Midnight is a two track E.P. that explores ideas of London's urban regeneration, specifically the roles played by two extraordinary people. Firstly, the art impresario Joshua Compston who ran Factual Nonsense from 44a Charlotte Road in Shoreditch in the early 90s. Secondly, Nicholas Saunders who moved into a derelict Neal's Yard in Covent Garden in the 70s.
Midnight to Compston is a track based around the concept of one of Compston's friends walking through the bars of Shoreditch at midnight looking for their departed friend (Compston died of an ether overdose, aged 25, in 1996). The envisaged route taken would include stops at all the pubs/bars listed on the map that appeared in the programme of the 1997 event the Livestock Market (list available on request). Midnight to Compston is in turn inspired by The Clash song Midnight To Stevens in which Joe Strummer writes of a late night excursion to find/rescue Guy Stevens, the wayward, eccentric producer of London Calling.
It includes a sample of the Peech Boys, the disco act put together by Larry Levan and other regulars of New York's Paradise Garage. It is recorded at a walking pace of 114bpm.
Buddleia on the Roof. With a title that echoes Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach, this track was inspired by a visit made to the roof top garden of the alternative entrepreneur Nichols Saunders in 1997. Four storeys up in Covent Garden, Saunders had a small but beautifully kept grass lawn. In the corner was a flowering ten foot high buddleia plant. Saunders commented how miraculous it was that a seed of a plant originally from China had landed in his garden so high up and managed to flourish there. Nicholas had moved a derelict warehouse in Neal's Yard in 1976 and opened a number of businesses. He was also known for writing and publishing the guidebook Alternative London in the 1970s and E for Ecstasy and Ecstasy Reconsidered in the 1990s. He died in a car accident in South Africa in 1998 whilst researching a book about the religious uses of psychdelic drugs.
This track includes a sample of Jane Birkin singing La Javanaise.
Nicholas and Joshua were both independent spirits who transformed the areas in which they lived. They both slept in suspended beds. Joshua's bed was on a platform in his gallery, Nicholas was in a large plastic egg that hung from the ceiling of his living space.