LIQUID SKY...

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In a galaxy far far away… & what also seems like a million years ago: 

For those who don’t know, Liquid Sky was a retail store that first opened at 482 Broome St in Soho (I believe in 1991) and then moved to Lafayette Street. But it was much more than a clothing shop. It was a universe within a galaxy. It’s really hard to describe what “it” was like because the internet has replaced the idea that you had to discover subcultures by walking around or being introduced to people. Liquid Sky was almost ground zero for a new generation of rave kids.

There was a symbiotic relationship between my club-night NASA & Liquid Sky, as it was a place for kids to hang out before going out, a place to ear about DJs & events, buy mixtapes, chat music etc. Plus, Carlos AKA DJ Soul Slinger (the owner of LS) was also one of the permanent rotating DJs at NASA. I think we even changed the name of the Chillout Room at the club to the Liquid Sky Room.

Pre-Breakbeat Science, I was also partners with two German Techno producers in the record store, Temple Records, which was in the baement of LS. 

(TEMPLE RECORDS SIDE NOTE FOR MUSIC NERDS) 

My partners were Ingmar Koch, one-half of Cologne-based electronic “band", Air Liquide, & Can Oral, the brother of the other 50% of Air Liquide. Both of these guys were like the Cologne Techno Mafia & recorded under so many names it was impossible to keep track of! 

Ingmar put out records under these names: Dr. WalkerDigital Dirt IncIngy-BabeJohn AmokUnit 700370°Acid ForceAlternate StatesAsbest!Atlantic TranceBlack OneBrotherz In ArmzCipher CodeCreatureDenpasarElectrochicElectronic DubElevator 101Ermionis Phunk CrewEthik IIFridge Pro 1Future Shock Project. Can Oral released records under his own name as well as Bizz O.D.4EEl Turco LocoFuzz DJGeoffrey MackGizz TVPigSilent Movie, and Super-8

Liquid Sky is about to have a well-deserved major retrospective book released, showing the incredible work done by the super-talented @reyzorro & the many others involved. One day Blurring Books hopes to publish REY’s full artistic monograph.

The clips above are from a much longer one on @liquidskynyc page that I was happy to be tagged on! The snippet of me & the following couple of seconds are actually from a pre-NASA party I threw called, ORANGE. I didn’t know this footage existed till Liquid Sky posted it :) I believe all the footage was shot by Soul Slinger’s filmmaker sister, @ruthslinger & comes from her full documentary shot in the early 90’s. The longer clip features many people I think of warmly including @chloessevigny @mellosince71 @mary_frey & many others whose names I’ve sadly/typically forgotten, plus one I’m so happy to still have in my life, Gabriel Hunter! (2nd clip shows us standing at the LS counter, me wearing yet another ridiculous Anarchic Adjustment hat)

* Any fashion kids interested in the 90’s fit. My shirt is a Duffer of Saint George & the hat was a leather Kangol.

** Music is Soul Sligners RMX

*** @reyzorro has a link to pre-order the book

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EX GF Spotted.

Bonkers one!
Newish friend Robin Nixon, guessing I’m probably an old Orbital head, sent me this clip of their first-ever appearance on Top of the Pops performing their first-ever single, Chime.

The bonkers part is that I’d long left the UK by the time this aired, so had never seen it & consequently did not know my ex girlfriend, KB was the dancer!

The irony here is that KB was pure rocker chick, & we never really bonded over the rave thing.
When I left London in 89 she was making videos for the likes of Jesus & Mary Chain & Primal Scream

I’ve only ever had 3 real relationships & loves in my life. My first GF, Kate, whom I’m still in touch with, KB, who holds a very special place in my heart but for whatever reason, we don’t stay in touch & she hates social media so won’t see this, and of course, my life partner, Wini.


