Unofficial Zap comics

ZAP 0 UK issue
Above is an extremely rare UK version of Zap Comics no.0 that is currently on sale on eBay – there’s virtually no info on this anywhere on the web but there it is. There’s a version of Zap no.1 from the UK but this edition of #0 never comes up. Look at the 2/6 price too, that dates it, below is a retooled top half of an inside page that fits with the country of origin better than the original featured below. Below that is the original, full colour cover on all the American printings.

Zap 0 Brit inside
Zap 0 US ed Zap 0

Below is another bootleg, no publisher, possibly a German 2nd edition but of which issue I’ve no idea and no other info on this one. These versions may be a result of an agreement with publishers back in the 60s and 70s whereby all comic material printed by the underground press was allowed to be reprinted in different countries or states. Knockabout ComicsTony Bennett talks a bit about this in the recent podcast I took part in, The Bureau of Lost Culture, where we talk about his adventures in alternative culture publishing from the 70s onwards.

Zap Ed.2

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Mixcloud Select 58: All Killer! 31/05/2004

fullsizeoutput_2ce5This week’s upload is the 2nd version of a mix, the first of which didn’t make the grade because I felt it wasn’t good enough, this happened sometimes during the years when we could pre-record and edit at home. Most of the first half of this has elements of my DJ box at the time including a routine with the Spiritual South remix of Max Sedgley’s ‘Happy’ with acappella’s by the Beastie Boys and Ty overlaid. After an intro by another competition entry by Strikes it launches in an unexpected Theme From Happy Days paired with various cuts from David Shire’s ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ aka one of the greatest soundtracks ever recorded.

The keen-eared will spot the connection here as Sedgley’s ‘Happy’ enters the mix – the original samples said soundtrack and the Happy Days theme refers to the title – still not sure if it was a good idea but I probably thought it was hilarious in its wrongness at the time. The Spiritual South mix plays out and was always a really exciting one to play out as the increasing tempo changes add that spice in the club and the singalong acappellas push it into carnival territory – RIP Ty. More uptempo breaks follow in the 160bpm area by the end with DJ Zinc, Skalpel and First Born’s excellent Northern Soul-esque ‘The Mood Club’ parts 1 & 2. This excellent 7” has another great tempo changer of a mix, this time slowing down before speeding back up, always fun.

To my surprise, sandwiched in-between these two is The Jam’s ‘Funeral Pyre’, probably my favourite song by the trio, mainly for Rick Buckler’s incredible drums and it slides quite nicely in. Then back to the acappella’s with PWEI over RJD2, a snatch of ‘The Message’, a current Breakestra tune and Jane’s Addiction’s ‘Been Caught Stealing’ which would later turn up on DK and I’s ‘Now, Listen Again’ mix CD three years later. There really was little rhyme or reason to this selection, some of the tracks were evidently current releases but mixed up with old favourites in a party style. One that really stands out for me is The P Brothers with Cappo – their loping, almost slo-mo disco beat with that metallic noise just kills me. What is it? Some metallic Gang of Four bass guitar or weird percussion sample ? Whatever, I love it and Cappo’s flow over the rhythm surely marks this as one of the more progressive hip hop collabs of the time.fullsizeoutput_2ce1

After this we get into a reconstructed version of the mix that got trashed before with a slew of mash ups, odd cover versions or just plain wrongness that should bring a smile at least. It’s amazing how an edit, losing a track here and there and a reshuffle can make something a lot better and that’s what it’s all about as a selector, where you place something can make all the difference. I have no idea who attempted the mix ‘Blue Monday’, ‘Holy Thursday’ and ‘Saturday Love’ together but it works in places even if the quality is terrible. Ace of Clubs was Luke Vibert under yet another pseudonym and Autechre’s polyrhythmic collision with the acappella of Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Microphone Fiend’ was taken from a live performance. It’s worth it for the drop into the vocal and the unexpected turn it takes.

