The The’s Comeback Special with DJ Food remix

THE THE cmbkspcl
I was thrilled to be asked to remix ‘Global Eyes’ on the exclusive 10″ with the deluxe box set of
The The‘s Comeback Special live set. See and hear the full show plus loads of extras.
Due out this October – pre-order now live plus there’s a special screening at The Troxy, the venue for the third London night back 3 years ago.

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Del Close documentary

There’s a documentary about Del Close coming this month to Apple TV, which combines comedy and comics and looks fantastic. Diggers will know Close’s name from the John Brent & Del Close classic ‘How To Speak Hip’ (sampled by me and plenty of others) as well as ‘The Do-It-Yourself Psychoanalyst’s Kit’ (plundered for a whole album by Prince Paul). Close was, by all accounts, an unhinged madman/genius who hung out with The Merry Pranksters in the 60s and taught all the future comedy greats in the 70’s and 80’s. There’s not been much written about him aside from a couple of biographies and he’s probably best known for his involvement in Saturday Night Live. Check the trailer and hunt down those records and copies of the Wasteland comics.

Delclose poster

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Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ vinyl out today!

Finally released on vinyl today on Utter – Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ LP – a soundtrack to the
Rian Hughes novel, ‘XX’ published by Picador Books (paperback released Aug 9th)

Music by Celestial Mechanic – a collaboration between DJ Food, Saron Hughes, Robin The Fog (Howlround) & Peter Harris

Yellow vinyl LP + 7″ + print + info sheet – designed by Rian Hughes with silver spot print and inner sleeve – this is limited so don’t sleep as it will be out in shops too.
Pre-order https://bit.ly/3y5C7eK

Animation generated at ASCII Playground
*un-mute for sound!

IMG_0823

CM packshot full

Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ vinyl sting 3

Finally released on vinyl tomorrow on Utter – Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ LP – a soundtrack to the
Rian Hughes novel, ‘XX’ published by Picador Books (paperback released Aug 9th)

Music by Celestial Mechanic – a collaboration between DJ Food, Saron Hughes, Robin The Fog (Howlround) & Peter Harris

Yellow vinyl LP + 7″ + print + info sheet – designed by Rian Hughes with silver spot print and inner sleeve – this is limited so don’t sleep as it will be out in shops too.
Pre-order https://bit.ly/3y5C7eK

Animation generated at ASCII Playground
*un-mute for sound!

IMG_0820CM packshot full

Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ vinyl sting 2

Finally released on vinyl this Friday on Utter – Celestial Mechanic – ‘Citizen Void’ LP – a soundtrack to the
Rian Hughes novel, ‘XX’ published by Picador Books (paperback released Aug 9th)

Music by Celestial Mechanic – a collaboration between DJ Food, Saron Hughes, Robin The Fog (Howlround) & Peter Harris

Yellow vinyl LP + 7″ + print + info sheet – designed by Rian Hughes with silver spot print and inner sleeve – this is limited so don’t sleep as it will be out in shops too.
Pre-order https://bit.ly/3y5C7eK

Animation generated at ASCII Playground
*un-mute for sound!

IMG_0815CM packshot full

Matt Black live-remixing ‘Sentinel’ on Pirate TV

On last week’s Pirate TV show, Coldcut‘s Matt Black in his Altered Fist guise live-remixed mine & DK‘s track, Sentinel (from The Search Engine LP) using JAMM Pro software. Every Wednesday night around 9pm (GMT) Matt hosts a 2 hr show of music, visuals, chat and news via Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/coldcutofficial

Loki title graphics and design

Marvel‘s new TV series, Loki, started this week on Disney+ and the title animation and design is fantastic, playing on ever-changing fonts, presumably to highlight the different facets and sides to the main character’s personality. Marvel have had some superior title work going on with both Wandavision and Falcon & The Winter Soldier recently, the former having individual, time-specific intro themes created for each episode. With Loki, this has stepped up a gear.

*slight spoiler alert!!* In the debut episode that appears to be a set up for a time travel chase caper where Loki may be both the good and bad guy, most of the ‘action’ is spent inside the TVA, a processing centre / court for those who disrupt The Sacred Timeline. The whole design of the Time Variance Authority has shades of Terry Gilliam‘s ‘Brazil’, with retro-modern tech, yellow tungsten lighting and 50’s styled public info posters adorning the walls.

TVA room TVA room 3 TVA room2TVA lift TVA console TVA console 2
TVA poster 1TVA poster 3+4TVA Miss Minutes

One of the highlights is a short animation, voiced by TVA mascot Miss Minutes, explaining what the agency does – for the audience’s benefit as much as Loki’s. It’s beautifully realised in what starts out as an 80’s Ulysses 31 homage before slipping into a 50s style similar to Charley Harper or some of the Halas and Batchelor cartoons like ‘Automania 2000’.

TVA film1 TVA film2 TVA film3 TVA film4 TVA film5 TVA film6 TVA film7 TVA film8
The TVA identity is nearer a 60’s/70’s airline / IBM look with employees wearing enamel badges, belt buckles and uniforms bearing the insignia as well as using headed notepaper and retro tech. Just like the work they do, design timelines seem to converge from different eras at the Authority.

TVA badge TVA scanner
But the icing on the cake is the end credits, beautiful short focus close ups of many of the production details yet with contemporary typography details that you’ll miss if you blink. Everything is saturated but sepia-tinged for that nicotine-stained, low lighting look. Forgive me such a graphic-heavy post but this is all so tastefully done, so many great details like the clock with multiple hands.

