EPOD solo show opening at BSMT Space this Thursday


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

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

DOPE FLYER 2D copy

Mixcloud Select 86: DJ Food at Stealth – The Blue Note, Dec 7th 1995 – Part 2

Stealth tape 2 Dec 7th 1 Here’s part 2, DJ Food – PC and myself – on 4 decks at The Blue Note, Dec 7th, 1995 – a more drum n bass led set coming out of some Ninja business from Up, Bustle & Out and The Herbaliser. It’s possible, listening back, that these first two tracks aren’t PC and I but the end of either The Herbaliser or Coldcut’s DJ set and we start with the breakdown sample of Dirty Harry from the end of The Real Killer Pt.2. There are also sudden stops or breaks in the recordings where tapes must have run out and by the time they’re changed the music has moved on so I’ve crossfaded a couple of bits so there are no sudden stops or jump edits. The levels on a lot of it were up and down so I’ve done my best to make volumes a bit more consistent across the mix.

This is available as part of my Mixcloud Select subscription – £3 a month gets you an archive mix a week every Friday morning with tracklist and notes – you can sign up here and leave any time

At a couple of points there’s what seems to be a theremin being played over the top of the set, I’d completely forgotten about this but it lit a dim recollection of someone doing something like this, not Patrick or I though I hasten to add. The mix is rough and ready, straight from the central mixer we were both plugged into with no crowd noise sadly so it’s a little dry. Every rough mix, distorted level and jumping record can be heard but you get the sense that this is very live, improvised on the spot with vinyl and the occasional spoken word overlaid from CD. For some context, this is very early days of this kind of music being played in a main room of a club, not the back room/chill out, on a four deck set up with DJs facing each other on a club stage in London. There are a lot of unknown tunes in these sets, some PC’s and some mine, lesser known break beats and DnB tunes that Spotify can’t recognise and the old braincells won’t remember, I’m hoping people can spot some and fill in the blanks.
Stealth tape 2 Dec 7th 2
There was an odd jump at the end of this tape, from DnB to a sudden 130 tempo, the DAT must have either stopped or ended and there was a sudden change at Bushflange. We probably did the 45-33rpm trick and turned the deck off for a second so the tempo ran down and landed at a more techno pace then mixed into that at the slower speed. Bushflange have come up numerous times during these mix excavations and their tracks were always solid, strange that they weren’t remembered in the scheme of things. Owners of the Sunday At Bundy’s mix tape will probably recognise a couple of sections from this set as they were featured on that tape back in 1996.
Below is the original print file layout for the flyer, this was printed on gold card so the purple came out more a burnt umber brown as you can see by the tape inlay above that I made from a flyer.
blue note flyer 7th - AI55 web

Stealth T shirt crop
Remember, if you want a 1 of 100 commemorative Stealth T shirt then I think there are some left, follow this link, choose you colour, size and T shirt number from the ones left and place an order, once the 100 are sold there won’t be any more.
https://weare1of100.co.uk/limited-edition/dj-food-openmind/
Stealth ecru 242 sqStealth black white2 sq

Track list:
Up, Bustle & Out – Revolutionary Woman Of The Windmill
The Herbaliser – The Real Killer Pt.2 (Rooftop Prowler)
Larceny – Who Are You? (Aquasky mix)
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown (acappella on 33rpm)
Alex Reece & Wax Doctor – Detroit
DJ Vadim – Call Me
Photek – The Rain
The Pharcyde – Passin’ Me By (acappella)
Unknown
The Shamen – Transamazonia (LTJ Bukem mix)
Unknown
Incognito – Still A Friend Of Mine
Squarepusher – Male Pill 5
Dream Warriors – My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style (acappella)
Fatboy Slim – Weekend Bonus Beats
Rae – Free Rolling
KRS One – Uh Oh
Cypress Hill – Scooby Doo
Unknown
Unknown
Bushflange – Cloud Cover
Plastikman – Helikopter
DJ Shadow – In/Flux
Colourbox – Baby I Love You So

Mixcloud Select 85: DJ Food at Stealth – The Blue Note, Dec 7th 1995 – Part 1

Stealth tape 1 Dec 7th 1 As some may have seen, I recently did a collaboration with 1 of 100 shirts on a Stealth t-shirt as the date of the first Ninja Tune night called Stealth was on December 7th, coincidentally the same day as 1 of 100 formed four years ago. The anniversary for the Ninja night was 26 years ago and I managed to find tapes from that same night to encode for you all to hear. Unfortunately it all came at a time when I’ve been busier than any other part of the year so things got held up.

