Hello, Good Buy: Dexter Bentley Airtime Auction 31.03.12

A big thanks to everyone who helped Resonance FM raise £18,500 in their mammoth fund-raising drive. It was quite an exhausting week, culminating in a four-hour free-for-all between myself, Lucky Cat Zoe and Mr. Connor Walsh of In The Dark, which for an extended, un-rehearsed transmission on slightly malfunctioning equipment went really rather well.  And my newly acquired poster of ‘The Sex Adventures Of The Three Musketeers’ should make for an interesting conversation down at the framer’s shop…

But there’s still more! The wonderful Hello Goodbye Show which goes out on Resonance every Saturday from Noon to 13.30 is giving away their show on 31st March at the rate of £10 per minute. That’s ninety minutes ripe for the filling with all of your songs, bands, field recordings, bits of sound art, or whatever you like. Within reason, of course, but someone of your exquisite tastes doesn’t need to be reminded of that, surely?

They’ve asked me to make them a radio ad for Resonance to play in-between their programmes. I was happy to do so. Here it is:

I have a special connection with Dexter Bentley and the Hello Goodbye show, my first job at Resonance was engineering for them, and the very first thing I saw upon my arrival to the studio was the baby buggy belonging to the programme’s then-youngest host, 3-year-old Chester Bentley. I quickly realised this was no ordinary show and no ordinary station I had got myself into. I spent five happy years amidst the chaos every Saturday morning, setting up three bands in five minutes on semi-functional equipment, making mammoth rounds of tea and strategically placing buckets under the holes in the roof (in the old Denmark St days), until the rigours of shiftwork and supposed ‘proper broadcasting’ (HA!) took over. In that time Dexter Bentley played host to literally hundreds and hundreds of bands, including Pete and Peggy Seeger, the late punk legend Ari Up of The Slits, Metronomy, good grief, the list goes on…

In fact, while we’re on the subject, here’s a short feature on Resonance FM I made for Monocle Radio a little while back, which makes special reference to Hello Goodbye. Hopefully this should provide a little colour:

Send your bids to dexterbentley@hotmail.com. You can have as long as you like, but be warned,the minutes are going fast!  I shall most certainly be contributing, most likely with a track from the recent ‘Notes On Cow Life’ cassette/download release.

Did I mention that was still available? It most certainly is. And that’s a charity release too. In fact, I’ve made a new page on this very website devoted to the label and it’s inaugural release, so feel free to have a click and a listen.

It’s been a busy old year so far, hasn’t it?

Shutter, Splatter, Smut: The OST Fundraising Special!

Hello. As you will no-doubt be aware Resonance FM is currently holding an on-air auction to raise some desperately needed funds to stay afloat. Right up until midnight on Sunday 19th February, there’s a veritable cavalcade of unique and wondrous items, special live events, celebrity guests, spontaneous competitions and much more. And for my own part, I shall be presenting the OST show in Jonny Trunk’s absence this Saturday 18th February from 16.30 – 18.30 on 104.4FM in London and worldwide on the web via www.resonancefm.com. I’ll be joined in my endeavours by Zoe from the Lucky Cat Show that goes out an hour previously, and together we have plans to turn the afternoon into a three-solid-hour bid-fest!

...but for how much longer?!!

The auction is already taking place right NOW, with many splendid items up for grabs, but here’s a few we’ve organised specially for the OST show that I wanted to draw your attention to. Some of them are only being auctioned during the actual show itself, whereas others can be bid upon until right up to the following midnight. And the details of a couple of the items below haven’t been completely ironed out yet, so I’ll just keep updating when I have more to tell you. Let’s start with the BIG GUNS:

‘The Shuttered Room’ OST, an unreleased LP by the late, great Basil Kirchin, 1 of only 29 pressed with special hand-made artwork. No reissues, no additional pressings, 29 copies for the world. You will never see this record again after Saturday, unless you win it! Here’s Station Manager Chris Weaver modelling the last copy you will ever see, and laughing nervously lest it should fall…

-A ridiculously rare DJ Food Postcard Record, 1 of only 30 pressed. Two minutes of strangeness in postcard-sized record form, released to coincide with his recent exhibition at the Pure Evil Gallery in London. This is the last one, there are no more.

