New music

IndLabMrkt haul

I thought I’d better post some new music recommends on here seeing as the Four From Food Fridays thing took a back seat since I moved house late last year. I went to the Independant Label Market in Spitalfiends the Saturday before last and picked up a good haul of music at affordable prices, direct from the artists or labels. No queues, no waking up at silly o’clock, some limited editions but I managed to get everything I was after and I arrived a good three hours after it had opened.

Clockwise from top left: Pink Lunch (Trevor Jackson alias) – S/T LP (Pre), Dark They Were And Golden Eyed (Trevor Jackson alias) – Design Your Dreams LP, (Pre) Jon Brooks – 52 (Clay Pipe Music), Larry McGee Revolution – The Burg 7″ (Dynamite Cuts), Concretism – For Concrete & Country LP (Castles In Space), Heavenly Records sampler CD, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup LP (Heavenly), Soundhog – Newtown Parkway / Astrablast 7″ (Castles In Space), The Twelve Hour Foundation – Bunch of Fives lathe cut 7″ (Castles In Space), Trevor Jackson – System CD (Pre), Of The Night (Trevor Jackson alias) cassette (Pre).

This is where the spirit of Record Store Day lives for me, it was busy, it was exciting, I spent a chunk of money that went straight to the artists/labels and even grabbed copies for friends who couldn’t make it. Every release I got was new bar one reissue that I was given and I bought vinyl, CDs and a cassette. 7″s were around £5 or £10 for a lathe cut with multiple inserts, LPs between £15 and £20 and there was food and booze nearby to enjoy afterwards. Later we dropped into a local record shop only to see multiple copies of unsold RSD Shaggy 7″s and the Florence & The Machine single retailing for £18.

The clue is in the title, ‘Independent Label Market’, twice annually in London at Spitalfields – and yes, I realise I’m lucky enough to live in a city where such a thing happens – but they’re expanding. Next month sees one in Berlin, another in Soho and October has one scheduled for Paris.

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Castles In Space are really killing it with releases right now, the Concretism album is excellent, the Twelve Hour Foundation‘s 7″ above is a great taster for the album to follow and Soundhog‘s debut for the label bodes well for the future. With the Akiha Den Den album last year and more on the horizon, this Brighton-based label is doing good things in electronic music – lovely design by Nick Taylor on the THF single and Richard Littler (Scarfolk) for the Concretism too.

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Outside the market there’s plenty to be scooped up on the web – The new Delights release is out any day, with only half the stock left – a new Group Modular 45 with an update of their Acid Wheels track and a brand new A side. Each comes with this lovely screen print too and it’s limited to 150 copies. Grab one here

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If deep, dark modular electronics are your thing then you could do far worse than grab one or both of these releases which both feature Camberwell local Guido Zen. Vactrol Park is his band with Kyle Martin and this 3 tracker pre-empts a forthcoming album on Malka Tuti label – really nice stuff, similar in vein to their previous two EPs on ESP Institute. The PNZ ‘Shut Your Eyes On The Way Out’ LP is a collab between Zen, Colin Potter, who has worked with Nurse With Wound among others and Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving.

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Trunk comes up with another winner in the form of the spy-jazz KPM cues for the 2nd and 3rd series of the animated Spiderman cartoon of the 70’s. Fantastic spider-splat vinyl too although these may now be sold out.

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Demdike Stare also just put out a tape of them remixing The Feed-back by Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (Morricone‘s infamous psychedlic jazz outfit) – I was hoping for something a bit more crazed and fuzzed out but it’s an interesting listen. Sadly I think this is sold out already

Demdike Feedback

DJ Food supporting The The on forthcoming UK dates

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It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ve been asked by Matt Johnson to open for The The on selected UK dates for their comeback tour this year. Matt didn’t want a conventional band support in the slot but asked if I would prepare something cinematic and ambient, incorporating his music from the last four decades. Fortunately this is exactly the place my head’s been at over the last few years and the chance to do this with Matt’s back catalogue is the stuff of dreams. Expect an improvised ‘cineolascape’ to greet you on arrival for the gigs, different for each night.

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I’ll be joining the band – who have video accompaniment from Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us and design by Kate Wilkins – on
May 27th – Leeds, LMUSU
June 5th – London, Royal Albert Hall
June 6th – London, Brixton Academy
June 7th – London, Troxy
Sept 3rd – Newcastle, Newcastle University
Sept 4th – Glasgow, Barrowlands
Sept 5th – Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall

Also just announced: the new band line up (see above photo by John Claridge), the long-awated biography by Neil Fraser release date and more screenings of The Inertia Variations documentary at the ICA.
Go to https://www.thethe.com/ for more info…

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Posted in DJ Food, Gigs, Music. | 2 Comments | Tags: ,

Sister Corita Kent at Ditchling Art & Craft Museum

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There’s an amazing exhibition on in a very out-of-the-way place at the moment, Sister Corita Kents screen prints (or some of them) are on display in Ditchling, a small village near Hassocks, at their Art & Craft Museum, 10 minutes on the train from Brighton. Sister Corita was a nun, artist and teacher running art classes at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles in the 50s through to the early 70s. Her prime medium during these years was screen printing and her works were eventually seen as part of the Pop Art movement.

