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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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.

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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

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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.
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Markey Funk – new tape JLM 1913/1921

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

JLM inside

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Last call for Delaware Road tickets – this Saturday it all happens

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(above) The line up for Saturday’s event, I’ll be on before Steve Davis, playing acid/kraut/electronica to get you moving.
(below) Event guides, one for each audience member. Some ticket options have now sold out. Visit FIXR, Bandcamp or Ticket Tailor for availability:

Ticket Tailor: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/thedelawareroad/212840
FIXR: https://fixr.co/event/839412645
Bandcamp: https://buriedtreasure.bandcamp.com/merch/the-delaware-road-2019-festival-camping

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(below) Exclusive Spectral Studio merch by Nick Taylor, available at the event, there should be plenty of goodies for sale so bring cash (no wi-fi on site so no card payments) and Frances Castle of Clay Pipe Music will be selling her wares too.

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Musicians’ Hearing Services

Ear plugsI’ve got to give a plug for the Musicians’ Hearing Service, a charity organisation who are dedicated to helping with all hearing-related problems that musicians can encounter. From ear protectors and plugs to tinnitus therapy and more they provide an excellent service and big discounts on items that can save your hearing.
A friend recommended the service (they can’t advertise because they are a charity so rely on word of mouth) and, after filling out a short questionnaire online to prove I’m a working musician, I was booked into their London clinic for a fitting. I’ve been wearing moulded ear plugs since the mid 90s and had to renew them due to wear and tear but what I didn’t know was that our ears are constantly growing so, roughly every 4 years, you should have a new fitting taken. I’d had mine for over 20 years so it was high time and the discounts they offer can save you around £100 compared to private options. Three weeks later and the new ear plugs arrived!
If you’re interested then visit them online (don’t be put off by the image of Coldplay on the main page), they have clinics in most major cities in the UK and it’s a simple process to see if you qualify for help. Highly recommended.

O Is For Orange at the Bluedot festival

fullsizeoutput_f6dWell, the Bluedot Festival was ace for the few hours I spent on site, very well organised, lovely people plus tons of interesting science-based attractions aside from the music. Great crowd for my set too (see view from the stage above), thanks to those who came up to me afterwards and said nice things. Some great photos from my set below via Lisa Sabotig and Bluedot themselves.

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And below, some of my own snaps from things I saw on site
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Imaginary Landscapes film from the Vinyl Factory

An excellent film about the use of the turntable as instrument (not in the hip hop scratching sense) and especially fascinating to see as I’m currently developing something along the same lines for performance. Go here for the original article on the Vinyl Factory site and try to see Graham Dunning live if you can, what he does is incredible.
Also just premiered via Resident Advisor is a film about dubplate cutting and present in both films is Shiva Fesharecki who performs both in clubs and concert halls with turntables.

Music Declares Emergency

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Proud to add my name to this new initiative by the UK music industry calling on the government to recognise and act on climate change/emergency whilst attempting to minimize current impacts created by our sector. For more info.

Completely separately, yesterday I stumbled across this online resource, Anything But Plastic which has alternatives to everyday household items I’d not even considered replacing with greener alternatives.

I currently use Naked Larder for package-free shopping on certain items – you sign up, order from them once a month (minimum order £25) then book a pick up time to collect your order in your own containers.

And to the eBay user who gave me my first negative feedback in 18 years because I used recycled packaging to send him his record – F**K YOU!

Big Mouth podcast

BigMouthThe king of puns, Andrew Harrison, and the lovely Siân Patternden invited me back onto the Big Mouth podcast this week to review the Warp 30th anniversary, the new Thom Yorke album, Anima, and the current TV adaptation of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. The Quietus’ Luke Turner also joined us and we each chose current favourite tunes and stories we’d seen in the news recently. It you become a Patreon backer of the podcast you’ll get the show at least a day early and an exclusive ‘Extra Bit’ each week, where we describe our worst and best festival experiences this time round.

Detuned – DE:10.06 released today

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Out today: #6 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 06B

Listen:

DE10 06A

Order:

Juno:
Phonica:
Bleep:
Rush Hour:
Deejay:
Clone:
Red Eye:
Norman:
Decks:
HHV:
Triple Vision:

DE06 back

Clocolan – new album album preview and pre-order

The new Clocolan album, It’s Not Too Early For Each Other, is set for release on July 19th on extremely limited cassette and DL. Preview four tracks from it here and check the lead single, Thirstland above. It seems incredible that this is getting such a limited release when the quality is so high and, elsewhere, people are fawning over utter garbage. A portion of each sale goes to Extinction Rebellion.