– An extremely sexy DJ Food-designed 12″ Serrato controller disk on unique splatter vinyl. Used for controlling that fancy Serrato DJ software that allows you to DJ in a vinyl stylee using a laptop, and saving you the hassle of hauling a tonne of precious plastic around on night buses, or accidentally stepping on your prized copy of ‘Warhead’ in the dark. Think I might pop in a bid for this one myself…

This is what splatter vinyl Serrato DJ Controller Records look like

-A 4xCD boxed set of commercially unavailable recordings by the great library music composer Roger Roger. Seriously, this is not available to the general public and is rare as hen’s teething gel. Bidding has started for this already, and no wonder, the music is truly subliminal. And there’s four CDs of it. Here’s Chris once again, taking time out from his tea-break to demonstrate:

(Biscuit not included)

‘Play OST For Me’, your chance to be a sort-of host-cum-guest on your very own, personalised episode of The OST Show, playing all your favourite soundtracks and affiliated recordings, while Jonny Trunk plays butler and panders to your every whim. Bonus points if you play ‘A Whole New World’ or the theme from The X-Files’, as somebody did once (on a different show, I hasten to add).

Cheekily smutty 30″ x 40″ movie quads (a slightly posher form of jumbo poster) promoting vintage fleapit classics ‘The Erotic Adventures of Zorro’ and ‘The Sex Adventures Of The Three Musketeers’ which it’s amusing punchline ‘Free for all and all for free!’  You really have to see these to believe them, which is a shame as Resonance seem to be having trouble uploading jpegs onto the spreadsheet. Anyway, take my word for it, they’re highly amusing.

Five pairs of tickets to see one of the films at the BFI‘s forthcoming season concentrating on the work of  Vincente Minnelli and three pairs to any of the upcoming Opera Encore screenings (which are during the day, please take note!). With thanks to our friends at the British Film Institute for this most generous offer!

-A VERY exciting CD containing an exclusive unreleased work by sound artisit John Wynne, a four-minute piece concerning the secret to great radio, in a limited edition of 1, courtesy of our friends at ‘In The Dark‘! This work will not be made available anywhere else! Plus they’ve even thrown in a year’s free entry to their regular ‘nights of stories told through sound, of communal, focussed and curated listening events’, which is worth at least £30 in itself! Wow! Manager of In The Dark, Mr. Connor Walsh, will drop by with the treasured CD on Saturday to give it a plug and a play (but only a little, it’s secrets are strictly for the ears of the winner!

A Sesame Street Oldskool Vol. 1 DVD Boxed set containing over seven hours of material, including the 1969 pilot episode, the opening episode of each of the first five seasons (check out the Orange Oscar!),the original ‘pitch’ film, songs such as ‘I Love Trash’ and ‘C is For Cookie’ and more bonus scenes than you can shake a stick at, including my all-time favourite – ‘The Great Cookie Thief’.

I’m going to have a lot of trouble giving this one away…

-A set of signed Kid Koala promotional postcards and sticker sheet, each one depicting an amusing koala-related image drawn by the kid himself, or a quirky peak into his jazz-playing-mosquito-loving world.

And lots, lots more…

Furthermore, as some of you might already be aware, due to my recent harping on about it, I’ve just released a limited edition cassette album ‘Notes On Cow Life’ in collaboration with Mr. Guy J Jackson. There are only 50 copies available, with 50% of the proceeds from each sale are going to the People Live Here organisation, and until next Monday I’m donating the other 50% to Resonance. So if you feel like purchasing a fine piece of limited edition sound art now is the time to do it!

BUT for one lucky bidder, there’s also the  chance to own a mysterious, forbidden 51st copy. The copy that shouldn’t have been, an abomination, a blot on the laws of physics. 51 should simply not go into 50, it cannot. Nevertheless it exists. And it’s up for auction too:

Or if you love your radio but aren’t that interested in shiny objects to accompany it, then perhaps a donation is more up your street? Every little helps and the station accepts Paypal, cheque or cash stuffed into envelopes and thrown over the gates. A spreadsheet of all the items up for grabs and the current highest bids can be found by visiting here.

