Archive for the ‘Collaborations’ Category

Live Electronic Music at R10, Leicester 14.04.18

April 12, 2018

R10 Leicester 14.03.18

On Saturday I will be performing with Hervé Perez at R10 in Leicester. We will be performing a live version of the piece Transformation, with saxophone and turntables. The original version is a three minute ambient track I wrote with Ola Szmidt on vocals and Dave Dhonau on cello. In 2013 Hervé created a 17 minute version which allows the listener space to focus on individual textures from the original track, while adding saxophone arrangements and glitch drums. For this performance I have cut sounds from both the original track and Hervé’s remix to vinyl as locked grooves and will be creating a live extended mix of the track while Hervé plays saxophone with signal processing.

Transformation (Original Mix)

Transformation (Hervé Perez Remix)

Update: This is a recording of our live set:

Full Event line up

Sam Topley – Massive Noisy Pompom

Hervé Perez and James Kelly – Saxophone and Turntables

Megan Timings – Chiptune Pop

Paul Mazzitelli – Tempest, Filtering and Feedback (more…)


Ambient Music Performance at Create-A-Con, LCB Depot, Leicester 10.03.18

March 5, 2018

laser beam

I will be performing Piece for Laser Beam, with laser projection by Sean Clark, at Create-A-Con at the LCB Depot, Leicester. I’m working on a new version of the piece which will be mixed live with Ableton’s Live software and hardware controllers. The original version of the piece was composed with Adam Weikert in March 2009 and presented at Stench III at the Phoenix Leicester, with the laser being projected onto the Phoenix cinema screen. Audio for the original version below.

The performance will be part of the Create-A-Con after party 6 – 9pm.

More Ambient Music on this Blog:

Ola Szmidt – EP1

James Kelly and Adam Weikert at Summer Sundae

James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt: Transformation Remix EP

James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt: The Healing Remix EP

Cynefin Contemporary Dance Film

Turntable Music Concert Photos

March 5, 2018

Audrey Riley and James Kelly

A few photos from my performance with Audrey Riley at the Turntable Music Symposium, University of Northampton.


Turntable Music Symposium 2018

January 23, 2018

Dj Nik Nak Turntablism

Through a mixture of talks, workshops and performances, the Turntable Music symposium will present approaches to music performance and composition using turntables, including the styles of hip hop, minimalism and experimental music.

DJ workshop RSA PerfArts

Our first guest is Bradley Smith, Lead for Music Technology at the Leicestershire Schools Music Service Hub who will discuss his approach to teaching turntablism and the development of a turntablism course which has reached 1500 High School children in Leicestershire since September 2016. Smith will explain the pedagogical underpinnings of the turntablism unit followed by a hands on DJ workshop.

locked groove record sticker

James  Kelly will present a workshop exploring locked grooves in DJ’ing and composition. A locked groove on a vinyl record is a closed groove, which traps the turntable needle creating a short repeating passage. They have been used by a range of artists from the Musique concrète of Pierre Schaeffer to the Detroit Techno of Jeff Mills. Kelly’s recent work has included the use of locked grooves in the piece Vinyl Minimalism and a new collaboration for cello and locked groove with Audrey Riley. Participants in the workshop will experiment with mixing locked groove records and creating new locked grooves, by placing stickers onto existing records causing the sound to loop.

audrey riley cello

Our third speaker of the day is the Audrey Riley. Riley is a composer, cellist, arranger, and conductor with close to 200 album credits to her name. For three decades, she has worked at the very highest levels of the music industry producing an exceedingly diverse body of work, from conducting the orchestra of La Scala in Milan to playing cello with Blur, Nick Cave and the Foo Fighters. Riley will discuss her career in music and present a new work with James Kelly, Piece for Cello and Locked Grooves. Our talks and workshops are followed by an evening concert with performances from DJ NikNak, Audrey Riley and James Kelly.

Audrey Riley and James Kelly

Audrey Riley and James Kelly – Piece for Cello and Locked Grooves.

Riley’s cello playing is cut to vinyl as locked grooves which are remixed by Kelly using three turntables and a DJ mixer. The piece explores the dialogue between processed cello recordings and live improvisation.

NikNak Turntablist

DJ NikNak – Day and Night

Nicole Raymond (DJ NikNak) will be performing an improvised piece using samples she recorded during a residency at the artTerra Gallery in Tondela, Portugal. This piece also features songs chosen by Raymond as she takes on her role as DJ to further illustrate her story during the performance. It is a reflection and Raymond’s turntablist interpretation of how each day and each night are different and unique to each other, whilst using self recorded soundscapes and samples, scratch techniques and multi effects to illustrate this to the audience.

Having graduated with a degree in Music Technology and Innovation from De Montfort University, Leicester, NikNak is currently studying for an MA in Electronic and Computer Music at the University of Leeds.


