Mind Fair – The ‘Enthusiasm For Sound’ Ransom Note Mix


"Out of control wigged out jams" is what Dean Meredith and Ben Shenton describe the rather fine musical outpourings of their Mind Fair project. They have a full album about to drop on the most excellent Golf Channel Recordings shortly. We like it very much. We asked them to record us a mix for their Enthusiasm for Sound. Here is the result… get it in your ears:

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Can you tell us a few key details about Mind Fair?

We released our first single, 'Kerry's Scene' in November 2011 on International Feel and have since been releasing a steady flow of music for one of our favourite labels, Golf Channel, since then, as well as releasing an LP earlier this year as The Central Executives feat Clover Ray as well as a few releases for our own Rogue Cat Sounds imprint.

Who are you? 

Dean Meredith (Chicken lips, Big Two Hundred, White Light Circus,The Rhythm odyssey etc) and Ben Shenton (The Main Stem (Internasjonal/Lip Service)

Where are you from? 


What do you do?

Make strange noises and hope that something musical comes from it

How did the Mind Fair project come about and what’s its manifesto?

Ben: I met Dean when he was doing parties in the back room of a pub in stafford with his Chicken Lips partner Andy Meecham (Emperor Machine) and my mates Tom and Rich. I'll never forget walking in for the first time to an empty room and hearing this music I'd never heard before, I just thought WTF! I didn't even realise music like that existed, I'd been in rock bands up to this point and lived a fairly sheltered life, I was just getting into party things, it all changed from there. A few years later I was working on The Main Stem LP with my mates Tim (Silver) and Rob (J) and Dean suggested we put it out on his Lip Service label. Following that we decided to start a project together and have worked together in various guises ever since. 

Where was the mix recorded?

Rogue Cat Sounds studio on a pair of Technics SL1200mk2 upgraded with Rega 303 arms Ortofon 2M reds, Isonoe isolation feet, Bozak CMA 10- 2DL mixer,Alpha Recording System 3500 3-way crossover embedded into a Bad Habits console monitoring through an A & R A60 amp, KEF LS50 Anniversary Edition speakers and recorded on to a Revox B77 (live, first take, no editing etc). Not that we're geeky about this stuff in anyway.

It’s quite a varied mix, stylistically and tempo-wise.  What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Maybe if you had a time machine and teleportation device you'd start off on a boat on the Adriatic, then hop to the Hacienda, followed by an after hours/after studio session at Compass point to finally arrive at Mancuso's Loft.

What's your earliest memory of music?

Dean: Mum and Dad's Bush record player stacked with 45's from the 50's/60's

Ben: Listening to Queen in my Dad's old bone shaker Land Rover, being sick because one of my older brothers was feeding me plums so he could throw the stones out the windows at passers by.

What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?

Dean: Human League 'Being Boiled', scared.

Ben: Probably something off telly like the theme tune to Tomorrow's World or Krypton Factor or something. Everyone in my house was into blues and more kinda organic music, probably confused more than anything.

What happened to Chicken Lips, are they dormant presumed missing? I’ve always thought that with the advent of these things called computers and the programmes they run it’d be the perfect setting for Chicken Lips (Live). You could get ESG to assist on the live show. Am I dreaming of times past too much?

We last did 2 singles for Southern Fried, it's on hold at the moment, no plans as such but never say never, we're both just busy with other things at the minute. It's good to dream though!

What should we be wearing whilst listening to this?

A string vest some baggy mc hammer style pants, one of those novelty rastafarian dreadlock wigs some 3D glasses and a pair of espadrilles.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format.

We think we've found it at RCS

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Dean: Womack and Womack M.P.B (Paradise Ballroom Mix), born out of a nostalgic feeling, still shocked by the loss of a true great in Frankie (Knuckles). 

Ben: Ellie & Jacno – Chica Chica Bongo. So simple, so good.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Dean: Hard to think of an old one, so many. Really enjoying the old footage of Beppe Loda, Mozart and co. that's doing the rounds at the minute.

Ben: There was a Weatherall one that played on repeat nearly the whole time I was at University (which wasn't very long admittedly), when he was playing all his rockabilly and stuff, that really opened me up to the idea of playing different styles of music.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

Dean: Graeme Park at the Hacienda, it was our answer to the Garage.

Larry at the Garage, obvious choice I know but i would have loved to have rolled around on skates on THAT system falling over and what not.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

Dean: My first set up was a Rotel Turntable and a Dual turntable,Realistic mixer, Nad amp and Kef speakers. As for current I think I inadvertently answered that when not asked earlier.

Ben: Then, shitty belt driven Kam's, shitty Kam amp through a shitty hi-fi. Now, Bozak, Modded 1210's, Ariand tube amp and Dean's old Kef's.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

Dean: The track you end on, that's the one people remember the most, right?

Ben: Yup, the last one, although as is the case in this mix the first and last record are the same (a bbc library 45" which is just recordings of various birdsongs)

What were the first and last records you bought?

Dean: 1st record The Specials –  Gangsters. Last record, the new Quiet Village one on Phonica.

Ben: Embarrassingly, my first record was Bart Simpson – Do the Bartman, my last, the Ibibio Sound Machine LP which I picked up in Piccadilly on Saturday after meaning to buy for ages, subsequently it ended up getting warped at the Cutloose 6th birthday shindig later that night at what must have been the hottest party I've ever been too, despite the 600 fans on the ceiling.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Dean: Trifle

If it was an animal what would it be?

Ben: A Chameleon (if lizards/reptiles are classed as animals)

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything…

Ben: Nothing I guess nowadays with today's technology but in the old sense probably one of or all off my old Krautrock records, or anything where the drummer is quite clearly on acid like an old Guru Guru record or something

Upcoming in the world of… 

Mind Fair might or might not have an edits twelve coming out on Golf Channel and if they have it will be accompanied by a free mix cd. Also, a new Central Executives 12", a new Rogue Cat Sounds 12" with mixes from Soft Rocks and Location 141 and we've done a track for Kinfolk which has a bonkers 15 minute dub on the flip courtesy of Dan Idjut, which has already been cut down in length twice just to fit on the record! As well as a few other bits and bobs that we can't mention so probably shouldn't have mentioned.

Anything else we need to discuss.

The other thing we're excited about at the moment is the Rogue Cat Soundsystem, our little homage to Mancuso that we'll be unfurling early next year, keep em peeled!

Find out more here.

Golf Channel Recordings Here