31 Oct 2013
Northside in the area 
Northside

The original line-up of Northside - Dermo, Timmy Walsh, Cliff Ogier and Paul Walsh - has "proper reformed".

No firm details announced as yet but we take it to mean that gigs at the very least will be in the offing.

Yeah man!

--

Northside Facebook (Official)

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Meaningless Excitement 
Meaningless Excitement by Peter Saville

Peter Saville has designed the prints and typography for a new collection of shoes made for the Adidas label Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto.

Dezeen.com reports that Saville has drawn inspiration from "the vastness of the internet, culling images and words from online forums, social media, and personal blogging platforms".

Saville, you may recall, previously worked with Adidas on the Adicolor project, resulting in a tracksuit and the G2 hi-tops. In this video he talks their association.

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30 Oct 2013
What Planet Is He On? 
What Planet Am I On? - Shaun Ryder

'What Planet Am I On?' is the new book by Shaun Ryder to accompanying the previously-announced 'Shaun Ryder on UFOs' television programme programme starting soon on History UK.

Broadly mirroring the series it tells the story of Shaun's obsession with UFOs from an early age and he gets to explore various famous sites from around the world during the course of his investigations.

Available from Amazon.co.uk and other booksellers.

What Planet Am I On?
Published by: Constable
Hardcover
208 pages

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29 Oct 2013
FAC Yeah! 
Yeah Yeah Yeah by Bob Stanley

Cerysmatic's bookfest continues with a recommendation for all you Facsters out there to grab a copy of Bob Stanley's excellent new tome 'Yeah Yeah Yeah'. Tracking the history of modern pop music in nearly 800 pages it touches on Factory Records at a few key moments in its own unique history: the birth of the label ("with Bauhaus-inspired designer Peter Saville and pharmacist-by-day producer Martin Hannett, Factory had an integrated and entirely distinctive look, feel and sound"), Joy Division (commenting that their album Unknown Pleasures' sound "revelled in space - in this instance the underpasses, the empty streets of post-industrial Victorian Manchester"), the Haçienda ("its denizens were inspired to go home and create more of the music they wanted to hear") and Happy Mondays ("They looked like drug dealers from a run-down Manchester estate because that's exactly what they were.").

Yeah Yeah Yeah is published by Faber and Faber (ISBN 978-0-571-28197-8) for 20.00 GBP (RRP). More info at bobstanley.co.uk

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28 Oct 2013
The Durutti Column Kooky Reissues 
A Paean To Wilson - The Durutti Column

Thanks to Phil Kooky (no him neither) for the news that The Durutti Column's two albums titles 'A Paean to Wilson' and 'Vini Reilly' will be re-issued in jewel cases towards the end of 2013.

The releases will be identical to the original (out-of-stock) digi-packs with the same artwork, tracklistings, etc but they will be available at a lower price in the Kooky Shop from November.

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visceral pleasures 
Visceral Pleasures - Vaughan Oliver

After finally catching up with the excellent Vaughan Oliver/23 Envelope monogram 'visceral pleasures' by Rick Poynor (think FAC 461 for 4AD if you're not familiar) a paragraph which compared Oliver's working influence to Peter Saville caught my eye:

"Oliver is a designer whose most characteristic work is about music. At their most expressive, his designs embody his intense emotional responses to his sensations as a listener. This is by no means always the case with designers of music graphics. Reid Miles, creator in the 1960s of many classic covers for the Blue Note jazz label, never had much enthusiasm for hard bop, even though fans regard his graphic rhythms as perfectly in sync with the music. Peter Saville, designer of sleeves for Factory Records, was engaged more by the subcultural, stylistic and fashion aspects of the post-punk milieu than by the music itself, and this detachment can be seen in the conceptual control of his designs. For Oliver, the connection with music is much more visceral and intimate. Music is a way of twisting the moment, leaving the mundane reality of the here and now, the world of bills on doormat, and attaining a more vital state of being beyond rational understanding, beyond the comfortable habits and orderly procedures of everyday life, where reality can be experienced anew, as if looking back from the other side."

In other words, Vaughan Oliver actually listened to the music but Peter Saville didn't.

Cheers Andrew @ Irk The Purists for the book.

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27 Oct 2013
A life-giving source 
Morrissey's Autobiographical FAC-related Musings #4:

After receiving a hand-typed letter from Tony Wilson following ticket price controversy, Morrissey agrees to play FAC 151 The Festival of the Tenth Summer. However, he contends that AHW wasn't happy with The Smiths upstaging New Order...

"Onstage, the Smiths are greeted as a life-giving source, and this begins to enrage Wilson so much that he flutters and fumes backstage, demanding to technicians that the Smiths' power be cut off. No backline crew will comply with Wilson, who is effectively gagged at his own festival. At the base of it all, general opinion assessed Wilson's rage to be the blustering fury in realizing that the Smiths had meant more to the crowd than his nurtured protégés New Order. Suddenly Wilson's divine right to be Mr Manchester is scuppered, and he spends the rest of his life with a Morrissey/Smiths wasting disease of the lower limbs, whilst oddly admitting that his big mistake in life was that he didn't sign the Smiths to Factory.

