Philip Jeck – An Appreciation by Bryan Biggs

Our Director of Cultural Legacies, Bryan Biggs remembers his friend who had a long relationship with the Bluecoat.

A Tribute to Philip Jeck | Iklectik, London 16th September 2023

Saturday 16 September 2023 | Doors: 7pm

Touch, Iklectik & Mary Prestidge invite you to “A Tribute to Philip Jeck” at Iklectik, London on 16th September 2023.

7PM Doors

730PM Speakers: Mary Prestidge & Mike Harding

Chris Watson presents ‘Oxmardyke’, his recent collaboration with Jeck

830PM Liverpool Improvisation Collective
[Andrea Buckley, Paula Hampson, Mary Prestidge and Kate Brown]
‘Echoes of Philip’ an ensemble performance with dancers from Liverpool and London.

John Beaumont [Tenor] – Gregorian chant

Storyteller: Bryan O’Connell

9PM Jonathan Raisin
Piano solo. ‘in the absence…’ an improvisation, a memory… half a duet. Jonathan is a composer and improvising musician, based in Liverpool, who played with Philip several times over the last few years.

John Beaumont [Tenor] – Gregorian chant

Storyteller: Doug Gill

945PM Claire M Singer

Timings are approximate

Philip Jeck & Chris Watson – Oxmardyke [Touch # Tone 83]

Artist: Philip Jeck & Chris Watson
Title: Oxmardyke
Formats: CD & Digital Download
Catalogue Number: Tone 83
Street date: 16th June, 2023

You can order this CD album here

Track Listing:
1. Oxmardyke
2. Barn – click to listen
3. Beetroot Train
4. Coop
5. Drum
6. AH
7. Bridge
8. Salt End
9. Spurn

Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering
Photography by Chris Watson. Cover design: Jon Wozencroft

With thanks to Mary Prestidge, who writes:

At the end of January 2022 Philip was taken to A&E at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital suffering from severe back pain and was admitted for investigations. In the hospital ward, with some strong pain relief, he could more comfortably rest, mostly horizontally. During the day he could be angled slightly toward a sitting position.

Over the following days, aiming to make sense of his current predicament, Philip regained a tiny level of normality. With his laptop in place he tapped into familiar territory and, when finding the most favourable times, listened to and worked with the sound files that Chris Watson had sent him.

During these brief, intense spells Philip gave all to his ear and heart to guide and shape the music forming at his fingertips. Oxmardyke is the album which resulted from this collaboration.

Chris Watson:

Philip’s laugh was infectious. Our conversations would usually begin with exchanges around the enthusiasm we had for each other’s work and the respect we shared for other Touch artists. However, as we were most likely to have met over drinks at the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool the evening would gradually dissolve into convivial disarray. What did emerge from these soirées over recent years was a desire to find ways and means for us to collaborate at a place where our ideas converged.

In 2017 I was recording along the north bank of the Humber estuary and one morning driving back from Faxfleet I was stopped at the Oxmardyke rail crossing. The gates were down. After setting up a microphone array by the tracks for a passing freight train the signalman shouted an invitation to climb up into the gate box to make some more recordings.

Over the following weeks I made several return trips to Oxmardyke and gathered a broad palette of recordings. I discussed the sounds, stories and history of the site with Philip after a show and we were both excited by the potential of making a work together.

Philip was drawn to the ancient history of the area from 6th century Anglo-Saxon times to the Knights Templar and how the sounds, rhythms and textures from those periods may still inhabit the contemporary landscape. My thoughts took inspiration from ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens and the painting ‘Rain, Steam and Speed’ by Joseph Mallord William Turner. We agreed to share ideas and exchange tracks.

Oxmardyke gate box has now passed into history.

I hope my contributions may frame Philip’s exceptional work. [August 2022]

Philip Jeck – Resistenza [Touch # Tone 82D] | 15th November 2022

DL only – 2 tracks – 1:02:50

On 15th November 2022, Philip Jeck would have been 70 years old.

