Acid House 7″ mix #3 for 45 Live

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It’s my turn again to provide a guest mix for the 45 Live radio show, hosted by Greg Belson and featuring only music played from 7″ vinyl. As usual I wanted to stray from the path and have been digging hard to find rare or obscure acid house singles that either I or 45 Live co-founder, Pete Isaac, haven’t played before on our 303-heavy mixes. Pete and I have been collecting acid 45s alongside one another for the last few years now and a healthy competition has developed between us in finding tunes from this tiny niche. But it’s a microscopic playing field, even counting today’s modern acid scene, and only numbers in the hundreds of releases on the 7″ format. It’s heartening to see current labels like BBE and Get On Down finally putting some classic house and acid gems on 45 in recent months to add to this finite corner of the digging world.

My first all-7″ acid mix was for the I Love Acid radio show a couple of years ago, the second for 45 Live last year and for this third outing I’ve spent months finding euro oddities from the 80s to give an authentic period mix – the one exception being the lead track, Mr. Fingers’ ‘Washing Machine’, which was first released in 1986 but not issued on 7″ until 2018. All other tracks featured were released in ’87, ’88 or ’89 with one lone 1990 release (ACR’s ‘Good Together’ which first appeared on a stamped pink label 12″ in ’89). At times I’ve felt like I’m scraping the barrel but there’s always an unexpected gem to be found where you least expect it.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned whilst digging for acid 45s over the years:
Most of them originate in the UK or Europe, there weren’t many US 7″s pressed as it was the longer running 12″ that was the most ideal format. Because the music charted heavily in the UK, record labels pressed 7″s with edited versions of many releases into the early 90s when they were eventually replaced by CD singles around ’92/’93. You can also find a limited supply of rave 45s fairly easily but by the time jungle happened they were a dead format for dance music save for the odd magazine freebie.

In Belgium, Spain, Italy and Germany there was a small industry in copycat cash-in singles feeding off the MARRS ‘Pump Up The Volume’ / Bomb The Bass ‘Beat Dis’ / Coldcut ‘Doctorin’ The House’ / S-express style of cut-up house, often using whatever synths they could find to emulate the Roland TB-303 acid sound. All these singles are peppered with ‘enjoy this trip’ radio announcer-style samples, Run DMC ‘ah yeah’s’ or ‘check this out’s’ and cries of ‘acieeeeeed’ if they were released in ’88. They must have all been sampling from the same sources and, with only a few exceptions, these records are universally awful, have smiley’s on their sleeves and have dated horrendously.

For a short period of time in the late 80s it seemed that any old pop act got an acid makeover – Bros, Bananarama, Yazz, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Army of Lovers, even Sam Fox got into the act (‘Love House’ – the ‘Sulphuric Mix’ is actually passable). There are all sorts of acid mixes hidng on the B-sides of British pop artists, by some of the greats of the house genre – Bam Bam, Adonis, DJ Pierre, Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley and Kevin Saunderson all have some of their earliest major label remixes hidden away on singles by the most unlikely artists. Some of Saunderson’s first remixes were for the Wee Papa Girl Rappers (‘Heat It Up’, ‘We Know It’ and ‘Blow The House Down’ alongside Adonis) and he also serviced Neneh Cherry, Paula Abdul, Sam Fox and Loose Ends.
Bam Bam – of acid classics ‘Where’s Your Child and ‘Give It To Me’ – had his fingers in many pies remixing Coldcut, Yazz, The Shamen (years before their 90s pop success) and most bizarrely, Brass Construction.

Ex-Frankie Goes To Hollywood backing singer, Paul Rutherford, had some of the best acid makeovers for his debut single, ‘Get Real’, produced not by natives of Detroit or Chicago but by Martin Fry and Mark White aka Sheffield’s ABC! Of the three 12″ versions of the single out there the rare nine minute ‘Hardcore’ mix is the best but hardest to find as it was pressed with the ‘Sinister’ mix label and cover and you can only tell a copy by checking the matrix number on the run out groove. I’m betting Hardlfoor heard this mix before writing their huge ‘Acperience’ track years later.

But we’re straying from the subject of the 7″ – typically, few of these remixes made it to the 45 version but occasionally one would turn up on a foreign pressing. There’s an acid version of a worldwide late 80’s hit that exists only on one of two different french pressings that’s so far alluded me, the differences between the versions being so minescule that most sellers simply list the wrong version when it comes up for sale. By 1990 things had died down as the fad had passed in the fast-moving world of dance music and Hip House and the Italo sound replaced the unfashionable acid squiggle and smiley. But it had made its mark, the Madchester scene, Deee-lite and Screamadelica were all products of acid house and the Dutch and Germans sped up the tempo and pushed it into new forms of techno throughout the 90s. I already have nearly enough 45s for a 90s-00s acid mix but this new one is possibly my last word in 80s era cuts save for a handful of singles that I’ve yet to find.

