We Are Watching: Oz magazine at Chelsea Space

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Chelsea Space at the Chelsea College of Arts in Pimlico has recently opened an exhibition looking at Oz, it’s obscenity trials and the counterculture magazines of the 60s and 70s that sprang up around it. Featuring every issue of both the Australian and British runs, posters, letters, films and all manner of ephemera from the estates of Richard Neville, Martin Sharp, Felix Dennis and many private collections of those who worked on it, it’s a lovingly curated selection by Cherie Silver who was minding the exhibition when I went last week and was eager to answer questions.
If you’ve never seen issues before then here’s a chance, there are some that can be looked through and one wall lays out the Magic Theatre issue, comprised entirely of a stream of consciousness collage. It finishes on July 14th and is free, usually open between 10.30-11am.
* I rather like the graphic above, subverting George Orwell‘s 1984 maxim, unfortunately they could never have foreseen the Big Brother they’d be watching half a century later.

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30 year anniversary Atom Tan reprint

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Atom Tan ran for two issues and launched the careers of Jamie Hewlett, Philip Bond and Alan Martin, later to be the breakout stars of Deadline magazine with, of course, Tank Girl, leading the charge. They created Atom Tan themselves and copies are rare as hen’s teeth and expensive if they ever appear. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of it’s publication they’ve reprinted it, added extra ephemera, a poster and a couple of badges, all for a tenner but only 500 copies exist so be quick. Get it here
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FiveFromFoodFridays #17.24

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Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things I’ve been loving in the last seven days. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:

Si Begg – Blueprints (Shitkatapult) LP – Hauntological, radiophonical transmissions inspired by his grandfather’s old notebook.

Global Warming Records – Expanding Arid Zones (Bandcamp) Hand sprayed cover LP with a double album of experimental techno workouts largely played live by Franziska Lantz

Aeon Seven – Seven Breaks / Christian Madden – Everybody Get In Line (45 Live) 7″ – Two new releases from the 45 Live crew this week – get a discount when you buy both.

Paul Hartnoll  – Numbers (Electronic Sound) 7″ – Cover version of the Kraftwerk classic only available when you order the magazine from their online shop.

Two new 45 Live 7″s – Aeon Seven and Christian Madden

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Following the inaugural release of Boca 45′s ‘Soul on Top’ in late 2015, 45 Live has not one but two new releases out this week. A nifty little break-filled dance floor number by Aeon Seven and an organ and horn-led couple of cuts from Christian Madden – best known as keyboardist with The Earlies. Both tracks are taken from his latest album, ‘The Wrecking Place’, released earlier this year. and the B-side, ‘Eating It All’, is the one for me here with its spy jazz touches and spindly keyboard and odd meters.

45L7003 AAeon Seven serves up a slice of mid tempo wah-wah, horn and organ funk with accompanying Chuck D sample that will nicely slide into any dance floor set.

Get Christian Madden – ‘Everybody Get In Line’ here

Get Aeon Seven – ‘Seven Breaks’ here

Or get a 45L7002 & 45L7003 Double-pack offer at a cheaper price for both here

Elsewhere the 45 Live collective goes from strength to strength with festival appearances (this year’s Masked Ball was huge), an enlarged roster of nearly 25 DJs and a new night in Manchester at Band On The Wall from October. The fortnightly radio show on Dublab, hosted by Greg Belson, continues with the station recently gaining an FM license and I’ll have a new mix appearing over the summer.

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Si Begg album ‘Blueprints’

cover_strike164_grSi Begg‘s (aka Cabbageboy) new album, Blueprints’ (out June 16th via Shitkatapult) has a very interesting story behind it:
“The concept for the album sprang fully formed when Begg came across the notebook, a beautifully preserved leather-bound volume, annotated in his grandfather’s precise hand. The book was filled with meticulous diagrams of compressors and parallel air ducts, graphs recording comparative noise levels at different factories, statistical information detailing the thermal efficiency of power stations, alongside blueprints for futuristic machines yet to be built.”
There are some lovely videos to go with some of the tracks which definitely have a dose of the Ghost Box / Radiophonic about them.

Si Begg – Blueprints (Observation 2 : Isometric Projection) from si begg on Vimeo.

He also did a mix for Darkfloor Sound’s Mantis Radio charting electronics and its evolution from the 1950s to present day, taking in Delia Derbyshire, Mika Vainio, Stockhausen, Daphne Oram, Cluster, Philip Glass, Negativland, Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter and even Hawkwind (it starts after the first hour).

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Alex Ross does The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine

ys_alexross I ran across these the other night, comic artist Alex Ross does realistic versions of the characters from the Yellow Submarine cartoon film. His take on the Love Glove, Blue Meanies and Jeremy the Nowhere Man are quite unsettling but beautiful. The single Beatle images are offered as sets of prints direct from Alex’s site but they’re not cheap! The long image at the top was offered last year by Dark Hall Mansion, see more details here.

