The New Obsolescents’ LP exclusives at Wow and Flutter from this Saturday

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As it says above – Wow and Flutter in Hastings will have the 20 unique LPs for sale that we displayed during our live instore last month. As you can see in the video at the top, each one has a hand-assembled, screenprinted sleeve on a different type of holographic card in a variety of printings (black/white ink and postive/negative image inversions). These were all test ideas for the second print run of the LP and were passed over in favour of the prism effect card we eventually used.

Castles in Space had 20 extra sleeveless copies of the LP left over from the second batch (silver and white swirl vinyl) and so we married them up for this unique final run. Wow and Flutter are the only people selling these anywhere in the world, they will be a highly affordable £25 each and it’s first come, first served plus they’ll let you pick your favourite sleeve from the bunch – a Castle’s in Space completist’s nightmare but there you go.

Here’s a quick blast of a bit of our instore performance which will possibly wind up on the next album in some form or other. Video by Tim Scullion from W&F – also if you’ve not heard the podcast Tim does with Paul Field under the name We Buy Records then check that out too.

The New Obsolescents Live at Wow And Flutter 2024-04-07 + Deliaphonic!

A couple of Sundays ago The New Obsolescents played live at the excellent Wow And Flutter record shop in Hastings. Chris Weaver, Robin The Fog and myself, improvised live for several hours in-store as people watched, listened and shopped. As you will see in the video, hanging above their heads were test printed sleeves for the second pressing of our debut LP that had been passed over in favour of the prism version we eventually used. These unique items have been retained by the shop and will be sold (with the vinyl) on a first come, first served basis to those who visit over the next month before the remainder go online to those who can’t make it down to the South coast.

Here’s a little snippet of our performance put together by the shop’s own Tim Scullion as a very early taster for our second album as we will be using some of the recordings made in the shop on the next release. Thanks to everyone who came down, Colin from Castles In Space and especially Tim and Susan from Wow And Flutter for having us. This is their 10th year in business and they are planning nine more in-store events over the year so give them a follow or better yet, a visit!

We also play at the Deliaphonic all-dayer in Coventry on May 2nd at the newly re-christened Delia Derbyshire Building University alongside… well, just look at that line up! Entry is FREE via the sign up here. I will also be playing a solo Quadraphon set with PuttyRubber on the visuals to close the event. By coincidence, Delia and I share the same birthday just a few days later.

Deliaphonic flyer

Turn On Exhibition

The first (that I’ve ever heard of) exhibition of zoetrope art – TURN ON – ended recently at the Place des Rotondes in Luxembourg and they have made this short film of the event, directed by Raoul Schmitz. Sculpture played at the opening and my 2013 zoetrope of Bonobo‘s ‘Cirrus’ using animations by Cyriak was featured alongside discs by Reuben Sutherland, Drew Tetz, Tess Martin, Iloobia and more.
A note to cultural spaces – the exhibition is now available for hire and can’t wait to go on tour! A presentation kit is being finalised for interested art and cultural centres. Email Marine Deravet at Rotondes if you are interested in hosting the event in your city or town. Photos below by Lynn Theisen (first 3) and Mike Zenari.

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DSC_6379 © Mike Zenari
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DSC_6164 © Mike Zenari
DSC_6141 © Mike Zenari
DSC_6140 © Mike Zenari
DSC_6134 © Mike Zenari
DSC_6108 © Mike Zenari
DSC_6104 © Mike Zenari
DSC_6102 © Mike Zenari
DSC_6096 © Mike Zenari
DSC_6066 © Mike Zenari

Posted in Design, Event, Film, Music, Records. | No Comments |

Time Released Sound – A Decade of Handmade Music Packaging book

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I recently took delivery of this incredible book, ‘A Decade of Handmade Music Packaging’ by the label Time Released Sound.

The label specialises in handmade limited edition packaging for each release, mainly CD but also lathe cut vinyl.

They’ve made over 100 releases in 10 years which is quite something when you see the work that goes into every one.