The 45 Live Radio show airs twice a month on a Friday night from dublab in LA but you can catch up from their Mixcloud page or subscribe through iTunes. Much love to DJ Greg Belson for hosting and curating it over the last three years and Pete and Scott for steering the 45 live ship.

 

Orla Kiely shop, Covent Garden

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Sad to see the Orla Kiely shop all closed up yesterday after the news that she’s gone into voluntary administration earlier this week. I loved that place, the interior detailing and decor was always a pleasure to see, not to mention the objects they sold. Her retrospective at the Fashion & Textile Museum ends this weekend if you missed it. A true design icon, I hope she bounces back soon. Her home ware and licensed products will still be available in the bigger shops and her design practice remains but not the three shops or online store. It seems the decline of the pound and Brexit fears were part of the reason for the decision, how many more will we see close come this time next year?

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Orla Kiely inside 2 Orla Kiely inside stands Orla Kiely inside Orla Kiely window hello Orla Kiely windowOrla Kiely door detail

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Trevor Jackson ‘System’ album

System CD yellow

Back in May I bought the yellow/orange version of this album direct from Trevor at the Indie Label Market from an edition of 150 copies, now he’s released it fully in a revised edition (the music is the same, just the packaging is new) and it’s debatable which is nicer. The cool, clean white / clear of the new edition nearly had me buying the CD again but I went for the cassette instead. This is the last release on his Pre_ label of archive music solely made by himself over the last 15 odd years and this one is excellent. As of writing there are only 10 copies of the CD left on Bandcamp – be quick

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Further preview radio show

It’s less than a week until the next Further at the Portico Gallery, and i’ve has put a special preview together of the acts playing for the Out Of The Wood radio show on WNBC.London.


The first hour consists of a primer for special guests The Karminsky Experience Inc. and Markey Funk followed by a selection of Boards of Canada – the subject matter for my ‘O Is For Orange’ audio visual performance. Finishing with the kind of eclectic set co-host Pete Williams will be spinning in the last half hour, you get the gist of the sounds going down this Saturday 15th in West Norwood.

Add copious amounts of retina-singeing visuals, the Karminsky’s giving away copies of their new VR glasses (see above) and tasty local food on sale via the Pimento ’62 people (see menu below) and you get the idea about what to expect. Final batch of tickets for Sept 15th available here.

Sculpture ‘Nearest Neighbour’ short and remix

I know I post about Sculpture a lot but I just cannot get my head round how they do some of their stuff – this video has so much work in it that my brain hurts. The comic of the album gets the animated treatment with a couple of tracks from the album including ‘Nite Flight’, my favourite. Listen and buy a copy on cassette or DL here as well as this free remix

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DJ Food – Welcome To The Dark Ages – Invisible Wind Factory 25.08.17

WTTDA DJ Food

Finally, my 3 hr set at the Welcome To The Dark Ages Graduation BallInvisible Wind Factory, Liverpool, 26.08.17

Originally thought lost after only a recording of the final 11 minutes could be found on my laptop after the gig, the remainder of the set was hidden as an untitled file, found months later during the Christmas TOTP special of 2017. Re-edited back together with the odd touch up, I present the full set played after Badger Kull‘s debut/final performance.

Contains JAMs/Timelords/KLF samples and sources tribute / acid house classics club set / winding down to 3am with occasional attempts to clear the dance floor (didn’t work, the diehard stayed until the end).

For my fully illustrated ‘diary’ of the events of ‘Welcome To The Dark Ages’ check here
Part 1. / Part 2. / Part 3. / Part 4. and my post-happening comedown Chill Out tribute mix at Emotion Wave the day after.

UPDATE: I recently also found my notes for this mix with a rough outline and potential other sections that I could have played including a ‘Liverpool bands’ medley and ‘money’ section that never made it. Bill Drummond had sent me a scan of the page from 2023 that lists the performers at the Xmas Top Of The Pops so I could cram a lot of things into the set list that would later be relevant. Of course, all this stuff is well and good in theory and in the safety of your studio but in the heat of the moment you have to judge what will work and what might not with a crowd in front of you. I was passed a USB stick by Phil Blake on the day of the gig with two fan-made tracks featuring badger samples (Little Fluffy Badgers…) that I threw into the line up at the 11th hour too.

