The Cinematic Orchestra – Every Day (20th Anniversary Edition)


Finally I can talk about this, it’s been in the planning since the summer and now it’s announced. A 3xLP reissue of The Cinematic Orchestra‘s ‘Every Day’ album with extras, revised artwork and a gatefold sleeve. I was asked by Jason Swinscoe to remake the album art from the original files but go back to an early concept (actually the first version) that I’d submitted in 2002.

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I was happy to do this as I’d never been entirely happy with how the original artwork finally turned out so this was a chance to have a second go and I am really happy with how it’s turned out. Pre-order yours here also here for Bandcamp Friday

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More fantasy film mash ups via AI

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Furthermore to the fantasy film collaborations in the Tron / Jodorowsky post, here’s some more. “On the set of 1984 secret collaboration movie between Jim Henson Studios and HR Giger by Bruno Samper – many more on his Facebook. It’s funny to see some people getting really het up about the fact that people aren’t stating that this isn’t real and even more people are falling for it and thinking it is.

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Douggy Pledger has been doing incredible work for the last year now and has really turned out some hilariously disturbing work including a book called To Hell With AI. Here’s his take on a 1920’s version of the Star Wars saga, ‘Start War’ and it’s lashed together sequel, ‘Stop Wars’.

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Fantasy Jodorowsky Tron visualisations by Johnny Darrell

Jodo Tron 1 poster

There seems to be a current trend in AI circles of mashing up film genres or visualising existent films either within different time periods or with different directors.
Johnny Darrell has imagined both Tron films as visualised and directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky using the AI app Midjourney. These are all created by the AI app via prompts with only the typography on the posters being added later via Photoshop (AI still isn’t great at letter forms but is getting better all the time). These are only a sampling of the images he’s created, loads more on his Facebook page.

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Retinal Circus gig posters 1966-68

Retinal Circus July 17-19
A selection of gig posters for the Retinal Circus. The Circus nights, promoted by Roger Schiffer, ran from summer 1967 to the end of 1968 in a basement venue in Vancouver, Canada and would play host to many of the top bands of the day in the late 60s. The main poster artist was Steve Seymour who managed to weave all sorts of intricate typography into each image including dates, bands, start and end times and even a dot-to-dot puzzle which spelt out ‘surprise’ when filled in. The main exception I can see being the Velvet Underground one by Frank Lewis who also did other posters around Vancouver, early Afterthought ones being an example, Vancouver’s psychedelic venue before the Retinal Circus.
There was also a light show called The Retina Circus in Seattle at the same time but they weren’t connected, the main two house lighting crews were called Addled Chromish and Ecto Plasmic Assault.
*Thanks to Greg Evans from the Acid Rain light show in Victoria, Canada for additional info.
Retinal Circus Aug 13-18 1968

Retinal Circus Aug 20-24 1968

Retinal Circus Aug 27-Sept 1 1968

Retinal Circus April 11-13

Retinal Circus July 25-27

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Retinal Circus May 23-25

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Retinal Circus Sept 27-29

Retinal Circus Oct 31 - Nov 3

Moonbuilding issue 2 out today

Moonbuilding vol.2

The new edition of Moonbuilding, the quarterly magazine by ex-Electronic Sound writer Neil Mason, published by Castles In Space, is out today. It features a 2 page interview with me about my new book, Wheels of Light, and the mag also comes with a free CD of CiS artists appearing at the label’s Levitation festival next month.

You can order it here and there is also an option to get issue 1 or a bundle of both issues.

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My Wheels of Light book is out today!

Kev by Larry Wooden
It’s publication day for my book ‘Wheels of Light’ from Four Corners books – here’s some pictures from the launch night on Wednesday by Pat Grimm and myself. The Optikinetics crew Rob, Tony and original co-founder Neil Rice were in attendance as was wheel artist Jennie Caldwell (see her amazing designs in the book).

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WOL Launch party
Larry Wooden was also holding court with his box of original Orion wheels and a portfolio of original wheel art dating back to the 70s.

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Here is is holding the War of the Worlds painting by artist David Hardy. He’d also made me a one-off Wheels of Light promo wheel and gifted a remastered Star Wars test wheel. He’s busy remastering all the old Orion wheels from the original art, the colours of which are sometimes quite a bit different.

