Christmas in February – Loads of New Content from Fred Deakin!

Fred Deakin is best-known as half of the playfully eclectic downtempo duo Lemon Jelly, as well as one of the founders of the enormously successful and innovative design studio, Airside.

01 Fred Deakin.jpg

Airside’s client base included Coca-Cola, D&AD, EMI, Greenpeace, Live Earth, Mastercard, MTV, Nike, Panasonic, Sony, Visa, Vodafone, the Pet Shop Boys and The Beatles and their iconic style is instantly recognizable.

02 Airside.jpg

Deakin also founded Impotent Fury, Lemon Jelly’s own label, (which was also the name of an infamous club night run by Fred where the music genre was chosen by the spin of a wheel.) The label issued 46 official releases plus a few non-label deluxe custom-packaged boots due to uncleared samples issued with Fred’s telltale typeface. These boots have since become highly-sought-after collectibles among Jellyheads.

The first was 2001’s Soft/Rock, a 7″ blue vinyl single in a screenprinted modified denim sleeve constructed from pairs of jeans with a flavored condom in the pocket. The single was limited to 1,000 copies, 15 of which featured hand embroidery by Laura Lees. The singles contained uncleared samples by Chicago and Black Crowes, hence the private release.

03 Soft Rock.png

Then in August of 2003, another self-release surfaced titled Rolled/Oats. The single was spray painted gold and screenprinted once again with the classic Jelly font and housed in a hessian (burlap) sleeve. “Rolled” samples “Feel Like Making Love” by Bad Company and is based on “The Curse Of Ka’zar” from their Lost Horizons double LP. “Oats” uses elements of “Closer” with a sample of George Michael’s “Heal The Pain”.

04 Rolled Oats

Lemon Jelly initially issued three EPs, later collected on the beautifully-packaged lemonjelly.ky double LP in 2000.

05 lemonjelly.ky

This was followed by their debut full-length LP, Lost Horizons in 2002. Each album featured striking packaging design named among countless “greatest album art” lists as well as being featured in Grant Scott’s book, The Greatest Album Covers of All Time. Both of these releases showcased the duo’s spirited, whimsical, and ultra-chilled downtempo style.

06 Lost Horizons - Poster Print.jpg

In 2005 a box set of four 10″ LPs was issued titled ’64-’95, with each track prefixed with the year of the sample incorporated into the single. The album is rather different from their previous two releases in that it has a darker sound and is influenced by more modern sounding music. To avoid confusion over the matter, the band included a sticker on the sleeve stating, “This is our new album, it’s not like our old album.” The album closer, “Go” featured vocals by William Shatner.

07 64-95.png

Fred also produced over one hundred mixes and DJ sessions during and after his time with Lemon Jelly, many of which were featured by BBC 6 Music and the Breezeblock. Each set seamlessly wove together deep cuts and musical oddities of Balearica, funk, hip hop, soul, dub, reggae, swing, and an array of leftfield oddities which always kept the listener engaged and guessing as to what was around the next sonic corner.

An official release of this nature was eventually issued in 2007 by Impotent Fury – Fred Deakin Presents: The Triptych, a three-CD set of everything from folk rock to break/broken beat, jazzdance, country, deep and Euro house, neo-soul, gospel, and more.

08 The Triptych.jpg

And the following year, a two-CD set premiered titled Nu Balearica packed with Balearic Beat and Nu-Disco choons.

09 Nu Balearica.jpg

I spent the early 2000s compiling about one hundred and ten of the various mixes and sessions Fred had touched, right down to the demo cassette he’d recorded in the late nineties when running the club Impotent Fury. And in 2011 and 12 Fred resurfaced under the pseudonym Frank Eddie (once again due to uncleared samples) and issued five limited 7″ singles in geometrically designed screenprinted sleeves.

10 Frank Eddie singles.png

The complete set was issued as a CD album called, Let’s Be Frank in 2012.

11 Frank Eddie - Let_s Be Frank.jpg

Fred also applied the Frank Eddie moniker to a special remix of English boy band, East 17’s “Stay Another Day” for a heartwarming farewell music video to mark the retirement of their Airside design company. A gorgeous 296pp coffee table book, Airside by Airside was published by Gestalten telling the story of their evolution and is certainly on my wish list for this year.

12 Airside by Airside book

This project tapered off after the Jellyhead forum went dormant and things quieted down for a few years, until a few days ago when, on a whim, I revisited Fred’s page on Rateyourmusic.com. There I noticed a curious title I’d not previously encountered – Come Dance With Me Sweetheart dated 2016. I did a little searching around and by the day’s end, (thanks to a fellow Jellyhead who has been archiving all Lemon Jelly material from the source tapes for nearly two decades), had 19 additional DJ sessions which had surfaced since I’d last stopped collecting. It was like Christmas! I quickly assembled a 25-hour playlist of all the new-to-me Jelly content and am having a blast exploring it all!

And revisiting The Triptych, I began to research the deeper cuts from the mix and found one funky track, Billy Hawk’s “O’ Baby (I Believe I’m Losing You)” appears on a sublabel comp of BGP (Beat Goes Public) Records. The label has issued three series that look worth a listen.

