Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #10: Lo Five – Vanish LP

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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.

#10. Lo Five – Vanish LP + Castles In Space Subscription Library
Third album (I think? It’s hard to keep up) for Castles In Space from Neil Grant but only available via the CiS Subscription Library sub label. Luckily this is the best label subscription out there with exclusive members-only releases, regular competitions to win rare releases and test pressings and even chances to appear on record.
https://lofivemusic.bandcamp.com/

https://cissublibrary.bandcamp.com/community


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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #9: Official Report On The Intransitionalist Chronotopologies Of Kenji Siratori: Appendix 8.2.3

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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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#9. Official Report On The Intransitionalist Chronotopologies Of Kenji Siratori: Appendix 8.2.3 Book / CD
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Avant garde cut and paste collage with the longest title I own plus mind-boggling paperback book from the wonderful Time Released Sound label. They are about to publish a book of 10 years of the label’s releases and packaging too – one to look out for.
https://timereleasedsound.bandcamp.com/album/official-report-on-the-intransitionalist-chronotopologies-of-kenji-siratori-appendix-823
https://timereleasedsound.bandcamp.com/

Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #8: The Luvmenauts – In Space LP + comic
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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. 
Buy links in bio

#8. The Luvmenauts – In Space LP + comic
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Fuzz drums and electronics with an outer space theme – check,
Luke Insect-designed sleeve – check,
Accompanying comic illustrated by Moon Toboggan – check.
No-brainer
https://theluvmenauts.bandcamp.com/album/in-space
https://dorightmusic.bandcamp.com/
https://www.moontoboggan.com/art
https://michaelmcglennon.bandcamp.com/merch

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #6: Luke Insect – Acid Valley book + posters


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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.

#9. Luke Insect – Acid Valley book + posters

A3 sized catalogue for the recent Acid Valley exhibition documenting all the posters Luke has designed for Trades in Hebden Bridge and the Golden Lion in Todmorden. He also has limited copies of the posters for sale too if you contact him.
https://lukeinsect.bigcartel.com/product/acid-valley-a3-poster-book
https://cargocollective.com/lukeinsect
https://www.instagram.com/lukeinsect/

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #5: The Real Tuesday Weld – Winter Warmers

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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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#6. The Real Tuesday Weld – Winter Warmers 3” CD
As is the custom, each December brings a 3” CD release from Stephen Coates aka The Real Tuesday Weld. This is a companion to the soon-to-be-released Camberwell Kid album and the fifth Xmas CD I’ve designed for him.
https://therealtuesdayweld.bandcamp.com/album/winter-warmers

https://therealtuesdayweld.bandcamp.com/

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #5: Vic Mars -The Beacons LP

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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.|

5. Vic Mars – The Beacons LP 

Beautiful outdoor atmospheres evoked on Vic Mars’ fourth LP for Clay Pipe Music, complete as ever with lovely cover art by Frances Castle who runs the label.
https://claypipemusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-beacons
https://claypipemusic.bandcamp.com/

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #4: FSOL – Pulse Five 12″ + poster

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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.
#4. The Future Sound Of London – Pulse Five 2×12” / poster

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OK, so something I had a hand in – it was an absolute pleasure to design the sleeve and poster for this unreleased collection of early 90s tracks from the FSOL stable and help contribute a new volume to the legendary Pulse series.
De:tuned have black and clear vinyl editions plus I designed an exclusive De:tuned T-shirt that heralds the label’s 15 year anniversary in 2024.
Detune T shirt
FSOL Orange
https://detunedrecords.bandcamp.com/album/presents-pulse-five
https://detunedrecords.bandcamp.com/merch/15-years-de-tuned-t-shirt-3
https://detunedrecords.bandcamp.com/
The orange vinyl edition is a Bleep exclusive and I worked with Jonas Ranson again for the numbered screen printed poster available as part of their advent calendar.
Each Bleep 12” should come with one of six different postcards taken from the bottom of the poster.

