Candlemas gig, Limehouse, London

Darker

Next gig – something a bit different (hopefully the first of many different gigs in 2023)
I’ll be working alongside light artists Julian Hand, Heena Song, Paul Naudin and Whyte Light Visuals on the evening of Sunday Jan 29th when they light up The Royal Foundation of St. Katherine.
I’ll be mainly providing music but these guys really know how to project light, boil slides, work with ink and microscopic media. Expect ambient to krautrock and psychedelic visual projections.
Ticket entry is by donation – more details here

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2022

The main thing I’ve been doing this year is learning new software, lots involving AI algorithms that still seem like some kind of strange magic.


It started last year with the Moises software that can split stereo sound files into individual stems which opens up all sorts of possibilities and continued with NightCafe Creator where you can create incredible images from inputting a line of descriptive text. This has yielded a huge bank of images to draw from, some that have already become record sleeve illustrations (I just didn’t tell anyone). It’s all old hat now because AI art is everywhere on the web with thousands of images flooding our feeds on a daily basis but when I first wrote these words in early 2022 it was extremely addictive, if at an infant stage in its development. Just in the last six months alone AI has taken huge leaps in definition and feels like a giant shift in the art of image-making even if still has trouble with hands, it’s certainly divided people’s opinions.
Another AI app is the Topaz suite of image enhancers, the foremost being Gigapixel AI, the best image enhancer / upscaler I’ve ever seen, this has become part of my daily usage now alongside Photoshop and Indesign as a necessary tool to clean up images along with its Denoiser and Sharpener sister apps.
I (finally) got myself an iPad so that I could learn Procreate and again, a whole new world opens up with the possibilities this incredible app gives you. I never could justify getting a tablet, but seeing one of my sons drawing on his, wanting to go digital with some of my comic-buying and having a decent surface to learn Ninja Jamm on made it a necessary piece of kit. Learning to paint on it with one of my sons was among one of my favourite moments this year.
In the analogue world another revelation was a record cutting process pioneered by Ben Soundhog at Plastidisc where software that can convert an image into a waveform then cuts that image as a playable disc. The possibilities are endless and you can make a record without even playing one note.

QMk3 set up
My own experiments with the refining of my Quadraphon turntable have made for a sleeker, more portable and adaptable design along with the fantastic 4 channel Omnitronic TRM-402 mixer and the Ninja Tune/Erica Synths Zen Delay FX unit. I can make analogue tracks via one deck on the fly and jamming with this set up can yield hours of material, a refreshing new way to make music. Also becoming an author on good old fashioned paper felt pretty good too, I think I might have the book bug now. I hope you all have a Happy New Year and a riproaring 2023…

Music 2022v2

Music:
Clocolan – Empathy Alpha LP (Redpan)
Brian Eno – The Lighthouse (Sonos HD)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Omnium Gatherum LP (Flightless)
Twilight Sequence – Trees in General: and the Larch 12″ (Castles In Space)
WTCHCRFT – Drugs Here 12″ (Balkan Vinyl)
Ghost Power – Ghost Power LP (Duophonic Super 45s)
Dexorcist – Night Watch 12″ (Yellow Machines)
Project Gemini – The Children Of Scorpio LP (Mr Bongo/Garden’s End)
Regal Worm – Worm! LP (Quatermass)
The Advisory Circle – Full Circle LP (Ghost Box)
Fenella – The Metallic Index (Fire Records)
S’Express & Daddy Squad – Music 4 The Mind DL

Podcasts:
The Bureau of Lost Culture (Soho Radio)
Cartoonist Kayfabe (YouTube)
We Buy Records (We Made This)
The Jonny Trunk Podcast (Patreon)
Oh God, What Now? (Podmasters Prod.)
The Tone Generation – Ian Helliwell
Peel Acres – Tom Ravenscroft (BBC Sounds)
The Bunker (Podmasters Prod.)

Events 2022

Gigs / Events:
Lux @ 180 Strand, London
Victor Vasarely – Universe exhibition @ Selfridges, London
Premier of Who Killed The KLF? @ Leake St, London
The Orb play U.F.Orb @ The Fox & Firkin, London
Bring The Paint festival, Leicester
Staying in a restored Futuro House, Somerset
Fogfest @ Iklectik, London
Glissando Guitar Orchestra @ Club-85, Hitchin
Funki Porcini’s Lasarium @ Iklectik, London
Wheels of Light launch event @ Raven Row, London
The Trunk Groovy Record Fayre @ Mildmay Club, London
At Home With The Boyle Family film launch @ Iklectik, London
Magnetic Flow exhibition, @ LaVallée, Brussels

Design 2022

Design / Packaging:
Night Cafe / Midjourney – the most fun/frustrating web AI creation tools
Jed St. Christopher – The Further Diffusion of Useful Knowledge 10″ lathe cut (Buried Treasure) by Nick Taylor
Twilight Sequence – Trees in General: and the Larch 12″ (Castles In Space) by Zeke Clough
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Ominium Gatherum LP by Jason Galea
Sculpture – Malculus / Photo Synth 7″ + zoetrope pack by Rueben Sutherland
The Advisory Circle – Full Circle LP (Ghost Box) by Julian House
Clay Pipe Mini Pipe 3″ CD series by Francis Castle
Monochrome Echo – The City & The Stars LP (Castles In Space) by Nick Taylor
Drumetrics – Phuzzle 10″

