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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Karen 19 web
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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.

When Hip Hop Came To Town article

ES spread
I spoke to Tom Ellen at ES Magazine a few weeks back about attending the Def Jam tour with Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim and LL Cool J back in 1987. The piece is primarily with Chuck D in reference to the new documentary Fight The Power: How Hip Hop Changed The World on BBC 3 which started last week and is on iPlayer now. I was being asked for my take on the first appearance on a London stage by PE back in 1987 and how the gig was a seismic event in the history of hip hop in the UK. Tom was led to me by the photos I posted on my blog a few years back, some of which were used in the article and are apparently in the documentary at some point. The article is online here to read too.

ES PE
ES LL

MS135 Milk! 17/06/2002

MS135 Milk 17:06:2002 CDR
An odd assortment from mid 2002 here with a bit of party-style mash up, a bit of funk, some Four Tet and some cut ups thrown in, sounds a bit like I was tidying up some loose ends. The inclusion of ‘Milk’ by The Basic dates it instantly to around the time of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist’s ‘Product Placement’ mix, of which this was a staple, both musically and visually. It’s also the first time Luke Vibert’s ‘Homewerk’ gets an airing, a track that would be in the record box from most of the decade and still comes out for the Kraftwerk Klassics, Kovers and Kurios set.

‘Yoda’s One Man Band’ sounds more like Kid Koala than he did back then and I’m not entirely sure it was serious. I never knew who the Freelance Hairdresser was, obviously a play on the Freelance Hellraiser and in early on with the mash up craze. Here he/she mixes the BBC Pot Black theme (Winifred Atwell – Black & White Rag) with Eminem to ‘hilarious’ effect, hasn’t dated a bit – but seriously, this is half of what I enjoyed about the bastard pop craze, it was ridiculous and unpretentious fun, mostly made by people who had nothing to lose.

‘Funk’ is, of course, the less famous B side to Meco’s huge disco-fied hit, ’Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band’ although something tells me they needed a filler track quickly for the flip and didn’t stop to think too hard about the title. Here comes Luke with his obvious steal homage to the Dusseldorf Quartet and I have to say, that tempo switch down mix out of it into Paul Kass is inspired. There’s also a link between the two as ‘Underground Agent’ is featured on the Further Nuggets compilation of library music that Luke made for Lo Recordings around this time.

MS135 Milk PRS

And here’s The Basic with their advertisement for the dairy industry, not 100% sure where the spoken word about cows comes from that I’ve slung over it but it’s probably a Sesame Street sketch. I remember seeing the Product Placement show at, I think, the Scala of all places, in London. Shadow and Cut confounded a few people after the party-tastic ‘Brainfreeze’ set by digging pretty deep to the point where the tracks were cool but more of a head-nod than a get down. Z-Trip ripped it up on that show, pure showmanship with Nirvana cut ups and plenty of mic action.

A couple of Four Tet pieces follow, first, a remix for James Yorkson, and second, something he did for the Domino label which takes a big slabs of John Abercrombie’s ‘Timeless’ and weaves it into something beautiful. It comes as a 7”, split over two sides and features a photo of a young Kieran with his sister on the cover. We play out and turn off the light with Al Dente and Ill Chemist – friends of Steinski’s – and a little track from a CDr I was given I think as I can’t find it anywhere on the web. Nighty Night!

Track list:
DJ Yoda – Yoda’s One Man Band
Freelance Hairdresser – Marshall’s Been Snookered
Meco – Funk
Luke Vibert – Homewerk
Paul Kass – Underground Agent
The Basic – Milk
James Yorkson & the Athletes – The Lang Toun (Four Tet remix)
Four Tet – I’m On Fire (Part 2)
Al Dente and Ill Chemist – Nighty Night

Mixcloud Select Xclusive-04 Disco Was A Dirty Word – Mark Moore 80s Remixes

DJFood MS-X04.1

It’s been late coming but I decided at the last minute to do something new and make an exclusive mix for all the subscribers who’ve kept with me over the 2.5 years so far. It’s a themed mix of Mark Moore from S’Express remixes – yes, niche I know but I love what he and William Orbit did back in the day and wanted to put a load of it in one place.

Spurred on by the release of S’Express & Daddy Squad’s amazing ‘Music 4 The Mind’ single late last year I went down a Mark Moore remix wormhole over the Xmas period and pulled together a collection of his works – mainly in collaboration with William Orbit – from the 80s heyday of acid house and beyond. I’ve been – and continue to be – a huge fan of S’Express and Mark’s work since day one with the singles around the Original Soundtrack album remaining peerless examples of peak pop house perfection.