FSOL poster
https://bleep.com/release/430034-the-future-sound-of-london-presents-pulse-five
https://bleep.com/merch/429802-the-future-sound-of-london-the-future-sound-of-london-presents-pulse-five-print

Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #1-3

I had the thought to do 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. I’m always grateful when people give me their work and it’s the least I can do to highlight it in some way or place. I was travelling most of Dec 1st and putting this together most of yesterday so here are the first 3 entries of items I think are worthy of investigation and – dare I say it? – may even make nice Xmas presents for someone out there. These are in no particular order by the way, the usual end of year round up post will go up on Dec 31st and may well include several of them…

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1. Battery Operated Orchestra – Compulsory Games CD
Fantastic handmade packaging (as ever) from Brigitte and Chris on their fifth album – if female led vocal synth pop is your bag then this is for you.

https://booelectric.bandcamp.com/album/compulsory-games

https://booelectric.bandcamp.com/

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2. Move 78 – Grains LP
Excellent, moody live jazz with intricate production touches from The Natural Curriculum’s Aver. (This is the test pressing and print edition btw which is now sold out). Watch the making of the print by Daisy Kidd here

https://move78.bandcamp.com/album/grains

https://move78.bandcamp.com/


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3. Prime Cuts – Chartist EP 12”
Tight electro rave beats, ragga-infused dubs and locked groove loops from the world class turntablist and DJ, Prime Cuts on The Trilogy Tapes
https://thetrilogytapes.bandcamp.com/album/chartist-ep

https://thetrilogytapes.bandcamp.com/


PS: If you want more digital music recommendations my December Buy Music List is up now too

The mystery of the John Peel Frankie Goes To Hollywood tape

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Recently I was lucky enough to accompany my friend Eilon Paz of Dust & Grooves to Peel Acres – John Peel‘s family home and site of his incredible record collection. We’d been granted a visit by Tom Ravenscroft, one of John and wife Sheila‘s four children and renown BBC 6 Music DJ in his own right. We were getting an exclusive look into his archive for the follow up to Eilon’s 2013 book on vinyl collecting, Dust & Grooves – due out next year. This piece isn’t about the whole visit though – for that you’ll have to buy the book and see all the amazing treasures we found – but about something that was discovered before we arrived that I took a special interest in. On the drive up from the station Tom revealed that the week before they’d uncovered a huge stash of tapes from a hidden cavity in the floor below John’s studio, previously some sort of sunken sitting space that had been covered over decades before for space and safety reasons. In amongst the hundreds of cassettes were demos and submissions from hundreds of bands, some unknown and unsigned at the time and one name sprang out at me from the list he reeled off – Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Readers of this blog will know that I’m a huge fan of both the band and their label, ZTT so an early demo from them was of interest despite having heard pretty much everything that’s ever come to light from their recorded history (plus plenty of material yet to be officially released). Even better was that there was a personal letter enclosed as with many of the things we found that day. Once in the house and faced with the mammoth task of even knowing where to begin, Tom kicked things off by retrieving the tape from a small pile of the more interesting finds he’d pulled from the boxes. Extracting the letter, he began to read and by the time he’d finished I was more confused than when he started. See for yourself, most Frankie fans will be similarly scratching their heads.

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Three things that instantly jump out are: who was A.K. Reynolds? There was no one of that name in the band. The track titles – I’d never heard of any of them – and the time frame – recorded ’77 – 80? The Frankie that became world famous didn’t form until 1982 but this letter was from a Liverpool address and the writer a bassist, as was Holly Johnson originally, the band’s vocalist, when he was a member of Big In Japan. Maybe this was a pseudonym and he’s sent some solo material to John in the hope of getting airplay? There couldn’t be two Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s, the name was too unique, taken from a page of Guy Peellaert‘s 1973 book, ‘Rock Dreams’ which Holly had then adapted.

GuyPeellaert Frank Sinatra I decided to consult Holly’s 1994 autobiography, ‘A Bone In My Flute’, as his recall of the early Liverpool years is extremely detailed, hoping I’d find a reference to the name or address on the letter. Eventually my patience was rewarded on page 132 with first, the writer’s name, and simultaneously the origin of the band’s moniker.

