, Op Art and Surrealism.

With a new wave of psychedelia in music prevalent for a good decade now, who working today is pushing the envelope in the same way as these graphic giants? There are plenty of illustrators and designers creating very passable versions of the 60s style across record sleeves, posters, T-shirts and videos but, rather than rehashing the past glories of the 60’s greats, who is approaching the psych era in the 10’s with a fresh eye? Here’s my stab at calling who will be remembered for their work in this arena in decades to come.

It’s fairly evenly divided between Brits and Americans (with the exception of Sweden’s Robert Gnista and South Africa’s Simon Berndt) and the UK brings more photo collage and attempts to convey the analogue process’ of print to the table whilst elsewhere designers adopt a more illustrative approach, slavish to the original 60s ethos.

Luke Insect (UK) www.lukeinsect.com

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Nate Duval (US) www.nateduval.com

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Mishka Westell (US) www.mishkawestell.com

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Rob Fitzpatrick & Christian Bland (US – Levitation Festival)

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Andy Votel (UK – Finders Keepers label owner / designer, formerly Twisted Nerve records)

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Robin Gnista (Sweden) www.robgnista.com

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Simon Berndt/One Horse Town (South Africa) www.onehorsetownillustration

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Weird Beard (US) www.wb72.bigcartel.com

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Julian House (UK – Ghost Box label owner, designer at Intro)

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Fez Moreno (US – artist for The Electric Church) @fezmoreno

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Nick Taylorwww.SpectralStudio.co.uk

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More Jason Galea tour posters for King Gizzard

KG BerlinIf, like me, you’re following King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s current world tour to support their new ‘Infest The Rat’s Nest’ album then you’ll be aware that ‘8th member’ Jason Galea who provides all their artwork is making individual posters for each headline show of the tour. Galea, who has made videos, sleeves, T-shirts and more for the band since they started out has long put repeated motifs and characters into the artwork and is drawing on much of this for the subject matter of the posters.
He continues to knock it out of the park with new posters almost daily and the quality threshold is high, see examples from the US tour here. I saw the band in London recently and he was doing the visuals for them as well! You can follow him on Instagram KG LondonKG Leeds KG Luxembourg KG Paris

Spun Out Of Control tapes for Cassette Store Day

SOOC tapes frontIt’s Cassette Store (Shop) Day today in the UK and two of the best-looking entries this year are from Spun Out Of Control . Namely the third Stefan Bachmeier release – a clone-obsessed author gets paranoid when he starts to discover other dopplegangers – and Grayson by Jane Borré, a conceptual sci-fi soundtrack in a glitter-speckled shell. These will go quick, they usually sell out in a few hours so be ready if you want one. Also out is The The‘s See Without Being Seeing which also sold out from their site on pre-order last week.SOOC tapes back

Dusk Dubs – Season 6 playlist

DD0601-- DJ Food

The good people at Dusk Dubs asked me to assemble a playlist of influences and important records so I picked songs jumping off from the Dust & Grooves influences mix I did a few years back, which roughly cut off in the early 90s. I’ve rewound a few years back into the end of the 80s but the bulk of the music comes from the decade after. This isn’t a mix and I’ve only selected the content rather than constructed the flow, as is the Dusk Dubs way, There are notes to go with each selection over on their site to put each track into context too. Listen HERE

Matt Johnson – See Without Being Seen cassette

SWBS frontThe The fans – re-release of the first recordings of Matt Johnson are imminent. This tape originally existed in a tiny run, some hand-copied and sold at his earliest gigs, I only know one person who has one (and it’s not me). Now restored from the original tapes with 3 unreleased tracks from the same era. It’s being made available again for Cassette Store Day on Oct 12th and the pre-orders at TheThe.com are already sold out so make sure you ask you local shop to get enough copies in.
https://www.thethe.com/product/see-without-being-seen/

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Detuned – DE:10.08 released today

DE08 front v2

Out today: #8 of 10 projected releases I’ve designed for the De:tuned label as they celebrate their first 10 years. One release a month, multiple combinations of great artists coming up across nine 12″s whose covers fit together to form a larger image, with a tenth remix 12″ to finish things off.