Titled ‘Disco Was A Dirty Word’ in reference to the interview which threads its way through the mix where Paul Morley quizzes Mark about his career and disco’s resurgence, the set encompasses most of his early remixes, just tipping into the early 90s with his work for Prince and Seal. Kicking off with the first of four reworks for Malcolm McLaren from his Waltz Darling/Vogueing era we have a deep ambient mix of ‘Call A Wave’ sliding into the Orbital Mix of the same track. The first of a quartet of Prince remixes follows – and what a pair of names to have on your CV – with ‘Electric Chair’ from the Batman soundtrack.

Les Rita Mitsouko’s ‘Tongue Dance’ was a new one to me but you can hear plenty of S’Express trademarks in the mix; breaks, disco string stabs and funky guitar all over it. The Vicki Vale mix of ‘Batdance’ kicks the tempo up a bit with the sampled break pointing to Prince’s later ‘Gett Off’ or is it just me? ‘Deep In Vogue’s primo disco makeover segues out into some sort of TV show diatribe as Seal’s ‘The Beginning’ rolls in with its super-catchy synth line. The ‘Batdance’ Batmix is – for me – one of the highlights here whereby the disjointed single gets fused into one seething electronic groove and you get a sense that Mark and William were really doing their damnedest to impress the purple one by twisting the vocals inside out to awesome effect. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything like that ‘Batmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan’ vocal strung out and dialled up and down the harmonic scale so excitingly before or since. S’Express always used vocal samples as rhythms more than mere spoken word fodder.

We return to ‘The Beginning’, except its the Dub version which gives us space for more of Mark’s interview before the refashioning of Prince’s ‘The Future’ thunders in. It’s a masterclass in tension and release, with the dark, foreboding synths plastered over the churning, almost industrial rhythm – another favourite. The last of the McLaren collaborations is the Walk the Body mix of ‘Something’s Jumpin’ In Your Shirt’, a tale about an adolescent girl discovering her breasts are growing no less, full of acid squelch before we end with the new single, ‘Music 4 The Mind’. I can’t get enough of this and there are currently two other remixes kicking around the web with the third on the way. For me it embodies the essence of classic S’Express with the Billie Ray Martin vocal callback in the breakdown and the interview cut ups with contemporary production techniques and a killer bass line.

Check out Mark’s website, there’s plenty to dig into; mixes, videos, galleries and discography from one of the original acid house heads, still opening minds.
https://markmoore.com/
Buy Music 4 The Mind here

Track list:
Malcolm McLaren – Call A Wave (Return To The Deep Ambient Mix)
Malcolm McLaren – Call A Wave (Orbital Mix)
Prince – Electric Chair (Remix)
Les Rita Mitsouko – Tongue Dance (12” version)
Prince – Batdance (Vicki Vale Mix)
Malcolm McLaren & The Bootzilla Orchestra – Deep In Vogue (Banje Realness)
Seal – The Beginning (The Mark Moore UK Remix)
Prince – Batdance (The Batmix)
Seal – The Beginning (The Mark Moore Dub)
Prince – The Future (Remix)
Malcolm McLaren – Something’s Jumpin’ In Your Shirt (Walk the Body Mix)
S’Express & Daddy Squad – Music 4 The Mind (Original mix)

MS134 Openmind vs Coldcut live at 102 Central Pt.2 19/08/1994

MS134 Openmind vs Coldcut live at 102 Central Pt.2 19:08:1994
Back for part 2 of the set from last week where Matt Black and I recorded a Solid Steel session in my bedroom as the KISS FM studios were booked out. This hour is a mix of the two of us but it’s hard to determine who played what so I’ve left the thing whole, the tape also started with Cypress Hill’s ’Scooby Doo’ but it was incomplete so I’ve cut it. I kick off with a snatch of the Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia’s majestic ‘Obsidian’ remix before Digital Underground’s ‘Packet Man’ – a tale of a sexual experience sold in a pill. A short snatch of a DJ Spike track precedes the newly released ‘Sound Of The Police’ from KRS 1’s Return Of The Boom Bap LP, a virtual classic as soon as it hit the streets before a ‘pause for the cause’ and into a bit of Matt on the decks. The Tape Beatles had become a spoken word staple on the show since the Orb visited and hipped Matt & Jon to their work and the first two tracks from their Music With Sound album feature here. Steve Reich was also a mainstay of shows, continually popping up over the years in different mixes with his minimalist works, joined here by a spoken word piece, read by Matt’s dad. Out of this comes another ambient classic, ‘Flurescence’ (spelling as on the record) from Jonah Sharp’s debut EP as Spacetime Continuum, another track that got many outings in the early 90s.