"Yes, well, there we go."

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26 Oct 2013
Ben Kelly Design 
Following on from the archive photos of the original FAC 251 Factory HQ in Manchester designed by Ben Kelly, we thought it an opportune moment for a round-up of his more recent work.

Media Space, South Kensington

Ben Kelly Design (BKD) has designed the new Media Space facilities in London's world famous Science Museum in South Kensington. The world-class suite of multi-functional facilities including a gallery and space for workshops is housed in the museum's former Printing and Printmaking gallery and opened on 21 September 2013.

Media Space, London - Ben Kelly Design

The Cheapside Hoard for Museum of London

This is a new exhibition at the Museum of London in the City of London which features a set of historic gemstones and jewels which has not been displayed in one place for around one century. BKD designed the exhibition space which is open to the public until 27 April 2014.

BIMM, Manchester

Ben Kelly designed the interior of the new BIMM (Brighton Institute of Modern Music) in Manchester which launched recently. BIMM is a music college that offers fully accredited, intensive music courses in Manchester for individuals who are committed to a career in music or the music industry. Resplendent in his trademark blue and International Orange, Ben spoke about BIMM in June 2013 in the video below.

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25 Oct 2013
Section 25 live at Islington Mill review 
And now it's over to occasional Cerysmatic curator Paul Pledger @ Flipside Reviews for a full rundown of everything that went down at Islington Mill in Salford last Saturday night when Section 25 played a "pin-sharp show" at the Machination Nation event.

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FAC 251 Inside Out 
Check out the highlights of a photoshoot done by Inside Out Photography of the 'One Charles Street' FAC 251 Factory Records HQ from when it was the Factory offices and, it would seem, very sparsely furnished.

See also the Ben Kelly Design portfolio pages for a different perspective and additional commentary.

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24 Oct 2013
All this Byrds stuff has been done and done 
Morrissey's Autobiographical FAC-related Musings #3:

"Having latched on to the Sex Pistols and Iggy Pop for his television show So It Goes, Wilson now assumed the cognoscenti cloak and found himself blessed with the need to assess, judge and grade - like a war general plastered with ribbons but who had never actually seen battle himself. At an early Smiths night Wilson offers and opinion that no-one has asked for:

"'I'm not sure about Johnny. Hand in Glove is Rebel Rebel. All this Byrds stuff has been done and done.'"

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Mertens moves around the world 
Here is a selection of concerts by Wim Mertens over the next six months including an excursion to Bangkok at the end of the month and special performances with Kirmen Uribe performing "Mussche – Lo que mueve el mundo" (What Moves the World).

Meanwhile, don't forget to listen the Cerysmatic Factory Wim Mertens Interview over on Soundcloud. This is a 90-minute, professionally-recorded audio interview featuring Brandon Spivey with Wim Mertens.

Itinerary

31 October 2013
19:00
Wim Mertens solo piano
Hall of Music de Chulalongkorn University
Bangkok, Thailand

1 December 2013
Wim Mertens and Kirmen Uribe
"Mussche – Lo que mueve el mundo" (what moves the world)
Violin, cello, piano, voice
Teatro del Canal
Madrid, Spain

31 January 2014
20:30
Wim Mertens Trio
Violin, cello, piano, voice
CC de Kollenbloom
Puurs, Belgium

2 February 2014
20:15
Wim Mertens Trio
Violin, cello, piano, voice
Cultuurcentrum de Meent
Alsemberg, Belgium

22 March 2014
20:00
Wim Mertens Trio
Violin, cello, piano, voice
Toneelhuis
Antwerp, Belgium

25 March 2014
21:00
Wim Mertens and Kirmen Uribe
"Mussche – Lo que mueve el mundo" (what moves the world)
Teatro Arriga
Madrid, Spain

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23 Oct 2013
#8385 Collected Works 1983-1985 Ltd Edition 
#8385 Collected Works 1983-1985 (Ltd Edition)

A special limited edition of 500 copies signed by Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire's new retrospective #8385 Collected Works 1983-1985 is now available to pre-order ahead of its 4 November 2013 release.

Contents include:

4 vinyl LP albums (The Crackdown, Micro-Phonies, Drinking Gasoline, The Covenant The Sword and the Arm of the Lord)
6 CDs (The Crackdown, Mirco-Phonies, Drinking Gasoline, The Covenant The Sword and the Arm of the Lord plus a CD of 12" mixes and an unreleased CD called Earthshaker - The Lost Soundtrack)
2 DVDs - 2 live shows and Gasoline In Your Eye
40-page 12"-sized booklet with extensive and exclusive sleeve notes from typographer Phil Barnes and Richard H. Kirk and a synopsis on Earthshaker.

