The 400 Remix Project – Sleeve Notes Pt.1 by Various Artists

The 400 Remix Project album has been a gargantuan effort by members of The 400 and their extended family. So far, proceeds have gone to and You can still support the record by purchasing either a limited edition CD (now in its second pressing) or digital download via bandcamp here. Any remaining proceeds raised will now go solely to

It is with great pleasure that we now unveil part one of the stories behind the tracks, directly from the artists involved…

Jason Dahmer – Book 0: Preface

1. The Publisher’s Preface

For the preface I wanted to make something that was not overpowering and to set the scene for some real creative outlets. Enjoy!

Stephen Clarke 1980 – A Trilogy Of Tracks

1​:​1a – 2023 (Tell Me What Is Going On)

1​:​1b – On A Bright Warm Day

1​:​1c – What The Fuuk Is Going On?

I haven’t slept in a couple of days. I’m in chronic pain and the drugs that I’ve been instructed to shovel into my face at regular intervals just seem to make my body numb. However, my mind is still active – my mind is ALWAYS active.

An unfortunate side effect to this Pac-Man-like pill eating is that my short term memory is fairly non-existent. So, recalling my thought processes around the time that I created my trio of tracks for The 400 Remix Project might be a bit of a stretch…

I work really fast. I had all three songs done and dusted on the same night that I got Oliver’s recordings through. The instructions that I had written in the script for him to perform involved the recital of a poem that I had put together using words from the chapter that I had been allocated, rearranged to fit the rhyming structure of a Dylan Thomas poem. I asked him to perform this piece in the style of Dylan Thomas in America, with the occasional outburst of Brian Blessed thrown in, in order to wake people up. Oliver performed this perfectly, in a single take, as if he’d been asked to do this countless times before. When I got his recording back, I simply added some crowd noise, clapping, a crackling fire and some vinyl pops in order to age it and add atmosphere – job done.

The other tracks I made circled the same chapter in what I felt seemed like obvious styles – a kind of Stadium House thing, and a London Irish Punk song. It needed to be Irish, because I’d be doing the vocals, and it’s the only accent I can muster.

After that I just waited around, whistling in the wind and popping pills, until I was asked to write these words.

Well, that’s not entirely true. However, I can’t tell you the whole truth. I’ve been sworn to secrecy. All I can write is that one day I decided to wear my wedding suit, because I was losing my job. I was being let go. My body was broken, and my former employer had no use for a broken body. I had been let go from my marriage too, you see. So, I thought I’d stitch these two strands of my life together by wearing the same fuuking suit. Anyway, that day, as I paced around in agony, sharply dressed and waiting for the axe to fall, I received a message. It said that it was alright. Everything was alright. He had won the battle over himself. He loved Big Sister.

I haven’t slept in a couple of days. I’m in chronic pain and the drugs that I’ve been instructed to shovel into my face at regular intervals just seem to make my body numb. However, my mind is still active – my mind is ALWAYS active.

Keep dreaming,

Stephen Clarke 1980

Andy Gell, Matt Brown and Matt Rhodes

1​:​2 – The Ballad Of Winnie And Yoko

When Andy first told us which track he wanted to cover we had no idea how we were going to approach it, but from the moment Andy said ‘fast motorik beats’ the track pretty much produced itself. There’s a few hidden 23s in the music, in things like the fx settings, send levels etc. It turns out Andy lives quite close to us so we were lucky enough to get him in for the vocal recording, which were recorded in a small toilet under a staircase because we thought it had good acoustics. Andy did five takes of course, all are in there to some degree. The track also contains a sample of 1 year old playing tambourine. We told his dad we weren’t paying any royalties. He agreed and said it’s a good lesson to learn young. We tried to maintain a punk sensibility, not spending too long on any one sound or on the mix (what’s that? You can tell??). In fact the longest time was spent editing The O’s recording of The 400 names into the running time of the track (they are all in there). The day before sending the final version to Andy, we played a dub version of it live at a gig in Birmingham, and as soon as we heard it through a club PA we knew it was ready.

Andrew Robinson

1​:​3 – Meanwhile

28. The Keepers Of The Pages

On Day 2 of The Dark Ages Jimmy Cauty tore page 39 out of a copy of 2023 and handed to it me. Oliver Senton told me to ‘respond to it’. Now in some ways this was familiar territory. A couple of decades ago I drove round the M25 for 25 hours chasing Gimpo’s van, because… well maybe there isn’t a because. It might just have been epic and pointless. Having done something epic and pointless sticks with you. I couldn’t tell you anything about any other weekend in 1998, but I could describe that trip to you in great detail. That sort of experience changes you. Maybe it just changes you into someone who once did an epic but pointless thing, and has the potential to do epic and pointless things again.

