Mixcloud Select 111: Solid Steel – Kev vs Oscar The Golden Child 08/02/1998

MS111 TapeHere’s a couple of early 1998 sets strung together from a Solid Steel show I did with Oscar The Golden Child aka Oscar Wilson. I knew Oscar from the early days of the Sunday Best club, run by Rob Da Bank before he started Bestival. Oscar was/still is a super-talented illustrator and graphic artist as well as a DJ so we hit it off easily and I invited him in to play on the show a few times. We took turns in doing a half hour each and here I’ve strung my two sets together, check out his work here

Kicking off the mix with good old Boards of Canada, I think this might be the original Skam 7” mix of Aquarius, itself now an eye-watering average price of around £170 to find. Sliding messily into Skylab, and I do know the title, it’s actually ‘?’ but I don’t know whether this is part 1,2 or 3 as I can’t find my 12” of it. Over to the French connection for DJ Vadim’s remix of DJ Cam’s ‘Innervisions’ next featuring A-Cyde and Air’s still exquisite ‘All I Need’ classic. I’d forgotten the madness of Clifford Gilberto’s Timber remix, wow, how crazy is that? Probably doesn’t help that I’m playing the Balanese Monkey Chant over parts of it. This might have been before he’d actually released anything on Ninja aside from a track on the Funkungfusion compilation too, nothing like a new artist wanting to impress. The madness continues with AFX’s ‘Bummy’ from the Mealtime compilation on Planet Mu, complete with its odd speed up/slow down programming.

After an intrusive KISS jingle we’re into the second set, kicking off a brief electronic section with Lowish from the debut dual release with Solvent on Canada’s Suction Records and Phoenicia’s debut on Warp. Food fans may recognise the odd sample cropping up in the coming selection but it would be remiss of me to give the game away, it was a different time and library, electronic jazz and easy listening was being hoovered up and turning up all sorts of great tunes. Apologies for the chunky mixing, those tricky time signatures. Jasper van’t Hof’s amazing ’T.E.E. Again’ sounds like Boards before Boards and I always thought the early On-U Sound project Missing Brazilians sounded like a template for some of The Orb’s dub workouts. The distortion on that is actually on the record, crazed dub from 1984 on their sole release, Warzone which was reissued back in 2015.

I have to say, I don’t remember these really full on KISS FM jingles that crop up now and again, they point to the change the station was undergoing, getting more commercial and we’d be leaving in a year or so.

Track list:
Boards Of Canada – Aquarius
Skylab – ? (Part ?)
DJ Cam – Innervisions (DJ Vadim remix)
Air – All I Need
Coldcut – Timber (Clifford Gilberto mix 2)
AFX – Bummy
Lowfish – ESP (edit)
Phoenecia – Y-intercpnkt
George Duke – Nigerian Numberuma
Piero Umiliani – Topless Party
Hugo Montenegro – Stutterology
Jasper van’t Hof – T.E.E. Again
Missing Brazillians – Savanna Prance

Oddities: John McColl’s ‘Klapa II’ mural, Glasgow, 1974

Klapa II - Paintings On Walls book
I discovered this mural by Scottish artist John McColl in a book – Painting The Town by Cooper & Sargant – last week. Researching John and any more of his work reveals scant info, he appears to have been part of the Glasgow League of Artists co-operative in the 70s and this image is possibly enlarged from a canvas. It was part of four works commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council for the Gables End Mural scheme in the city, the others being ‘Hex’ by Stanley Bell, ‘Celtic Knot’ by James Torrance and ‘Boy on Dog Back’ by John Byrne.
‘Klapa II’ though is something else, I’d love to see the original and any more work from this period by McColl but there’s nothing out there it seems. Anyone with any more info please let me know.

Klapa II Cultural Devolution Art in Britain in the late 20th century
A black and white version of the bottom image, taken from the book, ‘Cultural Devolution – Art in Britain in the late 20th century’

Klapa II Eric Watt Coming Into View book
The mural featured in Eric Watt‘s ‘Coming Into View’ book of photos of Glasgow.

Klapa II John McColl

A few images of Stanley Bell’s ‘Hex’ (two versions it seems) are here
and more info on UK murals at the amazing For Wall With Tongues website.

Mixcloud Select 110 – Coldcut & Openmind in for Andrew Weatherall – 25/08/1994 3rd hour

MS110 tape

I’m doing something different this week by putting this hour up for all seeing as it’s half by Coldcut and half by myself. Subscribers who have last week’s 2nd hour can complete the full 3 hr show if you head over to Coldcut’s Solid Steel Mixcloud page where they will upload the first hour by Matt Black. The 3rd hour is below and open to all.

In a mirror of my set in last week’s upload I start with a Ken Nordine then an Orb track and into a pivotal tune that holds a special place for me in how things evolved in the 90s musically. I first heard Coldcut’s ‘Eine Kleine Hed Musik’ on their incredible Coldcut meets the Orb show of New Years Eve, 1991/92. At the time it was unreleased and when I first met Matt Black at one of our Telepathic Fish parties in 1993 I asked him what it was as there was no track list and no clue as to where it came from. He told me it was a Coldcut track but others weren’t sure about releasing it, to which I told him in no uncertain terms that it was amazing and perfectly timed with what was happening at the moment (elements of what would become trip hop bubbling up through the ambient scene).

