27 Jul 2017
hallowed articles interview 
Hallowed Article 1-5

The hallowed articles independent record label was launched in 2013 by Mark Holt (ex-8vo) with his San Francisco-based nephew Matthew Holt who produces electronic music as 'Denley' and in the groups Broken Figures and Latent Sea. The first hallowed article, HA_01 featured Latent Sea's Serial Chiller with the b-side a remix by Oakland's BOATS. I caught up with Mark and Matt to decode the first five hallowed articles and to see what lies in store.

The hallowed articles roster, such as it is, is quite eclectic and spans a few genres. What was your approach to choosing artists to work with? Are there any other artists you would like to see on the label?

Matt: When Mark and I first decided to start a label, we were sitting eating sandwiches in front of the Cutty Sark in London and I asked him if he missed doing graphic design for musicians and if he'd ever want to start doing it again. When he said yes I just thought of how many talented artists I've met in my 11 years of making electronic music who's material never gets physically released and so we started there. I'd definitely say the broad genre of the label is electronic but we don't favor any one particular sub-genre within that. I have a personal connection to our first 5 artists, which was nice in the early days of the label, but by no means is that a pre-requisite. I love the music of Mo Kolours and provided there's no conflict of interest, I'd love to release two new songs from him.

What is the inspiration for the generic cover approach to the graphic identity? Other labels have had in-house designers (e.g. Peter Saville, Vaughan Oliver) but not many have used a themed design approach for every release.

Matt: Mark and I wanted a name that nodded at the fact that both my mom and dad's side of the family are from working-class north of England. I was raised on Kitchen Sink Realism films and my producer name, Denley, is a nod to Denley Moor, the town in "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite", the episode of Michael Palin's "Ripping Yarns" that parodies life in the north of England. I was looking through an old sheet metal cutting book that belonged to my grandfather, Mark's dad, and there was a chapter on how to make "hollowed articles". We switched "hollowed" to "hallowed" (greatly revered or respected) and the name was born. The generic cover approach speaks to this in that Mark describes it as a "boiler plate" approach. A nod to Mark's days at Factory where everything was given it's own FAC # and we hope the design appeals to the collectors and completists out there.

Mark: The "boiler plate" approach is like stamping something out - every time it's the same. That idea appealed to me a lot – the sleeve is the label, the disc is the music. All the music and musicians are treated the same. We are not trying to interpret the music by means of the sleeve. That's way too subjective. The graphic on the covers alludes to a series of sleeves sitting in racks – if you like, a library of hallowed articles – they are removed, listened to and put back. The graphic device is in fact the 'A' of the hallowed articles logo rotated. It's a flexible device which can be played with in numerous ways. It appears on the record centres and appears on our first T-shirt.

I have noticed a trend in the covers from 1 thru 5 given that the geometric arrangements are becoming progressively more minimal and wonder if the gradually receding graphics will reach an evolutionary point in HA_06 and beyond?

Matt: The shapes on the cover are meant to represent ones record collection, which we view as a living, breathing, ever-changing entity. If you have friends over and play records all night you may have a different number of records in your collection at any given time. A record collection is a collection of ones own "hallowed articles", music you've loved and return to over the years.

Mark: Yes, the sleeves have become minimal but only as a by product of this idea of music being removed to play. We may generate a different boiler plate at some point in the future but it is likely to contain similar graphic elements, and in so doing, provide the vinyl with a democratic vessel or container.

The 7-inch single was in danger of becoming extinct but is undergoing something of a revival. Why do you think that is and how key is it to HA to have a tangible physical product?

Matt: Both sides of my family love music, but my father and his brothers instilled in me how rewarding having a big music collection can be. I have great memories of my parents playing records in the living room, letting their friends hold the albums and trading stories about the artists, using the music to bring people together. My father passed away in 2002 and I think that on some level, by stressing physical product we are honoring his legacy.

Will there be any 12" singles or even a compilation LP?

Mark: Probably yes, but for the moment we are focusing on the 7" format – it's a common currency and probably the most hallowed.

Are there any plans for hallowed article 06 and beyond?

Mark: We are deciding on our next move. We are also thinking about packaging the first 5 as one. We want to continue to play our part in what is now the established revival of vinyl. As a label we are not driven by quantity of releases or by financial turnover. We put stuff out when we are ready.

