Friday, 20 January 2012

The Search Engine - DJ Food At The Planetarium

Kevin Foakes is Strictly Kev is DJ Food is a mate of Steve Cook who called me a couple of months back to tell me I should book for an event taking place at London's Planetarium because it would be 1) amazing and 2) a sellout. He was right on both counts. I snagged the last two tickets available on the web site. A week ago a five page document arrived by e-mail with instructions on how to get to the event, involving semi-legible maps and a fleet of private buses to transport ticket holders to the Royal Observatory. The observatory is the home of Greenwich Mean Time and location of the Prime Meridian - the centre of world time and space. Here you can exist in both eastern and western hemispheres simultaneously by straddling a line. The perfect location for the launch of DJ Food's new album of music on the Ninja Tune label - The Search Engine.

There were all kinds of reasons not to miss this show. The music is amazing, and the multi-media show featured art by Henry Flint of 2000AD fame. And one of the tracks on the album is named The Illectrik Hoax, as an homage to Brendan McCarthy's Electric(k) Hoax, featured a few days ago on this very blog! Synchronicity is in the airwaves. 

Even London's crappiest free newspaper got in on the act with three pages dedicated to Kev and his spaced suit.

So we made it to the Observatory - myself, Steve, my girlfriend, Vikki and Steve's girlfriend, Michelle. Colour coded wristbands in place, we wandered outside to have a look at Jupiter through a telescope, with the guidance of an astronomy expert who gave us slightly more information than we needed, including the fact that he keeps a rock in his pocket. Apparently this rock contains minute particles of all the various elements that make up the Earth but in a pure form that avoided becoming part of the planet and later touched down in the form of a meteorite. Presumably landing in his back garden. Unless he nicked it from the Observatory. 

After meeting the man with the pet rock we made our way to the Planetarium to bag the best seats. Essentially you lie back in reclined seats and gaze up at a hemispherical screen, designed to show slides and movies of stars. It's also ideal to project images like the ones I've scanned below. Henry Flint designed a whole bunch of artworks for this show and they worked a treat, particularly when the kaleidoscope effect kicked in. The whole thing was brilliant. Like tripping without acid. I picked up a copy of the special edition book that went with the disc. If you can find this version of The Search Engine, get it. The design is brilliant. Feast your eyes...

 And what's this...?

Oh, yes! A bonus flexi-disc!!! That's the kind of retro touch I like. 
The question is, do I risk damaging the booklet to play it? Decisions, decisions...

You can find out much more about DJ Food and Ninja Tune right here


  1. Great description of a unique experience, Dave... but what the %@*? is that monkey-type think in the red outfit!??

  2. That's my monkey puppet muse. He talks to me.