Saturday, November 30, 2013

The search for the perfect Record Bag continues ...

I'm still looking for the perfect Record Bag ... and these two bags do appeal to me.

First up ... we have the Essential Designs X Porter Record Bag. Dressed in duck hunting camouflage, this bag can store up to 40 LPs at one time and there are several zipped compartments for small goods.

I like it a lot ... but can't find any more details on it ... and don't know how much it will cost ... Porter isn't cheap but it certainly is quality!


Next up ... and continuing with the camp theme ... we have another collaboration, this time between UDG and Carhatt.

The 'sling' bag stores 45 LPs and has an integrated 15 Inch Laptop Pocket ... It comes with 2 large CD wallets that hold 24 CDs each ... and is rather shapely at 16.5W x 15.3H x 8.3D inches.

It also comes in Carhatt's duck brown ... which I really dig.

It can be sourced at Chemical Records for £86 (brown) and £90 (camo) ... money well spent, if you ask me.


Any other Record Bag ideas? Let me know.


Music is my life

This evening my daughter exacted her revenge and snapped a picture of me ... catching 40 winks ... after launching the latest album on weareallghosts.

It got me thinking ... morbidly, but thinking nonetheless ... that this is the way I'd love to go out: headphones on, listening to an LP (it was the jazz-funk of Spyro Gyra, if you are interested) ... with my MacBookPro on my knee, wearing a band tee (Mogwai, in this instance), and my iPhone & iPod within reach.

Silly, I know, but this photo does sum me up. Music is my life. Well ... its not my whole life but a big chunk of it.


What I listened to on vinyl in November ...

021113_ #np "Songs in the Key of Life" by Stevie Wonder #vinyl

OK ... I don't envisage doing this every month but November should go down as the month I got back into vinyl. Nothing new ... more a rediscovery of the classics.

Support your local second-hand record store ... and your charityshops too.


091113_ #np "Holst's The Planets" performed by Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Neville Marriner #vinyl

171113_ #np "Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto" by Narciso Yepes & National Orchestra of Spain #vinyl

141113_ #np "Spirit of the Sun" by Kyoto Jazz Massive #vinyl

031113_ #np "Sketches of Spain" by Miles Davis & Gil Evans #vinyl

031113_ #np "bridge over trouble water" by Simon & Garfunkel #vinyl

091113_ #np "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" by Maxwell #vinyl

031113_ #np "Hotter than July" by Stevie Wonder #vinyl

291113_ #np "Outlandos d'Amour" by The Police #vinyl

161113_ #np Jonny Cash Live In San Quentin #vinyl

151113_ #np "Close to the Edge" by Yes #vinyl

091113_ #np "Realm of Chaos" by Bolt Thrower #vinyl

171113_ #np "Legend" by Bob Marley & the Wailers #vinyl

021113_ #np "The White Album" by The Beatles #vinyl

031113_ #np "Birds of Fire" by Mahavishnu Orchestra #vinyl

161113_ #np "The Godfather OST" by Nino Rota #vinyl

031113_ #np "Morning Dance" by Spyro Gyra #vinyl

091113_ #np "Dark Magnus" by Miles Davis #vinyl

171113_ #np "Instant Brubreck" by Dave Brubreck #vinyl #jazz

171113_ #np "Scoundrel Days" by a-ha #vinyl

131113_ #np "dimension intrusion" by Fuse #vinyl

051113_ #np "Help!" by The Beatles #vinyl

031113_ #np "Violator" by Depeche Mode #vinyl

301113_ #np "Fantasy" by Aquarian Dream #vinyl #jazzfunk

121113_ #np Tracy Chapman ST #vinyl

261113_ #np "Eliminator" by ZZTop #vinyl

301113_ #np "Nevermind" by Nirvana #vinyl

231113_ #np "Fragile" by Yes #vinyl with artwork by #rogerdean

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two more Record Bags of note ...

I'm like Bono when it comes to the perfect Record Bag ... I still haven't found what I am looking for.

However, the following bags come very close.

First up, we have the Cosmo Baker North to South Messenger Bag from Tucker & Bloom.

