The Listening List

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28/11/2016 – 29/11/2016

Portishead – Portishead
Stranger Things Soundtrack – Volume 1 – Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
Stranger Things Soundtrack – Volume 2 – Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
The Cult – Electric
Senyawa – Brønshøj (Puncak)
Kraftwerk – Autobahn

That Special Record – November

This will be a two part review, as I have received the ‘That Special Record’ LP for this month at work and can’t actually play it until I get home. So while I have 15 minutes of my lunch break left I will tell you that it is with some trepidation that I will be putting this on the turntable tonight. Why? well, let me explain. Once again I’d never heard of the Artist, which is not a bad thing, so I did a little search online and found some other tracks by them. The artist is ‘Senyawa’ and the album is called ‘Brønshøj (Puncak)’, which I didn’t find but the other tracks of theirs I listened too were really not to my liking at all.

To quote from Discogs: Pushing their powerful experiments further into uncharted waters Wukir Suryadi and Rully Shabara Herman has once again joined forces on a new Senyawa album. The combination of Rully’s extreme vocal techniques and the curious output from Wukir’s homemade string instrument, the bambu wukir, still sounds like nothing else on Spaceship Earth.

This is what I found online as a taster for what I was to listen to this evening:

Mostly nope nope nope. Not my thing at all. It’s all a bit emperors new clothes to me, some people say it’s amazing, pure art, magic, spiritual, exceptional and who am I to disagree? Except I do. It feels like a bit of performance art to me, which is interesting for a little while but once the performance is over there’s no desire to hear it again.

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The above was disappointing for a new LP.

So I will listen to the album tonight and, well, I may have a completely different opinion then. You’ll find out in the next paragraph.


Later the same day:

Godamnit Miguel at That Special Record, seriously, what the hell is this? I’ve clearly set the whole thing up above to lessen the blow when I hate the record you sent, except I don’t, you’re playing with my mind.

It’s not really like the video above at all, it’s much more produced, smoother around the edges and, I have to say it, the first track of Side 2, Brønshøj 4, is an absolute corker. The track list is pretty easy, it’s Brønshøj 1-3 on Side 1 and Brønshøj 4-5 on Side 2.

The bambu wukir is cello like at times and at others it’s percussive, and occasionally the dissonance is borderline nails down a blackboard, but not so often that it grates. There’s a nice ambience to the sound and to the music, drone like at times, occasional melodies, but most of all interesting, and surprisingly listenable.

I really don’t know what to say now, I wasn’t prepared for this. OK, so, it’s a nice artefact, a limited edition of 300 with a small print on the inside with some explanatory text and a photo, a screen print around the cover by Danish visual artist Kasper Lynge Jensen and, of course, the postcard from Miguel.

I was surprised, I always am, but having been prepared to hate this album, never more so than today.

Still slightly peeved about the cover damage though, which I blame on the materials used, it’s un-laminated cardboard, so it was almost bound to happen.

 

How to knacker your vinyl

I don’t have a particularly good opinion of Crosley, they are very much what you pay for and, while it is good that there is a budget option available for people just getting into vinyl and on limited funds, it’s not good that the build quality is poor and they will probably damage your records.

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The image is pretty cool, that I would have to admit. That old fashioned briefcase that you open to reveal a turntable, yes, cool, but when you look closer it’s not what it at first appears to be. As What HiFi says, “It’s a lovely idea, but this flawed turntable should be kept away from your record collection” not least because the downward force of the needle on the record is 7g, where an average turntable is 2.5g, over time, this will ruin your records. I’ve also read that the arm is actually too short and sort of drags its way along as a result, causing further wear.

So why today to have a downer on Crosly? Well, I was in a shop and I saw a Crosley, I took a photo, here it is:

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I was quite irrationally annoyed by this piece of crap, mostly because it feels as though it will, in the long run, turn people away from vinyl as surely this will knacker their records.

Now I’m not judging anybody who has a Crosley, I know it is about the cheapest way to get a turntable and we can’t all afford £2000 of gear (I know I can’t), I’m just recommending upgrading as soon as you can, before you do irreparable damage to your vinyl.