Date: Thursday the 8th of February 2018

Venue: University of Northampton Avenue Campus,

10:00am Bradley Smith

Teaching Turntablism (MY89)

11:00am Bradley Smith

Turntablism workshop (MP9)

12:00pm James Kelly

Locked Groove DJ Workshop (MP9)

2:00pm Audrey Riley

Piece for Cello and Locked Groove Talk (W10)

7:00pm Concert (MY9)

James Kelly and Audrey Riley – Piece for Locked Grooves

DJ Nik Nak – Day and Night

Turntable Music Symposium

Now in its third year, the turntable music symposia at the University of Northampton explore the role of the DJ in contemporary music. Previous guest speakers at the symposium have included Shiva Fashreki, Sophy Smith, Lisa Busby and Karin Weissenbrunner.

Turntable Music Symposium 2017

Turntable Music Symposium 2016

Photo credit – DJ workshop image RSA Performing Arts via Twitter.

More experimental turntablism on this blog:

Experimental Turntablism at Crackle, University of Leeds

Turntablist Performance at Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester

Experimental Turntablism Interview with Eleven Magazine

From the Archive: Experimental Turntablism

James Kelly and Adam Weikert – Green Ep

Live Electronic Improvisation with Adam Weikert

Janek Schaefer Performance, Leicester

Dirty Electronics Ensemble with DJ Sniff

Ola Szmidt EP1 – Vinyl and Digital Release

December 1, 2017

Ola Szmidt EP1

The debut EP from Ola Szmidt is now available on vinyl, in a limited edition of 500 copies. I co-wrote and produced the track Moja which is featured on the EP. The release has been supported by the PRS Foundation for New Music and the Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award where Ola has received mentoring from Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) and Emily Moxon (Brownswood Recordings). Moja features Ola Szmidt on vocals, Corey Mwamba on Vibes, Dave Dhono on Cello and Cyriel Diels on saxophone. It was mixed by Chris Cousin and myself at the Bathysphere studio and mastered by Kieran Hebden.



Archive: Performance at Sonic Arts Network Expo Plymouth 2007

August 24, 2017

Lick the pitch sudophone plymouth

In 2007 I performed two pieces at the Sonic Arts Networks Sonic Picnic event in Plymouth. I was in John Richards (Dirty Electronics) ensemble performing a piece called Lick The Pitch for the electronic instrument the Sudophone. I also performed on turntables in an ensemble called the Semorphonic Orchestra. (more…)

Gra8755 Ft. I-Mitri – Violence and Crime -Vinyl Release

August 4, 2017

Gra8755 violence and crime

Gra8775’s Dub version of Violence and Crime voiced by I-mitri is now available on 7″ vinyl on the Dreadwise label. The track has been well received in the sound system scene and it had DJ support from Reggae luminary David Rodigan who played the track at Glastonbury and on BBC Radio.

Violence and Crime was originally a Pure Phase Dubstep track which we used to play in sets. It did the rounds as a dubplate, with DJ support from Mungo’s Hi Fi, but was never released. Later, Gra’s Dub version became an anthem on the Biscuit Tin Sound System, so it’s great to see it getting a vinyl release.

Gra8755 Ft. I-Mitri – Violence and Crime (Dub Version)

Pure Phase and Pandacub Ft. I-Mitri – Violence and Crime (Original Dubstep Version)

More Pure Phase on this blog. (more…)

Ola Szmidt – Moja – First Play by Gilles Peterson on 6 Music.

August 3, 2017

Gilles Peterson Ola

I had a nice surprise on Saturday when Gilles Peterson dropped one of my tracks on his 6 Music show. The track Moja was written with the Polish vocalist Ola Szmidt and it will feature on Ola’s debut vinyl EP which is due to be released with support from the PRS Foundation for New Music and the Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award. Moja features Corey Mwamba on Vibes, Dave Dhono on Cello and Cyriel Diels and saxophone. It was mixed by Chris Cousin and myself at the Bathysphere studio.

More info and sounds from my collaboration with Ola:

James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt: Transformation Remix EP

James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt: The Healing Remix EP

Muted Fnord, Poisk and James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt

Pleq and James Kelly Ft. Ola Szmidt

SoundKitchen Performance with Pleq and Mark Harris

UK Young Artists Performance with Ola Szmidt

Archive: James Kelly and Adam Weikert + Turntablist Philip Jeck at Summer Sundae 2008

January 24, 2017


I worked in an ambient electronic duo with Adam Weikert between 2007 and 2008. We recorded three studio improvisations which were released on CDR and performed a handful of concerts in Leicester and Coventry. In 2008, we performed on the Bathysphere stage at Leicester’s Summer Sundae festival alongside turntablist Philip Jeck. I think of this as my crate digger phase where I was remixing obscure records found in charity shops.


Ambient Electronica: James Kelly and Adam Weikert – Green Ep

January 31, 2016

green ep james kelly adam weikert


Green Ep is a studio collaboration which was recorded in 2008 with the composer and musician Adam Weikert. The tracks were entirely improvised combining sampled sounds on turntables with samples and keyboard playing on a laptop. The EP was released as a CDR in February 2008 and was sold and handed out at gigs around that time. Adam and I played a number of live gigs as well as recording the album Winchester (2007) and another CDR called Black EP. The Green EP can be downloaded for free from the James Kelly Bandcamp page.

More blog posts about the duo here:

James Kelly and Adam Weikert – Live at Summer Sundae

Live Electronic Improvisation with Adam Weikert

Improvisation with Adam Weikert

Piece For Laser Beam