Lately I’ve been having a lot of fun scrolling through- and reading the DJ Food site. As indicated there, it’s more of an online scrapbook really. Focussing on all fine sorts of music and design, digging into the dust and creating new stuff. I envy the creative mind that is Kevin Foakes, practically the last remaining member and therefore sole director of – previous collective – DJ Food. As I’m always curious for other people’s music taste, I contacted the kind feller for a short exchange of questions and answers. Cheers.
Could you introduce yourself shortly?
DJ Food aka Strictly Kev aka Openmind aka Kevin Foakes. DJ, producer, graphic designer, collector, parent.
– Classic Breezeblock, one of my fave BBC radioshows. –
You’ve mastered a lot of different arts…DJ’ing, producing, illustrating and as a fan of your articles on the DJ Food site, I can also add writing. A true factotum. If you had to continue your life picking one of these disciplines, which one would that be?
That’s quite difficult – at the moment (this very one as of writing) I’d say designing because that’s where my head’s at at the moment. I’m going through a love/hate relationship with DJ’ing at the moment, as I love playing but want to play in venues and situations outside of clubland at the moment; shops, galleries, radio, museums etc. as this creates opportunities for different kinds of sets.
What kind of project are you currently working on?
I’ve just started work with an old friend on what could turn into a graphic novel for a music project of his, I’ve done some image-making and collage work for his performance and a possible publication. It’s early days but new ground for me which I’m keen to explore. I’m also in the process of starting a new monthly night in London, to create exactly the kind of space to play in that I was talking about before.
Is there a record – or maybe a few – you can mention, that really inspired you to start making music yourself?
I usually quote Double Dee & Steinski’s ‘Lessons’ trilogy as some of the ones who made me want to start DJ’ing, along with Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rockit’, DJ Cheese’s DMC winning sets and Grandmaster Flash’s ‘Adventures on the Wheels of Steel’. As far as music-making I’m not sure anything inspired that, it just happened as a result of the DJ career. I’d probably quote producers like The Bomb Squad, Marley Marl, Duke Bootee, The Dust Brothers and Coldcut but also artists like Foetus, Kraftwerk, Eno and Trevor Horn as influencing my musical style.
I often have trouble finding a record that suits my hangover, do you have any?
Nope, I usually stay away from music and get in the bath with a couple of Ibuprofen.
What music got you going in your adolescence?
Fishbone, Foetus, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, Big Black, The The, Hijack, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Art of Noise, Gary Numan, Kraftwerk, The Human League
What is your favorite record of 2016 so far?
Cavern of Anti-Matter – ‘Void Beats/Invocation Trex’ is going to take some beating
You live in London. What’s your favourite recordstore there?
My favourite record shop is The Book & Record Bar in West Norwood, a great place to hang out, drink, browse books and records alike and they have radio broadcasts and after hours events. It’s at the bottom of the hill by West Norwood train station, so easy to get to, but not somewhere you would just happen across unless you knew it was there. It has a basement literally overflowing with stock too but only a few trusted patrons are let down there as it’s so packed, I’ve been trying to sort it out with a friend of mine for a year now.
It’s known you’re a fool for record sleeves, could you mention a fave and tell me why you like it?
Only one? Looking across to my shelves with some of my favourites displayed I’ll pick the 7″ Structure Sonores Expo 58 7″ single ‘Musique de L’Atomium’ by Lasry / Baschet / Cotte / Chouet
Finally, could you share some inspiring words for those who decided to spend their lives collecting records, or music for that matter?
Support labels and local shops as well as shopping online. Buy new music direct from the labels and artists if you can so that they can keep doing what they do. Do your research and don’t buy the first copy of something you see online as there are a lot of records out there and things come and go all the time. Don’t feed the flippers on eBay, especially around Record Store Day, they really are the bane of the real music lover / collector world who only exploit the situation for their own gain.
Once your collection reaches the 5000+ mark think about getting the floors re-enforced. Try not to pack your records too tightly on the shelves, not only does it make them hard to sort through but it can cause all sorts of problems if you use plastic sleeves with certain plastics getting fused to the covers if you’re not careful over the years. Never stack your records horizontally and try not to have them leaning at too much of an angle, it can lead to records warping, as upright as possible is best. You will never have all the records or music that you want, there will always be more out there to find and collect, just accept it, the wants list never ends and who would want it to?