All of the audio has been remastered from the original master tapes and over seen by Richard H. Kirk.

The pre-order price is 139.99 GBP via shop.cabaret-voltaire.net

Stand by for #7885 (Electro Punk to Techno Pop 1978-1985 in 2014!

1. Micro-Phonies

Do Right
The Operative
Digital Rasta
Spies In The Wires
Theme From Earthshaker
James Brown
Slammer
Blue Heat
Sensoria

2. Drinking Gasoline

Kino
Sleepwalking
Big Funk
Ghost Talk

3. The Crackdown + EP

24-24
In The Shadows
Talking Time
Animation
Over And Over
Just Fascination
Why Kill Time (When You Can Kill Yourself)
Haiti
Crackdown
Diskono
Theme From Doublevision
Moscow
Badge Of Evil

4. The Covenant, The Sword And The Arm Of The Lord

L21ST
I Want You
Hells Home
Kickback
The Arm Of The Lord
Warm
Golden Halos
Motion Rotation
Whip Blow
The Web

5. Cabaret Voltaire 83-85 12" As and Bs

Just Fascination (12" Version)
Crackdown (12)
The Dream Ticket (12" Version)
Sensoria (12" Version)
James Brown (12" Version)
I Want You (12" Version)
Safety Zone (12" Version)
Cut The Damn Camera (12" Version)
Bad Self Pt.1 (12" Version)
Drink Your Poison (12" Version)
COMA (12" Version)

6. Earthshaker

Earthshaker 5
Earthshaker 1
Theme From Earthshaker (Sheffield Mix)
Digital Rasta (Dub Version)
Earthshaker 3
Whip Blow (Instrumental Dub)
James Brown (Instrumental)
Golden Halos (Instrumental Dub)
Earthshaker 2
Cut The Damn Camera (Sheffield Mix)
Do Right (Cut Up Mix)
Earthshaker 4

7. DVD1

Bedford Boys Club 18.08.84
Intro
Crackdown
Sensoria
Just Fascination
Safety Zone
Ghost Talk
Digital Rasta
Kino
Do right
Hammersmith Palais 02.12.84
Mao Intro
Animation
Big Funk
Sensoria
Digital Rasta
Japno
Ghost Talk
Sleepwalking
Kino
Do Right

8. DVD2

Gasoline In Your Eye
Introduction
Crackdown
Diffusion
Sleepwalking
Slow Boat To Thassos
Sensoria
Automotivation
Big Funk
Kino
Ghostalk
Fadeout

DVD Extras

Just Fascination 7" Mix
Sensoria 7" Mix
I Want You 7" Mix
I Want You 12" Mix

A regular boxed set which omits the vinyl albums and isn't signed or limited editions is priced 99.99 is also available.

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22 Oct 2013
Disfigured disco dancers 
Morrissey's Autobiographical FAC-related Musings #2:

[on the occasion of the opening night of FAC 51 the Hacienda]

"... disfigured disco dancers and goblinesque pork-pie chubbos with carroty-red curls smelling of pickled pig who claimed the Hacienda as their own public toilet."

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The Return of The Return of... LP (FBN 114) 
The Return of the Durutti Column LP (FBN 114)

Factory Benelux has finally announced full details and pricing of its new re-edition of the classic debut album by The Durutti Column, the enigmatically-titled 'The Return of The Durutti Column' originally released in the infamous sandpaper sleeve in 1980.

This new edition imagineers the narrative of the original FACT 14 edition on Factory Records. So, rather than some old LP sleeves with some 12" square sheets of sandpaper glued on on either side, there's an 11-inch square sheet of coarse glasspaper seated in a recessed deboss. And then there's the back cover which features period photographs Daniel Meadows.

The original Hannett 'Test Card' flexi-disc has been converted to a regular non-flexi-disc black vinyl 7" single and this brings commensurately better sound quality.

There are two bonus tracks on the main album itself, 'Madeleine' and 'Lips That Would Kiss' which previously came out on an FBN single in 1980.

Wrap that all up with liner notes with quotes from Vini Reilly, Martin Hannett, Tony Wilson, Peter Saville, Daniel Meadows, John Brierley, Bruce Mitchell and members of Joy Division and you have a very nice package thank you very much. It's all finished off in a plastic bag which will protect the other records in your collection.

The album will be available direct from Factory Benelux mailorder from the beginning of December, priced at 25.00 GBP including UK postage. EU please add 4.00 GBP for airmail post. Rest of the World add 6.00 GBP for airmail post. The album will be dispatched in strong cruciform mailer. All enquiries about the album release, postage, etc direct to Factory Benelux please!

