Steven Rutter – Close Your Eyes And Breathe

Steve Rutter 12 front + shadowIt’s a busy day for releases I’ve been involved with today, Blood by The Real Tuesday Weld is officially released today with artwork by myself, the Celestial Mechanic I co-wrote with Saron Hughes album went up for pre-order this morning (see other post) and now Steven Rutter‘s (B12) solo release on De:tuned is available to pre-order.
It’s a really excellent 3 track EP and I designed the release with a die cut cover that reveals the inner sleeve and inside printed cover – available in black and ‘safari’ vinyl versions.

Steve Rutter 12 front + shadow + inner safariSR v5 mock up 3 Safari SR v5 mock up 1SR v5 mock up 2SR v5 mock up 3 Steven Rutter 12 back
Listen and pre-order now (full links are on the Soundcloud page) – out Friday, 25 June 2021.

Celestial Mechanic – Citizen Void vinyl pre-order

CM packshot full
Online today is the vinyl version of the Celestial Mechanic album, ‘Citizen Void’, that I co-wrote with Saron Hughes last year. The album is a soundtrack of sorts to Rian Hughes‘ book, ‘XX – a novel, graphic’ after he tasked us with created the actual music for a fictitious album review featured in the book.

The release which is immaculately designed by Rian, is a lavish package featuring an LP and 7″ on yellow vinyl with inner sleeves, 12″x12″ print and original album press release. The cover is finished with silver ink and features a slightly reworked version of the sleeve that appears in Rian’s book. Part of the book focusses on an alien signal from space that is detected on Earth and is used at one point to make an album, a QR code inside takes the reader to a Bandcamp page with the music on it. For more info see my original post about the book.

Upon release we were contacted by Alex Egan of Utter who was excited to put it out on vinyl to compliment other multi media entries on his label. We had a problem in that ‘side 1’ of the album on the digital release was 30 minutes long and an LP can generally only cram 24 mins tops onto one side before the sound deteriorates. After unsatisfactory edits and deleted track line ups the solution was to snip the final two tracks and place them onto a bonus 7″ – more artwork for Rian! The whole package is a perfect visual companion to the book and differs slightly from the original digital version in that side 2’s side-long epic, ‘The Signal’ is the remixed version from the follow up digital EP.

UPDATE: It’s come to my attention that the pre-order from Bandcamp now adds tax onto the record and shipping total for the LP – seemingly as a result of Brexsh*t continuing to shaft us in all sorts of ways we never could have foreseen in the name of ‘taking back control’. If you pre-order via the Phonica link you should be able to get around this. It’s limited to 300 copies so be quick if you want one – release is early July.

DJ Format – Devil’s Workshop album

Devils workshop cover
Jumping straight onto my albums of 2021 list is DJ Format‘s latest LP, ‘Devil’s Workshop’, a ten track largely instrumental affair shorn of the usual MCs who are replaced by sampled vocals and spoken word. Each track has a video to accompany it and it’s a deep affair which rewards with each listen. Available today on LP, CD and DL via Format’s Bandcamp page – essential purchase, also check out his other wares including his and Mr Thing‘s religious mix, Holy Shit!.

Devils workshop labelDevils workshop back

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The Real Tuesday Weld ‘Blood’ and ‘Tape Dust Memories’ albums

Blood front cover red vThis has been a long time coming but… ‘There will be Blood!’. More specifically The Real Tuesday Weld‘s ‘Blood’, the first in a trilogy of albums under the umbrella of ‘Swan Songs’, the final bow of Stephen Coates‘ 20 year+ recording career under this name. ‘Blood’ is the first, to be followed by ‘Dreams’ and ‘Bone’ over the next 18 months and each will be supplemented by cassette versions with completely different tracks in sympathetic packaging to each main title.Blood back cover poster DLBlood red contents

The whole design concept was started over a year ago, pre-lockdown, but stalled like everything for months mid year until we picked it back up in the summer, reworked the concepts and mapped out the whole set. With the benefit of hindsight it was worth the rest and the design is better for it as we went through various stages and ideas, coming back to it with fresh eyes. There’s a small books-worth of unused elements and ideas that never made it for this series, a huge folder of work that was slowly honed into shape over months as the artwork formed.
Blood red contents back Blood splatter contents Blood splatter v light TRTW

The ‘Blood’ vinyl comes in red or red & black splatter vinyl versions, has an inner sleeve with a short story (a feature of all the albums), die-cut back and inner covers and download card. Depending on how you insert the record / inner sleeve or poster you can have different back covers.