Artists incorporating AI into their work:
Ko_Computer
Douggy Pledger
Alex Klim
Will Toulan
Scott Wetterschneider
Stuart Smith
Steve Scott (image below by Steve Scott)

Steve Scott

Books comics 2022

Books / Magazines / Comics:
Grrrl Scouts – Jim Mahfood (Image)
99 Balls Pond Road – Jill Drower (Scrudge Books) – now reprinted in text-only paperback and retitled ‘The Exploding Galaxy: Performance Art, LSD and Bent Coppers in the Sixties Counterculture’ – an absolute must for 60s counter culture historians
Radio Spaceman – Mike Mignola & Greg Hinkle (Dark Horse)
Mental Hygiene – Kate Gibb
A-Z of Record Shop Bags – Jonny Trunk (Fuel)
Mud Sharks – Dave Barbarossa
Good Pop, Bad Pop – Jarvis Cocker (Vintage)
House Music – Andy Votel (The Modernist)
Judge Dredd – Brian Bolland (Apex Edition)
Contemporary Collage magazine (digital)
Defying Gravity – Jordan Mooney w. Cathi Unsworth
The Delaware Road deluxe edition – Alan Gubby, Dolly Dolly (Buried Treasure)
69 Exhibition Road – Dorothy Max Prior (Strange Attractor)
Judge Dredd – Mike McMahon (Apex Edition)
It’s Lonely At The Centre Of The Universe – Zoe Thorogood (Image Comics)
The Black Locomotive – Rian Hughes (Picador)

Film /TV:
The Book of Boba Fett (Disney+)
Get Back (Disney+)
Who Killed The KLF?
Pistol (Disney+)
The Boys (Amazon Prime)
In The Court of the Crimson King (Toby Aimes)

2022 Efforts2

Another year over and what have I done?
Finished The Real Tuesday Weld’s ‘Dreams’ LP/CD and ‘Late Night Reveries’ cassette artwork
Appeared on the Bureau of Lost Culture podcast, 45 Live show, mixed an episode of new online show, Genius & Soul (still not broadcast)
Re-designed an old classic logo for The Herbsmen
Adapted The Designers Republic’s Humanoid artwork for a FSOLDigital CD release
Designed Hawksmoor’s ‘Head Coach’ CD for Spun Out Of Control
Recorded with Dave Barbarossa for a future music project
Finished and published the Wheels of Light book for Four Corners Books with press coverage from The Quietus, Shindig!, The Observer, Velocity Books, Moonbuilding, Electronic Sound, Creative Review and more.
Had a track featured on the Diary of a Madman compilation on Bibliotapes in aid of Ukrainian Red Cross
Refined my Quadraphon turntable into a Mk.3 version
Got featured in the 2000AD Summer Special, music edition, talking about my love of the comic
Made a record by etching a playable image into a disc
Compiled, remixed and edited 30 years worth of games footage for DICE’s anniversary, making an 11 minute version then condensing it into 90 seconds.
Redesigned The Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘Every Day’ LP for the 20th anniversary edition from original design concepts
Designed Stasis, AsOne, Paul ‘Damage’ Bailey and Humanoid 12″s and reinterpreted Mike Dred’s ‘OverMind’ LP art for De:tuned
Also designed the AsOne2 LP for De:tuned
Had a collage featured in Contemporary Collage magazine
Mixed a new religious-themed set for the Tales To Enlighten 2 Kickstarter
Reformatted Dave Barbarossa’s Mud Sharks book for publication.
Interviewed Zoe Lucky Cat Baxter, Andy Votel, Alex Paterson and DJ Format for Dust & Grooves book 2.
Designed The Real Tuesday Weld’s 3″ CD Xmas card.

RIP:
Sidney Poitier, James Mtume, Meatloaf, Barry Cryer, Ian Kennedy, Douglas Trumbull, Bamber Gascoigne, Betty Davis, Jan Pieńkowski, Philip Jeck, Chantal Passamonte, Garry Leach, June Brown, Jordan, David McKee, Klaus Schulze, Neal Adams, George Perez, Vangelis, Rat Records, Alan Grant, Bob Rafelson, Bernard Cribbens, Olivia Newton-John, Lamont Dozier, Raymond Briggs, Queen Elizabeth II, William Klein, Jean-Luc Godard, Ramsey Lewis, Pharoah Sanders, Kim Jung Gi, Robbie Coltrane, Joyce Sims, Keith Levene, Nik Turner, Wilco Johnson, Tom Philips, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Manuel Gottsching, Terry Hall, Martin Duffy, Mike Hodges, Pelé, Vivienne Westwood, Anita Pointer.

Looking forward to:
The Out in 2000AD
Supporting the Art of Noise at the Jazz Cafe on Jan 4th/5th
Conform to Deform – The Weird & Wonderful World of Some Bizarre – Wesley Doyle (Jawbone Press)
The The – 1$ One Vote 7″ (Lazarus)
The conclusion of The Real Tuesday Weld’s Swan Songs trilogy?…
Tales To Enlighten: The New Testament
The Kevin O’Neill Apex Edition (Rebellion)
The return of Rave Wars
Spider-Man – Across The Spider-Verse

The Out 2023

Funki Porcini’s Laserium returns

Funki at Iklectik

Funki Porcini returns to Coventry’s Commonground for a week-long residency from Nov 25th to Dec 2nd. This is his new show, The Laserium, which I had the pleasure of seeing debut at this very venue last year and also was a support act for at Iklectik recently. The set has come a long way since it was first in Coventry and was amazing in London last month. Go see it if you can. Tickets here

FP Laserium flyer

Tripping The Light Fantastic on the Bureau of Lost Culture

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I joined Stephen Coates again on his excellent Bureau of Lost Culture podcast the other week alongside Optikinetics co-founder Neil Rice and FX wheel artist and light show operator Jennie Caldwell to talk psychedelic light shows in support of my book, Wheels of Light.
Neil recounts his first light show experiences, starting one of the main companies making equipment for light show in the ’70s and the rise and fall of the industry. Jennie was part of the second generation of artists who saw it rise from the ashes in the second summer of love, when acid house and dance music arrived and revived the artform for a while. They both have tales to tell and I learned plenty from listening to them.