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New music round up – June 2019

New releases web
The current musical landscape is awash with great new music in equally great design and packaging – at least in the independent sector, I can’t speak for the mainstream because I rarely dip my toe in. On the fringes there are some fantastic records and tapes being made and I’ll attempt a potted round up here as much for my own sanity as anything else because I can barely keep up. Phew! This took ages to compile, buying links in descriptions…

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Jane WeaverLoops In The Secret Society 2xLP (Fire Records) A gentler, deeper, cosmic take on parts of Jane’s last two albums, The Silver Globe and Modern Kosmology, with new tracks and interludes to tie it all together into one sublime trip. Buy here NOW!

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Luke Vibert – Valvable 2xLP (Balkan Vinyl) – Luke makes an entire double album using only a Roland TB303, TR808 and JX-3P, on random variant coloured vinyl. It’s funky, minimal and instantly recognisable as Vibert. Coloured and black vinyl has sold out at the label’s Bandcamp but check the shops as black variants are shipping this week.

Various Artists – Corroded Circuits EP 12″ (Downfall Records) Great contemporary acid, ConSequence‘s ‘Glass Of Water’ is one of the most joyous, funky pieces of dance music I’ve heard all year. Downfall shop – warning, no digital.

Beans Lps

Beans – Triptych (Gamma Proforma) A curveball from Gamma, who ceased operations a while back, these are the last two releases from that phase of the label, finally released. The Beans album is a collection of works from 3 albums that were released simultaneously and isn’t available in any usual retailers unless directly from either Beans, artist O.Two who hand-painted all 140 of the covers or Rob at Gamma. The shame is that it’s a cracking hip hop record that’s provided one of the only breaths of fresh air I’ve heard in the genre for years. Worth it for the Broadcast-sampling ‘Pendulum’ alone, destined to be a sought after classic. Listen to selections here
DJ Krush – Cosmic Yard LP (Gamma Proforma) The Krush album was actually released late last year, also has its fair share of banging beats plus two collaborations from old cohort Toshinori Kondo and this one should at least be more generally available. *Also catch him with me in support on July 21st at Oslo, Hackney, London, plug plug*
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Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology LP/CD/Cassette/DL (Fire Records) One of the albums of 2019 already and a cracking live band – the comparisons with Stereolab and Broadcast are warranted but only a starting point, they’re far more cosmic than that. Beautiful artwork, spiral picture disc version and full colour fold out band poster – a very special record, why they’re not bigger is a mystery to me. Buy here from the label or find the cassette direct from the group’s Bandcamp page.

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The Relations – Night’s Prelude cassette/DL (Spun Out Of Control) – CorrelationsNeil Hale unveils a multi-collaboration side project with touches of psychedelia, krautrock and a lovely cover by Eric Adrian Lee. Buy digital here

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Justin Hopper & Sharron Kraus w The Belbury Poly – Chanctonbury Rings LP/CD/DL (Ghost Box)
Another essential GB release – see full review here

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Pictogram – Trace Elements cassette/DL (Miracle Pond) Beautiful ambient music from one man graphic factory Nick Taylor on his new Miracle Pond label, is there no end to this man’s talent? Buy Miracle Pond releases.

Humaoid LP

The Future Sound of London – Yage LP/DL / Humanoid – Built By Humaoid LP/CD/DL (FSOLDigital) – While they finish their Amorphous Androgynous magnum opus, ‘We Persuade Ourselves That We Are Immortal’, there’s more than enough to keep hungry FSOL fans happy. ‘Yage’ from their Dead Cities album has been revived, remixed and expanded into an album and Brian has reactivated his Humanoid alias for a new album of acid experimentation. Order here, including new T-shirts, magazines, posters and more, it’s hard to keep up.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishes LP (Flightless) Back for their first LP of the year (so far) Giz decide to go glam boogie and it works! Comes with full colour fold out poster and seaweed-coloured vinyl.