Blood back poster Blood back Stephen Blood back Blood

If you pre-order direct from the Real Tuesday Weld Bandcamp page you get an exclusive target print and beermat with the 10 track album plus there you can also find a bundle with the 11 track cassette companion, ‘Tape Dust Memories’ which is housed in a blood bag with medical-style lyric sheet and download card. This is a completely different album of extra tracks from the same sessions and possibly not available anywhere else. I’m extremely pleased with how these have both turned out and we’re forging ahead with the follow up, ‘Dreams’ for the end of 2021.
TDM blood bag TDM Blood bag 2TDM tape ATDM contentsTDM contents 2

For those wanting a CD version, there may be something at the end of the trilogy that collects them all, we’ll see…

Blood red v stamp

King Gizzard Fuzz Club Bootleg series

KGLW Asheville
Like many others last year King Gizzard raided their tape archives and pumped out live sets via their Bandcamp page to fill the void of cancelled gigs. Of course these were digital only releases and they later offered the recordings to anyone who wanted to press them up on the condition that they sent them a portion of the stock to sell. Fuzz Club have stepped up and taken eight shows plus a demos set and a teenage pre-Gizzard collection and made some of the best looking releases I’ve seen in a while. Grab these quick if you want them, they’re selling out fast, some independent shops have them on pre-order like Norman Records, and Resident Music. King Gizzard have form on this, giving away their ‘Polygondwanaland’ album to everyone to do their own versions in 2017, there are nearly 300 versions on Discogs as I write.
KGLW Auckland KGLW Brussels KGLW London KGLW Paris KGLW Rats Live KGLW TeensKGLW Demos 1 KingGizzardDemo_24

The New Obsolescents LP repress

TNO comp 4
It was a surprise to see The New Obsolescents‘ album sell out in 25 minutes a few weeks back when it went up for pre-order and it’s been even more heartening to see people posting photos online once they received them. Inevitably though there’s a small downside in the people who missed out and the buyers who immediately put copies on Discogs for anywhere between £130 to £300. You can’t stop people doing this but Castles In Space are very good at tracking who these buyers are and striking them from any future sales from the label.
The good news for those who missed out is that a repress is on the way although it won’t be a foil version like the first run because those stocks are now depleted. It’s taken a while to source something that could measure up to the Dufex covers and I’ve gone a different route. The good news is that the new sleeve will be back and front rather than just a panel that I have to stick by hand on 300 copies! Prints tests were done in the last week from various samples and now stocks are being readied, vinyl pressed (in a different colourway too) and the 2nd edition will be with us as soon as the pressing plant can press it up. There may also be a number of badges to accompany it too. Here I’ve collected the various photos posted online and at the bottom is a sneak peek of the repress tests results.

TNO comp 3 TNO comp 2 TNO comp 1 TNO Comp 5 TNO comp 7 TNO comp 8 TNO comp 9 TNO comp 6TNO 2nd Ed test

Food For Thought – 10 Food related records

Foodstuffs x 9

I was asked to make a list of food-related records for something back in 2009, I forget what, again, all archived on a CDR I recently found, here again just for the hell of it.

The Dragons – Food For My Soul (Ninja Tune)
This has to be top of my list because of the title, the message and the association with The Dragons that blossomed with it. If it wasn’t for licensing this track for the ‘Now, Listen Again’ mix CD then their unreleased ‘B.F.I.’ LP wouldn’t have come to light.

Dragons BFI0-10cc-life

10cc – Life Is A Minestrone (Mercury)
Until Godley & Creme left 10cc could do little wrong when it came to singles and this is one of the classics. Honourable mention should go to the duo’s later ‘Snack Attack’ from the ‘Ismism’ LP which has to be one of the greats.

Gong CamembertCookie M & TGS

Gong – Camembert Electrique (Virgin)
Maybe not their best album but great nevertheless, as well as the title it contains the track ‘Wet Cheese Delerium’.

Cookie Monster & The Girls – C Is For Cookie / If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked A Cake (Sesame Workshop/Ninja Tune)
Cookie Monster tracks are rarely about anything but food, the former was released in disco mix form by NInja, backed with my re-edit of the classic ‘Pinball Number Count’.

Pepe Deluxe - Spare Time machine00BeachBoys-TheCompleteSmileArtwork

Pepé Deluxe – Apple Thief / Salami Fever (Catskills)
Can’t decide between the two of these. ‘Apple Thief’ is from my album of 2007 – ‘Spare Time Machine’ – and is pure psyche pop beauty. ‘Salami Fever’ has been a staple of my DJ sets for many a year and is a collision of rock guitars, scratches and distorted vocoder that I never tire of.

The Beach Boys – Vegetables (Capitol)
From the Smile / Smiley Smile sessions, featuring Paul McCartney on carrot (!) Has to be on the list just to get Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys on there.

Paul's BoutiqueHot Butter Popcorn

Beastie Boys – Egg Man (Capitol)
Only a tenuous link with Food but Paul’s Boutique is one of my favourite records and mixing the themes from ‘Psycho’ with ‘Jaws’ just wouldn’t happen legally on a record any more. Also for the epic ‘B-Boy Bouillabaisse’ and they mention the next record too.

Hot Butter – Popcorn (Musicor Records)
Two food stuffs for the price of one, this evergreen novelty hit has been covered by quite a few including Aphex Twin and has to be on here to represent the Moog.