She also took some excellent shots a few weeks back when Optikinetics lit the Raven Row gallery for the publisher Four Corners Books at the book launch.

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Stuart Warren-Hill (Hexstatic / Holotronica) and Neil Rice (Optikinetics)

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Brendan and Emma from Insight Lighting with Geoff Blindt (Mystic Lights) who contributed some photos to the book.

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Neil Rice and I, he really should have a co-author credit, he helped me so much during the research.

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One of my Solar 250 projectors with a custom-made Wheels of Light FX wheel for the night, made by Larry Wooden of Orion Lighting, also present showing original art and wheels from the 70s and profiled in the book.

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(left in hat) Chris Thomsett (Innerstrings), (middle) David Fowler (Optifanatics) and (right with beard) Nigel Bailey (The Odd Light Show)

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The Groovy Record Fayre 2

GRF Jonny Trunk
The second Groovy Record Fayre, hosted by Jonny Trunk and Ian Shirley, took place on Saturday at the Mildmay Club on Newington Green, N16 and again, it was a blast. Pete Williams and I had a stall again and many friends and faces passed by. It was celeb central at points, from superstar DJs to stand up comedians and supermodel it girls. I missed a chance to chat to Stewart Lee who was looking through the Krautrock box because I was explaining what Go-Go and cut up mixes were to a younger buyer but Lee wasn’t buying anyway.

GRF Pete stall
Pete with our stall, notice my Wheels of Light book placed in prime position bottom left.

GRF Alan Gubby
Pete sleevefaces with Buried Treasure’s Alan Gubby

GRF Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs digs

GRF Mr Thing
Marc Mr Thing journeyed up from Hastings for the day

GRF Paul Putner
Paul Putner bought my book shock!

GRF Pete Karminskys
A right pair of tits, and Martin & James of The Karminsky Experience Inc.

GRF Richard Norris
Richard Norris also picked up my book and Children of the Stones (like everyone else)

GRF Ronan Philippe
Rat Records mini reunion with Ronan and Philippe

GRF SavX
Comix legend Edwin Savage Pencil Pouncey bought six of my underground comix, a true seal of approval.

GRF Simon Tony
Pop quiz winner (later on) Simon Gitter with smooth dancer and pop quiz secret weapon 2 Tone Tony.

GRF Martin Jarvis
Everyone was packed up and out of the hall by 6pm and people disappeared for dinner. Around 7.30 the pop quiz kicked off and 90 minutes later the team Jonny Trunk happened to be on claimed victory to cries of ‘fix!, fix!’. The fact that there was a 10 point Trunk section might have helped. Martin Green and Jarvis took to the stage as tables and chairs were cleared in record time, the glitter ball ignited and the bar besieged. Much drink was drunk and dancing had until 1am with a packed dancefloor and singalongs to Plastic Bertrand, Bowie, The Beatles, Adam & The Ants, The Sweet, Prince, Double Dee & Steinski, Beastie Boys, Sparks, B-52s and so many more.

GRF Party crowd

Meanwhile in the toilets, Alex Chung had other things on her mind…

Alexa whats my best side

The Groovy Record Fayre is this weekend

Trump Box 21mm
The Trunk Groovy Record Fayre is this Saturday! My Further partner Pete Williams and I are having a stall again at the Mildmay Club, Newington Green. I’ll have lots of dance 45s if that’s your thing, part of a huge collection recently bought by Michael from The Book & Record Bar, doubles from my personal collection including Ninja stuff and copies of my new book, Wheels of Light, among other things. Do stop by, the last one was excellent as was the pop quiz and party afterwards.
And it’s FREE!
October 29th, 11am until late, the Mildmay Club, Newington Green, London, N16 9PR.

At Home With The Boyle Family film launch

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Another London-based light show event, the Boyle Family were some of the first artists to work with fluids and projection on the avant garde art scene in the sixties. Staged on Sunday Nov 13th at the now-endangered Iklectik venue in Waterloo with talks, music, film and projection performances. Go and support both the film and the venue.
More info here

The second Trunk Groovy Record Fayre

Trump Box 21mm
It’s back! The return of the Trunk Groovy Record Fayre. My Further partner Pete Williams and I will be having a stall again this October at the Mildmay Club, Newington Green. I will have lots of dance 45s if that’s your thing, some records from my personal collection and copies of my new book, Wheels of Light, among other things. Do stop by, the last one was excellent as was the pop quiz and party afterwards.

Do stop by, last year’s was amazing (see photos here), from the daytime fair to the evening pop quiz and after party get down.
And it’s FREE!
October 29th, Mildmay Club, Newington Green, London, N16

No Mixcloud Select archive mix this week – a new one!

