More psychedelic poster miscellanea

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(above) Acid Mothers Temple poster for their Holy Black Mountains Detour tour (below) A tribute to Skip Spence poster by Fez Moreno both courtesy of Neil Rice.

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Mike McInnerney prelim poster for the Hoppy documentary screening at the Tabernacle recently (colour to be added)

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Holy Man Jam Seven Day Venue original handbill by The Family Dog, 1969 – unsure the artist here.

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February – March, 1967 at Filmmakers’ Cinematheque, New York – restored from a faded image found on the web, possibly from the Sterling Morrison collection (see Velvet Underground mentioned at the bottom)

February 18, 1967 at Filmmakers' Cinematheque, New York.
Two Exorcism of the Pentagon Anti-Vietnam posters, 1967 – pink mandala designed by Peter Legeria, black and white by Martin Carey – more information on the event here

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Ritual Exorsim of the Pentagon poster

New Sculpture album, Max Ax announced

Sculpture – Max Ax (Official Audio) from Sculpture on Vimeo.

Dan and Reuben from Sculpture have announced a new album for release on August 2nd. The 11 track LP appears on 2 x 10″ zoetrope discs (below) and digital via Psyché Tropes and LTR Records.
You can listen to the track ‘Max Ax’ which gives the album its title above and order direct from the labels soon.

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Acid Badges

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Numerous original acid or hippy badges found around the web, just because…
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And finally, something I actually own and scored a few weeks back from a random trawl of eBay – an original Brainstorm Comix badge by Bryan Talbot. Brainstorm was one of the first British underground comics in the 1970s. Talbot’s Luther Arkwright started there and, although the comic was short-lived, it set him up as an artist of some considerable skill which led to him eventually drawing several books of Nemesis the Warlock for 2000AD.
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David Schiller and Jim Michaelson posters

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There’s not too much info out there about David Schiller, he was American and produced these posters in the late 60s for Sparta Graphics. The company was born from the successful dance concert series that Dave promoted in San Jose in 1966. Fellow student Jim Michaelson submitted the winning poster in Dave’s poster competition and, in the years that followed from 1966-1968, they published 16 posters. Working with San Francisco promoters Bill Graham and Sid Bernstein they created concert posters for The Byrds, The Bee Gees, Buffalo Springfield and Jefferson Airplane among others. Some were printed with metallic inks and some with vivid fluorescent day-glo inks.

Michaelson obviously had a thing for crazy flying contraptions and the poster above was actually painted on wood and photographed with real flowers, it was one of Bill Graham’s favourite posters. It’s not clear whether this influenced Ron Cobb‘s illustration for the cover of the Jefferson Airplane’s ‘After Bathing At Baxter’s’ LP which was released late 1967 but Michaelson’s first gig poster for the band was made in 1966 (see below).
Michaelson passed away in 2019 but his son, Rob, maintains a website in his memory with many other great examples of his work, including posters for Disney https://jameslmichaelson.wixsite.com/artwork/the-60s

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Dave Schiller Buffalo Springfield
Dave Schiller Monkees
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Dave Schiller the Rascals
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The posters below are from some of the gigs David put on and, I presume, by the same graphic team.

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Dave Schiller The Byrds
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He also had a fine line in posters for cities and states – there are at least two variants of the New York poster in different colourways and with different mastheads. I’ve also seen these posters printed on linen.

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Michaelson also did at least two calendars, variants of the same images for 1968 and 1969.

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The New Obsolescents’ LP exclusives at Wow and Flutter from this Saturday

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As it says above – Wow and Flutter in Hastings will have the 20 unique LPs for sale that we displayed during our live instore last month. As you can see in the video at the top, each one has a hand-assembled, screenprinted sleeve on a different type of holographic card in a variety of printings (black/white ink and postive/negative image inversions). These were all test ideas for the second print run of the LP and were passed over in favour of the prism effect card we eventually used.

Castles in Space had 20 extra sleeveless copies of the LP left over from the second batch (silver and white swirl vinyl) and so we married them up for this unique final run. Wow and Flutter are the only people selling these anywhere in the world, they will be a highly affordable £25 each and it’s first come, first served plus they’ll let you pick your favourite sleeve from the bunch – a Castle’s in Space completist’s nightmare but there you go.

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Here’s a quick blast of a bit of our instore performance which will possibly wind up on the next album in some form or other. Video by Tim Scullion from W&F – also if you’ve not heard the podcast Tim does with Paul Field under the name We Buy Records then check that out too.

Desktop design dump

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I’m constantly saving stuff I like the look of from the web, sometimes I need to follow up on an image I come across, other times it’s inspirational or a better quality version of something I’ve seen before. All these were cluttering up the desktop with nowhere to go and, as I treat this blog as a form of scrapbook, consider me adding these to a page. Above, the poster and some screen shots from Be The Fool, a new documentary about two members of Dutch design group, The Fool. This is currently only doing the film festival circuit but hopefully will show up on streaming at some point. Below, a lesser seen poster by Hapshash & The Coloured Coat for an Italian festival in 1968, this recently came up for auction and went for big money.

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The backing card for a pair of op-art tights called Kinkies from the 1960s. Available here from the excellent Division Leap seller on eBay.
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From the same seller, a flyer for a 1980s San Francisco punk event, Z-RO G.

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An alternate front and back cover for comic book Spectregraph by Tradd Moore

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Windy & Carl‘s Consciousness LP sleeve, recently reissued I think.

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Which my partner has just indignantly pointed out is a huge rip-off of this Archie Shepp album cover

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The Who Sell Out promo poster by Adrian George, printed by Osiris Visions in 1967, another one that recently came up for auction and sells for a fair bit. These came with initial copies of the album and were reproduced a few years back for the reissue.

The Who Sellout

Turn On Exhibition


The first (that I’ve ever heard of) exhibition of zoetrope art – TURN ON – ended recently at the Place des Rotondes in Luxembourg and they have made this short film of the event, directed by Raoul Schmitz. Sculpture played at the opening and my 2013 zoetrope of Bonobo‘s ‘Cirrus’ using animations by Cyriak was featured alongside discs by Reuben Sutherland, Drew Tetz, Tess Martin, Iloobia and more.
A note to cultural spaces – the exhibition is now available for hire and can’t wait to go on tour! A presentation kit is being finalised for interested art and cultural centres. Email Marine Deravet at Rotondes if you are interested in hosting the event in your city or town. Photos below by Lynn Theisen (first 3) and Mike Zenari.

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Time Released Sound – A Decade of Handmade Music Packaging book

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I recently took delivery of this incredible book, ‘A Decade of Handmade Music Packaging’ by the label Time Released Sound.

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The label specialises in handmade limited edition packaging for each release, mainly CD but also lathe cut vinyl.

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They’ve made over 100 releases in 10 years which is quite something when you see the work that goes into every one.

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The level of detail is staggering as each release is collaged together from found ephemera and assembled by hand. I’m going to have to post more spreads because 10 images just doesn’t do it justice.

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For fans of music packaging, there’s never been a book as good as this since the Independent Project Records‘Savage Impressions’ collection.

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Time Released Sound have copies available to buy now, each comes with 2 CDs of music from the label on the inside cover, give them a follow and check out all the wonderful art they make.

