The pursuit of vinyl happiness

http://www.laweekly.com/la-people-2007/bob-say/16290/

Bob Say

The pursuit of vinyl happiness

By ARASH SAEDINIA

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 – 12:00 pm

(Photo by Kevin Scanlon)

Bob Say loves records. He is a collector and a connoisseur, a gentlemanly purveyor of vinyl discs and related objects, an enthusiast’s enthusiast. In a milieu full of cranks, snobs and cutthroats, Say is affable, open and unabashedly excited to share his passion. While others have burned out or moved on from the business of selling music, Say, who is 55, continues to live, breathe and champion records.

I first met Say at the Canoga Park branch of Moby Disc. I was a customer, he was general manager. Say was sifting through a large collection of records the store had acquired. Eager to see what had come in, I approached and we talked. Fellow obsessives, we formed a rapport. But Moby Disc, which was known for odd and often-affordable offerings in imports and used records, went under soon after it was sold to a large, Internet-based corporation. Say regrouped and opened Freakbeat Records, perhaps the best little record store in Los Angeles.

In an excessively homogenized landscape of mega-chain outlets, Freakbeat is an anomaly. The focus is on vinyl, those etched repositories of sound and sense. Traveling to record shows, garage sales and thrift shops — he’s even been known to dumpster dive for LPs — Say actively stocks his bins with a wide and idiosyncratic range of titles. His stamina is extraordinary.

“He can’t help it,” says his associate, Tom Gracyk. Say delights in the rare find, like chancing upon original Brazilian pressings of the first two Os Mutantes albums at a Goodwill in Van Nuys.

“He finds everything,” says musician Bill Davis, a Freakbeat customer.

When Davis mentioned his work with Big Brother (not to be confused with Big Brother & the Holding Company), the Freakbeat staff showed him a reissue by the relatively obscure band. Davis was astonished; he had no idea the album was in print.

Asked to characterize a life devoted to the pursuit of recorded music, Say is characteristically unassuming: “At this point in my life, I wouldn’t know what to do other than music. It’s what I like.”

http://www.laweekly.com/la-people-2007/bob-say/16290/

Vinyl Lives in Retro Records Game

Vinyl Lives in Retro Records Game

And now for something completly different…Sortasoft announced the their new hi-fi action/puzzle game Retro Records. See what it takes to run a record store in the era of iPods and digital downloads.

In Retro Records, you have inherited a disorderly record store and must rummage through classic vinyl albums to prepare them for sale. Retro Records blends simple and addictive gameplay with indie record store aesthetics. As players collect more albums, they unlock turntables, gold and platinum records, and other upgrades. Players also get to take a breather once in a while and test their memory in bonus rounds. It's fast paced analog action with a funky soundtrack to groove to…just don't break too many records.

Retro Records features over 200 classic jazz, rock, hip hop, reggae, country, classical, techno and disco records. With the help of Oliver, the record store clerk, players can collect over 20 unique rare records to show off on their store shelves. If you want to personalize your store, Customize Albums mode allows you to add any of your own favorite classic albums.

The free demo of Retro Records is available from the Sortasoft website at www.sortasoft.com/retrorecords. It was cool seeing some of the old album covers 😉

Built to spill re-release vinyl

Warner Bros. Records to Reissue Three Limited Edition Vinyl Albums From Built to Spill in Late May
Beloved Boise, Idaho, Quintet Launch North American Tour on June 30

BURBANK, CA — (MARKET WIRE) — May 09, 2007 — Warner Bros. Records will release limited edition vinyl reissues of three albums — 1997's "Perfect From Now On," 1999's "Keep It Like A Secret," and 2006's "You In Reverse" — from beloved Boise, Idaho, quintet BUILT TO SPILL in late May. Only 2,000 copies of each LP are being pressed.

The reissues will be released on regular-weight vinyl in two-LP sets, with "You In Reverse" in a gatefold sleeve featuring artwork from Mike Scheer, Karena Youtz and Tamara Shores. This is the first time "You In Reverse" will be available on vinyl, while "Keep It Like a Secret" and "Perfect From Now On," which have both been remastered, are back in print on vinyl for the first time on Warner Bros. Records, having originally been released by Up Records. "Keep It Like a Secret" will include the bonus track "Forget Remember When," a b-side from the album's recording sessions. "Perfect From Now On" will include the bonus track "Easy Way," a never-before-released song from the album's recording sessions.

