DJ Food posters

'The Search Engine' promo poster (unused)
'The Search Engine' A3 promo poster
'The Search Engine' promo poster (unused)
Dome Club performance poster
Dome Club performance poster
The Illectrik Hoax Promo poster (unused)
Solid Psyche print

Various posters I created around ‘The Search Engine’ album release. The ‘Solid Psyche’ one was remade from the artwork of the CD of the same name purely because I liked the design and thought it would make a good print.

Image Duplicator ‘Before Lichtenstein’ exhibition

  • RELEASED: 16 May 2013
  • FORMAT: one-off illustration / print / catalogue
  • LABEL: n/a
  • CAT No.: n/a
  • DESIGN: Openmind after Tony Abruzzo / Dave Gibbons
  • EXTRA ZEN: What is Image Duplicator?

The Image Duplicator exhibition at the Orbital Comics gallery in London was set up by Rian Hughes to highlight the original artists that Lichtenstein copied, uncredited, for his most famous Pop Art works. For my entry I chose Tony Abruzzo‘s work that was copied for two other ‘Kiss’ pieces. I wanted to give a nod to Dave Gibbons – the original artist on Watchmen – for his speaking out on the subject of appropriating imagery whilst also referencing the similar outcry when Watchmen was remodeled as Before Watchmen the year before. Not quite the same thing I know but it makes for a tenuous link.

Creating a fake cover for a comic called Before Lichtenstein was the first part, I then made this into a ‘real’ distressed comic that looked like it might have been the sort of thing Lichtenstein copied from. I chose to do one of the ‘Kiss’ images because of the visual link to Watchmen – the iconic silhouetted kissing imagery that crops up throughout.

Ninja Tune ’20 Years of Beats & Pieces’ book

  • RELEASED: 29 Nov 2010
  • FORMAT: Paperback / Hardback
  • PUBLISHER: Black Dog Publishing
  • CAT No.: ZEN160SB
  • WRITER: Stevie Chick
  • DESIGN: Openmind / Black Dog Publishing
  • SPOTTERS DELIGHT: The hardback version was only available as part of the Ninja Tune XX box set.

’20 Years of Beats & Pieces’ was actually started back in July 2009 and completed just under a year later with a solid six months spent on it and little else. Featuring over 1,200 images from personal collections of various artists as well as my own archive, I photographed, scanned and cleaned up hundreds upon hundreds of picture for this on my own.

I sorted through boxes of Ninja Tune‘s press archives, found photographers to gain access to high quality images and even helped proof-read Stevie Chick’s copy as it came in. 192 pages, priced £19.95, if you see one, have a flick through and find out what the label got up to during their first two decades.

Solid Steel Club flyers

  • RELEASED: 2004-2005
  • FORMAT: A6 digital flyer
  • DESIGN: Openmind
  • SPOTTERS DELIGHT: I made a year’s worth of flyers at the beginning of each year but 2 never got used because we put on special summer parties or dropped a month, they are included here.
  • EXTRA ZEN: solid steel homepage

Solid Steel flyers 2004

This was all about the vinyl: the first year was images of portable turntables and novelty records – some from my collection, some found images. These were never printed, only available electronically via the Solid Steel website although we did print up some big versions to use as decoration on the boat party in 2004.

Solid Steel flyers 2005 This was still all about the vinyl: the second year was the best of our collection of Stereo Test records. These were never printed, only available electronically via the Solid Steel website. There’s a 2006 flyer with the legend ‘People hold on…” but we never got to it as DK had moved out of the city and I’d recently become a father.

Solid Steel Bristol flyers 2004-2005

We started a regular night in Bristol with the Detectives of Perspective in late 2005, bi-monthly at a club called Timbuk 2. They took my initial flyer design and adapted it to show various bits of spying equipment.The first one is a poster for the first two nights, we were going to do it monthly but then decided to do it bi-monthly and the November flyer was never used.

Guggenheim / Blueprint images

  • CREATED: 2000
  • DESIGN: Openmind
  • EXTRA ZEN: The Blueprint image features in the ‘Paper City: Urban Utopias’ exhibition in the Architecture Space at the Royal Academy of Arts, 31st July to 27th October, 2009.

I was asked to supply an image for Blueprint magazine’s ‘Paper Cities’ end page in 2007, the text I supplied tells the story.