Fast forward 20 years. Page 39 is about Yoko Ono getting a delivery, a box with about 20 Starbucks cups in it. My plan was to go to Starbucks, get 20 cups, write Yoko’s name on them, and that would be my response. But Starbucks wouldn’t co-operate. It turns out that you can’t just buy empty cups from them.

Back at the bombed out church, I had a revelation. We didn’t have much to work with, but we did have one amazing resource; 400 like-minded people. A word in Oliver’s ear led to an announcement and a few minutes later 5% of the 400 were following me to Starbucks, having bought into my epic and pointless plan to get 20 people in a row to buy a coffee, each one giving their name as Yoko Ono. Buying 20 strangers a cup of coffee just to get the empty paper cups sort of made sense at the time. Maybe this had something to do with the JAMs selling empty paper cups for 60 quid round the corner? This time Starbucks co-operated. We followed the rules of coffee buying, and they obliged with the inevitable comic mis-spellings (most of the cups say Yoko Uno, presumably after the famous card game). Not only were 20 strangers buying into my daft idea, but the shop staff seemed to be having a whale of a time too. This was fun. This was Art. This was an entirely reasonable way to spend half an hour and 40 quid. Only much later did I find out that we were inadvertently providing cover for top music journalist Julie Burchill to sneak a huge ‘Starbucks War is Over’ logo into the shop’s upstairs window, where it would be photographed and splashed all over the national press.

So why am I telling you this? Well, day 2 of The Dark Ages turned us from just being 400 people into THE 400. Quite what that means, we’re still working out. We know THE 400 made a book called “Grapefruit Are Not The Only Bombs”. We know one of the tasks of THE 400 is to respond to 2023. Many of us left day 2 with one overriding feeling; that we really enjoyed being THE 400, and therefore we were damn well going to carry on being THE 400 after the Dark Ages.

This double CD is some of us carrying on being THE 400, and carrying on responding to 2023.

I’ve mucked about with electronic music since the days of the Commodore Amiga, but I wouldn’t normally inflict it on anyone else. I enjoy relaxing by fiddling about with noises, working out how the latest trend in music is made, and then filing the results in a folder that gets forgotten about. This is different. This means something. I’m not sure what it means, but I’m also not sure that matters. THE 400 doesn’t have to make sense.

My first track “Meanwhile” follows a few rules. One was that if had to include the names of the Book 1 Chapter 3 page holders (as recorded by Oliver Senton). Another was that it couldn’t have any illegal samples (the BPI hate me enough for my time in politics). The third was that it had to use a particular bundle of software. This last rule is my way of stopping my entire disposable income going on music software and hardware. I can’t buy any music gear until I’ve made a decent track with the last thing I bought. So I needed to use a bundle of stuff from scandinavian coders Sonic Charge, including a drum machine, an audio mangling effects box and a sort of vocoder-ish thing. I noodled about with this gear and ended up with something in electro territory that I really liked. Maybe there’s a hint of Depeche Mode in there? After my usual hundreds of hours of agonising over inauduble details without realising there were huge glaring mistakes, I had a track that I liked. I’ll spare you the messy development process, but suffice to say I only realised I’d forgotten to give the track a bassline after about a month of tweaking, and that I broke rule three by buying a synthesiser that makes whooshy thump sounds because the track really needed whooshy thumps. Anyway, job done.

Or so I thought. As tracks came in, it was clear that our plan of getting one track per chapter of the book, each with the page holder names in it wasn’t being followed. In hindsight this was always going to happen as THE 400 are about as heard-able as cats. Since we’d been advertising the album as including the names of THE 400, I felt the need to do something to prevent other members of THE 400 from getting angry that they had bought an album that was supposed to namecheck them but didn’t.

Around this time the paperback of 2023 arrived, with a brand new chapter, “The Holders of the Pages”. This was the solution! I set to work on another track, to represent this chapter, with all 400 names in it.
This presented it’s own set of problems. I ended up building a near endless dark, sinister ambient/illbient generative Enoesque piece that announces a name every 23 seconds, with a refrain of “You are already dead” after each one. You had to be there to understand why. I really like this piece, but those of you with a head for maths will already be ahead of me. It’s well over 2 and a half  hours long, and we had about 12 minutes to spare on the CD.

Time for a major rethink. Oliver’s original reading of the names took (inevitably) 23 minutes. To get this to fit, I’d have to cut, chop, timestretch and overlap. We’re lucky Oliver has a voice that can make reading a phonebook sound interesting, because that’s pretty much what “The Holders Of The Pages” is. It’s a wierded out, sped up, thinned out remix of “Meanwhile” with 400 names over it, cut, shut and vocoded to give them an insistent rhythm. Listen out for your own name, or let the names wash over you, or draw parallels with other great ‘list songs’, it’s up to you. There might be a remix on my hard drive that lists northern towns. There might be another that includes “Marco, Merrick, Terry Lee, Gary Tibbs and yours truly”, “Armani, Armani, Versace, Cinqo” and the original ur-list that spawned the list song genre, “Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb”.