This propelled him to include it on the vinyl version of Coldcut’s ‘Philosophy’ LP when Ninja Tune released it (the majors not seeing the point in vinyl at that point, how things change). This was at a point when (I think) Coldcut were still signed to A&M but breaking away and trying to get their name back to use on Ninja Tune as the label seemed to be losing interest and they were keen to be their own bosses, hence Ninja and the DJ Food alias. By the time of this show I had a solid vinyl copy of the track at last after having it on tape for 2.5 years, it gave Matt and I a connection from our first meeting and it represents a key point in my career as a DJ.

The Ballistic Brothers vs Eccentric Afros 12”s got so much action back in the mid 90s, seminal trip hop blueprints, probably never to be repressed due to huge samples I’d wager. The unknown ambient sax track up next was from a tape I bought in Ambient Soho, long since lost in the mists of time and the sax loop I’ve just discovered (via the power of Shazam) is the intro to Dionne Warwick’s ‘A House Is Not A Home’. Such a beautiful track made from a simple idea. Mike Oldfield meeting the Orb was always an idea waiting to be ticked off the list and their overhaul of his Sentinel track is one of their best remixes IMO. Swimming out of this come the Cocteau Twins with ‘Whales Tails’, I played a fair bit of 4AD stuff in chill out sets around this time, lots of This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance too.

I think Matt takes over for this last section so I can’t comment too much although the Autechre tracks might be me but I can’t be sure. This 3rd hour concludes the set – I’ve sent Matt’s 1st hour to him to put up on the Coldcut Mixcloud – and has a similar feel to the Alien Sphinx shows we used to do something on Solid Steel where we’d forego the ads and sometimes have an extra hour for one reason or another (British Summer Time ending was always one).

Tracklist:
Ken Nordine – You’re Getting Better
The Orb – Back Side Of The Moon (Underwater Deep Space)
Coldcut – Eine Kleine Hed Musik
The Ballistic Brothers vs The Eccentric Afros – Anti-Gun Movement
Unknown – Ambient sax track
Mike Oldfield Vs The Orb – Sentinel (Orbular Bells)
Cocteau Twins – Whales Tails

The Ink Spots – Do I Worry?
Coldcut – Sign
Drome – Hinterland, Kassler Kessel
Unknown – Unknown
Autechre – The Eggshell
Autechre – Flutter (on 33rpm)
Deep Space Network – Om
Tonoto’s Expanding Headband – Jetsex

Moonbuilding magazine issue 1

MB cover CD

The first issue of Moonbuilding is here! Put together by Neil Mason (ex of Electronic Sound magazine) and published quarterly by Castles In Space, it features guest design work from Nick Taylor, a column by Alex Paterson of The Orb and the return of Steven Appleby’s Captain Star comic strip. Also comes with a 13 track CD
Order via the Castles In Space Bandcamp page

MB CD back

MB Books

MB DH 1

MB DH 2

MB Capt Star

MB Howl

MB Levi

Jazz mags video by Manalishi

This is a very cool little clip by Manalishi“My good friend Matt Ford kindly lent me a shoebox full of his grandad’s 1940’s jazz magazines. I was so impressed by their condition and also the quality of the designs that I decided to animate my favourite bits.”
Matt Ford you may know by another name – DJ Format, here’s what he had to say about the clip. “I only recently discovered that my grandad used to run a jazz club in the Southampton area where I grew up. He was a massive hoarder and kept all his jazz magazines, records & gramophones until his death in 1983. My gran then kept all of these lovely items for the next 39 years and passed them on to me. It’s interesting to think that some of my weird/obsessive record collecting ways were inherited from my jazz-loving grandad!”
See more on Matt’s Instagram

Howlround – Trespass and Welfare album and Fogfest

CDcover
Robin The Fog – not content with releasing a collaborative cassette with Ken Hollings (The Howling via The Tape Worm), creating episodes for MSCTY about tape music (see earlier post), gigging or holding workshops virtually every week as well as holding down a full time job – is also releasing a new album with the Buried Treasure label. For those paying attention over the last few years, a couple of limited lathe cut singles with BT have pointed the way, La Fog has been moving towards the heavier, noisier end of things of late. Pounding, industrial 4/4 beats are the order of the day in part on Trepass and Welfare with various phase-shifting motifs moving through the repetition to form new rhythms and patterns. This is very successful on opener, ‘Sonicjob Horsfunk’ where a buried vocal seems to intone different phrases as it’s filtered around the sound spectrum.
The album is out on CD & DL on July 29th and you can pre-order it here

CD2
Below is a short video made by the excellent Cinema Iloobia for the album closer, ‘Frosi’


And the week after release is the inaugural occurrence of Fogfest at Iklectik, another thing that’s eating up Robin’s time to organise. I’ll be joining the bill of Sculpture, Steve Davis, Franziska Lantz and Robin himself for music, drink and chat in Waterloo. Tickets available here https://iklectikartlab.com/fogfest/

Fogfest flyer

Mixcloud Select 109 – Coldcut & Openmind in for Andrew Weatherall – 25/08/1994 2nd hour

MS109 Tape
Andrew Weatherall once had a late night, weekday show on KISS FM back in the 90’s, running – I think – between 1993 and 1994. Coldcut were asked to sit in for him a few times and I got to play one of these during August 1994. I can’t remember if we did it live, I doubt it being that it was 1-4am on a Wednesday night, we probably pre-recorded it.