A NSFW sketch about vinyl opens the next section with a a near ‘C bomb’ moment quickly cut with a fader. Tournesol’s ‘Holy Cow’ was a bumping trip hop-y moment on their Kokotsu album for R&S, followed by early Chemical Brothers when they were still masquerading under the Dust Brothers’ moniker with ‘If You Kling To Me I’ll Klong To You’. Brian Eno’s ‘Alternative 3’ from Music For Films creeps in with the exorcism from the I Am Lucifer album which I only finally found last year, always a favourite of Matt’s and one he used extensively on the show. The Future Sound of London’s ‘Lifeforms (Path 2)’ was new at the time too, what a time to be alive! I wish I knew what the track following was but it’s gone and Shazam doesn’t know either. Likewise with the burbling acid track after that although I do recognise some bits of David Sylvian & Holger Czukay’s ‘Plight & Premonition’ in there somewhere but it might be as a sample. Ah, here comes Global Communication according to Matt although I can’t identify the track and neither can he (I’m not entirely sure it’s them actually). Matt’s dad crops up again reading a passage about ‘the 9th world’, “How does an eye work? How does a foot work?” – another spoken word favourite. It’s all beginning to blur into one ambient mass around this stage until we get to Attica Blues’ ‘Contemplating Jazz (D’Afro’s Picky Head Dub)’ which plays us out only to be rudely interrupted by the KISS news jingle.

Track list:
Psychic Warriors of Gaia – Obsidian (Organically Decomposed)
Digital Underground – Packet Man
KRS 1 – Sound Of The Police
The Tape Beatles – Beautiful State / Green, Blue Beautiful Place
Steve Reich – Six Pianos
Spacetime Continuum – Flurescence
Monty Python – Vinyl record sketch
Tournesol – Holy Cow
Dust Brothers – If You Kling To Me I’ll Klong To You
Brian Eno – Alternative 3
The Future Sound Of London – Lifeforms (Path 2)
Unknown – Unknown
Unknown – Unknown (Global Communication?)
Attica Blues – Contemplating Jazz (D’Afro’s Picky Head Dub)

Blessed Are The Noisemakers (Diversion 2) mix

DJFood_AON_Mix v.2 web
A reconstruction of my two warm up sets opening for the Art Of Noise at the Jazz Cafe in London on Jan 4th and 5th, 2023. The first set recorded but the second one didn’t so I remade it and merged the two somewhere around the big Frankie Goes To Hollywood section.
There’s some crossover with my support mix for the band at the British Library back in 2018 but this set features many new additions, hence the ‘Diversion 2’ tagline.

Mixcloud Select 133: Openmind vs Coldcut live at 102 Central Pt.1 19/08/1994

MS133 Openmind vs Coldcut live at 102 Central Pt.1 19:08:1994

Happy New Year for 2023! I hope it was fun for you all, sorry this is late today, I’ve been deep in design and gig mode, opening for The Art of Noise two nights in a row at the Jazz Cafe. On with the show I promised in the last entry.
Matt Black rang up one day in the summer of 1994, there was a problem. KISS FM had been booked out, both studios, for the Friday pre-record so he needed somewhere else to record the show that week. I’m not sure if Jon More was around, maybe away DJing with PC? I’m also not sure the exact turn of events aside from KISS wasn’t available but could he come over and do the show at mine? Wow, this was a turn up for the books, I’d only been a guest on the show for just over a year, had a handful or more under my belt and was becoming part of the crew due to now providing artwork for the label as well as the odd gig away with Coldcut. OK, come over to East Dulwich and set up in my bedroom and record Solid Steel, why don’t you? Holy shit!

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At the time I shared a house with Chantal Passamonte (Mira Calix further down the line), David Vallade and Mario Aguera and we had hosted the original Telepathic Fish party in the three story house above a chemists on Goose Green which we’d dubbed 102 Central. Mario had by now started working with Hex as a computer programmer and David and Chantal were working in Ambient Soho, the record shop in Berwick St, Soho, while I was up the road at Books Etc. on Oxford Street. At the time I had three decks set up in my room, a couple of Technics and something else I forget, not sure what the mixer was but it was the same one on the cover of the Funkjazztical Tricknology compilation. I also had a keyboard, a drum machine, CD player and an odd flanger guitar pedal hooked up – see the blurry photo for reference. Matt came down and we took turns playing into a portable DAT player he’d bought along I think. Can’t remember what we used for a mic but it was probably a pair of headphones plugged into the mic. input hence the terrible sound quality. I think the Coldcut jingles were flown in off cassette and this recording was probably taken from the radio broadcast as it has the KISS news jingle added onto the end, probably live by the sound engineer.

Starting off with a then holy trinity of electronica pioneers Autechre, MuZiq and Caustic Windown (Aphex Twin) tells you we’re in the golden age of Artificial Intelligence era electronica. AI only took another 30 years to become part of everyday life. None of the tracks here have aged badly either, I still play the Aphex track out sometimes too. Following ‘On The Romance Tip’ (where did that title originate? It’s not on the record anywhere) there’s an elongated trance-ish acid thing that makes me think it might be European. Shazam gives me nothing and the ears don’t recognise it at all – anyone? Starts about 11 mins in and bubbles away for another four minutes until Global Communication’s ‘Sublime Creation’ races in on 45 instead of 33, sounding not far off Acen’s ‘Trip To The Moon’ in places.

