Jason and Jim at Tribal Gathering

Steve Cook put these photos up last week on his Secret Oranges blog. Above is Jim Murray and below, Jason Brashill, taken at Tribal Gathering in ’97. Both were then working for 2000ad on various projects, with Jim eventually finishing off vol.2 of the Batman/Judge Dredd team-up ‘Die Laughing’ after Glenn Fabry couldn’t commit to it. He then went off to work in the computer games industry but has just put out a gorgeous book with Robbie Morrison called ‘Drowntown’ which is the first of several apparently. Jason followed a similar path but not before he’d painted one of my favourite sleeves for The Herbaliser in the shape of ‘Wall Crawling Giant Insect Breaks’, which I commissioned from him after seeing his work with graffiti artists She One and Req 1 as part of their Brighton crew, The Dusty Knights.

Ninja Tune label exhibiton in Pau, France

A new retrospective exhibition about Ninja Tune just opened in Pau in the Pyrénées, France at the André Labarrere Mediatheque. Curated by Fred Elalouf of the Ping Pong promotional agency in Paris, it also ties in with Ping Pong’s 15th year of existence. They have represented the label in France throughout their past decade and a half through thick and thin.

Earlier this year Fred visited the Ninja offices and my studio on a mission to gather as much original material as he could find for this event. Original art, promotional posters, sleeves, videos, slides and other ephemera are all present, some of it never exhibited outside the UK before. I have to say, he’s done an amazing job as you can see by some of these photos.

The exhibition just opened and is on for the next two months, closing on August 24th. It’s free (I think) so, if you’re in that part of the world, go and take a look as there are a lot of items that will go back into private collections when it’s over. Original Kid Acne, Mr Scruff and Kid Koala artwork hangs with cover proofs and promotional toys. The model robot that was projected on for the front cover of the ‘Funkungfusion’ compilation is on display as well as some of the original drawings for the now famous Ninja logos.

ColdKrushCuts up for repress at Beat Delete

Reissued Beat Delete 3xLP version

Those lovely people at Beat Delete have put the mix PC and I did alongside DJ Krush in ’97 – ‘ColdKrushCuts’ – up for a 3LP repress. Originally only available on CD, (aside from an ultra limited 2xLP version in Japan) they have set a 200 copy limit to be reached before the pressing is closed of which a third have been filled as of writing. Weirdly I only posted about the origin of the ‘The Bug in The Rug‘ sample from the same mix two weeks back.

Beat Delete have steadily been adding other labels to their repress roster too, you can now find selections from Tru Thoughts, KPM (The Big Beat!), Fat City, Mr Bongo, Brownswood, Leaf, Catskills, Ghostly International and Celluloid amongst others. I’m also in the process of curating a compilation of special oddities, offcuts and overlooked tracks for a possible future pressing with them.

The story of the Bug In The Rug

Many times I’ve been asked what the origin of the story of ‘The Bug In The Rug’ was, a spoken word piece that was overlaid in the ColdKrushCuts mix that PC and I did in 1997. Until recently even I didn’t know where it came from because the original source was one of PC’s inclusions, possibly sourced from Jon More‘s record collection.

Patrick took a monologue from this record, ‘Four Dreams of Man’ by Dr. John Furbay, heavily edited it and laid it over Hex‘s track, ‘Harmonic’. The record is a kind of lecture and motivational speech about man’s place in the world released on Lecture Recordings in, I guess, the early 60’s.

This is my copy, it’s actually signed by Furbay, who was an international traveler and speaker at many schools, institutions and companies. He believed the world was getting better and could foresee greater integration of different races and cultures in the future. You can hear the original section of the mix below, the speech starts about 2.10 mins in.

Bonobo ‘Cirrus’ zoetrope 12″

Finally, after a couple of teases by Ninja Tune, I can show this beauty off, something that’s been in the pipeline for a while now. Today is Bonobo‘s big gig at the Roundhouse, a full day of music curated by Simon Green and rounded off with a performance by him and his band. With the likes of Gilles Peterson, Machine Drum, The Invisible, Adam Buxton’s Bug, a Boiler Room-hosted space and Solid Steel broadcasting snippets of the event on the web, it should be epic. To make it even more epic 500 lucky golden ticket winners will each receive one of these 12″ zoetrope picture discs of his already classic track, ‘Cirrus’.