This particular set is Matt Black and myself using multiple decks and CD players, I think I even bought a cassette in to play one particular piece from and it’s a good example of Solid Steel from around that time, quite ambient, downtempo with an uptempo electronic ending. Of the three hours, Matt did the first, I did the 2nd and most if not all of the 3rd, it’s hard to tell until I have a full track list.

Kicking off with Ken Nordine, then a recent find on a Rhino best of CD via Mixmaster Morris who introduced me to him in 1993 and blew my mind. The Orb we all know, hard to believe it’s 30 years this summer that this came out on the UFOrb album. Early Ninja beats from Up, Bustle & Out into Sounds From The Ground – a lesser heralded act from around this time which included Elliot Morgan Jones who was also Path who appear later. One of the first vinyl design jobs I ever did was for him under the Path alias on his own Sound Information label – lovely guy.

There’s been a lot of talk on the internet about trip hop this week and here are a brace of beats from older 80s cuts by the likes of Depth Charge and Tackhead with a couple of tracks from Aphex’s then newly-released Selected Ambient Works II and the Psychic Warriors of Gaia sandwiched in between. A brief dash of the Orb’s mix of KLF’s 3AM and another snatch of Ken from the Sound Museum, one of my absolute favourites by the man.

Things get multi-layered from here and I can’t identify all the tracks going on as many of them bleed into one another or run in the background, ducking and diving in and out of the mix. Steve Hillage’s ‘Rainbow Dome Musick’ is one of them and must play for at least 10 minutes or more. Global Communication’s ‘9.25’ I can definitely hear, the Path vs Spacehead is another and Tounesol’s ‘Holy Cow’ but there’s lots more going on in there. Once we reach Hillage there’s a slow build into quite a raucous section of pounding acid techno with a Beaumont Hannant track from the vinyl version of his Texturology album that I can’t find the name of. Out of this comes one of my favourite UK acid tracks – Sulphuric’s ‘Acid Chamber’ on Infonet – a sole release under this name being the work of Pete (The Hypnotist/MLO and may more) Smith and Kris Needs and it’s incredible. Hillage is still in the mix and then we get another Aphex track to play out, the pounding but mysterious ‘D-Scape’ from his ‘On’ release.

Tracklist:
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum
The Orb – O.O.B.E.
Up, Bustle & Out – Lazy Daze
Sounds From The Ground – Triangle
Depth Charge – Bounty Killers (Measly 1000 Bucks version)
Aphex Twin – Untitled (Flute SAW II)
P.W.O.G – Linkage
Aphex Twin – Untitled (Industrial Beats SAW II)
Tackhead – What’s My Mission Now?
KLF – 3AM (Blue Danube Orbital)
Ken Nordine – The Sound Museum
Global Communiation – 9.25
Unknown – Unknown
Path vs Spacehead – Neptune
Tounesol – Holy Cow
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Musick
Beaumont Hannant – unknown
Sulphuric – Acid Chamber
Aphex Twin – D-Scape

Yasushi Takayama interviews – Mo Wax Japan, Toys Factory and more

Kev and Yasushi-Sharpen web

The DJ Shadow Reconstructed website has just published the second of two very indepth interviews with Yasushi Takayama – an old friend who worked for the Toys Factory record label in Japan in the 90s. Toys Factory manufactured and distributed both Ninja Tune and Mo Wax back in the day and did some beautiful releases with bonus tracks as well as bring acts from the labels to Japan for tours and concerts. Yasushi was instrumental in dealing with the labels and would be on hand to help and hang out with us when we visited the country.

Above is a shot of a much younger Yasushi and I during my first visit to Japan in 1996 and I have many fond memories of meals, record shopping and special visits to secret stores with him during our times out there. I put him in touch with Jon at the website who is diving deep into the people and places around Shadow’s career and supplied some personal photos from the time. Whilst the interviews are mostly Mo Wax-related they also give a behind the scenes look at the times and Ninja Tune is mentioned in relation to Yasushi’s role at the label. For collectors and music history fans these interviews are full of rare flyers, previously unpublished photos and show how unique the Japanese versions of these releases were.

Yasushi and DJ Vadim Vaccuum Records 1997-web
Yasushi with DJ Vadim at the Vaccuum Record shop, Tokyo in 1997.

Interview Part 1
Interview Part 2

Posted in Music, Records. | 1 Comment |

Record Mirror illustrated covers

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

I’m mildly fascinated by these rock illustrations from Record Mirror magazines circa 1978-1981 when artists were asked to interpret pop idols of the day for covers and the odd poster. This was back when Record Mirror was a newspaper of the same size as NME, Melody Maker and Sounds before downsizing to magazine format.

RM Blondie 2

RM Blondie
They LOVED Blondie, she was constantly on the cover, probably because a beautiful woman sold copies. Not sure what to make of the suggestive poster at the top!

RM Bruce

RM BS

RM centre poster

RM Chrisse
Ivor Sexton, Alan Alder, David Street, Bob Zammarchi, Bush Hollyhead, Peter Watson, Mark (Zodiac Mindwarp) Manning, Conny Jude, Chris Chaisty, Chris Preistley and Graham Stevens are just some of the names I can see credited, some are familiar, some not.

