The Exploding Galaxy at the Bureau of Lost Culture

99 Balls Pond Road
At Xmas I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Jill Drower‘s ’99 Balls Pond Road’ book which is a weighty tome that had been expensive and hard to come by for some time. I devoured it over the holiday and into the new year before deciding that I had to contact Jill and invite her to Stephen CoatesBureau of Lost Culture podcast. Her story of the performance art collective who were part of the first wave of kinetic art and the psychedelic underground in the 60s whilst squatting at the Dalston address of the title is an eye opener.

Finally tracking her down, she kindly agreed to come in and tell her story, a rare female voice in a sea of men who have so far largely written the history of the movement. She doesn’t pull her punches on the inequality of women, the class structure of the underground and the collusion between police and gutter press in suppressing their happenings and invasion of the home.

There are two versions of the book; the original, large format, picture-heavy coffee table book entitled ’99 Balls Pond Road’ which will cost a bit more but is worth every penny. Or the new paperback-sized, picture-light, more affordable version entitled ‘The Exploding Galaxy – Performance Art, LSD and Bent Copper in the Sixties Counterculture’, which is a mouthful but sums up the contents far better than the original title.

TEG book blurb

I Wanna Jump Like Dee Dee podcast interview


I did an interview with Giles Sibbald for his I Wanna Jump Like Dee Dee podcast (now on season 5!). I’ve known Giles for a while through MU magazine where he designs and I do the singles reviews and he put me in touch with drummer, Dave Barbarossa who I’ve been working with recently.
We had a long chat about all sorts including creativity, inspiration and technology if I remember correctly (it was a while back) :) Check his podcast out, he’s had many interesting people on already and not your usual run of the mill guests either.
Full links: https://apple.co/3s8rqqJ     https://spoti.fi/3rgEBGR     https://youtu.be/-yODjgBrvFE

Pirate TV Blooper reel 2021

For the last 6 months I’ve been editing the weekly 2 hr Pirate TV audio visual shows that Coldcut‘s Matt Black has been doing with his wife, Dinaz and assorted guests like Mixmaster Morris on Twitch.

Along the way I’ve been setting aside little moments from the sublime to the ridiculous, all in good spirit, mainly because they made me laugh or were special.

Here’s a compilation of those moments while Pirate TV takes a break for a bit, many of the show highlight edits I’ve been making are available to view on Coldcut’s YouTube channel too.

Mixcloud Select 87: Xmas collection 22/12/2003

MS87 CDr Better late than never, Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all my subscribers for tuning in each week for your vintage slice of archive Solid Steel! Here’s a short but sweet swinging selection from 2003 leaning heavily on the hip jazz end of things and includes my favourite festive song of all time, The Soulful Strings’ version of ‘Little Drummer Boy’.

As I recall, this set takes liberally from an excellent compilation put together by Martin Green called ‘Cool Yule, The Swinging Sounds of Christmas’. Stick it on whilst preparing the dinner and raise a glass to having made it through another year. Have a great one, see you on the other side…

MS87 PRS

Track list:
Tony Rodelle Larson – Cool Yule
Herbie Hancock – Deck The Halls
Bill Darnell & The Smith Bros – We Wanna See Santa Do The Mambo
Bill Cosby – Merry Xmas Mama
John Rydgren – A Christmas Reflection
Lalo Schrifrin – Joy To The World
Billy Taylor & David frost – Bright Star In The East
Soulful Strings – Little Drummer Boy
Dickie Goodman – Santa & The Satelitte Pt 1&2 (edit)
Phil Spector – Silent Night
Ed ‘Kookie’ Burns – Yulesville

Project OO by Touched Music

Project OO cover web
I’m incredibly proud to have been asked to contribute a promo mix of a selection of tracks from the next Touched Music charity compilation, ‘Project OO’. This compilation of 58 ambient and electronic tracks is in aid of a disabled seven year old named Oona with an undiagnosed condition similar to cerebral palsy. In her short life she has had emergency operations and requires specialist physio which costs thousands of pounds a year. Although she can barely walk she has learned to swim and this has been an epiphany.