Cut for an ad break and more Glob Comm with the opening track to their classic 76’14 album, ‘4’02’ with the opening of The Orb’s remix of Material’s ‘Praying Mantra’ slurped over, a common DJ tool of mine. Another was the phasing, filtered and panning intro to Mergener / Weisser’s ‘Sunbeam’ from a New Age Music comp on Klaus Schulze’s Innovative Communication label that Mixmaster Morris had hipped me to, I think I found this in Beanos or somewhere along Berwick St. on my lunch break one day in Soho. This can be heard bridging ‘4’02’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘The Man Machine’ classic, which needs no introduction. Out of the other Fab Four into Coldcut’s own ‘Eine Kleine Hed Musik’ – fresh on vinyl from the extra disc that accompanied the Ninja Tune vinyl version of the album and first heard opening the original Coldcut meets The Orb radio show on New Year’s Eve 1991/92. Which brings us full circle, 31 years later… exit Matt Black stating, ‘Openmind in the house, or rather I’m in Openmind’s house!’

Track list:
Autechre – Lost
MuZiq – Nettles & Pralines
Caustic Window – On The Romance Tip
Unknown – unknown
Global Communication – Sublime Creation (on 45)
Global Communication – 4’02
Kraftwerk – The Man Machine
Coldcut – Eine Kleine Hed Musik

Coldcut Journeys By DJ radio ad


Recently unearthed from an old tape I was encoding for my Mixcloud Select subscription channel, here’s a 30 second radio ad for the now infamous Coldcut Journeys By DJ mix, released back in 1995. I made a little visual to go with it based on my original cover art.

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

Mixcloud Select 132: Strictly Solid Session – Coldcut Xmas 1996

The above film was just one of several exhibits at a gig in Brussels I did a couple of weeks back with DJ Mr Critical at an amazing light exhibition called Magnetic Flow – see it if you can, you can control some of the sound and light displays too. My good friend Steve Cook was in town, Steve works for DC comics in LA and hasn’t been back here for years, unfortunately he arrived to plunging temperatures, train and bus strikes and a dose of snow. We hung out with fellow graphic designer Rian Hughes and nerded out for Britain. The Soul Proprietors record shop in Tulse Hill/Brixton is newly re-opened after being closed for two years, with old owner Nick handing over to new, ahem, proprietor, Michael, well worth a visit but check opening times.
The WNBC party was on Wednesday at the Book & Record Bar, hosted by Michael Johnson and Alex Paterson, much food and booze was consumed. George Stewart-Lockhart was also in town from Berlin, about to celebrate his 30th birthday, I don’t think I know anyone who’s done quite so much at such a young age but I’m sure the best is yet to come. Work continues on the Dust & Grooves articles and will into the new year, there’s so much info to go through, but anyway – on to this week’s upload. MS132 tape 12:1996

Here’s a set labelled only as ‘Xmas ’96’ so I can’t give a definitive date but all hell breaks loose for the first ten minutes with two Squarepusher tracks from the Conumber EP and one AFX from the first Auto Hangable Bulb 12”. Both were from 1995 so I’m wondering if this was actually over the Xmas period ’95/96. The discovery of Tom Jenkinson’s initial Spymania 12”s was a revelation and I immediately got him to do the remix of ‘Scratch Yer Hed’ for the Refried Food compilation then had him as a guest on Solid Steel and at Stealth whilst Ninja Tune tried to sign him before Warp beat us to it. I’ve no idea what the tune after is, around the 15 minute mark, possibly a DJ Crystl or something from the Smokin’ Drum label? The same goes for the tune after, maybe something from Force Inc. or the Pharma label when people like 4E and Air Liquide were doing those downtempo acid tracks?

Elvis Presley is roughly manhandled over another unknown beat next with a vaguely Christmassy ‘Steadyfast, Loyal and True’, not sure what I was thinking there. And then we squelch into Clear Records’ jazz artist, Gregory Fleckner Quintet with a brief snatch of ‘Sumes’ before Chris Morris’ fantasy chart rundown known as ‘Michael Alexander St. John’s Dance Chart’. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t part of the show but added onto the end of the tape, according to Discogs it was part of an On The Hour sketch on a Caroline Quentin comedy compilation.

The JDJ ad on the tape refers to a 30 second advert for Coldcut’s Journeys By DJ compilation I taped off the radio, which means it must be a 1995 tape. I’ll put that on social media over Xmas, have a good one and I’ll be back in 2023 with the first of a two part show recorded in my old flat with Matt Black back in 1994.