Two very early covers of Boards of Canada by a band called The Mathletes follow but I have no idea where I got these from, probably downloaded from the web. What follows was probably ill-advised but could form an earworm if you’re not careful, you have been warned. The final track always makes me laugh as Pitman takes a spot on satirical swipe at The Streets on his Soot FM radio show.

* Dates on the CDR refer to when the mixes were recorded, the PRS sheet says 28th, Solid Steel.net says 31st.

Track list:
Strikes – Solid Steel intro
Pratt & McClain – Theme from Happy Days
David Shire – Mini Manhunt / Goodbye Green / Hello Garber
Max Sedgley – Happy (Spiritual South remix)
Beastie Boys – Hold It Now, Hit It (acapulco)
Ty – Wait A Minute (acapella)
DJ Zinc – Voodoo
Skalpel -1958
First Born – The Mood Club Part 1
The Jam – Funeral Pyre
First Born – The Mood Club Part 2
RjD2 – Exotic Talk
PWEI – Radio PWEI (acappella)
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message
Breakestra – Show & prove
Janes’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealin’ (remix)
P Brothers feat. Cappo – Crazy Man
Mutant Miscreation – Grenadier’s Message
Unknown – Weekday Mix
Dick Hyman – Give it Up Or Turn iIt Loose (Carl Craig re-edit)
Baudolino  – Prince Voodoo Sex
Ace of Clubs – Ace of Clubs
Autechre / Rakim – Microphone Fiend (live)
The Mathletes – Bocuma
Unknown – Fill Me Jobim
The Mathletes – Roygabiv
Pitman feat. The Roads – Live on Soot FM

The Hauntologists – Tales From The Scary Magic Field 7″

Haunt cover
I was lucky enough to grab one of the last copies of this hilarious parody record by The Hauntologists the other week. ‘Tales From The Scary Magic Field’ pokes good-natured fun at certain aspects of the Hauntology genre, most prominently the whole ‘thought to lost tapes found in an attic supposedly from an obscure horror film’ scams that have become so prevalent in recent years.
Haunt backYou can hear the A side on Bandcamp but the vinyl contains a hilarious B side that pokes fun at musique concrete styles by chucking everything and the kitchen sink into the (concrete) mix. The splatter vinyl is a thing of wonder too. Hauntology fans will spot the references and should check the write up on the BC page for more in-jokes.

Haunt vinyl

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New ‘Above The Clouds’ guest Mix for Jonny Cuba radio show

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Long time friend and music ally, Jonny Cuba – of Dynamic Syncopation / Soundsci / Other Mirror and more – invited me to make a mix for his new radio show / podcast via the Jason Charles podcast network. Each show is themed with a different guest choosing the theme and providing a 30 minute – this episode’s is ‘Above The Clouds’.

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Mini CDs #19: Janek Schaefer – Rink

Jan Skate

From Janek Schaefer‘s sleeve notes: “The original concept for my ‘Skate’ LP was to make a record that usurped the deterministic spiral (and the ‘anti-skate’ mechanism) as a way of playing and listening to sound on vinyl. To do this I developed the ‘Fragmented’ cutting technique, a method of cutting a concentric collage of individual short ‘sound scars’ onto the disc. When played, the stylus navigates it’s own random path across this intermittent terrain of physical/sonic diversions. The type of record player, its speed and the user will all affect the result and thus each and every playback of the LP will elicit a different composition.
Jan Skate LPAfter much research it proved unfeasible to experiment in a professional cutting room to develop this process. I decided then to build my own lathe by converting and inverting the acoustic sound reproduction mechanism of an HMV wind up 78rpm gramophone. Using a car stereo system I positioned a pair of speakers so that they played ‘backwards’ into the sound funnel and thus ultimately back into the stylus. The stylus then acted as a vibrating cutting head when enough volume was applied. A 14″ blank acetate was placed on the turntable and rotated at varying speeds using the gramophone’s sprung mechanism. By very quickly and placing the stylus/cutting head onto the disc I built up the final collage sound by sound. I used the collected works of Pierre Schaeffer (a pioneer of vinyl manipulation) for the source sound. Only a proportion of each sound scar was influenced by those specific vibrations as this rudimentary cutting process was one of loss and accumulation.”