RM Clash

RM Elvis 2

RM Elvis 3

RM Elvis

RM Grease

RM Led Zep

RM Linda

RM Marley

RM Metal
There was a trend for this kind of caricature around this time with a whole raft of posters released in similar styles (one of which – the Siouxsie centre spread – is featured here). I’ve posted about them before and there’s more to come…
RM Nick Lowe

RM PIL

RM Sexism

RM Siouxsie 2

RM Siouxsie

RM Stevie

RM Who

RM Springsteen 2

Posted in Art, Magazines, Music. | No Comments | Tags:

Mixcloud Select 108: Beating Around The Bush 14/02/2005

MS108 CDr

This was a last half hour in early 2005, we’d traditionally save selections like this for the last slot, material that was a bit more esoteric and unusual, something to wind down with rather than kick off the show and risk people turning off. It’s a game of two halves but both are played for laughs with the former being country cover versions of hip hop classics and the latter being George Bush cut ups, mainly focused on the War in Iraq.

Ricky V Valentine’s ‘Ghetto Classics’ (split into two halves here) first appeared on the Souvenirs EP via the Leeds-based C Side Trax label and is – as far as I know – the only thing released under that name by whoever was behind it. It’s a brilliantly observed take off of Grandmaster Flash, NWA, Outcaste and Jay Z and more of a skit than a song. Nina Gordon was in mid 90’s band Veruca Salt, an indie/grungy pop band who the UK press loved for a minute which is why it’s so odd to hear her cover NWA in such a delicate way, brilliantly absurd. I probably got it from the internet but it turned up on what looks like a bootleg 45 years later in 2010 with a Richard Cheese cover on the flip which makes an appearance next with his take on Snoop Dogg’s ‘Gin & Juice’.

MS108 PRS

Through the power of Discogs I’ve finally discovered who did the cover of ‘Boyz In (N) The Hood’ – it was alt rock band Dynamite Hack (no, me neither) – there’s a cheesy frat boy golfing video on YouTube to go with it too. Then we have tales from Boris ‘the hip hop roadie’ from Pitman’s second LP, according to Boris he was the catalyst for most of hip hop’s founding moments. No idea where I found the ‘Ace of Spades’ cover (probably online, it was the file-sharing 00’s) but the vocal is a dead ringer for Lemmy or they found the multi-tracks somewhere.

Now comes the George Bush half of the set with the bizarre George Bush Singers shadowing lines cut from Bush speeches. This comes from a whole album entitled ‘Songs In The Key of W’ which I’m now keen to hear and has sent me down a YouTube/Discogs wormhole. Big City Orchestra have been making cut ups in the tradition of Negativland for decades and they have a special take on George, the origin of which I’ve no idea as their discography is so huge. After another blast of the GWB Singers we finish with ‘Bushwhacked 2’ – a collaboration by Chris Morris and Osymyso released on Warp records with this being a remix by Jonathan Whitehead. Dubya was the subject of many cut ups over the years with his speeches an easy target for re-editing, these weren’t the first or the last to be featured on Solid Steel.

PS: As you can see my KLF mix was also archived on this disc although it wasn’t broadcast on this show, to hear it you can go here https://www.mixcloud.com/strictlykev/the-sound-of-music/

Track list:
Ricky V Valentine – Ghetto Classics Pt.1
Nina Gordon – Straight Outta Compton
Richard Cheese – Gin & Juice
Ricky V Valentine – Ghetto Classics Pt.2
Dynamite Hack – Boyz In the Hood
Pitman – Boris
Twistin Tarantulas – Ace Of Spades
The George W. Bush Singers – 4,000 Hours
Big City Orchestra – F The Leader
The George W. Bush Singers – War in Iraq
10NN – Bushwhacked 2 (Gim Ponavesspa conclusion)

Hawksmoor’s ‘Head Coach’ CD designs


A new release for Hawksmoor on the Spun Out Of Control label that I had the pleasure to design recently. Their first CD, it comes in a 4 panel digipak with a 12 pg booklet. The 11 track album centres around the alignment of the town of Milton Keynes with the summer solstice.
Pre-order up now Bandcamp
Pictured above are work in progress images including mood boards at various stages of the design of the album. A few of these I like as much as the finished version so I thought I’d share them here.

Hawksmoor SOOC CD1 cover

Initial picture research and ideas started in February, based around the new town of Milton Keynes and the architectural team altering the position of the town by a few degrees so that the main boulevards would align with the summer solstice sunset (all true).

Head Coach inside

Photography of local landmarks, maps, logos and road signage were all considered for a retro 70s look. If you search online there’s some amazing concept artwork dating back to the town’s initial conception. The light pyramid on the cover was a strong image that had to feature prominently, the roundabouts and maze too.

First layouts arrived mid Feb but a rethink was needed, a heavy workload elsewhere meant it was mid March before we started to get the initial look we ended up with. At each step I worked with James Hawksmoor and Gavin for SOOC to refine the designs to their taste. By April we’d nailed it aside from the fine detail but a trip to MK to photograph content for the booklet (not shown here) was needed to which Gavin gamely stepped up.

Head Coach back cover

More tinkering through a busy May and into June to refine the last details and it was done. Thankfully it will take weeks rather than months to manufacture due to it being the label’s first CD.