Her bold, bright, contemporary methods were in perfect step with the times but she became embroiled in arguments with the church over her messages, especially anti-vietnam and civil rights movements posters which ended with her leaving her post and the church for good. Her life and achievements are incredible as a practicing nun and teacher who had everyone from John Cage to Charles & Ray Eames to Alfred Hitchcock visit to take classes.
The exhibition is on until 14th October and is really worth the effort, it’s a 5 minutes cab ride from Hassocks train station and there’s a permanent collection of religious art and more to see.

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Confidence Man – Confident Music For Confident People

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It’s seldom that I hear something so fresh, so immediate and so mind-numbingly good that I have to go out, buy it straight away and then play it on repeat. I found Confidence Man via a recent Bigmouth podcast (thanks Andrew Harrison), a group described as a cross between Dee-Lite and Girls Aloud by no less than The Quietus and who live up to the hype. It’s pop with a capital P, a male and female fronted quartet with two shadowy (literally) background players/producers who crank the sound up for the clubs as much as the radio (I see Ewan Pearson was on mix duties for most of the album).

303 acid squiggles vie with sampled breaks, Italo piano and singalong hooks galore, one minute there’s a dead-ringer for ‘Come Together’ from ‘Screamadelica’ and the next it’s going all ‘I Feel Love’. It’s played with a straight face but tongues are firmly in cheeks and if the basslines don’t have you from the off then you must be partially dead or deaf. The LP, ‘Confident Music For Confident People’, came out last month on Heavenly in the UK and if it’s not in every album of the year list at the end of 2018 then there’s something seriously wrong. Get a load of this

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Big Mouth podcast (with Infinity War spoilers)


I was a guest on Bigmouth last week – the weekly pop culture podcast – pontificating/nerding out on Avengers: Infinity War, Janelle Monae’s ‘Dirty Computer’ LP, new Sky Atlantic series, ‘Barry’ and the latest ‘Too Slow To Disco: Brasil’ compilation. There are masses of spoilers for Avengers so don’t listen if you’ve not seen it yet but it is at the end of the show so there’s plenty to listen to before we start giving the game away.

The Advisory Circle – Ways of Seeing album

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It’s that time again, for another Jon Brooks album to grace the turntable and record shelf/box/bag, returning under his The Advisory Circle guise to the consistently dependable Ghost Box label. Wrapped, as always, in a gorgeous gold mirrorboard sleeve design by Julian House, Jon has conjured up another set of gorgeous melodies and lush scenarios loosely based around the theme of photography. Gone are the uneasy undercurrents of his last outing for the label, ‘From Out Here’, and instead we get a summery set of beautiful library-like cues, never outstaying their welcome (some leaving too early) with a guest vocal from The Pattern Forms’ cohort, Ed MacFarlane on the final track. Pre orders just went live, get it here on LP, CD or DL.

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Haendehoch! phonographics

IMG_7597 A mystery package of three 45s and 3 posters arrived a few weeks ago from Dutch label Haendehoch! phonographics. Each single is hand-stamped on the label, wrapped in a risograph printed sleeve, folded inside a plastic sleeve and comes with an A3 sized poster to compliment the release.

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The idea for the label is to rescue music from the web that was never given a release on a physical format at the time and the first three releases glean their contents from Soundcloud files uploaded between 2011 and 2014. It’s a novel way to start a label and, whilst the music wasn’t really to my taste, the graphics are absolutely beautiful.

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The label seems to be the brainchild of the Haendehoch typographics studio in Utrecht who have been creating work for the music and club scene in the Netherlands for over a decade. You can judge for yourself and buy the single now here
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Sure Shot Tools custom 45 adaptors

Pablo+Food@PB I spent Record Store Day in sunny Krakow, Poland this past weekend, playing an instore at the excellent Paul’s Boutique record shop and later spinning at Club Alchemia.

IMG_7541Whilst I was there I was graced with a pair of custom made 45 adaptors by new kid on the block, Sure Shot Tools. Having recently invested in a pair of the SydDefJam 7″ middles I’m pretty much set up for life as far as centers go as they do everything you’d ever need an adaptor to do. The difference here though, is the personalised machine-finished logo on the top, which sets them apart from the Australian leader of the pack. Syd offers hand-punched lettering but it’s rough and ready whereas Sure Shot can take a logo and engrave it perfectly onto the top of the middle for that professional finish.