Frank Zappa – Lumpy Gravy (Bizarre)
The entire album – one of my favourite Zappa albums from his early days with the Mothers, pure madness on vinyl.

Lumpy_Gravyyou_are_what_you_eat_1

Various – You Are What You Eat OST (Columbia)
This is the soundtrack to a little known film which is full of all sorts of gems although only the title is about food. My favourite track is ‘Freakout’ by the Electric Flag and John Simon, a 10 minute jam of unparalleled insanity – you know when people describe things as ‘psychedelic’ and then you listen to them and it just sounds like some badly recorded garage band? – this track actually warrants using the P word.

 

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Resonance FM fundraiser 2021

TNO StarburstIt’s that time of year again for the Resonance FM fundraiser, this independent radio station relies on donations to keep the lights on and having just had to relocate after what seems like years of waiting, they need it more than ever. They’re not doing the usual eBay auctions this year so Robin the Fog has taken it upon himself to put three special records up there with a little help from the Castles in Space label.
I’d like to bring your attention to a ‘Starburst’ edition of our The New Obsolescents LP, officially released today but totally sold out, this one was held back for just this occasion. Bid on this here

If you want to hear what it sounds like and maybe buy a digital copy then head to Bandcamp

HWLRD cover

Also a secret 31st edition of Robin’s last Bandcamp Friday Howlround lathe cut 7″ EP ‘Rec & Ruin’ – again, made specially. Go here to bid
HWLRND labelHWLRND back

Also available is a full package of CiS goodies in the form of Field Lines Cartographer‘s recent ‘Leaving In Storms’ 7″ test pressing with all the trimmings. Bids away!  All proceeds go towards Resonance FM

OriginalPhoto-632998857.178352

And if you have these already or they’re just not your bag but you want to help the station out then you can donate here  https://resonancefm.com/donate

 

The New Obsolescents LP cover process 2 – Cover assembly

TNO Printed stack

For the first part of this process and a little back story, see Part 1

TNO selection

Once Jonas Ranson at paperHAUS had screen printed each panel during the summer of 2020 it was down to me to assemble them. Each sheet was 18″ x 18″, sadly not large enough to fold round into a full LP sleeve, so each panel had to be trimmed to a 12” x 12” size and painstakingly glued to each already printed sleeve – 300 of them.

TNO cutting

I’d specified that the designs be printed dead centre of each pattern to take advantage of the symmetrical nature of the cover graphic so there were lots of offcuts (which will be used somehow on future projects).

TNO offcuts

This was all done sometime during the Autumn of 2020 in my studio while we waited for the vinyl to come back from the pressing plant. The original plan had been for Colin at Castles in Space and I to then rent a bigger space for a day and glue the foil panels to each sleeve but I quickly realised that this just wasn’t going to be possible in such a short time. The next lockdown put a stop to any thoughts of that anyway.

Eventually the vinyl turned up and Colin arrived one evening with 17 boxes of covers in the back of his car and, in a socially distanced handover, I hauled them up to my studio.

TNO plain

Just after the Xmas period, during the 3rd lockdown, I began the extremely long task of gluing a panel to each sleeve, padding every cover out with a card square then laying them between newsprint sheets to avoid anything sticking while drying. The glue would start to curl the card within about a minute as it dried and started to contract so it was imperative to press them flat under weights.

TNO sticking beginsTNO sticking 2

I could average two boxes of 17 a day in two shifts by the end; one box first thing in the morning then leave to dry. Once stuck they were inspected for marks, sleeved in PVC outers and then boxed. Clean the area, do another box before bed and leave to dry in a stack overnight. By the end I could do one box in under 50 minutes, below is the last box on the 8th or 9th day.

TNO Last boxTNO Boxes done

As a nod to the site of the original performance recordings at the Museum of London, with moon rock bean bags and a space travel theme, we decided on a silver and black hybrid moon surface effect for the vinyl. The whole process of making the sleeves probably took longer than the whole album but I couldn’t be happier with the results, I doubt it’ll see a repress in this state as I’m told the foil stocks are virtually gone now but it was worth it.

TNO Hyperspace
Hyperspace

TNO Spiral
Spiral

TNO Starburst
Starburst

TNO Cross
Cross

TNO Curls
Swirls

TNO Back

The New Obsolescents LP cover process 1 – Screenprinting

L1340496
Seeing as The New Obsolescents album is up for pre order today I thought I’d break down how we made the cover as it was quite an involved job using obsolete materials and analogue processes without the aid of automation. Part of the concept behind the group name is referencing the use of largely obsolete practices and equipment and I thought I’d carry this on with the artwork. This post is about the printing and there’s another about the assembly here.
L1340497
I met Jonas Ranson a couple of years back when I got him to print a poster for the De:tuned 10th anniversary exclusive via Bleep (I think they even have some left). It was a complex 6 colour job and I was impressed with how diligently he worked to get it as good as possible using tests to determine the best results and revising screens with me after we both agree the first tests didn’t look right. So the sleeves for The New Obsolescents LP cover required a similar touch as this was printing onto delicate foil covered card that marked if you ran a fingernail across it.