DJ Food JAMs set list

John Vernon Lord at the House of Illustration

JVL_BeneathTheTreefullThe John Vernon Lord exhibition of Ulysses, Finigan’s Wake and Alice in Wonderland illustrations just started at the House of Illustration in Kings Cross. What I didn’t realise when I visited was that his huge 1966 masterpiece, ‘Beneath The Tree’ was also on display and it was breathtaking to see in the flesh.

The details visible in the original, not possible to see in the version printed in his Drawn To Drawing book, were many, from tiny messages written along tree roots to hidden numbers and miniature details in the shadows. Worth the price of admission alone to finally see this incredible piece which usually resides in the collection of the University of Brighton.

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Artifact #23: DJ Food vintage record box

DJFoodRecordBoxFrontMy first flight cased record box – long retired. This has seen some places, miles and times. I used this throughout the 90’s on the early Ninja Tune DJ package tours around the world. I would pack a Line 6 FX pedal, needles, leads, slipmats and headphones inside as well. It was heavy as you like when full and this was before trolleys or record bags with wheels. The stickers tell the times it was used in, see how many you recognise. Made a nice seat too! These days it’s packed with archive materials, sketchbooks, artwork, all protected until needed. See the last pic for a flat pack, make-your-own version.

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The Karminsky Experience Inc. See Inside VR glasses freebies at Further

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We’re really excited to be hosting The Karminsky Experience Inc. for a DJ set at Further on Sept 15th but got even more excited when they revealed that they’d be giving away some of these VR viewers to punters at the gig too. This pair of Cardboard VR glasses, beautifully illustrated by Dry British, lets you view their new 360 degree film to go with ‘See Inside’ from their last LP, ‘Beat’ which they should also have copies of on sale. I’m told this will be the first time you’ll be able to get your hands on these beauties but numbers will be limited.

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After extracting and assembling the glasses, you scan the QR code on the side with your phone or find the video on YouTube via the URL they provide – adjust the settings accordingly, press play and pop the phone into the viewer. From then on you’re taken into a Karminsky world whilst the music plays and you look around. Obviously it’s impossible to convey in writing, you really have to experience it first hand. Come along and maybe you can have a Karminsky Experience of your own.
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Tickets for Sept 15th w. The Karminsky’s, Markey Funk (Delights), Pete WIlliams and myself are available here.

O Is For Orange AV set for Glasgow

McChuills flyer
Glasgow friends, I’ve finally managed to sneak in a performance of my ‘O Is For Orange’ AV set in your fine town, during the two days I’m in Scotland with The The next month.
I performed the 1st AV mix – Selected Aphex Works – last year and Glasgow was one of the best audiences ever.
This is the 2nd and if you like Boards of Canada then this mix is for you…
Sept 4th, McChuills bar, limited tickets here

Further 2 at the Portico Gallery, November 2017


Seeing as I never got round to posting these at the time (I moved house the week after) and with a new event upon us in a month’s time, here’s a quick look back at the last Further at the Portico Gallery, November 2017 with guests Sculpture and Simon James (The Simonsound). Photos by Martin LeSanto-Smith and myself

Simon James at the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box


Here’s a film of Simon’s performance by his brother, Curtis James

Simon James Buchla 200e performance at Further from Simon James on Vimeo.

The record and merch stall was kindly provided by Michael and Dorian from the local Book & Record Bar



Sculpture at soundcheck and during their performance

Tickets for the next one – Sept 15th, 2018 with myself, Pete WIlliams, The Karminsky Experience Inc. and Markey Funk (Delights) are available here.

Slides for Further 2 at the Portico Gallery

IMG_6422Dipping back into the archives for some previously un-posted slides that we made for the second Further at the Portico Gallery back in November 2017.

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The next one is Sept 15th, same venue, with The Karminsky Experience Inc. and Markey Funk guesting while I perform a rare outing for my ‘O Is For Orange’ Boards of Canada-esque AV set. Tickets available here

Aphex Twin advert at Elephant & Castle station

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This is last week’s news now but I finally found myself in Elephant & Castle underground station this week and went in search of the Aphex Twin adverts that had appeared the previous Monday. Nestling in a corridor near the lifts below the shopping centre end of the station are the two op-art-esque logos, seemingly tiled into the wall although closer inspection reveals a carefully designed paste on advert like any other, just with special attention made to the scale of the tiles being rendered.

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AFX cornerIt really is a great example of advertising assimilated into its environment and having all the more impact for it, it’s beautifully done, even if whoever pasted it up couldn’t quite be bothered to line the tiles up on the right hand side (see above). Other, similar designs also started popping up in other countries too, follow #3 aka Paul Nicholson, the original logo designer, for pictures and locations.