Eudora Summer 1

Martin Boulton at Touched Music has pulled together 58 electronic artists to form ‘Project OO’, a compilation to raise funds for Oona’s treatments. The quality here is off the scale with some of the most beautiful tracks I’ve heard in ages, many interspersing samples of Oona and friends at play which tugs at the heartstrings even more. The compilation features many familiar names including 808 State, The Future Sound of London, Scanner, Plaid, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Mouse On Mars, John Beltran, Mark Van Hoen, Paul Blackford and many more.

Front and Back Artwork3. Disc-Deck

The release comes as a 5 CD set with slipcase and download. I’ve selected 20 of my favourites for this preview mix which will also be getting a super limited release on CD too. The set is released on Dec 10th at 9pm via the Touched Music Bandcamp. Please give it a listen, the music is beautiful and by buying a set you could help make a difference to Oona’s life.

There will be a free virtual listening party tonight at 7.30pm UK time too
https://www.facebook.com/events/482528636516824

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New 45 Live DJ Food mix

DJ Food 45 Live Mix 8th 2021 web
Does what it says on the tin, all vinyl 45s, a mix of Freestyle, Hip House, Acid & Bleep circa 1989-91 – a very fertile time for the dance music scene with the initial euphoria of acid house giving way to the first generation of bedroom producers with affordable samplers. Debuts Friday night/Saturday morning US/UK time August 20th on the 45 Live show with Greg Belson via Dublab.

New ‘Above The Clouds’ guest Mix for Jonny Cuba radio show

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Long time friend and music ally, Jonny Cuba – of Dynamic Syncopation / Soundsci / Other Mirror and more – invited me to make a mix for his new radio show / podcast via the Jason Charles podcast network. Each show is themed with a different guest choosing the theme and providing a 30 minute – this episode’s is ‘Above The Clouds’.

JONNY_PREMIERE_previewDJFOOD

The Bureau of Lost Culture: The Comix Underground with Tony Bennett

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I had the absolute pleasure to spend an afternoon recently at Soho Radio with Stephen Coates and special guest Tony Bennett, the founder of Knockabout Comics  – underground and alternative publisher since 1975. We chat to Tony about his history in the counter culture, publishing some of the greats of the genre from Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Alan Moore, Hunt Emerson and more including his run-ins with the law, customs officers and trials for obscenity.

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It’s hard to think of another publisher who has done more in the underground comics medium in the UK and Tony was a delight to chat to. He bought along a whole pile of books for Stephen and I including a copy of his very first self-published and very hard to find comic, Trip Strip from the early 70s. Pictured above are just a handful of the comics Knockabout have printed and distributed over the years – for more check their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/knockaboutcomics/

Trip Strip

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.

DJ Food ‘Songs of Praise’ mix

DJ Food - Songs of Praise web
In recent years I’ve become increasingly interested in religious records, specifically rock operas from the late 60’s, early to mid 70’s era. Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar are the most obvious ins to this genre and there are many, many versions of those but they’re the tip of the iceberg once you get into pressings from independent labels run by the church. The astounding thing with this genre – and possibly because of the success of Hair and JCS – is the budgets and records that come out of the woodwork. Box sets with foil printing, 12″x12″ booklets, double albums, full chorus, strings, horn sections, top notch session musicians right down to hand drawn covers and small ensembles recorded in halls with bad sound. Generally though, there was a lot of money about to do this stuff and it shines through in the passion and creativity poured into the songs and performances on these records.