BUILT TO SPILL — which currently includes Martsch, bassist Brett Nelson, drummer Scott Plouf, and guitarists Brett Netson and Jim Roth — will launch an extensive North American tour on June 30th in support of "You In Reverse," their first album in five years, which was released last April to critical acclaim. Rolling Stone praised its "action-packed jams and expansive tune sense," while Spin noted its "unique, virtuosic musicianship." The band are currently touring Europe, their first trip there since 2000.

For more about BUILT TO SPILL, please visit their website www.builttospill.com

Bowls made from real vinyl records

http://www.i4u.com/article8700.html

Bowls Made from Real Vinyl Records

Posted on Fri, 27 Apr 2007 15:16:34 CDT | by Shane McGlaun

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By the time I was really old enough to buy music things had progresses from vinyl records to cassette tapes. I do remember when MTV first started and all the rap videos had cool dudes scratching that I tried to scratch on my dad's record player and wound up getting grounded for ruining his Thriller album.

Unless you are a DJ into old school vinyl the best use for old vinyl albums to you may be as dinnerware or possibly Frisbees. An artist by the name of Jeff Davis takes old unplayable vinyl LPs and turns them into bowls. You can get smooth or stepped versions depending on your style.
The bowls are 12 inches in diameter and three inches deep and have a Mylar coating to protect the album label. While you don’t get to ask for specific artists records for your bowl, you can choose between music types like crooners, female pop, rock, and show tunes. Either type of bowl sells for $29 and looks pretty cool. Image via Eco-artware.com

http://www.i4u.com/article8700.html

You say you wanna revolution

http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A238474

'You say you wanna revolution'

7-inch vinyl revival puts new spin on ATL rock scene

BY RODNEY CARMICHAEL

Published 05.02.07print email mail us del.icio.us digg newsvine reddit

click to enlarge
Joeff Davis
THE SPINNERS: Travis Flagel (inset, left) kissing Trey Lindsay; Rob's House Records 2006 release, Deerhunter "Grayscale" b/w Hubcap City "Mad House"
With reporting by Holly Lang

Unless you've been living in a hole (or watching too much VH1 Celebreality), you probably know Atlanta is experiencing a minor rock revolution of sorts. The ironic thing is that the momentum behind the march forward is due in large part to something as bass-ackward as a revival of 7-inch vinyl records. Like indie rock's version of the hip-hop mix tape, these instant vintage recordings have become the hallmark separating underground music fans from mainstream followers. While vinyl has been gaining popularity with audiophiles across the nation over the last decade, the 7-inch resurgence, in particular, has become an Atlanta phenomenon.

"It is definitely a local thing with the 7-inch singles," says Harry DeMille, owner of Wax 'N Facts, the popular Little Five Points record store. On the glass counter near the store's cash register sits a small bin of local 7-inches, the contents of which regularly change as new records are released and sold. Local labels such as Die Slaughterhaus, Stickfigure and Ponce de Leon Records keep the bin stocked. But the most prominent of them all is Rob's House Records.

Trey Lindsay and Travis Flagel are the two unassuming twentysomethings who own Rob's House Records. The label has released more than 22 7-inch records in less than two years, and that number will creep to 30 before the summer ends. Originally funded out-of-pocket, Rob's House is now self-sustaining – a testament to the surge in 7-inch popularity.

Taking its lead from Die Slaughterhaus, Rob's House started just two years ago to release a Black Lips single. The label actually lifted its quirky name from the label printed on a 2003 release featuring the Orphins and the Liverhearts (Lindsay's old band). Neither band was signed at the time, and some guy named Rob was the only friend inside their immediate circle who wasn't a renter. Since everyone agreed that the release should have a permanent address on it, Rob's House was born. Two years later, Lindsay and Flagel resurrected it. Since then, the label has spurred local bands and labels (especially those rooted in garage and punk) to release the classic single-format vinyl – a throwback, in most cases, to the era that triggered the younger crowd to start playing music in the first place.