Home Current LP cover

The Home Current – Civilian Leather LP (Castles In Space) A unique album of 80’s post punk electronics meets Plaid-like hyper-detailed composition, a real mixed bag of a record, sometimes sounding more like a compilation because of the variety of styles. Lovely Nick Taylor cover and inserts too Check it out here

Heat Death – Dalham LP (Castles In Space) – Shades of Boards of Canada permeate this album of instrumental electronica on the now essential Castles In Space label. There’s more going on here than mere BoC pastiche though, I’ve not had enough time with it to fully immerse yet, hear a couple of tracks on the mix below to judge for yourself. Or preview / buy here

Andy Votel – Archipelagogo cassette (Hypocrite) Soundtrack to the exhibition of Felt Mistress and Jonathon Edwards figures inspired by the work of Tove Jansson and first release under the Votel name for a while.
Colours May Vary in Leeds have copies.

Simon James Cosmic Surgery
Simon James – Cosmic Surgery cassette / DL (Spun Out Of Control) Soundtrack previously only available with a book gets a full release via the excellent Spun Out Of Control label. It’s hard to keep up with James’ output of late, not only did he release a tape on Nick Luscombe‘s Musicity label of foley and Buchla recordings in China but also has a meditation/relaxation release entitled Space No Space out on Golden Ratio Frequencies at the beginning of July.

Posthuman – Voyager 3 cassette (The Dark Outside) More cassette-only madness with The Dark Outside and a concept album based on the (possibly fictitious – or is it?) Voyager 3 space probe from Posthuman. More ambient than acid, this tape goes deep and needs the full headphone treatment for full effect. Unfortunately this is all sold out so it’s a hunt on the secondary market for this one. UPDATE: Digital is now available here

WXAXRXP

Various artists – WXAXRXP 30 broadcasts (NTS) Boards of Canada dropping a rare mix of inspirations scattered with little unreleased sketches from their archive, Autechre delving into their unreleased pre-Warp tape archive, Brian Eno with Extinction Rebellion, Aphex Twin live sets, a vintage mix tape made by Trish from Broadcast, unreleased Mark Pritchard club edits, Warp really know how to celebrate a birthday in style. 100 hours of exclusive material, they even played my Blech 20.1 mix from 10 years ago as well apparently :)

If you want to hear some of the above then here’s a recent Out Of The Wood radio show I did for WNBC.London which features selections from about 50% of the above and other recent purchases.

Forthcoming:
Clocolan – It’s Not Too Early For Each Other cassette, July

As One – Communion LP (De:tuned) – First new album from Kirk DeGiorgio in 10 years with a cover by yours truly. Also don’t forget the monthly DE.10 releases (up to #5 currently) of a variety of artists celebrating a decade of the Belgian techno label. Listen on their Soundcloud

DeT 1-3covers

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Tomorrow Syndicate – Citizen Input mini LP (Polytechnic Youth) Who knows what this will bring but the previous LP was one of my albums of the year.
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King Gizzard & The Lizard WizardInfest The Rat’s Nest – yes, another LP, album no.15, merely 2 months after the last, rumour is that this is the heavy thrash record fans have been waiting for.

King Giz, new vidz

Nutters, no idea what is going on but looks like the thrash metal album is go
Invest The Rat’s Nest – album XV – out Aug 16th on Flightless Records
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– Deluxe yellow and black galaxy wax (2000 copies)
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– Deluxe black smokey wax with brown, red & gold heavy splatter (2000 copies)
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– Deluxe highlighter yellow wax with blue & green splatter (2000 copies)

– Gatefold sleeve with matte lamination
– 24″ x 36″ fold out wall poster
– 4″ iron on embroidered patch
– Record sleeve comes packaged in a custom paper bag
– Comes with FLAC Lossless Download of the album

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Funki Porcini Fast Asleep poster reprint

funki cover 3#throwbackthursday
Back in 2002 I designed the cover for Funki Porcini’s ‘Fast Asleep‘ album (with additional photography by Martin LeSanto-Smith). Ninja Tune then blew the image up to 1m square fly posters to advertise it. You can see one in the living room above the decks in Shaun of the Dead and one hung behind the counter in my local, Rat Records in Camberwell, for years.

SOTD FP poster

Now, Funki’s made a limited edition reproduction of that poster (on better paper too) available from his Bandcamp. While you’re there check out his back catalogue including brand new album, ‘Studio 59’.