A recent trade with fellow collector, Shane Quentin, (co-contributor to the Wobbly Sounds flexi disc book last year with Jonny Trunk and myself) resulted in me offering an exclusive mix for his long-running The Garden of Earthly Delights radio show. Having chanced upon an incredible religious album recently, full of great tracks, I was looking for a reason to put a load of them together and offered a mix of religious rock and such as I knew he’d get a kick out of it. The results can be heard in my new mix, ‘Songs Of Praise’, tonight on his show between 10pm and midnight – point your browser at http://www.crmk.co.uk/listen. It’ll also be available via Shane’s Mixcloud UPDATE: Full show below, my mix starts at the 33 minute mark.

I love every one of these records and have been playing the mix daily since I made it earlier this month which is unlike me, there’s something both weird and wonderful about them. I had to cut 20 minutes of material to get it in at an hour and already have enough for half of part 2 so this may become an annual, pre-Xmas affair on Shane’s show. A lot of these records are available for very little (one of them I bought for £1) but there’s a lot to plough through in the genre to find the gems.

The Life of Barney Bubbles podcast

IMG_6460 I’ve highlighted The Bureau of Lost Culture podcasts before and in the latest instalment Stephen Coates interviews writer and biographer Paul Gorman about the life of designer Barney Bubbles. Paul wrote the definitive (and only) book about Barney’s work, Reasons To Be Cheerful and recounts his fascinating but ultimately tragic story.

Paul has also recently set up a Barney Bubbles Estate Instagram account where he’s posting examples and rarities from his collection. Even if you’re not familiar with his name, you may well be familiar with his work.
There have recently been a slew of great interviews from The Bureau, focussing on Hawkwind, the history of Goth, Biba, groupies, The UFO club and more. The easiest way to listen to them is via their Soundcloud page

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Ambient mix for the Soundwave podcast

Soundwave 22
Joseph Aleo runs a music podcast called Soundwave and recently asked me to contribute a mix – I turned in an hour’s worth of new ambient music that’s been floating my boat recently including an exclusive track from the forthcoming New Obsolescents LP I made with Howlround. The mix also includes Robert Fripp, Jon Brooks, Steve Hauschildt, Celestial Mechanic, Clocolan, Deepchord, LF58, Squarepusher and BUNKR.
Listen here Soundwave : 22

Mixcloud Select 19: Strictly’s Dark Star set Pt.1 – 14/09/1997

20 DAT tapeThis is part 1 of two mixes, The Sphere and The Bomb – both share excerpts of spoken word from Dark Star and John Williams’ ‘The Conversation’ from Close Encounters of the Third Kind joins them. The original name on the box was ‘Strictly’s Dark Star sci-fi sex-up‘ – not sure what that was about. The Bomb follows next week…

I think my obsession with 70s sci-fi started around this time, we’d caned the Dark Star original soundtrack on the Blech cassette mix for Warp and there was so much mileage still left in it. Jack Dangers had, of course, got there first and peppered parts of it throughout the excellent Meat Beat Manifesto album, Satyricon as well as sampling a small flute and and strings loop from somewhere on the track ‘Placebo’.20 DAT box

This is where I first heard the riff from Dudley Moore’s ‘The Millionaire’ from the soundtrack to the film, Bedazzled. Ollie Teeba was a huge fan and identified it from the short skit and then the hunt was on for a decent copy of the LP, rare by any standard in the 90s. I eventually found one a year later in the Cinema branch of the Music & Video Exchange in Notting Hill and paid a lot of money for it (some of it was in vouchers actually). Anyway, it was one of the few records I’ve shelled out big money for but I then sampled it on ‘Nocturne’ on the Kaleidoscope album and it’s proved quite popular over the years.

There’s some distortion on this recording, mainly on the Si Begg and 2 Player tracks which were overloaded on the recording. I’ve tried to smooth this over as best I can with the tools now available, this would have been one of the first shows I recorded at home with a portable DAT player. Before this we would record at KISSFM or at Ahead of our Time studios in Clink Street, the home of Ninja Tune up until 2000.