Tracklisting

Side 1

1. Sketch for Summer
2. Requiem for a Father
3. Katharine
4. Conduct

Side 2
1. Beginning
2. Jazz
3. Sketch for Winter
4. Collette
5. In ‘D’
6. Lips That Would Kiss
7. Madeleine

Side 3

1. The First Aspect of the Same Thing

Side 4

1. The Second Aspect of the Same Thing

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Chris Watson's Tweet of the Day 
Famed sound recordist and musician Chris Watson (ex-Cabaret Voltaire) is currently doing Tweet of the Day on Radio 4 at around 5.58am every morning. The short broadcasts feature the story of and birdsong from our feathered friends including the Common Pheasant, Bearded Tit and the Eider.

Moving from wildlife to railways, another recent Chris Watson radio programme worth checking out is 'The Station' which is a fascinating sound portrait of 24 hours in the life of Newcastle Central Station.

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21 Oct 2013
Urmston's answer to nothing 
Morrissey's Autobiographical FAC-related Musings #1:

"'You must call your next album Steven,' says Manchester luvvie Tony Wilson, and I stare back at him - wondering if he had ever actually had a good idea in his life.

"Wilson repeatedly turns up at Morrissey concerts and then automatically lambasts me in print or on radio almost as if he enjoys his hatreds as much as he enjoys his joys. 'Let's face it,' he says on Australian radio, 'Morrissey really IS a horrible person.' Weeks later I am behind the wheel of my sky-blue Jag in Los Angeles, stalled at traffic lights. I spot whom I think to be Jerry Springer walking across the street in front of me (Miller Drive, should you care), but of course it is Urmston's answer to nothing, and Wilson bows his head towards me and offers a smile - as three-faced as he ever was."

And there's more where that came from!

Morrissey's 'Autobiography' is out now via Penguin Classics.

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Tracking the Thrill 
Recently, whilst on holiday in New York City, I was fortunate to attend an exhibition walkthrough with Ike Yard's Stuart Argabright of 'Tracking the Thrill' at The Kitchen, one of NYC's oldest non-profit art spaces. This was a selected retrospective of the influential video work of Gretchen Bender (1951-2004), the centrepiece of which was 'Total Recall' (1987) a multi-screen installation set to a superb soundtrack of by Mr Argabright.

Apparently back in the day the whole thing would be cued up on banks of video players and the play buttons would be pressed in sync. Nowadays it's driven by computers but the TV screens are resolutely old school cathode ray.

There are a couple of Factory-related videos in the rest of the exhibition:

Gretchen Bender did the title sequence for the America's Most Wanted TV show (UK readers think 'Crimewatch' in terms of content, but without Nick Ross) and the soundtrack for that was by The Other Two. Bender's cut-up style quickly became the norm for many a show.

Robert Longo's video for New Order's Bizarre Love Triangle (FAC 173) is also included. Gretchen, who was Robert's girlfriend, did the again rapid-fire editing. More on the making of that video by producer Michael Shamberg over at a New Order Discography. According to Stuart Argabright, Gretchen herself is in the video.

The exhibition has now finished (as has the holiday) but this short clip below gives an idea of the overall experience.

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Let Them Be 


Factory's original jazz defectors, Blurt, have a new single 'Let Them Be' out 5 November via Blank Editions. The single is launched at the Old Blue Last in London the same day. Entry is free with doors at 8pm.

Live activities continue with a one-off gig at Tage Für Neue Musik, Zürich, Switzerland on on 14 November 2013.

Meanwhile, Scratch Pictures is working on a documentary about Blurt and Ted Milton for future dissemination.

More blurtings at tedmilton.net.

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20 Oct 2013
Pop Noir's Temptation 


Pop Noir are an LA band who you might remember from when they did Do the Du with DoJo a few years ago.

Their FAC ancestry comes from the lads' father being Steve McGarry who designed sleeves for Slaughter & The Dogs and did the one for Joy Division's Ideal for Living.

This cover version of New Order's Temptation was released earlier this year in honour of what would've been Rob Gretton's 60th birthday.

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Ed Templeton: A Gentle Collision 
Ed Templeton: A Gentle Collision

Factory Too designer (for Hopper) and skateboarding legend Ed Templeton latest major gallery exhibition is 'A Gentle Collision' at Jerome Zodo Contemporary in Milan, Italy. It gathers together 7 major works and 3 installations.

The exhibition continues until 22 November 2013.

Jerome Zodo Contemporary
Via Lambro 7
Milan
Italy

Meanwhile, if you can't make it to Milan (but have a lot of spare cash) then how about Ed Templeton's "Lamp" collaboration with Case Studyo? It's a limited edition of 100 pieces and it's only (!) 969 Euro.

More on Ed at toymachine.com/ed, Facebook and Twitter

Ed Templeton: Lamp

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19 Oct 2013
Selling The World 


With A Certain Ratio on hiatus, Jez Kerr has been busy recording new solo material which he has then been publishing via his Soundcloud. Alongside earlier gems such as cover versions of Isolation and Insight by Joy Division you'll find a quartet of new pieces from the last month or so.

