The Tapeworm

TapewormThe Tapeworm is a new micro cottage industry-styled record label with a difference. It shouldn’t really be called a record label at all because the only format they release music on is cassette. Run by an anonymous group of ‘worms’, they make limited editions runs between 250 and 350 copies of each release featuring the likes of Philip Jeck, Derek Jarman, Simon Fisher Turner, Geir Jenssen and more.

The music ranges from ambient to installation pieces, live sets, interviews, noise or solo piano improv. I have a copy of the Van Patterson Quartet release – reportedly a lost live psyche rock jam – and let me tell you, it’s the real deal. As tiny examples of how music used to be formatted they are building into a lovely little set of black and white wonders, some also featuring the music and artwork of Savage Pencil.

More info here

Posted in Music, Oddities. | No Comments |

Strictly in Kiev and the DJ’s dilemma

[singlepic id=2040 w=320 h=240 float=left]

Sorry for the atrocious pun in the title but if I didn’t do it then someone else would have. I was in Kiev over the weekend and was overwhelmed by the sheer enthusiasm of the crowd there. As soon as I walked into the club I was asked for my signature including someone who had printed out the cover of the last EP on a sheet of paper for me to sign. The Ukrainians aren’t backwards in coming forward and I was passed many notes during my set as well as being asked to play tracks so I thought I’d show a few of them here.

I’ve been collecting these notes for years and plan to show more of them on here at some stage, they deserve their own little section really as some of them are brilliant. These show the different expectations of the crowd and also what they expect of ‘DJ Food’ – something I’m mindful of but which can change depending on territory and my mood. For instance, I don’t play much DJ Food material in my DJ sets, something I’ve been aware of for years and that will be rectified in 2010. But first on to the messages, the first one I got was:

IDM

Interesting take on what DJ Food is, I have nothing against IDM but I don’t play much of the genre unless the author is literally referring to it as Intelligent Dance Music – which could mean a number of things to many people. I started my set with some no-brainer breaks and beats to get things going without being too clever before I settled into a groove so I can take that one on the chin.

Next I got this from a girl who looked very exasperated when I told her ‘no’:

Kal

As much as I love the record (and I know others do) most of it just isn’t dancefloor material and the couple of tracks that are don’t have the sort of production that can compete with current music. I’m going to remix a couple of bits and beef up the production for my sets at some point though but I’ve played stuff before and it’s home listening headphone music for the most part. Tricky 3/4, 6/8 and 7/8 time signatures, spoken word and 80 bpm or lower tempos aren’t the kind of thing to set clubs on fire. I’ve always been a DJ before I’ve been a producer, subscribing to the Bambaataa, Flash, Double Dee & Steinski and Coldcut schools of DJing. This means mixing musical styles as well as beats, tempos and trying to add a twist of humour occasionally into the proceedings.

The more I play east of Europe I find that part of the audience is still expecting the DJ Food and Ninja sound of old in my sets -ie Trip Hop, breaks, Hip Hop and jazz-based sampled music. This forms a very small part of my sets at the moment as little of anything that falls into this category excites me and the bits that do are not always dancefloor friendly. I played very little electronic stuff in this set but maybe I should have tested the waters a bit more. Shortly after that I got this:

Hip hop

I really appreciate that people add please on the end, it really makes a world of difference. I got this just as I’d gone into drum and bass so I wasn’t about to about-face and revert to something else as jumping all over the place stylistically ruins the groove and pace of the night. So, the drum and bass went down pretty well with a portion of the crowd, especially with the obvious classics. Shortly after I finished with the d n b and the same guy pleaded with me again for Hip Hop, I got this note from him:

DnB

Well, he went home happy in the end but I suppose it looks like I’m not really playing what people expect! I chatted to several people after the set, who were all very complimentary, before heading off to the hotel for the night. The next day I had the opportunity to look around the city a little with my host Bogdan before heading off to Budapest. The bridge railings with all the padlocks and messages is a place lovers go to ‘secure’ their love for one another although apparently there have been several people jumping to their deaths as well! The house with the strange sculptures on the roof is the Secretary to the President’s house, originally built by an architect years before the revolution on land it was thought was un-buildable on.

Posted in DJ Food, Film, Gigs, Music. | 7 Comments |

Kraftwerk Kover Kollection vol.6

KKK6 cover

Another Kraftwerk post (I’ll have to give them their own category) and time for the sixth installment of my Kraftwerk Kover Kollection to coincide with the final release of the remastered Catalogue box set on Monday.

katalog17-10-09_Karl Bartos

It’s up for a week, streaming via the Solid Steel site and I’ll be making it available via Soundcloud when the next show replaces it.

For those unfamiliar, I do these hour long mixes every year or so featuring cover versions, sample-heavy tracks or songs that obviously owe a debt to the Dusseldorf quartet. I had the idea to string these sources together several years ago and the more I dug, the more I found, the amount of material out there is mind boggling. Not so strange for such an influential band who rarely release new material, I suppose fans have to fill the gap somehow. For anyone wanting to play catch-up, the first 4 are available here with full artwork and track listings and I’ll be putting 5 up with 6 next week too.

