Brian Eno – The Lighthouse radio station

The-Lighthouse-Station-Artwork

Brian Eno has teamed up with Sonos – the speaker company – to launch a radio station of his unreleased music, 30 years worth. The station is called The Lighthouse and is available on Sonos Radio HD which is a subscription channel of the brand. There is the first of three preview shows up with Brian talking about some of the tracks featured, check it out.

Mixcloud Select 61: DJ Food at The Reverb, Toronto, 27/01/2001

DJ Food Reverb flyer 2001
I have no tape or CD-R of this set, only a digital file, and no idea where it came from. I do recall there was a video online, filmed with multiple cameras for a local TV show of this set or a similar one in 2000. But it’s an example of my club DJ sets at the start of the millennium and was recorded on tour in North America at the Reverb in Toronto according to the file title. The first section reprises part of the Xen Cuts 10th anniversary set I made the previous autumn, complete with wobbles, pushes and pulls – remember, this is all coming off vinyl. I

Amazingly I had the flyer for this show so can confirm the date and venue is correct but, trying to find info on the web about this, I found this review on NME.com of all places. It was dated as Sept 2005 so I can only deduce that it was posted later on, possible from elsewhere. I can guarantee you that I wasn’t in Toronto in Sept 2005 though as my kids were about to be born.

DJ Food: Toronto The Reverb Ninja Tunes stalwart rips up the jazz-hop breaks…
By NME 12th September 2005

Tonight, a courageous young gentleman in the audience is decked out, perhaps unreasonably, in full ninja regalia. It’s a cartoonish, obscenely intricate costume – one quite obviously modelled after the pesky record-flinging mercenary that makes up the Ninja Tune logo. This, you see, is indicative of the kind of unabashed devotion that DJ Food and labelmates Fink and Dynamic Syncopation will bask in this evening.

For his part, the chain-smoking Fink performs admirably, wheeling off an expertly constructed set of electroid bleeps and rapid-fire, stuttering breaks. And although they’re questionably occupying the closing slot, Dynamic Syncopation are also wholly dependable, weaving together a heady pastiche of ’70s funk and retrograde hip-hop.

But the night quite obviously belongs to Food, who are on this occasion solely represented by the venerable Strictly Kev. His set is, in a word, fierce. Piecing disembodied remnants of rejigged classics together with more contemporary reference points, Kev’s got the audience in rapture. By the time he gets round to spinning a handful of re-Tuned swing numbers, they’re engaged in the kind of frantic, hands-up revelry normally reserved for someone about to be saved by a gasbag televangelist.

A storming evening then – even Kev walks offstage with a bemused smile. And why not? If it’s good enough for the ninja, surely it’s good enough for the rest of us.

Mark Pytlik  https://www.nme.com/reviews/reviews-nme-3935-328553

Track list:
The Herbaliser – Mr Chombee Has The Flaw
The Cinematic Orchestra – Channel One Suite
Mr Scruff – Fish
Neotropic – 15 Levels of Your Stealth
Up, Bustle & Out – Revolutionary Woman of the Windmill
Cabbage Boy – Bean (To This World)
Amon Tobin – Sordid
The Herbaliser – Mrs Chombee Takes The Plunge (DJ Food remix)
Quantic – Lie In The Rain
Jurassic 5 – Swing Set
Wagon Christ – Get Your Head Down
Breakestra – Live Mix Part 2
Colour Climax – Plug It In
Rufus Thomas – The Funky Bird
LL Cool J – Illegal Search (Keep On Searching’ Mix)
Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five – Pump Me Up
Art of Noise – Beatbox (Diversion One)
Westbam – Alarm Clock
Barbara – Shack Up
The Beatmasters – Boulevard of Broken Dreams
De La Soul – A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays
K. Scope – The Set Up
Major Force – The Re-Return Of The Original Artform (Cut Chemist mix)
Jungle Brothers – Beyond This World (acappella)
Unsung Heroes – Daily Intake
LB – Ashes To Ashes
Wagon Christ – Cris Chana
Massive Attack – Safe From Harm
Photek – Complex
Quincy Jones – Soul Bossa Nova

Middle Earth flyers part 1

IT_1967-05-19_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-13_011
Middle Earth was one of the original, late 60s psychedelic clubs in London, coming shortly after The UFO (pronounced You-Fo – Underground Freak Out) club on Tottenham Court Rd. and pitching itself up in King St, Covent Garden. It actually started out as The Electric Garden but after a disastrous opening weekend with completely misjudged vibes, heavy security and bizarre VIP areas, it had a change of name as well as management and became Middle Earth. See below for eye witness details of the opening event – all these clippings taken from the International Times magazine online archive which is an invaluable resource of the times.