By now we know that this was advance warning of a new release, the ‘Collapse’ EP, scheduled for release on Warp mid September on vinyl, CD, cassette and limited foil-covered 12″ which intrigues me the most because the French company who used to produce those foil sheets you sometimes see on old record sleeves went out of business about a decade ago. Someone must have found a way to make them again and it’s a custom Aphex logo design rather than a pattern, very interesting…

Anyway – there’s a new video by Weirdcore that references the design above and the various formats can be pre-ordered here. (Beware – really awful website design alert – probably intentional)

With odd timing I’m pulling my Selected Aphex Works AV set out of retirement this weekend for an outing at the Space Theatre in Bangor, N. Ireland so I’m including the new video in the mix and then also playing a bonus club set at The Hop House nearby afterwards.

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Orla Kiely at the Fashion & Textile Museum

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Orla Kiely can probably lay claim to having an item of clothing or home ware in most 30 to 40-something homes I’d wager. From the ubiquitous bags seen on every yummy mummy to the stem-printed jugs, jars, towels and bedspreads infiltrating kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms in any discerning middle class household, you see her patterns everywhere in all sorts of shades. Personally I’m not into flowery prints but Kiely continues to thrill me with her never-ending range of retro-modern colour palettes and there’s just enough for a male fan like myself to buy for the home without it looking too feminine. Her current retrospective at the Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey is chock full of two decade’s worth of designs, a total Orla overload.

I love her patterns, preferring the more geometric ones with autumnal colour schemes.

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OK hallEntering the museum you’re confronted with huge flower prints and cases of bags, I couldn’t pull these off myself but love the pattern designs.

OK bag 1 OK bag 2

Next are several corridors with an explosion of Kiely products for the home including pattern design concepts (some still forthcoming) kitchenware, toys, stationery, mugs, wallpaper, luggage, books… You name it, it’s there with an O.K. pattern on it. In their colour-coded glory it’s quite something to behold, you want to steal it all but a whole house of this would be overkill.

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The main room consists of huge versions of dresses, as if made for giants, guarded by life size rotating block models that shift outfits like a children’s mix and match book depending on their alignment. The oversize garments are offset by handmade dolls wearing the same outfits in miniature, lining the walls. This was an interesting concept in showing off a collection but it didn’t work for me after the complete overload of the previous corridors of kitchen and homeware. The wow factor was initially there but very little was contained in the biggest room on closer inspection, they’d crammed it all in the preceding space because they needed the height to show off the hanging frocks.

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Last but not least is a wall of bags, followed by a photo retrospective of various seasons and styles. Kiely has a great eye for modernising old 50s/60s and 70s styles and colour combinations whilst continually reinventing key logos and patterns from previous lines. It doesn’t always work but her hit rate is high and the body of work has a definite personality and flow to it that makes it unmistakably hers. I came away only wishing she’d one day hit the late 60s and do her take on psychedelia and flower power, what a riot that could be.

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Further returns Sept 15th

Further 3 Portico poster

Further returns to its spiritual home at the Portico Gallery for another night of Light, Sound & Design.

Markey Funk flys in from Jerusalem to present his take on the heavy fuzz and psych sounds coming from his Delights label.
I’ll be bringing my AV ode to Boards of CanadaO Is For Orange – to the big screens with exclusive visual extras.
The Karminsky Experience Inc. grace the decks with their selection of swinging library, soundtrack and beatnik grooves.
And just when you think you’ve heard it all, Pete WIlliams pulls out those special audio treats he’s been hoarding for just this occasion, all accompanied by the sensory overload of the Further slide, oil and video projections.

Delicious food will be available from Pimento ’62 Catering and a fully licensed bar.

V. ltd. early bird tickets available here now!

Tomorrow Syndicate poster and LP

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Fantastic artwork by Nick Taylor on the new Tomorrow Syndicate album and promo poster. You can get both from the band’s Bandcamp page – the poster is A2 and in the merch section but the album is only available in digital form frustratingly. Much as I love the music Polytechnic Youth are putting out, they don’t make it easy to actually buy it. Small runs are sold via pre-order from their Facebook page with no audio previews and few represses, you have to be quick and, as the label gains popularity, if you’re not on the web when pre-orders go up then you have to chance your luck with mail order from the likes of Monorail or Norman Records. Still, it makes it all the more fun and precious when you do manage to get one. The album’s great and takes in most of their previously released tracks (two 7″s and a VHS) with nods to La Dusseldorf krautrock and Radiophonic Workshop spacey synth madness.

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