DJFood_bluenote_Web

The set presented here is DJ FoodPC and myself – on 4 decks at The Blue Note, Dec 7th, 1995 and the photo above was taken that same night by Martin LeSanto-Smith. The set is about two and a half hours in total, recorded from a DAT across two TDK tapes. I’ve no idea where the original DAT is, I don’t think I have it and PC doesn’t, maybe Coldcut do but where it would be is a mystery at the moment. It’s possible that we played twice on the night but I can’t be certain, there’s a point where Coldcut mix into us when Jive Samba is played at the end of part 1, this was a Jon More special at this point in time so I know it’s him, but there’s more music from us later. There are also sudden stops or breaks in the recordings where tapes must have run out and by the time they’re changed the music has moved on so I’ve crossfaded a couple of bits so there are no sudden stops or jump edits. The levels on a lot of it were up and down so I’ve done my best to make volumes a bit more consistent across the mix.

Stealth tape 1 Dec 7th 2

At a couple of points there’s what seems to be a theremin being played over the top of the set, I’d completely forgotten about this but it lit a dim recollection of someone doing something like this, not Patrick or I though I hasten to add. The mix is rough and ready, straight from the central mixer we were both plugged into with no crowd noise sadly so it’s a little dry. Every rough mix, distorted level and jumping record can be heard but you get the sense that this is very live, improvised on the spot with vinyl and the occasional spoken word overlaid from CD. For some context, this is very early days of this kind of music being played in a main room of a club, not the back room/chill out, on a four deck set up with DJs facing each other on a club stage in London.

PC and I were keen to have lots of tools to play with so there were also a delay and flanger pedal incorporated into the set up at different points as well as a sampler on the mixer used to capture little snatches of beats and trigger them over the mix too. Occasionally I would use a little tool I made from a film canister with a pencil stuck in the top, placing it over the centre spindle and balancing a record or top, using the pencil as a spindle. The tonearm would then be heavily weighted on the back end and the cartridge unscrewed and inserted upside down, placed under the elevated record which would then cause the sound to come out reversed as if the turntable was playing backwards. You can hear it around the 31 minute mark in part 1 and see me doing it in this photo, taken at the Sonar festival the next year. PC would use his delay pedal to loop up sections occasionally and then drop back into the records. Sometimes one of us would pick a snare sound and the person who was playing would find a kick on the one and we’d scratch improvised beat patterns for a few bars before dropping back into a track, hoping the records wouldn’t jump which they sometimes did if we got carried away.

DJ Food Sonar 1996.2 crop

Anyway, here’s part 1, a more downtempo, trip hop, hip hop set, with part 2, more drum n bass led, to follow. Subscribers to my Mixcloud Select can access it for £3 a month, for that you get an archive mix each Friday and notes, tracklists and photos.
If you want a commemorative Stealth T shirt then I think there are some left, follow this link, choose you colour, size and T shirt number from the ones left and place an order, once the 100 are sold there won’t be any more.
https://weare1of100.co.uk/limited-edition/dj-food-openmind/Stealth black white2 sqStealth ecru 242 sq