IT_1967-06-02_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-14_012 Middle Earth raided

Middle Earth, an obvious Tolkien reference, John Peel was one of the resident DJs along with Jeff Dexter who would play to the crowd and the dance floor rather than Peel who would play more for the listeners out there. Jeff told me that they would be situated under the lighting rig for the light show until a small booth was built for them out with the stages for the bands to make them more part of the events. A regular track for him was The Lemon Pipers’ ‘Through With You’ apparently, the nearest thing to an anthem for the nights, he liked this because it was nearly 10 minutes long so he could go for a smoke.

IT_1967-08-31_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-18_013

Above, the listing for the re-opening week, I like the way they were closed on the Friday that UFO was on rather than give the impression that they were competing.

IT_1967-10-27_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-20_014 IT_1968-02-02_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-25_016

There was no consistent art direction with the adverts featured in IT and most were dictated over the phone and the magazine would come up with the designs for the issue.

IT_1968-03-08_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-27_016IT_1968-04-19_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-29_016

Below right: A benefit for Oz magazine with a ‘sexy Barney Bubbles Light Show’Barney Bubbles being the alias of Colin Fulcher who went on to design so many great sleeves for Hawkwind, Stiff Records and many more. Along with other pioneers like Liquid Len, he got his nickname from doing light shows where he would heat ink and oil under glass clock faces and project it across the club after witnessing this on the hippy scene in San Francisco on a trip to the States.

IT_1968-05-03_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-30_005-012 IT_1968-06 middleearth june july 68 IT_1968-06-14_B-IT-Volume-1_Iss-33_006-015
One of the mysteries of the Apple Middle Earth 3 Day festival listed above was that it never officially happened, something I’ll cover in another post, but things were changing for the club around this time. Middle Earth was raided repeatedly by the police and was eventually forced to move to another venue, The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, which I’ll cover in part 2.

Loki title graphics and design

Marvel‘s new TV series, Loki, started this week on Disney+ and the title animation and design is fantastic, playing on ever-changing fonts, presumably to highlight the different facets and sides to the main character’s personality. Marvel have had some superior title work going on with both Wandavision and Falcon & The Winter Soldier recently, the former having individual, time-specific intro themes created for each episode. With Loki, this has stepped up a gear.

*slight spoiler alert!!* In the debut episode that appears to be a set up for a time travel chase caper where Loki may be both the good and bad guy, most of the ‘action’ is spent inside the TVA, a processing centre / court for those who disrupt The Sacred Timeline. The whole design of the Time Variance Authority has shades of Terry Gilliam‘s ‘Brazil’, with retro-modern tech, yellow tungsten lighting and 50’s styled public info posters adorning the walls.

TVA room TVA room 3 TVA room2TVA lift TVA console TVA console 2
TVA poster 1TVA poster 3+4TVA Miss Minutes

One of the highlights is a short animation, voiced by TVA mascot Miss Minutes, explaining what the agency does – for the audience’s benefit as much as Loki’s. It’s beautifully realised in what starts out as an 80’s Ulysses 31 homage before slipping into a 50s style similar to Charley Harper or some of the Halas and Batchelor cartoons like ‘Automania 2000’.

TVA film1 TVA film2 TVA film3 TVA film4 TVA film5 TVA film6 TVA film7 TVA film8
The TVA identity is nearer a 60’s/70’s airline / IBM look with employees wearing enamel badges, belt buckles and uniforms bearing the insignia as well as using headed notepaper and retro tech. Just like the work they do, design timelines seem to converge from different eras at the Authority.

TVA badge TVA scanner
But the icing on the cake is the end credits, beautiful short focus close ups of many of the production details yet with contemporary typography details that you’ll miss if you blink. Everything is saturated but sepia-tinged for that nicotine-stained, low lighting look. Forgive me such a graphic-heavy post but this is all so tastefully done, so many great details like the clock with multiple hands.