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Stuart Warren-Hill (Hexstatic/Holotronica) is pictured showing Neil Rice one of his homemade picture wheels, and Pat and Mariko are bathing in the liquid light.

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Rotating prism attachment for Solar 250 lens.

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You can order the book here for a history of the British companies like Optikinetics, Orion and Pluto who made these gorgeous objects. Lots of the original art for the picture wheels is featured as well as promotional material and interviews with some of the people behind the scenes. I hope you all find something to enjoy in here and maybe a few things never seen before.

Dave Barbarossa – Mud Sharks

Mud cover
It’s all books on here lately, I’ve been helping Dave Barbarossa realise a third, print-on-demand edition of his first novel, Mud Sharks, recently – a semi biographical, semi-fictional retelling of his upbringing and road to stardom in various bands. Fans of a certain age will know him from the first iteration of Adam & The Ants, then Bow Wow Wow, he later went on to drum with Beats International, Republica and Roland Gift among others.
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The book is a rapid-paced ascent through a troubled childhood, dirt poor upbringing in 70s London into a world of punk and out the other side, a proper rags to riches story, told intelligently with a keen turn of phrase.
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You can order copies from here or message Dave directly through his Facebook and he will sign and dedicate a copy to you.
As a thankyou I got to look through untold Ant/Bow Wow Wow treasures at his place including acetates, diaries, scrapbooks and more. He also gifted this original proof copy of the Young Parisians single cover and promo photo to me as a thank you. The dedication is a reference to something Adam wrote in a log book Dave owns of the making of the Dirk Wears White Sox album where each track is broken down into instruments, sections, notes and recording info.
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Wheels Of Light book

WheelsofLight_cover editInadvertently, I’ve written a book! I say written but it’s really more picture-heavy with a contextual history provided, but my name is on the cover so what the hell. I’ve been working away on a book of light show projection wheel art for a good few years now in conjunction with the lovely people at Four Corners Books.

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It started when a friend called me in mid 2019 having discovered a load of original projection wheel art at a lighting company called Optikinetics – one of the original and only surviving companies who made projectors and their accessories from the 70s. After viewing drawers full of art, slides and transparencies I took the idea to Four Corners who I’d previously worked with on Jonny Trunk’s ‘Wobbly Sounds’ book about flexi discs. They were up for it and so we were off, my main job being contextualising the art and interviewing the main players and artists from the UK scene, which led to more art turning up along the way.
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Wheels of Light Oil Wheel Optikinetics
We were nearing the final stages of the edit and the book was sent to the designer when a vital missing piece of the jigsaw turned up. A certain Larry Wooden – proprietor of Orion Lighting and originator of the panoramic picture wheel – had been missing in action since I started to track down the original people involved in the business of making wheels. I’d resigned myself to having a passage written by Larry back in 2009 in the book as his only contribution – taken (with permission) from the Funky Parrot website – but suddenly he appeared online in a group devoted to projection. A quick email and not so quick phone call and the next week I jumped on a train to Colchester and met Larry outside the station in his motorhome where we chatted for hours and he filled me in on where he’d been, what he’d done and what he was going to do.

Orion - Space Panorama original

Some of that is a story for another time but I now had access to the last major player – alongside Optikinetics and Pluto – of the British FX wheel scene of the 70’s and early 80’s. Their story, the equipment they created as well as original art and quotes from the artists and designers of the wheels will be told for the first time in Wheels of Light, available from Four Corners Books on October 21st. Larry has set up a new Orion Effects site and is selling various bits and pieces of his archive so if you’re into that incredibly niche area then this is possibly the last time such a collection of original pieces will come up for sale, certainly from one of the originators of the UK scene. Go to orioneffects.co.uk and click on the heritage pages.

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Below: Mis-registered image of the Optikinetics ‘Robot’ wheel taken from a catalogue (not in the book). I’ll be posting more ephemera over the coming weeks as much didn’t make the book… You can pre-order it here, nearly 180 pages, full colour throughout. There will be a launch party on the 19th and I should have copies for sale at my stall at Jonny Trunk’s second Record Fayre on the 29th.