"There are lots of pluses with vinyl. For smaller bands, it makes recording much more affordable," Lindsay says. "It sounds better, [and] it's collectible, where CDs just aren't." The bookish, seemingly shy Lindsay, an architect, is a relatively clean-cut counterpart to Flagel, a rowdy man whose tattoos creep up his neck and down his arms. While Flagel, who manages the Black Lips, tours the nation, Lindsay manages the Rob's House homefront. As a consumer, he's attracted to the technical merit of vinyl's sound – a more crafted tone nearly impossible to reproduce electronically.

For others, the appeal lies within its exclusivity. Registered iTunes users far outnumber those who own record players nowadays. As a result, 7-inch singles are less likely to appear as downloadable MP3 files on sites such as LimeWire or music blogs. Even those who don't own a record player find appeal in collecting 7-inches, according to Stickfigure Records owner Gavin Frederick, who believes it's a testament to the beauty of a single.

"More and more music consumers who do not own record players are purchasing the vinyl version of their favorite records because they want to own the real thing, and there is more there to enjoy visually with vinyl," Frederick says.

Although a 7-inch isn't much larger than a CD, its cover often conveys a DIY theme. Many of the covers are handmade, such as the recent Ponce de Leon Records release by Hubcap City. Band member Bill Taft – along with label owner Chad Radford (a contributing music writer for Creative Loafing) – physically made each cover using stencils, photographs, glue sticks, paper and other materials. Taft then glued small crack bags filled with either fake bloody bandages or Belgian waffle mix (used to mimic cocaine) to each cover. The release exemplifies the DIY aesthetic driving the local scene.

As listeners continue to embrace the 7-inch – be it for its exclusivity, the appeal of its cover art, the sound quality or its inherent nostalgia – Atlanta's rock scene will continue to rise from the ground up.
Pivotal Atlanta 7-inches

Some Soviet Station: "Some Soviet Station" (Moodswing Records, 2000)The much-loved band's single was as well-received as it was, and is still found in the collections of many of its devoted fans.

Black Lips: "Ain't Comin' Home" (Die Slaughterhaus, 2001)A signal to the end of the old and the beginning of the young and new, this release marked a split in the Atlanta scene and a shift in what everyone would soon want in a band.

Anna Kramer: "Anna Kramer" (Rob's House, 2005) One of the charismatic acts that sidesteps the usual 7-inch punk or hardcore genres, Kramer's 2005 release captivated many listeners with her pure voice and lovely style.

Snowden: "Black Eyes" (Stickfigure Records, 2005) Now one of Atlanta's flagship bands, Snowden's "Black Eyes" bridged the gap between its two longer releases, offering up those dark, danceable songs all the kids love.

Carbonas: "Carbonas" (Rob's House Records, 2006)Icons of Atlanta's punk revival, the Carbonas' single brings to life all we love about cocky rock 'n' roll.

Mastodon: "Capillarian Crest"/"Crystal Skill" (Relapse Records, 2006)A preview to 2006's Blood Mountain, this limited-edition single is coveted by the most hardcore of metal fans, and brought the 7-inch to an international audience.

Hubcap City/Deerhunter: "Hubcap City"/"Deerhunter" (Rob's House, 2006)The two popular experimental acts banded together to create several of the more interesting minutes recorded in the last few years, creating a split that quickly sold out.

More here…

High Fidelity

http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=1992912064227409&ShowArticle_ID=11460805070877280

High Fidelity

How Local Record Stores Weather the Digital Storm

BY PATRICK WALL

It’s 5 p.m. on an unseasonably warm Tuesday in April, and Papa Jazz is busy. In a lot of ways, Papa Jazz embodies the stereotypical independent record store — it’s housed in a relatively small storefront in a cool part of town, and despite its small size, the walls are lined with 12-inch vinyl records and narrow aisles are defined by racks of new and used CDs. Consumers mill about the store sifting idly through crates of old, dusty vinyl records while some scour the DVD racks for a cheap score. Many are conversing with the staff; co-owner Tim Smith is ordering a record for a customer. Many of the customers have been here before; some might never come again. But most leave with something.