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Big Mouth podcast – 10th April

I was asked back as a guest reviewer on Andrew Harrison and Sian Pattenden‘s excellent Big Mouth podcast this week. If you want to hear me getting tongue-tied and being largely less eloquent then Andrew, Sian and other guest Michael Hann, then hit the link. The film, Nomadland, TV series, Wellington Paranormal and new albums from Raf Rundell and Matthew E. White all get reviewed.

The KLF – Solid State Logic 2

The third upload by The KLF / JAMs / Timelords debuted on March 23rd with Solid State Logic 2 – extended 12″ mixes, B sides, obscurities and also a new ‘trailer’ for Jarvis Joins The JAMs – the version of Justified & Ancient that was performed during the festivities in Liverpool a few years back. An added bonus was also the ‘Rites of Mu’ film in stunning quality which didn’t initially seem to be part of SSL2 but appeared as well.

KLF SSL2

KLF posters 2

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Material live in Montreux with Grandmixer DST & Keith Haring in 1983

DK sent me this link of a 1983 performance by Material at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland featuring not only scratching, MCing and breakdancing duties by the Grandmixer DST but also live painting by Keith Haring!
An incredible slice of history. They do a version of ‘Rockit’ midway too, I wonder who has the Harings now? It might also explain how he came to do several posters for the festival in the 80’s too.

Talking of ‘Rockit’ there’s an incredible full Herbie Hancock band version live on The Tube from a year later including not only DST but also the dancing robots from the Godley & Creme-directed video.

Zappa documentary by Alex Winter

Alex Winter’s new Zappa documentary is an amazing treasure chest of delights and essential for any fans of the man and his music. Given access to his legendary vault, Winter spent 2 years transferring and restoring films and tapes of every kind to build the visual elements and it’s incredible. Along the way he also came across lots of Frank’s original artwork including flyers and greeting cards he drew as a jobbing artist in the 60s. This is another string to his bow that is rarely acknowledged but always a treat to see. Below are some screen grabs, check out the doc if you can, go here to find it www.thezappamovie.com plus there’s a soundtrack available.

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PS: I know this last one is a Cal Schenkel illustration – for more Zappa art go here and here

BT Sport Champions League zoetrope commission


I was commissioned by BT Sport to make a zoetrope for use in a video for the Champions League football final on August 23rd. The video is for a new song from Doves‘ forthcoming album and the zoetrope would be intercut with footage of them performing in front of an old carousel with footage from clips on the discs zooming into full frame. I worked closely with Creative Lead Andrew Maddox to pull together clips and make sure the discs best represented what they needed (I know absolutely nothing about football!).


During the August heatwave weekend I literally sweated over a hot computer and emerged Monday morning with not one but four zoetropes from the footage they’d given me. These were then refined over the next two days and then printed 12″ size before being stuck down to vinyl discs and filmed on a turntable with digital versions animated in After Effects. Sadly they didn’t make the final cut in the end. Gutting, but here they are for you anyway.

I think I’m cursed with zoetropes this year. Despite being asked to do more than ever, the lot I did back in January for an unnamed artist went unused after he wouldn’t pay me. A second (very exciting) one should be happening but stalled when lockdown hit, a third design for Pendulum was passed over as they decided to go with their original design and now this. Two that I did for the group Peninsula‘s album got stalled by the Covid shutdown but are now happening thankfully.


BT Sport did a great job on the final video though

Here are the discs before they spin and animate

BT Zoetrope 4 for print BT Zoetrope 2 for print BT Zoetrope 3 for print BT Zoetrope 1 for print

 

Jeffrey Lewis’ Fuff comics

Fuff 7Being a fan and collector of underground comics as well some of the indie stuff out there I was intrigued to find a copy of something called Fuff #7 by Jeffrey Lewis in a charity shop recently. I recognised his name on the cover because a friend had played me his excellent ode to vinyl ‘I caught the disease for LPs’ a while back and my partner has seen him a bunch of times at the Windmill in Brixton over the years. Halfway through the issue he splits the page in half and the story runs to the back page, flips upside down and then runs back into the comic to circle back on itself above the pages preceding it. I like artists who play with the format and the strip deals in time travel with the characters journeying back in time from a future issue with their dialogue reversed into the bargain.

Anyway, I loved it and looked online for more, Jeff has back issues on his website but he’s in the US and the postage on those things to the UK is crazy, but I lucked out as a British seller on eBay was selling issues 1-6 – what are the chances? The tone of the strips is summed up on the cover of issue 7 – ‘Travelogues, Biography, Fiction, Whimsy’ – semi autobiographical in a kind of Robert Crumb / Harvey Pekar American Splendor style, mostly dealing with his tour diaries, tales his dad told him and surreal oddball characters.

Fuff 1-6

So I’m totally loving the first seven issues and I have to get the set because I’m a completist like that and I’m feeling bad about not ordering from Jeff and putting some money in his pocket during this pandemic so I ordered issues 8-12 direct and he sent a little drawing along with them too :). The comics just got better and better, the European tour diary was a great insight to an independent musician on the road, his self-confessional sex therapy sessions with Dr. Afting Table M.D. are a brave move and a tale of his dad’s acid trip in the woods in issue #11 was the best yet. Finally, issue 12 deals in a cosmic tale with God featuring character cameos from previous issues that just upped the ante even further into a mind-blowing critique of today’s all-knowing, opinion-orientated world.

Fuff 8-12

The sad thing about the timing for issue 12 was that Jeff released it at the beginning of the year with a view to selling copies on tour in the Spring. Of course that’s not happening for the foreseeable future so, like most artists, he’s had a major part of his income cut off. What I’m trying to say here is simply check out Jeff’s comics if you can as they’re great if you enjoy that kind of material and he could do with the support. He even does a bundle with the first 11 issues including the harder to find #0 which reprints micro comics he drew as flyers in the 90s. And of course check out his music while you’re there.

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