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The band Holly formed with Ambrose Reynolds – the A.K. Reynolds who wrote the letter, also a bassist – were Frankie Goes To Hollywood mk1. Steve Lovell and BF Tin were also members and I’d say that the time frame here was about 1979/80 although it doesn’t explicitly say in the book. Ten pages later there’s another clue as to those sessions as Holly meets and starts writing songs with Peter Gill, Brian Nash and Mark O’Toole in the embryonic stages of what we now know as Frankie, when they were part of a band called The Dancing Girls and later, Sons and Egypt.

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As nothing came of Frankie mk1 I’d hazard a guess that Ambrose sent the recordings (or some of his own maybe?) to John and used the name? Holly released at least one solo single between Frankie mk1 and 2 so there was a gap, it’s a pity I didn’t see if there was a date on the letter. Looking up Reynolds on Wikipedia shows that he was pretty active on the music scene around Liverpool, later teaming up with ex-Big In Japan vocalist Jayne Casey to form Pink Industry and starting Zulu Records together, but one paragraph stood out:
“In 1980, Reynolds formed a new band, Frankie Goes To Hollywood with Holly Johnson, BF Tin and Steve Lovell. The name is a matter of contention; Johnson wanted to call the band Hollycaust, Reynolds disagreed, Johnson responded “we could call it anything”; his eyes then drifted to a poster on the wall of Frank Sinatra (from a book called Rock Dreams) as he read out the caption, saying disparagingly, “we could even call it Frankie goes to Hollywood, it doesn’t matter”, at which point Reynolds said, “yes, that’s what we SHOULD call it, it’s original and different”. The band split up soon after that, and Reynolds continued to work under that name until 1981, when Johnson began using the name for his more successful band of the same name a few years later.”

So there we have it, the contents of the tape are from the little known – and I suspect even lesser heard – Frankie Goes To Hollywood mk1 although whether any of the recordings include Holly’s contributions we may never know. Thanks to Tom for bringing it to light and Eilon for inviting me along, we found some great stuff but you’ll have to wait for the book next year to see and read about that. Thanks also to Tom’s mum, Sheila for her hospitality, here we are together with a John Lennon promo pack, shot by Eilon (can you tell by the superior quality?).
Take a look at the Dust & Grooves website and give Eilon a follow on Instagram as he continues his Vinyl Nomad tour (inc more photos) – he’s off to Japan next week!
This has been another DJ Food digging mystery solved…

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PS: There was also a nice additional passage in Frankie member Brian Nash‘s autobiography remembering John:

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Opti launch their Kino projector


Opti(kinetics) have launched their mini projector the Kino via Kickstarter including an array of wheels, mirrors and even my Wheels of Light book as added incentives. One of the wheels on offer is an original vintage Pluto wheels from the 70s, the company bought the remaining stock from the company many years ago and once these are gone they’re the last of the surviving stock. You can pledge your support here for this lovely little projector that will take magnetic 6″ FX wheels and can be controlled via a phone app. I’ve used a prototype and they are beautiful and work straight out the box, perfect for home use rather than clubs and gigs.

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Welcome To The Pleasuredome original art up for auction

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After owning Lo Cole‘s original paintings for Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Welcome To The Pleasuredome for 20 years it’s time to pass them on to another Frankie fan. They’re going up for auction via Omega Auctions on July 4th – you can view the lot here.
These are the original cover, inside and back cover paintings Lo made for the album and I’ve requested the three paintings be kept together and sold as a set. An interview I made with Lo and the story of the artwork is here on my Art of ZTT site. With the release of ‘Relax’ approaching its 40th anniversary this autumn and the 40th of the LP next year, it’s time to pass these on. Possibly the ultimate Frankie collectable.