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Turn On zoetrope exhibition, Luxembourg

Turn On posterAn exhibition of phenakistoscopes and zoetropes revolving around music and audio has just opened at the Rotundes venue in Luxembourg. I was thrilled to see my design and viewer for Bonobo‘s ‘Cirrus’ on Ninja Tune way back in 2013 using animations by Cyriak from his video for the song.
Turn On is open from Saturday 20.01 to Sunday 11.02 as part of the festival Fabula Rasa.

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Turn On slipmat

All photos and film by Reuben Sutherland/Sculpture who played there on Saturday after their triumphant turn at The Light Surgeons‘ takeover at Iklectik last Thursday. The exhibition is on until February 11th and there’s an exclusive slipmat available as part of it, designed by Etienne Duval.

Opening hours:
Thu + Fri >15:00 – 18:00
Sat + Sun >11:00 – 18:00
Closed from Monday to Wednesday

More info: www.rotondes.lu

Forty Releases for 40 Years of ZTT

ZTT 40 Periodic Table3Unknown to all but the most observant fans, Ian Peel – keyholder to the ZTT vaults and curator of the label’s reissue series for the last 30 years or more – has been celebrating their four decade anniversary in 2023 by compiling 40 digital releases from the deepest depths of the tape cupboard. Working as The Dream Department alongside Philip Marshall – who has been adding appropriate period visuals to each release – they’ve been giving the complete or expanded treatment to the label’s 80s and 90s output for everyone except Frankie, Seal and 808 State (who they extensively covered a couple of years back). Having visited the ZTT archives with Ian over a decade ago I can attest to the sheer volume of music that is on tape but it’s still a surprise to see what’s coming to light over three decades after it was recorded.

ZTT debuted in 1983 with two different series’ – Action (for pop) and Incidental (for more experimental fair), a concept dreamt up by publicist Paul Morley to separate different strands of their output. A Certain series was added for the surreal cabaret of Anne Pigalle in 1985 and a Fatal series was mooted but never materialised. When the label moved from Island to Warners in the late 80s these disappeared, as did the playfulness that Morley bought to the sleeve and promo art – something Ian resurrected when he started working on the back catalogue in the 90s, at first with ZTTTen, then creating the Artefact Series for the physical reissues from 2005-2011, followed by the Element Series from 2008-2019. Once the label passed to Universal in 2019 he started the Definition Series, releasing expanded digital singles for the likes of 808 State, Propaganda and MC Tunes among others. There was even a briefly resurrected Fatal(e) Series for the ex-ZTT Propaganda releases and an Adventure Series for The Art of Noise but I digress…

The digital releases have gone into overdrive in 2023 but sadly Universal seem uninterested in promoting anyone but the big guns so, unless you follow Ian’s Twitter feed, you probably wouldn’t be aware of much of this. Ian knows the catalogue and the archive inside out, having spent years cataloguing it from the master tapes, along the way discovering all manner of hidden, lost or unreleased treasures. Using this knowledge he’s enhanced the Definition Series – think also ‘Definitive’ – under the ZTT40 banner to celebrate four decades of the label’s esoteric output. 40 digital singles or albums with mulitple single mixes, demos, live takes and more – shining a light into the darkest corners of the vault, exhuming and digitizing songs for the first time, long left to fester on maganetic tape.

Streaming services notoriously don’t like record label data, preferring to catalogue releases by artist, title or album, so looking for ZTT records on Spotify is not going to net you much. Similarly they’re not big on details so, once you’ve found a release, the most you’ll get is a tracklist, running time and year of release. Frustratingly limiting in the case of a project like this where some songs were released, some weren’t, some appeared later in different forms, thus rendering the historical details of such an endeavour invisible. And collectors and fans are nothing if not concerned with the details, it’s the small print that interests us, context is everything, when a song dates from being one of the foremost.

I asked Ian about this process, keen to learn more details about his history as the label’s curator, his treatment of the archive and what may be on the horizon. What follows, I can safely say, is the most indepth article ever about ZTT’s back catalogue reissue programme and even this only feels like it’s scratching the surface. Many thanks to Ian for going above and beyond and even supplying photos to illustrate, strap in as this is a long one.

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The Art of Noise/Revision at a festival date this summer, L-R: Ian Peel, Gary Langan, JJ Jeczalik, (note the Nasty Rox Inc. promo T-shirt)

What was the plan and thinking behind this series of 40 weekly digital releases?

Ian: I wanted to do something suitably ambitious and memorable to mark 40 years of ZTT. One release a week for 40 weeks. I also wanted to use it as a chance to bring slightly disparate chapters of the story together and present a cohesive vision of an auteur label that rivalled and, in many ways, outstripped Mute, Factory and 4AD. I realised that I’ve been working in, on or for ZTT for 35 years, which must be some sort of record, but this has been one of the most enjoyable projects to put together.

I approached it in the same way as all the other ZTT releases, box sets and compilations I’ve put together which now go back more than 30 years: as a chance to continually reinvigorate the myth of the label. And a chance to work so hard on it that 00s Leilani could sit naturally alongside 80s Propaganda and 90s Shades of Rhythm. The best way to do this is with a series, with consistent curation and an overarching plan (even if the plan took a few twists and turns along the way).

It was also a chance to release a huge amount of material that had never been heard before. And to explore some of the artists that recorded and worked hard for the label but who were never properly ‘taped and brochured’. It would be unthinkable to not go back and complete the digital catalogues of the likes of Anne Pigalle, Act, S/O/R and All Saints once this anniversary has passed but, for a lot of artists and projects, it felt very much like a case of ‘if not now, then when?’.

It’s been like writing an audio history of the label–especially as there are chapters in the story that I know took place behind the scenes, but which never actually resulted in records being released. I’ve tried to fill in the blanks, like pointing to ZTT’s momentary dive into acid house with singles like ‘Spectrum is Green’ by Acid Rox Init. Or one of the foundations of the label’s almost-comeback in the early 00s, with ‘Craving’ by Aurora and the Davids Daughters album. None of these were ever released, to say nothing of the 12” and remix 12” of the great lost early ZTT single, Instinct’s ‘Sleepwalking’.

The other exciting thing about the unreleased material is it needed artwork, so I have to say Philip Marshall, who I have been working with on ZTT projects since the start of the Element Series, has created some brilliant work. You can totally imagine the ‘Spectrum is Green’ sleeve racked in Our Price alongside something like Sputnik’s ‘S.U.C.C.E.S.S’. The Time Unlimited cover is a work of art. Likewise, the Leilani cover – the photo that was originally earmarked for her LP looked, in hindsight, like a throwaway pin-up poster, so instead we went with something much more mature and intriguing.

And if I’d found records like ‘Das Psych-oh! Rangers in The Blue Building’ and Nasty Rox’s ‘Ninth Wonder’ in a high street record store back in the day I would have bought them in a heartbeat on looks alone.

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Did you have a free hand as to who and what to include?

Yes, absolutely. And that hasn’t always been the case, by any means. But with this project I can say that this is the ZTT music that I love, that I think changed the course of history and that I could happily listen to all day.

It’s only slightly skewed in that I’d already put together the entire 808 State, Propaganda, 90s-era Art of Noise, Kirsty MacColl and MC Tunes catalogues for digital already. It’s my version of ZTT and my vision of ZTT but excluding those artists and also some that could not be included due to rights.