DE10 08B v2

Listen:

DE10 08A

Order:
Juno: http://bit.ly/2mokvex
Phonica: http://bit.ly/2kWzZGo
Bleep: http://bit.ly/2mr6qwZ
Clone: http://bit.ly/2m35sa2
Deejay: http://bit.ly/2kpn9jA
Norman: http://bit.ly/2kVPhLJ
Decks: http://bit.ly/2muZVt1
HHV: http://bit.ly/2m7jEiu

DE08 back

Double Dee & Steinski – Lesson 4 12″

double-dee-steinski-lesson-4-vinyl-front-cover
Over 30 years in the making, ‘Lesson 4′ by the original cut and paste duo Double Dee & Steinski, is finally coming to vinyl. Begun around 1985 as a follow up to the initial Lesson trilogy, it was never finished and languished on tape until the early 00’s where it resurfaced due to an off-the-cuff remark made during my trip to NYC to work with Steinski and interview the pair for Solid Steel. They gave me the tapes of various works in progress to re-edit for said interview and then, aside from an extremely poor quality bootleg, it disappeared again.
A few months ago, in a flurry of web activity, a complete 11min+ rework appeared, now subtitled ‘The Beat’, along with numerous other tracks, all now available on vinyl for the first time. Doug and Steve have obviously got their mojo back and been hard at it in the studio, aided by ADA and are putting their work up on Bandcamp including remastered editions of the original Lessons. Get the limited 12″ now, direct from their site, these may not be available anywhere else.

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Phase DJ hardware

Phase box I recently bought Phase to add to my DJ set up and thought I’d set down some initial thoughts about it.
A quick overview for those who haven’t come across it before – Phase works with digital Digital Vinyl Systems (DVS) like Serato and Traktor which use a traditional turntable and a controller record/soundcard combo to control the music. Traditionally the turntable needle reads timecode on a vinyl disc and relays that back to a laptop containing software with 2 virtual decks, the turntable becomes a controller for these decks, onto which you drag and drop music from your laptop to play out.
Phase consists of two ‘remotes’ that magnetically clip over the turntable spindle onto any record or object that you wish to use to control it with (it doesn’t have to be a timecoded record). The remotes then send a wireless signal back to the Phase receiver (which doubles as a charger) telling it where the orientation of the turntable deck is.

This is relayed back to the laptop via USB * UPDATE 1 (via Anton – Mr Armtone) “Remotes just send a wireless signal back to the Phase receiver and it reproduces classic audio time-code signal as on timecode vinyl or CDs. If you turning on “THRU” signal on Serato – you’ll hear it. That’s why you need to connect Phase by RCA to your Serato sound-cart (mixer, box, midi-controller). Also, you can connect Phase directly into power socket by USB-adapter, like an iPhone, and thereby to make free one USB port on your Laptop. So, USB on Phase is only needed to update and as a power source.
– and you have control over your virtual decks without having to use the needle on record method of old.

Phase remoteWhy would you add this to your set up when the traditional DVS set up works just fine? With decks and DVS systems comes the problem of worn needles, dust on the stylus inhibiting the signal, bent tonearms, scratched vinyl controller records, bad headshell contact connections and knackered RCA plugs – all of which can corrupt the timecode being relayed back to the laptop and cause glitches, pitch distortions and dropouts. I’ve done so many gigs where the scopes on Serato have wavered, dipped into the red with onstage feedback, dust has built up and glitched out the signal or headshells wouldn’t connect at soundcheck and you’re constantly in fear of everything packing up.
All completely eradicated when using Phase and it’s great to eliminate these potential technical failures from the set up when going to different venues where the equipment is always unknown. Personally I’ve always loved the tactile touch of turntables, never got on with CDJs and, similarly, never found a controller that I’d be happy to use – mostly because of the size of things I suspect – and any working turntable with pitch control can be used with Phase.

There are problems with it but they seem to be more about human error than machine at this stage. The first is remembering which deck is playing the music and not moving the one spinning accidentally, I scratched/stopped the wrong deck twice during a 4 hour set. Also not using the needle, which is an automatic action after all these years, takes a bit of getting used to, not helped in my recent DJ set by the fact that I was also alternating between DVS and actual vinyl playing. The remotes can get in the way when rewinding the decks via the label and there’s no more tweaking the spindle for those micro pitch shifts as the remote sits over them. It does come with an added level of cables to plug in, if you want simplicity and not to have to carry an extra bit of (very small) kit then go for RekordBox and a couple of USBs in a CDJ. This would come down to each individual’s preference when playing ultimately. I’ve seen people questioning the responsiveness of the remotes online but it all seems to be good for me, maybe there was the tiniest bit of lag when scratching but I can’t be sure, it’s certainly minimal if it’s there and remember, this is new hardware/software, it takes time to iron out the kinks, Serato wasn’t perfect straight out the box either.