Eagle eared listeners may spot that the dulcet tones of Oliver Senton occasionally sound slightly like Pirate Party founder Andrew Robinson, or that the list of names doesn’t quite tie in with what’s written in the book, or even that there are fewer than 400 names in total. To those people I only have one thing to say:

Accept the contradictions.

Ade Cartwright

1:4 – Seventeen Kilometres

Ok, so I still haven’t read the book. Even with being laid up with a busted leg for six weeks, I still didn’t find the time. Maybe because a few years back I busted my head too, well the inside bit. Now I read a few pages before bed then have to re-read it the next night. So you can see how six weeks still wouldn’t get me past the 1st chapter. I’m sure I read the chapter at some point, well a page of it at least.

The ‘O’ kicked things of by reading the secret morse code message. It was written to be read as a ‘dear John’ letter (generic, not from Yoko). I think he’s done us proud there, as always!

I’d like to say that my Carpenters inspired track was a homage to Bill’s earlier work as a set builder but I’ve only just thought of that. I can’t sing. I’ve tried in front of many many people before & combined with alcohol I’ve just about gotten away with it. But for putting it forward as a track, that was never going to happen. I’ve still no idea how it came about but I decided on a bastardised ‘Close to you’ & messed about with the lyrics. So I just asked Daisy to read it for me to save mine & other peoples embarrassment. Throw in some input and tweaking from my friends in the 400 and that was about it.

I’m very proud to be on a CD along with an amazing group of people.

I got to finally have a song released & even signed a record contract. On a list of things I’d like to get done before I get my 15 minutes in Toxteth, this is probably on there, I cant get that far down it before I forget again.

So, I still haven’t read the book. x

Pope Guy XXIII

1:7 – While Winnie Sleeps

2:3 – A Good Year For The Roses

This is a tale of how I came to write some tunes for the 400 REmix Project and the spirit animal that guided me to that destination.

The urban fox pulled on her beads and stared out of the window through the dirty dull evening rain at the two drunks arguing over a dog-end that they had found on the pavement outside her northern castle.

The traffic dummed its` way South towards the centre of the city,creating a low-tone that rattled the window panes each time that a lorry drove by.The urban fox turned away and focused her attention on the painting that she had been working on that day.The paint was still wet,and she wondered if the eyes were too close together on the left hand figure.A raven flew into the open window and began picking at chunks of meat on the half-finished plate.
“Go ahead and eat in peace good beast.”….mused the fox…”Maybe the nose is a little off-centre as well….Ah It probably looks better that way,like that figure had been in a fight at the local pub.The broken glass outside glittering in shards reflecting in the moonlight.”

The country fox was flashing fast through the forest,the moonlight following like a shadow as he pursued his prey.His redred pelt blooming bloodily amongst the undergrowth as shiny as a patent leather belt.
“No-One here gets out alive” thought the country fox,grimly determined to wrap his jaws around the small and terrified rodent.The chase was frantic,and in the hubris the fox`s target nearly escaped the sharpsharp teeth and the slashing paw,but the fox was determined and diligent,and soon the poor animal felt the shake appeal of the powerful predator.

In the valley below,the white van slewed down the narrow country lane. The engine growled and the driver cursed as the ribbon of tarmac caused him to brake and change up and down through the gears as the road wound through the hilly terrain.The sound of the wind rushing past soon evaporated all traces of the vehicle`s passing,and all that remained was to set this story down on the leaves of paper that flew in that tailwind.

The country fox crunched down hard upon the head of the vole and tasted the sweet flavour of success.
“Maybe there will be enough for the cubs as well?” he gulped and gobbled as the slick and sticky morass slipped down his throat.He moved through the trees stealthily smelling and scratching around for more prey.
“I will ceremonially pack his tattered bloody remains into seven different packages and send them to my last seven different lovers” he mused. Overhead an owl hooted moodily. Nothing could distract the fox from his mission to search and destroy.

Like a longlong tunnel of teeth the fox moved onwards.His thoughts were only of his hunger and the need to assuage,wipe away,obliterate……..the emptiness at his centre.

The urban fox pulled the lead out of the kettle…..”some days it`s just chicken bones” she sighed.She filled the kettle from the faucet,boiled it,and made a cup of coffee and then sat by the window.The smell of the unwashed paintbrushes underwhelmed the urban fox.It had been a difficult period for her painting and although she had started six paintings simultaneously that week,it wasn`t sensible to work that hard.Constant retouching of the facial expressions had left all the personality drained from their faces.
“Perhaps I should go back to photography full-time?”thought the fox,”All I have to do then is place myself in front of my subject,turn on the camera and take a thousand random snapshots whilst chuckling.”
“Then all I have to do is to claim that they reveal a `great truth`,and fame and fortune will be just around the corner.”