TTE 2 cover
Due to being crazily busy this week, not least having to sort a set out for a friend’s wedding on Friday (playing AND taking my decks – this is a real rarity) I’ve not had time to prepare a show this week. But! I did drop a new mix on Sunday for Matt ‘King Megatrip’ King‘s new kickstarter.

Long time listeners to Solid Steel will know the name King Megatrip from back in the 00’s, he was one of the first collectors of old shows online, provided the occasional guest mix and used to send us spoken word samples on CDRs back in the day, culled from old films and records that he would religiously record and edit down. These started as discs with 99 entries as that was the most ‘tracks’ you could fit on a disc and each one had its own cover, track list and number. Slowly the ‘Soundbank’, as it came to be known, grew in size to the point where it was 200 volumes, each track-indexed with the basic premise of the sample and compiled on a DVD. I still use it to this day and Matt has threatened to share a new 200 volume follow up some day.

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He’s been slightly distracted however by his Tales To Enlighten project – the first was a 200 page graphic novel detailing the son of Satan and his robot consort, Manfred’s adventures trying to gain enlightenment. He successfully Kickstarted that last year and it was a blast. Now, the sequel – Tales To Enlighten: The New Testament – is here and it’s a whopping 550 pages with 30 artists and a ton more content. He’s aiming to get $20k which means the whole book will cost just $52 once printed – a bargain – and as of writing he’s already got $17k of it after nearly 2 weeks. Help him out if you want a ton of indie/underground comix full of sex, drugs, violence and blasphemy hitting your doorstep (or just to use as a doorstop) soon. If you fancy pledging then head over to the Kickstarter page, there’s loads of different levels and goodies on offer with extra zines, T-shirts and even original artwork.

To try and help drum up some publicity and as a good excuse to fit a new set of funky religious psychedelia together I constructed Songs of Revelation: Further Religious Rock & Spiritual Spoken Word for him a few weeks back, a follow up to last year’s Songs To Enlighten mix.

Track list:
Reformation – In The Beginning
Otis Skillings – A World Mixed Up
Reformation – Reformation ’71
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – Doors Are For Locking (excerpt)
Truth of Truths – John The Baptist
The Continental Singers – Step Up, Sit Down
Truth of Truths – The Trial
John Rydgren – Cantata Of New Life (excerpts)
The Crimson Bridge – First Suite by Gary Rand (1st movement Searching For Reality)
W. Cleon Shonsen – The Hippy Psalm (Instant Insanity Drugs excerpt)
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – The Best Tombs In Life Are Free (excerpt 1)
Kent Schneider – The Church Is Within Us, O Lord
The Crimson Bridge – Birthright
John Rydgren – The Lord Is My Shepherd (New Life spot)
Reformation – Let There Be Light
John E. Schroeder & Richard Koehneke – The Best Tombs In Life Are Free (excerpt 2)
Otis Skillings – Love Can Work A Miracle (edit)
Katarzyna Gartner – Kyrie (excerpt 1 edit)
U.S. Apple Corps – Don’t Do Me Nothing
Peter Link & C.C. Courtney – Deadalus
Katarzyna Gartner – Kyrie (excerpt 2)
The Mission – A Feeling

Funki Porcini at Iklectik this October

Iklectik 7
I’ll be joining Funki Porcini for a Sunday matinee version of his new Laserium show this October at Iklectik. This will be the first time it’s been seen in London and you’ll have 4 chances to catch it with other DJs performing on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th (matinee and evening shows). I’ll be joining him with my Quadraphon turntable on Sunday 16th for an afternoon show to finish the run. Tickets for all shows are here:
https://dice.fm/bundles/funki-porcinis-laserium-r3vw

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

Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head – 30 today

Check your Head

30 years old today – Check Your Head by Beastie Boys
This album has such bittersweet memories for me, I listened to it constantly throughout the summer of ’92 on a tape recorded from someone at college. I was ridiculously poor and had recently split from my long term girlfriend at the end of the second year of Camberwell college.
I moved into a house share in East Dulwich where I met Mario Aguera and Lou Carroll and they helped save my sanity. I would troop about the streets of south London looking for a summer job in newsagent windows with Check Your Head on my Walkman until the batteries ran out.
It was a low point in my life for sure but this album helped me through it and things all came good from starting again in that house. Sometimes you have to rip it up and start again and what better soundtrack than this record? A perfect balance of sample-heavy rap tracks but with a new live band edge in the mix. They were so cool as well, playing basketball and skating in their own studio, running a label, putting out a magazine and clothing line. Ah, the 90’s…
Over the years I picked up all the singles but only grabbed the album on CD – weird. So What’cha Want is still one of the best rap tracks ever recorded but there are so many moments on this album. Big record for me and my homey, David Vallade who would later move into the same house share and then things really got going – “yeaaaah, you can’t front on that”

Mira Calix tribute by David Vallade

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A beautiful tribute to Chantal Passamonte by David Vallade who we shared a house with in the 90s and who went on to illustrate several of her record covers. David says: Hearing the news @warprecords I revisited something I drew back in 2012 for my dear friend @miracalix_ inspired by an evening we spent together with friends at the opening of her installation ‘Nothing Is Set In Stone’. Her spirit will forever resonate within me forever.”

I was reminded yesterday of something we put on the ‘Blechsdottir’ mix album PC and I did on Warp back in the 90’s. We’d got one of the Mira Calix releases late and were finding it hard to fit a track on but wanted to include her. I found a vocal line from ‘Humba’ of her simply saying, ‘do the things they say you cannot do’ looping over and over and flew it over an LFO track. It became one of my favourite moments in the mix and, in hindsight, sums up her outlook on life.