L1340425
To rewind slightly, since discovering the Philips 21st Century Prospective series of French musique concrete LPs on tour in Europe the 90s I’d been fantasizing about one day making a record with a Héliophore patterned silver foil cover. The patterns etched in the covers are achieved by minute differences in the angles of the foil coating which then reflect the light and appear to animate when moved. These legendary and increasingly expensive LPs contain critical works from an international array of leading artists in the tape and electro acoustic field, spearheaded by Pierre Henry who also released many of his own works on the label.

L1340504
Tracking down the company who made the original Philips covers in France led to a dead end many years ago as they had long ceased to exist so I gave up hope. Unknown to me a British company had managed to replicate the process under the name Dufex in the UK. Sadly they’d also wound up business in 2019 but via a chance encounter on a separate project I managed to find the final stocks of card from the business at a lighting company so I filed that away for future use.

L1340505
Once The New Obsolescents’ album was in the bag we started to think about artwork and I knew that this collision of tape loops and turntablism was the perfect record to sleeve in foil as a homage to the Philips series. Those familiar with the originals would immediately make the visual connection and it would set the tone for the sounds contained inside as the group name would be unfamiliar to most. When we sent the album out to record labels it included a mock up of the cover art with foil and that was part of the package we wanted to produce. Colin Morrison at Castles in Space was fully on board with the sleeve idea from the beginning and it’s a testament to his belief in the project that he was prepared to trust me with the whole process despite the considerable extra costs.

L1340514
Ordering 300 sheets in five different designs, I gave them to Jonas at paperHAUS who carefully but expertly screen printed each panel with the cover design, making sure not to scratch the extremely delicate foil. I specified that the designs be printed dead centre to take advantage of the symmetrical nature of the cover graphic and asked Jonas to document the process as I wasn’t allowed in the studio due to lockdown restrictions at the time. Many thanks to Jonas, these are his beautiful photos of the job and you can contact him and see his work at www.jonasranson.com/paperhouse

 

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L1340431L1340519 L1340508 L1340509 L1340528L1340527
All photos © Jonas Ranson 2020

The Mercier Press record label design

Challenge of Change

Hipped in part to this label last year by collector Andrew Divine, I have been collecting images of the Irish imprint’s output from all the sources I could find on the web. Mercier Press, the famous Irish book publisher founded after WW2, also released many religious spoken word records from the 60s onwards under its own name and under their Mercier Catholic Record Club banner. In the 1960s and 70s the Mercier paperback books had a distinctive cover style which usually consisted of an illustration, in both pen & ink and brush & ink, and always in two colours.

The Dutch designer Cor Klaasen who had studied in Germany and Switzerland before coming to Ireland was Mercier’s main cover designer as well as the artist John Skelton (1925-2009) – Skelton worked as an art director and book illustrator before concentrating full-time on painting in 1975. The record labels mirrored this beautiful sense of design and graphic identity of the books with clean cut illustrations and vertically or horizontally split covers delineating each side of the album. There are even more on this Flickr page

Facing Up 2 Vocation is 2 Is Community necessary Single Mindedness Understanding our vocation Lightening Out Burden Hazards 2 God Loves Us Adaptation & Renewal

Community Worship blue Community Worship red Death & Resurrection Folk songs 1 Folk songs 2 Light of the World Message from the manger Mary, her role Our Christmas Religion Today
Euchrist 2 copy Seeking New Forms The Church Authority & Obedience yellow The Church blue The Church Christ among us orange The Church Kingdom of God greenNot My Will The Midnight Court The West WindWhat Is a religious Why The Old Testament Theology Issues Today green Theology Issues Today pink Theology Issues Today purple Theology Issues Today yellow True Prayer orange True Prayer pink

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Announcing: The Superceded Sounds of… The New Obsolescents

Presented for your delectation, a brand new deep space travelogue from the collective minds of DJ Food and Howlround. A new collaborative group release that I’m part of…

The Superceded Sounds of… The New Obsolescents

Format: 12” Coloured Vinyl LP in Screen Printed Foil Board Sleeve. Hand Assembled by DJ Food

Cat No: CiS069

Released: 26th February, 2021 – Pre-order Feb 12th (I’ll post the link when it’s live)

Genre: Electronic / Turntables / Tape Music / Psychedelic / Ambient / Experimental

This album began life four years ago when the trio of Strictly Kev, Robin The Fog and Chris Weaver were tasked by Jonny Trunk with providing an all-night immersive soundtrack for the mammoth ‘Museum Of Last Parties’ extravaganza in the Museum of London’s Torch Room. Setting up their vintage reel to reel tape machines, turntables and various FX units in the very shadow of the torch that became the icon of the 2012 Olympics, the trio set about creating a soundtrack worthy of champions.

Strange new worlds conjured from obsolete media, a vision of the future constructed live using nothing but vintage analogue technology and a sense of adventure.