If it seems like this could have been a scene out of High Fidelity, the 2000 film adaption of Nick Hornsby’s classic encapsulation of the record store experience, it’s because it could have been. But High Fidelity hit theatres almost seven years ago, and a lot’s changed in the record store business since then. National chains like Tower Records and Sam Goody are pulling out of once-fertile markets. Big-box retailers now control a majority of the compact disc market. In the midst of a seven-year CD sales decline, a paradigm shift in music sales from brick-and-mortar shops to point-and-click web stores and cutthroat price slashing at the Wal-Marts of the world, some people are starting to hear rumors of the demise of the independent record store. Local shopkeeps like Smith have heard it, too. Most don’t believe the hype. In fact, they’re disproving the myth simply by existing.

“If you’re going to open a hamburger shop across from McDonald’s, you’re going to get killed,” says Papa Jazz co-owner Tim Smith.

The Seven-Year Itch
But that’s not to say the hype isn’t valid. The fact is CD sales are in a downward spiral that’s only getting worse. More and more online stores are opening each year and many famous record stores — independent or otherwise — have lifted the needle out of the groove.

In High Fidelity, fictional record store owner Rob Gordon was an obsessive list maker, particularly obsessive when it came to making top five lists. In order to understand what’s going on in the record store industry, let’s break it down into the top fives.

Top five battles record stores are facing:

1. CD sales are sagging.
2. The Internet’s emerging presence.

These two go hand in hand: CD sales are tanking, and it’s hard to say the Internet hasn’t played a hand in that.
“The Internet has changed the way everybody buys music,” says Randy Dunn, who’s now at Earshot Records in Greenville but was a longtime Manifest employee and opened Acme Comics and Records. “The last five years have been the rise of file sharing and post-Napster digital music. Anyone that wants to can find a place that will let you get free tracks and rare tracks.”
It’s indisputable that more and more people are venturing online to purchase (and, in some cases, purloin) music. Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks music sales, recently reported that digital sales of songs have risen 54 percent over first-quarter figures from last year, while physical CD sales have dipped sharply — 20 percent from where they were a year ago. This is not a new trend, but rather a sharp acceleration of the seven-year sales decline that has taken its toll on both the music industry and on record stores.
“It’s going down,” says Sounds Familiar store manager Will Kahler. “There’s no question. Obviously when Napster was the new thing and everybody got involved with that, that was an effect. But I think the thing that started hurting us early is when every computer you would buy would have a CD burner in it. Now that’s just the way of life.”
“When [former Manifest owner] Carl [Singmaster] closed the Manifest in Clemson, it was right after the kids got DSL in their dorms,” Dunn says. “The height of Napster and DSL on campuses … I’m surprised any college stores really survived, unless they were a full independent store.”
“It’s been a long, steady decline,” Kahler says.
The decline has gotten sharper in recent years. Billboard reported that record stores saw a 27 percent sales drop in 2006 on top of a 28 percent drop in 2005. Global music sales — both online and in brick-and-mortar stores — fell an estimated 2 to 3 percent last year, according to a Merrill Lynch research report, and a slow start in 2007 (U.S. music sales are down 10 percent) suggests another down year is likely. Indeed, the Enders Analysis firm predicts that overall music sales will fall to $23 billion by 2009, about half of the $45 billion peak of the CD boom in 1997.
With the compact disc market in decline, many brick-and-mortar stores have been closing. The Wall Street Journal reports that roughly 800 music stores closed in 2006, including all 89 locations of corporate music retail monolith Tower Records. Trans World Entertainment, which owns chain stores such as FYE, Sam Goody and Wherehouse, reported a sales decrease of 6 percent in 2006, despite operating almost 300 more stores.
Indie retailers have felt the crunch, too: The Almighty Institute of Music Retail, an industry research group in Studio City, Calif., estimates that 900 independent record stores have closed since 2003, leaving 2,700 nationwide. One such store was Uptown Sounds, a locally owned shop that concentrated on urban and hip-hop music. Its Dutch Square storefront is now dilapidated and its phone line disconnected.