Certain artists that released music on ZTT – but which I felt were never part of the original (or any true) ZTT ethos – were not included: The Frames, The Marbles, Shane MacGowan, Sinead O’Connor, Raging Speedhorn and Lisa Stansfield. All great artists in their own respect, but I don’t think anyone ever became a ZTT fan after buying one of their records.

Conversely, I was excited that the series could include so many artists that were in the label’s original spirit but came after the Island Records era, like Mantra, Shades of Rhythm, General Max, Solid State Logic, Glam Metal Detectives, Lee Griffiths, and so on. They’re all now properly glued into that spirit I hope, and I’ve tried to show how that initial spirit extended way beyond 1988.

You mentioned some artists couldn’t be included due to rights. Which were they?

Hoodlum Priest was deemed off limits on account of samples. Which is a shame, as they were Trevor’s dream ZTT group at one point. And as the project was lead from the UK, releases that are controlled out of the US end of Universal could not be included. So that put a line through Grace Jones’‘Slave To The Rhythm’, Tom Jones’‘The Lead and How To Swing It’, Wendy & Lisa and the ‘Toys’ soundtrack, and also Roy Orbison’s ‘Wild Hearts’.

The Tom Jones material was always a bit of a curveball but it would have made sense if the 40 had included the two six-minute Youth remixes of his cover of Yazoo’s ‘Situation’. There’s also Frankie Goes To Hollywood but I think it’s clear from the two Frankie releases over the last couple of years (2022’s budget-price ‘The Essential’compilation and the digital single of ‘Sped Up’ and slowed down TikTok remixes of ‘The Power of Love’), neither of which have been on ZTT, that Universal sees them in their own particular way.

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Late 00s and the very start of the Sarm/ZTT tape archive – “note the Frankie film tins, and initial complete lack of order (and even shelving)” (photo: Aaron Horn)

Was everything planned completely in advance or were there changes along the way?

The beauty of a digital series is that nothing goes off to be physically manufactured, so there’s always scope to make a few changes. Initially I had the idea that every fifth release would be from Act, because I’d already got that catalogue completely researched and restored for a digital roll-out early on in 2023.

But the more I got into it, the more I really didn’t want to dwell on any one group more than another, so I parked that idea after the second Act single went live in May. The only exception was –as there was a lot more to do with the 80s-era Art of Noise catalogue, and September was the 40th anniversary of ‘Into Battle’ – the series went on a bit of a detour into AoN-land for a few weeks.

The other swerve came as, in the summer, I finally tracked down recordings of Anne Pigalle, Propaganda and others at 1985’s ‘The Value of Entertainment’ concert. I’d been looking for those tapes for more than 20 years. It turns out they were in the Island Records archive within the Universal vault. That was a perfect ZTT40 release, so I managed to get the multitrack to Gary Langan and get some space in his diary so he could mix and produce them into a final release. (There’s lots more on that particular release on the Art of Noise Facebook page here.)

How does this series differ from what you put together for the thirtieth anniversary?

At that point it was still very much the CD age, so you were limited by what you could include: it had to fit to 70 mins (though I tried to stretch every single one to 73 mins), it needed to get retailer interest so certain tracks and mixes had to be included no matter what.

At that point Sarm Studios still existed and I was working there as label manager of ZTT and marketing manager of all the businesses in the group. I’d renewed the Union Square license and set up new partnerships for North America and Japan. So rather than one 30th anniversary CD, at least I could come up with three 2-CDsets – the London, New York and Tokyo Editions – and include tracks that might not work in one territory in another.

Other differences are where the artists in question are at, and where the tapes are at. For example, I approached Leilani about her unreleased album in 2012 and – perfectly understandably – she wasn’t quite in the headspace for it. Ten years later she really embraced the idea of it being released. In fact, this was one of the factors that spurred her on to apply for ‘Survivor’ on BBC One, where she was the winning woman. And those two factors combined inspired her new music with Philip Jap which has come out in the last few weeks.

Likewise, I’ve never seen members of Instinct talk about their time on ZTT. But Angela Jaeger has been sharing news of the Definition Series editions on socials. In terms of the tapes, in a much more practical sense, things like the DAT archives – of Time Unlimited, Sun Electric, Tara, All Saints and Shades of Rhythm – they just hadn’t been properly transferred and archived at that stage.

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Ian inside his infamous ZTT tape library in 2014

OUTSIDE WORLD AND INSIDE ZANG TUMB TUUM

Can you give us an encapsulation of your interest in ZTT, l first became aware of you from the ‘Record Collector’ overview of the label in the 80s…

To begin with, when ZTT was at its initial peak, I was a bit of a ‘Smash Hits’ addict and saw it through their eyes in a way. I used to write letters to Silvia Patterson which she edited quite heavily but I didn’t mind as they would end up in print. ‘Smash Hits’ coverage of ZTT was really interesting and quite daring for a mainstream pop magazine. Like doing two pages on Anne Pigalle and two on ‘The Value of Entertainment’. They once wrote about an unsigned group called Das Euphony Kiks, which lead them to being signed to the label, as Das Psych-Oh! Rangers.

When the Art of Noise left the label, I thought it was all over. But then I entered a ‘Smash Hits’ competition to win their first post-ZTT single, ‘Legs’ (on 12”, promo T-shirt and 12”‘Inside Leg Mix’ promo VHS video) and won, so that hooked me back in and lead to me following the group on China Records a/k/a The Adventure Series.

In 1987, ‘Record Collector’ magazine trailed a ‘coming soon’ piece about the label that never appeared, so I wrote to them to ask when it was coming out. They wrote back to say the journalist had given up, so could I please write it?

It became a three-part special that was published in October, November and December of 1988, and I carried on writing for ‘Collector’, on and off, from then on. It led to me joining DJ magazine and writing a full-page column for them for 11 years. DJ was fortnightly then, so that was about 300 issues of the magazine.

That was across the whole of the 90s and into the early 00s, so I used the DJ mag column at times to catch up with ZTT artists, like Art of Silence, Debussy-era Art of Noise, 808 State, and to interview artists who had been inspired by the label like The Orb, The Black Dog and Scanner.

There was also your ‘Outside World’ zine in the early 90s…

After the ‘Record Collector’ articles, I wanted to carry on writing about the ZTT world and was inspired by a couple of other fanzines at the time — ‘Telegraph’ about OMD and ‘Conductor of the Masses’ about Jean Michel Jarre. So I decided to put together a ZTT fanzine.

The first one was full cut-and-paste style with scissors, Letraset and gluestick. For content, I had my ‘Smash Hits’ collection and all the ‘Collector’ research to draw on. My brother Ken Peel who is an electronic musician, had a great collection of magazines from his world like ‘Music Technology’, ‘Electronics & Music Maker’ and ‘Making Music’ that I could draw on.

By the second issue in 1991, I’d discovered Macs and laser printing. By the third issue in 1992 I’d discovered email and connected with contributors around the world. Not least Philip Marshall who wrote about Sense (of Island) and Teutonic Beats for the zine. It was the start of a great friendship and working relationship.