I took the original archive loops from Cyriak‘s incredible video for the track and broke them down into circular visuals to make a spinning animated version. Dating back to the first primitive animation techniques of our time, the zoetrope relies on a viewer to see the action happen. This is included with the disc along with assembly instructions so that people can watch while the disc plays. See the above film for an approximation of what the disc does when spinning.

This is all rounded off by a beautiful Leif Podhajsky design on the reverse side. Lovely.

DJ Food & DK ‘Sentinel’ for Ninja Jamm

Mine and DK‘s track, ‘Sentinel’ is now available as an in-app purchase from Ninja Jamm. Long in development by Coldcut’s Matt Black, Ninja Jamm lets you intuitively remix tracks on your iPhone or iPad (it’s Mac only at the moment, Android will be coming soon).

The app is free, and you can buy ‘tune packs’ from various artists on Ninja Tune and associated labels. The ‘Sentinel’ pack is 69p and there’s also a ‘Dark Lady’ pack as well as a free Coldcut ‘Beats & Pieces’ pack to get you started.

Posted in DJ Food, Music, Ninja Tune. | No Comments |

3 of the 10 Search Engine artworks found

Peep Rooks sent me this photo of one of the zoetrope prints I’d had inserted into the 4×12″ version of ‘The Search Engine’ for Record Store Day. He wrote, “I wanted to let you know that the zoetrope nr. 4 ended up in Estonia.
I ordered the record online about a week ago from a shop from the capital Tallinn and it found its place on a record player in the middle of nowhere near Viljandi.

… I did not have any idea what it (the zoetrope) was until a few days ago and now i am thinking..hehe – what are the odds? I wonder where will the other artworks end up…”

Another one turned up in FinlandMikko posted on this site on May 1st,“I am one of the lucky ten who got one of the artworks, ‘original master’ collage!
I live in Helsinki, Finland.
Thank you!”

So, that’s two accounted for out of the ten, (see the 4 collages and 6 zoetrope prints here), if you have one or hear of someone with one – bear in mind some buyers won’t even know about them until they discover them – please let me know.
UPDATE 19/12/15: Today Christoph Chilli G from Nürnberg emailed me these images of the collage he found in his copy of the album!

Christoph Chilli G DJ Food collage Christoph Chilli G+collage

Record Store Day 2013 ‘The Search Engine’ 4×12″ repress

It’s Record Store Day again and Ninja Tune release a four disc vinyl repress of the EPs that made up my album, ‘The Search Engine’. These are straight represses of the original three EPs (One Man’s Weird…, The Shape of Things… and Magpies, Maps & Moons) plus the Amorphous Androgynous remix 12″ from last years’ RSD (on black vinyl this time though).

The first three 12″s have been out of print for some time now and contain extra tracks plus some different mixes to the CD album, with some tracks also being full length versions. If your bought these the first time round there’s nothing new musically here I’m afraid. The poster covers are replaced by an eight panel foldout sleeve though, with remixed artwork of which you can see more images here.

In the spirit of the title, and to add a little something for RSD, I’ve had ten unique pieces of artwork inserted randomly into the first 600 copies of the album. Six high quality prints of zoetropes that I made for the exhibitions last year and four unique collages as seen in this post. All are 12″x12″ in size, signed, stamped and protected by a transparent sleeve.
If any readers of this blog find one, please let me know, I will post a photo of you here with your find and it will be nice to see how far they go out into the world. Everyone going to a store has a chance to find one of the inserts, they’re completely random and could go out to whoever orders them at stores participating in RSD. Even if you manage to get a regular copy I’d appreciate photos and locations and will post the best ones like last year.

The Ninja Tune online shop will have another 400 or so copies for sale the Monday after RSD so don’t worry if you can’t get to a store.