With a constant stream of revellers stopping by to lounge on moon-shaped cushions and enjoy this interstellar soundtrack being woven right before their ears, the trio amassed almost four hours of improvised oddities that night. It wasn’t until the spring of 2020 when they suddenly each found themselves at home with all plans cancelled and a LOT of spare time that the tapes were resurrected and the album started to take shape.

The album is presented in an extraordinary sleeve, hand assembled by Strictly Kev, who explains, “Since discovering the Philips 21st Century Prospective series of French musique concrete LPs on tour in European the 90s I’ve been fantasising about one day making a record with a Héliophore patterned silver foil cover. The patterns etched in the covers are achieved by minute differences in the angles of the foil coating which then reflects the light and appears to animate when moved. These legendary and increasingly expensive LPs contained critical works from an international array of leading artists in the tape and electro acoustic field, spearheaded by Pierre Henry who also released many of his own works on the label.

Tracking down the company who made the original Philips covers in France led to a dead end as they had long ceased to exist so I gave up hope. Unknown to me a British company had managed to replicate the process under the name Dufex in the UK. Sadly they’d also wound up business in 2019 but via a chance encounter on a separate project I managed to find the final stocks of card from the business at a lighting company.

Once The New Obsolescents’ album was in the bag we started to think about artwork and I knew that this collision of tape loops and turntablism was the perfect record to sleeve in foil as a homage to the Philips series. Those familiar with the originals would immediately make the visual connection and it would set the tone for the sounds contained inside as the group name would be unfamiliar to most.

Colin at Castles in Space was fully on board with the sleeve idea from the beginning and it’s a testament to his belief in the project that he was prepared to trust me with the whole process despite the considerable extra costs. Procuring 300 sheets in five different designs, I gave them to Jonas Ranson at paperHAUS who carefully but expertly screen printed each panel with the cover design. Each sheet was then cut to a 12”x12” size and painstakingly glued to each sleeve, pressed while drying and sleeved in PVC outers, making sure not to scratch the foil which is extremely delicate.

As a nod to the site of the original performance recordings at the Museum of London, with moon rock bean bags and a space travel theme, we decided on a silver and black hybrid moon surface effect for the vinyl. The whole process of making the sleeves probably took longer than the whole album but I couldn’t be happier with the results, it was worth it.”

Kev has tagged the five variants of the foil board sleeves as “Spiral’, “Starburst’, “Cross’, “Swirls’ and “Hyperspace”!

This extraordinary and unique album is available to pre-order directly from Castles in Space from 12th February for a full release on 26th February.

Mixcloud Select 38 – DJ Food – The Sounds of Christmas 13/12/2004

TSOC front I performed as part of Christian Marclay’s ‘The Sounds of Christmas’ in December 2004 in a tent erected outside the Tate Modern gallery in London. Marclay was in town with his collection of Christmas records and invited various artists to come down, rifle through the racks, pick a selection and then improvise a set with them. I joined Matt Black, Janek Schaefer, Vicki Bennett (People Like Us), Ergo Phizmiz, Matt Wand (Stock, Hausen & Walkman), Paul Hood and The Bohman Brothers.

It was a tough gig, there were two performers per night and I forget who I was paired with but I bought my Line 6 delay pedal to loop things up with. Marclay had hundreds of Christmas albums and I was working largely with no knowledge of what any of them would contain so went for stuff that looked funk, jazz or electronic-based. I remember pulling a great Lou Rawls album, a Jacksons LP, The Beach Boys and some sort of electronic synthesized carols LP.

Rushing through piles of LPs during soundcheck I made notes on each one, which tracks were good and discarded the ones I felt I couldn’t use. The crowd filed in and the tent filled up, it was freezing cold being mid December and I think I had to wear a coat and hat while I wrestled with the vinyl and delay pedal to construct some sort of Christmas soundscape / DJ set out of records I’d only heard snatches of an hour or so before. Apparently Marclay also used a Line 6 pedal and was heard to exclaim, ‘oh wow, he actually knows how to use it!’ :)

TSOC back

I’ve not heard the set for a good 10 years before digging it out again and it’s rough around the edges and barely holds together in places but has a kind of charm of its own and was probably the earliest example of a kind of turntablism that I’d later explore on the forthcoming New Obsolescents record and my Infinite Illectrik releases. Also, earlier this year, I discovered that Marclay had actually put out a record compiled of selections from the performances himself, mixing everything into his own collage and including locked grooves on the B side. I remember signing a release form when agreeing to the gig but never heard anything about a physical release but there it is. A beautiful embossed snowflake adorns the plain white cover and there’s my name on the back in the line up.