The zines were labours of love in that Issue 1 came out in the summer of 1990 and it took me a year to get Issue 2 out and another year for Issue 3. It also took an incredible amount of work placing ads and taking and dispatching orders. But people seemed to like it. It got a great review in i-D magazine. Teletext had a music reviews section and the guy that reviewed it there is now one of the most prolific writers for Classic Pop (Ian founded Classic Pop magazine in 2012).

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How did you get the prime job of chief archivist for the label?

It was as a result of producing ‘Outside World’. I thought Issue 1 was OK, but I was pleased with Issue 2 and sent a copy to the ZTT office at Sarm Studios along with the ‘i-D’ review. They loved it and invited me in for a chat where they asked me to work as an A&R and marketing consultant. It must have been December 1991. In that meeting I was one of the first people to find out that Seal had shaved his head as they showed me the first cut of Wendy & Lisa ft. Seal’s ‘The Closing of The Year’ video.

They were trying to figure out what to do for the tenth anniversary campaign, so I put together lots of material and ideas that went into Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Bang!’ and ‘Reload!’ compilations, the ‘Zance’ comp as well as the CD reissues of the early albums.

That was the extent of the back catalogue marketing for the tenth anniversary. It was the early 90s so everyone was focused on the future so the majority of my work was on D2C (direct to consumer) campaigns for new artists like All Saints and Tara. The only territory that was interested in rare bonus material was Japan, so I put together extra tracks for the 10th anniversary CD reissues that were released there, which was simply called the ZTTTen Series.

The Grace Jones and Frankie remixes from that time (around 1992) did really well but there were also lots of other remixes of all the other early artists that never came out. There was a funny highlight from the ZTTTen Series when I worked with a TV show called ‘Naked City’ for which Caitlin Moran interviewed Paul Morley and Paul Rutherford.

I was also pitching to work with another label called Solid Pleasure. Formed by Yello, and alerted to me by Philip Marshall originally, some of their brilliant releases included a collaboration with Ralf Dörper (under his Technocrats alias) called ‘Qtopia’ by ST Melody.

Naked City needed some Frankie merchandise to shoot for the segment, so I sent them ‘Frankie Say ARM The Unemployed’, ‘Frankie Say WAR! Hide Yourself’, and ‘Frankie Say BOMB Is A Four Letter Word’. But to help prove a point to the other label I wanted to work with, I printed up one saying ‘Frankie Say SOLID Pleasure’ and sure enough they shot it on a rostrum camera and it appeared on Channel Four.

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Another Art of Noise festival date in summer 2023 (with a ‘Value of Entertainment’ T-shirt this time). (photo: Marc Pinder)

Can you give us an overview of how and when you started a new strand of releases for the label with the Artefact Series in the mid-00s?

In the mid-00s, back catalogue marketing was becoming properly established, as was interest in ZTT’s history. At first, Jill Sinclair had random members of the in-house staff of the time put together some back catalogue releases: someone who loved Propaganda rustled up a p:compilation, the most important person in the hierarchy got Frankie, and so on.

What resulted was a disparate bunch of products from a disparate bunch of people. No cohesion at all as they had very little understanding of the ZTT world, no energy for a label identity, and were far more excited by the ‘pub rock’ music of the Stiff Records catalogue that the label also owned.

As a result, there were things like FGTH’s ‘Twelve Inches’ and Propaganda’s ‘Outside World’. Products that sound easy to execute in theory but, as the finished releases prove, much harder in practice. There were also digital releases like ‘The ZTT Singles’ (random CD singles from different artists squeezed together onto digital albums with Ariel-font artwork) and it still pains me that some of those are still online. Though to be fair, when they were put together, no one knew if iTunes would ever take off and Spotify hadn’t even been launched, so you can perhaps understand them being thrown together (artwork and all) in about five minutes.

I was called back in when that team, who left soon after, hit a roadblock when Jill and Trevor Horn began to talk about more expansive and detailed deluxe reissues for the likes of Andrew Poppy, Art of Noise, Anne Pigalle and 808 State. I dived headlong into all of them and started the Artefact Series.

It was an exciting time to be involved again because I could see the past was merging with the future. Trevor, Paul, Anne Dudley, JJ Jeczalik and Gary Langan were all happy to talk about the Art of Noise for the first time since their split in the mid-80s, which lead to the ‘And What Have You Done with My Body, God?’ box set. Many of the tracks didn’t have titles, so Paul gave me a list of new Art of Noise song titles and said – including for the name of the actual box set – just use the titles that the music pulls you towards.

Jill had got the rights to The Buggles’ second album back from Carrere Records, so that was put in the mix too, and Trevor was really excited to go back to those recordings and find unreleased tracks for the second disc. He continued the flow and built on some of them for Yes’s ‘Fly From Here’ album.

My series highlights are maybe Artefact 12: the London and Tokyo ‘Art of ZTT’ exhibitions, Artefact 13: the FGTH ‘Return To The Pleasuredome’ box set (the title of which was an intentional precursor to ‘Inside The Peasuredome’) and also (again intentionally) Artefact 08: the four deluxe expansions of the 808 State albums. The plan was to release those on 8.08.08 but there were a few delays. I did manage to issue the press release announcing them on 8.08.08, though.

6. IanArtofZTT
Ian and some of his vinyl archive at ‘The Art of ZTT’ exhibition in London, 02 Oct, 2008 before it moved for a second installation in Tokyo (photo: Mark Nicholson)

As this is Trevor and Jill we are talking about, at the helm of both the label and studio at that time, any type of catalogue marketing was based around making something new as well. And at that time, it was live events. So I wrote the souvenir programme for the ‘Produced By Trevor Horn’ concert at Wembley. This was a major deal for the family and everyone at Sarm. Prince Charles visited the studio the week before the concert; I was writing the programme and interviewing Trevor as he was trying to learn the bassline for Close (To The Edit) and listening back and loving the early Dollar singles in his suite above Studio One.

The live event to follow Wembley was to be an open air ZTT takeover of Trafalgar Square. Just as the Pet Shop Boys did the same year with Battleship Potemkin. The head of the ICA at the time was a big ZTT fan and approached the label about a joint project where the ICA took over the space and Trevor/ZTT curated it (as The Art of Noise). It had the working title of ‘ElectronICA’. I wanted to call it ‘Artefact’ to properly launch the series (and a new start for the label) and put together plans for guests and setlists.

The day before what was scheduled to be the first meeting for Trevor and Jill to visit the ICA to properly start planning the event was the day of Jill Sinclair’s accident. Of course, that meant Artefact was over and the trajectory of label changed forever.

4.SPZ
With the SPZ (SarmStudios/Perfect Songs/ZTTRecords) team in 2012 in The Blue Building; Ian at the back and, coincidentally, on the left is Perfect’s Melanie Redmond who was the backing singer in The The’s ‘Versus the World’ touring line-up.

ACTIONS/INCIDENT AND ELEMENT/DEFINITION

How did you come to resurrect Paul Morley’s Action and Incidental series?

In the mid-00s, I was also running media relations and the website for ZTT (and also for sister companies Sarm Studios, Perfect Songs, Stiff Records, Horn Brothers Pictures and Music Bank). I was pretty proud of the press we were getting, not least a half-page piece in ‘The Guardian’ on the Andrew Poppy box set. People were really starting to reassess ZTT and also 80s music in general around that time. I showed the press book to Jill Sinclair and I remember she dispensed a typically dry but inspiring pearl of wisdom. “When it comes to press coverage, don’t read it, weigh it.”