According to their blurb ...
The Cosmo Baker North to South is the real DJ's DJ bag. Designed with help from jet set DJ Cosmo Baker, this Messenger bag has room for records, a laptop, headphones, a serato box, needle case, and pretty much whatever else you need to haul! Comes ready to fill and complete with our lifetime warranty.
It is 13” Long x 13 ” High x 6.75" Deep and is made of 1680 denier black ballistic nylon with polished aluminium front side release buckles and leather trim.

At $199 + shipping its not cheap but you are certainly getting a big bang for your buck ... but then you do get to support Cosmo Baker in what he does...


The other bag is this collaboration between Dusty Groove & Vaya Bags ... a hybrid Record x Messenger bag:
A totally cool, totally amazing record bag – designed by Dusty Groove with a special eye towards bike-riding record diggers! We buy a lot of records here at Dusty Groove – and we also bike around Chicago a heck of a lot – but we've never found a shoulder bag that's right for records and biking together – until now! With help from the folks at Vaya Bags, we've designed this extra-deep record bag that should hold 40 to 50 LPs snugly in a waterproof bag – with an extra pouch for 7" singles – and even an inner pouch for other goodies too. The bag itself is super-strong – great stitching and very durable – and it's made from recycled bicycle tires, canvas sails, and other reclaimed materials – so you can feel extra-good about using it – and it's got all these other great features too. One of the coolest is the special Vaya adjustable shoulder strap – which is easy to slide up and down while you're wearing it – and a chest-cinching clip, so the bag rides tight. Plus, there's a big reflective strip on the back – for biking at night – and a large flap over the top with lots of velcro to hold it shut. All that, and it's even got the Dusty Groove logo – nice and big! And yes, it's a bit pricey – but this is the kind of bag that will last for years – and works well even if you're not a biker, too.

Coming in at $129.99 + shipping ... it too isn't cheap but you do get something very special and you are helping to support a fab record store in the process.


I'm still looking. What do you use to carry your records? Leave a comment and I'll check it out.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Futuresequence's Sequence7 ... is out now

Futuresequence's "Sequence" compilations are something special indeed ... and the 7th instalment is now out to download FOR FREE!!!

30 artists on there ... of which 4 or 5 are known to me including Nanolog faves Good Weather For An Airstrike and Linear Bells.

I look forward to digging into this instalment.

Have a listen below:

Four albums from Bandcamp that I've paid for ...

What a strange title for a blogpost, huh? But then I am in a very privileged position where folks send me their music to consider ... I am very grateful to the folks who do & must give a shout-out to Gavin Catling, in particular, over at Twice Removed Records for his generosity.

Things is, however ... the music I am given to listen to may not be the music I'd buy. I only have finite resources so when it comes to laying down the dough, I have to be careful.

The following albums are ones I've happily purchased & not been disappointed with:

"Atlantic" by Echelon Effect

"Atlantic" is Echelon Effect's strongest work to date, with a depth I haven't heard on similar post-rock albums. The layers of sound presented are a joy to consume, as the instrumentation uses to create these layers: guitars, drums, samples, keys, glockenspiel, manipulated sounds ... all come together nicely to create an album of rare magnificence ... one I would highly recommend.


"Transit" by Orbit Over Luna

"Transit" is Orbit Over Luna’s first full album and is welcomed extension of his canon after a series of utter delightful EPs. It is an album that can be summed up in one word: splendid. The care, attention, & craft that's gone into creating this album is remarkable (I should know, I've see the photoshop file for the album cover) and sonically, in particular, it is a joy to consume. Orbit Over Luna sits at the more ambient end of post-rock, creating soundscapes with guitar & effects that would make you weep. This is a splendid album that makes me smile every time it is on.


"ETT" by Rowboat

"ETT" by Rowboat is a wonderful album, one that takes "Takk..." by Sigur Ros as an inspiration. It is a marvellous collection of post-rock soundscapes that warm the heart & heal the soul with a combination of ingenuity & familiarity. The similarity with Takk-era Sigur Ros should not be dismissed but, instead, it should be celebrated ... with the music presented taking that theme and fully exploring it, to my utter delight. I would highly recommend "ETT" to anyone with a passing fancy for post-rock.


"Those who remain" by Stray Theories

Stray Theories' music is a particular pleasure for me. His particular blend of electronic is ambient without being obtuse ... a piano-orientated sound that highlights a fondness for the neo-classical. Here too we can see the care that has gone into the crafting of the album, a care that I deeply appreciate. It is a fine and fitting follow up to "Even Though We Sleep" and sits as one of my 'go to' albums for when I want to chill out. Highly recommended.