13 BGP.jpg

Super Breaks is a set of six double LPs and albums showcasing essential funk, soul, jazz samples, and breakbeats. There is also the SuperFunk series of twelve releases and a third set of four albums branded as Funk Soul Sisters. These might be just what I’m after for more deep cuts.

14 SuperFunk.jpg

Another of my favorite classic Jelly mixes, Breezeblock – 20th September 1999, includes the Public Enemy / Herb Alpert mashup, “Rebel Without A Pause (Whipped Cream Mix)” which a quick search revealed was by The Evolution Control Committee, Mark Gunderson’s plunderphonics project. Mark collaborated with The Bran Flakes on the Raymond Scott Rewired project issued by Basta Records which I absolutely must check out, along with a deeper exploration of other related artists like Emergency Broadcast Network, Escape Mechanism, The Tape-beatles, as well as my complete archives of the works of Negativland, John Oswald, and selected works from People Like Us (who collaborated with Matmos and Wobbly).

15 Raymond Scott Rewired.jpg

It’s truly remarkable to live in a time when a few simple Google searches yield days of rewarding listening. Here’s my Lemon Jelly and related album collection to date, in addition to the 129 digital albums and DJ sessions I’ve collected that are so generously shared among fellow Jellyheads.

16 Lemon Jelly and Sundae Club Collection (1 of 2).jpg

17 Lemon Jelly and Sundae Club Collecton (2 of 2).jpg

Finest Examples of Where Music Meets Design (1 of 3)

I wanted to present three albums which not only have outstanding music but also feature exceptional design concepts in their packaging.

Coming in third in my all time favorite album designs is Lemonjelly.ky.

I’ve been after this record for years and today it’s finally mine!

After the release of Lemon Jelly’s first three EPs, Lemonjelly.ky debuted in 2000 as their first proper album.   A declarative sticker on the cover proclaimed, ” if you already own these EPs there is NO REASON for you to buy this product.”

Reviewers often compare their blissful electronic sound to the likes of Zero 7, Boards of Canada and Mr. Scruff, but what separates Lemon Jelly from other groups is their creative edge and the fact that you just can’t stay in a bad mood when listening to them.

The packaging for every one of their albums and singles were designed by Fred Deakin (half of Lemon Jelly) and his award-winning design company, Airside.  Their colorful style is instantly recognizable wherever it appears, from print ads to music videos.

Below are a few tracks from the album.

Click here to view my photos of the album’s glorious packaging.

Published in: on February 24, 2012 at 12:02 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Poets, Collage Music and Masters of Downtempo

I found two Shel Silverstein LPs at the same antique shop today.  Freakin’ at the Freakers Ball was under Rock-S and A Boy Named Sue was on the floor in the dollar bin.

I searched the rest of the shop on the off-chance that I’d find his other albums.  I was specifically looking for his first LP – Hairy Jazz or the one simply titled Fuck ‘Em which features adult-themed tracks such as “Dope” and “I Love My Right Hand.”

Freakers Ball is similar to Fuck ‘Em with songs like,  “I Got Stoned and I Missed It,” “Polly in a Porny,” “Masochistic Baby,” and of course its famous title track.

Lyric:

All the fags and dykes they boogy’n together
Leather freaks dressed in all kinds of leather
The greatest of sadists and the masochists too
Screamin’ “please hit me and I’ll hit you”

(This ain’t The Giving Tree.)

Track 3, however will be recognized and loved by adults and children alike – it’s “Sahra Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out.”

In 1999, the album was re-issued on CD with bonus tracks, including a fun tune called “26 Second Song”

All the DJs keep complainin’ tunes run much too long
So I’ve gone and wrote myself a 26 second song.
~The End~

While these next few albums are not new to my collection I definitely wanted to make mention of them as they’ve been in heavy rotation as of late.

Future Loop Foundation is an electronic artist that completely captured my attention but was soon lost in a pool of new arrivals.  I recently querried the members of the Lemon Jelly Forum who are well-versed in the world of blissful electronic music and I promptly received a response identifying the half-forgotten track that was tumbling around in my brian.

This song alone was enticing enough to make me hunt down 18 other discs from FLF’s catalog and to complete the puzzle game on the artist’s website to unlock additional tracks.  “Sunshine Philosophy,” along with the rest of The Fading Room album was constructed using interviews with the elder members of Mark Barrott’s family which had been committed to tape during his childhood.

And for a second helping of tasty ambience here is “The Sea and the Sky.”

This final track, titled “Another English Summer,” was specifically recommended by a member of the Forum for it’s particularly Jellyesque quality.

All three of the above songs were released as singles/EPs between 2008 and 2009.  If you’ve already got The Fading Room, I recommend the Scratch & Sniff EP as your next FLF disc.

Another similarly mellow track that has been stuck in my head ever since I acquired a promo copy of the album is “Sing,” the opener from  People Like Us’ 2011 album, Welcome Abroad.

I’ve been humming the Perry Como sample that comes in around 1:35 for several days.  Wonderfully addictive.

Sundae Club is another delightful duo I discovered through the Lemon Jelly forum.  Technostalgia, British Summer Time, and Sea-sides are well worth a listen.

Check out one of their most popular tracks – Angels in the Sky.

My last Jelly-friendly artist for this entry is The Found Sound Orchestera.

For their current project, titled 52 Weeks they post a new track to their website each week.  You can download them all at http://www.foundsoundorchestra.com.