Track list:
Unknown
DJ Food – The Food Song
Unknown
Whistle – We’re Called Whistle
Unknown
LL Cool J – Rock The Bells
The Herbaliser – Up 4 The Get Downs
Unknown
III Most Wanted – Calm Down (a cappella)
DJ Food – Spiral Dub
Kid N Play – Gittin’ Funky
Coldcut – More Beats
Big Apple Productions vol.3 – Genius At Work
Depth Charge – Queen of the Scorpion
Trouble Funk – Live Percussion Solos
Unknown
Eric B & Rakim – Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em (acapella)
Autechre – Rotar
Unknown
Unknown
Caveman – Victory
Def Jef – Droppin’ Rhymes on Drums
Hardhouse – 11:55 (Bee Boys Club)
4E – Temple Traxx
Dirty Beatniks – Getting Stupid (Live At The Blue Note)
Oh-Zone Layer – Dark Side Of The Shroom
The Last Minister – Tribute To J.B. Family
DJ Chuck Chillout & Kool Chip – Rhythm Is The Master
Unknown
Kraftwerk – The Model
Jack Constanzo & Gerry Woo – Jive Samba

1 of 100 x DJ Food Stealth T-shirt out now

1 of 100 Top banner26 years ago today, the first Ninja Tune Stealth night happened at the Blue Note in London.
Here’s the flyer, reconstructed from the original 1995 file. blue note flyer 7th - AI55 web

It’s also 1 of 100s 4th birthday so I teamed up with them to make a T-shirt.
100 only, no reprints, choose your number, size and colour.
Stealth black white2 sq
Ready to buy now…  weare1of100.co.uk/limited-edition/dj-food-openmind/

Stealth ecru 242 sq

1 of 100 x DJ Food T-shirt collab

Stealth black white2 sq
There are two anniversaries happening next week, one related to Ninja Tune and one to 1 of 100.
I’ve collaborated with the latter for these exclusive shirts, you know the drill with these, 100 pieces only, no reprints, colours will be split between Black and Ecru, depending on orders.
Sign up for drop details at weare1of100.co.uk/t-shirts/
Stealth ecru 242 sq

Coldcut & Mixmaster Morris – @0 compilation

@0 coverA new ambient compilation is released on Ninja Tune side label, Ahead Of Our Time in November, curated and mixed by Coldcut and Mixmaster Morris in association with Calm, the mental health app designed to help you manage stress, sleep better and live a happier, healthier life. Check the track list below for a seriously impressive line up.
You can listen to a mix of 10 tracks if you use the Calm app here. The comp will be available on 2xLP and 2xCD with nearly 30 tracks on the CD edition. Listen to two previews and order here

@0back

Mini CDs #26: Various Artists – RolitoMix

Rolito CD 2
An email from the mysterious ‘Rolito’ arrived one day in 2003 with an offer of being one of 6 designers to customise a new line of toys he was making. Each toy had a tiny body and a large, dome-shaped head inside of which was another, smaller, stash box. I was intrigued as I’ve been a fan of the vinyl toy ‘thing’ since Michael Lau came out with his Crazy Children around 2000 and the thought of having my own one was something that appealed greatly. The other thing that appealed was that Rolito had a crazy website based around a load of characters he had created that inhabited Rolitoland. There was little or no explanation about these creatures but the attention to detail and graphic ideas were more than enough to hook me in.

The brief was open and I decided to adapt my Ninja logo around the toy using various different existing graphics and logos to make a ‘RolitoTune Ninjaboy’. The process for getting the graphics onto the toy were slightly limited so I wasn’t able to do some of the things I wanted to. I suggested we include a 3″ CD in the package with a selection of Ninja music to add to the promotional aspect of the toy so that people who didn’t know where it came from would be introduced to the label via the disc. One of the beauties of the Rolito packaging is that it dismantles without having to tear, cut or unstick anything, this meant that the empty vacuum packing would ultimately become the ‘sleeve’ that would house the CD.

There were only 450 made, Ninja got around 150 I think and sold the lot within a weekend over the net, some of which have since appeared on eBay for up to £99. I also contributed a short soundtrack to an animation on his website that showed the shipment getting stuck at the French customs – a scenario that actually happened.

