Always Use Clean Needles : DJ T shirt
We love to accentuate the small things that make our pastimes pleasurable. That’s what this classic DJ T shirt is all about. The little details we take for granted make up the hidden highlights of the total experience. Inspecting your vinyl against the light or blowing the dust off the needle. Before you have heard whatever you dug out of your crate, you want to hear the sound of the crackle on the old vinyl as the needle is eased into the groove.
Originally, this DJ T shirt was to be called Needle To The Groove, after the Mantronix hit. I was pondering the almost finished artwork and listening to some early Hip Hop through headphones and turned around to see the end of a comedy sketch on TV. All I caught was a soft focus picture of a teddy bear wrapped in ribbons and across the screen, in a handwritten script was ‘Always Use Clean Needles’. I found out after the adverts it was The Adam and Joe Show. I have no idea if it was a funny sketch but I knew that my homage to Mantronix had to wait…
A large number of photos were taken to document the whole vinyl selection process thru to the final four steps featured in this joint.
The initial brief was to show the simple process of placing the needle on the record. It was followed by the second four square format design — Tobacco Seriously Damages Health. The design would be subtle but still have a technical manual feel to it. Using an old record player complete with dust on the needle and crates of punk, we took rolls of film capturing the vinyl selection all the way to the final steps. I later used two of the shots for two more DJ T shirts Natural Selection and four on Now We May Begin.
The original artwork was done as six squares and cut down to four for the purposes of the t shirt design. Over time the design has gone through a couple of facelifts. In order to get the best T shirt print I had to remove a lot of detail and also to keep it inline with Tobacco Seriously Damages Health. A year and a new screen printer later, after Natural Selection T Shirt was completed, we’d worked out how thin a line would print before it was degraded. Some of the detail was put back in to the artwork and the Helvetica typeface was replaced to match Weapons of Mass Instruction.
Like many uchi T shirts it has had its share of different colour combinations. From the original black print on white tee through to the limited edition gold print hoodies. There’s too many colourways in between to list, but the best looking colourways always get a revisit. It’s had its tweaks and updates – there’s been a Always Use Clean Needles – Remix and a six square limited edition screen print to partner the Tobacco Seriously Damages Health canvas.
Thanks to all who have purchased this design, in its many variations, making it a popular best seller and always in demand. It has lived up to what an uchi T shirt should be by not fading away with current trends and standing the test of time. This is why we call it the first uchi ‘classic’ tee shirt.
always use clean needles
album: vapours : track 05
Produced by uchi for uchi productions