Jan Skate vinyl

“The LP is intended to be the starting point for ‘real time’ explorations by the user. It works very well as a repetitive device if you place an obstruction (like a 7″) in the path of the tone-arm as it locks the stylus into a loop. Another method is to play the record by just using your hand to rotate it slowly instead of at 33 or 45. This produces a much more subtle and controlled result. My personal favourite is to use the Tri-Phonic or Twin to play several sequences simultaneously! As the LP travels at a fixed speed all the arms play at the same tempo and thus ‘polymix’ perfectly. Experiment with it.”Jan inners
“‘Rink’ is a composition using sounds taken from the ‘Skate’ LP combined with live room recordings taken from the ‘Skate’ Installation at Triskel Arts, in Cork, Ireland, August 2001. The 2nd version was at Vooruit Arts in Gent, Belgium, September 2002.”Jan Rink CD

“The Installation and CD started with a single copy of the LP. Firstly I recorded 60 different rhythmic and textural sound events by playing the LP on my Tri-Phonic Turntable in different ways. 30 silent tracks of varying lengths were then added to create the master CD. A copy of this CD is then loaded into 3 random play CD players and broadcast together into the room. The 3 sets of speakers are positioned along the gallery to mix a spatial and architectural context into this continuous re-composition. Finally, next to each set of speakers is a light source which flickers, fades and glows according to the associated sound level. Occasionally the gallery is left in silence and total darkness as all the CD’s hit a silent track and the lights die.

It is an immersive scenario exploring the impact that sound and reactive lights can have on the experience of the space they are installed in. ‘Rink’ was composed in spring 2002 by the invitation of Staalplaat. The CD has 99 track marks. Have fun!”
I can’t really add much more to that, but more info on Janek’s site – https://www.audioh.com/releases/skatelp.html

Jan Skate insideJan Rink insideJan Rink

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The Bureau of Lost Culture: The Comix Underground with Tony Bennett

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I had the absolute pleasure to spend an afternoon recently at Soho Radio with Stephen Coates and special guest Tony Bennett, the founder of Knockabout Comics  – underground and alternative publisher since 1975. We chat to Tony about his history in the counter culture, publishing some of the greats of the genre from Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Alan Moore, Hunt Emerson and more including his run-ins with the law, customs officers and trials for obscenity.

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It’s hard to think of another publisher who has done more in the underground comics medium in the UK and Tony was a delight to chat to. He bought along a whole pile of books for Stephen and I including a copy of his very first self-published and very hard to find comic, Trip Strip from the early 70s. Pictured above are just a handful of the comics Knockabout have printed and distributed over the years – for more check their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/knockaboutcomics/

Trip Strip

Mixcloud Select 57: All Quiet On The Western Front 31/05/04

MS57 CDR This was taken from the end of a show I opened with 45 minutes of REALLY odd/awful versions of songs in ways that you wouldn’t expect. I was obviously still into the mash up thing as it pitted Melle Mel with Grenadier Guards, Dick Hyman covering James Brown, an Adam & the Ants cut up and Autechre reworking Rakim (from a live set by the group themselves). A set of tunes named after days of the week are shoehorned together by some unknown creator while Beyonce and Destiny’s Child get twisted into reggae and ragtime styles. It went on and was all a bit of a car crash, lots of it had aged pretty badly so I won’t be featuring it here I’m afraid – believe me, I’ve spared you. But that was version 1 – I’ve since discovered that I felt pretty much the same way back in 2004 and reworked the mix into something much better which I’ll share next week.