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The 14 hr Technicolour Dream

14-Hour-Technicolor-Dream Mike McInnerney Poster
Set up as a fund raiser to help International Times magazine, the hastily-organised event took place in the Alexandra Palace in North London with stages at each end competing sonically for dominance and a huge line up of the counter culture’s who’s who of the day. Reports vary as to how successful it was, it probably depended what drugs you were on but ultimately it raised very little despite thousands attending. Large numbers of tickets were either stolen or given out with payment required later, a news piece in the next issue of IT berating dishonest resellers who had not yet paid up.
The main poster by Mike McInnerney was printed in a variety of fading ‘split fountain’ colours making it highly collectable. Beware of fakes which have separated colour combinations and John Lennon‘s name added to the line up near the bottom of the list, he was there as a punter but was never down to perform.

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UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 29:  (AUSTRALIA OUT) ALEXANDRA PALACE  Photo of MEMORABILIA and CONCERT POSTERS and PINK FLOYD, poster for 14 hour Tecnicolour Dream - memorabilia  (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

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Hudson Mohawke video by Kingcon2k11

Another AI-generated video using what looks like drone shots added into AI software for Hudson Mohawke‘s new song. The fascinating thing about this is that it’s still in its infant stages, in just a few years it’ll be better, faster, more detailed and adaptable. At the moment I’d wager this is at the same stage as, say, the cover of Warp‘s first Artificial Intelligence compilation in terms of computer graphics. I’d also wager that people will want to keep elements of the weird, almost horror elements that the AI produces in decades to come in the same way that we add grain, crackle and texture to digital recordings now. AI image making is creating a new visual language all of its own but I hope it doesn’t grow up and perfect things too soon, I like the alien-ness of it all.

Hip Hop flyers from the Kool Herc collection

Kool Herc
You may have seen that Kool Herc‘s estate is going under the hammer at Christies this month. Everything from turntables and disco equipment to glasses, photos, belt buckles and records from the man called The Godfather of Hip Hop. Most interesting to me are the reams of flyers for the old Bronx jams featuring home made, hand drawn and collaged examples of the earliest form of Hip Hop promotion. There are plenty by Buddy Esq. probably the most gifted and well known exponent of early rap design work and there are fascinating little details dotted throughout about the way jams used to be from a time long since passed.
Below are my favourites and you can view the full auction online here:

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“no drugs, no weapons, no sneakers”
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“first 25 jazzy ladies free” – who decided?
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“sneakers one nite only” love how cut and paste this is
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How young are the Furious Five here?
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That’s a lot of acts on the bill!
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Lot of Zulu crews there
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‘Guaranteed to perform’, the others might not be there but…
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How many typefaces?
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“giving away $50 to some lucky person, sincerely, Flash” – also “Creole’s got something special for the young ladies”
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“Shea, please call me, love always, herc” – flyer done by Herc
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Do you think that’s Shea?
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AI-generated comics, Dave McKean and Carson Grubaugh

McKean Prompt

“A few weeks ago having digested the implications of image creation AI, I decided I could either retire or respond. Here’s my response; a 96-page book of graphic shorts stories created in 12 days. Available at the end of July.” ~ Dave McKean

I’ve been very interested in, and using, AI-generated images since the turn of the year although I’ve not made a big deal out of it or posted much of the work in the way you’ll be seeing it on social media. It’s a fascinating and extremely powerful way of image creating which throws up all sorts of questions of ownership, copyright infringement and such. It’s a huge deal that will see an obvious visual shift across various mediums and another tool in the box of many creatives.
Rian Hughes and I have been trading thoughts and images on this back and forth and he highlighted another comic that purports to be the first of its kind with imagery generated entirely by AI algorithm by Carson Grubaugh. A four issue book due for release in October this year, ‘Abolition of Man’ was generated by lines taken from the C.S.Lewis book of the same name. It looks like it’s set to be beaten to the punch by McKean and, ironically, many of the images inside bear a strong resemblance to his regular non-AI-generated work.