BTW, I should say, the design of it is beautiful, clean and slick packaging with tasteful minimal touches to the compact hardware. The software that comes with it is equally minimal at the moment, there’s plenty of scope to expand that but nice touches like customising the colour of the lights on the remotes and magnetic stickers to affix them to your records are welcome. I’d like to see versions in other colours rather than the standard black that everyone does (why are so many mixers in black which are just hard to see in a dark club?). An ‘A’ and ‘B’ on the actual remotes so that you can remember which is which would be good too and making the signal light green instead of red (the traditional bad signal colour) in Serato would be good but I suspect this is more to do with how Serato set up their app. *UPDATE 2 Another interesting fact, that this signal from Phase doesn’t support officially, that’s why it comes with “red line” (not grey) on Serato software.”

I only gave it a light test run, no video yet (not that that should make a difference – it’s just sending timecode, not streaming video data) but I loved using it and I didn’t have any problems with them beside my own human errors. They will take a little getting used to but they replace the use for a needle perfectly and personally Phase works for me and I’ll be using it for digital DJ sets going forward.

Posted in DJ Food, Gigs. | 3 Comments | Tags:

Detuned – DE:10.07 released today

DE07 front
Out today: #7 of 10 projected releases I’ve designed for the De:tuned label as they celebrate their first 10 years. One release a month, multiple combinations of great artists coming up across nine 12″s whose covers fit together to form a larger image, with a tenth remix 12″ to finish things off.

DE10 07B

Listen:

DE10 07A

Order:
Juno: http://bit.ly/2KYVW0s
Phonica: http://bit.ly/2HlDApr
Bleep: http://bit.ly/2ZkbbpK
Clone: http://bit.ly/2HmDL3Y
Deejay: http://bit.ly/2ZcuPJp
Red Eye: http://bit.ly/2HoS2gr
Norman: http://bit.ly/2ZpTM38
Decks: http://bit.ly/2Nvt6YC
HHV: http://bit.ly/2NrkAJU
Triple Vision: http://bit.ly/2NqUmY9

DE07 back

New Vanishing Twin video and european tour

The excellent Vanishing Twin have just premiered a new video for ‘You Are Not An Island’ from their ‘Age of Immunology’ LP. Most of their videos so far have been monochromatic, surreal mini-masterpieces, harking back to various visual movements of the 20th century (check the Man Ray-isms of ‘Telescope’) but the new one changes the format somewhat. Adding muted colours and a Moebius-like world vision full of bowl helmeted figures and pulsing black spheres.

They are also off on tour around the UK and Europe over the next few months. Go and see them, buy their records, they’re one of the most interesting bands out there at the moment.

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Posted in Film, Gigs, Music. | No Comments | Tags:

RIP Pedro Bell

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Sad to hear of the passing of Pedro Bell, best known for his covers for Funkadelic and George Clinton, his art is so rich in detail, colour and messages with the pre-computer hand-drawn type and awkward figure drawing giving the work an untutored edge. That he was legally blind for 20 years and struggling with health issues is an all too familiar story but his black psychedelic comic visions will live on.

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Weekend mixes, radio and podcasts

A few new things I’ve been listening to online over the UK bank holiday weekend – a brand new Future Sound of London ambient mix – The Electronic Brain Storms 12 – very deep, the usual high standard, great for the comedown into the new week.

The second of George Stewart Lockhart‘s radio series exploring the roots of the London club scene and beyond from the people who were there, newly re-christened Fiver On The Door. This time round his guest is Femi from The Young Disciples who goes into depth about the London scene in the 80s and 90s.
Part 1 (then titled Nights Over London) featured yours truly and can be found here.

The latest episode of Big Mouth, the weekly pop culture podcast, this week featuring a review of the new DAISY Age compilation, Friendly Fires LP and a look back at Definitely Maybe among other things. Always good for a listen and Andrew Harrison‘s quick-fire punnery, recent episodes have tackled Jeremy Deller‘s acid house doc and exhibition, Mick Houghton‘s book on his time as publicist for The KLF, The Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes and Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Find all previous episodes here.