IMG_5681His centers are as heavyweight as Syd’s but lack the rubber ring that holds the records firmly in place. Another plus point for us Europeans is that the postage costs aren’t as prohibitive on the Sure Shot’s than on Syd’s but really it’s down to individual taste in the end, they both do the job admirably and look great into the bargain.

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Frank Zappa advert + poster collages Pt.2

GUAMBO poster
Continued from part 1
I’m not sure who did the design above but, from the date, I’d guess it was Zappa, regardless it’s a great poster

Around the end of making The Mothers of Invention‘s ‘Absolutely Free’, Cal Schenkel started working with Frank Zappa on artwork (he also appears on the ‘Freak Out’ album as one of the studio voices). From then on he became the graphic artist most associated with the Mothers and some of Zappa’s solo works, his collages, paintings and sculptures adorning many of their classic LPs. Here’s an ad for ‘Absolutely Free’

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Cal created several ‘Moop’ ads, odd comic-styled pages, “…yeah, and we also did a series of ads which you might have seen at one point… for MOOP. You ever seen any of the MOOP ads? …but they were the weirdest ads, they were like just funny little surrealistic comic strips…and there’s a bunch of ads that were running–like, Hit Parader, and just the oddest places…” – from this interview

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This beauty below appeared in Marvel comics’ Daredevil #38

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By the 70s, things had started to change graphic-wise in publications and we go into what I call the ‘statement’ era of advertising where text played a big part in hooking the viewer in via an intriguing ‘headline’ and then selling the product in a quirky sales-pitch style similar to these examples below. Crazy graphics, surrealism and excessive detail were out and, as a designer, I can’t blame them. Much the same as the sometimes impenetrable psychedelic posters of the late 60s were only meant for the heads in the know to decipher, their time was up and now the marketing men had to sell this stuff to the masses rather than keep it underground. Cue straight, no-nonsense text in blank space and packshots of the album or group in question.

1969-06-14 Rolling Stone [UK] n35 051970-10-29 Rolling Stone n69 23One Size Fits all ad

Splice festival 2018

SPLICE 2018 /// FESTIVAL TRAILER /// from Splice Festival on Vimeo.

An incredible line-up of AV performances to explore, workshops to participate in, films and talks to expand your knowledge, Splice Festival 2018 is back for a third time.

Tickets are selling fast, there’s just a handful of discounted joint tickets remaining for Splice Festival Friday and Splice Festival Saturday. http://www.splicefestival.com/tickets/

The Sunday features a very special family friendly performance from Graeme Miller : Moomins and the Comet Live Re-score and a brilliant hands on workshop for the yung’uns from School of Noise : Childrens AV workshop: http://www.splicefestival.com/sunday-13th-may-kids-family/

There’s an additional venue on Sunday at Stour Space which looks just as good with Howlround reprising their live soundtrack to ‘A Creak In Time’ from last year’s premiere at Further plus Mixmaster Morris DJing, and some amazing – looking film from iloobia and Graham Dunning‘s mechanical techno project.

They have limited space available for the very popular workshops so get ’em now to avoid being disappointed.
http://www.splicefestival.com/splice/2018/workshops/

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Frank Zappa advert + poster collages Pt.1

1967-09-xx Hit Parader Abs Free ad

Lately I’ve been studying the collage art of Frank Zappa and Cal Schenkel from the Mothers of Invention albums. On reading up on this material, including a long interview with Schenkel, I realised that Zappa himself seems to have done a lot of the artwork for the first two Mothers albums, ‘Freak Out’ and ‘Absolutely Free’, with Cal coming in at the end of the latter and doing some of the adverts. What you see below is – as far as I can tell – is mostly the work of Zappa who was a pretty decent visual artist in his own right is seems.

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Freak Out News 1
An ‘official New of the Mothers’ would occasionally get printed in the LA Free Press, below is the first one, a four page digest that includes a poster for a forthcoming gig.

Freak Out News 2

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Freak Out newspaper poster Freak Out Off news Oct Freak Out Off news Oct2

Some variations on gig posters
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Collage made to illustrate an interview in a music magazine

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The original paste up for an advert / flyer
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Pulp Magazine archive

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Stuff that’s been clogging up the desktop Pt.4

Toby Whitebread (New Analog Illustration) sent me a link to a pulp magazine archive a few weeks back and I waded through it to find these beauties.