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Andy Votel House Music exhibition at The Modernist, Manchester

House music poster

Andy Votel has an exhibition of record sleeves containing architecture at The Modernist in Manchester. Taking inspiration from his sleeve for Jane Weaver‘s ‘The Architect’ he has created a poster and book to accompany the show. The book features records from his own collection including plenty of his own designs with intimate details that will have most running to Discogs or Google to find out more. Both the book and poster are available from The Modernist and the exhibition runs until September.
Below is my copy of a super rare hand made copy of Jane’s ‘The Architect’ which features an alternate version of the original cover.

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Moonbuilding magazine issue 1

MB cover CD

The first issue of Moonbuilding is here! Put together by Neil Mason (ex of Electronic Sound magazine) and published quarterly by Castles In Space, it features guest design work from Nick Taylor, a column by Alex Paterson of The Orb and the return of Steven Appleby’s Captain Star comic strip. Also comes with a 13 track CD
Order via the Castles In Space Bandcamp page

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Hawksmoor’s ‘Head Coach’ CD designs


A new release for Hawksmoor on the Spun Out Of Control label that I had the pleasure to design recently. Their first CD, it comes in a 4 panel digipak with a 12 pg booklet. The 11 track album centres around the alignment of the town of Milton Keynes with the summer solstice.
Pre-order up now Bandcamp
Pictured above are work in progress images including mood boards at various stages of the design of the album. A few of these I like as much as the finished version so I thought I’d share them here.

Hawksmoor SOOC CD1 cover

Initial picture research and ideas started in February, based around the new town of Milton Keynes and the architectural team altering the position of the town by a few degrees so that the main boulevards would align with the summer solstice sunset (all true).

Head Coach inside

Photography of local landmarks, maps, logos and road signage were all considered for a retro 70s look. If you search online there’s some amazing concept artwork dating back to the town’s initial conception. The light pyramid on the cover was a strong image that had to feature prominently, the roundabouts and maze too.

First layouts arrived mid Feb but a rethink was needed, a heavy workload elsewhere meant it was mid March before we started to get the initial look we ended up with. At each step I worked with James Hawksmoor and Gavin for SOOC to refine the designs to their taste. By April we’d nailed it aside from the fine detail but a trip to MK to photograph content for the booklet (not shown here) was needed to which Gavin gamely stepped up.

Head Coach back cover

More tinkering through a busy May and into June to refine the last details and it was done. Thankfully it will take weeks rather than months to manufacture due to it being the label’s first CD.

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John Peel Bonhams auction highlights

John Peel at home
Today sees the auction of items from John Peel‘s amazing collection at Bonhams in Knightsbridge. You can view 200 items from the auction online here from the incredible, often historical, contents. Whilst there are letters, lyrics, acetates, clothing and promos by heavyweights like Bowie, Lennon & Ono, Bolan and Factory Records, those don’t interest me as much as these items below. The notes and photos below come from the Bonhams catalogue entries.
JP Gandalf's Garden illustration
THE PERFUMED GARDEN: THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY KEN HAYES CREATED FOR JOHN PEEL’S ARTICLE IN THE MAGAZINE ‘GANDALF’S GARDEN’, 1967,
Gouache on artboard, hand-painted by Ken Hayes (Graphics Dept) as an illustration to accompany an article by John Peel in Issue No.1 of the sub-culture magazine ‘Gandalf’s Garden’. The centrepiece of the artwork reading John Peel all at sea in the galaxy with the names of bands such as The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Captain Beefheart, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd and Donovan among others in the design around it, signed and dated ‘67 by the artist in the bottom right corner, the back of the board with a handwritten football score Chelsea 1 – Liverpool 2, 14 1/2in x 24 1/2in (37cm x 62cm)
*Sold for £4,462.50