Chantal Passamonte (1970-2022)

Openmind Telepathic Fish 1994 Topaz sharpen

Thinking of my friend Chantal Passamonte today, known as Mira Calix to some. I found out last night that she is no longer with us and it has hit me like a ton of bricks. We shared a house together in the early 90s and did ambient events under the Telepathic Fish name for several years along with fellow housemates David Vallade and Mario Aguera. Above is the only photo I have of the four of us together, outside the house in East Dulwich, about to load the van up and set off for Amsterdam to do the Triple X festival in 1994. Chantal was the last of the four of us to move into the house and we’d already done one of the parties by the time she arrived but she jumped straight in and started to help organise and promote the next one. She was ridiculously well connected compared to us and immediately got the event in the listings of music papers like the NME and Melody Maker, something we had no idea about. Chantal 102 1994Kev Caroline Chantal Paul Roundhouse NYE 1994
Chantal, David and I all did time behind the counter of the Ambient Soho record shop in Berwick St, I think that’s how we came to know her actually, and with her natural ease and inquisitiveness with people she charmed everyone. We had many adventures and nights out, her room was the messiest I ever saw but she always turned up looking immaculate in some amazing new outfit she’d found. We started our careers in that house, she with Warp and I with Ninja Tune and naturally went on our own forks in life, occasionally bumping into each other over the years at gigs and galleries where she was doing something when she moved into that sector. David drew and designed several of her album covers and his bee motif persisted as a logo for her over the years. We’d just veered back into contact over the last few years and seeing her perform at the Tate Modern last year was a heartening moment. Here she was, nearly 30 years later, performing her music with a group of dancers in the Turbine Hall of all places, a far cry from a squat in Brixton. Chantal Glastonbury 1995Chantal Sonar 1996
She was in that sweet spot of having slogged for years in the music and art worlds, no compromises given, with recognition – finally – to the fact that she’d been doing this for 25 years now and had her strongest album yet with a political message that chimed with current events. She’d made it, we were so proud, seeing our friend up there. We connected a final time in December last year for a much smaller gig soundtracking a collage-making night she had organised to go with her album,absent origin’. She was always so positive, even with the world events unfolding around us, she stood up and spoke out, sometimes raging against the injustices, more often than not sending out positive messages of unity. She brought people together, helped them, organised, she was a force for good in the world. I can’t believe she’s gone. My thoughts go out to her family, friends and partner, Andy.

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All change for tonight at BSMT Space

IMG_5560Dear friends, I hate to be the bringer of bad news but the Covid curse has finally struck – and at the worst time possible too.
After evading the bugger for 2 years I tested positive yesterday, the day before tonight’s opening BSMT Space for EPOD‘s first solo show of new work. I was supposed to be there and this has put months of work and prep out the window. Be vigilant, we’re not through this yet, no matter what our government tells us.

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But it’s not all bad news though as my man Ollie Teeba has gamely stepped up to bat at the 11th hour with his box of 45s and two turntables for your delectation tonight. I’m sure he needs little introduction but having hands in The Herbaliser, The Process and Soundsci as well as a solo artist and DJ in his own right is nothing to scoff at – he’ll do us all proud.
DOPE FLYER 2D copy
So – the show must go on, get down to BSMT tonight between 6-9pm, there will be excellent art, great music and free beers supplied by Vedett. Maybe even snag one of the limited slipmats or prints being sold on the night?

I’ll be there in spirit and hopefully we can do something once I’m out of isolation. 876353e8-581c-4be0-9236-d58fb30aaf65

EPOD solo show opening at BSMT Space this Thursday


This Thursday – March 10th – .EPOD‘s first solo show opens at BSMT Space in Dalston. EPOD has made a pair of slipmats in five different colourways which will be on sale on the night and exclusively through the gallery. There will also be prints and new canvases plus beers by the Vedett brewery.

QMk3 set upI’ll be providing the music on the opening night from 6pm-9pm via my Quadraphon turntable with the currently unreleased Omnitronic TRM-422 mixer and the Ninja Tune Zen Delay, creating music live with locked grooves and up to four tone arms.
RSVP to [email protected] for entry to the private view on Thursday.

DOPE FLYER 2D copy

DOPE. a solo show by .EPOD at BSMT

March 10th – 27th .EPOD presents his first solo show – DOPE. – at BSMT

DOPE will feature .EPOD’s largest works to date, the new canvases will be threaded together within the gallery space in both concept and design. Limited edition prints and collectible slipmats will also be featured as part of the show.

Private view 6-9pm March 10th

I’ll be performing on the opening night using my customised Quadraphon turntable, a brand new, unreleased 4 channel Omnitronic TRM mixer and the Ninja Tune Zen Delay.

RSVP essential: [email protected] for entry to the private view
BSMT 529 Kingsland Rd, London, E8 4AR
Sponsored by Vedett beer.

UFO Club posters

Having already covered adverts for the UFO Club in a previous post I thought I’d try to match the posters up with the dates. The club started life at The Blarney Club in the basement of the Berkley Cinema at 31 Tottenham Court Road in December 1966. Founded by John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins and Joe Boyd, the night was first billed as ‘UFO Presents Nite Tripper‘ because they couldn’t decide on a name, it came to be the former, pronounced, ‘You-Fo’.
Listings taken from the UFO wiki page, I’ve tried to match posters to the dates but sometimes bands were announced but wouldn’t play as their fame grew and other commitments called. Most were done by Michael English and Nigel Waymouth who designed under the name Hapshash & The Coloured Coat.