It was that same meeting that I was given a bunch of old folders to work through in the hope that some of it would be useful for reissues. Most of it was archive press coverage but it also contained dot matrix-printed and hand-typed lists of the early releases and series: Action, Incidental, Fatal, Perfect, Certain, and IQ. They had exact release dates, for example, for each of the different editions of ‘Relax’, all of the singlettes and so on, as well as catalogue and series numbers. The brief was simple: “if you think any of it’s of use, just take it and run with it.”

When some of the catalogue releases began to feel like ‘frontline’ records, that was when I knew the Action Series was back. Like when I worked with Claudia Brücken to get a new single and video recorded and released as part of her ‘ComBined’ compilation, or came up with a Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘Maximum Joy’ 7” picture disc for Record Store Day.

I signed Aaron Horn and Alex Preager’s A Theory project to ZTT and they seemed like the perfect group to bring the Incidental Series back to life. And there were countless smaller incidents that have been catalogued along the way: one of my favourites – the perfect modern-day entry into the Incidental Series – is ZTIS 304: a sample of Propaganda’s ‘Dr Mabuse’ when we licensed it to appear in the opening track of Foxes’ 2014 debut album, ‘Glorious’.

The longest strand of ZTT releases in its history must be the Element Series, surely? There must be roughly 50 physical editions across a ten-year period?

In 2008, ZTT signed a licensing deal for Europe with Union Square Music. They specialised in back catalogue and it was an era where there was still a market for classic albums being celebrated as 2-CD sets. I was working for ZTT and Sarm Studios and USM hired me to put together these releases. It started off with 2-CD sets but grew and grew to take in vinyl and eventually the ‘ultra-deluxe’ Frankie Goes To Hollywood box set, which I called ‘Inside The Pleasuredome’. When Union Square was bought by BMG in 2016, they gave a copy of it as a gift to each member of the BMG board at the signing meeting.

When the license started, around 2009, the very first release was what they called a ‘vanilla repress’ of ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’. All old copies had to be removed from sale and replaced with their identical (save for the barcode) repress. Rather than just add the barcode, I realised this was a chance to start a new series. The Warners era had the ZANG catalogue numbers, so I added ‘TUMB 1’ as a catalogue number to on-body artwork. But after that I came up with a better title – relating to each release being like elements or parts of the periodic table of ZTT. So the TUMB series stopped there and the Element Series began.

What made the Element Series exciting for me was that, over at ZTT, I was given the job of archiving their complete tape library as well as all tapes of Stiff Records and Perfect Songs (ZTT’s publishing company). Actually, I made it a library after about a year because, to begin with, it was just a big pile of tapes in a completely random order. Anything they had kept anywhere, all delivered to a storage unit in Slough, and the keys delivered to me. My best guess was that there were 100,000 tapes: 2” reels, ¼” reels, DATs, F1s, videos, CDRs and cassettes. This meant that, for the first time, archive reissues could contain music that no one had ever heard before.

There was also, upstairs, a complete paperwork archive to deal with, which is a separate story in itself. But I can say that having found the original contract between Trevor and Jill and Island Records, ZTT was not originally going to be called ZTT…

7. 2Lnqh4zI
“I spent a lot of the 00s ferrying tapes from Sarm Studios to Avance Music Research in Manchester to be baked and transferred. Occasionally I used FX Copyroom in London if things were urgent and hand-carried them there. I’m on a very late-night mission here with the master tape for one of the 12″ mixes of ‘Cry’ by Godley & Creme.” — IP

ZTT seemed to have somewhat of a reboot around the time of the Element Series, and I guess you must have been working at Sarm Studios in its final days?

I was there literally in the last weeks of Sarm Studios cataloguing everything on the walls, the gold discs and awards and illuminating framed letters… Then, when the demolition started, we were back in there filming an April Fool’s video for YouTube with Trevor and Lol Creme about vacuuming the vibes out of the concrete.

That was around 2017 but, five years before, everything was on a roll and it was a bit of a rebirth. Stiff Records signed Sam And The Womp and had a No. 1 with ‘Bom Bom’. (Although I always thought they were way more of a ZTT act, especially with the more KLF-like early single mixes.) Perfect Songs placed ‘The Power of Love’ in the Christmas John Lewis ad, which lead to another No. 1 with Gabrielle Aplin. Another Perfect project reached No. 3 (Sonnentanz by Klangkarussell ft. Will Heard). It was a small team of no more than a dozen of us across ZTT, Stiff, Perfect and Sarm Studios so there was quite a buzz again, thanks in part also to Ken Horn, Trevor’s brother (and television producer), who was a very stabilising factor following various haphazard appointments after Jill’s accident.

The studios were doing well at that time, too. I remember hearing Justin Parker writing Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ in the room above the ZTT office. I held the fort on reception once and had Jessie J, Jon Bon Jovi and a reformed Take That to deal with in the space of an hour. But I was most excited about the Element Series: the 2-CD edition of Propaganda’s ‘A Secret Wish’ equalled the original’s chart placing (a fact I proudly told Steve Lipson). And the 2-CD of Frankie’s ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ eventually earned a gold disc.

I wrote up a complete list of all the Elements of Zang Tuum Tumb for the inner sleeve of 2021’s Record Store Day edition of ‘Who’s Afraid Of The Art Of Noise?’. One of my personal favourites from the Element Series is ‘Frankie Said’ as it gelled everything together in one release: the title was a new one courtesy of Paul Morley, Philip did a great job blending ‘Liverpool’-era photography with ‘Pleasuredome’-era graphics. And I was determined that, even though the brief from Union Square was a ‘Best Of’, the dedicated people who buy every ‘Best Of’ should get to hear surprising, unreleased versions of all the tracks.

It timed with ‘The Power of Love’ going to No. 1 again, and I discovered the incredible, unreleased orchestral session from the Frankie original. Like so many unreleased mixes, it was untitled so for this one I took a line from one of the single sleeves for it: ‘Best Listened to By Lovers’. It was also one of the releases, alongside ‘Zambient One’, that I put together with Ian Usher (who signed Sam And The Womp). The great thing about working with Ian was that he would rein me in when I went too far with certain ideas but, at the same time, he would go way too far with something else and I’d be there to rein him in.

5.AON Tokyo 2017
Arriving in Tokyo in 2017 for live Art of Noise dates with Anne Dudley (centre) and team (photo: Martha Langan)

More recently you’ve put together the Definition Series of more than 100 digital releases. How did these come about?

By the time Union Square/BMG’s license expired, ZTT had been acquired by Universal Music. So that seemed like the moment to stop the Element Series. Not least because anything placed on streaming or download platforms by BMG was taken down. It felt like the right moment to ask, what is the definition of Zang Tuum Tumb? And I realised that you could answer that with any one of a vast number of records. So that’s how the Definition Series started.

It began with a massive dive into 808 State and it was a joy to be able to finally get records like ‘The Extended Pleasure of Dance’ and all ‘The Tommy Boy Mixes’ released. It’s also been a chance to make sense of the Propaganda digital catalogue and include the lost, final single ‘Sorry For Laughing’.