Si Begg aka Cabbageboy was the guest that week and then I wrapped up the show with this 30 minute mix which has faired far better over the 17 years since it was first broadcast. Around the early 00’s we had a competition for listeners to rework the show intro and were inundated with material, it was a seriously difficult job choosing favourites. One of mine was by someone under the name of Pangaea who made a beautifully musical version using the bleeps we provided which opens this set.

MS57 PRS

As you might guess from the mix title, this is a restrained affair featuring music for the quieter hours. Max Richter’s ‘The Blue Notebooks’ are featured twice, from the original release on Fat Cat sub label 130701 and this was the first time I’d heard of him. It’s a beautiful album and has since been quite rightly reissued after his later success. Stunningly atmospheric late night music, I used to listen to it in headphones, working to the early hours and it’s all too short. Neotropic appears from a compilation called ‘Crossfaded: Vol.2’ which I don’t remember at all, or it could have come from a CDr Riz gave me at the time because this track also appeared on her ‘White Rabbits’ LP four years later.

This is a far more mature set than the one that preceded it with M Craft and Animal Collective providing some contemporary folk songs before The Free Design beam in from the 60s. I think their records were being rediscovered and reissued around this time and Stones Throw did a series of remix EPs. I have no idea how Status Quo got to close the show but I was delving into psychedelia around this time and was surprised to find out that their early, pre-denim riffing was quite a bit different. From their second album, ‘Spare Parts’, and not written by the group, it’s a full on post-Sgt. Pepper ‘flower children’ epic with strings and brass but they were a little behind the times with this arriving in ’69 and it was a commercial flop. They changed musical course after this, dropped the psychedelia and the rest is history…

* Dates on the CDR refer to when the mixes were recorded, the PRS sheet says 28th, Solid Steel.net says 31st.

Track list:
Pangaea – Solid Steel intro
Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks
Neotropic – Feeling Remote
Max Richter – Shadow Journal
M Craft – Cone To My Senses
Animal Collective – Leaf House
The Free Design – 2002 A Hit Song
Satus Quo – Mr Mind Detector

Openmindesign Instagram

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Thanks to Coldcut sharing my Openmindesign account on Instagram yesterday we just went over the 1000 followers mark, thanks guys. I’ve been saving this entry for just such a milestone.IMG_1009

I remember well, setting up the huge flight case that would become the toy box on the cover of this album in Matt Black’s Spacelab studio at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St one sunny spring morning. Matt and Jon More had pulled out various items that they felt were part of the Coldcut story for inclusion and Hex’s Rob Pepperell had created a game box with graphics of the duo and added a copy of his book, ‘The Post-Human Condition’ too. I’d made a set of assembly instructions with the album title on it the night before as we’d decided on no obvious typography on the front cover.

IMG_1010Suzi Green was in charge of photography and we arranged the box a number of different ways as well as shooting the underside for the back of the sleeve. You can see all sorts of items in and around the box; badges, CDs of samples, previous records, a portable turntable, a flyer for Stealth, tapes of studio sessions, a toy Ninja and the Journeys By DJ mix tape. Hex – including a pre-Hexstatic Robin Brunson – computer generated the ‘toys’ of Matt and Jon and perfectly photoshopped them into the cover image afterwards.

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I used old children’s play blocks for the lettering on the labels and a 3D box typeface for the Let Us Play titles, also finding an image for each track. There really wasn’t an inch of space that wasn’t used on this, a crazy amount of information. I’d do it differently these days of course but I think it was what was needed given the smorgasbord of contents inside.

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There was so much info to go into this album, it was never going to be a minimal design. Suzi had taken various shots around the Ahead Of Our Time studio which featured around the edges of the inside sleeves and gatefold, then there was a freaky ‘chakra’ inner sleeve, lyrics, loads of collaborator credits and info. Then there was the CD with bonus enhanced disc of games and digital toys, the cassette, the video and multiple press ads, posters and more, it went on and on, one of the biggest album campaigns of the label’s history up until that point and quite rightly.

