Zyklus – Gumbo Gulag album

As with a lot of artists on lockdown, Alan Gubby of Buried Treasure and Revbjelde has been digging into his archive and assembled a 23 track compilation of vintage analogue demos, b-sides, & library edits from cassettes, mini discs + hard drives recorded between 1982 & 2004 under the name, Zyklus. The album arrives on June 1st as a digital and CD release although the latter is limited to 100 and comes with an A5 artcard and badge. Listen and pre-order here.

Mixcloud Select #7 – Strictly Kev – Magic Transistor Radio Pts. 1&2 10.04.00

07 Magic Trans Radio CDI have this down as the first set I made for Coldcut Solid Steel in its new home at BBC London Live on 10th April 2000 – a busy month what with the release of ‘Kaleidoscope’ just a week before. We’d left KISS FM a year ago when they announced an impending overhaul of the roster, jumping before we were pushed basically. I’m sure it hurt Matt & Jon more than the rest of us as they had been with the station over 10 years and seen it come up from a pirate to a legal entity. As with everything, things had changed there as commercial concerns took over but it was strange not to suddenly have a weekly show broadcasting around London to go to.

All was not lost though, over the previous five years studio editing technology and CD-R burning had become more commonplace and we were all in the position to either record in our home studios or in Coldcut’s Ahead of Our Time set up at Ninja Tune. We’d been doing this since the KISS studios became unavailable and Matt had already set up Ninja’s first website (Don’t Believe The Pipe) and investigated early streaming technology, keen for us not to lose our weekly flow. Streaming wasn’t what it is today though, you had no idea if anyone was listening, the sound quality was terrible and the technology unreliable – it didn’t feel like being on the airwaves of a ‘real’ radio station. But, as in a lot of instances, Coldcut forged ahead and were early adopters, dragging us into the future with them.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD cover

When Ninja HQ moved from Clink St. to Kennington at the turn of the decade the studio set up changed so, more often than not, I would record sets at home and bring DATs or CD-Rs into the office for Darren ‘DK’ Knott who was now officially producing the show each week. He would organise who was playing when, co-ordinate guests, assemble each 2 hr show in time for Friday and mail out CD-Rs to stations around the world who subscribed to the weekly sessions.

When we first found out we’d got the London Live slot we were overjoyed that we’d finally, officially, be back on the airwaves. Reborn from GLR (Greater London Radio) and later rebranded as Radio London, then Radio LDN, they were having a mini renaissance with DJs like Dr Bob Jones and Ross Allen in early evening slots that were capturing the 20-30 something club goers.

Our joy was slightly curtailed when we got to the BBC studios to present the show and discovered a rather pedestrian set up with turntables over a meter apart and a broadcasting mixer fitted into the desk between them – definitely no turntable gymnastics with that set up. KISS, being a dance music station, was set up for club DJ-style sets, the mixing desk and mic one side and a table with Technics and DJ mixer the other, plenty of room and maneuverability if you wanted to plug in extra FX or move things around.

07 Magic Trans Radio CD backIt was decided that the best way to keep doing what we did was to prepare the mixes beforehand, that way we could be as radical as we liked and not have to worry about any technological limitations. This also meant we could be a lot more creative, didn’t have to rely on one take mixes thus keeping things tighter and also overdub other tracks if need be. Things could be edited but it also meant that things generally took longer as they could be more complex than before. The mix format suddenly opened up to me because of this and I think I did some of my best work in the next decade.

By this time I was getting increasingly into themed mixes or a set with a connecting or recurring factor, I also started naming the sets as I now had years worth under my belt for Solid Steel, only identifiable by date. The theme for this mix was Brian Wilson’s odd 7” single that came free with the Beach Boys Holland LP,. I was deep into my BB obsession at this time, hoovering up the late 60s and 70s LP and mining them for the gems they mostly contained until they went full-cheese as disco took hold. ‘Magic Transistor Radio’ is a children’s fairy tale about a pied piper who lives inside a radio and is Wilson is full blown la-la land mode. I threaded excerpts from it throughout the mix as it was so apt, being that it took part inside a radio.

