Posts Tagged ‘record cutting’

Experimental Turntablism on Tour. James Kelly + Robert Curgenven

February 24, 2017

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I’m organising a three day tour with the composer and sound artist Robert Curgenven. Robert will be presenting his audio visual work Speculative Pataphysics created using three turntables, custom-made oscillators, 1930s acetates and custom-cut dubplates. I will be presenting an AV piece called Vinyl Minimalism in collaboration with The Lab Visuals. The concerts will be the final performances before the submission of my PhD which is focused on the creative application of a disc cutting lathe. I have been collaborating with the cellist Audrey Riley  and have cut records with Audrey’s improvisations using a variety of disc cutting techniques. The records will be remixed in performance using turntablist techniques.

Robert and I will be presenting two concerts in Leicester and Milton Keynes, with a workshop at Goldsmiths University, London. The concert at the Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester is being generously supported by the music program at Leicester College and the Music Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester. The second concert is with the the guitarist Norberto Lobo at the MK Gallery Milton Keynes and we finish the tour with a workshop discussing how we use vinyl as part of our compositional process and in performance.

Tour Schedule

Wednesday 15th March
Sue Townsend Theatre, Leicester
7.30pm Free Entry.

Thursday 16th March
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes with Norberto Lobo
7.30pm £7 on door. Further info

Friday 17th March
Workshop at the University of Goldsmiths, London

Robert Curgenven
Speculative Pataphysics

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Three turntables, custom-made oscillators, 1930s acetates, custom-cut dubplates and a whole lot of bass – polyrhythmic phasing in light and sound  brings your whole body and the surrounding space into a face-melting physical constellation. Projections powered directly by the sound use Edwin Land’s (inventor of Polaroid sunglasses and Polaroid photography) work with colour shadows to create a head-wrecking synaesthetic experience with the spontaneous production of colours and patterns which may or may not be there. Warning: flickering lights, loud sounds, strong low frequency pressure.

Robert Curgenven is an Australian artist living in Cork, Ireland who sculpts air with sound. His work uses sound as a physical field of perception to encourage us to consider our physical experience of sound through our bodies, the space they inhabit and also the psychological shaping of time and duration by the auditory. For him sound is weather and his work entreats us to feel and hear air. His live performances, installations and album releases span pipe organ through to feedback, immersive resonances via turntables and custom-made vinyl, as well as carefully detailed field recordings from remote areas in Australia where he lived for many years. The Wire surmises that “behind the music lurk such [disparate] presences as Alvin Lucier, King Tubby, Murray Schafer and Eliane Radigue.”

From beginnings 35 years ago as a classically trained organist the past ten years have seen him release work on labels such as LINE, The Tapeworm, Winds Measure and his own Recorded Fields Editions. Curgenven has performed extensively across Australia and Europe, including Maerzmusik festival (Berlin), TodaysArt festival (Den Haag), Ultrahang Festival (Budapest), Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), Cork Film Festival, Lausanne Underground Film/Music Festival, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art (Gdansk), Leipzig Gallery for Cont. Art, Northern Territory Centre for Cont. Art (Darwin) as well as residencies in Milan (O’), Venice (Forte Marghera), Rotterdam (Worm), Berlin (Transit Lounge) and Alice Springs (Art/Land/Culture). He has presented sound, audiovisual and sculptural work in group exhibitions for Transmediale (Berlin), 10 Years of Microsound (Diapason Gallery, New York), National Film & Sound Archive (Australia) and galleries throughout Australia & Europe including National Gallery of Australia (Canberra) and a solo exhibition at Centre for Contemporary Art, Torun (Poland).

James Kelly
Vinyl Minimalism

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As a turntablist for the last 15 years, James Kelly’s music explores the remixing of vinyl using DJ scratch techniques for the creation of new music. The piece Vinyl Minimalism takes his compositional approach in new directions by utilising a disc cutting lathe – a machine which is traditionally used in the manufacture of records. The mechanism and limitations of the lathe itself are used as an artistic tool to shape the music. The performance is created using three turntables to mix music which Kelly has cut to vinyl using a range of experimental disc cutting techniques that alter the timbre of sound recordings. Part performance, part exhibition, the work is presented is an audio visual performance in collaboration with The LAb Visuals. Live video feeds are mixed together making the compositional process accessible to the audience.

In 2009 Kelly was selected by UK Young Artists to represent the UK at the Young Artists Biennale in Skoje, Macedonia. Other notable performances include; Tate Modern, Modern Art Oxford, New Art Exchange, Nottingham and The Avenue Gallery, Northampton.

More experimental turntablism on this blog:

Turntable Music Symposium 2017

Experimental Turntablism Interview with Eleven Magazine

From the Archive: Experimental Turntablism

Turntable Music Symposium 2016

James Kelly and Adam Weikert – Green Ep

Live Electronic Improvisation with Adam Weikert

Janek Schaefer Performance, Leicester

Dirty Electronics Ensemble with DJ Sniff

James Kelly Experimental Turntablism Interview with Eleven Magazine

November 15, 2016

james-kelly-interview-eleven-magazine

Earlier this year I was interviewed by Northampton music magazine Eleven. In the interview I discussed my exhibition at the Avenue Gallery, University of Northampton which presented my experiments with using vinyl record cutting as part of the compositional process. Eleven started by asking about my experience as a turntablist, starting in Hip Hop and later getting into ambient music and dub. I discussed learning to cut vinyl records and why the medium interests me. Click this link to read the interview in Eleven. (more…)

Record Cutting Guest Lecture at Goldsmiths University, London 2016

October 12, 2016

james-kelly-turntablism-goldsmiths

I was recently invited to give a guest lecture at Goldsmiths University, London discussing my experiments with record cutting. It was great to share my work and chat to postgraduate students after the event. Thanks to Lisa Busby for inviting me!! (more…)

Dubplate Cutting

January 8, 2015

vinyl

A dubplate is a one off acetate (not vinyl) record often played by Dub Reggae sound systems, but the term is also used in Drum and Bass and Dubstep. The dubplate originated in Jamaica in the 1970’s and these records were a combination of two separate stages of the record manufacturing process. Disc cutting lathes by manufacturers such as Neumann and Skully were usually found in vinyl manufacturing plants and used to cut acetate discs or lacquers as part of the manufacturing process, before the vinyl was pressed. Jamaican producers such as King Tubby however, bypassed this stage by having a disc cutting lathe in the recording studio itself. This allowed Tubby to make test cuts and special one off discs for playback on sound systems before the commercial release of the track on vinyl. The fact that each record is a one off cut, allowed him to cut different versions of the tracks, making each dubplate unique for the sound systems that played them. (more…)

Record cutting 5″ lathe cut vinyl

May 11, 2013

5 inch lathe cut Earth Rod

Earlier this year I cut a limited edition of 45 5″ records for my brothers band Earth Rod. They sold out at the pre-order stage and we spent a few days in the studio cutting the records. (more…)

Record Cutting: Fresh dubplates for United Nations of Dub Weekender (with video)

March 28, 2013

Dubplate cutting

In preparation for our Pure Phase set at the United Nations of Dub Weekender, we cut our whole set to dubplate at our studio. The video shows the disk cutting lathe cutting a record and the dubplates first play.  (more…)

Record cutting by Tracks to Wax

December 13, 2011

I’ve launched an audio mastering and dubplate cutting service. Contact me directly for prices on 12″ dubplates.

Cutting Records

July 17, 2011

vinyl lathe cutter head

A few months ago, I bought a vinyl lathe so that I can cut my own one off records, known as lathe cuts or dubplates. The grooves are cut in realtime by the diamond stylus shown in the picture above. (more…)