The level of detail is staggering as each release is collaged together from found ephemera and assembled by hand. I’m going to have to post more spreads because 10 images just doesn’t do it justice.

For fans of music packaging, there’s never been a book as good as this since the Independent Project Records‘Savage Impressions’ collection.

Time Released Sound have copies available to buy now, each comes with 2 CDs of music from the label on the inside cover, give them a follow and check out all the wonderful art they make.

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Amon Tobin – Permutation 25th anniversary reissue

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Big legacy reissue just announced – I started working on the artwork for this last summer and I’d say it *might* be even nicer than the original.
Amon Tobin‘s second LP for Ninja Tune – Permutation – gets a 25th anniversary reissue at the end of May.

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We’ve gone to town on it and I can’t wait to get a copy in hand. Yes it will have the spot varnish plus a die cut front cover and reimagined inner sleeves. It’s a Ninja Tune co-release with Turntablelab who have an exclusive purple vinyl version.

Pre-order is up now for a May 31st release. I’m indebted to Graham Needham of MacStrategy who helped access Freehand Mac files from 1998 so that I could remake the sleeve from the original elements


Eno Eno Eno

The second edition of Brian Eno‘s turntable is showing at the Paul Stolper Gallery in London this month. Prices last time were eye-watering and actually went up as the edition sold out giving an incentive for early buyers.

Eno 1+2 Gary Hustwit Print set

Gary Hustwit‘s Eno film premiered at the Sundance Festival in January to rave reviews, it compiles a different film with each showing from 168 hours of footage. You can buy these limited prints or Sundance Poster, designed by Build, from Hustwit’s site
Eno 3 Sundance

And if that wasn’t enough Eno for you, there have been more tracks added to his radio station, The Lighthouse, on Sonos. At the end of 2023 there were 424 but 447 and 448 cropped up today, The Lighthouse is a continuous stream of largely unreleased tracks from Brian’s archive that play randomly 24 hours a day – am investigating…
UPDATE: There are at least 25 new tracks from 2023 and 2022 added as of Feb 2024 bringing the total of tracks up to 449.

Turn On zoetrope exhibition, Luxembourg

Turn On posterAn exhibition of phenakistoscopes and zoetropes revolving around music and audio has just opened at the Rotundes venue in Luxembourg. I was thrilled to see my design and viewer for Bonobo‘s ‘Cirrus’ on Ninja Tune way back in 2013 using animations by Cyriak from his video for the song.
Turn On is open from Saturday 20.01 to Sunday 11.02 as part of the festival Fabula Rasa.

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Turn On 3
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Turn On slipmat

All photos and film by Reuben Sutherland/Sculpture who played there on Saturday after their triumphant turn at The Light Surgeons‘ takeover at Iklectik last Thursday. The exhibition is on until February 11th and there’s an exclusive slipmat available as part of it, designed by Etienne Duval.

Opening hours:
Thu + Fri >15:00 – 18:00
Sat + Sun >11:00 – 18:00
Closed from Monday to Wednesday

More info:


Best LPs 2023Music:
Kosmischer Laufer – Volume 5 LP (UCR)
Soia, Julien Sénélas, Jérôme Vassereau – In C for 11 Oscillators and 53 Forms LP (unjenesaisquoi)
Cate Brooks – Tapeworks DL (Cafe Kaput)
Memorials – Music For Film: Tramps! LP (State 51 Conspiracy)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – PetroDragonic Apocalypse… LP (Album of the year)
Field Lines Cartographer – Moonbuilding Sessions LP (CiS Subscription Library)
Brian Eno – The Lighthouse radio station (Sonos) (most listened to)
Niholoxica – Source of Denial LP (Crammed Discs)
SareemOne – Olivine Window
Coast Contra – Breathe & Stop Freestyle/Never Freestyle/Scenario Freestyle
Move78 – Grains LP
Heiroglyphic Being – The Moon Dance LP (Apnea)
Raj Pannu – Past Crimes EP 12″ (To Pikap Records)
Gordon Chapman-Fox – The Nine Travellers LP (Castles In Space Subscription Library)