SOOC booklet pg 1

Mixcloud Select -107 Satanic Messages in Rock pt 492 Solid Steel 03/02/2003

MS107 Satanic Messages in Rock CDR
This is a silly one, a short collection of mostly comedy, cover versions or mash up tracks that was probably a last half hour in early February of 2003. The CD says ‘Satan’ but the PRS sheet states, ‘Satanic Messages in Rock pt 492’. Opening with Kenny Everett who loved his Jean-Jacques Perry as a backing track, we slide quickly into a laid back Stereolab remix of The Polyphonic Spree’s ‘Soldier Girl’. By this point, the internet was yielding all sorts of audio treats via numerous illegal file sharing sites and the preacher talking about Satanic messages in rock music is spoken word gold and peppered throughout the mix. Including Missy Elliot’s ‘Work It’ chorus which reverses itself was a nice touch. The Queen classic ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ was mentioned so it made sense to include it and showcase exactly what the preacher was talking about, I’ll let you discover it for yourself.

I’ve no idea where ‘I’m A Mormon’ came from but I thought it was funny, apologies to all Mormons out there. Now into a couple of ska cover version, Mancini’s peerless ‘A Shot In The Dark’ from the Pink Panther and ‘Caravan’, always go down well at parties. The Amelie theme song set to an electronic background was probably found on the web, I loved the film so this connected. More preaching over the end of it in the form of a ludicrous list of performers and films that were deemed ‘satanic’ by the church in the 80’s. Back to the silliness and the Perry & Kingsley, this time paired with the ‘Thong Song’ by Frenchbloke & Son, two of the funniest practitioners of the mash up scene and friends to this day. Moog Country meets Missy next with more backwards lyrics and then into Andy Votel’s cover of the ‘Chatanaga Choo Choo’ from the Finders Keepers Jukebox series of 45s.

We play out with an excerpt from the DJs On Strike Solid Steel mix which was so crazy it was vetoed by the powers that be and self-released on CD by the group as ‘Too Hot For Solid Steel’. I excerpted a couple of bits so that you get the gist and added Kenny in for the final few bars.

Tracklist:

Kenny Everett – Hello/Moog theme
Polyphonic Spree – Soldier Girl (Stereolab remix)
Missy Elliot – Work It
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
Janine Brady & the Brite Singers – I’m a Mormon
Roland Alphonso – A Shot In The Dark (Take 1)
Roland Alphonso – Ska-ra-van (Take 2)
Unknown – Amelie On Ice
Frenchbloke & Son – Unidentified Flying Thong
Dsico – This Is Missy Country
Andy Votel – Chatanaga Choo Choo
DJs On Strike – Too Hot For Solid Steel (excerpt)

John Peel Bonhams auction highlights

John Peel at home
Today sees the auction of items from John Peel‘s amazing collection at Bonhams in Knightsbridge. You can view 200 items from the auction online here from the incredible, often historical, contents. Whilst there are letters, lyrics, acetates, clothing and promos by heavyweights like Bowie, Lennon & Ono, Bolan and Factory Records, those don’t interest me as much as these items below. The notes and photos below come from the Bonhams catalogue entries.
JP Gandalf's Garden illustration
THE PERFUMED GARDEN: THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY KEN HAYES CREATED FOR JOHN PEEL’S ARTICLE IN THE MAGAZINE ‘GANDALF’S GARDEN’, 1967,
Gouache on artboard, hand-painted by Ken Hayes (Graphics Dept) as an illustration to accompany an article by John Peel in Issue No.1 of the sub-culture magazine ‘Gandalf’s Garden’. The centrepiece of the artwork reading John Peel all at sea in the galaxy with the names of bands such as The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Captain Beefheart, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd and Donovan among others in the design around it, signed and dated ‘67 by the artist in the bottom right corner, the back of the board with a handwritten football score Chelsea 1 – Liverpool 2, 14 1/2in x 24 1/2in (37cm x 62cm)
*Sold for £4,462.50