There are so many great tracks here, Broadway Project’s LP is a forgotten classic IMO, David HolmesOrganisation-sampling ‘Living Room’, early DJ Format, Tommy Guerrero (arguably the last great record on Mo Wax), Sirconical on Twisted Nerve, 7-Hurtz on Output, Broadcast

But I’ve gone on WAY too long with this one, have a listen and see what you think. One more thing, I was so enthused I even made a CD cover for this one, I’m sure I intended to do this with all the mixes but only managed two like this. Turn on, tune in and freak out to the Magic Transistor Radio.

Kev

07 Magic Trans Radio CD + PRS

Track list:
Part 1
Brian Wilson – Mount Vernon & Fairway
Broadway Project – Sea of Change pt2
7-Hurtz – Stokes Motor (version)
DJ Format – Extra Lesson
Sirconical – Choppy
Timmy Thomas – Funky Me
Broadcast – Minus 1
Tommy Guerrero – So Blue It’s Black
A.L.O. Orchestra – The Last Time
Brian Wilson – Magic Transistor Radio
David Holmes – Living Room

Part 2
Brian Wilson – I’m the Pied Piper
Meat Beat Manifesto – Oblivion/Humans
Speedy J – Balk Acid
Recloose – Get There Tonight
Family Values – Last Days & Time
Freeform Arkestra – ?
She 1 – Kwaidan
Broadway Project – Clouds
E.A.R. – Sputnik
Gershon Kingsley – The Sound of Silence
Brian Wilson – Radio King Dom

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Circles In Squares record collecting film now online

Circles In Squares from Adam Bell Film on Vimeo.

A film about the different aspects of record collecting that I appeared in some years ago, ‘Circles in Squares’ has just been made available to view online. Unfortunately, one of the contributors, Naoki E-Jima recently lost his battle with cancer and any proceeds from the pay per view stream will go to Naoki’s family. It’s £4 for a 48 hr viewing window and it’s a really well made little film https://vimeo.com/ondemand/circlesinsquares

Circles In Squares poster

Savage Pencil – Rated SavX book

Rated SavX bookSavage Pencil aka Edwin Pouncey has been floating in and out of my life for decades now. Whether through the Wiseblood ‘Motorslug’ 12″ insert, ‘Nyak, Nyak’, the Big Black sleeve for their Headache EP or Blast First‘s compilation cover, ‘Nothing Short of Total War‘. He cropped up in the NME and Sounds, doing spot illustrations for album reviews, The Wire magazine with his Primer feature collages and Trip or Squeek cartoon strip and numerous other leftfield magazines.
There he was in Knockabout Comics‘ anthologies, a page here or there in Weirdo or some long-forgotten independent zine or one-off publication. I used to see his Dead Duck comic on the spinner in Forbidden Planet and his designs for Slam City Skates in Covent Garden before going downstairs to Rough Trade where I would find obscure indie singles with his art on the covers, posters of Godzilla-like monsters behind the counter and his biker movie picture disc compilation, ‘Angel Dust’. In recent years I’d run into him at Orbital Comics, signing copies of the latest Satanic Mojo comic, the memorabilia shop in Cecil Court where he sometimes worked or at record fairs where he’d be either selling behind a stall or perusing the bins with Thurston Moore.
Eventually we met properly when I interviewed him for Rough Trade’s 40th anniversary book in 2016 and again when I spoke to both Edwin and Chris Long about their Battle of the Eyes project with the late Andy Dog in a still-unpublished interview. And now he rears his head again in Strange Attractor Press‘ excellent book of his career, ‘Rated SavX’.
This seems to be the definitive book of his work so far, lots of archive-delving has gone on here and there are many lost or unpublished illustrations from across his life whether it be black metal sleeves, fly illustrations, his punk past or his love of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s monster cars and cartoons. It’s all here in eye-straining detail with enough info to have you wishing you’d picked up that tiny print run publication he released all those years ago. Nevertheless, I zipped through it and now have new items on the wants list – highly recommended. There’s still time to get the limited edition hardback of this with extra (S)crapbook of unpublished roughs and Appreciation Society patch from the publisher’s website. While you’re there check the rest of their inventory, they have some fascinating books about counter culture, music, psychedelia and the occult world.