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Sound Affects Wheels of Light talk

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I’ll be at the East Street Tap in Brighton on June 7th to talk about my Wheels of Light book and show some projections for the monthly Sound Affects night. It’ll be a brief talk with a Q&A as I’m sharing the bill with sound artist Fiona Miller and author Richard Evans who will be talking about their own projects respectively.
Tickets and info here

The Funky Eno Pt.s 2 & 3

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Brian Eno is 75 today! In celebration I’ve made two new Funky Eno mixes for the occasion after being contacted by Josh at the nowbodhi’s blissness website earlier this year. He’d loved my first mix, ‘More Volts’, made back in 2010 and dug out a load more funk from the deepest depths of the Eno back catalogue, asking if I would be up for mixing them.
The selection was deep and thorough, including a few bits I’d not heard so how could I refuse, what with Brian reaching a milestone three quarters of a century? Adding my own spoken word spice to the tracks I’ve arranged Josh’s selections into two hour+ volumes entitled ‘Spunk Worship’ (Josh’s pick for his original Pt.2 selection – Eno’s song title) and ‘Dust Shuffle’. I’ve also slightly updated and expanded the first part to include a few extras after sourcing a master file from DK’s archive, something I didn’t even have myself.

Listen and DL here:

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We have mixed and unmixed playlist versions complete with UK and US version artwork based on the different Obscure label sleeve designs for the two territories. Way back last year I made some mutated Eno portraits when experimenting with early AI apps and these finally came in use for this project. Josh expertly put these together and is hosting everything on his Google Drive here now that Mixcloud won’t let you put up mixes with multiple instances of the same artist.

Josh’s blog post – mixed and unmixed versions of all three mixes
http://www.nowbodhisblissness.com/2023/05/noblesse-oblique-brian-eno-75.html

Hopefully today will also see some more news about Gary Hustwit‘s Eno film/installation/project…

Also check out Josh’s site, it’s a treasure trove of audio for uber fans of all different artists.

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Mixcloud has already restricted this but hit the link above to listen and DL the updated vol.1 mix

More Volts: The Funky Eno I
Track list:
I Fall Up
R.A.F. (w. Snatch)
Regiment (w. David Byrne)
The Grid – Heartbeat (Brian Eno Squelchy Mix)
More Volts
Ali Click
Untitled
No One Receiving
America Is Waiting (w. David Byrne)
Defiant
Strong Flashes Of Light
What Actually Happened
Talking Heads – I, Zimbra (12” Version Brian Eno remix)
The Jezebel Spirit (w. David Byrne)
Fractal Zoom
Talking Heads – Crosseyed and Painless
Kurt’s Rejoinder
Help Me Somebody (w. David Byrne)
Talking Heads – The Great Curve
Chemin De Fer

The Funky Eno UK2 web

Spunk Worship: The Funky Eno II
Track list:
Qu’ran (w. David Byrne)
Fat Nude Dance
Marine Radio (w. Jah Wobble)
Radiothesia III
Nikkei
Like Pictures Pt.2 (w. Peter Schwalm)
Unusual Balance
Evil Thoughts
Beast
Monomedia
Glitterbug 6
Heat Beat
Wire Shock
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Jon Hassell – Adedara Rising (Nowbodhi remix)
Spunk Worship
With Howie B
Sky Saw
Never Tunnelling
Seeded
T.N.K. (w. 801)

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Dust Shuffle: The Funky Eno III
Track list:
Jon Hassell – Mashujaa (Nowbodhi edit 3)
Theme From Lets Go Native (w. Passengers)
Over Fire Island
Spinning Away (w. John Cale)
City of Life
Lot – Into The Spirit World (demo) (w. David Byrne)
War Fetish
Sounds Alien
David Bowie – Abdulmajid
DBF (w. Karl Hyde)
Itch (EN Stitch edit)
Glitch
Reasonable Question
United Colours (Nowbodhi edit) (w. Passengers)
Cheeky Hopa
Move
Gbenta (w. Edikanfo)
Sanctuaries
Tutti Forgetti
Dust Shuffle (w. Jon Hopkins & Leo Abrahams)

Pop Up Subculture & Holotronica

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Back from a whirlwind weekend in Stroud and Bristol – primarily to talk about my Wheels of Light book at Klang Tone Records in Stroud on Friday night as part of the Pop Up Subculture festival. The event went very well with an engaged crowd and many new friends made. Met up with old acquaintance Bill Brooks who introduced me to bonafide light show legend Sid Fossil who had come to the talk! Seen here next to yours truly with friend Craig in the middle and Bill on the right.
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Stroud is lovely and sports three excellent record shops – Sound Records, Trading Post and the aforementioned Klang Tone which sits above the Pagan Vintage shop. All well worth your time, many treasures were found, not least a clutch of original International Times newspapers in stunning condition.

