Sculpture, Projected Music release party

Projected Music poster
A huge night coming up on November the 29th in East London, Psyché Tropes celebrate the release of the 5″ picture disc of locked grooves Sculpture have done with them by putting on a gig of avant garde turntablism. Janek Schaefer, Mariam Rezaei and Sculpture themselves will be headlining and interspersed will be a 26 turntable ensemble made up of: A’Bear, Arran Bolders, Ben Rodgers, Billy Pleasant, Bjorn Hatleskog, Blanca Regina, Chloe Frieda, Chris Thomas Allen (The Light Surgeons), Dan Hayhurst (Sculpture), Daniel WJ MacKenzie, DJ Food, Graham Dunning, Hems, Horton Jupiter, Janek Schaefer, Lia Mice, Mariam Rezaei, Merkaba Macabre, Odd Lust, Pierre Bouvier Patron, Rado Bogasch, Reuben Sutherland (Sculpture),  Robin The Fog (Howlround), Spatial, Tida Bradshaw, Tom Richards.

I doubt the same people will ever be in the same place on 26 turntables ever again – should be a riot!
The record is great and available here and tickets for the event are available here for the absolute steal of £5.

The making of the new Lapalux album cover

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Lapalux released his new album, ‘Amnioverse’, last week on Brainfeeder and the cover and packaging is superb. As soon as I saw it I was trying to work out how photographer Dan Medhurst and set builder Owen Gildersleeve did it and now you can find out. Over on the Eye On Design website they have a feature on how it was done with process shots – go here to check it out

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There’s some lovely, sympathetic packaging to go with it (inc. a 28 page booklet not shown) and you can buy the record here.

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Damien Hirst – Mandalas at the White Cube

Gallery

A few days after seeing Damien Hirst’s new body of work, Mandalas, at the White Cube gallery in Piccadilly, I still can’t get them or their means of construction out of my head.

White 1 White 2 White 3 White 4Firstly, they are incredibly beautiful, huge, immaculately constructed and for the most part a blazing set of complimentary colours that burst out at you like the best Op-Art. Whilst these hark less towards the obvious stained-glass window effects of his previous collection, Kaleidoscope, they still retain a religious edge in the use of the mandala and several spiritually-aligned titles.

Red 1 Red 2 Red 3
The printed bumf from the gallery talks this angle up, pointing to the ‘highly patterned religious images that represent the cosmos or universe in Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or Shinto traditions’. They also refer to the works as ‘paintings’ when, really, the only paint used is the household kind used as a base in which thousands of real butterfly wings have been precisely placed. This is collage – not to want to split hairs – but when the body parts of thousands of dead insects make up the bulk of the show, realising this gives the works a second dimension that is hard to reconcile with their majesty. The skill with which these were constructed is mind-boggling (most probably without Hirst’s hand involved I’d wager) and as objects of precision, symmetry and craftsmanship they are hugely impressive.

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The largest of the collection, The Creator, is a predominantly black triptych that achieves the opposite of the others in that, instead of radiating outwards, it seemingly sucks you into its star field or black hole-like mass.

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The butterflies are of course mentioned in the blurb but no information is forthcoming about how or where they were sourced and one can only assume, in this day and age, that there was little ethical about their collection otherwise this would have been explicitly stated. Comments on a previous post I made during Hirst’s retrospective at the Tate Modern some years ago suggest that they are bred in Asia and then imported for this purpose but there is no info out there to substantiate this that I could find online. This poses a real problem when viewing the works, knowing that certain butterflies are becoming scarcer by the year, their importance in our declining ecosystem and the fact that they will now be sold for millions to collectors who will prize them in much the same way as a big game hunter would the pelt of a slaughtered animal.

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Whilst I wasn’t personally physically repulsed by viewing them in the same way as I was by seeing Marcus Harvey‘s painting of Myra Hindley made from the prints of a child’s hand at the Sensations exhibition over 20 years ago, the mixture of beauty from so much death leaves a guilt that sours the experience. The wings are isolated, no bodies remain, which detracts from the reality of their source slightly but there is no denying that they are real as some flash almost holographically in the light as you move past them. Only nature and light can reproduce such vivid colours (which, ironically, will fade in time under UV light I’m told) – I wonder how they will stand up over time and whether those who have bought them know this and will display them accordingly.

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If the best art should not only dazzle you with its beauty, skill, scope and technical ability but also make you think then, begrudgingly, I have to admit that Hirst has achieved all these in one way or another. While he has no doubt also made himself and the gallery a lot more money, he’s also made himself seem more like a dinosaur, out of step with our current ecologically caring times.

Detuned – DE:10.09 released today

DE09 front

We’re almost there… Out today: #9 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 across nine 12″s whose covers fit together to form a larger image, with a tenth remix 12″ to finish things off although there are going to be some special things to go with that release.