Posted in Art, Books, Comics, Design, Music. | No Comments | Tags:

Mixcloud Select #6 – Openmind – Coldcut Solid Steel 16.12.94

Openmind - Coldcut Solid Steel 16.12.94 tape

Track Notes:
Very much from a golden age of electronica (The Black Dog’s ‘Spanners’ on Warp, Gescom’s debut EP, Anthony Manning on Irdial) and trip hop (Skylab, DJ Krush, 9 Lazy 9). The spoken word that lays across Skylab’s opening track in this mix is from an odd German test pressing I found back in the 90s, full of spoken word from old gangster films. I spotted the famous Lauren Bacall line, sampled in part by Double Dee & Steinski on ”Lesson 3′ but also later used as a KISS FM jingle with the ‘blow’ substituted for ‘kiss’, and thought it would be a nice nod.

The Anthony Manning track, ‘Untitled’ (track 3) is from his excellent album, ‘Islets In Pink Polypropylene’ on Irdial, there was nothing quite like it at the time and I’m not sure there’s been much since, a lost gem. The Gescom track is from the first ever release on Skam records, which I incidentally designed the labels for, and the 9 Lazy 9 track was from their second LP which was the first cover I ever designed for Ninja Tune.
The Eon track, ‘Inner Mind’, is played on 33rpm rather than 45 intentionally :) as it and the track preceding it – something by Kris Needs apparently which I just can’t identify – both use the same sample.

Track list:
Coldcut – ‘Welcome, I am your genie’ sample jingle
Skylab – River of Bass
Sheila Chandra – Nada Brahma
The Black Dog – Raxmus
(There’s what sounds like a short snatch of The Jedi Knights’ ‘May The Funk Be With You’ in between these two tracks)
Ronnie Jordan meets DJ Krush – S**t Goes Down (But I Got Phunked Up Mix)
Gescom – Sciew Spoc
Anthony Manning – Untitled (track 3)
Kris Needs – Unknown
Eon – Inner Mind (Freebase Mind) (on the wrong speed)
9 Lazy 9 – Electric Lazyland

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RIP Florian Schneider-Esleben of Kraftwerk

FlorianWhat can be said about Florian Schneider that won’t have already been said by millions around the world? It’s no exaggeration to say that the group that he founded changed the face of music in ways that we now take for granted. The music that they went on to make broke boundaries, changed preconceptions and influenced untold artists after whilst touching on concepts years or decades ahead of their arrival in our everyday lives with albums like ‘Computer World’. Whether pushing technological boundaries, live performance or their own image as a group, they predicted the future whilst trying to escape their county’s past. Always a reluctant interviewee, rather letting partner Ralf Hutter take on those formalities, Florian often came across as the one with the mischievous twinkle in his eye for a split second when attention was elsewhere. His initial love of the flute was slowly phased out of the group’s sound and speech synthesis became his focus, something that he went on to work with after he left the group in 2008. He was a legendary figure in 20th Century music who’s contribution will never be forgotten.

In 2012 I did a month’s worth of Kraftwerk posts on this site, highlighting the most obscure sleeves, ephemera, video, graphics, reviews and tributes I could find. You can find those posts here.

Later in 2013 I did a ‘Kraftweek’ to celebrate their run of London gigs – find those here.

For all 100+ entries of Kraftwerk-related material on this site – go here.

