For Futuresonic 2006 Eileen Simpson & Ben White present Leverage, a new project which centres around the creation and animation of copyleft licensed 12 inch vinyl scratch tools containing a range of samples, beats and extracts made from the out-of-copyright blues, jazz and folk housed in the Open Music Archive.
For Instrument, the project is presented at "beta stage" where vinyl test pressings can be sampled in scenario akin to the record shop listening area - with the option to skip through the rare original recordings, new remix tracks, short vocal snippets, percussive noises, samples, breaks and beats.
Collaboration is central to the activity of the DJ who constantly combines, re-works and extends existing creative output. The artists promote collaboration and seek to explore its significance and value for creative production. For Instrument they invite scratch DJ Parkertron (Fingathing) and filmmaker Kid Jenson to participate in the project - a collaboration which is documented through a video, shot by Jenson, featuring Parkertron testing the Leverage records.
In the hands of a turntablist, the record player is revealed as a hardware instrument - one that needs vinyl software to operate. The DJ's instrument can only be activated using a set of vinyl tools, in the same way that computer hardware requires an operating system and a suite of software to function. Unlike the conventional battle record, which samples unlicensed commercial recordings, the Leverage scratch tools are assembled entirely from out-of-copyright material - and so exist outside commercial and bootleg economies. The project adopts the form and structure of the battle record to build open vinyl code - which, like free/libre and open source software, is distributed freely.
The project encourages open creative exchange and demands that subsequent creations are licensed under identical terms. Through Leverage, out-of-copyright and copyleft material is inserted into an existing network of production to prise open new possibilities.
See Leverage at Instrument, an exhibition of artist-made instruments, noise-generators, audio-visual manipulators, and head twisters by sound artists and noise-makers.
20-29 July at 1830 Warehouse, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
Read more about Instrument
Futuresonic 2006 runs from 20 - 22nd July at various venues around Manchester
Video of Parkertron (Fingathing) testing the Leverage records using Serato Scratch Live.
Download quicktime Duration: 13 mins / 43.1 MB (right-click/ctrl+click to download)
Shot and edited by Kid Jenson Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5
Record 1 Side A
1. I'm Sober Now (Smith)
Record 1 Side A 6.2MB (right-click/ctrl+click to download)
Record 1 Side B
1. Jump Steady Intro (Smith)
Record 1 Side B 6.3MB (right-click/ctrl+click to download)
Record 2 Side A
1. One Dime Loop (Jefferson/Simpson/White)
Record 2 Side A 6.4MB (right-click/ctrl+click to download)
Record 2 Side B
1. Little Bits (Blythe)
Record 2 Side B 6.4MB (right-click/ctrl+click to download)
These records are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license.
Read our discussion with Drew Hemment, curator of Futuresonic.
Parkertron (Fingathing), Kid Jenson, John K & Kelvin Brown (Eyes Down), Andy Soup, Saul Richards, Sneaky (Fingathing), Nick Alexander (TUNDRA*), Tina & Werner (Vinyl Carvers), Drew Hemment (Futuresonic), Neil Cummings & Marysia Lewandowska (Chance Projects)