The Listening List

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Max Richter – Songs From Before
Future Sound Of London – Environments 6.5
Bjork – Bastards
Mike Oldfield – Platimnum
Vangelis – Spiral
Bob Marley – Exodus
Isaac Hayes – Joy
Isaac Hayes – Shaft
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul
Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle
Can – Tago Mago
Vangelis – Invisible Connections
Vangelis – Albedo 0.39
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things Vol. 1

Isaac Hayes

My first introduction to Isaac Hayes was through the the ‘Theme From Shaft’, although at the time I didn’t really have any idea who it was, it was just one track on a ‘Blaxploitation’ compilation CD that I had in the car, but a great track. I had seen the film years before at some point so that would have been the very first time I heard it but I didn’t make any connection until I was at a record fair in Banbury and bought ‘Hot Buttered Souk’ on vinyl, then, later, at another fair I bought ‘Shaft’ Soundtrack, and more recently, a 1973 pressing of ‘Joy’. So I have 3 Isaac Hayes albums on vinyl. Let’s go in the order I bought them.

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Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Hot Buttered Soul re-shaped the idea of what could be done with an LP in a genre that, at that time, was dominated by the three minute single. Hayes was an in-house writer for the Stax record label and had previously recorded solo but this, his second album, proved revolutionary. It only has 4 tracks, the opener being a 12:03 version of the Bacharach and David track, ‘Walk On By’ , originally recorded in 1964 by Dionne Warwick on her album, Make Way for Dionne Warwick. I’m not sure it can rightly be called a cover version in the same way that the Sinatra version of ‘My Way’ isn’t generally referred to as one. It’s such a different arrangement from the original. although the lyrics remain unchanged. The first recording by Warwick is a great single treatment, but Hayes takes it to another place entirely. Here it is in all it’s glorious 12 minutes and 5 seconds:

It has such a groove, and that Hammond organ part is mesmerising.

Lord knows what the title of track 2 actually means, ‘Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic’ but the backing singers do a fine job of singing it and the groove rolls on. This is the only track actually written by Hayes.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Walk On By” (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) 12:03
2. “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic” (Isaac Hayes, Alvertis Isbell) 9:38
Side two
No. Title Length
3. “One Woman” (Charles Chalmers, Sandra Rhodes) 5:10
4. “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (Jimmy Webb) 18:42

‘One Woman’ is probably more what one might have expected during this era but ‘By The Time I Get To Pheonix’ is not. Hayes has a chat to the listener for several minutes of the, nearly, 19 minutes before breaking into the melody of the original song, adding detail to the story of the song that was never there in the original.

Before the album was released, in 1969, Stax lost all their back catalogue to Atlantic, I believe it was due to a split of some kind, so Stax needed albums and needed them quick resulting in all their artists, including Hayes, who had gone back to writing after the relative failure of his initial album. He would only do so though if he had complete creative control, and he did.

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It’s rare for a film to be defined by it’s soundtrack, but I think ‘Shaft’ is one of those films. When I think of the film I think of Isaac Hayes and I think of the theme, it is the first and sharpest memory I have about the film. It is a track that seems to sound amazing regardless of how much time has passed since 1971, and we are at 46 years now, but the opening riffs seem both of the time and timeless.

Above are the opening credits to the film, so the music is in context. When Hayes vocal comes in the scene is pretty much set for the movie, he is the “black private dick, who’s a sex machine to all the chicks”, it’s all machismo and stereotypes, which is pretty much what blaxploitation films were, and Hayes sums the whole thing up in under 5 minutes.

The majority of the rest of the soundtrack is instrumental, which is understandable, this is not a vehicle for Hayes, it was written to accompany a movie and it was pretty much a perfect fit, it did, after all, win Hayes an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe.

Side one

  1. “Theme from Shaft” (Vocal Version) – 4:39
  2. “Bumpy’s Lament” – 1:51
  3. “Walk from Regio’s” – 2:24
  4. “Ellie’s Love Theme” – 3:18
  5. “Shaft’s Cab Ride” – 1:10

Side two

  1. “Cafe Regio’s” – 6:10
  2. “Early Sunday Morning” – 3:49
  3. “Be Yourself” – 4:30
  4. “A Friend’s Place” – 3:24

Side three

  1. “Soulsville” (Vocal Version) – 3:48
  2. “No Name Bar” – 6:11
  3. “Bumpy’s Blues” – 4:04
  4. “Shaft Strikes Again” – 3:04

Side four

  1. “Do Your Thing” (Vocal Version) – 19:30
  2. “The End Theme” – 1:56

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‘Joy’ is the album released after ‘Black Moses’, which is the next Hayes album I’ll be looking for, and possibly the last, maybe not though. Overall, ‘Joy’ does suffer from a lack of ideas, and parts of it I just don’t listen to, like the skit  in ‘I Love You that’s all’, but the opening track is the highlight of this album, with perhaps closer ‘I’m Gonna Make It’ being worth a listen, although it is probably a little on the long side and can drag.