3. New CDs are expensive.

Cheap just can’t compete with free. But most records don’t even approach cheap. When he sold Manifest in 2004, Singmaster told Free Times that one of the biggest mistakes the record industry made was killing off the single.
“We sold billions of singles,” Kahler says. “And [losing the single] hurt us, too. But we adapted.”
The record labels dumped the single because its profit margin simply wasn’t as high as a CD’s. Many see the move as shortsighted because singles served as teasers for albums. Many customers would purchase two or three cheap singles — and then buy the traditionally expensive album, too.
“$15 is an awful lot [to spend on a CD],” says Acme Comics and Records owner Phil Crouch. “And in some places you’ll spend $16 or $17. That’s crazy. I would rather lose money on a CD than sell it for $17.”

4. Big-box retailers are tightening their grip on the CD market.

As music stores fold by the hundreds, big-box retailers have tightened their grip on the new CD market. Big-boxes such as Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart account for at least 65 percent of music sales in the United States, up 20 percent from a decade ago. Wal-Mart alone accounts for nearly 20 percent of all music sales in the United States.
The rising pressure from big-box stores has only added to the squeeze. Big-box retailers are able to sell new CDs as loss leaders — a common practice in which retailers slash prices on hot new CDs, sometimes well below the wholesale price, in hopes of getting the customer to stick around and buy bigger-ticket items like televisions and refrigerators.
“There aren’t any big Christmas bonuses any more,” Kahler says. “Those days are gone.”

“If it’s a huge title, a lot of people are probably going to download it, and that’s no more of a challenge than having a big-box retailer down the street,” says Manifest store manager Jonathan Steude.

5. Capricious youth.

The rise in digital music has also coincided with a precipitous decline in younger customers, many of whom are more savvy with the Internet and often opt for the cut-rate prices of big-boxes.
“Your average older person is not necessarily going to buy an iPod and never set foot in a record store again,” Kahler says. “It’s the high school kids and college kids we’re not seeing. They don’t know [the record store]. There’s no connection. They’ve never had a pleasant experience or an occasion to do it.”
“A lot of people know about music and listen to a lot of music, but they’re not buying it,” Crouch says.

More Here…

Wilco interview – Blue sky, vinyl etc.

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/42415-interview-wilco

He talks about how good the vinyl sounds…


Jeff Tweedy: No because, we basically resign ourselves to the idea that when the record label starts sending out promo copies of the record it's out. And very shortly after that, almost anybody who want's it would be able to get it if you wanted it, if you're technically savvy enough to figure out a way to get it– even from our stream. There's a lot of things that we still have faith in. I still have a lot of faith that there's very few people who are savvy enough to actually produce a good sounding copy of the record. I also believe that in general there is no good sounding copy of the record other than the vinyl. I think that vinyl versions of the last few records are far superior. This one in particular I think is going to sound great on vinyl. Other than that I think its not necessarily heading people off at the pass. I think that it's good for us to have people listen to our music.

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/42415-interview-wilco

Dead can dance – Into the Labyrinth

Although they'd been around for more than a decade Into the labyrinth became and still is the best selling album by the Dead can dance.A million seller in the US it was also the best selling album of label 4ad (who also had the 
pixies on their roster). Into the labyrinth crystalised the blend of folk from around the world, that

 now sits so comfortably on many a film score. Lisa Gerrard has gone to see much acclaim for her film scores for the likes of Gladiator and Whale Rider. In Dead can dance her tracks are nicely compemented by the more song led and english lyrics(not to mention more western style music) of Brendan Perry. The two do collaborate across all tracks though and have a host of excellent musicians backing them up.

Not only is the choice of music often inspired but the muscianship is first rate and the sound quality is stunningly impressive. That statement holds not only for their studio releases but also for their concerts, in person and recorded.

WHat they do lack is a certain spontanaeity or affinity with their audience. Lisa Gerrard in particular seems more like an automatic performer than an entertainer or human being. Brendan Perry can however establish a rapport with his audience and on record actually sings with more feeling. This despite the ethereal echo and effects that continually surround him.

But this or one of their later albums(Toward the within or Spiritchaser) is an essential purchase. Not only will it impress your friends when they call but it will impress yourself each and every time you put it on.

Variously we have tunes from or inspired by Persia, Africa(I know its a continent), Ireland. Highlights are Yulunga which open the album and also opens the film Baraka. The carnival is
over is a classic song from Brendan Perry.