The Search Engine – 4×12″ repress for RSD 2013


On Record Store Day this year (April 20th) Ninja Tune will release a four disc vinyl repress of the EPs that made up my album ‘The Search Engine’. These are straight represses of the original three EPs (One Man’s Weird…, The Shape of Things… and Magpies, Maps & Moons) plus the Amorphous Androgynous remix 12″ from last years’ RSD (on black vinyl this time though).

The first three 12″s have been out of print for some time now and contain extra tracks and some different mixes to the CD album, with some tracks also being full length versions. If your bought these the first time round there’s nothing new here I’m afraid except the poster covers are replaced by an eight panel foldout sleeve, similar to the original limited edition ‘Paul’s Boutique’ LP.

Each disc has its own sleeve and the spine measures a tasty 13 mm in width, easy to find in the rack for sure.
In the spirit of the title and to add a little something for RSD I’ve had ten unique pieces of artwork inserted into random copies of the album. Six high quality prints of zoetropes that I made for the exhibitions last year and four unique collages as seen below.
All are 12″x12″ in size, signed, stamped and protected by a transparent sleeve. If any readers of this blog find one, please let me know, it will be nice to see how far they go out into the world. I’m sure the Ninja Tune online shop will have copies the Monday after RSD so don’t worry if you can’t get to a store, everyone has a chance to find one of the inserts, they’re completely random and could go out to whoever orders them, not just stores participating in RSD.

Bonobo ‘Cirrus’ video by Cyriak


Now that’s how to use archive footage, truly stunning, if that doesn’t win video of the year there’s no justice.
Download ‘Cirrus’ for FREE at http://bonobomusic.com
Pre-order the new album ‘The North Borders’ now at: http://bonobomusic.com + http://ninjatune.net/store • New LIVE tour starting April 2013 • Album released 01 April (02 April in North America)
Video by http://www.cyriak.co.uk

Posted in Film, Ninja Tune. | 2 Comments |

Kid Koala tour trailer + promo images by Pat Hamou

Kid Koala‘s ‘Vinyl Vaudeville’ tour comes to London tomorrow at the O2 Academy in Islington and I can’t wait to see it judging by this short film they made last week in Paris.

Check these two promo images drawn by Pat Hamou as well, perfectly fitting in with Eric’s new album, ’12-Bit Blues’. I think this is his strongest record to date (well, it’s a tie with The Slew LP) and the inclusion of a 5″ flexi disc and DIY turntable in the package just seals the deal for me.

Posted in Art, Film, Gigs, Ninja Tune. | No Comments |

Sacrum Profanum – more photos

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More photos from the recent Sacrum Profanum concert in Poland – this time by the excellent photographer Bartosz Holoszkiewicz. These go right through from our arrival, rehearsal, backstage banter and make up (B&W) to the final performance (colour). There are even more over on Bart’s site but this is my pick of the bunch, also that’s Prof. Penderecki with Skalpel below.

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Kid Koala ‘2-Bit Blues’ cut to 100 year old animation

Kid Koala‘s new album ’12-Bit Blues’ is due to drop on September 17th and a couple of tracks, ‘2-Bit Blues’ / ‘6-Bit Blues’ (can you see a pattern forming here?) are doing the rounds on promo. I discovered the film, ‘The Cameraman’s Revenge’, a few years back – a story of insect infidelity, animated in Russia a hundred years ago this year! I thought it was the perfect pairing with Koala’s music as he has a, as yet unreleased, project involving an insect band in the works, made entirely from 3D models.

The original film is 11 minutes long so I had to speed it up dramatically to fit it to the music but the original was silent and it invokes those early examples of film where they set the speeds too fast. I must stress, this isn’t the official video or anything, just something I made for my DJ sets. You can pre-order the album here, which comes with a bonus flexi disc and DIY cardboard turntable that will play the disc.