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Reporting on a DJ set 1/12/24

I guess the difference between a club gig & a house party is that I was able to jump from era & genre, with such extreme tempo changes as 95 BPMs to 170 without having a bottle thrown at me. I don’t think I’ve ever played this collection of artists in a 3 hour period before! Frankie Knuckles, Kerri Chandler, Jerome Sydenham & Fingers Inc mixed with Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, New Order, The Smiths, Candy Flip & Section 25 into Roni Size, Ror-Shak, Blame, then, Four Tet, Burial, Overmono, & Randomer with a few feel-good classics like Sister Sledge’s Thinking of You & even a very questionable 90’s Italian house cover of Christopher Cross’s Ride Like The Wind, that was almost the biggest tune of the night 🤷‍♀️

Also, so amazing to have both my kids on the dancefloor with their friends! Thanks so much to @newsummer.nyc & everyone involved. thx @william.m.clark 📸

WARHOL @ BK MUSEUM

Sometimes I feel like I’ve seen enough Warhol to never have to see more, and then I get blown away by either how different they look in the flesh, or seeing works I’d not been exposed to before. As was the case with Revelation - Brooklyn Museum

Apologies for the cropping, wanted to show some details!





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FRIEZE NY 2022

A few highlights & faves from Frieze NY at The Shed.

Not sure if it was simply Max & my moods but neither of us were particularly blown away.

Not to say there weren’t some of the best galleries in the world, showing a ton of stunning art works, that's far outside the price range of normal people, but my memory of Frieze was that it used to have several Fucking Me! moments delivered because of breathtaking beauty, shocking obscenity, or simply ridiculous scale.

Whatever, it was still fun seeing great art & watching this particular strand of humanity.


Tarik Kiswanson

Karlo Kacharava

Alex Da Corte

Nancy Grossman

Marsha Pels

Robert Rauschenberg

Sam Nhlengethwa 

Cajsa von Zeipel


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TOM COSTA - Slow Drip at MY PET RAM Feb 26th 2022

Sometimes Instagram just cant give the view needed.

Below are 6 of the many Ink on paper works on view till March 13, 2022. my pet ram 48 Hester St NY10002.

Getting Away, 2019 Ink on paper 53 x 52 in

Janus, 2020 Ink on paper 52 x 54 in

Guardian, 2019 Ink on paper 39 x 26 in

Guardian, 2019 Ink on paper 39 x 26 in

Lovers, 2021 Ink on paper 48 x 54 in

Lost, 2017 Ink on paper 59 x 52 in

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THE BIKE SHED 87-89

For the four years before I came to NYC I worked for the London iteration of The Limelight Club.
My partner Tommy D & I were resident Saturday DJ’s playing a mix of House & Hip Hop hot tunes of the day.
For the last two years, the club offered me my own night, and I came up with the idea of a night called The Bike Shed. For Americans who might not know, as school boys, a bike shed was where we went to smoke fags (cigarettes) & snog (make out) with girls. The concept was to play five generations of Rock N’ Roll within the same night all mixed up together! Everything from Bo Diddley & Gene Vincent to Sisters Of Mercy & Zeig Zeig Sputnik. The tag line was, The Only No Disco, Disco. My DJ partners in crime were Mike Wells & Tommy Danvers & did we have fun!
I made the work of doing a weekly event extra hard on myself by not only having to book the bands, handing out the flyers outside Kensington Market every Sat but also each week’s flyer had to have 5-10 rock history facts listed listed on them!
After The Bike Shed had been successfully running on Today's nights for a few months, the club told me Marlboro cigarettes wanted to sponsor it. I told them I would not take money from them. but they insisted it was happening, & told me to just use their money to book bigger bands, including Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.
Below are a few of the more memorable nights & some of the trivia..


SEVEN FEET OF WARHOL

Ordering plexiglass to frame this seven foot strip of Andy Warhol / Velvet Underground banana stickers, as we (@stuckupofficial) gear up towards my long term goal of showing “100 Years of Pop & Counter-Culture - told through adhesive materials : STICKERS”, in museums around the world.

I wrote in the first Stickers book—that the Warhol banana for the VU was the first sticker in pop culture that I was really drawn to conceptually and aesthetically, also because I found its backstory fascinating: that a bigger, text-based sticker needed to be slapped on the back sleeve to save the band from being slapped with a nasty lawsuit. (see 2nd image) 

What I didn’t know then was that the bananas came off these large sticker rolls that were apparently kicking around Warhol’s Factory. The kids that worked for him, or just hung out there, took it upon themselves to use the stickers as a sort of critical marker. They would run around to art openings in SoHo and slap the stickers on the windows, walls, and doors of the galleries where they thought the show sucked. Having now heard this story from a couple of different people, it leads me to believe it could be true.