Ninja disc
Ninja Toy + packaging x3 Ninja Toy (packaging 1)

Kaleidoscope reissue and new Companion LP out now

Kal:Kal Comp outer + discs Kal inner + discs The 4xLP reissue – the original Kaleidoscope LP repressed on blue/white vinyl and the all new Kaleidoscope Companion featuring unreleased/alternate tracks ’97-2000 on orange/red vinyl in gatefold sleeve w. download – is out now! The average price seems to be around the £25-30 mark which is a bargain for 4 bits of coloured vinyl in a gatefold sleeve if I say so myself.Kal front + 4 discsKal label A

Buy here : (support record shops if you can)
Norman Records. http://bitly.ws/dZwy
Bleep http://bitly.ws/dZwC
Resident http://bitly.ws/dZwJ
Sister Ray http://bitly.ws/dZH8
Phonica http://bitly.ws/dZHq
Ninja Tune http://bitly.ws/dZwN
Bandcamp http://bitly.ws/dZwR
Full Digital / streaming links: https://djfood.lnk.to/kaleidoscope
Kal discKal Comp label + titles

The new Companion LP tracklist: The Crow features in two forms – Crow (Slow) and The Rook + Type 3The Quadraplex EP has been remixed and edited into a new 13 minute epic that includes unreleased material, the keen-eared with recognised Stealth as the backing for the Xen Cuts remix of The Ageing Young Rebel although this is a different mix, and Boohoo is an early version of The Sky At Night. All tracks on the companion were recorded around the time of Kaleidoscope.

Kal Comp front + 4 discs Kal Comp front + disc 2Kal Comp disc

Amon Tobin – Out From Out Where repress

Amon OFOW
Just announced, Amon Tobin‘s 2002 classic, Out From Out Where, is being repressed in a new edition this September. Pressed on opaque gold vinyl with fully printed inner sleeve, a 60x30cm poster and phosphorescent varnished sleeve. I remade the artwork from the original near 20 year old files and I’m so pleased with this as it’s one of my personal favourite designs, not just for Amon but for any artist I’ve worked with.
Pre-order here:

Kaleidoscope reissue + Companion album

KAL Comp titleHeads up – New/old release/reissue package now up for pre-order – 4xLP – the original Kaleidoscope LP repressed on blue/white vinyl and the all new Kaleidoscope Companion featuring unreleased/alternate tracks ’97-2000 on orange/red vinyl in gatefold sleeve w. download, out mid July (and yes the label has them in hand, no 6 month wait)

Pre-order here : (support record shops if you can)
Norman Records. http://bitly.ws/dZwy
Bleep http://bitly.ws/dZwC
Resident http://bitly.ws/dZwJ
Sister Ray http://bitly.ws/dZH8
Phonica http://bitly.ws/dZHq
Ninja Tune http://bitly.ws/dZwN
Bandcamp http://bitly.ws/dZwR
Full Digital / streaming links: https://djfood.lnk.to/kaleidoscope

New Companion tracklist: The Crow features in two forms – Crow (Slow) and The Rook + Type 3The Quadraplex EP has been remixed and edited into a new 13 minute epic that includes unreleased material, the keen-eared with recognised Stealth as the backing for the Xen Cuts remix of The Ageing Young Rebel although this is a different mix, and Boohoo is an early version of The Sky At Night. All tracks on the companion were recorded around Kaleidoscope
1. The Ents Go To War
2. Prototype I & II
3. The Crow (Slow)
4. A Strange Walk
5. Hip Operation
6. Skylark
7. Zoom Zoom
8. Quadraplex (A Trip to the Galactic Centre)
9. See Saw
10. Stealth
11. The Rook + Type 3
12. Boohoo

Kal:Kal Comp outer + discs2Kal.Kal Comp inner highKal front + 4 discs2Kal Comp front + 4 discs2Kal front + discs 22 Kal label A KAl back + discsKal discKal inner + discs2Kal Comp label + titlesKal Comp front + disc 22 Kal Comp back + discsKal Comp disc

Openmindesign Instagram

IMG_1015
Thanks to Coldcut sharing my Openmindesign account on Instagram yesterday we just went over the 1000 followers mark, thanks guys. I’ve been saving this entry for just such a milestone.IMG_1009

I remember well, setting up the huge flight case that would become the toy box on the cover of this album in Matt Black’s Spacelab studio at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St one sunny spring morning. Matt and Jon More had pulled out various items that they felt were part of the Coldcut story for inclusion and Hex’s Rob Pepperell had created a game box with graphics of the duo and added a copy of his book, ‘The Post-Human Condition’ too. I’d made a set of assembly instructions with the album title on it the night before as we’d decided on no obvious typography on the front cover.