No. Title Length
1. “Joy” 15:55
2. “I Love You That’s All” 6:13
3. “A Man Will Be a Man” 7:20
4. “The Feeling Keeps On Coming” 6:48
5. “I’m Gonna Make It (Without You)” 11:11

The album is perfectly listenable, I’m not completely dismissing everything other than the title track but it does feel a little like Hayes was on autopilot much of the time. Here is that title track:

Reading Festival 1982

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You may recall a post a made about going to Reading Festival in 1983, I actually also went the year before, but only for the Friday, not the whole weekend.

I was 15 at the time and didn’t have a ticket, but a friend did, although he couldn’t go on the Friday so I took his ticket and the plan was that I would leave the site on Friday evening, remove the wristband and give it to him so that he could put it back on, which is exactly what happened. No drama really, not at that point anyway, the drama all happened earlier.

I was supposed to travel down with  a group of lads who were in a sort of secondary circle of friends, so not people I hung out with all the time but did now and again or one or the other of us would be in a group, not close but part of a wider group I suppose. I headed up to meet them early on Friday morning and they’s already left, which doesn’t surprise me at all, they were dicks. I caught the train from Didcot to Reading on my own, sitting opposite a long haired guy with a hard shell guitar case, I didn’t recognise him though so I mostly ignored him. I had long hair myself back then, which I was going to post a photo of, but after a decent search I can’t find any, I’ll ask around and see if I can come up with something.reading-82-8-16

Anyway, I arrived at Reading station alone and as I left the platform I was collared by the police.  They took me into a side room at one end of a long corridor that led out of the station and proceeded to strip search me. Pretty much everybody that was leaving the station could see me getting undressed as one wall of the room was essentially a wire fence. I told the police I was only 15 but they either didn’t believe me or didn’t give a crap, they found nothing of course and sent me on my way.

I made my way to the site and the first band of the day was ‘Against The Grain’, never heard of them then or since, but the bass player there in the picture below, he was the guy sat opposite me on the train.

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I was sat on the grass a little way back from the stage, there really weren’t many people there at this point and the band sounded decent. The drummer threw one of his sticks into the tiny crowd and one of us caught it, can’t remember who though. I bumped into the group who left without me almost as soon as I arrived, I could tell that they’d done it deliberately, it was pretty obvious, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my day and just ignored it.

This is where things get a little hazy as I can’t remember the next three bands at all. The Angels, Stampede and Overkill, no idea whatsoever. I do remember Tank though as I had their album and, despite quite a number of people ridiculing me for it, even to this day (yes Dave, I’m looking at you). This is them back in 1982:

And this is them on stage at Reading in 82:

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The album was called ‘Filth Hounds Of Hades’, which is nice, and it looked exactly like this:

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I have a vague memory of ‘Praying Mantis’ and no memory of ‘Trust’ but I do remember ‘Randy California’, probably because I was wandering around the campsite and not really paying attention as I really didn’t like or know most of the bands on that Friday. The ones I really wanted to see were on Saturday and Sunday and I wasn’t going to get to see them. Here’s ‘Randy California’ recorded Live at Reading in 1982, somewhere, I’m in the crowd watching:

I’m also in the crowd watching ‘Budgie’ and listening to a pretty good quality recording of it right now, almost 35 years later. You can listen to if you like:

My Dad met me outside after the gig and drove me home, I didn’t want to leave, and if I was a bit selfish I didn’t have to, I could have stayed there, after all, I had the wristband, but I wasn’t. I did go to the whole thing the next year though of course.

Moon – Clint Mansell

cs521457-01a-bigA little while ago I picked up the soundtrack to the film ‘Black Swan’ by Clint Mansell and recently I picked up another of his, from the movie ‘Moon’. I watched the film  a while back but had no idea that Mansell had done the music, so the plan now is to watch the film again and pay a little more attention to it in context.