Track list:
Squarepusher – Conumber
AFX – Laughable Butane Bob
Squarepusher – Eviserate
Unknown – unknown
Unknown – unknown
Elvis Presley – Steadfast, Loyal and True
Unknown – unknown
DJ Ghetto – Ghetto On The Cut
Gregor Fleckner Quintet – Sumes
Blue Jam – Michael Alexander St. John’s Dance Chart

Turn On, Tune In, Drift Off book

TOTIDO cover
A few years ago I spoke to Victor Szabo, the Assistant Professor of Music at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, for his book about ambient music, Turn On, Tune In, Drift Off. We covered the Telepathic Fish and Megatripolis parties in London in the early to mid 90s and the re-emergence of ambient music in a new form for a new generation. The finished book just arrived and you can find a copy here, published by Oxford University Press.

TOTIDO inside
I’ve also just found out that the photo above was taken by my old art college friend and former flat mate, Andy Eccleston, he saw the photo on Facebook and recognised that he’d taken it that day, mystery solved. We both went to Camberwell College in the early nineties and shared a flat for a couple of years after I moved out of the East Dulwich house in the photo. He assisted photographer Simon Larbelestier for a number of years and currently has a penchant for modular synths.

TOTIDO back

Mixcloud Select 131 – Strictly Session Live From Bush House (Camberwell) 10/07/2000

MS131 PRS

A quick half hour from mid 2000 when we first started doing BBC London Live with Solid Steel, hence the title (despite pre-recording it in my studio in SE5). Kicking off with Taskforce from the amazing Voice of the Great Outdoors EP – still one of the defining releases of UK hip hop. Lots of space-themed samples overlaid including bits of Ren & Stimpy’s ‘Space Madness’ episode and then into Icarus’ UL-6 from their single on Output, each cover of which was ripped and torn or defaced in some way. I’d gone a bit overboard with the spoken word as it was an early show on the Beeb and I wanted to make a good impression. Funkstorung’s ‘Grammy Winners’ still sounds fresh 22 years later, featuring an MC called Triple H who appears to have done very little else.

Bowery Electric were a really interesting band who had excellent remixes and their ‘Freedom Fighter’ one is my favourite, made by the band themselves and featuring snatches of Kraftwerk, the combination of vocals, strings and beats just works for me. Cherrystones’ ‘Pressure Cooker’ appeared on the short-lived AP.E. Records, what a fertile time this was, all sorts kicking off. Off to LA for a few tracks with P.U.T.S., Jurassic 5’s incredible ‘Swing Set’ and a swing-based oldie from Fishbone. Nice little nod to the BBC’s Bush house in a sample over Jurassic too, I think the ‘horn master’ answer phone message before Fishbone is actually DJ Vadim playing silly buggers. Morgan put out an album and a number of singles on Source around 2000 but never quite hit. Divine Styler’s ‘Concept Design Deflon’ was from Mo Wax’s again short-lived Vecta label – so futuristic. My friend Tamsin leaves a message that she was going to see the new Star Wars at the very end – this was unfortunately to be The Phantom Menace and we know how that ended.

Tracklist:
Taskforce – Cosmic Gypsies
Icarus – UL-6
Funkstorung – Grammy Winners
Bowery Electric – Freedom Fighter (remix)
Cherrystones – Pressure Cooker (Blues In M.A.)
People Under The Stairs – Live at the Fishbucket
Jurassic 5 – Swing Set
Fishbone – In The Name of Swing
Morgan – Let Me Hear Your music
Divine Styler – Concept Design Deflon

Mini CDs #29: The Real Tuesday Weld – Mid Winter Melodies

TRTW MWM deck

This always comes round so quickly, for the last four years I’ve designed the 3″ Xmas card for Stephen Coates‘ project The Real Tuesday Weld. The previous years have seen a complicated fold out origami cover which sometimes sent us insane but this year we’ve let you do the folding with this build-it-yourself Antique Beat Stereogram and vinyl effect 3″ CD. The five tracks on it are new or exclusive and point the way towards the final release in the Swan Songs trilogy, Bone, which will hopefully appear next year to accompany Blood and Dreams as the curtain falls on Stephen’s two decade long alias. You can find Mid Winter Melodies here

TRTW MWM cardTRTW MWM card back
TRTW MWM CD
TRTW MWM makingTRTW MWM deck back
TRTW MWM deck made
TRTW MWM platter side
TRTW MWM platter

Mixcloud Select 130: Solid Salena vs Strictly 01/06/1997

Kev Crimson
Drunken shenanigans reigned last Friday night at The Book & Record Bar’s Stick It On night where we were all having so much fun no one noticed that it was approaching 2am and Michael, the shop’s owner, only has a license until 1. The monthly night takes place on the first Friday of the month after the shop closes and the idea is to bring your own records, put your name on the board and then play three tunes when your turn comes up. I ran out of records and started pulling stuff from the racks that I wanted to hear. Michael unearthed a huge box set of disco, soul and funk classics and proceeded to make us act like the drunken idiots we were.