Release date 15th November 2022
Now available to order on Bandcamp

Track listing:

1. Philip Jeck – Live in Torino 35:33
2. Philip Jeck & Jonathan Raisin – The Long Wave, Live at Liverpool Philharmonic 27:27

[Please note: ‘The Long Wave’ is included free with this release]

Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft

Mary Prestidge writes: “I’m recalling the joy Philip had in spinning 70’s disco dance music for my 70th birthday bash in 2018.

Philip’s experiments with turntable and vinyl began over 40 years ago using these 12″ singles. It marked a moment of belief that he could take these sounds further…

Play on…”

Philip Jeck’s birthday 70 years ago today, 15th November 1952

The Sound Projector Radio Show | Friday 1st April 2022

Track list:

‘Chime Again’
From Sand, UK TOUCH TO:67 CD (2008)

From Stoke, UK TOUCH TO:56 CD (2002)

From Surf, UK TOUCH TO:36 CD (1999)

[untitled] Track 05
From Soaked, UK TOUCH TONE 15 CD (2002)

Interview Oct 2003 Dundee, Kill Your Timid Notion

From Stoke, UK TOUCH TO:56 CD (2002)

From Spire: Organ Works past present & future, UK TOUCH TONE 20 CD (2004)

‘Fanfares Forward’
From Sand, UK TOUCH TO:67 CD (2008)

‘Because I could not Stop for Death’ by Emily Dickinson (read by Tom O’Bedlam)

‘The Crypt’ excerpt
From Spire: Live in Geneva Cathedral, UK TOUCH TONE 21_2 CD (2005)

‘1986 (Frank Was 70 Years Old)’
From Surf, UK TOUCH TO:36 CD (1999)

‘PS One’
From Loopholes, UK TOUCH TO:26 CD (1995)

‘The All of Water’
From An Ark For The Listener, UK TOUCH TO:81 CD (2010)

‘Wreck of the Deutschland’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins (read by Paul Schofield)

Excerpt from The Sinking of the Titanic, UK TOUCH TONE 34 CD (2007)

All selections by Philip Jeck
4 with Jacob Kirkegaard
15 composed by Gavin Bryars

Hyphen Hub Salon, New York City | May 7th 2022

Please join us for our next Hyphen Hub Salon to celebrate the life and legacy of the acclaimed British experimental composer, turntablist, and multimedia artist, Philip Jeck who died last month in Liverpool. The evening will feature special guest performances by artists who worked and collaborated with him.

Featuring: Marina Rosenfeld, Phill Niblock, Ted Riederer, & Zachary Paul who will each pay tribute in their own unique way. 

When: Saturday May 7th 2022
Time: Doors: 6pm

Presented by: Hyphen Hub in partnership with Touch

Tickets: $10 at the door

RSVP to get location:

Philip Jeck (1952-2022)

Jon and Mike from Touch are deeply saddened to tell you that Philip Jeck died peacefully on Friday 25th March 2022 after a short illness. A remarkable man and a wonderful artist, he has been one of the kingpins of our work for 30 years (we first met when he performed at The Goethe-Institut in London in 1993). But with Philip it was never just the work, more the love, the spirit and the dedication. He touched so many with his wit, his zest for life and his wisdom. We will miss him terribly and our love goes out to Mary and Louis.

“For the Vinyl Junkyard publication, Philip collated snippets from the sleeve notes of LPs into a statement about his work, an extract from which I will end with: ‘…You listen to whatever comes out of now, the past. The sound can drip with well won laurels of acceptance, of transience, of longevity. There is a touch, a method that changes, adapts with the mood of the music, the times. The touch is always personal, passionate: it embraces, repels, passes, returns’.” [Bryan Biggs]

Here you can read press and radio coverage about his life and work:

The Quietus | The Guardian | Rockaxis | Noweidzieodmorza | PitchforkIgloo Magazine | Resident Adviser | Radio Al Hara (with Ted Riederer) | Gavin Bryars | LOUD | Pages | The Bluecoat | Crack Magazine | BBC 6 Music (Stuart Maconie) | Long Wave (dublab)

archive posts:

Vinyl Requiem | Long Wave (dublab) | The Wire | WFMU



Touch: Displacing | This is the Hour of Lead-

Philip Jeck / Michaela Grill / Karl Lemieux | 5th June 2021

Concert with film makers Michaela Grill and Karl Limieux
performing in Montreal and Philip Jeck in Liverpool.