Florian Autobahn smile

Mixcloud Select #5 – Strictly Solid Steel Side A – Bundy Mixes 21/12/97

IMG_5314

I held off a day posting this seeing as my social media feed was crammed with Bandcamp posts, didn’t want to add to the noise. But on that note I’ve started a label on the platform, digital-only for the moment, for my multi-armed turntable experiments with. locked grooves + FX. 1st releases are up now including a couple of pay what you want freebies.

https://infiniteillectrik.bandcamp.com/artists

Anyway, here’s Side A to last week’s side B – the ? in the title on the tape refers to me originally not knowing the date this went out and I’ve tracked it down to approximately 21/12/97 via a series of PRS sheets I have with track lists.

This set sports two amazing remixes by Bundy K Brown – the ones with the long Cheech Wizard subtitles, a thing of his back then. Bundy (by then ex-Tortoise) was someone we’d met on our first tour of the US when we showed up in Chicago and we had enough time to hang out a bit and do some record shopping. I really rated him as a producer mainly for his stand out remix on Tortoise’s ‘Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters’ mini album and we bonded over similar musical tastes.
He turned me onto a lot of electronic jazz and used to work in the Dusty Groove record store so was steeped in digging culture. I put him up for the ‘Timber ‘remix and we resolved to work together on something (‘Full Bleed’ on the Kaleidoscope LP). I just really like his off-kilter rhythms and the cyclic nature of what he does, maybe it’s because he’s a musician approaching sampling from an engineering perspective, whatever it is he has a unique ear and years later I found out Four Tet was a fan too.

This set is such a typical mash up of the times, lots of sample-based material that flits from jazz to electronica to downright huge dirty beats by the end for Skylab and Techno Animal. Bearing in mind this was going out between 1-3am I think we sometimes pushed things to extremes but it was (and still remains) anything goes – the Broadest Beats in London, right?

Kev

BTW: the Techno Animal/Nav Katze mix at the end really goes on too long and the bass distortion near the end is on the tape.

Track list:
The Sea & Cake – Sporting Life (The Cheech Wizard Meets Baby Ultraman In The Cool Blue Cave (Short Stories About Birds, Trees And The Sports Life Wherever You Are)) (Thrill Jockey)
Small Fish With Spine – High Fibre (Oxide)
Frederic Galliano – Espaces Baroques Pt.1 (F Communications)
Coldcut & Hexstatic – Timber (The Cheech Wizard’s Polythump Requiem For The Ancient Forests Mix) (Ninja Tune)
Skylab – Nickers of a Girl (Eye Q)
Techno Animal – Demonoid (City Slang)
Nav Katze – Wild Horses (Global Communications mix) (Dedicated)

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Feel Good Friday and 3 Wyrd Things

FGFI did a thing for my good friend Jari from Pepe Deluxé that he does on Facebook called Feel Good Friday – the idea is to recommend good music to help sooth Fridays – here it is

Fog Cast #1 – Robin The Fog / Howlround

https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/fogcast-1-april-2020/?fbclid=IwAR1ukzclds2DPV22Z_w8hp7dXbq8WtLnBZnNcDepgwvL-lipYkKMEofQYzI

If deep, minimal ambient is your thing then look no further, the first 14 minutes alone is just drone, this is a new weekly show on Resonance FM, #2 should be up by the time you read this (actually #4 is out now, with an exclusive DJ Food track from the archives)

Misuse Me – Andy Votel tribute to Bill Withers

https://soundcloud.com/finderskeepersrecords/andy-votel-misuse-me-bill-withers-tribute

A short one, multiple versions of Bill’s wonderful song, ‘Use Me’, mixed expertly into an 8 minute epic.

Johno – A Theme From An imaginary Western

https://www.mixcloud.com/dondi74/a-theme-from-an-imaginary-western/

Paul Johnson is a friend of mine, occasionally he makes these hilarious mixes in a cut and paste style, full of very British humour and silliness. If you want something to bring a smile then try this 30 minute beauty.

I wouldn’t normal do this but what the hell – I recently put together an hour long mix of records referencing mothers, mums, mama’s and the like for Mother’s Day in the UK for the Out of the Wood show. (I did this a few weeks ago, just before lockdown started)

https://www.mixcloud.com/wnbclondon/dj-food-out-of-the-wood-show-191/

Funk, pop, psych, beats, rap, even a bit of jungle and a very rude ending.