Stereolab

Saturday was a site recce in the morning and then Stereolab at EartH in Dalston which was nice but we missed most of the supporting acts due to bad timing and trains not running. After a shaky start they rocked it.

WOL FX cassette
Monday was a visit to Neil Rice out of town for tea, a demonstration of how polarising slides work, a trip up to his packed loft of light show equipment and a lot of chat. He had the Optikinetics FX Cassette featured on the cover of my book too. I came home full of inspiration… the rest of the week has been writing and battling a cold I must have picked up at some point during all that lot. Last night was going to be Warrington Runcorn Town Development Plan (or WRTDP to those too lazy to write it) and Pye Corner Audio at Corsica Studios but I felt too rough to attend. But, as the Mighty Boosh always say, “on with the show”…

MS130 Solid Salena vs Strictly tape 01:06:1997

The earliest track lists we have in a digital format thankfully reside with Marcus Maack of BTTB – Back To The Basics who maintained the PRS information when he was one of the first to license Solid Steel for German radio station FSK in the late 90s. As a result we have some track lists and sometimes DJ info from early 1997 through to the end of the decade by which time DK had arrived as show producer and things were better organised than us scribbling on huge sheets of paper at KISS FM in between mixes. There are still the usual mistakes and typos, gaps and unknowns but now we have Discogs, Shazam and the Internet to help fill in the blanks.

Using one of Marcus’ play lists I compiled the track order below for this mid 1997 show where I provided two sets in the second hour. Salena Godden aka Salena Saliva was the guest in the studio with Jon More and I and she periodically performed her poetry over passages in the mix. Kicking off with one of my favourite Kirk Degorgio tracks from his Celestial Soul album – an influence on my own track ‘…you’ from ‘Kaleidoscope’. Into this we have Faze Action’s ‘Plans & Designs’ (String Reprise) which still sounds majestic all these years later, I’m sure Simon Lee from the group used to work in a Soho record shop and I’d regularly buy records off him in the 90s. Next, Hardfloor prove that there’s more to them than just acid bangers with some excellent trip hop under their Dadamnphreaknoizphunk? moniker from Volume 2. I don’t know what I’m doing in the mix, it all seems a bit tentative with little drop-ins rather than things really getting going, maybe we were discussing when Salena was going to make an appearance and sorting the tracks out.

I don’t recall ever having this Denise Johnson single but the remix is excellent although I’ve not idea which one it is out of about eight possible contenders, must look for that in the collection. Next up is Salena’s first turn, a tale of walking amongst the wild flowers before things take an unexpected turn, over the Witchman remix of Bowery Electric’s ‘Without Stopping’. Later in the track she drops in with an ode to arse watching, I think I was always a bit weary of Salena as she was so sexually upfront with her material which was not common in 1997, or not in the circles I ran in anyway, but she was always lovely on tour with Coldcut. The Witchman mix rattles on with that submerged Amen sound he did so well before merging into Sukia’s ‘Dream Machine’ which seems completely at odds with the darkcore d’n’b underneath it. I loved Sukia, it was silly, cheesy sampledelia, produced by the Dust Brothers and later licensed to Mo Wax. I always put it in the same box as bands like Tipsy from that era. This track samples a hypnotist called Reveen who made many records on how to quit smoking, gain confidence, stop over-eating etc. I found some in Canada on tour and we deduced that the records were identical aside from the intro’s and outro’s relating to each subject matter.

MS130 Solid Salena vs Strictly 01:06:1997 PRS

Part 2 opens with the remix Kid Koala, Ollie Teeba and I did of Coldcut’s ‘More Beats & Pieces’ – collaged together from freeform jams we did at sound checks on tour around North America using specially cut dub plates of the B&P’s parts given to all remixers. It’s a bit of a mess but it was my first remix so go easy. I’m not sure where the spoken word skit comes from directly afterwards, probably one of Coldcut’s Word Treasure jingle compilations, but Kirk’s back was another As One track from Celestial Soul doing exactly what he does best with that soaring, melodic techno of his. I appear to be scratching some stuff over it which adds little to the mix. Out of the extended breakdown comes Hell Interface – a pseudonym of Boards of Canada – with their version of Colonel Abrahams’ ‘Trapped’ over a scratchy roller of a beat from one of the MASK compilation 12”s. Sliding awkwardly out of this is Faze Action’s ‘Plans & Designs’ proper with all its kettle drums and strings intact over the beat, very much in that Rob Dougan ‘Clubbed To Death’ tradition. Someone is playing all sorts of jingles over it with delays which makes me think that this set might have been recorded up at Ahead Of Our Time in Clink St. with Ali Tod on the mix. I think I’m playing some Kid Koala over the end of the track and it’s all a bit of a mess to be honest. Bizarrely we then dip into two random Ken Nordine tracks from the How Are Things In Your Town compilation on Blue Thumb. A very odd selection and collection of sounds.