Philip Jeck / Michaela Grill / Karl Lemieux
June 5th 2021
0:30 (Montreal Time)

Montreal Canada

Spool now on Digital | 12th February 2021

Philip Jeck – Spool, the very first cassette released by The Tapeworm in 2013, is now available digitally as part of a new series, DAT – Digital Audio Tapeworm – is launching on 12th February 2021 on Bandcamp and Spool is available to pre-order

TTW#01 – Philip Jeck – Spool

Edition #1: cassette only – limited edition of 250 copies.

Edition #2: cassette only – at the request of Philip Jeck, a limited edition of 100 copies only, to celebrate “The Night of the Long Worms”, Café Oto, 19.xi.09. Different inlay design and cassette shell to the first edition.

Edition #3: digital only

Track listing:

A1: A4.30 – 4m30s
A2: D4.48 – 4m36s
B1: D1.20 – 4m42s
B2. A7.87 – 4m34s

We are really chuffed to have Philip Jeck as our first release! Recorded in June 2009, at home in Liverpool. On “Spool”, Jeck eschews his usual prepared vinyl technique, instead playing bass guitar through various effects boxes.

“Philip Jeck works with old records and record players salvaged from junk shops turning them to his own purposes. He really does play them as musical instruments, creating an intensely personal language that evolves with each added part of a record. Philip Jeck makes geniunely moving and transfixing music, where we hear the art not the gimmick.”

Most of Jeck’s audio work is released on Touch.

Touch: Isolation

20+ new and exclusive tracks recorded by Touch artists. A photographic counterpoint,
the view from Hampstead Heath during the London lockdown. Touch: Isolation is a subscription project that will evolve over the coming weeks. Click here to subscribe.

A time to support independent music while it still exists!

“Please keep your distance, the trail leads from here…”

The cancellation of gigs and festivals has already severely impacted our artists creatively and financially. In addition it has denied you, our audience, the opportunity to see them play and support them. The notion of ‘independent music’ might, in effect, be pushed deeper into the self-isolation mode it is already struggling to break free from. We don’t need studios to the same extent, but we do need a stage, a physical reference and if not, a mental space with which to question the drive to online existence.

We set out to respond to these challenging times in a creative and helpful way. The idea is to present Touch: Isolation whereby a new exclusive track from one of our artists, each with a bespoke photograph/cover image, is presented on a regular basis over the coming weeks. All the income received is collected from your subscriptions and put in a kitty, the proceeds of which are then divided up between the contributing artists.

These new and exclusive interventions will include works by Oren Ambarchi, Richard Chartier, ELEH, farmersmanual, Fennesz, fennesz sakamoto, Bana Haffar, Howlround, Philip Jeck, Bethan Kellough, Daniel Menche, Anthony Moore, Yann Novak, Zachary Paul, Claire M Singer, Geneva Skeen, UnicaZürn, Mark Van Hoen, CM von Hausswolff, Chris Watson, Jana Winderen and others to be confirmed – all expertly mastered by Denis Blackham.

We invite you to take this unique opportunity to support the artists, without whom there would be no alternative to corporate art… support the industries which realise the artists’ creation – the uncredited producers, designers, software developers, distributors, vinyl cutters, mastering engineers, friends and family etc., who all symbiotically depend on the other to bring their works to fruition…


The subscription costs £20 for 20 (or more) tracks – please support the artists by investing in the Touch: Isolation project, and expect surprises – good ones for a change.


Social distancing. Actual space. If you can get out, you have to get out. Escape velocity – from Brexit, then somehow prevent institutional meltdown? The UK shows the way, in a method that beggars belief.

The photographs were taken on Hampstead Heath during the early days of the UK/London lockdown, 25 March 2020, primarily in West Heath and the area around Golders Hill whose open space minimises the problems of social distancing. The weather, being superb after weeks of high winds and heavy rain, seemed a metaphor for regeneration and recovery, with the trees coming into bloom – in defiance of the scene we witnessed 33 years earlier after the Great Storm of October 1987 when, in the days that followed, the Heath looked like an arboreal graveyard.