TSOC text

I’m not sure if this went out on Solid Steel at all, I have a feeling it did because I found an extended version with extra Xmas-related content edited onto the end marked as Dec’05 but the Solid Steel site has no track lists to check. It’s also very hard to do a tracklist for this as I have none of the records and it’s very chopped up. I’ve included an excellent Doors parody medley Christmas themed lyrics as a coda as it’s so well done.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to everyone, thankyou so much for subscribing, it means a lot. There are many more hours of mixes and stories to fill 2021 and beyond. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts and discovered some great music along the way. I have at least three physical releases in production for release in 2021 including a reissue of ‘Kaleidoscope’ with an extra double album of unheard music from 20+ years ago. See you on the other side…

Kev

De:tuned DE:10 series repress full series

DE10x10

The final four coloured vinyl represses from the De:tuned DE:10 series were released yesterday including a clear vinyl DE:10, still with the silver foil blocked sleeve. There is one more piece in the puzzle for this series that should make an appearance in the next two weeks…

Here’s some handy order links if you’re looking to pick up the last batch
Bleep: bit.ly/3dQ23RF
Juno: bit.ly/2Zb4iLd
Red Eye: bit.ly/2yaq4nb
Norman: bit.ly/3h9gQI9
Deejay: bit.ly/3dQwPty
Decks: bit.ly/35nZ5mz
Horizons: bit.ly/2WCfMWr
Intense: bit.ly/322VM1H

Into 2021 there’s much more great music to come from this label and I’ve designed two fantastic releases that are currently in production with another to start on before the year’s end. The two in the can are dream come true projects and I’m extremely happy with the results.
If you’re not familiar with the De:tuned label then the DE:10 releases are an excellent place to start. Some of their contents are in this special promo mix I made for them earlier this year.

In the mean time, look at these beauties…

DE01

DE02

DE03

DE04

DE05

DE06

DE07

DE08

DE09

DE10

DJ Food ‘Songs of Praise’ mix

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

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

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

Mixcloud Select 34: Strictly Kev – Solid Steel 03/06/1995

MS34 Strictly Kev - Solid Steel 3:5:1995 tapeThis is one of my favourite sessions from the 90s, KISS FM, Friday night (we often pre-recorded then and it was broadcast ‘live’ 1-3am Saturday), Matt, Jon, PC and I piled into the tiny studio on the Holloway Road with a bunch of new records, the word treasure jingle CDs that housed all the various samples we’d ’slurp’ over each other’s mixes and no plan but to record 2 hours non stop.

There’s another hour that precedes this that PC should be putting up on his Sound/Mixcloud soon where it’s his turn and possibly Matt Black before him. There’s also a missing 20 minutes at the end of my mix which may well have been Jon finishing off the set. This is a classic trip hop selection taking in blunted beats, turntablism, downtempo electro and hip hop B sides, a bit of ambience and spoken word thrown in and some new Ninja productions at the end.

Things were getting busy and exciting on all fronts in 1995, the year that the label finally broke through with the first Ninja Cuts compilation and solidified things with Coldcut’s Journeys By DJ mix, our first overseas tours and the start of the club, Stealth. Gigs around the UK and Europe were becoming more and more regular and I was designing everything Ninja Tune could throw at me. It was a slow build, not some overnight sensation, things just grew and continued to grow for the next few years, maybe slowing somewhat by 1998 but then we were at the 10 year anniversary by the year 2000.

If anyone can tell me what the opening track is I’d be grateful, Shazam has nothing, I have no record of the set list but I’m thinking it might be something from the New Breed label maybe? DJ Smash? Something from one of the Fat Jazzy Grooves comps? You can tell it’s the 90s with those kind of names. The Ken Nordine sample makes me think it’s from the US as few had sampled him by 1995. *UPDATE: Edward has come through with the answer, it was JazzadelicMessage From Outer Space, he also pointed out that the date was 3rd of June 1995, not May – thanks Edward. The Prunes track that follows is definitely from that label, still quite underrated/forgotten over in the UK, there’s all sorts of great trip hop on that label going back to 1992.

DJVadim_NonLat_12_label

I had a trick that I used to do, it’s an old hip hop thing that DJ Vadim showed me with a roll of gaffe tape and a turntable, you can see it illustrated on the cover of his first Ninja Tune single. You place the roll of tape on the platter, sit a record on top of it, making sure it’s as central as possible, unscrew the headshell of the tonearm and slot it back in upside down. Tip the tonearm weight back as far as it will go and then place the needle on the underside of the elevated record so the needle is facing up. Put it in the middle of the record, not the edge, as the grooves will be carrying the needle from the inside to the outside of the disc once the platter is rotating. Press start on the deck and the sound comes out reversed as the needle is tracking it backwards now. I would do this in clubs and it would always get a great response as it’s such a visual trick, you had to do it with something recognisable and that didn’t change too much plus it was hit and miss where you got the needle but you could get it in time in the mix with a bit of push and pull. I did this with the 45 King’s ‘900 Number’ during this show to general amazement as I don’t think the others had seen it done before.