IMG_1010Suzi Green was in charge of photography and we arranged the box a number of different ways as well as shooting the underside for the back of the sleeve. You can see all sorts of items in and around the box; badges, CDs of samples, previous records, a portable turntable, a flyer for Stealth, tapes of studio sessions, a toy Ninja and the Journeys By DJ mix tape. Hex – including a pre-Hexstatic Robin Brunson – computer generated the ‘toys’ of Matt and Jon and perfectly photoshopped them into the cover image afterwards.

IMG_1011IMG_1012
I used old children’s play blocks for the lettering on the labels and a 3D box typeface for the Let Us Play titles, also finding an image for each track. There really wasn’t an inch of space that wasn’t used on this, a crazy amount of information. I’d do it differently these days of course but I think it was what was needed given the smorgasbord of contents inside.

IMG_1013

There was so much info to go into this album, it was never going to be a minimal design. Suzi had taken various shots around the Ahead Of Our Time studio which featured around the edges of the inside sleeves and gatefold, then there was a freaky ‘chakra’ inner sleeve, lyrics, loads of collaborator credits and info. Then there was the CD with bonus enhanced disc of games and digital toys, the cassette, the video and multiple press ads, posters and more, it went on and on, one of the biggest album campaigns of the label’s history up until that point and quite rightly.

Then there was the remix album ‘Let Us Replay’ in early 1999… read and see more at www.instagram.com/openmindesign and give us a follow as there are daily postsIMG_1014

Ninja Tune x AIAIAI Headphones

ReleaseProduct-228764-134141

I saw these announced today and just had to share – Ninja Tune have teamed up with AIAIAI to produce a version of their modular TMA-2 headphones. Not only are these great headphones, I’ve used them myself at home for listening, but the difference with these is that some of the parts are made from recycled Ninja vinyl records! They’re not cheap but they are great quality, completely modular so you can change parts or replace one if it wears or breaks. More info and pre-order here BLEEP

ReleaseProduct-228764-134136ReleaseFormat-715867-134523ReleaseFormat-715867-134515 ReleaseProduct-228764-134142

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Under The Covers 001: Sleevenote interview

Openmind selectionI did a very enjoyable interview with Tom Vek from Sleevenote about design for music past and present with an emphasis on my work for Ninja Tune and how things have changed in the digital age. It’s the first in what will be a series of interviews with designers and features an example of how the Sleevenote site is digitising LP artwork for the streaming generation to preserve the art of the sleeve in the age of the thumbnail.

Read the interview here and have a look at Sleevenote too, you can browse cover art and play tracks by clicking the interactive sleeves which are linked to Spotify and Apple Music, work on desktop or mobile.

Sleevenote page

Oddities: Mystery Xen illustrations

xensation
‘Xensation’
Wading through a load of CDRs for something else I found these five images, not sure who did them or how I even came to be in possession of them but I really like them. I’m guessing they date from around 2000 or later as they include the ‘x’ as ‘z’ in titles. Although i’m not sure they totally fit the Ninja style, if they ever did a set of greeting cards these would be the illustrations.xencounter group
‘Xencounter’

xendeleyev
‘Xendeleyev’

xenvy
“Xenvy’
xensual
‘Xensual’

