Mix Tape: Volume 3: Side 1 (There is beauty in everything)

Everybody’s view of what is and isn’t beautiful is different, my own is that there is beauty in everything, it may not always be pleasant, or uplifting, but it can still be beautiful in some way. Most of us just choose not to look for it, and sometimes, that is the right thing to do, but it does not stop it from existing.

Here, in this 3rd mixtape are songs that to me, in some way, are beautiful.

The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home
Ludovico Einaudi – Night
Neil Cowley Trio – Lament
Mammal Hands – Mansions Of Millions Of Years
Mew – Comforting Sounds
Sigur Rós – Ára Bátur (at Abbey Road Studios)
Radiohead – No Surprises
Múm – Green Grass Of Tunnel
ANTHONY AND THE JOHNSONS – HOPE THERE’S SOMEONE
Mogwai – Hunted By A Freak
Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
Iron and Wine – Naked as We Came
Trespassers William – Vapour Trail
Cocteau Twins – Tishbite

Listen to There is beauty in everything by  Verian on Apple Music.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/playlist/there-is-beauty-in-everything/idpl.ec46776fe3fc46648b7d80c5eaa510e0

Click the link below to listen to there is beauty in everything by Verian Thomas on Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/user/1136278651/playlist/1eb46gRw1WNd799EXhNxJS

Record Cleaning

Having bought a vinyl cleaning kit for under £10 I thought I’d give it a go on the Future Sound Of London 12″ that I bought at last weeks Record Fair. Here is the kit, which, for the price, is pretty good. The instructions aren’t though so I tried to figure it out myself.

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Below is a video where you can hear the difference before and after cleaning. It isn’t a good video as I made it without the benefit of a soundcard and having spent 2 hours figuring out how to get the video from my iphone to my PC, I was rather frustrated by then. It does, I think, show quite well the benefits of giving what was a pretty poor sounding vinyl a good clean.

You Sexy M.F.

In June 2012 I wrote the following facebook post:

For reasons that are still unclear, I am listening to the entire Prince studio album discography today (excluding soundtracks and live ect.) I feel I’m punishing myself for something, but having had the idea pop into my head yesterday in a “Why climb Everest” moment, I am underway, I may not make it, if I don’t then please tell my family I love them.

I’m going in.

and in I went, all the way, including those soundtracks that I initially excluded. My memory of it was that I listened to them all, almost in order of release as I went back to Graffiti Bridge at some point, and that it was a creative downward trend from ‘Symbol’, with occasional peaks. Every album though had something to recommend it, there was always a moment, a turn of phrase, a whole song that made the album worthwhile, but at times there were difficult listens.

I have anything released after June 2012 to listen to, because, sometimes I am a completist. I will listen, and then, quite unexpectedly, I will be finished. There will be no more and despite my negativity about much of the later material, somewhere in the musical appreciation corner of my mind I still believed that there was another album coming that would bloody well blow my socks off. I can not even begin to explain how utterly delighted I was with this album:

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Opening with the extraordinary ‘My Name is Prince’ and immediately followed by the brilliant ‘Sexy M.F’ and on and on, track after track, pure gold but, for reasons I’m not sure I can explain as they are a mystery to me, I never bought another. I was waiting for one more brilliant album though and I believe there would have been one if he had not so unexpectedly died.

On that, I heard the news, I’ve seen it all over the internet, but it won’t sink in, I am genuinely in almost complete denial about the whole thing. Not intellectually, but emotionally.

My heart refuses to feel, believing that if it does then it will be true.

 

Leamington Record Fair

I visited Leamington Spa’s Town Hall on Saturday to dig my way through heaps of vinyl at the record fair. There is plenty there if you are prepared to pay for it, but I’m generally not. I’m there to pick up bits and pieces as cheaply as possible. There are albums that I most certainly would like, but paying £25 or more for something that I may, not will, but may find cheaper elsewhere is not something I like to do. It will nag away at me and I will eventually find the same thing for half the price and then be annoyed at myself were I to have bought it, so the most I have ever payed for anything at a record fair is £8, and that was this Saturday. Here is what I bought (with the exception of Roots Manuva which was an RSD purchase), can you guess the £8 album?

recordfair

Isaac Hayes – Shaft is an original 1974 release, a double, and it plays very nicely, the cover is in good condition as well. I haven’t played either of the Art of Noise albums as yet but they look to be fine. The Cult – Electric is in very good condition and I have played it and it sounds really good. Soul II Soul I haven’t played yet, it appears to have the wrong inner sleeve though. Ooh Las Vegas by Deacon Blue looks like it has been well kept, it’s a double made up of B-Sides and suchlike. Black Sea by XTC is in good condition as is Slave to the Rhythm byu Grace Jones, which plays very well indeed. The only one that is not as good as I might hope is ‘My Kingdom’ by The Future Sound of London. It has a mark about the size of a thumbprint on side one and it really affects the playing quite badly. It is a 33 1/3, 12” single with an 11 minute track on side 1, which samples Ennio Moricone so it’s obviously good, Moricone makes everything better, but that mark really bothers me so I did a little research and ordered a record cleaning kit, to see if that can sort it out, it’s this one:

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It’s not expensive at £8.87 (an odd price) but hopefully it will go some way to reviving not just this 12” single, but several others I have that are showing their age. Here is the blurb on it:

“Vinyl Revival is the world’s safest and best vinyl record cleaning solution. Our alcohol free liquid has been designed by leading scientists to exact laboratory standards. Using lab grade ingredients and equipment, Vinyl Revival has been packaged in a dust free environment, ensuring the cleanest and safest solution for cleaning your vinyl record collection. Vinyl revival is the only 2 step product in the market – a necessity which none of the other ‘garage chemist’ suppliers of competing products are even aware of. Shockingly, other suppliers are openly admitting to using both distilled water AND alcohol in their products! Please avoid putting distilled water anywhere near your vinyl! Ask us, if you’d like to know why. There has been much debate over the years about which products are safe to use on vinyl records with many claiming that alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol) is perfectly safe to smear over your beloved vinyl record collection. We, and our research partners do not believe this to be the case. This is why Vinyl Revival is completely alcohol (or any alcohol substitute) FREE and is, ultimately, the only safe product to use on vinyl records. Also, many other products we’ve tried in the market will contain detergents or other soaping agents. These, again, should be avoided because they will leave behind microscopic deposits on your vinyl surface, which will affect sound quality, increase static and also, potentially, damage your stylus. Vinyl Revival is the product of choice for audio archiving specialists and DJs around the globe.”

I’ll post about the results after I’ve used it.

So which is the £8 album?