The fox`s long beautiful hair was damp with fear sweats,and her long noble fingers began to cramp.  ” People nowadays are so anodyne,” she thought,” We all live in concrete jungles,and the wildest beasts should be free in the countryside.”
As she sipped her coffee the urban fox spotted her cat slink into the room and she beckoned her little feline buddy to jump up onto her lap so she could scratch him behind his ear.The cat had a tranquilising effect upon the urban fox,and soon she fell into a gentle sleep where Earth is like Outer Space.
In her dreams,the urban fox cried
“I am not Krazy! I am not Krazy! Let me go! I`ve got a funny idea for a Kartoon !”
“The day I can`t take it any more I`ll move to the country and raise chickens.”

An entire unkindness of ravens forces its` way through the open castle window,and the birds extinguish the dreams with their wings. Scratching…scratching at the throat….the teeth….the teeth…and bones crunching…..

The country fox dreamed of chickens and their sweet scent as he foraged for another feast.The smell of the blood made him lick his lips in expectation of another kill.As he ran through the hills,the clouds sped by in the moon bright sky,and if one looked down from a great height the country fox was just a dot in the Universe,all alone…..but surrounded by….The Others…
The country fox pricked up his ears as he approached the farm.He had heard the sounds of the chickens in the coop that he had raided some months before.In his head he could feel that hot fast drumming,drumming which made him look to the sky and his tail went wagwagwag and his paws sank in the squishy ground.
“No-one`s watching” he thought as he circled the pen. The birds inside clucked and squarked in warning to each other as his odour caught in their craw.The raw power of the fox`s body tensed as he prepared to attack the hapless birds.
“Someone better call a hearse” filled the fox`s mind as he flew through the wire and feasted upon the fearful fowl.

As if slowed by swallowing a box of jellies,the white van and its` driver were nearing their destination.Groaning like the brittle rotting wood of an old tree in the wind,the brakes squeal…and in the darkness a bat crosses the moon,soundless as a butterfly….The driver knows that the road is empty and increases his speed accordingly.As the van flashes past the farm the country fox hears the engine and reels in a panic.The fox races across the lane in a bid to escape the bright lights tonight,but his dreams and his life are crushed by the wheels of industry……
Fur flew….and was chewed….and red red flesh festooned the road….
Back in the city the urban fox was nearly half way through………

As she slowly awoke and her breathing and that of her feline companion synchronised,the fox tried to analyse her dream….Perhaps the chickens represented some sort of sub-conscious whim that had to be ignored or overcome?  She scribbled some notes in her diary to research that notion a little further.
“Or was it that the chickens were a ruse? Only there to confuse? Maybe it wasn`t the chickens that held a symbolic meaning,but there old enemy Reynard?”
This inversion of chicken and fox made sense to the urban fox,and she reviewed her dream from a new perspective.
“YES….it`s clear ! Never trust a fox ! I had been wary,but not quite wary or wily enough.”

She`s no longer tearing at my scalp with her claws…but I`m in a wild spiritual uproar…….I gnash my teeth…I groan….I growl like a riled dog….hairy as a black ape with a snout full of rotting black fangs….my fingernails are black and long…so I chewchewchew…..NOW it is time..

The bright yellow bus pulled over to the side of the narrow lane and as the country fox looked up from the gutter,the stars appeared bright and far away.As the tunnel became brighter the fox looked up at the sign on the front of the bus and noticed that it simply said

And that is how I came to stand beside that bus-stop in Henfield on my way to record my contributions for the REmix Project….

Archbishop Heather Martin.

Chris Burgess

1:6 – Push The Button (Abandon All Art Now)

Hi there.
My name is Chris Burgess.
I am the holder of Page 92, Chapter 1 Book 6.
This Chapter contains other Pages.
They all appear on this track at some point, either by name or as part of the Tangerine Nitemare choir.

The track I have put together represents many things, including but not limited to:
• The three distinct books of 2023: A Trilogy
• Throwing tangerines at an effigy of Donald Trump
• The cosmic roughness of early Acid House
• Regret, doubt, repentance
• Man’s inhumanity to man
• The scent of a newborn lamb
• Chaos

ABANDON ALL ART NOW was my guiding principle. PUSH THE BUTTON was my order.
Fuck that, I thought, I’ll just bang a load of old crap together and see what happens.
This is the result, and I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth the time and effort.

“It’s a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful.” ― Hiromu Arakawa

You can listen to more tracks and support the record and cause by purchasing either a limited edition CD (now in its second pressing) or digital download via bandcamp here.