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After a day’s digging I jumped on the train down to Bristol, met up with my video cohort, PuttyRubber, and went to the first Holotronica weekend at the disused IMAX cinemax. Hosted and opened by DJ Cheeba, Solid Steel family of old and now working with Stuart Warren-Hill’s Holotronica outfit, it was great to see old Bristol crew from our days doing regular nights with the Detectives of Perspective. The Light Surgeons played their excellent ‘Atemporal’ AV set, newly expanded into a 2.0 version and then Funki Porcini presented his incredible Laserium show which absolutely wowed people in the theatre. I’ve seen this three times now and it just gets better and better, there’s nothing like it and it’s impossible to convey via photos. Equally impossible is Stuart’s 3D Holotronica set (for obvious reasons) which was some of the most eye-poking 3D I’ve ever seen. All in all a triumph for audio visual gigs and I hope they do more.
Photos below are from Stuart Warren-Hill (Holotronica) and Christopher Thomas Allen (The Light Surgeons)

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Crew photo L-R: DJ Cheeba, Stuart Warren-Hill, Funki Porcini, Chris Allen – missing in action Tim Cowie, the other Surgeon who provided an excellent live soundtrack.

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Pop Up Subculture Festival, Stroud Mar 23rd-26th

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Very pleased to be part of this festival with my book Wheels of Light, published by Four Corners Books. That’s some company to be in for the POP/UP Subculture festival, Stroud, Mar 23-26.
Join us on March 24th Klang Tone Records for a double-header when I’ll be in conversation with Sean Roe about light show projection art after his chat with Matthew Ingram about his book ‘The S Word’.

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Quadraphon rehearsals at Holotronica studios

Footage from rehearsals with new collaborator PuttyRubber up in Bristol at the weekend. Shot at Stuart Warren-Hill‘s Holotronica studio by DJ Cheeba and re-edited to include some of PuttyRubber’s video feedback.
We’ll be debuting this partnership at the Ramsgate Music Hall on Feb 24th where I’ll be improvising with my 4-armed Quadraphon turntable and a bunch of locked groove records whilst PuttyRubber provides live video feedback visuals.

I just picked up two new upgraded tone arms for it from Ned Hawes at One_db in Staple Hill, long time coming, from sourcing the turntables, my dad helping make custom pods to house them and then Ned transplanting a tone arm into each pod. With a bit of additional fitting attention they’re now in place, replacing my earlier efforts which are now relegated to back up status. Also in the pic, new styli by 100 Sounds from Japan and custom slipmat by Sureshotshop
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No idea how it’s going to fully manifest but it’s pretty exciting working it all out. Come and see if we crash and burn at Ramsgate Music Hall on Feb 24th
Tickets: https://www.ramsgatemusichall.com/tc-events/dj-food-quadraphon/

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Candlemas at the Royal Foundation of St. Katherine

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On Sunday evening I took part in a sound and light event at the Royal Foundation of St. Katherine in Limehouse called Candlemas – a Christian celebration of light. Organised by Heena Song and Julian Hand and featuring Paul Naudin, Joe and Janie from Whyte Light Visuals and myself, we set up various points around the site with music and light projections. Joe lit the chapel (above and immediately below) with Heena providing an ambient soundtrack for the master of the house to give hourly sermons over. He stole the show in his all in one, bright red tunic and packed the chapel out.

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Julian, Heena, Paul and I were outside under a canopy which we projected all over using liquid and FX wheels whilst boiling and manipulating ink on slides from tables full of projectors whilst I provided music for the outdoors.

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Meanwhile Joe and Janie used glass bowls, inks and projectors in one of the on-site Yurts to show their skills to punters in the cafe area.


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Photos and videos by Karen Steadman, MadVinyl and Pat Grimm.