Then there was the remix album ‘Let Us Replay’ in early 1999… read and see more at www.instagram.com/openmindesign and give us a follow as there are daily postsIMG_1014

Mini CDs #18: Jon Oswald – Plunderphonics

Plunder front
Jon Oswald’s pioneering pop cut-ups were a big deal back in the 80’s, getting cease and desist notices from major labels for cutting up Michael Jackson and Elvis. He was ordered to destroy copies of his original Plunderphonics 12″ but before the advent of the web and the means to freely distribute his wears, Blast First pressed this 3″ CD as a Xmas card to give to friends and associates.
Plunder back

UFO Club adverts from International Times magazine

IT_1966-12-12_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-5_012

Recently researching light shows in London around the mid 60s I was perusing the International Times archive online and noticed that the UFO Club had various ‘flyers’ present in each issue around its tenure at the Blarney Club and The Roundhouse during ’66-’67. It’s no surprise as UFO initially gave money to IT and you’ll notice the first event was called Night Tripper / UFO as they couldn’t decide on a name.
There was no format, some had to be decoded and the 27th October ’67 issue featured a piece stating that UFO is Dead! Reading between the lines you can detect some general annoyance that some promised cash flow had been cut off. The final image here maybe or may not be connected but it was on the same page as the club obituary and features lights in the sky.

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IT_1967-02-13_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-8_016 IT_1967-02-27_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-9_016
IT_1967-04-28_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-12_012 IT_1967-05-19_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-13_014 IT_1967-06-02_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-14_015IT_1967-06-16_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-15_012IT_1967-06-30_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-16_016IT_1967-08-31_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-18_020IT_1967-10-05_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-19_020IT_1967-10-27_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-20_013
There was a posthumous analysis of what killed UFO in IT nearly a year after it closed, comparing the audience’s locations as the popularity grew.

IT_1968-04-19_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-29_003 UFO is Dead

Mixcloud Select 56: Strictly Kev – Space! The vinyl frontier 21/05/2001

MS56 Disc

From almost 20 years ago, a space-themed mix which was a favourite of Dean Smith who worked in the licensing dept. at Ninja Tune HQ at the time. I’d be lying if I said eyebrows weren’t raised with the inclusion of Destiny’s Child in this mix, I even remember a few annoyed comments from punters when DK and I dropped them into a mix at Cargo months later for the ‘Now, Listen launch party. But whatever, a good song is a good song, it was also the dawn of the mash up as you can hear but the inclusion of the Girls On Top mix of the Human League and TLC, one of the first of this wave. Frederick & Nina was an alias for Paul Jason Fredericks and Riz Maslen aka Neotropic and featured on one of her Council Folk releases with this great little samba.

Brian Eno made one of his best albums in 2001 and few people noticed, ‘Drawn From Life’, a collaboration with percussionist J. Peter Schwalm is full of beautiful tracks and features Laurie Anderson, Holger Czukay, Leo Abrahams and more. The strings in ‘Persis’ reminded me of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Suite Revenge’ from the Deathwish soundtrack so I added that next then remembered that the Major Force West album on Mo Wax a few years before contained a track which had sampled them.
MS56 BBC card
The space theme really only starts at Tom Dissevelt’s ‘Drifting’, a favourite from a 4-track 7” I’d found recently by the Dutch electronic pioneer. I’d also found a huge National Geographic box set with a book about man in space with several records telling the story of the space race. I added choice bits of this into the set at certain intervals and they can be heard from here on. An excerpt from Jimmy Cauty’s Space project follows, this was due to be The Orb’s debut album but Jimmy and Alex Paterson had a disagreement and it was put out under this name without Alex’s contributions, it’s so sparse that it makes ‘Chill Out’ seem full on.