Can you give us some clues to some of the missing pieces, like Element 18, the Adventure and the Fatal(e) series’?

Yes and there’s so much more to say – we’ve not even touched on the Certain, Perfect, Zambient and ZACID Series. To say nothing of NRO, ZANG, XZIP and ZTE…

The Fatal Series was Paul Morley’s moniker for releases that perhaps signalled the end of something rather than the beginning. Esquire’s 1987 album (which was originally set to be released on ZTT) would have been ZTFS 1, and I placed the prospectus document that led to the sale to Universal as ZTFS 2.

Two singles, when they appeared on recent Record Store Day box sets that should have been massive but weren’t even released were ZTFS 4 (Propaganda’s ‘Frozen Faces’) and ZTFS 5 (Art & ACT’s ‘Life’s A Barrel of Laughs’). When I put together Propaganda’s post-ZTT work on Virgin records for deluxe digital editions about three years ago, it seemed logical to mark them up as the Fatal(e) Series.

As for Element 18, that was a deluxe 2-CD Propaganda compilation, covering all eras of the group, pre-and post-ZTT. It was to start with the original ‘3D’ trilogy from before they even arrived at Sarm: ‘Duel’, ‘Doppelganger’and ‘Disziplin’. And, to cover the later years, Michael Mertens supplied some great material including ‘Who’s The Fool?’ from the 2000 reunion, a new track called ‘I Am A Cathedral’, and a previously-unreleased collaboration with Karl Hyde of Underworld. But it was parked – and eventually replaced with the ‘Noise and Girls Come Out To Play’ compilation – as the group could not reach an agreement with Union Square.

As for the Adventure Series, that’s Art of Noise post-ZTT. The original edition of ‘In Visible Silence’ mentioned it, and I’ve carried it on with all of the releases I’ve been working on for Warners. It’s lead to the Art of Noise/Revision live project I’m part of with JJ Jeczalik and Gary Langan, that we performed to more than 30,000 people at festivals last summer.

Some of our Art of Noise/Revision guests recently have included Afrodeutsche, Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s Neal X, the actor David Tennant, Chilean genius Raimundo Ladrón de Guevara, Paul Morley, Tom Jones and Donal Hodgson (who was also the MD for the Frankie Goes To Hollywood reunion show at Eurovision last May).

Although it possibly works best indoors, recent full-length shows – like the residency we did at The Jazz Café last January (which had a wonderful opening set from someone called DJ Food…) – start off with Adventure 09: ‘Canticles of The Moon’, a piece I worked on with Anne Dudley that blended her ‘Ancient and Modern’ album with Apollo moon landing footage.

Now that the ZTT 40 series is complete, I can happily get back into the headspace of Adventure 04: the ‘Producer’s Cut’ of ‘Below The Waste’ and its accompanying single, the ‘Outer Heat EP’.


Adventure 09: Canticles of The Moon Landing, Art of Noise live at The Jazz Café

40 DEFINITIONS OF ZANG TUUM TUMB

The complete Definition Series for 2023’s 40 fortieth-anniversary weekly releases:

1.Act–‘Snobbery & Decay (Showtime)’: single, 31.03.23.
8 tracks, 3 of which new to digital (download/streaming) platforms and previously cassette-only

2.Leilani–‘Precious Treasure’: album, 07.04.23.
12 tracks, 11 of which previously unreleased. Also catalogued at IQ 11

ztt40 03
3.Nasty Rox Inc.–‘Ca$h (Deluxe Edition)’: album, 14.04.23.
20 tracks, 6 of which previously unreleased and 14 returning to digital

4.All Saints 1.9.7.5.–‘Silver Shadow’: single, 21.04.23.
7 tracks, 1 of which previously unreleased and 6 new to digital

5.Glenn Gregory & Claudia Brücken–‘When Your Heart Runs Out of Time’: single, 28.04.23.
5 tracks, 4 of which new to digital and previously vinyl-only and 1 returning to digital but this time from original master tapes (previously was a vinyl rip)

6.Act–‘Absolutely Immune (I)’: single, 05.05.23.
6 tracks, 1 of which previously unreleased

7.Mantra–‘Rise’: single, 12.05.23.
4 tracks, all previously unreleased. Also catalogued at ZANG 37

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8.Instinct–‘Sleepwalking (A Waking 12”)’: single, 19.05.23.
3 tracks, 2 of which previously unreleased and 1 returning to digital. Also catalogued at ZTAS 11

9.All Saints 1.9.7.5.–‘If You Wanna Party (I Found Lovin’)’: single, 26.05.23.
4 tracks, all new to digital

10.Das Psych-Oh! Rangers–‘The Essential Art of Communication’: single, 02.06.23.
4 tracks, all new to digital and previously vinyl-only

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11.Anne Pigalle–‘Souvenir d’un Paris’: single, 09.06.23.
4 tracks, all returning to digital. Also catalogued at CERT 3

12.Lee Griffiths–‘First Things First’: single, 16.06.23.
4 tracks, all new to digital

ztt40 13
13.Instinct–‘Sleepwalking (A Sleeping 12”)’: single, 23.06.23.
4 tracks, 3 of which new to digital and 1 returning. Also catalogued at 12 XZTAS 11

14.Glam Metal Detectives–‘Glam Metal Detectives (Expanded Edition)’: album, 30.06.23.
15 tracks, 14 of which new to digital and 1 returning

ztt40 15
15.Andrew Poppy–‘32 Frames for Orchestra’: single, 07.07.23.
5 tracks, 1 of which returning to digital (and previously only available in Europe) and 2 of which returning to digital (and previously only available in North America)

16.Nasty Rox Inc.–‘Escape From New York’: single, 14.07.23.
6 tracks, 5 of which new to digital.

17.Davids Daughters–‘Chemistry’: album, 21.07.23.
10 tracks, 8 of which previously unreleased and 1 new to digital. Also catalogued at IQ 21

ztt40 18
18.Art & Act–‘Life’s A Barrel of Laughs’: single, 28.07.23.
5 tracks, 4 of which new to digital and 1 returning. Also catalogued at ZTFS 02 and ZTPS 05

19.Tara–‘Save ME from mySelf’: single, 04.08.23.
9 tracks, 3 of which previously unreleased and 6 new to digital

ztt40 20
20.Propaganda–‘p:Machinery (via T-Empo/Nicolosi)’: single, 11.08.23.
4 tracks, 2 of which previously unreleasedand 2 new to digital. Also catalogued at ZTFS 11

21.Shades of Rhythm–‘The Sound of Eden (Every Time I See Her)’: single, 18.08.23.
6 tracks, 1 of which previously unreleased, 1 new to digital and 4 returning

ztt40 222
22.Nasty Rox Inc.–‘Ninth Wonder’: single, 25.08.23.
5 tracks, 3 of which previously unreleased, 1 new to digital and 1 returning. Also catalogued at NROX 3

23.The Art of Noise–‘(Share) Moments in Love’: single, 01.09.23.
8 tracks all of which new to digital and previously vinyl-only. Also catalogued at XTPS02 and WEEPS 2

24.The Art of Noise–‘Close (To the Edit)’: single, 08.09.23.
6 tracks, 2 of which new to digital and previously vinyl-only and 3 returning