Cerysmatic's favourites are 'Gonna Sell The World' featuring Lis Murphy on vocals (alongside Jez) is indeed "a sound that makes the world shine"and 'Who Painted God (Down is the Flight)' which features lyrics co-written by Ana Uvar. ACR fans will particularly love the latter and should also seek out the vintage curio 'Intro Talk-In' Jez's first ACR rehearsal.

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18 Oct 2013
Shaun Ryder on UFOs 
Coming to a UK television screen near you this autumn: 'Shaun Ryder on UFOs' via the History UK cable/satellite channel. The series sees Shaun jetting off around the world to various locations of UFO-sighting fame including the mountains of Chile and the fields and forests of England and on the way he speaks to experts, witnesses, academics, abductees, sceptics and believers (of which one the Mondays man ranks himself following an early close encounter in Salford).

Shaun Ryder on UFOs lands on Sunday 10 November at 8pm.

History UK is available on Sky 529/530(+1), Virgin Media 234 and BT 886.

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Defining Me @ The Lowry 
Defining Me: Musical Adventures in Manchester

As trailed in our Massey / Massonix update, there's a new exhibition down at the Lowry in Salford which has been curated by those nice people at the Manchester District Music Archive. 'Defining Me: Musical Adventures in Manchester' tells the story of Manchester's musical through eyes, recollections and collections of various people with a strong connection to Manchester.

In addition to Graham Massey there is plenty of interest for Factory Records fans... Bruce Mitchell (The Durutti Column's Gonzo Drum Master himself), John Kertland (early Hacienda regular and member, promoter of an early Stone Roses gig in Shrewsbury, possessor of an unfeasibly amount of bootleg cassettes and proprietor of Caroline True Records), Sarah Champion and Hewan Clarke have all made contributions.

Defining Me continues until 23 February 2014 at The Lowry in Salford.

Thanks to Mat Norman @ MDMA. 


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Hommage au Fromage / Hollingsville 
Graham Massey has been busy under his Massonix guise and the latest fruits can be seen in a new "double A" collaboration with Bruno Spoerri for the ongoing Disposable Music series.

Swiss electronic jazz pioneer Spoerri's Hommage au Fromage seemingly defies most reasonable description but it is apparently based on an album originally commissioned by the Swiss Cheese Consortium (it says here) which is good enough for me.

Moving swiftly on to the Massonix portion, the music found on 'Hollingsville' was originally created for a 12-part radio series on Resonance 104.4 FM featuring writer (and one-time fellow Biting Tongues man) Ken Hollings. It uses pre-synth analogue machines extensively but, to the best of my knowledge, does not have any cheese connections.

Hommage au Frommage / Hollingsville is available for 14.99 GBP as an LP with download code via Finders Keepers Records.

You may also wish to investigate a non-Massonix Massey Mixcloud mix entitled Outer Planets that Graham has done for his segment of Manchester District Music Archive exhibition 'Defining Me (Musical Epiphanies in Greater Manchester)' (more on that in our next post). This charts Graham's interest in space music starting in the early 1960s with Joe Meek & Barry Gray and featuring Hawkwind, Gong, Sun Ra and much more. Trippy man!

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17 Oct 2013
Hacienda Paris in the Swing 
Hacienda Paris at Swing At The Top

FAC51 The Hacienda visits Paris later this month for a special event Swing At The Top: The Factory with the theme of Factory Records meets Andy Warhol's The Factory.

A classic DJ line-up featuring headliners Pickering and Park, plus 808 State, Allister Whitehead and Peter Hook is complemented by various French bands and DJs.

It's 8 Euro to get in and apparently there's a free hotdog and swingtop (beer, hopefully).

--

Swing at the Top #6
Au Palais De Tokyo

Tuesday 29 October 2013
The Factory

DJ sets

Mike Pickering
Graeme Park
808 State DJs
Allister Whitehead
Peter Hook to play for the Parisien crowd whilst live

Live

Telepopmusik
Etienne De Crecy
Super Discount

A Nous Paris presents

Yan Wagner
Concrete DJ Team
Polar Intertia (Live)
Antigone
Plus loads more!

More info at:

Facebook event
swingatthetop.com


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16 Oct 2013
Use Breathing Protection 
Use Breathing Protection

Factory Records had a grand history of cunningly conceived or lavishly produced Christmas presents (or sometimes both) but it wasn't always that way. In 1979, a small red box containing a couple of earplugs was the low-key gift ("Use hearing protection", geddit?) and it was attributed the number FACX 79. These items are especially rare. However, that wasn't the only item given away that year...

In addition there was a metal and cloth breathing mask in a sealed plastic wrapper bearing a small white-on-black sticker which states: "A Factory Product - For your protection Xmas 79/80". We were aware that these existed when one was spotted by our roving reporter at Factory/Hacienda exhibition held at FAC 251 shortly after it opened. However, full details of the item have remained a mystery until now, thanks to Julian in New York who recently contacted us. Masks were mailed out with a pink card with handwritten note by Tony Wilson.