JP GG spread-low_res-scale-2_00x-gigapixel

‘Gandalf’s Garden’ was a publication focusing on a ‘mystical community’ which flourished at the end of the 1960s as part of the London hippie-underground movement. The magazine emerged in 1968 and ran for 6 issues. This artwork can be seen on Page 8 of Issue No.1 alongside John Peel’s article ‘A Dawn Walk In The Mind Of The Musical Gardener’, published 1st May 1968.
JP Pink Floyd poster
PINK FLOYD/JOHN PEEL: AN IMPORTANT AND RARE ‘EVOLUTIONS’ SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY CONCERT POSTER, Friday 26th January 1968,
Printed on metallic paper, for a concert featuring performances by Pink Floyd, John Peel, Incredible String Band, Jimmy Cliff and the Shakedown Sound, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Chicken Shack, Nelson’s Column, held at the Old Refectory, University of Southampton, England, 20in x 30in (51cm x 76cm)
The title of this event is eerily apposite, the date being that on which Pink Floyd effectively sacked Syd Barrett. His increasingly drug-related erratic and difficult behaviour through 1967 and the band’s evolving musical direction led them to seek another guitar player.
At the end of that year they brought in one of Syd’s friends, David Gilmour, and the band played a handful of gigs as a five-piece in January 1968. In his book, Echoes: The Complete History Of Pink Floyd, Glenn Povey writes: “Syd Barrett was clearly never going to come back to the real world, and his role within Pink Floyd was all but over. One solution the band thought of was to use him as an off-stage songwriter in the same way that the Beach Boys retained Brian Wilson. But almost at once they realised that this was an impossibility.” Travelling to Southampton for this gig, the band simply decided not to pick Syd up en route.
As MC/DJ for the evening, this poster was kept as a souvenir by John Peel. It is thought this is the first example of the poster ever to appear at auction and it may possibly be a unique survivor of the small number that would have been put up around the University campus to publicise the concert.
*SOLD for £8,925
JP Hapshash poster
PSYCHEDELIA: A HAPSHASH & THE COLOURED COAT-STYLE POSTER, 1960s,
Printed on gold coloured card, with typical Hapshash-style castle and sky motif and twisting prose about a grain of sand, origin unknown, 20in x 30in (51cm x 76cm)
Hapshash and the Coloured Coat was an influential British graphic design and avant-garde musical partnership in the late 1960s, consisting of Michael English and Nigel Waymouth, who produced popular psychedelic posters. Though this poster has no artist or publishing credit, it bears several stylistic similarities to other well-known Hapshash posters.
*Sold for £637.50
JP Oz trail vest
OZ: AN OBSCENITY TRIAL VEST TOP, 1971,
A fawn cotton vest top printed with brown and pink slogan ‘Oz Obscenity Trial Old Bailey London 1971’, labelled size 34.
Issue 28, May 1970 (the School Kids Issue), which included a very adult Rupert Bear cartoon strip, led to obscenity charges being brought against the three editors. Peel appeared in court as a defence witness for Neville and co-editors at the trial, held at the Old Bailey in 1971. John Lennon was also one of the high profile supporters of the magazine and released the single “God Save Oz” in order to help raise funds for the magazine’s defence. The three were found guilty, but their convictions were overturned following appeal, resulting in an embarrassing defeat for the Establishment.
*(Bonhams neglect to mention that the image is by Robert Crumb)
*Sold for £828.75
JP Frankie flyer 1982
JOHN PEEL: A NORTH CHESHIRE COLLEGE STUDENT’S UNION CHRISTMAS BALL POSTER, 17th December 1982,
Printed on paper, for the John Peel Roadshow at which Peel invited Frankie Goes To Hollywood to do a session that included an early version of ‘Two Tribes’, at North Cheshire College in Warrington, 20in x 29in (51cm x 73cm)
Soon after this show, the group was asked to record a video for their hit ‘Relax’ which was shown by Channel 4 on ‘The Tube’ in 1983. The growing popularity of the group convinced Grammy Award-winning producer Trevor Horn to sign them to his newly formed ZZT [*ZTT actually] Records. The band later performed the song on Top of The Pops before the song was banned from the BBC in 1984.
8Sold for £280.50

Mixcloud Select 106: Tomorrow Radio Solid Steel 16/09/2002

MS106 CDr
Tomorrow Radio is the name of an amazing LP by the advertising group, TM Productions Inc. I found it in the States one time on tour and the whole album is an audio play based on a fictitious radio station showcasing what the production company can do for your station in the way of ads, jingles and suchlike. Samples from the album feature throughout the mix and it’s worth checking out if you find a copy as there’s a very dodgy ‘advert’ nestled in there which wouldn’t pass in today’s world. This is a Solid Steel set from nearly 20 years ago, a time when I was very prolific on the show and getting more into making densely layered mixes.

Anyway, let’s get to it, an excellent Four Tet remix opener as he takes on Blue States, the Sinewave track I’d completely forgotten though. He was a Canadian drum & Bass artist who is mixed over the Four Tet remix, the track comes from his debut album, ‘Interplanterary Ridicule’. The P Brothers work over The Herbaliser and Blade in their unique style, love the way they put his vocal through an Echoplex, not enough delay in hip hop, not since ‘Beat Bop’ anyway. RJD2’s ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ still sounds as rough and ready as it always did, he seemed to just appear fully formed and slot straight into the scene at the time before moving off into other areas. Dennis Coffey’s classic, ‘Scorpio’ flows nicely out of it and under LCD Soundsystem’s debut ‘Losing My Edge’, one of my favourite tracks of the decade – absolutely timeless, still makes the hairs on my neck stand up. ‘Scorpio’ needs a fair amount of pushing and pulling to keep in time but it’s just about there.

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The Free Association liberally take from Johnny Jones and the King Casuals’ version of ‘Purple Haze’ on ‘Everybody Knows’ – this was an instrumental before the vocal version I think. I always hoped Holmes and co. would do more with this alias but he had bigger fish to fry in Hollywood. Soulwax’s excellent remix of The Sugarbabes slotted right in, you can hear the Electroclash scene working into the mix here. Apparat Organ Quartet put out a curious 7” on David Holmes’ 13 Amp label and I had to look them up to see what else they’d done. A CD single on Duophonic Super 45s and two albums it seems. Johann Jonhannsson was also part of the group early on as well it says on Discogs but had to leave because of solo projects. I think I first heard of Mr Chop via his releases on the Jazzman offshoot label, Stark Reality and he’d later go on to record for Jazz & Milk, Now-Again and Five Day Weekend. I love Barry Adamson, he has the kind of voice I can always listen to and he’s in hamming it up pop mode here, I’d love to do something with him one day, almost remixed him a few years back but the stars didn’t align. A rare case of an artist adding their child to a record and it not being cringe-worthy.