************************************************************************
AAAAAAND: if and when you run out of music to listen to

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I’ve also just set up a Mixcloud Select channel for vintage Solid Steel mixes from my archive, the third one will be up this week.

https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/

Also up from last week but I forgot to post it, I did the 3 Wyrd Things post for Ian Holloway‘s Wyrd Britain blog where you’re asked to name three British oddities that have influenced you, have a look and see how this Pop annual fits into the story. https://wyrdbritain.blogspot.com/2020/04/3-wyrd-things-dj-food.html

kevin foakes

Mixcloud Select 04 – Strictly Solid Steel Side B – 3/4 DnB – 21.12.97

IMG_5313I don’t remember much about this session except that the tape states ‘3/4 DnB’, meaning Drum n Bass in 3/4 time. Looking at the track listing it states no less than three tracks in a row from DJ Suv from his Freebeat EP on Full Cycle which seems to be credited as one of the first to feature rhythms in 3/4 time within the genre. We were obviously taken with it to have played three in a row. The opening track is credited to DJ Food as ‘Parp, Thump, Crack ’n’ Hiss’ which I recognise at a typical PC joke. The opening sounds like PC and I messing about with all manner of FX and vinyl over the top and I’m definitely getting a bit carried away with it all.

I think about this time I may have had a mixer with a little loop sampler and FX built in so maybe I bought that into the studio to mess about with but I’ve not idea if this was made up at KISS FM or at Ahead of Our Time studios in the Ninja Tune offices at Clink Street. Either way, the first 10 minutes of this mix are a bit crazy.

Track list:

DJ Food – Parp, Thump, Crack ’n’ Hiss
DJ Suv – Output (Full Cycle)
DJ Suv – Free By Four (Full Cycle)
DJ Suv – Everyone Plays The Same (Full Cycle)
Danny Breaks – The Ratio (Universal Language)
Acustic – No 2 (April Records)
Toshinori Kondo & DJ Krush – Fu Yu (Sony)
Mr Scruff – Fish (Ninja Tune)
Kensuke Shiina – Ring of Fire (Salon Kitty remix) (Pussyfoot)

P.S. Side A next week…

2020-04-22-0001

Above is a scan of the tape inlay, an old photo from a US tour I did with Coldcut around the time of their Let Us Play album, – they took their own projection screens and played from laptops for the first time to the amazement of many. In the background you can see Rob Pepperell, part of Hex who controlled the visuals, Coldcut’s Jon More is to my right. On screen you can see the Vestax PMC 06 mixer in between the decks, a super-thin 2 channel mixer popular with scratch DJs at the time due to its tiny size, bringing the turntables closer together to make juggling records easier.

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Rolling Stones lyric videos

My friend DJ HDD hipped me to these Rolling Stones lyric videos which have been on the web for a year at least. They’re brilliant examples of paper cut collage animation using sleeve elements from various Stones album covers and elevate the art of the lyric video significantly. There are loads if you do a search but I’ve picked these five as my favourites.

 

Posted in Film, Music. | 3 Comments | Tags:

Kaleidoscope Companion mixes

KC cover pt.1

This week is a big one – two mixes but no Solid Steel archive show as I’ve been working on this very special selection and didn’t want to put this behind a paywall. Seeing as the DJ Food album, ‘Kaleidoscope’, turned 20 earlier this month, PC and I thought we’d raid our archives and put together a pair of companion mixes containing early or alternate mixes, versions and unreleased tracks that were made around that era which was roughly 1998-2000.

