What you need to know: Ceephax Acid Crew is one of the few people who can carry the burden of an all-hardware live performance – literally.

It’s summer. Are you on vacation?

You’re reading CDM, so my guess is, either, a) yes, and you’ve snuck your iPad into the resort hotel bathroom, or b) no. No, you’re not.

Let’s go on vacation, the kind of vacation that only Ceephax Acid Crew, aka Andy Jenkinson, can piece together from tourist videos and lots and lots of synthesizers.

Now, that last name “Jenkinson” may ring a bell. Jenkinson … Jenkinson … P.G. Wodehouse character, no, that’s not it … ah, yes, this is the point at which we are obligated to mention Andy’s brother is Squarepusher. (Note to self: D.J. Wode House is an awesome DJ name that will be funny only to people in Britain.)

Except Andy’s brother isn’t really important. Andy’s brother could be the man at Roland who decided to discontinue the 808, and Andy would still be an insanely-talented musician and synthesist.

It’s worth digging up Ceephax Acid Crew’s records, which are scattered across multiple media (CD, vinyl, cassette tape), labels (Planet Mu, Lo Recordings, Warp, Rephlex, and some which may exist only as a result of a collaboration between a Sharpie marker and aforementioned compact cassettes). If you can pull yourself away from the YouTube vacation on which we’ve all embarked, you might have time to work out how to use PayPal to have recent records shipped to you, which I wholeheartedly endorse. His website seems charmingly to have escaped 1994, and refers to countries that exist only in his mind, yet with those records you can experience Christmas in August.

But the best way to experience Ceephax Acid Crew is to get yourself to a live performance. There, the artist performs entirely on hardware, hands flitting across racks of synths and sequencer machines as though the man is juggling chainsaws. Heck, even that doesn’t matter: the result is undenliably irresistable, even when the machines grind to a halt. Seeing him at Krake Festival last weekend was easily a highlight of 2012 for me.

Andy, I hope to catch up more some time. For more evidence this gentleman should be our hero, here’s the bio he drafted for Planet Mu (with illustrative photo, provided):

The first tune I could play was the death march monophonically on the harmonium when I was five. I learnt it from a game called R.I.P. on the Commodore VIC20 (a friendly computer). Later, me and my brother Jonny did a hip-hop track (sadly recorded over so my mum couldn’t ever hear it.) I didn’t really do any more music until I moved a slider up on one of my brother Tom’s early acid tracks when I was 13. A bit later I did a cut-up of the gameshow “Countdown” on cassette. I was in a band called C-Fax which made some wobbly covers of nursery rhymes and did one gig which was lots of fun, we called it a day around that point.Then I finally bought some rave gear when I was 18: a sh-101, a tr-606, some casio thing, a delay unit and borrowed my brother’s tb-303 and started recording tracks.

Then I did an acid gig and Ed Dmx signed me up to his label “Breakin’ Records”.The rest is history, as was that bit before as well, even more so maybe as it happened earlier than “the rest” and therefore feels more historical.
Musically these days I make tunes on various music-creating beasts and play live and/or dj at raves or things that seem good. I also release some of the music on good labels !!

Learning to play music on a harmonium from a VIC20 should, surely, be the official equivalent in these parts of “conservatory education.”

Amen, brother.


(Obligatory pigeon!)

  • Hendersonfive

    His live shows are incredible, probably one of the most fun gigs I’ve ever been to what with the abundance of crazy dancing and wonderful music.

  • Dulcett

    Stormdrain! Quite possibly one of the toughest electro songs ever. True electro! Gotta love this guy.

  • Dylan

    I saw Andy play live in Tokyo when I was living in the Yokohama area many years ago. His show was quite simply the best electronic music show I have ever seen. I can’t remember another time when I danced that hard. Ceephax is definitely one of my faves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Philippe-Pascal/100003217824975 Philippe Pascal

    A guy with an OSCar synth (see the clip) must be an aesthete ūüėČ
    I really dig the final part of the clip.
    In fact, all the clip, music AND video ūüėÄ

  • kid versus chemical

    I’ve had this strange obsession with acid sounds and Roland classic sounds lately for some reason, but have been bored with the stuff I’ve been coming across is my searches. Then bam! you post this, like you read my mind. Awesome stuff, never heard this before, thanks.

  • Bort

    Ceephax owns

  • http://twitter.com/sventorpedo sventorpedo

    Amazing. I got a tan from watching it. 

  • johannes J√łrgensen

    his videos are awesome. second best to only his music.
    see ceephax the 23’rd of august in chrsitiania, copenhagen, denmark: http://www.spaending.dk/

  • Chris Wigman

    One of the few current electronic music composers (I say and emphasise the word composer, rather than producer, because he can do BOTH) that bothers to write decent melodies.  In fact United Acid Emirates was one of the most satisfying, fun, memorable EDM releases in recent years (up there with Oversteps).

  • somnitec

    I love the way he makes f*ckups a part of the show, building tension like no cd-dj can.

  • Mr Ecklie

    Yeah, I saw him a few years ago supporting Luke Vibert. His show was billed as a dj set, and it was a nice surprise to see him behind a mountain of acid gear instead. I can only agree with the other comments; probably the best and most entertaining live electronic acts i’ve ever seen. Vibert’s boring laptop/Reason set paled in comparison…

  • cymatics

    Have also seen him live and enjoyed the tits off it. He played with his acid theatre¬†ice cream¬†¬†salesman board and did a 303 version of ‘Take on me’. Can’t argue with that. See this excellent Electric Independence in Andy’s Dalston hood studio/bedroom:¬†http://motherboard.vice.com/2011/3/24/electric-independence-ceephax-acid-crew¬†

  • Mat

    Haben’s Seen him live, but will so, if he is around.
    Love his style :)

  • Moon Motel

    We opened for him last year here in Lincoln, out of the whole lineup Ceephax was best :)
    The Flashbulb
    Ceephax Acid Crew
    The Abominable Twitch
    Moon Motel

  • Andrew Wiatrowski

    Andy rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!