If you haven’t seen the film then I highly recommend it as it has a lot going for it. Firstly, it’s a British Sci-fi film, which you don’t see many of, it’s considered to be scientifically possible rather than far fetched flying through space faster than light speed and shooting lasers at each other and suchlike. It’s also a good story and has a great performance from Sam Rockwell who goes through a bit of a personal crisis towards the end of his three year solitary shift mining Helium-3 on the far side of the moon.

This was a modestly budgeted film that grossed under $10 million worldwide, but that same year The Pink Panther 2 grossed over $75 Million, which actually proves nothing other than how much a film grosses is not a measure of it’s quality. The Pink Panther 2 was bloody abysmal.

Just in case you didn’t know, The script for Moon was written by Duncan Jones, who is the son of David Bowie. Here is a trailer for the film so that you can get an idea of what it is all about and there’s a bit of the music by Mansell in it as well:

The soundtrack is subtle, repetitively simple even, with piano appearing throughout and with a repeating theme, sometimes in glimpses and sometimes not but with each piece evoking what has past and what is to come. I like Mansell’s soundtrack work, well, the tow I’ve heard so far anyway. ‘Black Swan’ is a lot more intricate, which it would be, being based on ‘Swan Lake’, but there’s a lovely ambience around the Moon soundtrack and it is a good listen regardless of being a soundtrack.

Tracklist

1 Welcome To Lunar Industries 7:12
2 Two Weeks & Counting… 2:00
3 I’m Sam Bell 3:45
4 I’m Sam Bell, Too… 5:05
5 Memories (Someone We’ll Never Know) 4:53
6 Are You Receiving? 3:18
7 Can’t Get There From Here 3:17
8 “We’re Not Programs, Gerty, We’re People” 5:10
9 The Nursery 3:46
10 Sacrifice 3:03
11 We’re Going Home 3:42
12 Welcome To Lunar Industries (Three Year Stretch…) 10:04

Here is the entire soundtrack:

The Listening List

17/11/2016 – 22/11/2o16

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A mixed bag so far this week, and they weren’t neccesarily in this order, but these are they:

The Clash – Sandinista
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Carmel – The Drum Is Everything
The Future Sound Of London – Environments 6
The Stranglers – No More Heroes
Electric Light Orchestra – Out Of The Blue
Stanley Clarke – Rocks, Pebbles and Sand
Roger Goula – Overview Effect

Roger Goula – Overview Effect

Stu at Seismic Records recommended an album to me at the weekend by an artist I’d never heard of. I do like to take a chance with albums now and again and, as Stu knows the sort of thing I’d previously bought from him, I took a chance on this knowing only the genre, which was Post-Classical Electronic. He was right, I love this album:

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As I said, I’d never heard of Roger Goula so I looked him up and this is what I found:

Roger Goula is a London based composer and multi-instrumentalist. Coming from a contemporary classical background, Goula’s work has developed into an experimental blend of classical chamber and orchestral music with electronics.

Inspired by renaissance and baroque music, as well as by minimalism, and looking at the language of electronic music, his compositions perform complexity through repetition of minimal elements and emotional transporting textures. Most recently his been commissioned by the acclaimed string quartet Experimental Funktion a 30min piece to be performed along side Steve Reich ‘Different Trains’ and premiered at the CCCB of Barcelona in December 2013 as a closure concert of the BCNmp7 Music Festival.

Composing also across platforms including film and tv, dance, theatre and art installation, Roger has worked for a number of award winning films such as Next Goal Wins, Shock Head Soul, Brand New-U and the ITV series The Frankenstein Chronicles. At the moment he is scoring the latest film by Charlie Bellville featuring Tom Hardy as lead actor. This year his solo debut album Overview Effect will released by the new label Cognitive Shift in collaboration with One Little Indian, and includes collaborations with notable performers such as Peter Gregson, Thomas Gould, Lucy Railton, Stephen Upshaw and Claudio Girard.

Roger Goula studied classical guitar in Barcelona and graduated in music composition from the Goldsmiths College and in film music from National Film and Television School. He also studied composition with Michael Finnissy.

This album, ‘Overview Effect’ is, I believe, his first proper solo outing whereby there is no film or TV series attached to it.

The ‘overview effect\ of the album title is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from orbit or from the lunar surface, referring to the experience of seeing the reality of the Earth in space. There before them is this tiny planet, filled with life that is only protected by a fragile and thin atmosphere. When viewed from space there are no national boundaries, no politics, no conflicts, there is just this “pale blue dot” that gives us life and we must do everything we can to protect it.