Always have time for Andy Votel’s work, whether graphic or sonic, ‘Lenica’ was a promo-only release at the time (big sample I think) which showcases his wonky production style to perfection. Nice little delay mix into it and odd Tomorrow Radio insert in the middle, I must have added that later in the edit as a lot of this mix seems live. I would record a pass on decks (all vinyl, no Serato yet) with a delay pedal and then tidy up stuff and overdub spoken word sections in Cubase afterwards. Early Reptiles release from their debut 7” on Jazz Fudge offshoot Electro Caramel (only four releases) with vocals from Juice 126 and Remi/Rough who is still one of the hardest working men in the game. Ah, the Bug/Tom Jones mash up I made under my Flexus alias (there’s an album’s worth of these peppered throughout Solid Steel mixes). I played this at the Supersonic festival in Birmingham when I appeared the next year with The Bug, LCD Soundsystem and Coil among others, in fact I think Coil were playing their Time Machines set outside while I was inside, they were probably well pissed off as the sound leaked like buggery. Ming & FS were super-prolific around the late 90s and 00s and ‘The Most Dangerous Drip’ comes from the Subway Series on OM Records. I’ve no idea why The Goodies’ version of ‘Wild Thing’ finishes the set off here but I have a soft spot for their uniquely British silliness.

Track list:
TM Productions Inc. – Tomorrow Radio intro
Blue States – Metro Sound (Four Tet mix)
Sinewave – Escape From The Island
The Herbaliser feat Blade – Time To Build (P Brothers mix)
RJD2 – Let The Good Times Roll pt 2
Dennis Coffey – Scorpio
LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge
The Free Association – Everybody Knows
Sugarbabes – Round Round (Soulwax mix)
Apparat Organ Quartet – Stereo Rock & Roll
Mr Chop – Electric Vibes
Barry Adamson – Cinematic Soul
Andy Votel – Lenica
Reptiles – Electriclovesong
Flexus – Unusual killer
Ming & FS – The Most Dangerous Drip
The Goodies – Wild Thing
TM Productions Inc. – Tomorrow Radio outro

First gigs abroad in 2.5 years

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This weekend sees me playing the first gigs of the year and going abroad for the first time since Covid hit in 2020. To say I’m apprehensive is an understatement. Two and a half years is a long time and I’ve become quite comfortable saying at home in a weird way. It’s also a long time in the music world, how will things have changed? What will be being played out now? Not that I’m seeking to fit in but will I enjoy it like I used to? I’ve got some travelling to do which is my least favourite part, especially when you have flight connections although thankfully neither of the countries I’m visiting have Covid restrictions at the moment so that part should be easy.
Tomorrow night I’m in Budapest, Hungary on a boat called Pontoon, apparently it’s free and I’m on at midnight until 2am, come on down if you’re nearby.
UPDATE: Due to the current weather situation over Budapest, my flight has been cancelled and I’m sorry to say I can’t perform at Pontoon tonight. We tried various ways to get around it but the elements were against us today unfortunately.
I am so sorry to be missing this, what would have been my first gig abroad post-Covid, but we’re working hard to get this one rescheduled. I hope I’ll be back in Budapest very soon! Ironically getting through the airport was fine, nothing to worry about there.
Friday is a travel day where I’ll either be in a plane, a car or an airport for the most part. Saturday is the Kala festival in Dhermi, Albania, a beach festival where I’ll be playing at the Cove which I’m told is the chillout area, from 2am to 5am. Then I leave for the 4 hr drive to the airport at 8am Sunday morning…

Kala, Albania line up

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Grant Morrison – In Xanaduum collage comic

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I don’t know if anyone is following Grant Morrison‘s Substack but, amongst the titbits of commentary on past characters he’d written, (Superman, Green Lantern etc. yaaawwn…) he’s been posting bits of a new collage comic he’s creating called ‘In Xanaduum…’. It’s rough and ready but I have an interest in collage and comics so it’s interesting to me, it’s a 24-parter apparently, here are the first 5 pages. There are various tiers you can subscribe to, paying and not paying, these are from the unpaid tier so already out there for all to see, you can see more here, he’s quite prolific.
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He’s also posted a full comic he wrote and drew in his youth for Starblazer which is great to see for its youthful charm. I love the level of detail on this page below.
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Mixcloud Select 105: Strictly’s Hip Hop Hour 29/05/2001

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21 years ago this week I rounded up a bunch of current hip hop and presented the first half of a Solid Steel show that also included mixes from Four Tet and DK. The tracks largely fall into two camps, the serious, ‘backpacker’ kind, pushing things forward like the Anticon crew or the good time party kind with an eye of the 90s like the Quannum and Ugly Duckling camps. Samples are still a thing and the music is all the better for it with a mix of US and European artists. A lot of this has aged very well and I had a great trip down memory lane listening back. After the usual Solid Steel intro there’s a snatch of a US news report about the new phenomenon of hip hop where the newscaster actually raps along with a snatch of Beat Street Breakdown, probably found online.

Bristol’s Aspects open the show proper with a spoken word cut up track straight out of the Cut Chemist mould, possibly sampling the Columbia School Of Broadcasting set of ‘How To Be A DJ’ albums. Porn Theatre Ushers came out strong with ‘Me & Him’ in the late 90s and ‘Blah Blah Blah’ is taken from the follow up, Sloppy Seconds. They only released one album in 2004 which I’ve still not heard. PUTS were mining that classic 90s Primo/Pete Rock production style and always had solid tracks on their releases. DJ Vadim remixes Supersoul who released a bunch of singles and a couple of LPs over a ten year period and there’s another snatch of the vintage news report on hip hop.