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Mixcloud Select 60: Strictly Bites The Big Apple 03/06/2002

MS60 CD In the Spring of 2002 I went to NYC for 10 days and stayed in Manhattan on a working holiday. The plan was to visit the Children’s Television Workshop and go through their archive for a compilation, visit Steinski at his studio and work on a track together and, of course, do some record shopping. I also visited Double Dee in his studio with Stein and DK who was also in town for a couple of days (jet-setter that he is) and we recorded an interview with them both for Solid Steel. The interview with Douglas and Steve was great fun, two personal heroes who were instantly at ease in the studio as I repeatedly cocked up my intro spiel, cracking us all up and breaking what little ice there was.

CTW was amazing, I sat in a small studio for a few days with access to a console with a searchable database of clips and shows from the early 70s through to the 00s and watched old clips all day, making notes of the ones I wanted transferred later for the music and video content. This was all pre-YouTube so that kind of access was a goldmine and a unique form of digging. I was also given a huge pile of records to go through from their archive from all different countries, many I’d never seen before. Steinski’s studio was far less successful, full of wonderful records and memorabilia as it was, we had far too good a time hanging out although we did get a chorus of a song made but little else. Oh, and the tapes for the uncompleted Lesson 4 came up in conversation which I got to re-edit for the interview and the duo later finished and released last year.

But the record shopping was great, as you can imagine, even though I didn’t venture outside of Manhattan and most of this mix was bought on the trip although I chucked in a few New York-centric tracks to flesh out the theme too. It’s a decent mix of then contemporary hip hop, vintage funk with a few cut ups and pop songs for good measure. RIP Duke Bootee. There are several tracks, listening back to the set, that I’d completely forgotten about, one being Si Begg’s ‘It’s the Weirdest Thing’, which I cannot for the life of me remember the origin of. I have to apologise for the Frank Sinatra mix near the end, not sure what I was thinking.

UPDATE: Si Begg tells me it was from Noodles Discothechque Vol.4

MS60 PRS

Various – Back from NY intro
Tino – H-Bomb
Steinski – NY, NY
Tino – Jazz Overload
Blackalicous – Chemical Calisthenics
Baker Brothers – Paste
Natural Self – Raise The Game
Emil Richards – Garnet (January)
Otto Von Schirach – Smelly Mustard
Kenyon Hopkins – Hard Latin
Ursula 1000 – Ooops There Goes the Crowd
Adam & the Ants – Deutscher Girls
The Osmonds – My Drum
Mr Lif – Fulcrum (Edan remix)
Duke Bootee – Broadway
J-Live – Like This Anna
Lighthouse – Love of a Woman
Si Begg – It’s The Weirdest Thing
Odyssey – Native New Yorker
Paul Humphrey & Cool Aid Chemists – Baby Rice
Frank Sinatra – New York
Harlem Underground Band – Smokin’ Cheeba Cheeba

NB: written on the bottom of the PRS sheet was this multiple choice question – presumably, who directed ‘Jubilee’? (because of the inclusion of Adam & The Ants’ ‘Deutscher Girls’ from the soundtrack)

MS60 comp

Mixcloud 59: Solid Steel – Audio Adventure’s in Africa

Africa Adventure BoxThis one may divide people and lose me a few subscribers as it’s not your regular mix set. A few weeks ago Ninja Tune re-shared a small red packet of Ninja Rizlas on their social media from my new Openmindesign Instagram page where I post my artwork and Ninja ephemera. The customised packet had the ‘Rizla’ logo replaced by ‘Ninja’ and a separate tab pasted in with details of a gig in South Africa that Amon Tobin, Kid Koala, PC and I did in 1999.

Ninja Rizla
Promoters Ralph Borland and Adam Lieber bought us out and South African promoter living in Montreal, Victor Shifman came out with us to tour manage and show us around. Whilst out there I had a handheld tape recorder and recorded all sorts of things during our long stay out in Cape Town and Johannesburg. As a result the sound quality is pretty bad but it’s a moment in time that I’m happy I recorded, this is the nearest thing to being on tour and at shows with us back then.