From Blueprint magazine: “‘This image is one third of a triptych made by Strictly Kev, art director of music label Ninja Tune. Kev visited Bilbao in the late Nineties and photographed Gehry’s (then) new Guggenheim Museum with a view to using it as source material later. At the end of 1999 he wanted a design for Amon Tobin’s ‘Supermodified’ album, and decided that these would be the perfect textures to use: mechanical, yet organic and ambiguous. By layering images and then using the transparency filters to ‘burn through’ to the images underneath, he achieved some excellent results and colours. Tobin, however, turned them down.”

I actually had a fourth set of layers for a spread in US magazine EXP around the same time as the Supermodified album was released which I titled ‘Eating Darkness’. These are some of my favourite unused images so i’m glad they’ve seen the light of day in some form at last.

The Versus Project Exhibition (Tokyo) 2002

  • OPENED: 2002
  • LOCATION: Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
  • LABEL: n/a
  • CAT No.: n/a
  • DESIGN: Openmind
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: The Versus Project

The idea here was two pair up two different designers, one European and one Japanese, who would design something which would then be remixed by the other and vice versa. As well as showing the results as huge posters there was an exhibition of selected works by each creator. This was held at the Parco gallery in Shibuya, Tokyo, there was a fully illustrated brochure as limited T-shirts from each designer too. I used two variations of the original designs I did for Amon Tobin‘s ‘Verbal’ single for my T-shirts at this event (see gallery above).

Xen Solid Steel flyers

  • RELEASED: 2001-2003
  • FORMAT: round / oblong card flyers
  • DESIGN: Openmind / Martin LeSanto-Smith
  • PHOTOGRAPHY:  Nancy Brown

Xen Solid Steel flyers 2001 – 2002 (circular)

They started off round and all included images of ‘the Ninja model’ as it is known – a 30 cm high hand-sculpted model of the Ninja logo made by Richard Johnston, a model maker who has worked for Aardman and the later Star Wars trilogy.

Xen Solid Steel flyers 2002 – 2003 (rectangular)

And then they went tall and thin… These make use of Chinese brush motifs by Martin LeSanto-Smith who gave me a bundle of different ones he’d done as a hobby. There were no July and August ones due to them being traditionally dead holiday months.

Jazz Fudge release adverts / promo cards

  • DESIGNED: 1997-2000
  • FORMAT: n/a
  • CAT No.: n/a
  • DESIGN: Openmind
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: Nancy Brown / unknown

I really like these ads as they were a little series for a while, always long and thin whether portrait or landscape. A lot were printed in The Wire and a few in Straight No Chaser and Trace. The postcards were inserted into various releases and – like the ads – usually contained info on upcoming releases that was later changed or didn’t happen at all.

Funkungfusion flyers

  • RELEASED: Apr 98 – Dec 99
  • FORMAT: oblong / A6 card flyers
  • CAT No.: n/a
  • DESIGN: Openmind & Oscar Wilson
  • PHOTOGRAPHY: Harriet Fuller
  • SPOTTERS DELIGHT: The first 6 flyers joined up to form images on both sides

These were a collaboration with Oscar Wilson who did a Ninja inspired illustration on one side across six flyers for another of my beloved ‘collect them all and make a bigger image’ themes (a recurring device no doubt inspired by collecting Star Wars cards as a child that made large Chewbacca pictures when you flipped them over). Look at those line ups!

Stealth flyers

  • RELEASED: Oct 1995 – May 1997
  • FORMAT: A6 card flyer
  • CAT No.: n/a
  • DESIGN: Openmind
  • SPOTTERS DELIGHT: Several successive months joined up to form a larger image on one side of the flyers

This club started as a launch party for the ‘Recipe For Disaster’ album and lasted 18 months. For the first 3 flyers I was into metallics, then into a little 4 card join up of the Ninja logo, then I’d come back from Japan with mini Ultraman figures and did a series of 6 with them (including the first instance of the phrase ‘Yes Mate’)

And here is the epilogue…..

And thus it came to pass that on 16th January 1997 the great soul Ninja was crucified at the Blue Note in her manifest form of Stealth. She did so to convert her physical death into a metaphor for the rest of the undaground to hear. Sacrifice implies ‘to make sacred’. However, a sacrifice does not make anything sacred unless what we are giving up is very dear to our hearts and of utmost personal significance. This is why the Book of Stealth must come to a close. Search for the Ninja inside ya, and you will realise that Stealth can never die, for the multidimensional message we came to bring burns as a bright spark in the core of your inna bass-bin; beyond the bullshit, without the ego-bism, within the music… is Life itself. Perhaps you may find left behind a soundscape filled with the triphoptimism of a generation …

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