The objective is to find a sense of quiet celebration, to look at the balance between the detail and the scaling force of open spaces. Let’s hope they can remain open.

To make 20 (or more) record covers in less than a week for sound and music we had yet to hear, and to then match the photography to each artist’s contribution… If this seems somewhat in the style of the children’s game, ‘Pin the tail on the donkey’, then perhaps that’s more apt than pretending we know how everything fits together at this juncture.

This might also be seen an opportunity to give an early documentation to the mental state of 2020, remembering the year 2000 and the threat of the ‘millennium bug’, this may well become known as the year when x melted into y, to avoid z.

Roughly a dozen years ago, life went broadband. Today we see our reliance on digital systems like never before.


‘As a dwindling member of the generation that lived through and served in the Second World War I think in some ways this is much worse. It was possible to live in a country area and apart from rationing see little of the war. Bombing was spasmodic and haphazard, and our defences were really good. After a year, there was very little chance of an invasion and much of life – sport, theatres and radio, continued as before. Restaurants and hotels remained largely open, rationed according to turnover.’ David John Harding, b. 1925.

Further reading:

furtherdot blog
igloo magazine
ambient blog
Broadcasting House, BBC Radio 4

Manuel Göttsching: New Age of Earth (Live) + Philip Jeck | The Barbican, Sat 4 Apr 2020

Esoteric German musician and composer Manuel Göttsching performs his 1976 Ash Ra Tempel record New Age of Earth for the first time ever in its entirety.

As the leader of the groups Ash Ra Tempel and Ashra in the 1970s and 80s, as well as solo, Manuel Göttsching’s experimental style has been hugely influential worldwide. His extensive body of work traverses krautrock, electronic, ambient, new age, minimalism, psychedelic rock and experimental.

New Age of Earth has been ranked among the greatest ambient albums of all time. This is space music: clean, crisp electronics awash with dreamy synths that feels like floating through a slowly shifting atmosphere as the melodies gently unfurl.

Presented by RE-TEXTURED, a multi venue, multi-sensory festival for London and the UK. The festival combines experimental electronic music, modernist and industrial architecture and innovative lighting installations for an arresting visual and sonic experience.

Multimedia composer Philip Jeck opens the show.

The Sinking of the Titanic (1969) | 50th Anniversary Concert of Bryars’ Iconic Work

Gavin Bryars’ The Sinking of the Titanic first materialised in 1969 in the form of sketches and text – the musical equivalent of conceptual art – exploring the now well-known tragedy of the ‘unsinkable’ ship. Bryars’ initial inspiration came from a report that the ship’s band was playing a hymn as it went down on 14 April 1912. The ship’s junior radio operator reported that the band never stopped playing, and the piece primarily poses the question of what happened to the music as it was submerged in the ocean.

It wasn’t until 1972 that Bryars created a performance version, which has subsequently been heard around the world. This special production includes archival film images cued to live music by artists Bill Morrison and Laurie Olinder, and vinyl-based samples by turntablist Philip Jeck. The result is a poignant and direct work that still resonates 50 years on.

First performance: Music Now Ensemble conducted by Gavin Bryars, December 1972, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Watch the documentary ‘Sounds for The Sinking of the Titanic’.


The Tapeworm x Cafe Oto | 29th September 2019

On Sunday 29 September, The Tapeworm celebrates its tenth birthday at Cafe OTO — debuting his ‘Devotional Songs for Spacemen 3 in the Style of Love Inc.’, Jay Glass Dubs will be playing live. Philip Jeck x Jana Winderen will perform as a duo for the first time ever. Splendid saxophonist Laura Agnusdei premieres her forthcoming album on The Wormhole, ‘Laurisilva’. Marta de Pascalis will blow your mind, while Stefan Goldmann is gonna go all acousmatic. Simon Fisher Turner is playing piano and life-sounds. The interim minstrel will be Zerocrop.