Goula has a lot of tracks available on soundcloud but here are some from this particular album that can be streamed for free, particularly ‘Pale Blue Dot’ as referred to above:

I’ve listened to the album several times now and I really do like it as it has so many of the things in music that I appreciate, one of which is a cello, I find it hard to resist a cello

Track List:

SIDE A
1. Son Will Wake Up
2. Awe

SIDE B
1. Looking Back To Self Awareness
2. Cognitive Shift

SIDE C
1. Overview Effect
2. Pale Blue Dot

SIDE D
1. Something About Silence
2.If Nothingness Disappears

This is not an album of hits and hooks, it’s contemplative and beautiful and well worth investigating,

The Listening List

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The Cult – Love

This is the only thing I’ve listened to since the weekend………..Been Busy

P.I.L – The Assembly, Leamington Spa

I saw P.I.L in June this year at the O2 in Oxford, I was underwhelmed, partly my fault as I was a bit under the weather, but it also felt like a lackluster performance to me. Despite this, I bought tickets for local venue, The Assembly, and went last night. It was an entirely different experience. From the first note to the last everything was on point.

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One thing I have come to realise is that an Iphone is possibly the worst camera you can use at a gig as it seems to spend most of the time focusing, and you have to take the picture in the split second it is focused before it goes on another focusing cycle of blurry, blurrier, blurry, a nanosecond of sharp (ish) and then off again on the blurry cycle. There were people in from of me with Android phones and their images loo

I managed to stand at the front, off to one side but I had a brilliant view and plenty of space among the 600 or so people who were there, capacity being 1000. The band took to the stage and launched into a blistering version of Albatross, with Lydon seeming so much more energised than at the Oxford gig, and the sound quality was better as well (and the temperature, the O2 is bloody hot). This is the link to my previous update The Beat/P.I.L – O2 Academy, Oxford

I took a little video, not much as my battery was running very low but it gives a taster at least:

The Set List was something like this:

Albatross
Double Trouble
Know Now
This Is Not a Love Song
Deeper Water
Corporate
Death Disco
The One
The Body
Warrior
I’m Not Satisfied
Religion
Rise
Open Up / Shoom

Don’t hold me to it though as I wasn’t writing it down at the time.

All in all it was a really good gig, although audience participation was a bit lacking, the fault of the audience rather than the band as we were all a bit old to be honest as clapping along for more than 30 seconds made our arthritis flare up. I did something that could be loosely identified as dancing, some might called it swaying and head nodding, I call it dancing, and I sang along quite a bit.

img_3992Oh, I also bought some overly expensive merchandise, a mug, for a £10 note. I would have bought a T-Shirt that said ‘T-Shirt’ on it, but I was £5 short, so a mug had to do. In case you weren’t aware, this whole concept comes from a P.I.L album called ‘Album’, which in CD form was called ‘Compact Disc’ and in cassette form was called ‘Cassette’, all in the same font and colour scheme. It’s the album from which the single ‘Rise’ was taken, which was quite a hit back in 1986

This merchandise doesn’t seem to be on the official web site so maybe it’s tour only, which would be nice, although I’d still quite like that T-Shirt.

The Listening List – The Weekend

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Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
Ennio Moriccone – The Black Belly Of The Tarantula
Godspeed You! Black Emperor ‎– ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend Ascend
The Haxan Cloak – The Haxan Cloak
Björk – Biophilia Live
Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children
Spiritualized – Dewwt Heart, Sweet Light
Poliça – United Crushers
Harold Budd & Brian Eno – The Pearl
Ben Salisbury And Geoff Barrow ‎– Ex_Machina (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
P J Harvey – White Chalk
The Future Sound Of London – Environments 5

Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 23)

Growing up in the late 60’s and Early 70’s I was exposed to quite a lot of popular music, mostly from the radio but, later on, through music that I bought on vinyl or cassette. If there is such a thing as a musical education then the radio is only a primer but it serves as the bedrock for much of what forms opinion in the future. I grew up in South Wales and there are songs I remember very clearly from that time period, such as ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’ by Jimmy Osmond, it was on the radio a lot, Chirpy-Chirpy-Cheap-Cheap by Middle Of The Road was another and lots of songs by Cliff Richard. I had three records, 45’s, none of which I actually bought but were in the house and that I claimed as mine at some point, they were:

Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
Return To Sender – Elvis Presley
Behind Closed Doors – Charlie Rich