Banabila is Michel Banabila from a 12” on Pork Recordings, the only thing he did for them, I really need to check him out, he’s done loads of albums and is still recording. Neotropic in This Mortal Coil mode precedes the opening track from Autechre’s ‘Confield’ album and then more Space. An excerpt from Harold Budd’s ‘The Pavilion of Dreams’ appears before Joe Meek closes the set with a track from his legendary ‘I Hear A New World’ LP that had recently been rediscovered and bootlegged.

*The difference in the dates on the CD and the BBC card is most likely because Solid Steel went out on a Monday evening when we were broadcasting on the radio with the corporation and then go up on the web on the Friday after.

Track list:
Simian – The Wisp
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Timbaland mix)
Squarepusher – Red Hot Car
Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (original mix)
Girl’s On Top – Being Scrubbed
Frederick & Nina – Running
Eno & Schwalm – Persis
Herbie Hancock – Suite Revenge (excerpt)
Major Force West – Sonic Scale For Percussion No.113
Tom Dissevelt – Drifting
Space – Space (excerpt 1)
Eno & Schwalm – Bloom
Banabila – Voices from a Secret World
Neotropic – Cornershop Candy
Autechre – VI Scose Poise
Space – Space (excerpt 2)
Harold Budd – Bismillahi Rrahmani Rrahim
Joe Meek – Valley of No Return

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.

Mixcloud Select 55: Strictly Kev Solid Steel 06/05/2002

MS55 CDR
Almost 19 years ago today I opened a Solid Steel show of two halves, the 2nd being taken up by my deconstruction of DJ Shadow’s ‘The Private Press’ album under the title, ‘Press Cuttings’. That mix is already on my Mixcloud and Soundcloud so I won’t be posting it but the half hour that preceded it has a lot to recommend it too.

Kicking off with The Flashbulb totally destroying LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’, this is an acquired taste but I love it and can’t hear the original without thinking of how some of the lines are mangled here. This of course was during the period where mash ups were big news and I was constantly looking for things of this ilk that would push the boundaries of how well known songs were retro-fitted with others. Scuzzy Buffer Underrun’s version of The Orb’s ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ was just such an example and there was a whole site full of these kind of versions. Using an artificial speech generator to replace lyrics was something that I thought was going to be the next fad in the mash up genre but it never caught on.

At the time a lot of this material was only available via the web so lots were downloaded and burned onto CD-Rs and I’d use a Numark CDJ in my sets in addition to the two turntables. This particular model could pitch up or down + or -100% with pitch lock and you can hear this in the playing of Negativland’s ‘Yellow, Black and Rectangular’ which is pitched right down to mix in to the “purple and red and yellow…” of The Orb (see what I did there?). You can hear the fragmented audio throughout the start and it gradually speeds up to the 124bpm of the Wookie track.

The mix from ‘Scrappy’ into 808 State’s ‘Cubik’ caught me off guard listening again, I’d noticed the similarity of the descending bass lines in both and scratched the latter to fit the former. This is a really random set with The Herbaliser’s serious overhaul of their own ‘Something Wicked’ track in the form of a bossa nova which, to me, is even better than the original. Another rework that radically retools the original is the Lotek version of Roots Manuva’s ‘Dreamy Days’ which rolls into an excerpt from Steinski’s as then unreleased ‘Nothing To Fear’ mix. Coupling Nelly and Marvin Gaye and peppering it with references to weed hence the subsequent track about marijuana that follows.

Tracklist:
The Flashbulb – Mama Said Knock You Out
Scuzzy Buffer Underrun – Little Fluffy Clouds
Negativland – Yellow, Black and Rectangular
Wookie – Scrappy
808 State – Cubik
The Herbaliser – Something Wicked (Bossa remix)
Evolution Control Committee – K-Tel-commercial
Roots Manuva – Dreamy Days (Lotek Bonanza Relick)
Steinski/Nelly/Marvin Gaye – Country Grammar
unknown – Marijuana

Part 2 can be heard here: https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/press-cuttings-the-private-press-compacted/

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.

