Saturday, March 08, 2014
The soundtrack to "Bullitt" by Lalo Schifrin was another vinyl purchase with Christmas money while I was 'house bound' with pertussis aka whooping cough.
I have a deep love for expressive, beat-rich, jazz soundtracks from the 60s and 70s ... and this is one of the best - the main theme is almost instantly recognisable like some of Schifrin's other themes like the theme to "Mission Impossible".
Schifrin's music is timeless and I wanted to have something on his on vinyl ... something lighter and, well, not prog. I have other albums of his on CD - "Black Widow" being one notable mention - and look forward to picking up more of his music.
Friday, March 07, 2014
I am a big fan of Yes ... and I particularly love "Tales from Topographic Oceans".
When I started buying vinyl again, this was *the* one album I wanted. I found a few 'used' in Missing Records but the sleeves weren't right ... yes, I'm particular about albums I really, really want.
I finally picked this copy up over the Christmas holidays while I was ill with whooping cough. I got some money for a present and ordered it online. I love it. 180g of reissue goodness.
I know "Tales from Topographic Oceans" isn't for everyone ... in fact, I know Yes aren't for everyone ... but it works for me, even the dreaded third side - "The Ancients / Giants under the Sun".
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Last night I took Dayna to her Band Practice in Airdrie ... on the way there we listened to "Kid A" and on the way back Dayna insisted on plugging in her iPod and playing her fave Radiohead tracks. I'm not quite sure when she *got* Radiohead ... but I am glad she has.
Today's photo is on my vinyl copy of "The King of Limbs" by Radiohead. I got the digital version when it was released ... and was given this physical copy for my Christmas in 2013 from my parents. I know TKOL is a bit Marmite ... some folks love it, some don't ... I am most definitely in the 'love it' camp. I think it is rather special and do play it often.
I am grateful to my parents for their generosity.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I was recently given "Mezzanine" by Massive Attack on vinyl ... the album is split over 2 LPs and sounds fantastic. In the short time I've had it this LP has become an essential recording ... "Angel" and "Teardrop" sound phenomenal.
I am grateful for this album and for the friend who gave me it.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I am giving up consumption for Lent. I am going to try to stop buying books and magazines; MP3s, LPs and CDs; DVDs and Blu-Rays, and general 'stuff' for the next forty days.
I intend on swapping my incessant need for more with the feeling of enough ... and intend on celebrating this over the next forty or so days ... from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.
My plan is to post one photo per day with something I have ... not to boast or to say 'look at me' ... but more to remember and to celebrate. I have too much and I intend to use this time to remember what I have ... and to recapture a sense of gratitude.
I will keep posting reviews and the like on here.
Here goes ......... Tx
I took this picture on my iPhone5 while walking between Unknown Pleasures and Vinyl Villains in Edinburgh. There was something about the red of the paint and the crudeness of the letterbox that really captured my attention. I hope it intrigues you as much as it does me.
Usual flavours are below.
iPhone with Calendar + iPhone without Calendar
Saturday, March 01, 2014
As always, this excludes physical media.
The big highlight was Harnes Kretzer's “Petrichor” ... it is a rather exceptional album.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Photo by Andi Rucker
I love it when an artist gets in touch with me after I've written about their work and we strike up a conversation ... such was my experience over the last couple of days with John Daniel aka Forest Management. I wrote about his upcoming EP on Twice Removed and he contacted me with some kind words (Thanks John!) ... turns out we share more than our love of ambient music in common.
While we were chatting via Facebook I asked if he'd consider completing my wee blog interview ... I'm delighted to say he agreed. This is what he had to say:
1) Who are you and what do you do?
My name is John Daniel and I'm an electronic/experimental musician.
2) What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on a documentary film score for my talented friend Mina Danic - I'm also preparing to network with filmmakers at a local festival next month.
3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
Sol Lewitt, and his incredible wall drawings. They expand the ideas of space and utilization.
- Name a place that has inspired you.
Lately, the rapid transit/metro line in Cleveland (USA). It provides one of the best views of the city.
- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
The lamp on my night stand. Its one of the few objects I’ve always had after moving around.
4) What drives you to do what you do?
The recognition of beauty and the knowledge that beauty is infinite. “Infinite” doesn’t just happen - that calls for created purpose. To me, that purpose comes from being in a relationship with a real, forgiving, creative God, who doesn’t need man or religion to add to how incredible He is.
5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
That the simplicity of reality is enough to be in awe – real life is so much more satisfying than an HD 1080p-XR9, auto-tuned, Instagram'd false universe.
6) What role does community play in what you do?
Community is crucial – without it I’m isolated. Without community, I’m just one piece of what is meant to be a complete whole. Community provides accountability, growth, and the humble reward of being a part of something bigger than yourself.
7) What is next for what you do?