Patrick has made his own mix and it’s a bit of a revelation as most of the material is unreleased and even I’d not heard half of it. There’s another version of The Crow Dub, an earlier take on his collaboration with Jason Swinscoe which would become Neptune‘s ‘Soul Pride’ later. The original A Splash of Debussy and Monocle ideas and the genesis for what became ‘Cookin‘ in ‘The Power of Rawkus Soul‘. The real treat for me though is the previously unreleased ‘Ents Go To War‘ and ‘Zoom Zoom‘, both of which should never have been left in a drawer for two decades IMO. You can hear that below

Kaleidoscope Companion track list Pt.1 track list:

1) Ents Go To War (00:00 – 05:26)
2) The Crow Dub – The Rook (05:26 – 10:54)
3) See Saw (10:54 – 13:08)
4) Spa (13:08 – 16:04)
5) Night Time (Soul Pride) (16:04 – 19:13)
6) Thumb Piano (19:13 – 21:10
7) A Splash of Debussy (21:10 – 22:48)
8) Zoom Zoom (2:48 – 25:41)
9) Monocle (25:41 – 29:49)
10) Bernard Matthews (9:49 – 30:16)
11) The Power of Rawkus Soul (30:16 – 31:59)

My offering follows on with even more early versions and outtakes…

Full Bleed (Different Vibrations version)
Brixton Baby loop
Hip Operation 3
Sukia – Feelin’ Free remix 1 (big swingle)
god i’m hungry (sample)
The Quadraplex Suite
Stelf (long)
Nevermore (early version) intro
Introvert (early version of Nevermore)
Nevermore (early version) outro
The Ageing Young Rebel (early version w. diff middle/end)
Kenton
A Strange Walk (early version of Feelin’ Free remix 2)
Bad Trip (embryonic version of The Crow)
8 Track Mind (version 1)
Boo Hoo (The Sky At Night early version)
Crow’s End

Track notes:
These recordings are taken from cassettes, DAT tapes and CDRs so the quality and fidelity varies, there’s tape hiss, the odd drop out and distortion but that’s the way they came out. PC remastered a few bits and pieces and some tracks are edits / re-edits. Lots of these versions aren’t fully mixed down or mastered in anyway either but I like that rawness. It was fun revisiting these tapes again, hearing lost parts and versions that we’d completely forgotten about, in certain cases not even played to each other. There’s lots of material, more than you hear here, but you probably don’t need to hear them, believe me. This is the meat so to speak. The late, great John Peel evidently liked the album, playing Break, Cookin’ (twice), The Riff and The Ageing Young Rebel over the weeks preceding the album’s release, even asking us in for a session (see the debut Mixcloud Select upload) and I’ve included a few of his comments from broadcasts I only recently found online.

Full Bleed (Different Vibrations version)
• Probably the earliest version of the track that I compiled featuring Bundy K. Brown’s parts, I sent this to him for his opinion and I remember there was one specific melodic part that I’d pu in twice and he wanted just once near the end. You can hear the basics are in there, spoken word parts were different and it’s kind of rough and loose, especially at the end where I hadn’t finished the arrangement yet. I like the way it’s kind only just hanging in there and almost falling apart by the end (no quantize here). I realised that Bundy was varying the tempo of his drums between 84 and 86 bpm when I was putting it together as it was really messing with the click track, he said it was to give it a live-er feel. We both started from the same breakbeat and worked on that as a foundation, then I comped it up in my studio and Bundy came over to the UK when he was working on a High Llamas album and did some time on the arrangement before I finished it off.

Brixton Baby loop
• We loved Roy Ayres’ moody ‘We Live in Brooklyn Baby’ and PC wanted to do something in that vein. One of the first tracks we worked on had the working title ‘We Live In Brixton Baby’ as much of the album was recorded in Patrick’s flat on Josephine Avenue in Brixton. This was just a loop he made of the Roy Ayres rhythm that I found on a tape, the track we worked up had none of this funk.

Hip Operation 3
• This was an early track which had a long, protracted birth, various versions and ultimately didn’t make the final cut. It started out as a thing called ‘Swingle’ which was a chunk of big band and easy listening samples that ended up morphing in the first version of Sukia’s ‘Feelin’ Free’ remix we made. Like a lot of peers at this time we were discovering the early electronic period Herbie Hancock and wanted to use something from ‘Raindance’ on his excellent Mwandishi Band album, ‘Sextant’. We then loaded it up with a ton of spoken word including Ken Nordine and excepts from a Beastie Boys interview disc and had a breakdown that featured the sounds of Patrick playing squash. I love the strings at the end, we were still finding our feet on this, it’s pretty finished but we never really saw it as a contender for the album when the time came to compile the tracks.