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hallowed articles 1 to 5 are available now direct from the label.

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20 Jul 2017
We Sell Flesh and Vinyl 
We Sell Flesh and Vinyl - Factory Records newsletter

FACTORY RECORDS ACTIVITY IN THE MONTH OF MAY

VINYL

May 17th A CERTAIN RATIO FAC 5 7" 45rpm single. 'Thin Boys' and 'The all-night party'. Colour sleeve.

May 30th ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK FAC 6 7" 45 rpm single. 'Electricity' and 'Almost'. All-black thermographed sleeve.

Both singles are 5,000 releases distributed through 'all the usual suspects'. Other work is continuing in the studio and cutting.... i.e.

May 12th EXODUS FAC 11 Recording single in Cargo Studios, Rochdale. Working title, 'English black boys'. Producer: Denis Bovelle.

May 1-7 JOY DIVISION FAC T 10 Final mixes of ten tracks for album 'Unknown Pleasures'. Release in June. Produced by Martin Zero at Strawberry, Stockport.

Finally, recording plans for June.

ELTI-FITS 7" 45 rpm: Manchester band

SLEEPERS 7" 45 rpm; Los Angeles (crossed out, "oops, Bay Area" in handwriting) reissue, presses here.

DURUTTI COLUMN L.P. Small issue (4,000) Pure guitar, nowt else.

TILLER BOYS LP Small issue (1000)

That's the vinyl output, for the flesh approach please turn the page......

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Early Factory Records info sheet on official stationery. Mentions the band Sleepers (more info needed).

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13 Jul 2017
Trainspotting with cars! 
Trainspotting with cars

"THE MAD FUCKERS"

BY THE BAILEY BROTHERS

TRAINSPOTIN WITH CARS!

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Cover sheet for draft script of FACT 181 The Mad Fuckers, the abandoned Factory Records film project by the Bailey Brothers (Keith Jobling and Phil Shotton) known for their extensive body of work with Happy Mondays.

See also: Mad for it

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11 Jul 2017
HOW DO WE KILL SAVILLE? 
HOW DO WE KILL SAVILLE? - flipchart sheet bearing intriguing question about Peter Saville

HOW DO WE KILL SAVILLE?

MAKE HIM HEAD DOORMAN AT HACIENDA

A long and painful death

or

Blow up his BMW

N.B. ALBERT FISH HA HA HA

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Mysterious and presumably jocular flipchart sheet from the AHW archives bearing the rather alarming results of an unknown Factoryesque focus group (did things really get THAT bad!?), the subject of which seems to have been Peter Saville.

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7 Jul 2017
A Certain Ratio live @ Baleapop Festival, France 
A Certain Ratio live @ Baleapop Festival, France

A Certain Ratio are live on 26 August 2017 at the Baleapop Festival right down on the south-west corner of France past Biarritz and nearly in Spain and the rest of the bill is about as eclectic as you're gonna get.

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Baleapop Festival
Saint-Jean-De-Luz
23-27 August 2017

More details at the Facebook event.

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6 Jul 2017
Noise Reduction System 4CD box set 


Minny Pops feature on a Cherry Red Records (who have been very busy recently) compilation called Noise Reduction System and which is out on 21 July 2017. Sub-titled 'Formative European Electronica 1974-1984' there are 61 tracks of "excursions in proto-synth pop, diy techno, noise and ambient exploration" across 4 CDs and it all comes with a 52-page booklet of liner notes by Dave Henderson (Sounds/Wild Planet/MOJO) and others.

The Minny Pops track 'Son' was part of the 'Sparks in a Dark Room' album recording sessions and was released on the Plurex label 'Hours' compilation.

Wally van Middendorp told Cerysmatic: "This track is all about being paranoid on a cold winter night and killing the killer who wanted to kill my son. We played a one minute version as the encore no-one asked for when on tour in 2012."

A year in the making, there is great range on display on the album going from electronic figureheads such as Cluster, DAF, Yello, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Front 242 to underground outsiders from across Europe.