Oh God What Now?
Cartoonist Kayfabe
Jonny Trunk’s Patreon Show
What Goes Around
The Bunker
The Bureau of Lost Culture
Not A Diving Podcast with Scuba

Best of Live events 2023-2
Gigs / Events:
Art of Noise @Jazz Café, London
The Light Surgeons – SuperEverything launch @iklectik, London
Quadraphon debut @Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate
Beyond The Streets exhibition @Saatchi gallery, London
Pop Up Subculture festival, Stroud
Holotronica, @IMAX Bristol
Sunroof / Finlay Shakespeare @iklectik, London
0282 Club, the library, Burnley
Paul Cousins @iklectik, London
The Light Surgeons – The Consensual Hallucination @iklectik, London
Memorials at the State 51 Summer Psych party @State 51, London
Queens of the Stone Age @Glastonbury
FogFest2 @iklectik, London
JG Thirlwell & Emsemble @Bush Hall, London
The Book & Record Bar 10th anniversary party, London
Machina Bristronica, Bristol
Visiting Peel Acres with Eilon Paz of Dust & Grooves
Nihiloxia @the Jazz Cafe, London
NEXT Festival, Bratislava, Slovakia

Best design 2023
Design / Packaging:
Yves Malone – A Hello To A Goodbye LP (Castles In Space)
Drumetrics – Phuzzle (Drumetrics)
Waclaw Zimpel – Train Spotter LP (State 51)
David Boulter – Factory 3″ CD (Clay Pipe Music)
Fluctuosa – Wetware EP 12″ (Analogical Force)
Fluxus – Orbit & Shine LP (Castles In Space)
Floating Points – Birth4000 12″ (Ninja Tune)
Cate Brooks – Easel Studies LP + badge (Clay Pipe Music)
Brian Eno – Top Boy OST CD (Beatink)

Nick Taylor (Spectral Studio)
Louise Mason
Francis Castle (Clay Pipe)
Tradd Moore
Kishi Omori
Mike Mignola
Geometric Love
Anna Readman
Zoe Thorogood
Colin & Maria @ Time Released Sound

Best books 2023
Books / Magazines / Comics:
Medical Grade Music – Steve Davis & Kavis Torabi (White Rabbit)
Doctor Strange – Fall Sunrise – Tradd & Heather Moore (Marvel)
Tales To Enlighten – The New Testament – Matt King and James Edward Clark
Beyond The Streets exhibition book
Pop – Milton Glaser (Phaidon)
Kevin O’Neill Apex Edition (2000AD)
Mark Stafford – Salmonella Smorgasbord (Soaring Penguin Press)
Savage Impressions – Bruce Lichen (Independent Project Records)
Hexagon Bridge – Richard Blake (Image)
Monica – Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)
Acid Valley – Luke Insect
Petrol Head – Rob Williams & Pye Parr (Image)
Lawless – Dan Abnett & Phil Winslade (Rebellion)
Giant Robot Hellboy – Mignola/Fegredo (Dark Horse)
Facelss & The Family – Matt Lesniewski (Oni Press)