We get a scratch-fest of DJ Cheese, the Jeep Beat Collective (shout out to Dave the Ruf and DJ Mark-One) and 2 Live Crew’s Mr Mixx before some more downtempo beats from The Prunes and Mike Paradinas alias, Jake Slazenger. I must have just got his album as two tracks feature in quick succession here. Early Wall of Sound makes an appearance in the form of Mekon from the first Back To Mono compilation and then it’s the evergreen Solid Steel staple of Forrest Ackerman’s ‘The Tin Age Story’ from Music For Robots. New Coldcut/Food collab ‘The Worm Turns’ leaps in before we close with a fresh-out-the-studio DJ Food remix of Nobukazu Takemura from the Japan/Germany-only Child’s View Remix album which, if you haven’t heard it, is excellent and features amazing remixes by Aphex Twin and Wagon Christ.

Such fond memories of this time, people and music, not a care in the world.
UPDATE!
PC has put his mix that preceded mine from this show up on his Mixcloud – check it out, there’s an unreleased DJ Food remix in there too – and give him a follow while you’re there
https://www.mixcloud.com/knobblyknee/solid-steel-030695/

Track list:
Jazzadelic – Message From Outer Space
The Prunes – Vinyl Anal
45 King – The 900 Number
Spacepimp – K9 Law
Word of Mouth feat DJ Cheese – King Kut (Dub)
Jeep Beat Collective – Nah, Nope It’s Dope (Scratch Mix)
Anquette – Ghetto Style (instrumental)
The Prunes – Somethin’ Funky
Jake Slazenger – Megaphonk
E.A.R. – Sub Aqua
Jake Slazenger – ERP
Mekon – Minnie’s Broken Arm
Forrest J. Ackerman – Music For Robots
The Illuminati of Hedfuk – The Worm Turns
Nobukazu Takemura – Crescent (DJ Food remix)

Bandcamp Recommends November 2020

It has to be said, there’s a tidal wave of good music coming out on a near weekly basis now and a lot of artists are saving releases for Bandcamp Fridays which can be slightly overwhelming but let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth, great music is needed in such grim times so let’s get to it.

Groop Mod TM LPGroup Modular – Time Masters DL and very limited vinyl pre order (also vinyl coming any day now from Polytechnic Youth so follow them on Facebook or sign up to their mailing list)
A long time in the making but finally here, Markey Funk and Mule Driver‘s collaboration continues…
https://groupmodular.bandcamp.com/album/time-masters

Markey Funk 45

Markey Funk – Magic + Sparks Remixes 7″ (Delights)
Two old remixes for other bands make it to 45, if psych rock with distorted vocals and drums is your thing then you’ll love these https://delights.bandcamp.com/album/magic-sparks-apdlt016

Jane Weaver – Flock LP pre-order (Fire Records)
It’s going to be a long wait until March for this to finally arrive but on the strength of the single alone it will be worth it
https://janeweaverfire.bandcamp.com/

JW LP cover

US DUSTJACKET AS EP COVER (Black)Celestial Mechanic – The Signal: ReTransmission, An EP (Bandcamp)
*Self promo dept.* There’s a new 17 minute remix of ‘The Signal’ from Saron Hughes and my ‘Citizen Void’ LP to welcome the US release of Rian Hughes‘ book, ‘XX, A Novel, Graphic’, out today along with satellite piano variations made during the album that form a 30 minute EP.
https://celestialmechanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-signal-retransmission

KGATLW KG LP

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – K.G. DL/LP (Flightless)
New album, vol.2 of the Flying Microtonal Banana series, ‘Honey’ in particular is beautiful. https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/k-g

also there’s a Live in San Francisco album from 2016 from the ‘Nonagon Infinity’ era https://kinggizzard.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-san-francisco-16

Scarred 2

Various Artists – Scarred For Life 2 DL/LP (Castles In Space)
The sequel to the original comp of themes to imaginary spooky TV shows that never were, all in aid of charity.
https://scarredforlife.bandcamp.com/

CiSSUBLib cardVarious Artists – Castles In Space Subscription Library – I may as well just open an account with Castles In Space – Oh I just did! 10 releases over the next year – how they’ll do it alongside the heaving schedule of the regular label I don’t know but it looks great! £8 digital or £15 vinyl subscription per month, first releases are a members library card and badge and a new Field Lines Cartographer LP (the last one is one of my favourite releases of 2020). All beautifully designed buy Nick Taylor too, lathe cuts, T-shirts and more to come, there’s a provisional list floating around the web but I can’t find it now…
https://cissublibrary.bandcamp.com/community

FLC LP
FLC LP 2

Stefan Bachmeier The Strange Worlds Of

Stefan Bachmeier – The Strange Worlds Of Stefan Bachmeier DL/LP (Spun Out Of Control)
Compilation of previously released works from the three LPs so far, wobbly analogue synth horror on vinyl rather than cassette now and wrapped in a lovely Eric Adrian Lee sleeve.
https://spunoutofcontrol.bandcamp.com/album/the-strange-worlds-of-stefan-bachmeier

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AI 21 cover

The Abyss Within Us – Life In A Circle LP (Astral Industries)
I love everything on this label, if 20 minute ambient pieces are your thing then you can’t go wrong
https://astralindustries.bandcamp.com/album/ai-21-life-in-a-circle

AI-04 LP
They’ve also repressed the fourth release on the label, long out of print, from Wolfgang Voight & Deepchord – up for pre-order today but be quick as the scalpers are out in force, buying them to flip on Discogs (what is wrong with these people?)
https://astralindustries.bandcamp.com/album/ai-04-colours-of-time-re-interpreted

In C David Harrow

David Harrow – In C
I’ve been on a bit of an ‘In C’ binge this year and David sent me his versions a while back, looks like he’s decided to release them now. https://rattle-records.bandcamp.com/album/in-c

A couple of recommends for fellow artists whose work I’ve always admired who don’t have new releases but have their catalogue on Bandcamp.