More details available via cherryred.co.uk

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Title: Noise Reduction System
Label: Cherry Red
Format: 4CD/52pp BOOKPACK
Catalogue number: CRCDBOX35
Release date: 21 July 2017

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5 Jul 2017
The Railway Children live in Berlin 
The Railway Children live in Berlin

The Railway Children play the Firestation Records 20 Years Birthday Allnighter on 21 October with support from New Street Adventure.

21 October 2017
Privatclub
Skalitzer Straße 85-86
Berlin Kreuzberg
Germany

Tickets are available now priced 22.20 Euro via koka36.de

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4 Jul 2017
A Certain Ratio live @ Dekmantel Festival, Amsterdam 
A Certain Ratio live @ Dekmantel Festival, Amsterdam

Continuing their flight around Europe, A Certain Ratio play the Dekmantel Festival in Amsterdam on Thursday 3 August 2017 at approximately 20:00 in the Tolhuistin venue. Tuxedomoon and Factory Floor are amongst the many other bands lined up for the festival.

Tickets for the ACR show are available now priced 15.00 Euro but many other ticketing options are available.

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A Certain Ratio
Dekmantel Festival
Amsterdam

A Certain Ratio live @ Dekmantel Festival, Amsterdam

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3 Jul 2017
Tony Wilson - What was and will be 
Tony Wilson - What was and will be

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the passing of Tony Wilson, Walthamstow Rock n Roll Book Club present 'Tony Wilson - What was and will be' at Mirth, Marvel and Maud in Walthamstow, London E17 on Thursday 10 August 2017.

"A decade after Tony Wilson's untimely passing we examine the man, the myth and his legacy.

"Paul Morley writes: "Without Wilson there may well have been in some form Joy Division, and Factory, and New Order, and the Hacienda, and Happy Mondays. There may well have been Peter Saville's dream designs, and Martin Hannett's timeless production, and a Manchester that managed to move on from its sad post-industrial decline. But none of it would have been so far-fetched, so dramatic and so fantastic."

"Ahead of the publication of Morley's long-awaited biography he will give a talk about the man and his book.

"Kevin Cummins who more than most helped turn Ian Curtis from man to Icon and made defining images of bands on Factory, Manchester and beyond will discuss Tony through the lens.

"From Boethius to Debord via Marx, Factory was the most consciously philosphical of record labels and Wilson never short of a well chosen aphorism. We have asked Dr Jennifer Otter-Bickerdike, culture critic, writer, broadcaster, author of three books on fan culture and Joy Division to explain.

"Our panel of friends and occasional foes will discuss the Tony they knew and imagine what he would be doing today. Chaired by John Robb, former Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon, Kevin Cummins, James Endeacott and Dr Jennifer will discuss the legacy."

Tickets priced 13.33 GBP and more details are available now via Eventbrite.

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Mirth, Marvel and Maud
186 Hoe Street
London
E17 4QH

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2 Jul 2017
Just the Facts 
Text of fax from Tony Wilson to Roger Ames (managing director of London Records) on 9 September 1992

Text of fax from Tony Wilson to Roger Ames (managing director of London Records) on 9 September 1992:

"Roger,

The deal progresses.

And so does the New Order album.

But we are reaching the next crisis in Real World / RAK payments.

Don't know how we should proceed, except we have to proceed.

Rob G. needs to know what to tell Real World urgently.

Can you talk to Chris Smith or get Paul L. to talk to him on this specific area; we're looking at a 24 hour decision.

But then again we are 24 Hour Party People.

Yours,

Anthony"

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Chris Smith was Factory's accountant. Factory eventually ceased operations in November 1992. The New Order album is 'Republic' which was recorded at Real World and RAK studios and which eventually came out on London Records.

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1 Jul 2017
You Handsome Bastard 

Undated letter from Morrissey to Tony Wilson

"Anthony

Ah well. The Smiths need a manager. Do you know any handsome bastard willing to tackle haughty and unmanagable swines such as we?

Guess the rest.

Thank you for g-mex; the sandwiches were great.

Too Sincerely

MORRISSEY"

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Undated letter from Morrissey to Tony Wilson. Presumably, from the G-Mex reference, it was written shortly after FAC 151 The Festival of the Tenth Summer in 1986. Is Morrissey really asking AHW if he would like to be the manager of The Smiths?

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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