Airport crew
On the bus to the plane: Victor, Amon, Ralph, Adam, Eric, PC

Ralph and Adam
Ralph and Adam
Roadside breakdown
Worse places to break down

As you will hear, we were all watching The Fast Show a lot and had got Kid Koala into it as well. You’ll hear in-flight banter, improvised scratch demos at a youth club, unknown bands jamming at restaurants, gig excerpts with technical problems and running tour gags. The Johannesburg show was plagued with technical problems at the start and we were playing in a disused prison in the open night air, it was awesome but by 5am we had to stop or we weren’t going to catch our flight back to Cape Town in time to which the crowd roared their displeasure. Eric had started to do his ‘Drunk Trumpet’ show piece around this time although I’m not sure it had a title at that point but it was a show-stopper.

Kid in Joburg
Johannesburg gig in an open air ex-prison

Record shopping at the Treasury
The Treasury in Johannesburg, a 5 story warehouse, this was one floor, insane amounts of records. Treasury 12

We were lucky to have several days off and went up mountains to see the sunsets, drove round the coast to see Penguins on the beach, went to outdoor markets, did a free performance in a youth club, met all sorts of great people, an amazing trip which I’ll never forget.

Airport farewell
Airport farewell: Eric, Victor, Amon, Kev, PC, Ralph centre, Adam kneeling

Part 1 of this was broadcast at the end of the 02/05/99 show but part 2 has never been heard. Normal service will be restored next week…

Africa Adventure DATPart 1: Cape Town
KLM voice over – Take off
Kid Koala, PC, Strictly, Reddy D – Cape Town Turntable Jam Pt. 2
skit – Amon’s table
Unidentified  bar band 1 – unknown
skit – How old is Eric San?
Kid Koala, PC, Strictly, Reddy D – Cape Town Turntable Jam Pt. 1 inc. technical problems
skit – Suits you
Unidentified bar band 2 – unknown

Part 2: Jo’Burg/Cape Town
KLM voice over – in flight banter
DJ Food – 1sr set intro – Summertime sound problems
skit – Some words with Amon Tobin
Kid Koala – Techno set
Eric San – this week…
DJ Food – 2nd set intro – Yussef meets Jeru
skit – More words with Amon Tobin
DJ Food – Plastic Neotropic Gangstarr
DJ Food – Scruffy
Kid Koala – Easy now chair (Drunk Trumpet)
KLM voice over – Landing

Africa Adventure PRS

Kaleidoscope reissue + Companion album

KAL Comp titleHeads up – New/old release/reissue package now up for pre-order – 4xLP – the original Kaleidoscope LP repressed on blue/white vinyl and the all new Kaleidoscope Companion featuring unreleased/alternate tracks ’97-2000 on orange/red vinyl in gatefold sleeve w. download, out mid July (and yes the label has them in hand, no 6 month wait)

Pre-order here : (support record shops if you can)
Norman Records. http://bitly.ws/dZwy
Bleep http://bitly.ws/dZwC
Resident http://bitly.ws/dZwJ
Sister Ray http://bitly.ws/dZH8
Phonica http://bitly.ws/dZHq
Ninja Tune http://bitly.ws/dZwN
Bandcamp http://bitly.ws/dZwR
Full Digital / streaming links: https://djfood.lnk.to/kaleidoscope

New Companion tracklist: The Crow features in two forms – Crow (Slow) and The Rook + Type 3The Quadraplex EP has been remixed and edited into a new 13 minute epic that includes unreleased material, the keen-eared with recognised Stealth as the backing for the Xen Cuts remix of The Ageing Young Rebel although this is a different mix, and Boohoo is an early version of The Sky At Night. All tracks on the companion were recorded around Kaleidoscope
1. The Ents Go To War
2. Prototype I & II
3. The Crow (Slow)
4. A Strange Walk
5. Hip Operation
6. Skylark
7. Zoom Zoom
8. Quadraplex (A Trip to the Galactic Centre)
9. See Saw
10. Stealth
11. The Rook + Type 3
12. Boohoo

Kal:Kal Comp outer + discs2Kal.Kal Comp inner highKal front + 4 discs2Kal Comp front + 4 discs2Kal front + discs 22 Kal label A KAl back + discsKal discKal inner + discs2Kal Comp label + titlesKal Comp front + disc 22 Kal Comp back + discsKal Comp disc

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

JONNY01_FOOD_LISTEN

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’.

JONNY_PREMIERE_previewDJFOOD

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

1835756-knockabout_4
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.

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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

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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.
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UFO Club adverts from International Times magazine

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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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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.

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

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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.
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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