If you love Resonance  104.4 FM and the broadcasts by OST, please do support us via a donation, pledge, bequest, gift or purchase from our shop. The alternative – for the station to take regular on-air advertising, thus bringing us a step closer to Heart FM territory – is too hideous to even think about contemplating. Tune in on Saturday at 15.30 (for one hour of Lucky Cat, then two of OST) with your chequebook, paypal account or cash-stuffed envelope close to hand and help us once again celebrate this unique and extraordinary station!

A Thrillingly Awkward Ego Trip

Yes, indeed, an ego trip, taking a moment out to bask in my new-found fame and glory. Because this week I have spread across the web like wild-fire, with no less than TWO websites running special Fog-related features! I think we can safely say my world-domination plans from here on in will run quite smoothly.

First off is Slow Thrills, the music blog of one Mr. Jonathan Greer, an affable chap whose writings and thoughts on music are very much in-demand these days on his own site as well as such journalistic beacons as The Huffington Post and The 405 to name but a couple. Jonathan is starting a new weekly programme of ‘Guest Mixes’ for the Slow Thrills site, and this week asked me to deliver the inaugural session. Naturally, I was only too happy to oblige, but he’s the writer, so I’ll let him do the explaining:

I asked him to do a mix as a bit of promotional activity for his new cassette release in collaboration with Guy J Jackson, “Notes on Cow Life”, as this is also the first release on his new label The Fog Signals. Well, he has done that, and so much more! The 35 minute mix includes a unique remix of some tracks from the album, as well as audio from the likes of the Focus Group, Imbogodom, Hills Have Riffs, Gum Takes Tooth, Roj, Gregory Whitehead, Ekoclef and Ken Nordine. Put some headphones on have a listen, I think it’s fantastic.

You hear that? ‘Fantastic’! Well, far be it from me to argue with someone Music Week recently branded a ‘taste-maker’! Here it is for your listening pleasure.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And of course don’t forget to pick up your limited edition cassette (or completely unlimited download) of ‘Notes On Cow Life’ from the label site here.

The second exciting occurrence took place on the Awkward Movements website, which is basically an umbrella organisation run by a shady clique of underground DJs operating around London and encompassing a record label, radio shows, guest mix podcasts and an informative music blog. And I was surprised and delighted to find a very detailed and extremely complimentary article about your humble scribe, whom they describe as ‘an incredibly creative and unique force around underground London music and arts scenes’, which could well be the nicest complement I’ve ever been paid! Certainly better than the standard ‘he’s the guy that does that thing…’

They mention ‘Notes On Cow Life’ too, as well as a couple of other things I’m currently working on. And as Awkward Movements mainstay Keith P and I share a love of all things Henson, there’s a link to the Sesame Street Special edition of the OST Show that I did a few years back:

Which brings me neatly to the next item on the agenda, namely that I shall be presenting another edition of that very show, OST,  in Jonny Trunk’s stead next Saturday 18th February at 16.30GMT on Resonance 104.4FM. Not only that, but I’ll also be assisting champion selector Lucky Cat Zoe with her own show, which goes out an hour before. For this reason, and because  next Saturday just happens to fall during Resonance FM’s crucial week of fund-rasing, we’ve decided to pool our efforts and bring you a three-hour radio extravaganza, as well auctioning off all manner of exceptionally desirable goodies in order to raise some much needed cash to keep this remarkable station on air. And we really do need you to dig deep, dear reader, the price tag to keep Resonance afloat is certainly no small potatoes.

More on this to follow imminently. Imminently, I tell you…

Notes On Cassette Life: Debut Guy J Jackson & Robin The Fog Album OUT NOW!!!