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The A-Trak scratch fest is worth hearing if only to catch DMC’s Tony Prince getting his name wrong from the time he won the Disco Mix Club finals when he was still 15. Def Tex were always underrated IMO, soulful production and decent lyrics, self-releasing before signing to Ninja-affiliated Son Records whose back catalogue is full of gems. It’s party time with the next three tunes kicking up the funk factor with The Nextmen remixing Rae & Christian, Cut Chemist all over Ugly Duckling and Pablo from the Psychonauts giving Lyrics Born and the Poets of Rhythm a bit of turntable grit. This track is a contender for the last great record on MoWax. More Aspects and Def Tex before a lesser known DJ Shadow compilation track makes an appearance.

Guru from Gang Starr’s remix sees him in Jazzmatazz mode of the M, M&W track and then we come to one of my fave Def Tex tracks, ‘Sing Sad Songs’. Produced by Francis Gooding (always asleep by midnight at parties) and Liam Large (he painted my windows once you know) under the name the Large Lefties on a one-off 7” that can criminally still be had for pennies. This is the instrumental part 2 with a scratched story over it but the Def Tex-rapped A side is great too. ‘Basmentized Soul’ is taken from Mr Flash’s debut 7”, ‘Le Voyage Fantastique’ and predates his move to Ed Banger by a couple of years. Changing things up a bit we get a Timmy Thomas cut from his debut LP before Canadian Kunga 219 slips into the mix. His sole album is quite a gem with people like Sixtoo, Buck 65, DJ Moves, Sole and more contributing production or rhymes and has since received a vinyl pressing some years back which you can still find copies of on Bandcamp. ‘Seasus’ brilliantly samples one of my favourite George Duke tracks, ‘North Beach’ so it made sense to finish the set with that.

Track list:
Coldcut – Solid Steel intro
Unknown – 80s Hip Hop News intro
Aspects – Correct English
Porn Theatre Ushers – Blah Blah Blah
People Under The Stairs – Underground Run
Supersoul – Sleepwalker (DJ Vadim remix)
A-Trak – Umbilical Chord
Def Tex – Hey Tune In
Rae & Christian feat. The Pharcyde – It Ain’t Nothing Like (Nextmen remix)
Ugly Duckling – Eye on the Gold Chain (Cut Chemist remix)
Quannum/Lyrics Born & The Poets of Rhythm – I Changed My Mind (Pablo mix)
Aspects – Bristol Fingers
Def Tex – Into The Future
DJ Shadow – Untitled Heavy beat 1&2
Medeski, Martin & Wood – Whatever Happened to Gus (Guru remix)
Def Tex – Sing Sad Songs Pt 2
Mr Flash feat. Mike Ladd – Basmentized Soul
Timmy Thomas – Cold Cold People
Kunga 219 – Seasus
George Duke – North Beach

Mixcloud Select 104 – James Brown tribute mix 12/01/2007

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As James Brown passed away on Christmas Day 2006 I thought it would an idea to do a tribute, but rather than the obvious list of classics we’ve all heard a thousand times, play cover versions, spoken word that referenced him and DJ re-edits for an alternate look at the Godfather of Soul.

Franklin Ajaye opens with the title track from his comedy LP ‘Don’t Smoke Dope, Fry Your Hair’, riffing off JB’s quirks, he’d have had a field day with James’ later shenanigans. Enoch Light comes with a funky (for him) cover of ‘Hot Pants’ from The Brass Menagerie 1973. An easy cover of ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ is taken from side 2 of Bobby & Betty Go To The Moon, a similar feat is performed on the uncredited Happy Monsters LP of children’s songs where they tackle the same track under the title, ‘Clap Your Tentacles’. Derek & Clive’s ‘Bo Duddley’ take off owes more to Mr Dynamite than Mr Diddley, analysing afro-American speech in the most British of ways. DJ Harvey’s re-edit of Dick Hyman’s easy take on ‘Give It Up Or Turn It Loose’ extends the original to nearly nine minutes. The Dick version is from ‘The Age of Electronicus’ LP but this re-edit turned up on a 12” on Black Cock records in the late 90’s.

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I’ve no idea where the reggae cover of Hot Pants comes from, quite possibly cribbed from online somewhere but Nicky Thomas’ version of Soul Power was featured on the ‘Funky Kingston 2 – Reggae Dance Floor Grooves’ compilation in 2005. I’m sure if James was alive today he’d have capitalised on the energy crisis by remaking this as ‘Solar Power’… (I’ll get me coat). Kenny & the Beach Boys’ ‘Big Payback’ was bootlegged on a 45 in 2004 but I’ve no memory of having a copy, Kenny is a dead ringer for James but the band are no relation to Brian Wilson’s boys. The same Orchestra Werner Muller LP that yielded ‘Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine’ was pillaged for not one but two tracks by Bentley Rhythm Ace – a fairly easy album to come by entitled ‘The Strip Goes On’. Salaam Remi’s 40th Anniversary megamix of the hardest working man in show business turned up on a promo 12” in the late 90’s which can still be had for cheap on Discogs.

*Note: this mix was on the same Cdr that last week’s XFM Superchunk mix came from

Track list:
Franklyn Ajaye – Don’t Smoke Dope, Fry Your Hair
Enoch Light & the Light Brigade – Hot Pants
Bobby & Betty – Bobby & Betty Go To The Moon Pt 2
Derek & Clive – Bo Duddley
Dick Hyman – Give it Up Or Turn it Loose (DJ Harvey edit)
Unknown – Hot Pants
Nicky Thomas – Soul Power
Kenny & the Beach Boys – Big Payback
Orchestra Werner Muller – Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine
Salaam Remi – James Brown 40th Anniversary mix