Sukia – Feelin’ Free remix 1 (Big Swingle)
• This is the second half of the original, unreleased version, the breakdown and ending, otherwise we’d just be repeating ourselves a bit. There’s some very distorted low end bass on this, it’s not your speakers.

God i’m Hungry (sample)
• Just a silly sample I found, we decided on no skits on the album because, as PC observed, ‘no one listens to skits’.

The Quadraplex Suite:
• The tracks that made up The Quadraplex EP were always intended to go on the album but, by the time we’d finished them, we realised they really took up a huge chunk of the record. It’s was meant as a trilogy – Hour Glass, Looking Glass and Shattered Glass – made from the sampled sounds of glass and put with a gamelan-type rhythm that changed over time. When we decided it should be a standalone EP we edited together a 4th part – Monocle – from the myriad of versions we’d made (hear even more on PC’s companion mix). It’s still one of my favourite things we ever did so please indulge me on this long middle section of the mix. The resulting section here is threaded together from excerpts from five different versions:

Looking Glass (nearly finished /slower dub) – this is a good 4 bpm slower than the other versions, not sure why, might be the tape it came off running slower or we may have pitched/speed the whole thing up, I can’t remember.
Hour Glass / Shattered Glass (early version) – very minimal early arrangement try out.
Hour Glass / Looking Glass (live drums version) – Patrick was always messing with different percussion effects with this
Looking Glass (early version 1 & 2) – some great EQ/dub FX on this one, watch your headphones/speakers! Parts of this was edited into ‘Monocle’ on The Quadraplex EP.

Stelf (long)
There are several versions of this – a PC composition – and a shorter take of it was so very nearly track 2 on the album but was dropped by us at quite a late stage. I love it but the Taxi Driver ‘morbid self attention’ spoken word sample could have been problematic and in the end we added Ken Nordine’s vocal to it and it became the ‘Gentle Cruelty’ remix of ‘The Ageing Young Rebel’ for the Xen Cuts compilation later that year.

Nevermore (early version intro)
• A really basic collection of samples which were reworked into ‘Nevermore’ later, laid over the end of ‘Stelf’, not really a track.

Introvert (early version of Nevermore)
‘Nevermore‘ started out as a track called ‘Introvert’, in fact, I had so many samples and parts for this track that I ended up splitting them into two tracks (Nocturne and Nevermore). ‘Introvert’ is sort of what was left over and never went any further than this. You can hear the end percussion is all loose and unfinished.

Nevermore (early version outro)
• Strings from the arrangement of ‘Nevermore’ before it was really knocked into shape.

The Ageing Young Rebel (early version w diff middle/end)
• An early arrangement of the backing track where we had the coda as the middle eight/breakdown and then went back into the chorus after an odd little ‘drum solo’. I’d totally forgotten about this and it doesn’t really work which is why we ditched it.

Kenton
• A short little track PC made from a sample at the end of ‘The Ageing Young Rebel’ – this nearly made it on the album too and there’s also a version with some spoken word stuff over the top. I later reworked this (twice) into ‘Theme From Stolen Moments’ on the EPs that preceded ‘The Search Engine’ album. Its title is a clue to the sample source.

A Strange Walk
• A
track that eventually became the second version of our remix of Sukia’s ‘Feelin’ Free’ – unreleased by the band as they broke up but later included on the Xen Cuts comp bonus disc under the sub heading ‘Elephants doing the Washing Up’.