Over to Julian for the full story:

"It was mailed to Larry Ottoway (NE England DJ and promoter) in December 1979 and is in the original mailing envelope. My presumption was also that the safety mask was related to (or, essentially, a variant of) FACX 79. The black and silver 'Factory Products' label on the face mask is nearly identical to the label on the earplugs and of course the two products could easily have been purchased from the same industrial supplier. I was wondering if other examples of the card had surfaced. It shows an altered wanted poster of the spies Burgess & Maclean and is inscribed, by Tony Wilson, I assume, on the interior, 'Larry, Seasonal Cheers, The FACTORY'."

Many thanks to Julian for the imagery and info.

View the full-sized image of the mask and card.

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15 Oct 2013
Mark Stewart in Dub with Dennis Bovell 
Mark Stewart in Dub with Dennis Bovell

Bristol post punk pioneer Mark Stewart (The Pop Group) meets dubmeister general Dennis Bovell (famed for his early work with Factory Records reggae band X-O-Dus) uptown for three UK gigs this October to tie with Mark's recent dub album 'The Exorcism of Envy'. Mark's full band is augmented by MC Brother Culture and Keith Levene (PiL).

Influential industrialists 23 Skidoo support at two of the dates so this is really not one to miss.

October

Mark Stewart
Keith Levene (PiL)
MC Brother Culture
23 Skidoo (Bristol and London)
Young Echo (Bristol)

Tue 22 - The Assembly, Leamington Spa [Tickets/Info]
Wed 23 - The Trinity Centre, Bristol [Tickets/Info]
Thu 24 - O2 Academy, Islington [Tickets/Info]

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14 Oct 2013
Everything's Gone Clear 
New Order - Movement clear vinyl LP

To celebrate the reopening of its flagship 363 Oxford Street, London store, HMV is having a strictly limited giveaway bonanza in the coming week. Top of the shop for FAC fans is a clear vinyl LP edition of New Order's debut album 'Movement' [FACT 50] available to the first 100 lucky customers on Wednesday 16 October. Other delights include limited offerings of wares by The Beatles (Mon), Elvis Presley (Tue), and, er, Robbie Williams (Thu).

More details at HMV's Facebook.

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13 Oct 2013
The Year of the Snake album launch party 
Year of the Snake album launch party @ The Ruby Lounge Manchester 18 October 2013

A reminder that new band Giant Star launch their debut album 'The Year of the Snake' at Manchester's Ruby Lounge on Friday 18 October. Main man and ex-Space Monkey Richard McNevin-Duff will play a short solo acoustic set and there will be a full band performance.

Meanwhile, Issue 11 of FC United of Manchester-affiliated fanzine 'A Fine Lung' will include an interview with McNevin-Duff, who’s band were the last to sign to Factory Records.

--

Friday 18 October
Ruby Lounge
Manchester

Giant Star
+ Special Guests

Year of the Snake
Album Launch Party

Tickets available now from seetickets.com, ticketline.co.uk and Piccadilly Records 0161 832 1111

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12 Oct 2013
325 Spring Street Rm 233, New York, NY 
325 Spring Street Rm 233, New York, NY

The headquarters of the North American operations of Factory Records (variously known as Factory America, Factory US and Of Factory New York) was a room in a building in New York City.

Located in Soho, 325 Spring Street was also the location of alternative art space White Columns from 1979 to 1991 which was the venue for the New Order / Peter Saville exhibition 'Compact' (FAC 171).

The address, phone and telex numbers appear on the FACTUS 19 Of Factory New York stationery.

It seems the building was subsequently occupied by UPS, a biotechnical company and a couple of restaurants but now appears to be vacant. Any further information / internal photography gratefully received.

Check out our full photo gallery.

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He's lost control 
Many thanks to Paul Pledger for minding the shop whilst I was on holiday. I am sure that won't be the last we'll hear from Paul round these parts what with the impending Part 4 of Facs in the Attic and a few more other treats.

Apologies for a few image glitches which arose as a result of remote working. These have now been resolved (as have a few teething template problems).

Anyway, whaddya say!? Let's boogie!

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7 Oct 2013
New Order turn over a new LEAF 
From 7th to 10th November, London Electronic Arts Festival (LEAF for short), founded by DJ and presenter Rob da Bank, will explore and showcase the heritage of electronic music and its impact on the arts both aurally and visually.

Concerts and appearances by the likes of Major Lazer, Trentemoller, William Orbit and The Bloody Beetroots will be supplemented by various other events including a series of interviews held with pioneers of electronica and dance-music.

As well as Giorgio Moroder and Dinos Chapman, there is a fascinating keynote interview with New Order planned for 8th November. Confusion, Touched By The Hand Of God and Thieves Like Us producer Arthur Baker will be asking selected members of the band about their Technique (FACT 275) album and its influence upon today's dance-music.