Mini CDs #16: The Advisory Circle – Mind How You Go

Advisory front
More beautiful Julian House designs for the fifth release on the Ghost Box label, back when they were still a CD only operation. The Advisory Circle‘s ‘Mind How You Go’ was the sixth release on the label and originally only existed as this handmade 3″ mini CD before being updated and released on vinyl years later. Of course, the first release on the label, founder Jim Jupp‘s Belbury Poly EP, ‘Farmer’s Angle’ was also a 3″ CD but this is the one hole in my GB collection, now going for around the £70 mark if you can find one.

Advisory Circle insideAdvisory CD insideBelbury Poly Farmers Angle

DJ Format – Devil’s Workshop album

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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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Mixcloud Select 54: Solid Steel DJ Food Part 2 18/01/1998

MS53 DAT

This mix was the third part of a show where I tag-teamed with Riz Maslen aka Neotropic, each doing two half hour mixes. Recorded up at Ninja Tune HQ in Clink St before it moved and engineered by Ali Tod who added samples and effects whilst watching the levels.
A more restrained intro with Fridge’s Steve Reich-esque ’Astrozero’ from their Anglepoised release on Output Recordings blending into ‘Orgien IV’ which was a really odd LP by Khan I found in New York on tour. Khan is the brother of Cem Oral, part of Air Liquide, and they would often feature on the same compilations so I’d always look out for his work which could range from acid techno to ambient. Around the time he was living in NYC and owned a record shop in Manhattan called Temple Records (quite possibly where I found this) and a label of the same name. The album came wrapped in a huge A1 sized poster printed on newsprint that was folded around the disc.

We pick up the pace with the excellent ‘Ape Shall Never Kill Ape’ from UNKLE, possibly the last everyone-pile-into-the-studio-and-see-what-comes-out track from James Lavelle and co. before Shadow stepped in a took the reigns. It’s an excellent breaks and Planet of the Apes soundtrack cut up with scratching by Tony and Joel from The Scratch Perverts and production by Jadell but we can now see that James had his eyes on something a bit bigger in scope. This was later retitled as ‘March of the General’ and released on Nigo’s album in 2000, this would have been from a Japanese 12” release at the time I played it. A really rather ropey mix of Stasis‘Samba de Fat Bloke’ lurches into the fray and shows that just because two things are in time, they don’t necessarily go together smoothly.

I’d completely forgotten this A Reminiscent Drive track, aptly named ‘The King & The Elephant’ because it sounds like a large mammal lumbering along, from his debut album, Mercy Street on F Comm. ‘Iced Cooly’ by Boards of Canada is from their debut 12”, Twoism and yes, this was played from an original copy which I still own – proof I had one back in ’98. The Fifty Foot Hose track isn’t from an original sadly, from another one of those dodgy Italian compilations that were so prevalent in the late 90s (The Might Mellow – A Folk – Funk Psychedelic Experience) and we close with the beautiful ‘Lillian Lust’ by Dudley Moore from the Bedazzled soundtrack.

Fridge – Astrozero
Khan – Orgien IV
UNKLE feat. Nigo & Scratch Perverts – Ape Shall Never Kill Ape
Stasis – Samba de Fat Bloke
A Reminiscent Drive – The King & The Elephant
Boards of Canada – Iced Cooly
Fifty Foot Hose – Rose
Dudley Moore – Lillian Lust

Ninja Tune x AIAIAI Headphones

ReleaseProduct-228764-134141

I saw these announced today and just had to share – Ninja Tune have teamed up with AIAIAI to produce a version of their modular TMA-2 headphones. Not only are these great headphones, I’ve used them myself at home for listening, but the difference with these is that some of the parts are made from recycled Ninja vinyl records! They’re not cheap but they are great quality, completely modular so you can change parts or replace one if it wears or breaks. More info and pre-order here BLEEP

ReleaseProduct-228764-134136ReleaseFormat-715867-134523ReleaseFormat-715867-134515 ReleaseProduct-228764-134142

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