Bad Trip (embryonic version of The Crow)
• I’m sure everyone will recognise what this turned into…

8 Track Mind (version 1)
• A spoken word experiment based on brains and mind samples that I got carried away with and that ultimately didn’t work very well. I was obsessed with John Abercrombie’s track, ‘Timeless’ and wanted to make something out of it so badly. It was a huge sample so I remade the track under the spoken word completely for a second version which I now can’t find. You can hear the same ‘ooweeooweyeah’ sample that’s in ‘Hip Operation’ in here too.

Boo Hoo (The Sky At Night early version)
• Here’s a fascinating early version of ‘The Sky At Night’, before the ’crystal pools’ vocal was added and with a different melodic structure.

Crow’s End
• A slightly extended finish to PC’s epic to wrap things up.

If you’ve enjoyed this meander down memory lane I’ve set up a Mixcloud Select channel where, for £2.99 a month, I’ll be uploading vintage Solid Steel mixes from my archive – access that here https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/

Also check out PC’s Minestrone of Sound MIxcloud and Soundcloud channels where he’s been quietly posting all sorts of unreleased audio treats for years.

While we’re on the topic, I’ve asked Ninja Tune to add some releases to the DJ Food Bandcamp page which has been sitting there for ages with not much content. Maybe some of the material from this post will find its way up there as an official release at some point too?

DJ Food Bandcamp

KC cover pt.3

And there’s more… PC found even more material and has done a short Pt.3!

Mixcloud Select 02 is up

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Thanks to everyone who got on board with my new Mixcloud Select channel last week, it really means a lot, please spread the word if you can, there are some treats coming up this month including at least one exclusive that isn’t a vintage show but is a mix of vintage tracks, many never heard before in this form.

This week’s upload is a session I did for Coldcut’s Solid Steel show from 17th of February 1995, at this point still going under the Openmind name for mixes but as you will hear, the Strictly Kev moniker was in place which originated in ’94 on a trip to Amsterdam for the Triplex Festival gig. We would have been working on A Recipe For Disaster’ at this point and I was inducted into the DJ Food project at some point between here and its release in Autumn ’95.
This was the final section of the 2 hour show and I’ve included the break for some vintage KISS FM adverts and jingles of the era, I even left the news on the end to add to the period charm.

Sign up for £2.99 to have access to these recordings, tracklists and notes plus a few exclusives as I put them up https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/

02 CCSS Openmind Mixcloud

Kaleidoscope turns 20

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It seems today is the 20th anniversary of ‘Kaleidoscope’, the album PC and I made in 2000 for Ninja Tune. I thought it was more like mid April but a quick look on Discogs shows a promo CD I designed with April 3rd on it so there it is.

We’re still immensely proud of this record and the collaborations with Bundy K. Brown and the late Ken Nordine (RIP) it contains. It also features one of the songs most asked about in the DJ Food discography, ’The Crow’. I’ve lost count of the times this has been used to soundtrack scenes in independent films and it was once adapted for a school orchestra.

PC and I have been digging through our archives for recordings we made around this album – including The Quadraplex EP which was supposed to be a part of it originally but was saved for later. We’re currently compiling selections from them for an anniversary mix that will feature outtakes, alternate versions and other curios from the time.

These will go online later this month via Mixcloud, stay tuned… Meanwhile – the album is available here:

https://ninjatune.net/release/dj-food/kaleidoscope

https://djfood.bandcamp.com/

https://music.apple.com/gb/album/kaleidoscope/416333639

https://open.spotify.com/album/6NZdnBIelaaa2jVnrZL5jV

Beastie Boys article in Mojo

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I missed this last month but the March 2020 issue of Mojo did a feature on the Beastie Boys circa Paul’s Boutique and has asked me for reminisces from the time as well as a photo from the era. I didn’t realise they’d also asked the Dust Brothers, Bill Alder and Chuck D! pretty weird to see my 18 yr old face in that company, especially as I was a rabid fan at the age and would share a bill with the Boys a decade later on the London date of the Hello Nasty tour.

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And here’s the original that was taken from, my 18/19 yr old self photographed short after spraying the piece in the background on a friend’s bedroom.Kevin Foakes:DJ Food 1988