I’m planning a 2-week tour with my friend Jeff Hatfield for this September – we’ll be traveling through Canada and New England. I’ll also be starting to work on another release for a new tape label run by Brooklyn resident Max Mellman. It’s going to be a more planned recording process, involving a hotel room and probably multiple energy drinks. I’m looking forward to it.
Thanks for that John.
While you are waiting for John's EP to drop on Twice Removed, you may wish to check out another of his releases - "The Contemplative Life" - over on Cathedral Transmissions. It is available as a download or as a lightscribed CDr on a recycled card envelope with artwork by Ryan Samples.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting up one of my longest running friends - Robert Dailey. Olly and the we’ans were in town for something church-related, so I tagged along so I could see my old friend.
The plan of attack was simple: meet up, grab a cuppa & exchange belated Christmas gifts then go record / CD hunting.
It was at the first hurdle that I realise I had left Robert’s present in Motherwell ... so after apologising profusely I was given a suspiciously record-shaped present, which turned out to be “Mezzanine” by Massive Attack on heavy vinyl. I was delighted. Massive Attack are one of my fave bands and “Mezzanine” is an extraordinary musical journey ... “Teardrop” alone is worth the money.
We caught up over tea in the Starbucks on the Royal Mile or should I say one of the Starbucks on the Royal Mile. This was the less-busy one, I knew this because I could get a seat and the Tartan-clad tourists we conspicuously absent.
We then headed near-enough next door to Unknown Pleasures, a shop stocked with a well curated selection of second-hand vinyl & CDs as well as some tees and DVDs.
The vinyl selection was strong: big sections of soul, jazz, dance,and indie were apparent along with a varied selection of 7". The section i was interested in - the progressive / psychedelic / classic rock. This was full of individual sections for Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Yes and others. I found a number of albums that interested me but settled on “Abraxas” by Santana & “Albedo 0.39” by Vangelis. Both covers were in prime condition and the Santana vinyl was pristine upon examination. The Vangelis vinyl, in the other hand, needed a good clean upon my return to Motherwell but now looks / plays well.
From the Royal Mile we took a leisurely walk towards the Playhouse. Just beyond the Playhouse is the second stop on our hunt - Vinyl Villains.
Vinyl Villains is an institution in Edinburgh. I don't know how long it has been on-the-go but i’m convinced my peers spoke of it when I lived in Livingston 20 years ago. It is a small shop and seriously punches above its weight. One side is stocked with new and second-hand vinyl with the other side stocked with CDs and merchandise.
I don't know about you but when I’m on the hunt, I always check the reduced section. I am so glad I did while in Vinyl Villains - I picked up: “Hegerst Ridge” by Mike Oldfield & “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by Rick Wakeman - both albums were on my wanted list and the Oldfield had nearly been purchased earlier in the day for twice the price. I then found “Olias of Sunhillow” by Jon Anderson in the main section and my hunt was complete.
^ “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by Rick Wakeman ^
^ “Olias of Sunhillow” by Jon Anderson ^
All three albums were in very good condition - both covers & vinyl. I was particularly enamoured by the covers for “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “Olias of Sunhillow” - they are fascinating pieces of product design ... with “Journey...” having a booklet attached inside the gatefold sleeve and “Olias...” having a triple gatefold sleeve. Both albums have exceptional artwork in their own way and I'm delighted to have them in my collection.
From Vinyl Villains we then headed to Fopp on Rose Street. We were in need of sustenance and Fopp is near the main eateries. I love Fopp, it's my fave chain. It is a faux-indie that celebrates music in all it's forms, a faux-indie that has embraced vinyl and has a rather enticing selection of new LPs. It also has some fab tees (see below). Whilst I was seriously tempted with “Moon Safari” by Air for £10 or the "Pet Sounds" tee for £15, I was only window-shopping. I had set a budget and had kept it - 5 LPs for £15 was pretty good going, if you ask me?!
I thorough enjoyed the trip and thank Robert for his hospitality. I will be back: Edinburgh has more to offer in the form of VoxBox and Oxfam Music, both in the Stockbridge area ... and the shops I visited today deserve more of my time (and money) too.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
“Sky Image” by Forest Management is a four track EP of exceptional ambient drones that will be released on the always-brilliant Twice Removed Records microlabel in March, 2014.
If you are a regular here you will know how much I love my ambient drones and these pieces from Forest Management are a delight, in the shape of the sounds I love most. These tracks are delicate yet nuanced, they float in your conscious and provide a cushion from the hardness of daily life. They have an organic feel to them ... it is as if they’ve been flavoured with the breathtaking awesomeness of natural world.
This is my kind of ambient, one that paints pictures in the mind and disseminates ideas. These tracks portray, for me, a sense of walking in places that make humans feel small - through old forests, in forgotten caves or beside violent seas, or even in a distant desert where the view of the sky is unsullied by man-made light. I find respite in these sounds. They are pieces I can turn to when the urban landscape has gotten too much for one day.
I found “Sky Image” by Forest Management fascinating and would highly recommend it for folks who love their ambient sounds.