Track list:
As One – Renaissance
Faze Action – Plans & Designs (String Reprise)
Hardfloor presents Dadamnphreaknoizphunk?- Chillin’ 6 Feet Deep
Denise Johnson – Inner Peace
Salena Saliva – unknown 1
Bowery Electric – Without Stopping (Witchman Mix)
Salena Saliva – unknown 2
Sukia – Dream Machine

Coldcut – Beans ‘n’ Pizzas (Strictly Kid Teeba version)
As One – We No Longer Understand
Hell Interface – Trapped
Faze Action – Plans & Designs
Kid Koala – Goodnight, Drive Safely
Ken Nordine – Outer Space
Ken Nordine – Manned Space Capsule

Bandcamp Friday Openmind artwork selection

Yeti Janko cover
It seems it doesn’t rain, it pours, suddenly several releases I’ve done the sleeve design for are all on sale or pre-order this week. Above and below is Janko Nilovic and Yeti on the Pads 7″ I did during one of the Covid lockdowns using a collage from around 10 years ago as the front cover, this has taken years to come to fruition.
Buy hereYeti Janko back
IMG_0524
Next is a very new design that I’ve only just signed off for print, The Real Tuesday Weld‘s annual 3″ CD Xmas card is a buildable stereogram with mini vinyl effect 5 track CD. Order here There’ll be more from them next week…
MWM card
IMG_0525
DE038LTD-Cover-mockup Coloured Vinyl
At last Kirk Degorgio‘s ‘The Unveiling’ 12″ is revealed, this comes in black and black vinyl variants from those lovely De:tuned people. Take your pick here

DE038-Cover-mockup Black
TCO Every Day 20th front inside And, as previously mentioned, The Cinematic Orchestra‘s 20th anniversary edition of their ‘Every Day’ album went on sale yesterday, remade and revised from an original graphic concept I had when first designing the artwork in 2002. Pre-Order now

TCO Every Day 20th front
TCO Every Day 20th back

Mixcloud Select 129: Saxondale 21/08/2006


Exciting times this weekend when I visited the Spark House in Leyton for an AV gig with the Light Surgeons, Blanca Regina & Pierre Bouvier Patron, Generic Human, Julian Hand and Heena Song. The night was put on by Matekoi and featured an experimental set of modular soundtracks, film showings and DJ sets along with a few punters walking in unawares of what was going on. Wheels of Light got featured in the Observer on Sunday and online via the Guardian and we visited the Horror Show exhibition at Somerset House which was a mixed but fascinating bag. I’ve been doing even more promo and writing this week to promote the book as well as writing for Dust & Grooves 2 and swelling the ranks of my underground magazine collection. But enough of that, on to the mix!

Underground press
MS129 CDrSaxondale was a short-lived TV comedy starring Steve Coogan as an embittered ex-roadie with anger management issues who now runs a pest control business. DK was and is a huge Coogan fan so I put the quote about music from it into the end of the mix and we sometimes dropped the theme tune from the show – ‘House of the King’ by Focus – at gigs around the time it was airing. Scanning down the track list before listening to this it looks a bit like one of my live DJ sets around the time, book-ended with a few esoteric inclusions.

Kicking off with yet another entry for the Solid Steel intro competition (these kept us going for years) by S24 and then into a DJ Krush/DJ Shadow/Cut Chemist three-way, in fact Shadow pops up in different configurations all over this mix. Dualling with DJ Krush in a snatch from his Meiso LP on MoWax and then into ‘This Time’ from his own The Outsider album using a found reel to reel tape of an unknown vocal take to build an extraordinary pop song. Cut Chemist’s incredible ‘(My 1st) Big Break’ from his ‘The Audience Is Listening’ LP is one of my favourite things he’s done, from the wrong-footing polyrhythmic breakdown to the amazing 360 video (check it out). Sirconical was always an artist I hoped would release more material but he seemed to crop up more on mastering duties than writing on numerous Twisted Nerve or Finders Keepers releases. ‘Ziggonometry’ is from his only album and the heavy beats sync nicely with the following three tracks that all feature that Bangra-type rhythm so popular around that era. No idea who Blunt Laser was, the Thomilla track came on a neon green 10” promo and the Caveman on the Kelis remix wasn’t the UK hip hop crew from the early 90s but a Ross Orton and Steve Mackey collaboration.