There are those who would howl with derision at the thought that in the teeth of a gigantic recession anybody would be hare-brained enough to set up a label specialising in releasing obscure sound art on out-moded formats. And believe me they do howl. In fact, even I was surprised at the amount of snarky comments generated by certain members of my showbiz circle upon announcement of the launch of my brand spanking new imprint, The Fog Signals. Still, I never was much good at doing the sensible thing, and so here it is, our inaugral release. Snark on this:

Yes, friends, it’s finally arrived – ‘Notes On Cow Life’ by Guy J. Jackson & Robin The Fog! Perhaps the most hotly-anticipated limited edition sound-art cassette of the year, it contains thirty fabulous minutes of noise, prose and profanity, courtesy of the bendy, subversive stories of Hollywood legend and former American Idol contestant Guy J. Jackson bolted onto the warping and wefting sound design jiggery-pokery of Robin The Fog. It contains 10 of Guy’s fruitiest stories and many a doabolical twist and turn along the way, as well as some of the meatier offerings from my big sound cupboard. And 50% of the profits are going to charity!

Released as a limited edition bright orange cassette, the colour of cheerful madness; ‘Notes On Cow Life’  is limited to a mere 50 hand-numbered copies, though if you particularly object to things that exist in a tangible state, it comes as a download too. And if you’re not quite sure where you stand between the poles of tangibility and convenience, you should know that all purchasers of the cassette get the downloads thrown in gratis. The download, being a intangible object, is not limited at all and will go on being a download long after all the cassettes have been bought up by screaming admirers. Although tape enthusiasts are rewarded for their lifestyle choice with an exclusive secret bonus track at the end of side B!

On the subject of charity, I can also confirm that for each cassette sold, we’ll give 50% of the proceeds to thoroughly worthy ‘People Live Here’ organisation, who are doing some amazing work bringing the plight of the residents of Port Harcourt, Nigeria to the eyes of the world. You can find out more about their attempts to creative a ‘human city’  and about how you can help by visiting them here.

But for now, sit back, fire up that vintage walkman someone gave you as a retro Christmas present, and enjoy half an hour of magic and intrigue, safe in the knowledge that in some small way, you helped make the world a slightly better place. As an added bonus, Guy even found time to make a video for one of the tracks:

Further releases on The Fog Signals to follow soon. With accompanying levels of snark, no doubt. Still, my back is broad…

That QVC hand-modeller I hired was worth every penny!

A Proper Psychedelic Sunburst: DJ Food On Panel Borders, 05/02/2012

Just in case you weren’t one of the millions tuning into Resonance 104.4FM  at 8pm, Sun 5th February to hear my exclusive interview with DJ Food on Panel Borders, the UK’s only radio programme devoted to comics and all things graphic art, here is the podcast for your streaming delight:

Henry Flint's bespoke cover for 'The Search Engine' album. Ace!

Or you could visit the podcast page on the Resonance FM website here.

Kev talks about his recent collaborations with 2000AD comic-artist Henry Flint, brand new album ‘The Search Engine’ and the exhibition of album artwork (plus some Flint originals and a few tricks of his own) currently occurring at the Pure Evil Gallery in London’s Shoreditch.

An example of Henry's striking original artwork with colouring by Kev.

We also discussed how his work as a graphic designer affects his musical output, so stand by for much talk of  ‘splatter vinyl’, flexidiscs and records pressed onto postcards. Seriously, postcard records! How amazing is that? Who else would’ve known they were making them once more?

This is actually what I find most interesting about Kev’s work, the way his musical and designing chops compliment one-another, but in a rather different way to his label-mate Kid Koala, who I interviewed for Panel Borders a few months back. While he does indeed fit the traditional image of the DJ as a ‘digger’, constantly on the hunt for the most obscure grooves and elusive musical nuggets in amongst all the cultural flotsam and jetsam; this principle could be said to guide his graphic work too, as he scours the internet and other shadowy channels looking for, in his own words, the ‘good shit’. In the modern idiom, this ‘good shit’ could could be a killer drum break, a stop-motion video loop, an obscure comic-book artist or just someone willing to produce limited edition splatter-vinyl DJ controller disks:

Truly a 21st century digger. And to prove it, here’s a picture of him in a space suit:

Not for nothing is his album called ‘The Search Engine’. Speaking of which, it’s out now. On the mighty Ninja Tune label. Make sure you grab yourself a limited edition copy of the ‘Comic’ edition with your complimentary flexdisc! Yep, it turns out they still make those too. Isn’t life grand?

PS For the uninitiated, this is what splatter vinyl looks like:

"The good shit".