Squaring The Circle : The Story of Hipgnosis

What Have I done 2023
Another year over and what have I done?
Designed a retro jungle cover for District 1727 release Rinse Out The Raw Steel
Opened for The Art of Noise two nights running at the Jazz Cafe
Designed The Home Current & Peter Wix and UNE CDs for Spun Out Of Control
Performed at Candlemas with Julian Hand, Heena Song, Paul Naudin and Whyte Light Visuals
Started working with visual artist PuttyRubber with my Quadraphon turntable at live gigs
Designed the Stasis 12″‘Quondam Sequences’ for De:tuned
Edited a short video for Holotronica after their Bristol event (not sure this ever got broadcast/finished actually)
Restarted my Infinite Illectrik label with 7 monthly releases from May
Mixed two new volumes of The Funky Eno with selections provided by Nohbodhi
Gave talks about Wheels of Light in Stroud and Brighton
Collaborated with Graham Dunning live with visuals by PuttyRubber and Chromatech for FogFest2
Appeared on the 45 Live and What Goes Around podcasts
Wrote the theme for the new Why? podcast
Remade and remixed Amon Tobin’s Permutation LP artwork for the 25th reissue
Continued the weekly Mixcloud Select series of archive mix uploads
Designed and illustrated Wonders of the Undersea World LP for Trunk Records including a sheet of stickers to make your own cover design.
Designed zoetropes for T Rex, Donna Summer, Dr Who, Lily Allen and Steps(!)
Designed the Pulse Five EP, poster and postcards for FSOL, working with Jonas Ranson again on the screenprint
Designed the De:tuned 15 logo and T-shirt for the label’s fifteenth year in 2024
Designed the Clerkenwell Kid Junkyard Melodies album + ephemera and 3″ Xmas Winter Warmers companion CD for Stephen Coates/The Real Tuesday Weld
Designed the A’bear album sleeve for Castles In Space
Contributed vintage graffiti photos to the second Old So Kool book about the UK graf scene in the 80s
Ongoing research into at least three other book projects…

Alan Rankin, Jeff Beck, David Crosby, Burt Bacharach, Raquel Welch, Alain Goraguer, Lee Purkis aka In Sync, Paul O’Grady, Al Jaffee, Jah Shaka, Mary Quant, Mark Stewart, Frank Kozik, Andy Rourke, Peter Jones (Colourscape designer), Martin Amis, Kenneth Anger, Tina Turner, Astrud Gilberto, John Romita Snr, Glenda Jackson, Jane Birkin, Paul Rubens, Jamie Reid, Michael Parkinson, David McCallum, Mark the 45 King, Benjamin Zephaniah, Ian Gibson,

Looking forward 2024
Looking forward to:
Candlemas II
Gary Hustwit’s Eno film
The Time Released Sound Book – A Decade of Handmade Music Packaging
Furiosa – A Mad Max Saga
The Hoppy documentary
Richard Norris’ autobiography, Strange Things Are Happening
Sophia Satchell-Baeza’s ‘Sensuous Laboratories’ book
The The’s new tour
Doug Shipton’s new Fundamental Frequencies label
More collaborations

Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 
#23: Special Request – What Time Is Love Sessions 2×12”

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support. 

#23. Special Request – What Time Is Love Sessions 2×12”
In at no. 23 – of course it would be – Special Request‘s loving tribute to the KLF’s finest single with nods to their classic ‘Chill Out’ album too – a superb homage. The physical release isn’t due to land until Feb 2024 but you can listen and pre-order now.

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Posted in Event, Music, Records. | No Comments |

Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #20: Upside Down Records

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

#20. Upside Down Records

South East London’s newest used record shop, located at 203 Deptford High Street, SE8 3NT and run by ex-Rat Records manager Philippe Giron – pay them a visit as they settle in with daily new-in vinyl top ups and hi-fi. (SE London)

Other great used record shops in the UK: (SW London) (Hastings) (Hastings) (SE London) (Birmingham) (Leicester) (Glasgow) (Manchester) (Liverpool) (Brighton) (Bristol) (E London) (E London) (N London)
Also (not on Instagram):
Prime Cuts (Bristol)
Alan’s Records (N London)

King Bee
Mixed Up2

Christmas Collector Countdown #19: West Norwood Cassette Library

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

#18. West Norwood Cassette Library label 12”/10”/DL
Excellent South East London label of hard as nails bass and bleeps run by Bob Bhamra. Check out Jane In Palma’s banging version of ‘The Horn Track’ to start.

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #17: Raj Pannu – Past Crimes EP

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

Raj back
#17. Raj Pannu – Past Crimes EP 12”
My old friend Raj Pannu finally releases a new 12” with his own compositions on this excellent electronic 5 track EP. On the To Pikap label out of Thessaloniki, Greece.

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #16: Various Artists – Tape Excavation LP

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

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#16. Various Artists – Tape Excavation LP
Literally what it says on the tin; obscurities from the tape drawer compiled by Bruce Licher and beautifully printed on a custom card sleeve with inserts, all lovingly detailed in the Savage Impressions book that this originally accompanied which showcases 30 years of the Independent Print Project label’s release history.