Nite Tripper poster 1
23/30 Dec: Nite Tripper under Gala Berkeley Cinema; Warhol movies; Soft Machine; Pink Floyd; Anger movies; Heating warm; IT god
Poster by Michael English

UFO Jan 67
13 Jan: Pink Floyd; Marilyn Monroe movie; The Sun Trolley; Technicolor strobe; Five acre slides; Karate
20 Jan: Pink Floyd; Anger movie
Poster by Michael English

UFO Jan Feb 2
27 Jan: AMM Music; Pink Floyd; Five Acre Light; Flight of the Aerogenius Chpt 1; International Times; IT Girl Beauty Contest
3 Feb: Soft Machine; Brown’s Poetry; Flight of the Aerogenius Chpt 2; Bruce Connor Movies
Poster by Michael English

UFO Love Festival poster
10 Feb: Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band; Ginger Johnson African Drums; flix – Dali – Bunuel, WC Fields
17 Feb: Soft Machine; Indian Music; Disney Cartoons; Mark Boyle Projections; Feature Movie; ‘erogenius 3 + 4’
Poster by Michael English

Micheal English UFO screen print 2
24 Feb: Pink Floyd; Brothers Grimm
3 Mar: Soft Machine; Pink Floyd
10 Mar: Pink Floyd
Poster by Michael English, below is English’s original artwork, notice there is a mistake with the date, it should have read Feb 24th
Michael English UFO_original

17 Mar: St Patrick’s day off
UFO mk2 Mar
The classic ‘UFO Mk2’ by Hapshash & The Coloured Coat, this is the reprint, stamped and signed by Nigel Waymouth

24 Mar: Soft Machine
31 Mar: Crazy World of Arthur Brown; Pink Alberts; ‘spot the fuzz contest’
7 Apr: Soft Machine
14 Apr: Arthur Brown; Social Deviants; Special: the fuzz
21 Apr: Pink Floyd
28 Apr: Tomorrow; The Purple Gang

(29/30 Apr: The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream at the Alexandra Palace) – To be covered in a future post…

5 May: Soft Machine; Arthur Brown
12 May: The Graham Bond Organisation; Procol Harum
19 May: Tomorrow; Arthur Brown; The People Show
UFO May 2
26 May: The Move, The Knack
2 Jun: Pink Floyd; Soft Machine; The Tales of Ollin dance group; Hydrogen Jukebox
Poster by Jacob And The Coloured Coat (Michael English & Nigel Waymouth)

9 Jun: Procol Harum; The Smoke
10 Jun: Pink Floyd

UFO June

16 Jun: Crazy World of Arthur Brown; Soft Machine; The People Blues Band 4.30am
23 Jun: Liverpool Love Festival; The Trip
30 Jun: Tomorrow; The Knack; Dead Sea Fruit
7 Jul: Denny Laine; The Pretty Things

UFO 19th-21st July, 1967,
UPDATE: Rare colour variant via the High Meadows Vintage Posters amazing poster site, absolutely essential, give them a follow.
UFO Dusk To Dawn
A more accurate line up on this new poster for the next two dates
14 Jul: Arthur Brown; Alexis Korner; Victor Brox
21 Jul: Tomorrow; Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

UFO July

28 Jul: Pink Floyd; CIA v UFO; Fairport Convention; Shiva’s Children

After an article published in the News of the World on 30 July, the landlord told Joe Boyd the UFO could not continue at the Blarney and Boyd decided to use the larger Roundhouse venue.

4 Aug: Eric Burdon & The New Animals; Family; The Hydrogen Juke Box
11 Aug: Tomorrow
18 Aug: Arthur Brown; The Incredible String Band
1/2 Sep: UFO Festival: Pink Floyd; Soft Machine; The Move; Arthur Brown; Tomorrow; Denny Laine
8 Sep: Eric Burdon & The New Animals; Aynsley Dunbar
15 Sep: Soft Machine; Family
UFO Roundhouse poster
This fantastic Martin Sharp poster sadly heralded the end of the UFO’s run at the Roundhouse.
22 Sep: Dantalian’s Chariot w/ Zoot Money & His Light Show; The Social Deviants; The Exploding Galaxy
29 Sep: Jeff Beck; Ten Years After; Mark Boyle’s New Sensual Laboratory; Contessa Veronica

A Million Volt Light & Sound Rave

Million Volt Rave poster colour

The Million Volt Light & Sound Rave was put on at The Roundhouse over two separate days in early 1967 by the Binder Edwards Vaughan / BEV design partnership of Douglas Binder, Dudley Edwards and David Vaughan.

Sometimes also known as the Carnival of Light Rave, it most famously featured the airing of ‘Carnival of Light’, Paul McCartney’s mythical 14 minute musique concrete piece, specially made for the occasion with the participation of the other three Beatles. Vaughan had painted a piano for McCartney the year before and asked if he would be up for contributing something whilst delivering it. It was played a number of times during the two events and hasn’t been officially released since. Less heralded was a performance of tape music by Unit Delta Plus, the trio of Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and Peter Zinovieff although it’s unknown if they were there in person to play it or if it was just playback. Also on the bill, Tonics, Soft Machine and Electric Poets which consisted of Soft Machine‘s Daevid Allen and Robert Wyatt with Gilli Smyth and Early Fuggle on welding kit (according to a clipping from International Times). Allen and Smyth of course went on to form Gong. The poster and flyer above and below I’m presuming were done by BEV although I can’t find any confirmation of this anywhere, if anyone knows please leave a comment.