I still like all three of those tracks. We also had cassettes by The Beatles and ‘Top Of The Pops’ which were the ‘Now That’s What I call Music’ of their day, but I seem to think now they weren’t actually by the original artists. I remember well listening to the original cast recording of ‘Godspell’, which I still have. In short, they were all songs that most people know about, or, at least, I assumed so. This assumption set me to thinking, what if a lot of the music I heard growing up was quite localised, which, as a result, made my assumptions of what formed the musical landscape of my youth completely wrong. Were ‘The Wurzels’ not actually a global phenomenon? Surely ‘Billy, Don’t be a Hero’ by Paper Lace and ‘Get Down’ by Gilbert O’Sullivan pumped out of every radio on the planet on a daily basis, and I will never accept that ‘Tiger Feet’ by Mud is not a firm favourite 70’s song of everybody, so much so that it must by now have entered the human collective consciousness.

Then I went looking, then I found a load of European pop from the 60’s and 70’s that I’d never heard of. Of course I did, it would have been weird if I hadn’t. This music, or some of it, is as well known to French, Italians and so forth as the songs that I remember are to me. So here are some of them, which I have no expertise upon, I just kinda liked them.

Pour Un Flirt – Michel Delpech
Jacques Dutronc – Et moi, et moi, et moi
France Gall – Poupée de cire, poupée de son
Peppino Di Capri – Saint Tropez twist
Sylvie Vartan – La belle pour aller danser Dans tes bras je veux l
France Gall – Wir sind keine Engel
Stone – Seul [Norwegian Wood] (1966)
Zouzou – Il est parti comme il était venu
Muguette – Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher
Katty Line – Ne Fais Pas La Tête (1966)
RITA PAVONE — DATEMI UN MARTELLO 64.mpg
Adriano Celentano – Pregherò (Studio Uno 1961)
Los Diablos – Un rayo de sol
la felicidad
Marisol Y Palito Ortega – Corazón Contento
Marisol – Aquel Verano

The other 22 Episodes can be found HERE

The Listening List

 

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And this was tonight:

Nosaj Thing – Fated
Mono – Hymn To The Immortal Wind
Boards Of Canada – Trans Canada Highway
Explosions In The Sky, David Wingo ‎– Prince Avalanche: An Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Well that’s annoying

About once a month I have a look at what’s on at my local music venue, this is it:leamington-assembly-4

Although those carpets make you feel like you are wearing velcro shoes now, they are so sticky, anyway, it’s The Assembly in Leamington Spa, a really good venue that holds about 1000 standing souls and  bit less if they put the seats out. So there I was having a look through and if I see a new band I’ll have a listen to them to see if it sounds like something I might want to go and see live. This time I saw ‘Three Trapped Tigers’ were playing, never heard of them but I really liked what I listened to, very much my sort of thing, post-rock-electronic might be one way to classify it, if you had to.

That was yesterday, today I decided to buy a ticket, only to discover it’s the same night Public Image are playing, for which I already have a ticket. It’s at the same venue but they have a smaller space downstairs called the ‘Zephyr Lounge’. I’m really very disappointed now as I had started to get quite excited about it.

It would have been very much like the video below, ah well, maybe I can sneak in for a bit when there isn’t anybody looking.

The Listening List

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Brian Eno – The Ship
Tape – Luminarium
Future Sound Of London – Far-Out Son Of Lung And The Ramblings Of A Madman
Björk – Vulnicura Strings
Georg Holm, Orri Páll Dýrason, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Kjartan Holm ‎– Circe

I did a bit of work on the laptop, cooked our food, washed dishes and then sat down for a bit while listening to these yesterday.

The Listening List

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Duke Ellington – Anatomy of a Murderer Soundtrack
Grace Jones – Nightclubbing
Prefuse 73 – Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives
Nightmares On Wax – Feelin Good
Tricky – Pre-Millenium Tension

The Listening list – Yesterday

Who really has time for records? They aren’t portable, they get damaged, they are a bugger to store and they are expensive amongst other negatives. Well I do, for all the reasons that everybody should know, but here are mine as they may differ from yours:

  1. I have an actual artifact, a tangible thing that I can hold, look at, read, admire or dislike. I have something I can have feelings about.
  2. They sound better. They do, you can argue all you like about it, they do.
  3. People. I get to meet people, talk to them about music and hear their stories like the super rare Elvis single they sold for £5 as thye didn’t realise what they had and then saw one sold for £2000. Why they started a record shop, the rare things that they have had and sold. Gigs they’ve been to, new releases and all manner of topics that there are to chat about rather than becoming completely insular blocking out the world with headphones and all the music you might ever want inside a phone.
  4. Records create time. Which sounds like an odd thing to say but they do. I have to take a seat, or at least stay in the same room to listen to the record I’ve put on the turntable and that makes me productive, as I will usually do something while I’m listening rather than plonking my fat arse in front of the telly.
  5. They are potentially valuable. I’m not going to get much selling off an MP3, but my records, they have a resale value, and it’s entirely legal to resell them.
  6. There’s more, much more, but I can’t think of it right now.

Which brings me to ‘The Listening List’. It is often said to me about my vinyl collection, ‘But you can’t listen to them all?’ to which I must respond that yes, that’s true, but I can listen to a lot of them, and if I do want to listen to something, then it is there waiting for me. So the list, it is, quite simply, a descending dated list of vinyl records I’ve listened to, it’s a menu option, feel free to have a look whenever you like. I only started it yesterday but for the moment it seems like a good idea to me, so here is what I listened to yesterday:

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Milan W. – Intact
Max Richter – Recomposed: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons
Aphex Twin – The Richard D James Album
Ennio Moriccone – Moses Soundtrack

Vinyl Filing/Storage Dilemas

First things first, I need a vinyl storage solution. I’m currently using a two shelf unit that was in the garage for two years waiting for me to get around to taking it to the recycling centre along with a bookshelf that was fine but is now a bit knackered from the weight it’s carrying. I’m not looking at anything bespoke, that’s lovely but far too expensive so I had been looking at something from IKEA. Apparently EXPEDIT was the way to go but IKEA
kallaxstopped making that range in 2014. The replacement was KALLAX, which seems a little expensive at £40 for the one pictured. I think I’d need at least three to house the records I already have and another to be sure and for a little future space, so £16o, not a kings ransom and it will have room to put my turntable and amp on top of it. If you look at the picture below, you can see I’m struggling for space, not just for vinyl but my amp is hanging of the edge of the shelf top.

If anybody happens to now of a good cheap place to get vinyl storage in the UK then I’d be delighted to hear from you.img_3864

The second challenge I face is re-ordering all these records (in case you were wondering there’s roughly 1000). Now I know alphabetical is the most common option but I have a mix of old an new records, but also a mix of records that I like now and records that I liked years ago that I rarely listen to and I don’t want to mix the two together.

I also have a section that I’m listening to now, so a transient, ever changing shelf of records that I’m currently listening to. I like this. I sometimes flick through my records, well, I say flick, there’s not much room for that but I go through them and find something I haven’t heard for ages and it gets played and ends up on the transient shelf for a while. For the overall sorting of the records I am also conscious of genres, I have a lot of Post Rock, that would be good together, I have, amongst many genres, Electronic and Ambient, Krautrock, and Soundtracks for example, oh, and classical. Now your basic Alphabetically by band/artist name results in such travesties as Kiss sitting next to Kraftwerk (I don’t actually have any Kiss albums on vinyl but theoretically I could have) and this just won’t do. So do I put the Kraftwerk in the Krautrock section? No, because I don’t think of them as Krautrock, I think of them as Electronic. What do I do with Radiohead? I have Trip Hop, I can put Tricky, Portishead and Massive attack together for example, but where exactly do I put Bjork? For me it’s a dilemma. Soundtracks are tough too. ‘Atomic’ by Mogwai or ‘Les Revenants’ is a soundtrack, but it needs to stay with the other Mogwai albums, same with Explosions In the Sky. There must be a logical system that would satisfy my own personal and probably quite annoying requirements.

I really would like some kind of logic applied so that I can find things more easily as, at present, bands are generally lumped together, but not always. Max Richter is a good example, his reworking of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ is in with a big chunk of other Deutsche Grammophon records, but the ‘Blue Notebooks’ isn’t. It’s maddening. I need a plan, but most of all I really need to avoid becoming this guy:

Saåad Interview

You may have seen my post on the album ‘Verdaillon’ by ‘Saåad’ that I posted in September, if not here’s the link:

https://verian.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/that-special-record-september/ 

Below is a link to an interview with ‘Saåad’ from ‘That Special Record

http://www.thatspecialrecord.com/blog/10-questions-with-saad

I really liked this album and still do.

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