Jason Galea tour posters for King Gizzard

KG Adelaide If, like me, you’re following King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s current world tour to support their new ‘Infest The Rat’s Nest’ album then you’ll be aware that ‘8th member’ Jason Galea who provides all their artwork is making individual posters for each headline show of the tour. Galea, who has made videos, sleeves, T-shirts and more for the band since they started out has long put repeated motifs and characters into the artwork and is drawing on much of this for the subject matter of the posters.

KG ChicagoKG Denver
Drawing different designs and screen printing 100 copies per show, only to be sold at the gig on the night, this is going to test even the hardest of hardcore fans in ways such as the 180 and counting formats of their ‘Polygondwanaland’ album that they gave permission for anyone to press would. The Australian leg of the tour is already done and they’re now well into the North American leg before heading to the UK and Europe in a month’s time.
KG LAKG Melbourne
I’ve included just a few of the posters so far here, there are about as many again and grows weekly with an estimated 40 different designs being made by the end of the run. My tickets for their London show just arrived in the post, i’m looking forward to seeing what Jason cooks up for that gig.

KG SF KG Sydney KG Vancouver

The Delaware Road 2019

Delaware Road flyer crop
It’s been nearly a week and I’ve been away since returning from this madness so this is late but: The Delaware Road, 2019 : Ritual & Resistance, a 1 day event deep in the heart of Salisbury in a working army base was a blast. Hidden at the end of a road which went through a ghost village and fields of rusted tanks and distant watch towers, red Routemaster buses ferried us to the destination, driven by a man who asked us to reset our watches to the local time of 1944.

DR Salisbury plains DR Salisbury tankDR Salisbury buses DR Danger sign

Along the way locals muttered about a rave happening at the military base but this was no ordinary party. 40 performers ranging from live bands to DJs, poets, installation art, spoken word artists, a witch and a lot of men looking very intently at laptops, tape machines, keyboards and modular synths filled the concrete spaces with a huge amount of sonic beauty and debauchery. The stark concrete and brick huts and outhouses housed all manner of the most leftfield electronica and alternative music and performance you’ll see in any venue or festival, let alone a working M.O.D. facility.

The Delaware Road encampmentDR MOD campDR bus stopDR camping

The main gathering space and stage inside the curved Nissen hut

DR fest site

Stand out moments are hard to quantify as there was so much on and it was a battle to either catch certain acts or get into the rooms they were playing in as some were cramped/crammed by the time you’d arrive. The exception was the main Nissen hut/stage which was big enough to accommodate many and came into its own once the sun went down and the projections kicked in. In the Psyché Tropes room, Sculpture rocked as they always do and Howlround with Merkaba Macabre in a tape loop/modular synth soundclash definitely blew the cobwebs away and probably affected the baby swallows in the nest up in the rafters forever. The Castles In Space room was rammed for Polypores, The 12 Hour Foundation and Concretism and the Buried Treasure room hosted Ian Helliwell, Simon James and Soundhog whose set I caught the last part of with the memorable special lighting effect deployed during his ode to the Commodore 64. Add Andrea Parker playing an electronic pioneers set and Doug Shipton layering cosmic sounds in the main hut before a frankly terrifying performance by Lone Taximermist after which Steve Davis and myself closed things and this was still only half of what was on offer. You could have gone again and had a completely different festival so props to Alan Gubby for all his hard work making it one of the most memorable and manic line ups yet in the Delaware Road saga.

Andrea ParkerDR Andrea Parker
Doug Shipton
DR Doug Shipton

Polypores
DR Polyphores

The 12 Hour Foundation DR 12 Hr Foundation

I never did find out who this lot were but they seemed to play all over the place, Push and Neil from Electronic Sound magazine look on over the wall.DR unknown

Frances Castle from Clay Pipe Music exhibiting her wares DR Frances CastleFrances Castle prints 2Frances Castle prints

Ben SoundhogDR Ben Soundhog

Ian HelliwellDR Ian Heliwell

Simon JamesDR Simon James

Nick Taylor from Spectral Studio exhibiting his workDR Nick Taylor printsDR Nick Taylor

Howlround and Psyché Tropes DR Howlround + Psyche Tropes

Sculpture DR Sculpture

A short blast from their set at this link https://www.facebook.com/strictly.kev/videos/10156224556540025/

Steve Davis and yours truly courtesy of Robin The Fog
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Steve having a wail of a time closing the festival.
DR Steve Davis