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Tape Excavation detail
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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #14: Source: The Independent Project Records Collection CD

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

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#14. Various Artists – Source: The Independent Project Records Collection CD
A starting point for newcomers to the label, largely run, designed and printed by Bruce Licher, featuring a number of his own aliases alongside post-punk bands of the 80s and 90s.

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Obscure Records box set

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Obscure RecordsBrian Eno and Gavin Bryars‘ short-lived record label from the mid 70s – is getting a lavish reissue this month via the Italian label, dialogo. The ten albums released in three batches between 1976 and 1978 are getting the box set treatment on vinyl and CD with accompanying books detailing their checkered histories with new sleevenotes and essays by key contributors. The label very kindly sent me the full digital release and I’ve been revisiting – and in some cases hearing for the first time – all the volumes in pristine, digitally-remastered quality seeing as the handful of originals I have on vinyl have been around the block a bit now.
Co-curated at the time by Eno, Bryars and Micheal Nyman and resurrected by Bryars with full co-operation of all featured artists for this release, the ten albums form a snapshot of a young, experimental set of avant garde composers, mainly from the UK, setting out in careers that would take them in different directions with varying levels of succes, fame and notoriety. The most famous of the set are by the key curators – Bryars’ ‘The Sinking of the Titanic / Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’, Eno’s ‘Discreet Music’ and Micheal Nyman’s debut,’Decay Music’, but you’ll recognise others among them too; The Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s first LP is here alongside works by John Cage, David Toop and Harold Budd’s introductory outing.

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Several things strike me about these albums; the amount of samples – or ‘found sound’ as they’re called in the sleeve notes – some of them use. At least half the catalogue use or manipulate voice or field recordings, in Discreet Music’s case, affecting or looping sections of another composer’s work as just another instrument. It’s also interesting to note how many of the participants were also working part time in the education system, no doubt influencing future generations in other ways beyond these albums. There’s probably a book to be written about the hidden history of art and music taught through the universities of the UK by some of its most unique practitioners.

The label have done a beautiful job representing these albums as one body of work with the CD version looking like a perfect companion to the Oblique Strategies box on the shelf. The sleeves are facsimiles of the originals, reproducing sleeve notes inside the book along with reflections from Bryars, Toop and more as well as insights into their legacy, the cover reconstructions and even the myriad of different pressings of the originals out there. According to the sleeve notes there was to be an Obscure 11, Eno’s Music For Airports, but at the last minute he changed his mind and started the Ambient Series; four albums that bear similarities to the Obscure releases, not least in their cover designs as well as his hand in their production. Times and the composer had moved on and a new movement was afoot, leaving the Obscure catalogue at a perfect ten, a time capsule of a collective that would splinter in different directions and prove influential in ways none could predict.

An aside concerning the cost of these box sets, they’re not cheap but look worth every penny. Downloads of six of the albums are also available on the label’s Bandcamp for €12 per LP – minus the classics by Eno, Penguin Cafe, Michael Nyman, Harold Budd (which you can find easily elsewhere).

Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #10: Lo Five – Vanish LP

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support.

#10. Lo Five – Vanish LP + Castles In Space Subscription Library
Third album (I think? It’s hard to keep up) for Castles In Space from Neil Grant but only available via the CiS Subscription Library sub label. Luckily this is the best label subscription out there with exclusive members-only releases, regular competitions to win rare releases and test pressings and even chances to appear on record.

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Christmas Collector Countdown 2023 #8: The Luvmenauts – In Space LP + comic
 / DL

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A daily post throughout December of records, CDs, books, comics or other ephemera that I’ve bought or been given recently from independent artists, labels or publishers who would welcome your support. 
Buy links in bio

#8. The Luvmenauts – In Space LP + comic
 / DL
Fuzz drums and electronics with an outer space theme – check,
Luke Insect-designed sleeve – check,
Accompanying comic illustrated by Moon Toboggan – check.

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Luvmenauts LP back
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