DE10 09B

Listen:

DE10 09A

Order:
Phonica: http://bit.ly/2Jis5Af
Bleep: http://bit.ly/2pNoEus
Juno: http://bit.ly/2N7J6Ow
Clone: http://bit.ly/2PcxCfo
Rush Hour: http://bit.ly/2pUKv2T
Deejay: http://bit.ly/32Kpnet
Decks: http://bit.ly/2Pnh2tr
HHV: http://bit.ly/2JjHhwS

DE09 back

Print ads from Scientific American magazine

Industrial TectonicsI was recently sorting out a small book collection for someone and ran across a stash of Scientific American magazines from the 60s. Some of the adverts are just beautiful examples of design, from typewriters to paper, electric and gas suppliers and general engineering companies. The standard is very high, considered and fun, attempting to make the banal interesting. Here are some of my favourite examples.

Celanese 2 Celanese 3 Celanese 5 Cornell Aeronautical Lab

The three ads below for Fairchild Semiconductor are double pagers – look at that font!

Fairchild Semiconductor 1 Fairchild Semiconductor 2 Fairchild Semiconductor 3 Los Alamos 1 Los Alamos 2 Los Alamos 3

The Olivetti ones below are just stunning, there seems to have been so many of these ads throughout the years, enough to make a huge coffee table book easily. I’ve found them in Graphis annuals and architectural magazines before, there must be hundreds, all seemingly different.

Olivetti 2 Olivetti 3 Olivetti 4 Olivetti equation Public Service Gas & Electric RCA flower I love the little illustrations at the bottom of these Riegel papers ads, they are small sidebar ads near the back of the magazine so I’ve lumped them together in one image.

Riegel Tech Paper 5 UpJohn

New mix for Mostly Sounds

I was asked to do a mix of soul, funk and jazz for Mostly Sounds who run the Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul festival in Birmingham which was one of the most fun gigs party-wise for me this summer. There’s an amazing amount of great music around at the moment that roughly falls into this category so this was the perfect place to get all that down in one mix.

Silke Schwinger & Fatty George – WeiBer Sand (Digatone)
The Relations – She Only Wanted To Be With You (Spun Out Of Control)
Ghost Funk Orchestra – Seven Eight (Karma Chief)
Coastal County – The Drop (Lomas)
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – Summer Storm (Patterns of Behaviour)
Vanishing Twin – Cryonic Suspension May Save Your Life (Fire Records)
Coastal County – The Landing (Lomas)
Serge Gainsbourg & Jean Claude Vannier – Les Chemins De Katmandou (opening titles) (Finders Keepers)
Jane Weaver – Mission Desire (Fire Records)
Jorge Navarro – Repartamos El Funky (Mukatsuku)
Popera Cosmic – Batman (Finders Keepers)
Ghost Funk Orchestra – Skin I’m In (Karma Chief)
The Karminsky Experience Inc. – Gemini Calling (Patterns of Behaviour)
Serge Gainsbourg & Jean Claude Vannier – Le Roi Des Phlébotomes (Finders Keepers)
Planet Battagon – Moon Of Dysnomia (On The Corner Records)
Silke Schwinger & Fatty George – StraBenfahrt durch Wien (Digatone)
Vanishing Twin – Backstroke (Fire Records)
Ebony Steel Band – Spacelab (Om Swagger)
Ghost Funk Orchestra – A Conversation (Karma Chief)

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

Nate Duval Al sh Nate Duval lucius Nate Duval tameweb

Mishka Westell (US) www.mishkawestell.com

ark Mishka Westell Austin-Psych-Fest Mishka Westell Brian Wilson Mishka Westell ceaseless-colours-015-copy Mishka Westell cream2 Mishka Westell LEV-TyPC-final-small Mishka Westell Melvins__Austin_TX_2013-Mishka_Westell-Screenprint-trampt-110255o rokycircuitred01 Mishka Westell

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

Robin Gnista KVB-LF-2017 robingnista_barcelonapsychfest_2019 robingnista_brianjonestownmassacre robingnista_goldendawnarkestra_lp robingnista_gypsysunrevival robingnista_melodysechochamber_levitation_2016 robingnista_melted_announceposter robingnista_nebula robingnista_saturnalia robingnista_sonicdawn_freakvalley robingnista_thewildcentury_raw Swedish designer Robin Gnista_BJM_LF_Version_1-1LEVITATION-2018-commemorative-poster-by-Robin-Gnista_grande

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

NIGHT OWL 2017 02 Allah Las Poster Print Black Lips SA FIN 02

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

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

Gods Waiting Room JaccoLeGuessWhoposter poster white thumb 21-entropicalia

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

Fez Morena ShiveryShakes Fez Morena Sundazed Fez Morena Modular sun Fez Morena Kay Odyssey Fez Morena 2 year Anniv Fez Morena Golden Dawn Arkestra

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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