Singles sleeves

I bought a couple of singles today…they turned out to be almost unplayable but they were in battered, though really good, record company generic sleeves. I know these were designed to be seen with labels visible in the centre…but the sleeves often become detached from the 45s that are supposed to be in them and so I thought it might be interesting to look at these overlooked objects in isolation. I wish the first CBS sleeve had contained a Thelonius Monk record and I am pretty sure I don’t own anything on the Rocket label. Here are 18 pulled out randomly…

Jeremy Deller Playback Session at Tate Modern


Laura Snapes and Jeremy Deller. On the floor, listening.

Jeremy Deller in conversation with Laura Snapes in the  Wolfgang Tillmans; 2017 exhibition. In a room kitted out with equipment provided by Tillmans from his own Berlin gallery for ‘optimum listening’. An entertaining choice of music and it did sound really good despite its origins in a laptop. The room itself though was a reminder of how important the environment is to listening…harsh lighting, acoustic panels, institutional carpet…it felt like attending a seminar. Deller was aware of this and tried to change the atmosphere by asking people to sit on the floor and, unsuccessfully, asking that the lighting should be changed. Easy to link this to Tate Modern’s often bland display policy that can seem like the lowest common denominator rather than elegant simplicity.

Here is the playlist….each with a link to youtube.

The Beach Boys – ”Til I Die’

The KLF – ‘Chill Out’…Deller played an excerpt from this.

Kraftwerk – ‘Autobahn’ (single version)


Sandy Denny – ‘Fotheringay’ or, alternatively, Fairport Convention – ‘Fotheringay’.

Freedom Singers – ‘We Shall Overcome’.


King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, Jacob Miller – ‘Baby I Love You So’.

Grace Jones – ‘Walking in the Rain’.


Led Zeppelin – ‘The Ocean’…edited to omit the jam at the end.


Giorgio Moroder – ‘Utopia’

John Hopkins remix – ‘Disclosure’ by Magnets ft. Lorde.



at Cafe Oto and two locked grooves +

Wednesday 22nd February at Cafe Oto. Alasdair Roberts with Stevie Jones and Alex Neilson.

One ‘real’ locked groove (Heaven 17 – 12″ of ‘Come Live With Me’:

and one ‘accidental’ locked groove (BBC Dance Orchestra -78RPM  – ‘I Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bones):

Also, I just listened to this from King Gong on Discrepant. Recommended.

3 (sort of) silences.


The drunk Totochabo spouts this ‘sham erudition’ in René Daumal’s A Night of Serious Drinking:

‘If it’s half-wits you want, you’d better go and look for them somewhere else, for we know jolly well that beneath the perceptible form of sound is hidden a silent essence. It is from this, this crucial point at which the kernel of the perceptible has yet to choose to be sound or light or something else, from this hinterland of nature where to see is to see sound and to hear is to hear suns, it is from this very essence that sound draws its power and its ordering force.’

(Translation by David Coward & E. A. Lovatt)


Hidden away in the extras of the BFI’s DVD of ‘The Great White Silence’, Herbert Ponting’s film of Captain Scott’s doomed Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole, are two audio recordings. These recordings were done by Chris Watson in Scott’s hut at Cape Evans, Ross Island. This one was made at 10 pm on the 10th January 2010.


Before each of 3 performances at Café Oto last week, the four members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago stood and faced the audience in silence. These ‘silences’ lasted maybe only half a minute and were terminated by a single note played on the saxophone by Roscoe Mitchell. This drawing was done from memory but with my eyes closed.


From left to right: Roscoe Mitchell, Junius Paul, Hugh Ragin, Don Moye.