We start with a trio of lesser-seen Vaughn Bodé covers

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I’m not sure who these next two are by, the first could be Josh Kirby
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Three lovely Mike Hinge covers…Amazing_Stories_v46n01_1972-05_0000 Amazing_Stories_v46n05_1973-01_Gorgon776_0001 Amazing_Stories_v48n04_1974-12_Gorgon776_0001

Brian Lewis doing his Richard Powers / Yves Tanguy impressionNew_Worlds_069v23_1958-03_0001Science_Fantasy_28v10_1958-04_0000 Science_Fantasy_40v14_1960-04_0000

and finally, a couple of Richard Powers properStar_Science_Fiction_v01n01_1958-01_Sam_Hall-sleipnir_edit_0000Beyond_Fantasy_Fiction_v01n01_1953-07_cape1736_0000

Penguin Live at the Palladium

DJ Food at the Palladium - photo Liz CatchpoleI was recently asked by Penguin/Random House to go through their audio books and put together a 3 min piece for World Book Day. They then asked me to perform it onstage at the London Palladium! It’s at the end of the podcast here but I can’t seem to embed it so here’s a link.

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Crowds outside the Palladium beforehand, this was an employee’s only event, just after we’d had that huge snowstorm.

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Squid Soup‘s lighting rig with Ruth Jones on the video screen shortly before I took the stage.

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Emily Maitless gives me possibly the best intro ever…

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What you sadly can’t see is the animated video I also made to go along with it and the lighting by Squid Soup (who did the recent Four Tet gigs). The photo at the top was taken by an old friend of mine from the Camberwell College days, Liz Catchpole, who works for Penguin and had no idea I was playing until she saw me on stage. Massive thanks to everyone at Penguin / Random House who helped out on this, especially WiIliam Smith at Vintage and Richard Lennon from the audiobook dept.

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Further at SYNthesis

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Stuff that’s been clogging up the desktop Pt.2

This rather lovely selection of shots was taken by PC at Stanley Halls in Norwood when Further appeared at the SYNthesis festival last September. I’ve still to collate my images and do a proper post on this and the Portico Gallery one that came shortly after but I love this collage of different points in part of the slide show. Follow PC on Instagram here.

Cuphead Posters

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I’m still loving the design of Cuphead, the recent release from Studio MDHR based on the look of the old Fleischer Brothers animation studios. There seem to be lots of great posters for it online, possibly official, it’s hard to tell these days. Many follow the multi-coloured, multi-character model but some keep in line with the look of the game. There’s also merchandise starting to appear, from enamel pin badges to the inevitable Funko toys but the best object so far has to be the 4xLP original soundtrack.

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Housed in a 30’s book-style sleeve with gold leaf cover graphics, separate leaves for each disc and yellowed ‘pages’, it looks like it could have come straight from your grandparents’ vinyl collection. There’s also a lovely 7″ with selections from the near 3 hr LP set. At an eye-watering £71 + postage it’s a bit out of my league at the moment but it looks worth every penny from the photos.

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* Beware of pre-orders of figures from PopInABox – my Cuphead and Mugman figures are now 2 months overdue, one has been dispatched from overseas without a tracking number and the other remains in limbo while they wait for stock, meanwhile I’ve seen them in shops in the UK.

Diggers Dozen DJ Food set

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On March 13th I was invited to be one of the selectors at Diggers Dozen, a monthly get together at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, where each DJ is asked to play 12 records. The rules are: vinyl only, no reissues, no compilations – aside from that there’s no stipulation on music policy but it’s a sort-the-men-from-the-boys kind of situation in an age where anyone can have anything in digital format and a large proportion of what were once holy grails have been reissued or compiled over the last two decades or so.

Which of course isn’t to say there isn’t still plenty of gold out there, not all of it expensive either, you just have to know where to look, be patient and dig a bit deeper sometimes. Of late I’ve been getting into spiritual records and rock operas which have provided many unexpected treasures, especially from certain eras. Above are the records I played and the mix itself. Thanks to Maxwell, who runs the night, for inviting me and you can check out the other sets and more over on the DD website.

 

Everything You Do… fan video re-edit A/B comparison

Fans of Boards of Canada will probably be familiar with a long-standing fan video for their track, ‘Everything You Do Is A Balloon’ from the ‘Hi Scores’ EP. Upped to YouTube ten years ago by user nonameno5, it samples from a movie,‘One Got Fat: Bicycle Safety ‘ from 1963, and the bizarre imagery works beautifully with the song. “A group of children, all wearing ape masks, rides their bicycles to the park for a picnic. Along the way, all but one are eliminated for violating basic bike safety rules.”

I’ve used it in my AV sets before and decided to do so again for my forthcoming Boards-inspired AV mix, premiering this Friday at Archspace in London. The quality has always been an issue though so I thought I’d seek out the original video and re-edit a new version, down to the frame, to see if I could get a better looking copy.

Upon finding a copy and comparing the two I was shocked to find that not only was the detail better and colour richer and less bleached out, but some scenes had been cropped or zoomed into so that there was more to see in some scenes. The differences are fascinating and the extra details make it even more disturbing. Here’s some A/B comparisons between the original frame and my re-edit.

BOC Every A:B2 BOC Every A:B1 BOC Every A:B3 BOC Every A:B4 BOC Every A:B5 BOC Every A:B6

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