Million Volt yellow
Above, A Million Volt Rave flyer for the first event, these also exist on white, below, detail from BEV headed stationary that was found dumped in a skip outside a mill in Manchester, 1999. The collection of papers included sketches for McCartney’s piano and a list of BEV commissions was found by builder Andy Clynes, more info and photos here. This design has also been found printed on silver paper as a poster (see below) and may be an early draft (I’m speculating here).

BEV Collective (Binder, Edwards, Vaughan)Million Volt Light & Sound IT listing-studio-studio2Here’s Dudley Edwards talking about the event, he reveals that an unknown Jimi Hendrix was also on the bill.

2021

Sample City cropAfter ending on a bummer in the final hours of 2020 as MF Doom‘s death emerged on social media, we awoke to the news on January 1st of The KLF re-entering the music industry via Spotify and YouTube with remastered material in the form of the first of five compilations. By Jan 6th though any hopes of a better year were dashed, despite the historic swing for the Democrats in the Senate and Congress, with the scenes at Capitol Hill and 1k daily deaths reported in the UK. No surprises on Trump‘s acquittal after the second impeachment hearing in February either.

Surprise of the year was that the UK’s vaccination programme rolled out fast and with few hitches – amazing what can happen when you don’t pump billions into untested private companies and instead let a trusted national institution handle it. I won’t go on, it was pretty much downhill from there and some of those promised KLF albums are still yet to emerge.

Anyway, as is usual on Dec 31st, here are some favourites from the last 12 months in no particular order. There’s been an avalanche of amazing music and art again this year, some coming out of the lockdown months, let’s hope it continues and the virus eases up in 2022. Please check out and support these artists if you like their work, Bandcamp is an excellent way to put a large chunk of money straight in musicians and label’s pockets and buying a print, T-shirt or piece of merch at a gig really helps too. Even a share or piece of positive feedback on someone’s post can give them a boost to know that people are watching or listening out there and they’re not shouting into the void.

LPs 2021

Music:
Concretism – The Concretism Archive Vol.1 LP (CiS Subs Library)
Steve Roach – Tomorrow LP (Behind The Sky)
Snow Palms – Land Waves LP (Village Green)
Jane Weaver – Flock LP (Fire Records)
Stereolab – Switched On vol.4 LP (Warp/Duophonic)
Robert Fripp – Music for Quiet Moments (DGM)
DJ Format – Devil’s Workshop LP
Trevor Jackson – Underdog 1993-1998 radio mix (NTS)
The Hauntologists – Tales From The Scary Magic Field 7″ (Bandcamp)
Various Artists – BLE-EP 12″ (Yellow Machines)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000 LP (Flightless)
CAVS – CAVS 12″ (PHC)
Various Artists – Infected Machinery EP 12″ (Downfall Recordings)
The Nevermen – Treat ‘Em Right (Boards of Canada remix) DL (Lex)
Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou LP (Fire Records)
Jay Glass Dubs – Jungle Shuffle 12″ (The Wormhole)
Brian Eno – The Lighthouse (Sonos HD)
Regal Worm – The Hideous Goblink LP (Quatermass)
Ternion Sound – Dovetail (Kursa remix) 12″ (Next Level)

Podcasts 2021

Podcasts:
Chris Atkins – A Bit of a Stretch (Apple podcasts)
The Alexei Sayle Podcast
Martyn Ware – Electronically Yours
Ed Piskor / Jim Rugg – Cartoonist Kayfabe (YouTube)
Stephen Coates – The Bureau of Lost Culture
We Buy Records (Apple podcasts)
Matt Black – Pirate TV (Twitch/FB/YouTube)
The Bunker/Culture Bunker (Acast)
The Adam Buxton Podcast (Acast)

Events 2021

Gigs / Events:
Vanishing Twin – Pensiero Magico live stream Jan 20th
Alice In Wonderland @ The V&A Museum, London
Savage Pencil @ OrbitalSpace, London
Eno @ Paul Stolper Gallery, London
The Light Surgeons ‘Atemporal’ @ Iklectik, London
Funki Porcini @ Common Ground, Coventry
The The’s Comeback Special premier @ Troxy Cinema, London
Jonny Trunk’s Groovy Record Fayre @ Mildmay Club, London
Vanishing Twin @ Kings Place, London
Levitation Festival, @ Flowergate Hall, Whitby
People Like Us – Gone, Gone Beyond @The Pit Theatre, Barbican, London
Pye Corner Audio @ State 51, London
Anicka Yi – Aerobes @ Tate Modern, London

Cover Designs 2021.2

Design / Packaging:
Hattie Cooke – The Sleepers LP (Spun Out of Control) by Eric Adrian Lee
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – live bootlegs series LP (Fuzz Club)
Krashslaughter feat. Phil Most Chill – Rebel Base 7″
Sync 24 – Inside The Microbeat LP (Cultivated Electronics) by Will Barras
Une – Spomenik LP (Spun Out Of Control) by Eric Adrian Lee
Cos – Mix LP (Finders Keepers) by Andy Votel
Castles In Space Subscription Library series LPs (Castles In Space) by Nick Taylor + more
The Third Man Records shop in Soho, London
Pepe Deluxe – The Phantom Cabinet vol.1 LP (Catskills) by Vilunki/James Spectrum
Thundercat – The Golden Age of Apocalypse 10th anniversary edition (Brainfeeder)
The Zen Delay (Ninja Tune / Erica Synths)
Roger Webb – Shadows of Fear 7″ (Trunk) by Julian House
Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra – Stylophonika (Spun Out Of Control) by Eric Adrian Lee
Brian Eno’s turntable