The “Blue Chip” exhibition panel below shows stickers by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst. Ryan McGinness, Barry McGee, Jose Parla, Tom Sachs, Keith Haring, Marilyn Minter, Robert Lazzarini, Kenny Scharf, Jenny Holzer, Todd James, JR, Mathew Barney, James Victore, Chris Johanson & Bansky.

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Stefan Sagmeister “Beautiful Numbers” Exhibition

It’s always a little risky to actually meet the people who’s work you’ve admired for many years. Don’t they say “Never meet your hero’s”. So what a nice surprise to meet Stefan Sagmeister & find him to be warm, friendly & even complementary of some of my own work. His new show “Beautiful Numbers“ is perfect example of how conceptual art can also be beautiful. It’s actually a show of optimism.

Below is just a small sample of the exhibition. The shapes on the paintings represent factual statistics. 

1 - Suicide II, 2000/2015 

Suicide rate worldwide, number of deaths per 100,000 population
2000 13
2015 11 


2 - “Suicide I, 1950/2005” 

Suicide rate USA,
1950, 1955, 1960, 1965, 1970. 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000. 2005 


3 - “Oil, 1970/2010” 

gray dot: large oil spills 2010 red dot: large oil spills 1990 yellow dot: large oil spills 1970 

4 - “Death Penalty, 1970/2010”

Abolishment of death penalty 

1970 21 countries
1990 66 countries
2010 98 countries 


5 - “Carbon II”

Carbon footprint of protein-rich foods from le# to right: Cheese 85kg CO2 per 1kg of protein, Chicken 43kg, Beef 250kg, Lamb 200kg, farmed fish 35kg 


6 - "Woman I, 1900/2000"

Female Voting Rights 

1900.1950. 2000


This edited from the Thomas Erben Gallery Press Release..

Beautiful Numbers, Sagmeister’s new body of work was conceived in 2020. Media – reflects a world seemingly out of control, with democracy in peril, ubiquitous conflicts and an overall outlook of doom. The reality is actually less war, hunger and illiteracy; fewer people die in natural disasters, more people live in democracies, an increased number of women serve on Parliaments, and life expectancy has increased.

Sagmeister has visualized data collected over 100 years and transformed these graphs, inlaid into 19th Century genre paintings, embroidered canvases, lenticular prints and hand painted water glasses – all of which will be for the first time on display at the gallery.




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ART SLEEVES BOOK REVIEWED ON CNN

Obviously one doesn't do creative projects with getting reviews as the end goal but its still a very nice feeling to get them. Especially strange & wonderful to have a mainstream platform acknowledge ones work. CNN had my Art Sleeves book on their front page yesterday

I cut and pasted it here, in case it disappears, and then no one believes me ;)

The famous artists behind history's greatest album covers

Published 1st April 2021
The sleeve for Stompede an EP by Tokyo band Saigan Terror  was designed by American artist Pushead -- the same man behind the Metallicas merchandise