Shadow’s back but this time remixed by Soulwax via a huge chunk of the B-52s, Danny Breaks’ ‘Duck Rock’ takes it back to the old school with the wobbly bass reminiscent of Scruff’s ‘Ug’and his own ‘The Jellyfish’. A snatch of the Mighty Boosh from the radio series bridges into the Nextmen who pump up the party with Dynamite MC. Next is a couplet I used to spin all the time; Cut Chemist’s remix of Shadow’s ‘Number Song’ into ‘Dark Lady’ – always works nicely, especially when pulling the bass line out and teasing it back in again with a replayed melody. But this is an early version where I hadn’t worked out the replay sequence yet or added in the ‘Bug Powder Dust’ dessert for afters. Urgh, Kanye, the less said the better, this was such a huge tune and the Hollertronix version was genuinely exciting at the time but it got overplayed very quickly. Ah, but saved by Zero db’s incredible ‘Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines’ – DK and I played the shit out of this for years in all kinds of combinations, still sounds incredible. I even went so far as to edit together a video made from a Len Lye animation that visually synced to each part for our first 4-deck AV sets.

MS129 PRS

Z-Trip’s block-rocking ‘Bus Stop’ beats work so well over it, taking it half time and then back again. Yes that’s Christine Aguilera, top tune with the original that it sampled afterwards, ‘Hippy Skippy Moon Strut’ by the Moon People, awkwardly stumbling out of it. We take a turn to Los Angeles for a couple of tunes from Paul Humphrey and his Cool Aid Chemists and The Dragons which preceded our use of the latter in the Solid Steel ‘Now, Listen Again’ mix the year after. I’m glad we didn’t include the embarrassing ‘D-J’ before the chorus in that (or did we? I forget) – RIP Daryl and Dennis Dragon. There’s the Saxondale music rant before Focus and the bit where he mentions ‘the Rascal’ refers to his pet name for his car, ‘oh! New shoes!?’. Recognise that bass line! ‘Yeeeaaah! That’s right!’, Galt McDermot’s ‘Aquarius’ from Hair slides in before Orriel Smith takes us out with ‘Winds of Space’. This would have been taken from the excellent ‘Fuzzy Felt Folk’ compilation by Jonny Trunk and Martin Green on Trunk Records, a highly recommended album of songs for children that bears repeated listens.

Track list:
S24 – Solid Steel intro
DJ Krush vs DJ Shadow – Duality
DJ Shadow – This Time (I’m Gonna Do It My Way)
Cut Chemist – (My 1st) Big Break
Sirconical – Ziggonometry
Zero 7 – You’re My Flame (Blunt Laser mix)
Thomilla – Freaky Girl (Geeky Boy mix)
Kelis – Bossy (Caveman mix)
DJ Shadow – 6 Days (Soulwax mix)
Danny Breaks – Duck Rock (instr)
The Nextmen feat. Dynamite MC – Spin It Round
DJ Shadow – The Number Song (Cut Chemist remix)
DJ Food – Dark Lady
Kanye West – Gold Digger
Hollertronix – Gold Digger (Diplo remix)
Zero db – Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines
Z-Trip – Bus Stop
Christina Aguilera – Ain’t No Other Man
The Moon People – Hippy Skippy Moon Strut
Paul Humphrey and his Cool Aid Chemists – Funky LA
The Dragons – Food For My Soul
Saxondale – Rant
Focus – House of The King
Galt McDermot – Aquarius
Orriel Smith – Winds of Space

The Delaware Road omnibus edition


The Delaware Road deluxe edition unwrapping, the omnibus edition is out today via Buried Treasure and neatly brings together years worth of work and research by Alan Gubby, aided by poet Dolly Dolly, designer Nick Taylor and illustrator Jarrod Gosling. Originally conceived as a documentary film by Alan 15 years ago then rewritten as a fictional account of the Radiophonic Workshop’s perhaps two most famous practitioners, Delia Derbyshire and John Baker, the Delaware project then expanded into a compilation album and live performance.

DR packageDR cover
I went to the first incarnation in Reading back in 2015, you can read about that here. For the second, more ambitious outing at the disused Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch in Essex, I was on the bill – more about that here. The third incarnation then morphed into a mini festival in a Salisbury Plain army base which nearly didn’t happen but was an incredible collection of performers and people the likes of which haven’t been seen since, see photos from that here.

DR seal
DR postcards
A six part comic series that followed – illustrating the whole story as originally envisaged – and now the whole project has been collected into a smart omnibus edition with notes, photos, preliminary designs and more, all wrapped in a beautiful cover that brings to mind the Festival of Britain. Out today, I think the limited deluxe edition with 4″ lathe cut disc has now sold out but this book tells the whole story, both fictional and then from the inside, of this most amazing series of events.
Order it here, right now, plus it’s Bandcamp Friday so more of it goes to the artist and label.

DR contents
DR insides

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


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

0030618422_10
I was happy to do this as I’d never been entirely happy with how the original artwork finally turned out so this was a chance to have a second go and I am really happy with how it’s turned out. Pre-order yours here also here for Bandcamp Friday

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