Comics 2021

Books / Magazines / Comics:
Rain Like Hammers – Brandon Graham (Image)
Breaking Open The Head – Daniel Pinchbeck
Bedroom Beats & B-Sides – Laurent Fintoni (Velocity Press)
Decorum – Jonathan Hickman & Mike Huddleston (Image)
Ultramega – James Harren (Skybound/Image)
Anatomie Narrative – Samplerman
The Black Locomotive – Rian Hughes (Picador)
Cruisin’ with the Hound – Spain Rodriguez (Fantagraphics)
Kane & Able – Shaky Kane & Krent Able (Image)
Tales To Enlighten – Matt King & James Edward Clark (Kickstarter)
The Out – Dan Abnett & Mark Harrison (2000AD)
Electronic Sound magazine
99 Balls Pond Road – Julie Drower (Scrudge Books)

Artists 2021
Artists:

Savant
RX Skulls
Pablo Fiasco
Donk
ZombieSqueegee
Karoline Rerrie
.EPOD
FiftySevenDesign
Minty
Stinkfish
Perspicereartist
Tamar Cohen
Hoxxoh
Lovepusher
Artyom Trakhanov
Prentler
Soda
Smitheone
Raymond Lemstra

Film /TV:
Bathtubs Over Broadway (Netflix)
Wandavision (Disney+)
Dead Pixels (Ch 4)
Grayson’s Art Club (Ch 4)
Sisters With Transistors – Lisa Rovener (BFI)
Loki (Disney+)
What We Do In The Shadows Season 3 (BBC2)
Martha: A Picture Story (Projector Films)
Records – Alan Zweig (TVO)
Big Mouth (Adult Swim)
The Book of Boba Fett (Disney+)

Work 2021

Another year over and what have I done?
A second mix of religious rock for Megatrip‘s ‘Tales To Enlighten’ comic kickstarter
Stuck 300 foil covers to 300 LP sleeves for The New Obsolescents album on Castles In Space which ended up selling out in 25 minutes and went for a repress.
Finally finished the design and packaging for The Real Tuesday Weld‘s ‘Blood’ and ‘Tape Dust Memories’ releases, the first in a trilogy as Stephen Coates winds up his recording project.
Released the Celestial Mechanic LP on Utter with music by Saron Hughes and myself and design by Rian Hughes
Appeared on the Big Mouth, We Buy Records, Sleevenote‘s Under The Covers, KTMusic Online and Bureau of Lost Culture podcasts, had guest mixes featured on the Jonny Cuba & Friends and 45 Live shows
Released the Kaleidoscope/Companion reissue 4xLP on Ninja Tune subsidiary Ahead Of Our Time
Designed the Lo Recordings’ 100th edition library album for a limited edition lathe cut LP
Started the Openmindesign Instagram account for current designs and archive ephemera
Continued the DJ Food Mixcloud Select weekly upload series
Saw designs for Steven Rutter, Amon Tobin, Clocolan and Humanoid released on De:tuned, Ninja Tune, FSOL Digital and Castles In Space
Written the forward for a book about light show picture wheels for Four Corners Books
Remixed The The’s ‘Global Eyes’ for The Comeback Special live box set
Designed a Janko Nilovic & Yeti On the Pads 7″ sleeve
Collaborated with Imeus Designs on a second book of Forgotten Graphics Command LP sleeves
Edited hours worth of Pirate TV audio visual broadcasts for Matt Black
Remodelled my Quadraphon turntable for live performance
Oversaw the repressed New Obsolescents LP with screen printed black prism board
Contributed the singles column to MU magazine each issue
Designed a Hey Duggee zoetrope LP for the BBC
Designed a 25th anniversary Stealth T-shirt for 1 of 100
Mixed a preview CD of Touched Music‘s ‘Project OO’‘DJ Food’s Oona Selecta’
Designed a 3rd fold out Xmas card, ‘Solstice Songs for The Real Tuesday Weld
Finished my Cineolascape mix for The The, due for release in 2022

RIP: Phil Spector, Larry King, Ricky Powell, Double K (PUTS), S. Clay Wilson, Chick Corea, Victor G. Ambrus, Frank Thorne, Lou Ottens, Orbital Comics, Malcolm Cecil, Shock G, James Prigoff, Captain Rock, Ken Garland, Eric Carle, Gift of Gab, Peter Zinovieff, Jon Hassell, Peter Rehberg, Chuck Close, Charlie Watts, Lee Scratch Perry, Sir Clive Sinclair, Richard H. Kirk, Alan Hawkshaw, Orbital Comics, Lionel Blair, Andrew Barker, Mick Rock, Alvin Lucier, Robbie Shakespear, Chris Achilleos, Michael Nesmith, Richard Rogers, Desmond Tutu, Janice Long,

New Year’s resolution: Use less black in my work

Looking forward to:
The return of Saga comic
The Soundcarriers‘ new album, ‘Wilds’
King Gizzard remix album
A mixer to complete my Quadraphon set up
Collaborations…
EpoDJFood teaser