Tip of the Pops Solar Powered Wheelbarrow Disco
Experimental mobile disco made from waste reclaimed by dumpmiester DJ Dirty-Ali Disco. Spinning classic 7 inch vinyl and spanning 5 decades of dance. Earwig (the ‘barra’) is a self-sufficient tried and tested party generator with serious environmental credentials. All of the equipment and music was once waste including the digital camera, recording, editing and PC suite used for updating the blog and audio.
Because Tip of the Pops is wheely-mobile it can join in with parades and other on-site activities even do a mini-tour. We can set-up in a tiny space and at short notice to fill-in wherever necessary. Other people can use the equipment for DJ’ing workshops, youth-work and beatbox etc. At the Earthwise gathering and Boscombe Communty fair Tip of the Pops provided childrens entertainment as well as all of the above!
Earwig can go for 6 hours without recharge. I would prefer to do various ‘themed’ 2 hour sets in different locations throughout the festival a sort of mini-tour. The themes can include but are not limited to love, war, green etc. or contact me with ideas for a theme. I will guarantee to do 6 gigs in 4 days (including workshops). One on Thursday and Sunday, two on Friday and Saturday. It’s possible to do more (or less) as required and they can be either impromptu, solo or collaborated with other artists / venues.
Tip of the Pops is totally self-sufficient although at busy times it is useful to have a festival steward at hand for crowd control / assistance. I have a campervan with awning which acts as my workshop. I need this in a secure place to camp and return to throughout the festival in-between performances. I come prepared to play outside and I do not bring a venue / marquee / canopy. If the weather is bad I cannot perform unless there is some undercover space provided e.g a cafe, art gallery, band stand.
As I am mainly playing vinyl I cannot be mobile and play music unless it’s a Cassette, Mini-Disc, CD or MP3. As I will only use equipment from the dump I can bring all of these players with me in case someone else would like to use Earwig on the move e.g. a parade. I normally wheel around everything I need for the performance to the right spot then set-up in aproximately 5 minutes. If you need a mobile public address system for a particular activty like dance or making announcements I can do that too. At the Boscombe Community fair my barrotheque was used in the arena for playing music and public announcements.
Tip of the Pops is about engaging people socially and environmentally with a healthy dose of comedy. Great slabs of irony are provided by dancing around listening to rubbish, it’s also a satirical swipe at DJ-club culture and a form of activism highlighting a wasteful society. Using recycling and renewable energy Tip of the Pops is showing how to make the best use of available resources whilst raising awareness of environmental issues in a practical and social situation. This social learning is achieved by empowering people to reflect on their own lifestyles without delivering a hard-line or scientific message that could otherwise patronise, intimidate or put-off people interested in being ‘green’.
In summary, a good time without harming the environment ‘a disco with no carbon footprint’
Two, one performer / DJ and one assistant / MC
Prior to Tip of the Pops I ran a voluntary arts organisation in Boscombe, Dorset. We turned empty shops into art galleries and took art galleries to festivals along with other projects like a newsletter, a website and artist studios with varying degrees of success. 2004 was my first renewable gig at the Earthwise festival and a Zia solar powered art gallery. Tip of the Pops is my first solo creative environmental project and debuted at the Big Green Gathering in 2007. The first ‘system’ consisted a car battery, ghetto blaster, some old records in a wheelbarrow and a blanket! Since the first gig and some excellent feedback in 2008 Earwig has undergone development, I have collected 100’s more records, 60 plus members on facebook and an average 300 hits per month on my blog. I am health and safety, first aid trained and qualified in waste management (recycling) NVQ Level 2.
‘the only way to avoid obsolescence is to use something obsolete’
PLANT TYPES at Grove Studio in Bournemouth 30th Jan
LIMELIGHTS funday in Poole 20th Feb
LANGTON summer fair in Purbeck 13th June
BIG CHILL festival 7th – 9th August
LONDON wedding on August 15th
1985 Atari ST 1024 arguably the best PC for music making ever !
ANOTHER Numark AXIS 9 my goodness now I have a 2nd pair of CD decks
Poptastic hit parade – a top 10 of daily visits
Archive – one page for all ‘dubious audio’
Favicon – hazard design by Cozmic Dreamer
Creative Dynamo mailing List – for non facebook friends
Dirty Ali and Earwig x
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Boogie!
Back in May 2008 I was trawling the web looking for similar artists / projects and I found GetLoFi.com. They are into ‘circuit-bending’ which is recycling old electronic toys and equipment and turning them into musical instruments. If you like electronic music with an experimental-renegade-DIY-synth twist you’ll like this. However if you don’t like electronic music you might also enjoy hearing some death screams of mutilated ‘made in China’ mixed with mad-fx, loops and beats.
Luckily this was a whole movement of dumpster-diving musicians and not just an individual or project that I hoped to find. GetLoFi were very supportive and offered to do an interview which was published on their website in July. I found the interview very useful in a number of ways, firstly as I had never sat down and explained Tip of the Pops fully, it’s reason for being or my background and motivation. Secondly it became much easier promoting Tip of the Pops afterwards as it was clear to see that I was being taken seriously in the USA, UK and around the world.
The interview was conducted in email over a month period giving me plenty of time to get my point across. I was surprised how just a few simple questions can elicit such a verbose response and the article was published word for word with a nice write-up by the interviewer at the start. Circuit Master, who runs GetLoFi.com, also kept in touch throughout the interview process and deserves praise for apparently running things so smoothly.
I’ve refrained from copying and pasting parts of the interview and re-publishing it here because I want to give GetLoFi.com credit for all their hard work with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…Then Have A Disco Party!.
One final mention, I have just donated £5 to Wikipedia because I always find their site useful and refer to it often. I have even managed to put an external link from the Wikipedia Discothèque page to this site and it sends me an average four visits per month ! Wikipedia is not funded like other websites yet they are in the top 5 sites globally. In order to keep their information free, without advertising and for staying ahead with internet development £5 seems a small price to pay.