Bedroom Beats & B-Sides book

BBBfrontLooking forward to getting stuck into this history of instrumental, electronic hip hop (trip hop if you must) by Laurent Fintoni. Laurent interviewed me for it about 6-7 years ago so I’m glad for it to finally see the light via Velocity Press. Also featured from the Ninja stable are Coldcut, Roots Manuva and label manager, Peter Quicke.
Order here https://velocitypress.uk/product/bedroom-beats-book/

BBB back

Old Ninja line art

WEB ZEN copy
Searching through old discs for something else I ran across these line-based designs for what became the Ninjatune.net website identity in the 00’s. Old heads will immediately recognise the Ninja Tune forum layout and colours. For a few years, after the mass Warp forum exodus had settled, it became a buzzing hive of creativity and connections in the pre-Myspace and Facebook era of social media. I still have good friends that I made through the forum and much fun was had on it over the years. Sadly, like anything, times change, people come and go and the largely unmoderated board eventually became overrun with trolls and any new blood attempting to join was faced with a barrage of abuse or an inpenetrable wall of in-jokes that would test even the hardened fan.
Anyway – here’s some of the design work, made so that it would be quick and easy to see at different sizes and pixel ratios I seem to remember – at least that’s what I was told to do by the web designer at the time. It all looks a little blurred because it’s been upscaled from Index-colour pngs to RGB jpegs. The bottom image is a flyer for a forum party, something that occasionally happened, self-initiated by users who wanted to meet the faces behind the names.

Ninjatune.netNinja typeLine alphabetlined ninjatype_bigkneesup_flyer

Mixcloud Select 27: DJ Food – XEN Tour pt.2 10/2000

27 Xen Tour 1+2 CD 30 years ago this month, Ninja Tune came into being and 20 years ago the label made it into double figures.  I made a Ninja-centric set for the occasion and this was recorded across various dates of a UK tour to support the Xen Cuts compilation album. At some point I put it down in two parts and the first 30 minutes of part 1 was played on Solid Steel 09/10/200 but the rest of this mix went un-broadcast I think.27 Xen Tour 1+2 CD back

Part 2 continues the theme – warning – some very shonky mixes in parts here, never try mixing heavily swung half time jazz with regimental double time drum n bass. Also – lots of scratching near the end, I had edited in some scratch jam from a set with Ollie Teeba and DK that I’d completely forgotten about, it goes on a bit but has some nice moments (only some, indulge me).27 Xen Tour CD 2 inside

What’s nice about this is that you can hear the crowd at points and, in the current climate, that’s not something we’re going to hear much of any time soon. Also, this is all vinyl, Serato wasn’t even on the horizon at this point so all the jumps and wonky pushes and pulls you hear are me wrestling with the records in real time. No cue buttons to jump back to the start of a track, no ‘relative mode’ so that when the needle skips you don’t hear it, no loop function… I don’t miss it at all :)

Happy Birthday 30th birthday Ninja!

Track list:
Mr Scruff – Get A Move On
DJ Food – Mr Quicke Cuts The Cheese
DJ Food – Ninja Walk
DJ Vadim – The Pimp Theme 126
Funki Porcini – Rocket Soul
Dynamic Syncopation – Closer To The Line
The Illuminati of Hedfuk – The Worm Turns
Neptune – Soul Pride
Up, Bustle & Out – Los Locos Cubanos (Snowboy mix)
Cinematic Orchestra – Ode To The Big Sea (Four Tet remix)
Cinematic Orchestra – Channel One Suite
2 Player – Extreme Possibilities (Wagon Christ remix)
Amon Tobin – Like Regular Chickens (Dillinja remix)
DJ Food – Scratch Yer Hed (Squarepusher remix)
Jungle Brothers – Jungle Beats
Dynamic Syncopation – Internal Affairs
Amon Tobin – Creatures
DJ Vadim – Friction feat. Iriscience
– Scratch jam w. Ollie Teeba + DK
Styly Cee – Here Comes Son
The Bar-Kays – Holy Ghost
KMD – Peachfuzz (Instrumental)
The Upsetters – Popcorn
Red Snapper – Hot Flush (Sabres of Paradise remix)
The Radiophonic Workshop – Dr Who Theme