Posted in Film, Music, Ninja Tune. | 3 Comments |

Win Memory 9 & Falty DL music on Solid Steel tonight


Memory 9
‘s new 12″ packaging and disc, plus the new Falty DL release in retro Ninja house bag. Win both of these tonight on Solid Steel between 7-9pm GMT on Strongroom Alive. I’ll be in the studio with Jon More from Coldcut and Memory 9 is supplying the guest mix.
My mix has a lot of killer new Hip Hop including an exclusive first play from the new Herbaliser album plus DJ Format, 2econd Class Citizen, Mister Jason, Cut Chemist, Soundsci and an unreleased mix of ‘The Illectrik Hoax’ by The Amorphous Androgynous.
And here’s the show:

Flint & Food at Factory Road

So much to say about the last few days and the opening of the DJ Food & Henry Flint exhibition at the Factory Road Gallery in Hinckley, Leicester with my friends Sarah (aka Inkymole) and Leigh. I’ve known them for around 15 years now and always enjoy their company so it was a no-brainer when they asked if they could host the work I’d got together for the Pure Evil Gallery earlier this year. What’s unique about this is that the gallery is in their own home, on the corner of a quiet suburban street, not in the middle of a hip part of a big city. A few years ago they did some major architectural restructuring and turned the downstairs of their home into a workspace cum gallery, dependent on what was on at the time. This is the third or fourth exhibition to be held there and, with the help of their intern, Brook, and amazing chef Jed Smith, they managed to make it a very unique event.

The difference between this and the Pure Evil show is that they were keen to feature a sort of retrospective element of my design work with Ninja Tune over the years alongside work that Henry and I had generated for ‘The Search Engine’ album, his book ‘Broadcast’ and past comic work. This took the form of a whole wall running the length of the downstairs plus a tabletop collage under glass of all manner of flyers, sleeves, proofs and other ephemera. Two sides of the central supporting wall were taken up with Henry’s past comic work with prints and original art from the album near the entrance. Near the rear of the gallery we set up a turntable and zoetrope disc to project animations that were also meant for London but didn’t happen as well as a 55 minute mix with visuals based on my planetarium show of the same time.

To add to this Sarah and Leigh always do special merchandise to go with each show, a regular item being a tea towel – or rather a visor / helmet polishing cloth (ooer) – printed locally and hemmed by Sarah’s mum. Also for sale was a limited edition ‘Skullstronaut’ giclee print and locally sourced chocolate bars, cleverly playing on the outer space theme and packaged like freeze-dried astronaut food.

Speaking of food, the killer addition of the night was Jed Smith in the kitchen, whipping up amazing bite-sized, space-themed eats for everyone. The cubed chips, baked pea shells and sauce were the hit of the night, a bowl of ‘space dust’ (homemade sherbert) looked like a moon surface and the dried rice and beetroot dip was literally out of this world (sorry). Everyone who came looked uncertainly at it all, took the plunge and were instantly in for seconds.

It’s rare to attend an opening and to ask the guests if they’ve been to the toilet yet (unless it’s for some sort of nose up) but the bathroom had it’s own charm in the form of Will Cooper-Mitchell’s press shots of me in an astronaut suit, alongside a hand-painted shuttle (by Sarah’s sister, close family ties going on here) and a short musical loop of space-themed sounds.

This, alongside a big barrel of local ale for refreshments, rounded the whole event off beautifully and added to the homely vibe of the exhibition. A steady stream of visitors arrived, both local and from further afield from 6pm until midnight and I talked to everyone from fans to friends, university professors to the local record store owner. Having been there since Thursday afternoon setting up and rearranging things I was beat by then and we had an early start the next morning but that’s another story.

Thank you so much to everyone who came but especially Sarah, Leigh, Jed, Brook and everyone who helped to make it such a success, some of the photos here are by their friend, Nigel, who was also the architect who helped them build the gallery. We realised, once it was all hung and arranged, that we’d fitted in twice the content than in London, in a smaller space too so there’s twice the reason to go and have a look. The show is at 71 Factory Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, it’s free and on until June 15th, all merchandise is on sale on the Factory Road Shop now.