25.The Art of Noise–‘Closer (To The Edit)’: single, 15.09.23.
7 tracks, 5 of which new to digital and previously vinyl-only. Also catalogued at XTPS01

ztt40 26
26.‘Worship with The Art Of Noise’: album, 22.09.23.
18 tracks, 8 of which new to digital

27.The Art of Noise–‘Beat Box (Diversions Zero to Seven)’: single, 29.09.23.
8 tracks, 2 of which new to digital and previously vinyl-only, 2 new to digital and previously vinyl-/cassette-only, 1 new to digital, 3 returning. Also catalogued at XTIS 108

ztt40 28
28.Shades of Rhythm–‘Fear of The Future EP’: single, 06.10.23.
8 tracks, 7 of which previously unreleased and 1 returning. Also catalogued at ZANG 28 and ZACID 05

29.Public Demand–‘Invisible’: single, 13.10.23.
6 tracks, all new to digital

ztt40 30
30.Acid Rox Init–‘Spectrum Is Green’: single, 20.10.23.
5 tracks, all previously unreleased. Also catalogued at NROX 4 and ZACID 02

31.Aurora–‘Craving’: single, 27.10.23.
7 tracks, 6 of which previously unreleased and 1 new to digital. Also catalogued at ZANG 99

Tara - experience
32.Tara–‘Experience EP’: single, 03.11.23.
5 tracks, all previously unreleased. Also catalogued at ZANG 61

33.Solid State Logic–‘Rise’: single, 10.11.23.
6 tracks, 3 of which new to digital and previously vinyl-only

34.General Max–‘We Can Do It’: single, 17.11.23.
4 tracks, 3 of which new to digital and previously vinyl-only and 1 new to digital

35.Sexus–‘The Official End of It All’: single, 24.11.23.
10 tracks, 3 of which previously unreleased and 3 new to digital and previously vinyl-only

ztt40 36
36.‘Homage to The Blessed–Das Psych-Oh! Rangers in The Blue Building’: compilation, 01.12.23.
8 tracks, all previously unreleased. Also catalogued at IQ 19

37.‘Poetry in Motion–Time Unlimited on Zang Tuum Tumb’: compilation, 08.12.23.
16 tracks, all previously unreleased. Also catalogued at IQ 12

ztt40 382
38.‘The Value of Entertainment–Time Capsule Highlights’: compilation, 15.12.23.
5 tracks, 4 of which previously unreleased and 1 returning to digital. Also catalogued at IQ 13

ztt40 39
39.‘Repetition Plus Variation–Propaganda Live at The Value of Entertainment’: album, 22.12.23.
6 tracks, all previously unreleased. Also catalogued at IQ 18

ztt40 40
40.‘Will the World Remember?–Sun Electric on Zang Tuum Tumb’: compilation, 29.12.23.
12 tracks, 11 of which previously unreleased and 1 new to digital. Also catalogued at IQ 20

Currently Ian has compiled a playlist of a track from each release on Spotify which will in turn lead you to each entry, this is the only way to find all 40 in one place if you want to listen to the set.

For those wanting to avoid Spotify/amazon/itunes due to their lack of high quality options, quite a few of the releases are available in proper 320/FLAC form here : https://uk.7digital.com/
Derek and Stefan also pointed to the catalogue being available on qobuz

There’s also an incomplete fan-maintained list on Discogs that sets out each of the 40 entries (plus a few pre-40 releases) with track titles, times and some notes where known. There are many treasures to be discovered along the way and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2024 brings as we enter the 40th anniversaries of ‘Two Tribes’, ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ and the whole summer of Frankie of 1984.

2023

Best LPs 2023Music:
Kosmischer Laufer – Volume 5 LP (UCR)
Soia, Julien Sénélas, Jérôme Vassereau – In C for 11 Oscillators and 53 Forms LP (unjenesaisquoi)
Cate Brooks – Tapeworks DL (Cafe Kaput)
Memorials – Music For Film: Tramps! LP (State 51 Conspiracy)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – PetroDragonic Apocalypse… LP (Album of the year)
Field Lines Cartographer – Moonbuilding Sessions LP (CiS Subscription Library)
Brian Eno – The Lighthouse radio station (Sonos) (most listened to)
Niholoxica – Source of Denial LP (Crammed Discs)
SareemOne – Olivine Window
Coast Contra – Breathe & Stop Freestyle/Never Freestyle/Scenario Freestyle
Move78 – Grains LP
Heiroglyphic Being – The Moon Dance LP (Apnea)
Raj Pannu – Past Crimes EP 12″ (To Pikap Records)
Gordon Chapman-Fox – The Nine Travellers LP (Castles In Space Subscription Library)

Podcasts:
Oh God What Now?
Cartoonist Kayfabe
Jonny Trunk’s Patreon Show
What Goes Around
The Bunker
The Bureau of Lost Culture
Not A Diving Podcast with Scuba

Best of Live events 2023-2
Gigs / Events:
Art of Noise @Jazz Café, London
The Light Surgeons – SuperEverything launch @iklectik, London
Quadraphon debut @Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate
Beyond The Streets exhibition @Saatchi gallery, London
Pop Up Subculture festival, Stroud
Holotronica, @IMAX Bristol
Sunroof / Finlay Shakespeare @iklectik, London
0282 Club, the library, Burnley
Paul Cousins @iklectik, London
The Light Surgeons – The Consensual Hallucination @iklectik, London
Memorials at the State 51 Summer Psych party @State 51, London
Queens of the Stone Age @Glastonbury
FogFest2 @iklectik, London
JG Thirlwell & Emsemble @Bush Hall, London
The Book & Record Bar 10th anniversary party, London
Machina Bristronica, Bristol
Visiting Peel Acres with Eilon Paz of Dust & Grooves
Nihiloxia @the Jazz Cafe, London
NEXT Festival, Bratislava, Slovakia

Best design 2023
Design / Packaging:
Yves Malone – A Hello To A Goodbye LP (Castles In Space)
Drumetrics – Phuzzle (Drumetrics)
Waclaw Zimpel – Train Spotter LP (State 51)
David Boulter – Factory 3″ CD (Clay Pipe Music)
Fluctuosa – Wetware EP 12″ (Analogical Force)
Fluxus – Orbit & Shine LP (Castles In Space)
Floating Points – Birth4000 12″ (Ninja Tune)
Cate Brooks – Easel Studies LP + badge (Clay Pipe Music)
Brian Eno – Top Boy OST CD (Beatink)

Artists:
Kallamity
Soda
Nick Taylor (Spectral Studio)
Louise Mason
Francis Castle (Clay Pipe)
Tradd Moore
KO_Computer
Kishi Omori
Autone1
Mike Mignola
Geometric Love
Anna Readman
Zoe Thorogood
Colin & Maria @ Time Released Sound