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‘Gandalf’s Garden’ was a publication focusing on a ‘mystical community’ which flourished at the end of the 1960s as part of the London hippie-underground movement. The magazine emerged in 1968 and ran for 6 issues. This artwork can be seen on Page 8 of Issue No.1 alongside John Peel’s article ‘A Dawn Walk In The Mind Of The Musical Gardener’, published 1st May 1968.
JP Pink Floyd poster
PINK FLOYD/JOHN PEEL: AN IMPORTANT AND RARE ‘EVOLUTIONS’ SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY CONCERT POSTER, Friday 26th January 1968,
Printed on metallic paper, for a concert featuring performances by Pink Floyd, John Peel, Incredible String Band, Jimmy Cliff and the Shakedown Sound, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Chicken Shack, Nelson’s Column, held at the Old Refectory, University of Southampton, England, 20in x 30in (51cm x 76cm)
The title of this event is eerily apposite, the date being that on which Pink Floyd effectively sacked Syd Barrett. His increasingly drug-related erratic and difficult behaviour through 1967 and the band’s evolving musical direction led them to seek another guitar player.
At the end of that year they brought in one of Syd’s friends, David Gilmour, and the band played a handful of gigs as a five-piece in January 1968. In his book, Echoes: The Complete History Of Pink Floyd, Glenn Povey writes: “Syd Barrett was clearly never going to come back to the real world, and his role within Pink Floyd was all but over. One solution the band thought of was to use him as an off-stage songwriter in the same way that the Beach Boys retained Brian Wilson. But almost at once they realised that this was an impossibility.” Travelling to Southampton for this gig, the band simply decided not to pick Syd up en route.
As MC/DJ for the evening, this poster was kept as a souvenir by John Peel. It is thought this is the first example of the poster ever to appear at auction and it may possibly be a unique survivor of the small number that would have been put up around the University campus to publicise the concert.
*SOLD for £8,925
JP Hapshash poster
PSYCHEDELIA: A HAPSHASH & THE COLOURED COAT-STYLE POSTER, 1960s,
Printed on gold coloured card, with typical Hapshash-style castle and sky motif and twisting prose about a grain of sand, origin unknown, 20in x 30in (51cm x 76cm)
Hapshash and the Coloured Coat was an influential British graphic design and avant-garde musical partnership in the late 1960s, consisting of Michael English and Nigel Waymouth, who produced popular psychedelic posters. Though this poster has no artist or publishing credit, it bears several stylistic similarities to other well-known Hapshash posters.
*Sold for £637.50
JP Oz trail vest
OZ: AN OBSCENITY TRIAL VEST TOP, 1971,
A fawn cotton vest top printed with brown and pink slogan ‘Oz Obscenity Trial Old Bailey London 1971’, labelled size 34.
Issue 28, May 1970 (the School Kids Issue), which included a very adult Rupert Bear cartoon strip, led to obscenity charges being brought against the three editors. Peel appeared in court as a defence witness for Neville and co-editors at the trial, held at the Old Bailey in 1971. John Lennon was also one of the high profile supporters of the magazine and released the single “God Save Oz” in order to help raise funds for the magazine’s defence. The three were found guilty, but their convictions were overturned following appeal, resulting in an embarrassing defeat for the Establishment.
*(Bonhams neglect to mention that the image is by Robert Crumb)
*Sold for £828.75
JP Frankie flyer 1982
JOHN PEEL: A NORTH CHESHIRE COLLEGE STUDENT’S UNION CHRISTMAS BALL POSTER, 17th December 1982,
Printed on paper, for the John Peel Roadshow at which Peel invited Frankie Goes To Hollywood to do a session that included an early version of ‘Two Tribes’, at North Cheshire College in Warrington, 20in x 29in (51cm x 73cm)
Soon after this show, the group was asked to record a video for their hit ‘Relax’ which was shown by Channel 4 on ‘The Tube’ in 1983. The growing popularity of the group convinced Grammy Award-winning producer Trevor Horn to sign them to his newly formed ZZT [*ZTT actually] Records. The band later performed the song on Top of The Pops before the song was banned from the BBC in 1984.
8Sold for £280.50

Levitation festival posters

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The American Levitation festival has become THE place to see new psychedelic poster art with the organisation commissioning the current crop of 21st Century poster artists channelling the late 60s San Francisco era in new ways. Posters usually come in colour or foil variants, all for an affordable $30-40 compared to the thousands the 60s originals can go for. The two Brian Jonestown Massacre posters above by Weird Beard 72 work individually or join to form a larger image (both ways) and several artists have used this device, sometimes to form a triptych. Buy the posters from here, they also have a nice line in live recordings from their archives too.

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