You can either buy a four-day delegate's pass to LEAF or simply purchase single event tickets for each talk, film or live gig staged across London.

The interviews (and many LEAF events) will take place at the Shoreditch Electric Lighting Station near Hoxton Market, N1 and you can check availability via Allgigs. Limited spaces - from £12.50.

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Bummed: Happy Mondays 25th anniversary tour 
Happy Mondays

A reminder that FACT 220 will form the basis of the next Happy Mondays tour in November. Not surprisingly christened 'Bummed - the 25th anniversary tour', Shaun Ryder's very merry men will celebrate a quarter of a century since the release of their Martin Hannett-produced second album, way back in 1988.

You can expect to hear the rousing clarion call of anthems such as 'Wrote For Luck', 'Lazyitis' and 'Mad Cyril', as well as other tunes from their repertoire.

Tickets are on sale now with further info available via Allgigs. N.B. The Herne Bay show on 21st November has already sold out so expect the others to follow suit at some point. The Sunshine Underground will support (plus other 'guests').

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3 Oct 2013
Facs In The Attic Part 3 
After exploring the vaults of Factory Records in both Part 1 and Part 2, the third chapter in our Facs In The Attic series deals with the first overseas releases. We'll have a peek at Factory Benelux issues, old and new, plus round up a few interesting related items released on Belgian cousin Les Disques du Crepuscule.

Factory Benelux

Recently revived as part of the LTM empire (though run as a separate entity), Factory Benelux was a comparatively short-lived project that ran initially for eight years from 1980 to 1988. It could be argued that some of the label's earlier exclusive releases were superior to those issued by the same acts on Factory. Regardless, the value of most of the Benelux catalogue is encouraging - clearly the availability of many of the original FBN releases proved to be scarce in the UK at best, impossible at worst, making the label a hit with collectors.

Factory Benelux

The earliest singles by A Certain Ratio (Shack Up 7" - FBN 1-004), The Durutti Column (Lips The Would Kiss/Madeleine 7"/12" - FBN 2-005) and Section 25 (Charnel Ground / Haunted 7") all fetch around £15-£20 depending on seller, while further later exclusives by Crispy Ambulance (Live On a Hot August Night 12" - FACBN 4), Section 25 (Je Veux Ton Amour 7" - FACBN 5) and Crawling Chaos (Gas Chair LP - FACBN 6) weigh in from anything between £20 and £50 (for the latter) - these need to be in mint condition to achieve those prices.

Other highlights from the catalogue (now with a shorter FBN prefix) include The Names' sprightly Calcutta 7"/12" at around £15-£20, two further Section 25 releases, Key Of Dreams LP (FBN 14 - £35) and Crazy Wisdom 12" (FBN 45 - £25), two Minny Pops records, Time 7" (FBN 11 - £30) and Sparks In a Dark Room (FBN 15 - up to £50!), two Stockholm Monsters 12" singles Miss Moonlight (FBN 19 - £15) and How Corrupt Is Rough Trade? (FBN 46 - £15) and the original pressing of Durutti Column's wistful Deux Triangles 12" EP (FBN 10 - £30), all of which were only pressed in the Low Countries.

Remaining releases from the initial tenure can be found priced upwards of £10, even those that seemingly match Factory UK singles and albums. However, such as in the case of Swamp Children's So Hot LP (FBN 21 - £20) and Quando Quango's Love Tempo (FBN 23 - £20-£30), a different sleeve can increase collectibility somewhat.

The new, all-sparkly, Factory Benelux label, revived in 2013, has already notched up one rarity - the limited 1000 copies edition of Durutti Column's Short Stories For Pauline (FBN 36) has already prompted a few chancers on Discogs to charge upwards of £30 for a copy.

Les Disques du Crepuscule

Cousin Les Disques du Crepuscule (originally based in Brussels) didn't release a lot of music by Factory artists but occasionally licensed material by a few of the acts and vice versa.

Les Disques du Crepuscule

Wim Mertens

You may remember one Wim Mertens from Part 2 of our Facs In The Attic series - £200 for a cassette version of Educes Me should jog your memory. His Belgium catalogue is extensive to say the least but his early Crepuscule releases are also worth a small bankroll (most have admittedly been re-issued on EMI, but original vinyls still command decent prices). For vinyl issued under the collective name Soft Verdict, you can expect to cough up a small mortgage for The Power Of Theatrical Madness 12" (TWI 283 - £50), Maximizing The Audience on 12" (12 TWI 580 - £25), its attendant double-album of the same name (TWI 480 - £20 upwards) and the debut-album For Amusement Only (TWI 049 - £50 upwards). Albums under the Wim Mertens moniker aren't a lot cheaper with perhaps the scariest value being attributed to his (count 'em) 6 CD set Play For Me (TWI 831-2 - £100 average) and the 13 CD set Moment (TWI 1980 - £400).

