Shoes & Techno

Last week I had the immense pleasure of going up to Northampton, visiting one of the world's finest shoemakers and being given the full factory tour. With their different last styles having the same numbering system (x-zero-x) of Roland's drum machines of the 1980s I was intrigued to see a convergence of two of my favourite subjects. Apparently they used to produce a 303 last, but a very long time ago, so unfortunately I didn't get a picture of my holy grail — the acid shoe.




On idleness

I've recenly been exploring some more Thomas Mann — this time a somewhat lighter read, concerning a narcissistic young charmer who oozes and flirts his way into European high society. I particularly enjoyed his exposition on the educational value of doing nothing. I shall take it to heart.


R.I.P. Eric Rohmer 1920 – 2010

Je suis trés triste.

It's always worth watching the interviews with Rohmer that are normally extras on the DVDs, as it's incredible to learn just how meticulously planned and scripted his films were, down to the colours of objects in the characters' rooms, and the pictures they have on their walls. There is a real magic at work, where films that on first appearance can seem so slight can wield such power and stay with you for a lifetime.

When I was a kid my dad went to Paris for work, and he bought back the same Pauline a la Plage poster as shown here, as a present for my mum, whose name is also Pauline. It was incredibly creased, as if it had been crunched up into a ball. He must have had to steal it off a wall or pull it through a tiny hole in a broken frame. We managed to flatten it out somewhat and it was drawing-pinned to my bedroom wall for a while, next to the bunkbed I shared with my sister.


Winter Music

Here's a mix I put together today — not exactly a technical masterpiece or dancefloor killer, just some pitched down glacial pulsations to celebrate the cold weather and new year.

Radiance — II (edit)
Nike.Bordom — Ahacid
Tin Man — ? (edited from the Wasteland mix)
Marcel Dettman — Helix
Jetone — Phaedra
Circlesquare — Seven Minutes
Seefeel — Plainsong (Sine Bubble Embossed Dub)
Donato Dozzy — Fullonica De Stephanus
Disco Nihilist — B1
Prosumer — Solid Mind



Nostalgia just isn't what it used to be

I was hit with a huge wave of nostalgia recently, after hearing the first track of a mix posted on mnmlssgs. The ticking of a clock instantly transported me back 17 years to a bedroom in Peckham, recording Coldcut's Solid Steel show off Kiss FM, back before they and their label Ninja Tune became obsessed by shit trip-hop for stoned students from the home counties. With this as my motivation I dug out and digitised this cherished tape of a show guest presented by Dave Cawley of Fat Cat Records, at that time not yet a label, just a lovely little record shop selling electronic music in a Covent Garden basement, where I'd go and spend all my money whilst not finishing projects at art college round the corner. Dave worked in the shop along with Alex Knight and Lee Grainge (who collaborated with Hazel Bligh under the name Human, releasing 2 EPs, my favourite track of which is the beautiful Skating On Thin Ice — embedded below).

The journey starts in Detroit with Juan Atkins and ends with Jim Morrison in LA, spanning continents and decades between.

Cybotron — Clear — 1983
John Carpenter — Christine — 1984
Kraftwerk — Autobahn — 1974
Ryuichi Sakamoto — Riot In Lagos — 1980
Reload — Le Soliel Et La Mer — 1993
Aphex Twin — Delphium — 1992
Sandoz — Digital Lifeforms — 1993
The Black Dog — Cost II — 1993
Mystic Institute  —  Ob-Selon Mi-Nos (Global Communication Remix) — 1993
Peter Gabriel — The Feeling Begins — 1989
Killing Joke — Change (Youth remix) — 1992
Beaumont Hannant — Tastes And Textures Volume 2 — 1993
Nicky Skopelitis — Tarab — 1993
The Doors — The End — 1967



Looking south west

My favourite weather, blue skies and bitingly cold.


Looking south east

1 Canada Square glowing with the setting winter sun.