The famous artists behind history's greatest album covers

Written byLeah Dolan, CNN

Throughout the 20th-century record sleeves regularly served as canvases for some of the world's most famous artists. From Andy Warhol's electric yellow banana on the cover of The Velvet Underground & Nico's 1967's debut album, to the custom-sprayed Banksy street art that fronted Blur's 2003 "Think Tank," art has long been used to round out the listening experience.
A new book, "Art Sleeves," explores some of the most influential, groundbreaking and controversial covers from the past forty years. "This is not a 'history of album art' type book," said the book's author, DJ and arts writer DB Burkeman over email. Instead, he says the book is a "love letter" to visual art and music culture.
For the 45th anniversary of The Velvet Underground  Nico in 2012 British artist David Shrigley illustrated a special edition  reissue cover for Castle Face Records
For the 45th anniversary of "The Velvet Underground & Nico" in 2012, British artist David Shrigley illustrated a special edition reissue cover for Castle Face Records. Credit: David Shrigley/Rizzoli
Featured records span genres and decades. Among them are Warhol's cover for The Rolling Stones' 1971 album "Sticky Fingers," featuring the now-famous close-up of a man's crotch (often assumed, incorrectly, to be frontman Mick Jagger in tight jeans) as well as an array of seminal covers designed by graphic designer Peter Saville, co-founder of influential Manchester-based indie label Factory Records. Despite having relatively little art direction experience under his belt, Saville was behind iconic covers such as Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" (1979), depicting the radio waves emitted by a rotating star, and the brimming basket of wilting roses -- a muted reproduction of a 1890 painting by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour -- that fronted New Order's "Power, Corruption & Lies" (1983).
New Order Power Corruption  Lies Featuring A Basket of Roses by Henri Fantin-Latour 1890
New Order, "Power, Corruption & Lies." Featuring 'A Basket of Roses' by Henri Fantin-Latour, 1890 Credit: Peter Saville/Fantin-Latour/Rizzoli
The book also includes a sleeve by Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the eminent Obama "Hope" poster, for "7-inches for Planned Parenthood," a limited edition vinyl box-set to raise funds for the sexual health charity. On the cover, a woman's sleeping face is rendered in Fairey's trademark stencilized finish while a red vertical banner screams at her to "Wake Up!"
Yayoi Kusama's brief foray into album art also features in the book. In 2013, the Japanese multidisciplinarian designed the artwork for Japanese DJ Towa Tei's eighth studio album, "Lucky." The cover is a simple smattering of red and white polka dots -- a signature Kusama motif. Kusama even features on the album's last track, "Love Forever," where she recites a short poem.
In 1992 dissenting graphic designer Barbara Kruger created the artwork for the only LP ever released by short-lived riot grrrl band, Growing Up Skipper. The group took their name from a controversial Barbie released in 1974, a version of Skipper, Barbie's younger sister, who grew breasts when you twisted her arm (the company says the doll matched "little girls' dreams of growing up").
For the cover of the LP, "Use only as directed," dismembered Barbie parts appear alongside Kruger's signature black and red 'scrapbook' text.
Art Sleeves Album Covers by Artists by DB Burkman is published by Rizzoli priced at 4000
Art Sleeves: Album Covers by Artists by DB Burkman is published by Rizzoli priced at £40.00. Credit: Rizzoli
The book also shows Jeff Koons' Renaissance collage for Lady Gaga's album, "ARTPOP" (2014) -- where a statuesque Gaga sits inside Botticelli's giant scallop shell -- as well as Cindy Sherman's work for Arthur Doyle and Maurizio Cattelan, famous for his duct-taped banana, who photographed a toothy, red-lipped grimace for Toilet Paper magazine's 2016 special edition single of Daft Punk's "Da Funk" (1995).

The vinyl revival

Despite the ubiquity of digital downloads (or perhaps in reaction to it) both sides of the pond have been experiencing a vinyl revival for over a decade. In 2020, UK sales of vinyl were at their highest since the early '90s, while last year in the US more than 27 million vinyl records were sold-- nearly 50% more compared to 2019. The impact the coronavirus has had on listening habits has been sizable, too, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) found. "The increase in (music) consumption was achieved despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic," they said in a report published earlier this year. According to the BPI, streams and sales in the UK "dipped around the start of the first lockdown".
Aphex Twins Collapse EP 1990 was illustrated by London-based artist Weirdcore
Aphex Twin's "Collapse" EP (1990) was illustrated by London-based artist Weirdcore. Credit: The Designers Republic/WEIRDCORE/Rizzoli
Yet despite the growing comeback appeal of LPs, the accessibility of digital platforms means streaming services are still the main source of music globally.

For Burkeman, the digitization of music is positive insofar as it means artists don't need record companies to put music out. But the rise of streaming has also resulted in the forfeiture of exciting album appendages like designed lyric sheets or handwritten notes from the recording artist. "We've definitely lost something as far as experiencing emotions one might feel while listening to a record and studying, analyzing, or simply enjoying the physical object."