Best books 2023
Books / Magazines / Comics:
Medical Grade Music – Steve Davis & Kavis Torabi (White Rabbit)
Doctor Strange – Fall Sunrise – Tradd & Heather Moore (Marvel)
Tales To Enlighten – The New Testament – Matt King and James Edward Clark
Beyond The Streets exhibition book
Pop – Milton Glaser (Phaidon)
Kevin O’Neill Apex Edition (2000AD)
Mark Stafford – Salmonella Smorgasbord (Soaring Penguin Press)
Savage Impressions – Bruce Lichen (Independent Project Records)
Hexagon Bridge – Richard Blake (Image)
Monica – Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)
Acid Valley – Luke Insect
Petrol Head – Rob Williams & Pye Parr (Image)
Lawless – Dan Abnett & Phil Winslade (Rebellion)
Giant Robot Hellboy – Mignola/Fegredo (Dark Horse)
Facelss & The Family – Matt Lesniewski (Oni Press)

Film:
Barbie
Squaring The Circle : The Story of Hipgnosis

What Have I done 2023
Another year over and what have I done?
Designed a retro jungle cover for District 1727 release Rinse Out The Raw Steel
Opened for The Art of Noise two nights running at the Jazz Cafe
Designed The Home Current & Peter Wix and UNE CDs for Spun Out Of Control
Performed at Candlemas with Julian Hand, Heena Song, Paul Naudin and Whyte Light Visuals
Started working with visual artist PuttyRubber with my Quadraphon turntable at live gigs
Designed the Stasis 12″‘Quondam Sequences’ for De:tuned
Edited a short video for Holotronica after their Bristol event (not sure this ever got broadcast/finished actually)
Restarted my Infinite Illectrik label with 7 monthly releases from May
Mixed two new volumes of The Funky Eno with selections provided by Nohbodhi
Gave talks about Wheels of Light in Stroud and Brighton
Collaborated with Graham Dunning live with visuals by PuttyRubber and Chromatech for FogFest2
Appeared on the 45 Live and What Goes Around podcasts
Wrote the theme for the new Why? podcast
Remade and remixed Amon Tobin’s Permutation LP artwork for the 25th reissue
Continued the weekly Mixcloud Select series of archive mix uploads
Designed and illustrated Wonders of the Undersea World LP for Trunk Records including a sheet of stickers to make your own cover design.
Designed zoetropes for T Rex, Donna Summer, Dr Who, Lily Allen and Steps(!)
Designed the Pulse Five EP, poster and postcards for FSOL, working with Jonas Ranson again on the screenprint
Designed the De:tuned 15 logo and T-shirt for the label’s fifteenth year in 2024
Designed the Clerkenwell Kid Junkyard Melodies album + ephemera and 3″ Xmas Winter Warmers companion CD for Stephen Coates/The Real Tuesday Weld
Designed the A’bear album sleeve for Castles In Space
Contributed vintage graffiti photos to the second Old So Kool book about the UK graf scene in the 80s
Ongoing research into at least three other book projects…

RIP:
Alan Rankin, Jeff Beck, David Crosby, Burt Bacharach, Raquel Welch, Alain Goraguer, Lee Purkis aka In Sync, Paul O’Grady, Al Jaffee, Jah Shaka, Mary Quant, Mark Stewart, Frank Kozik, Andy Rourke, Peter Jones (Colourscape designer), Martin Amis, Kenneth Anger, Tina Turner, Astrud Gilberto, John Romita Snr, Glenda Jackson, Jane Birkin, Paul Rubens, Jamie Reid, Michael Parkinson, David McCallum, Mark the 45 King, Benjamin Zephaniah, Ian Gibson,

Looking forward 2024
Looking forward to:
Candlemas II
Gary Hustwit’s Eno film
The Time Released Sound Book – A Decade of Handmade Music Packaging
Furiosa – A Mad Max Saga
The Hoppy documentary
Richard Norris’ autobiography, Strange Things Are Happening
Sophia Satchell-Baeza’s ‘Sensuous Laboratories’ book
The The’s new tour
Doug Shipton’s new Fundamental Frequencies label
More collaborations

Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #18: Obscure Records Collection

CompleteObscure_LP05_C web
A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

#18. Obscure Records Collection 10xLP/CD box set 
w. book
The Brian Eno-curated mid-70s label gets the reissue treatment and it’s beautifully done but not cheap! 10xCD set with book around £130, 10xLP set with book around £300-£430!
Downloads of six of the albums are available on the label’s Bandcamp for €12 per LP – minus the classics by Eno, Penguin Cafe, Michael Nyman, Harold Budd (which you can find easily elsewhere).

https://spaceechorecords.bandcamp.com/
See more details in my earlier post

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #16: Various Artists – Tape Excavation LP

Tape Excavation front
A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

Tape Excavation back
#16. Various Artists – Tape Excavation LP
Literally what it says on the tin; obscurities from the tape drawer compiled by Bruce Licher and beautifully printed on a custom card sleeve with inserts, all lovingly detailed in the Savage Impressions book that this originally accompanied which showcases 30 years of the Independent Print Project label’s release history.

https://brucelicher.bandcamp.com/album/tape-excavation

https://independentprojectrecords.bandcamp.com/merch/savage-impressions-an-aesthetic-expedition-through-the-archives-of-independent-project-records-press-book
https://independentprojectrecords.bandcamp.com/music

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #15: Stereolab – The In Sound stamp sheets

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

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#15. Stereolab – The In Sound stamp sheets
Commemorative stamps that went with the long sold out 7” release Independent Project Records made with Stereolab.

https://independentprojectrecords.bandcamp.com/merch/stereolab-the-in-sound-stamp-sheets-set-of-4-different-colors

https://independentprojectrecords.bandcamp.com/music



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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #14: Source: The Independent Project Records Collection CD

Source front
A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

Source back no
#14. Various Artists – Source: The Independent Project Records Collection CD
A starting point for newcomers to the label, largely run, designed and printed by Bruce Licher, featuring a number of his own aliases alongside post-punk bands of the 80s and 90s.

https://sourcevariousartistscompilation.bandcamp.com/album/source-the-independent-project-records-collection

https://independentprojectrecords.bandcamp.com/music

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #13: Bruce Licher – Exploratorium 3” CD / Expanded CD

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

Exploratorium CD back

#13. Bruce Licher – Exploratorium 3” CD / Expanded CD
The first of several releases I’m going to feature from Independent Project Records. The exquisitely designed and letterpress-printed releases on this label have to be seen and held in the flesh to be fully appreciated.
This is label owner Bruce Licher’s solo ambient explorations, firstly as a 3″ CD held onto 12″ square piece of card and later in a custom-printed foldout card sleeve with booklet on regular-sized CD.

https://brucelicher.bandcamp.com/album/exploratorium-expanded

https://brucelicher.bandcamp.com/album/exploratorium

https://independentprojectrecords.bandcamp.com/music



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Exploratorium detail CD

Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #11: Kevin Foakes – Wheels of Light book

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

#11. Kevin Foakes – Wheels of Light + Four Corners Books
Got to plug something of my own – my book on projection wheel designs for British light shows has been out for just over a year now and the lovely people at Four Corners Books have a wealth of obscure publications to complement it.

WOL3
WOL7
WOL6
WOL2
WOL5
There’s still time to buy from Four Corners before Xmas and, if you spend over £30 on their site, they’ll send you a limited edition enamel pin designed by John Morgan, plus a Bearandas postcard as an extra stocking filler. Offer ends 18 Dec, while stocks last

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https://www.fourcornersbooks.co.uk/books/wheels-of-light/

https://www.fourcornersbooks.co.uk/