Please do all you can to support independent music.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Day of the Doctor trailer

I'll admit to being very excited about the upcoming episode - "The Day of the Doctor" - very excited indeed.

I've followed Dr Who from Peter Davidson to Matt Smith ... and can't wait to see what they do to celebrate the 50 year anniversary.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Ace Hotel x Tanner Goods Record Tote

In my ongoing search for the perfect record bag ... I saw this in the Ace Hotel store: ACE HOTEL X TANNER GOODS RECORD TOTE.

As the blurb says ...
With pockets made to fit LPs, 7 inches and a mixer, it's made of hearty waxed canvas construction with adjustable English Bridle American leather shoulder straps and zipper pulls. That'll get that rare gem to the decks where it belongs. Black waxed cotton canvas/oxblood leather or charcoal waxed cotton canvas/natural leather, brass hardware.
It looks fab but at £275 ... it is out of my reach. I guess I'll need to learn how to make my own.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Three longform soundscapes + one collection of longform pieces worthy of your attention

I'll admit to being rather spoilt with Cousin Silas’ Dronescape series ... the 13 pieces he has created in the series so far are truly gorgeous & really satiate the desire I get when I crave an hour or so of uninterrupted longform ambient goodness. Whilst spoilt, I do look elsewhere now & again for my sustenance and have three longform pieces of note to share with you:

First up we have "Over-Soul" by Steve Brand on the mighty Relaxed Machinery microlabel. I only received this piece a couple of nights ago but have had it on almost constant loop. It is haunting drone piece that is awash with sound & texture, a piece that moves and evolves throughout the hour that it is on.

Steve Brand is a consistently excellent musician and “Over-Soul” is a timely reminder. The dynamic variety of the piece sets it apart, moving from quiet to loud with apparent ease. “Over-Soul” is a track that needs to be felt and to be experienced, preferably with good headphones and a quiet space in which to sit. Listening to it while walking to the station this morning was, in many ways, a disservice. It did, however, make me want to get a headphone amp for my iPod. Further listens in an open-plan office and then in my living room did highlight that this is a piece that rewards the attentive listener ... but then this is what I have come to expect from Steve Brand and the Relaxed Machinery microlabel.



We then have “Isolation” by prolific longformer Earlyguard. “Isolation” is his latest drone and it is in keeping with his previous work: an expansive playground for the mind ... shaped with warm synth drones that gently ebb and flow, befriending the listener rather than challenging them ... giving them the faintly Lovecraftian sound of Cyclopean architecture and vast open space.

People familiar with Earlyguard’s work will know what to expect but for newcomers to the longform experience, I can think of no better entry point.



The third longform piece is “Sine” by Richard Formby on the Preserved Sound microlabel. Whilst shorter than the two previous pieces, “Sine” doesn’t lack for anything ... it is an evocative piece that entertains with its constantly warm drone and skittering, intermittent synths that play a percussive melody that acts as a counterpoint to the drone. These synth textures that come in and out of the listener's conscious, providing abstract melodies that bring something of the Berlin School to the piece.



Lastly, we have a collection of four longer form pieces - “Datura Notes” by The Ashes of Piemonte - from the mighty Twice Removed Records microlabel.

The output from Twice Removed is consistently awesome and this release is rather remarkable in that it is nearly 2 hours long with the shortest track weighing in at six seconds off 20 minutes. That's a lot of music to pack into one release, a lot to keep the quality consistent on ... but The Ashes of Piemonte have managed it and done some with some flare, incorporating field recordings into their drones to add a touch of humanity and warmth. In doing so they have created the soundtrack to my Lovecraftian dreams with their vivid and emotive use of everyday sound.

In fact, I would be so bold as to say I haven't heard a drone album that uses field recordings so effectively as The Ashes of Piemonte have. They have used these recordings to add flavour to the drones, and in doing so they have given the pieces their own unique textures.

I particularly like "From the Garden of Dreams to the Shores of Cthulu" - the second track - because of the use of field recordings to create and amplify the eeriness of the piece. It is utterly hypnotic and deeply immersive ... features that I love in my favourite longform soundscapes.



Please do what you can to support truly independent music.



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