At a festival in Warsaw the other week, DK and I had the pleasure of seeing ex-Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos play. I was surprised at how much of the set was old material mixed with his solo stuff. His stage show pales compared to his former bands’ but he had full visuals and 5.1 sound all mixed live and hearing a new take on classic tracks was well worth the time we took to check him out.

 

Internet Piracy

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation recently ran a documentary on copyright law in their Background Briefing slot on Sunday nights. They used some clips from my Raiding The 20th Century mix as well as Steinski, Lawrence Lessig,  Dangermouse‘s Grey Album, Girl Talk, Good Copy, Bad Copy etc.

You can listen or download it here for a limited time

internets

Posted in DJ Food, Music, Radio. | 1 Comment |

The Shape of Things That Hum EP Soundcloud Promo

Here are 3 tracks from my next EP, streamable via Soundcloud – there 5 tracks in all with a further 3 remixes on the download. Sentinel is a collaboration with DK and GIANT is a cover of The The without the vocal which will be added to a remixed version on the album. If you want to buy it and click the link it will take you to iTunes but the EP isn’t out until Dec 14th now so you’ll have a bit of a wait…

DJ Food – ‘The Shape of Things That Hum’ (Promo) by Ninja Tune

Posted in DJ Food, Music, Ninja Tune. | 5 Comments |

World’s Best Robots

Ashley Wood is one of my favourite artists, he is ridiculously prolific, can draw and paint like a demon and designs very unique robots. They manage to look both futuristic and retro and they’re always battered, scratched, rusty and dirty. Not only does he draw and paint them but his company 3A makes them a reality in various different scales (1/6, 1/12 and a forthcoming 1/32 scale series’).

His Bramble bot in 1/12 finally arrived the other week, well actually three did – Merc, Medic and Deep Powder variants, all perfect miniatures of the existing 1/6 scale Bramble. The detail is unbelievable and each is articulated in a multitude of places. I’ve ordered a set of Berties in 1/12 too which should be ready for Xmas. All these sets sell really fast and are then made to order although some are starting to make their way into retail chains as well as being flipped on eBay.

No one makes better robots, 3A are slowly revolutionising the way toys are made, designed, packaged and painted.

Posted in Comics, Robots, Toys. | 4 Comments |

Happy Halloween

pumpkinzI know it’s a bit late but I wanted to share these two pumpkins I carved for the kids’ party.

Got back from Bristol Solid Steel where DK and I played with Hexstatic, King Cannibal, DJ Cheeba and Moneyshot as well as D.O.P. of course. The others all rocked it but we fell foul of some technical problems and just plain sloppy mixing in the middle of the set. We’d spent a week making up quite a complex video piece that we’d never tried before and it was a seat of our pants execution.

Saturday night was the Big Chill House alongside Cheebs again (who rocked it amazingly both nights) and Altern8 who sounded excellent up until I left. The city was full of freaks and ghouls, zombies being the big favourite it seems.

Posted in Event, Gigs, Solid Steel. | No Comments |

More King Cannibal downloads

Adding to the post below and, on the eve of Dylan ‘King Cannibal’ Richards‘ first full length release:

Both Dylan and I were pretty gutted when Ninja said they weren’t going to do a last 12″ single from the album (not a physical one anyway) as we wouldn’t see the cover image any bigger than CD sized. All that effort and work, lost on a format little bigger than a coaster! I’ve taken the step to have them available as a series of desktops and a high quality jpeg of the cover, twice the size of an LP sleeve, at a resolution that you could make a poster from on the Downloads page.

Let The Night Roar is out now on Ninja Tune

King Cannibal LetNightRoar LP

Synth Porn

I’ve been having a reacquainted love affair this year with all things analogue, seventies and sci-fi. It seems to happen every few years and all I want to look at are curved edges, computer fonts, muted tones and airbrushed images from the days before computers made everything virtual. I’ve been doing a T- shirt design based on the Moog and whilst doing some research I stumbled upon this site.

Someone has scanned several issues of a synth mag from the mid seventies called Synapse. It contains interviews with people like Eno, Zappa, Kraftwerk, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Bob Moog, Pat Gleeson and a whole lot more. In amongst all this are reviews, how-to’s and loads of ads for what are now vintage synths.

synapse0

The Kraftwerk interview is great, at one point they talk about a comic they’ve made where small plug-in systems try try to make contact with all these inputs and outputs, coming together to make a group. They talk about doing a book where they present more of their work to people in ways it can’t be shown on record. Shame it didn’t materialise.

What has materialised at long last though is the fabled reissues of their albums from 1974 -2003 – known to fans as ‘the catalogue’ – and originally meant for release in 2004. Some promo copies even slipped out but then nothing, now they are finally available via Mute in the UK. Now that’s one set of remasters I’ve been looking forward to whilst everyone else bangs on about the other Fab Four.

Posted in Books, Kraftwerk, Music. | No Comments |