Touch presents… Live at Café Oto | 28th September 2019

Philip Jeck
Bill Thompson
Mark Van Hoen
Jana Winderen


Philip Jeck studied visual arts at Dartington College of Arts in the 1970’s and has been creating sound with record-players since the early 80’s. He has worked with many dance and theatre companies and played with musicians/composers such as Jah Wobble, Steve Lacy, Gavin Bryars, Jaki Liebezeit, David Sylvian, Sidsel Endresen and Bernhard Lang.

Bill Thompson is a video and sound artist living in the UK. He is a self-described throwback to the 60s and enjoys breaking things to hear what they sound like.

Mark Van Hoen (born 1966, London, England) is an electronic music composer and producer.. He has released seminal and influential recordings under his own name as
well as Locust, in additional to a multitude of collaborations with other artists. Pitchfork said, “Musically, Van Hoen belongs to a distinguished family tree. Originally influenced by the likes of Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream, and later presaging both Autechre’s glitch and Boards of Canada’s pastoral IDM.” His relationship with Touch stretches back over 25 years and his recent release “Invisible Threads” has been universally praised, and shows a new approach in a spectral, submersive, almost neo-Classical composition style.

Jana Winderen is an artist educated in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London
with a background in mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology from the University of Oslo. Jana focuses her work around audio environments and ecosystems which are hard
for humans to access, both physically and aurally.

Philip Jeck / Michaela Grill / Karl Lemieux| Wien: VIS Vienna Shorts Festival

eine audiovisuelle Performance an der Schnittstelle zwischen analog und digital

Wien: VIS Vienna Shorts Festival

Hamburgerstraße 18, 1050 Wien,
Sa, 1. Juni 2019
08:30 Uhr

Innsbruck: Heart of Noise Festival

Haus der Musik
Universitätsstraße 1, 6020 Innsbruck
Sa, 7. Juni 2019
00:00 Uhr

Philip Jeck Live in Andalucia | 5th April 2019

Organ Reframed, London | 12th October 2018

Organ Reframed: Visions in Meditation
12th October, Union Chapel, London
Doors: 1830 Book here

A special screening of Visions in Meditation by Stan Brakhage with new works composed and performed by Philip Jeck, Sarah Davachi and Dark star plus James McVinnie, London Contemporary Orchestra

Visions in meditation is a culmination of many of Brakhage’s ideas and techniques. Across four films he explores the open landscapes of North America, its open vistas, makeshift shelters and desert landscapes. He also explores autobiographical themes and a non-hierarchical view of mankind in the world. Films one, two and four will be screened in silence as intended each followed by one of our new commissions written in response.  The third film will be screened with its original electronic score by Rick Corrigan.

The three artists (with Sarah Davachi and Dark star plus James McVinnie) will each bring their own unique voice to the evening:

Philip Jeck

Philip Jeck studied visual arts at Dartington College of Arts in the 1970’s and has been creating sound with record-players since the early 80’s. He has released 11 solo albums, including the most recent “Cardinal”, a double vinyl release on Touch and his 2008 record “Sand” which was second in The Wire’s top 50 albums of the year.

Philip also still works as a visual artist, usually incorporating sound and has shown installations at The Bluecoat, Liverpool, Hayward Gallery, London, The Hamburger Bahnhof Gallery, Berlin, ZKM in Karlsruhe and The Shanghai and Liverpool Bienalles. He won the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers 2009.

“…The impact Jeck makes with his limited means is hugely, billowingly poignant … it evokes a simultaneous sense of persistence and decay, both a profound sadness and a sense of joy.”  – The Wire

Live Dates | May – July 2018

Kuroshio – Philip Jeck with Karl Lemieux and Michaela Grill

Tuesday, June 12, at 21.30
Teatro Franco Parenti, Milan.

Kuroshio – Philip Jeck with Karl Lemieux and Michaela Grill

Digital Only Release by Philip Jeck | May 4th 2018

Philip Jeck – Arcade
digital only release
Order now on Bandcamp

Recorded live at Iklectik, London on March 23rd 2018. Also playing that night were Yann Novak and Simon Scott
Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft

Track listing:

1. Arcade 32.:56 – you can hear an extract here