It looks like I used the end of the tape to record a soundcheck of myself, Kid Koala and Ollie Teeba jamming on 4 decks in Vancouver on tour which was later used in part on my remix of Coldcut‘s ‘More Beats & Pieces’. 1997 was super busy with recording and touring and I was asked by Jon & Matt to remix the track just before I went off on tour. Knowing I’d be sharing stages with other great scratch DJs I bought along copies of the DJ record of parts that had been made to give to remixers and we recorded various soundchecks and also did a session at Kid Koala’s flat at the end of the tour as well.

Track list:
Neil Norman – Dark Star
Kirsty Hawkshaw – Sci-Clone (Raw Dog mix)
Spiritualized – C Phase
George Harrison – No Time Or Space
Si Begg – Sing Circle System
Turn On – Electrocation of Fire Ants
excerpt from Dark Star – Listening Pleasure
Meat Beat Manifesto – Placebo
Beck – Strange Invitation
2 Player & DJ Vadim – White Painted Roads
John Williams – The Conversation (from Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

New 45 Live mix – Aug 6th PST on Dublab

DJ Food 45 Live Mix 2020 web
It’s that time again, my now annual guest mix for the 45 Live radio show hosted by DJ Greg Belson on Dublab premieres on Aug 6th PST which will be early in the morning of Aug 7th in the UK. This mix is a trip through the incredibly fertile years during and after the second summer of love and the fallout from acid house. The fast-moving dance scene is splintering with influences cross-pollinating into indie, hip hop and techno. Early signposts to rave and hardcore can be heard and Mr Fingers‘ evergreen ‘Can You Feel It’ seems like it comes from a different time.

It comes with a touch of sadness too, just as I’d finished the mix and after I’d taken this shot of the records used, I heard the sad news that Denise Johnson had died. A vocalist for A Certain Ratio, New Order and Primal Scream at various points among many more, this was the era where she came to public prominence for perhaps her most well known feature on ‘Don’t Fight It (Feel It)’ from the latter’s ‘Screamadelica‘. I quickly reworked the intro of the mix to include this classic which sits perfectly in the set as it was a staple of the turn of the decade club scene. RIP Denise.

PS Spot the one track from 2020…

De:tuned DE:10 Interview and mix for WAV radio

DE10 Ltd Col Vinyl web

I’ve got an exclusive mix of the De:tuned label’s 10 year anniversary tracks airing on Belgian station WAV (We Are Various) tonight between 8pm-9pm (CET – 7pm in the UK) plus here’s an interview about the mix & designing for the label. It should be on Soundcloud after so I’ll add it in once it’s premiered. UPDATE and here it is…

Mixcloud Select 8: Coldcut & DJ Food – Shibuya FM session 1996

08 Shibuya FM tapeTrack notes:
A live multi-deck and laptop set recorded at Shibuya FM in Toyko whilst on tour in Japan, 1996. Messy, scratchy, improvised turntable decknology mixing up ambient, jazz, drum n bass, electronica and other beats as only the Solid Steel crew can.

This was recorded on the evening of October 28th from my tour itinerary and ended a day of interviews. The itinerary says we did two sets which explains why it says Pt.1 on the tape. Not sure where Pt.2 went but I think I’ve seen the DAT of the whole thing somewhere, if I find it, it will appear here if it’s any good. The set was fun and furious and Japan was a revelation as anyone who’s been there will tell you.

08 Japan itinerary 96
This particular recording comes from a tape of a Solid Steel once we got back to the UK so I’d date the UK broadcast as somewhen in November 1996.

