Monday, December 31, 2012

A Toast

It's the last day of 2012, so here's a little spoken word curio to toast the New Year. This recording features the rather sonorous vocal tones of actor Gavin Mitchell and was written by a bloke who finds both drawing and the formation of letters a bit of a challenge. I should probably mention that this recording is not suitable for those of a sensitive nature or indeed small children and most places of work. I've posted it on Soundcloud which unfortunately has a limited number of downloads but if enough folk nag me later I might post it up somewhere else. Time to raise a glass.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Social Sculpture

Structure and Substance

"A style shouldn’t impose, it should always, as it were, arrive, be taken in, absorbed. If we look at any movement, religious, cultural, national or supra-national, and that movement is dedicated towards some kind of homogeneity – like, say the Nazis, who had the most effective corporate identity there has ever been – this should warn us."

For the past week or so I've been delving into the the remarkable and thought provoking world of British designer Ken Garland via a recently published monograph by Unit Editions. Ken Garland is without a doubt one of Britain's most influential post war graphic designers, a fervent educator, theoretician and political activist whose uniquely playful brand of modernism and intellectual rigor has for the last six decades consistently challenged and expanded the philosophical landscape of British graphic design. Balancing the graphic refinement of objective Swiss formalism with an emotive energy and sometimes eccentric vision, his work exemplifies the importance of human relationships and ethical forms of communication within the field of design. It's a fascinating survey of work which clearly demonstrates the manner in which many of his once unpopular ideas regarding social engagement and political responsibility within the design profession are in fact more relevant today than when they were first espoused. An essential book for non-practitioners and practitioners alike. 

“Ken Garland - Structure and Substance” is published this month by Unit Editions.

Saturday, December 08, 2012


Blatz ozozap gazwrx. There it goes again. That noise. That strange noise. In a career that spanned some forty years, Jeff Keen is probably best known for his unique celluloid marvels of expanded cinema than being a noted practioner of sound art. Blatz, zoop, j-j-kino zoop, there he goes again, more odd noises. B-B-B-Bom. Blatzom. This is a strange record of giddy stroboscopic pixilated noise art. A wonderfully curated collection of radical musical gloopage featuring saturated day glo synths, interstellar incantations, lurid thrift shop sound edits, strangely decaying Atari presets and cheap 1950s microphones. It’s all a bit mental, it's all a bit back to the future-ish if you know what I mean, a curiously odd interzone of toyshop musique concrete, archaic B-Movie electronics and bubble gum sound poetry. As your ears adjust to the noise, a gloopy, joyous mess of audio primitive pop art is revealed. A most curious, wonderful and perplexing release.

Jeff Keen "Noise Art" is released in a limited vinyl edition of 500 copies worldwide. Each run of 100 copies has a different screen printed image selected from the sketchbooks of Jeff Keen. More info here.