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FourFromFoodFridays #17.23

FourFromFoodFridays 20.23Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things I’ve been loving in the last seven days. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:

Smoove – Main Sourced (Wack Records) 7″ – The ‘Breaking Atoms’ album recreated from the original sample sources to brilliant effect, his ‘Return of the Beats’ 45 from last year is still in the box.

Mongrels – Attack The Megalith (Invisible Spies) Hand sprayed white vinyl LP + insert / patch / badge – Attack The Monolith remix album with the usual high quality packaging by Kid Acne

Remaniacs (Audioboom) podcast – A new, balanced podcast for people who won’t just shut up and accept Brexit. Whether we like it or not, this is happening, be informed about what’s coming and how it will affect you.

Danny Ben-Israel – The Katmandu Sessions (Anazitisi Records) – Reissue of a crazed lost Israeli psych holy grail

25 years ago – UFOrb

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Twenty five years ago my friend David Vallade and I traveled to Brixton to see The Orb, being poor students we ended up buying last minute tickets from a tout outside. When it came to entering the venue David got in and I didn’t as my ticket wasn’t deemed valid. Gutted, I returned home and David was left to do the all-nighter on his own. Above is the flyer, found online earlier this year, a fly poster version of which I had on my wall for years with its early typography by The Designers Republic that was later changed for the album artwork.

FourFromFoodFridays #17.22

FourFromFoodFridays 17.22Four From Food Fridays – a weekly look at four things I’ve been loving in the last seven days. They can be new or old, any style so long as it’s been getting some rotation in the studio. From top left:
Jane Weaver – Modern Kosmology (Fire Records) – Still listening to this excellent record, one of the best of the year so far.
The Heliocentrics – A World Of Masks (Soundway Records) – New album of vocal-led jazz, beats and electronics, yet another step in a new direction.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – King Gizz 360 (YouTube) – Watch the full 360 degree concert playing two sets of brand new and old material and move the camera about in any direction. Can’t wait to see them live in two weeks
Lingua Lustra – Myst (Where Ambient Lives) Three tracks of deep, dark ambience

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Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear bunker visit

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Seeing as it’s half term this week I thought I’d get my two out of the house and the city so, naturally, I opted to visit a secret nuclear bunker out in the countryside near Brentwood. The Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker is a spooky place and also soon to play host a second version of Alan Gubby’s play / album / gig, The Delaware Road (for more info on exactly what that is – please go here).

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For those lucky enough to see the first incarnation at the Reading Arts Club some 18 months ago I can assure you it won’t be a repeat performance but something else entirely. The line up has swollen to twelve artists, the venue will have several spaces operating simultaneously with performers on rotation on different levels and the audience will very much be entering into something to be explored and experienced rather than the narrative-led musical presentation of old. Think of a Cold War setting channeling the Radiophonics and music concrete of the sixties with added pagan and occult references, it’s going to be like some sort of underground (literally) happening where the DJs use tape instead of turntables.

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The story will still be a part of the night with Dolly Dolly‘s turn as Director General of The Corporation, a state controlled media organisation happening in one of the spaces, one he’ll be sharing with Ian Helliwell and myself throughout the night. There will be no headlining act, no support or warm up, every artist will contribute to the whole with the star of the night most likely being the venue itself. It’s spooky enough in the day, heaven knows what it’ll be like at night.
Tickets are selling steadily and are almost gone with at least one of the two double decker buses put on to ferry people up from London directly to the site having long sold out. Get yours here

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Posted in Event, Gigs, Music. | 2 Comments |

Barbara Brown at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester

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Just before I played my recent Selected Aphex Works AV set in Manchester recently I got the chance to nip out to the nearby Whitworth Gallery and see the Barbara Brown retrospective. She’s one of my favourite textile designers, embracing Op Art in her work for her 15 year run designing for Heals. The material was presented in huge rolls to stunning effect, it’s free entry and on until December, plus in the basement, there’s an equally beautiful Lucienne Day exhibition too (see other post).

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California – Designing Freedom exhibition at the Design Museum

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The California: Designing Freedom exhibition at the Design Museum is an odd collection of art, print, tech, media and curios that flimsily hangs on the premise that it all originates from the state of California. From the screen print innovations of Sister Corita Kent to the Family Dog psychedelic posters to David Carson‘s Ray Gun magazine design and the skate board craze, on to a recreation of the iconic Easy Rider chopper bike, real Hell’s Angel jackets and the Buckminster Fuller-inspired dome-building communities of the 70s. The links are tenuous or non-existent but all point to people following their own path, whether working alone or as part of a movement. The future looms large from the earliest Apple computers to videos gaming design and Google‘s place as a part of our everyday lives. A joy to behold are some of Syd Mead‘s original concept paintings for Blade Runner which were much smaller than I imagined but no less powerful. It’s on until October, well worth a look…

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Jane Weaver – Modern Kosmology LP

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The new Jane Weaver album is absolutely blinding, debuting at no. 50 in the UK charts this week too, the highest selling record in independent shops around the UK last week. Available on limited vinyl, regular, CD and digital, it’s an instant contender for album of the year lists. Buy it here

The artwork by Andy Votel is beautiful too, full of detail and tiny design flourishes, the foil printing being beautiful to touch.

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