Anna Domino

Rather more modest is Anna's fine catalogue of dark earthy and intelligent pop. Original vinyl versions of the albums East Meet West (TWI 187) and This Time (TWI 777) can fetch £10 upwards, while her 7" single Trust In Love (TWI 177) hits £15 regularly online, sometimes more.

Cabaret Voltaire

Providers of FAC 82 (Yashar), Cabaret Voltaire issued rather more records for their Belgian friends, including the landmark Three Crepuscule Tracks 12" EP, which includes Sluggin' Fer Jesus (TWI 007 - £10), Fools Game/Gut Level (TWI 120 - £10), the bleeptastic What Is Real on CD single (TWI 948-2 - £12) and the not dissimilar mini-album Percussion Force on CD (TWI 951-2 - £20).

Devine & Statton

OK, not strictly a Factory artist but the Ludus/Young Marble Giants-related pair have a connection - their acoustic cover of New Order's Bizarre Love Triangle, issued as a 12" EP in 1989. TWI 908 was pressed in seemingly short supply and promptly deleted, just as it started to pick up airplay on Radio 1 evening shows. It's worth around £15 in mint condition.

The Durutti Column

Vini Reilly's music probably appeared on more Crepuscule compilations than actual headlining releases but DC did issue a couple. Both on CD, Fidelity (TWI 976-2) and a re-jigged Circuses and Bread (previously issued on Factory Benelux FBN 36 and Factory FACD 154, now called Bread and Circuses) (TWI 988-2) can raise you about £10-£15.

The Names

Responsible for one of Factory's most-revered 7" (Nightshift), The Brussels-based outfit not surprisingly booked themselves a place on their home-label with two releases. The Names' Martin Hannett-produced Swimming LP (TWI 065) can earn you £20-£25 for a top copy while the 12" The Astronaut (TWI 111) came in two colours, black and green vinyl. The former is worth about £10, the green about double.

Thick Pigeon

The quirky outfit's Two Crazy Cowboys album on Factory isn't their only money-spinner worth seeking out - two of their 7" singles are too. Subway (TWI 023) is one of the label's defining moments and is worthy of a £20 note while Dog/Tracy and Pansy (TWI 108) is worth around £10.

Various Artists

There isn't enough space to mention the Crepuscule compilations blessed with the presence of a Factory artist but we'll mention just one that is seriously worth having. From Brussels With Love (TWI 007 and TWI 008, depending on version) sports tracks by The Durutti Column, Martin Hannett (solo track), The Names, A Certain Ratio and a collaboration between Kevin Hewick and New Order. Early copies cost £25 on average (it's a double album) or as little as a tenner for a re-press (or the LTM CD reissue). The original cassette in PVC pouch with booklet is upwards of £25.

Prices quoted are from Discogs, eBay, sightings in shops and other online sources.

You can find new releases and further information on forthcoming projects on Factory Benelux here and Les Disques du Crepuscule here

The final part of Facs In The Attic will deal with other international releases and non-audio Facollectables!

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1 Oct 2013
Moby shows love for Movement 
Over at acclaimed online musical and literary hub The Quietus, ambient-dance wizard Moby has been talking about his favourite formative albums.

In one case, his choice of artist shouldn't be a huge surprise but perhaps his choice of album is - New Order's often-forgotten Movement (FACT 50). One of his all-time Top 10, Moby says in the article compiled by Luke Turner, "When I was 14 or 15-years-old I was fully ensconced on the cult of Ian Curtis, so when I got Movement I listened to it and tried to decode it... how many songs were influenced by Ian Curtis, how many songs were written by Ian Curtis, were they trying to communicate with Ian from beyond the grave." You can read the whole article here, in which he chooses other albums by D.A.F., B.E.F., O.M.D. and others of a less-abbreviated persuasion.

Moby's love of Joy Division has been previously highlighted after the electronic pioneer had a crack at New Dawn Fades for a single b-side some twenty years ago, a game effort we recall (you'll find it on the standard CD-single version of Feeling So Real or the easier-to-find I Like To Score album).

Given his choice of favourite New Order recording, it should come as no surprise that Moby appeared on stage in Seattle with Peter Hook and the Light on their current rapturously-received North American tour. Hooky will be returning to the UK in the autumn for a tour with both Movement and Power Corruption and Lies in tow. Read about the tour here.

Talking of Hook, it appears he has recently incurred minor wrath from some frustrated fans in the States. Several punters opted to decline from arriving early to see the support band, Slaves Of Venus, on the US tour, without first realizing that it was Peter Hook and the Light under an assumed name performing a raft of Joy Division songs as a bonus! All of which only serves as an important lesson - sometimes it's worth turning up that bit earlier to catch what could be a truly surprising and decent support act.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

The Durutti Column