Track list:
Morton Subotnick – Silver Apples Of the Moon
Spacetime Continuum – Flouresence (on 45 rpm)
Photek – Rings Around Saturn
Miles Davis – Fast Track
Photek – K.J.Z.
DJ Food – Scratch Yer Hed (Squarepusher remix)
Kruder & Dorfmeister – Shakatakadoodub
The Herbaliser – A Mother (For Your Mind)

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Feel Good Friday and 3 Wyrd Things

FGFI did a thing for my good friend Jari from Pepe Deluxé that he does on Facebook called Feel Good Friday – the idea is to recommend good music to help sooth Fridays – here it is

Fog Cast #1 – Robin The Fog / Howlround

https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/fogcast-1-april-2020/?fbclid=IwAR1ukzclds2DPV22Z_w8hp7dXbq8WtLnBZnNcDepgwvL-lipYkKMEofQYzI

If deep, minimal ambient is your thing then look no further, the first 14 minutes alone is just drone, this is a new weekly show on Resonance FM, #2 should be up by the time you read this (actually #4 is out now, with an exclusive DJ Food track from the archives)

Misuse Me – Andy Votel tribute to Bill Withers

https://soundcloud.com/finderskeepersrecords/andy-votel-misuse-me-bill-withers-tribute

A short one, multiple versions of Bill’s wonderful song, ‘Use Me’, mixed expertly into an 8 minute epic.

Johno – A Theme From An imaginary Western

https://www.mixcloud.com/dondi74/a-theme-from-an-imaginary-western/

Paul Johnson is a friend of mine, occasionally he makes these hilarious mixes in a cut and paste style, full of very British humour and silliness. If you want something to bring a smile then try this 30 minute beauty.

I wouldn’t normal do this but what the hell – I recently put together an hour long mix of records referencing mothers, mums, mama’s and the like for Mother’s Day in the UK for the Out of the Wood show. (I did this a few weeks ago, just before lockdown started)

https://www.mixcloud.com/wnbclondon/dj-food-out-of-the-wood-show-191/

Funk, pop, psych, beats, rap, even a bit of jungle and a very rude ending.

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AAAAAAND: if and when you run out of music to listen to

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I’ve also just set up a Mixcloud Select channel for vintage Solid Steel mixes from my archive, the third one will be up this week.

https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/

Also up from last week but I forgot to post it, I did the 3 Wyrd Things post for Ian Holloway‘s Wyrd Britain blog where you’re asked to name three British oddities that have influenced you, have a look and see how this Pop annual fits into the story. https://wyrdbritain.blogspot.com/2020/04/3-wyrd-things-dj-food.html

kevin foakes

DJ Food – The Mother Lode for Out Of The Wood, WNBC

Your MotherDuring Mother Nature’s current reminder that we’re mere tiny specks in the scheme of things it felt right not to go to the Book & Record Bar to record my guest slot for Out of the Wood radio. Seeing as the date for the set was Mother’s Day I thought I’d use this as a theme so here’s a mother lode of tunes to see you through and remind us that we should always respect our mothers.

Tears For Fears – Mothers Talk (Extended version)
Fun-da-mental – Mother India (Moody Boyz Spirit of the Tiger mix)
Ramsey Lewis – Mother Natures’s Son
Hodges, James and Smith – Momma
DJ Food – Your Mother
Goldie – Mother (excerpt 1)
Genesis – Mama
The Herbaliser – Another Mother
Funkadelic – Music For Your Mother
Parliament – Mothership Connection
Paul McCartney – Momma Miss America
Jonny Guitar Watson – A Real Mother For Ya
Pharcyde – Ya Mama (J Swift UK remix)
Roxanne Shante – Big Momma
Queen Latifah – Mama Gave Birth To The Soul Children (The Infant Mix)
Lyn Collins w. The J.B.s – Mama Feelgood
James Brown – Mother Popcorn
Kool & The Gang – Mother Earth
Derek & Clive – Alfie Noakes
The Mothers of Invention – Motherly Love
Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother (excerpt)
Blue Pearl – Mother Dawn (The Orb Buckateer Mix 1)
Goldie – Mother (excerpt 2)
Julian Cope – Peggy Suicide is Missing
The Rolling Stones – Mother’s Little Helper
Can – Mother Sky
Jonny Zamot – Hey Mama
Lonely Island feat Justin Timberlake – Motherlover