Dan Axon




Freakin's roots lie in the Northern tradition of losing yourself on a dancefloor after the stresses of the working week. It is a refuge of quality House music, fiercely proud of its open-minded attitude. Freakin provides the intimate and raw atmosphere of acid house for big hitting DJs on the circuit. They don't come for just another pay day; they come because they love the crowd. And that's why 17 years on the floor's still full

You can’t have failed to notice the recent Freakin flyer designs created by York artist and designer Dan Axon. We hooked up with Dan to ask him about the series and his other creative outlets:

Freakin - So Dan, we've been enjoying your artwork for the Freakin posters over the last five months. Are they a series of interlinked images or is the selection/creation process completely random?

Dan Axon - They're all stand-alone pieces but the whole exercise is a bit of a playground for me where i can try out any idea's that spring to mind, i'm always trying to develop my painting and drawing styles but also new processes and materials and 3D work. Every time i'm trying to create a piece that looks atypical for the club but still works.

F - What different processes have you explored with the Freakin artwork?

DA - outside of my drawing and painting it's been nice doing some sculptures and photography, messing with light and perception. The Andrew Weatherall one was satisfying to do, i like doing stuff like that, stuff that confuses, fucks with your head a bit. The latest one involved a "paint lathe" which is a simple machine i made to mechanize the process. It worked pretty well, it's something i'll go back to.

F - They certainly look great and are a big talking point. For many of us at Freakin, the first we saw of your work was the "Twelve 1200's" exhibition at Earworm Records. What was the inspiration behind this work?

DA - Yeah that was how i first met Rich and you lads - I was looking for venues to show that work. I used to design expensive audio gear and it was dull as, so much needless convention and no room for the new. I'd been using 1200's since the mid-90s and when they announced its discontinuation in 2010 i started planning the project - to celebrate an iconic piece of design and also to finally have a bit of fun with audio products - to explore what could be done and how folk would react.

F - And how did they react?

DA - The reaction was great, people loved them and it was good fun touring them around some really cool venues which were music venues not art venues. I think people appreciated the diversity, the detail in them and the number of hours put into each one to get that finish. I must have been mad to take that on.

F - There seems to be a recurring theme here - music and art overlapping. Have you ever made any music?

DA - Yeah loads, I'm into synths and drum machines and I've had a few electro/techno bits out over the years, I still do it as a hobby, the two mediums blur for me. I think my visual ideas translate better and i feel i could do it forever - my "music" is pretty unforgiving. My visual stuff comes from the same place but somehow seems more accessible. I also get really fucked off with technology and there's not too much can go wrong with pens, paint and paper.

F - Amen to the analogue! What actually is your day job then?

DA - I wish someone would explain that one to me. I've not had a job for about ten years, I piece a living together (touch wood) from my studio in York doing art, design, music and film-making. I suppose i'm an artist!

F - Sounds ace! What projects are you involved in at the moment and is there somewhere people can see what your up to?

DA - Yeah can't grumble it's not much of an earner but it's not much like work! Just now i'm working on a series of drawings for record label Dixon Avenue Basement Jams and there'll be a show of the work in Glasgow soon. I'm also working on a very personal project - large modern paintings dedicated to an old friend who was lost at sea off Brazil. That'll be showing late Spring/early summer. I'm hoping to sell a few originals and prints to raise a few quid for his family. Watch my site/FB/twitter for venues and dates.Hopefully there'll be a retrospective show of the Freakin series early next year too.

F - What a variety! Good luck with all those projects Dan and we look forward to the rest of the The Freakin Series.

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