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Vicki Bennett‘s People Like Us project, decades of cut and paste audio collage – dive in
https://peoplelikeus-vickibennett.bandcamp.com

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Riz Maslen‘s Neotropic and Small Fish With Spine aliases plus selections from her Council Folk label
https://music.neotropic.net/music

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Mixcloud Select 30: Strictly Kev – Going Through A Phase 26/03/2001

30 CD disc Subtitled ‘Canadian Vinyl Excavation series’, these two mixes were very much a result of going through the spoils of touring the US and Canada in 2000 and mixing in a sprinkling of new releases from the time. As I’ve no doubt previously mentioned, the international tours of the day were also excuses to go wild in record shops overflowing with vinyl post-CD boom, pre-vinyl resurgence, all cheap with a strong pound against a dollar conversion and an even better Canadian dollar rate. Regular day routines would be to travel to the next city, check in and either hit the record shops or do the soundcheck and try to squeeze in a dig before dinner. Days off were a free for all and the van or bus bays would fill up with bags of vinyl pretty quickly.

I’m using the trusty Line 6 FX pedal in some of this, it has a lovely long sustain on it and a gritty analogue sound, very versatile but a bit of a beast to control. This and next week’s mixes were based around the opening track by Vanilla Fudge whose concept album ‘The Beat Goes On‘ was split into four phases. Some great UK hip hop in here from Stylee C and Def Tex, both from the Son label, run by Al from the Ninja Tune office at the time. Some background on the Peter Cook & Dudley Moore track, a 1967 track that got put on a Beatles bootleg and led some people to speculate that it might be the band incognito. Dudley Moore wrote, “Regarding “The L.S. Bumble Bee“, Peter Cook and I recorded that song about the time when there was so much fuss about L.S.D., and when everybody thought that “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” was a reference to drugs. The exciting alternative offered to the world was L.S.B.!, and I wrote the music to, in some ways, satirize the Beach Boys rather than the Beatles. But I’m grateful if some small part of the world thinks that it may have been them, rather than us !”.

30 PRS

The Gil Trythall ‘Nashville Moog’ track was the last track on a frankly terribly Country Moog album I picked up but is a genuinely enjoyable piece of comedy filler. The Jonny Dankworth ‘Experiments with Mice’ is also a gem, fished out of a Toronto 45 bin, a fantastic retooling of the nursery rhyme in a jazz context, renaming the three mice after famous players and using their signature styles to flesh out the story, a kind of live mash up. At this point I’d been buying up jazz and soundtracks at a rate of knots for several years on tours, the costs being minuscule compared to UK prices, but was beginning to dip my toe into the psych rock pool with The Mothers of Invention and anything that said ‘psychedelic concept acid freakout’ on the cover. Of course I picked up a few duds along the way as many bands and artists cashed in on the summer of love but it made for some great sleeves. Apropos to nothing, the Quincy Jones track sounds like the Batman theme to me. That’s a very ambitious mix from The Mothers into Herbie Hancock, it just about holds together, the search for his ‘The Spook Who Sat Behind The Door’ flexi still goes on… For the final track I see I included Andy Summers & Robert Fripp, I have no recollection of this, or of ever owning any of their albums, although I’ve since become a Fripp devotee, very odd.

Parts 3 & 4 next week…

Phase 1
Vanilla Fudge – And The Beat Goes On
Stylee C – Old 3 Piece Suite
Mondo Grosso – MG2SS
Miroslav Vitous – Bassamba
The Soul Destroyers – Blow Your Top
Sandy Nelson – Bang That *%$£@+ Drum
Lord Buckley – Willie The Shake
5th Dimension – Good News
Def Tex – Sad Songs
Peter Cook & Dudley Moore – LS Bumble Bee
Gil Trythall – Nashville Moog
The Avalanches – Thank You Caroline (Andy Votel mix)
Phase 2
Jonny Dankworth – Experiments with Mice
Paul Horn – Interludium
Arthur Lyman – Taboo Tu
Quincy Jones – Boogie Bossa Nova
The Mothers of Invention – Help, I’m a Rock
Herbie Hancock – The Spook Who Sat Behind The Door
Fingathing – Slop
Sonny Terry – Blue’s Last Walk
Jack Nitzsche – No. 2
Andy Summers & Robert Fripp – Maquilage