In general an otherworldly musical experience, haunting vocals from both, striking instrumental sounds, like rattlesnakes and varied wonderful natural percussion.

The album was recorded in a church and as mentioned sounds stunning. Packaging and vinyl are, as always from 4ad, most appealing. The covers look and feel gorgeous. Slightly matt paper with striking artwork. Inner picture sleeves with lyrics. Vinyl is heavy and beautifully pressed, an hour of music spread across four sides of vinyl.

Review of ION USB Turntable

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/05/02/review_ion_usb_turntable/

ION USB turntable
By Scott Snowden [More by this author]
2nd May 2007 12:04 GMT

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Review The next generation of DJs are forsaking traditional 12-inchers in favour of digital means to create their sounds. If you think today's tunes could benefit from some seasoned samples, or even if you want to transfer your vintage vinyl to a digital music player, then this could be a worthwhile investment.

The ION USB turntable is certainly one of the more interesting devices available from the usual online gadget store suspects and it'll appeal to both young and old. In fact, Register Hardware has had to fight hard to keep every pair of prying paws in the office off it. Reactions like, "Oooh, can I borrow that when you're done…" have been heard a lot of late.

Until recently, the most practical way to transfer vinyl music to a digital format was to connect a hi-fi system to a sound card-equipped PC. As a desktop would probably be used to perform this task, no doubt trying to connect the two across the expanse of a living room often proved problematic.

The ION is well packaged, with the fragile components, including the stylus, neatly stuffed into Styrofoam end caps. Check the box contents against the clearly labelled list on the instructions – always a good habit to get into – as the review sample we received was missing a slipmat for the turntable. Not a particularly big problem for us, but it could mean a delay in setting it up for some.

The deck comes with cables that can be connected to an amplifier, allowing you to hear what you're playing. Alternately, sound can also be played through the computer and out of headphones or speakers. Be sure to plug all the cables in before setting up the stylus and counter weight as all the ports on are on the underside of the unit.

More here…

Afro Celt Soundsystem – Volume 3 : Further in time

The Afor celts have always ploughed an interesting field, a mix of african rhythms and traditional Irish music, a good dollop of sean nos singing and excellent guest singers. All geared towards the modern dance floor. Its an ever rich, seething cauldron of different sounds and invention, beautifully melded together and produced.

For albums 1 and 2, however, I always felt that they were on the point of producing a great album but not quite there. For this release they are certainly far closer. The songs seem stronger. Their distinctive sound is now merely a way to express these excellent songs and instrumental melodies.

The album starts off in  lovethe way I love. A long and slow build up, comprised of haunting vocals and sweeping synths, held together by a fast trickle of electronic bleeps. Warbling bass kicks in and is followed by a zulu choir. Finally the heavy artillery of instrumentation, real and synthetic arrives. That is North.

North 2 is a dance floor rocker which has as its main melody a fierce and fast fiddle as its centre surrounded by some of the heaviest beats you'll find this side of a Meat Beat Manifesto album.

The first of our guest singers arrives on 'When you're falling'. It is Peter Gabriel, of Genesis and solo fame, and the boss of the celt's recor label, Real World. Keep it within the family so. His voice is guttural and earthy and perfectly suits the earthy music and backing singing on this track. We have somewhat abandoned the dancefloor for now and instead have a persistent beat and melody with a glorious chorus. Probably the highlight of this is the magnificent backup on chorus from main singer, Iarla O'Lionaird. Goosebumps!

'Colossus' is another celtic dancefloor stomper. Again it is packed full of melodies you'll find yourself humming later on.

'Lagan' sounds liken outtake from the Chilled in Ibza series. Possibly just not chilled enough. Another Iarla vocal.

'Shadowman' introduces a bit of ragga. Again something for the dancefloor. And a floor filler that has so much going on. Ragga vocal breathless female vocals spark off against each other. 'Ni'ib Fe' (?)  means I love you.

'Life begin' again is creepy sounding. Not the kind of song I'd like to meet down a dark alleyway at night. And  its sung by Robert Plant. You might have heard of him. Robert himself is sounding a bit paranoid.

'Further in time' sounds like an Underworld mix of a More Kante track. Very cool. Very bone shaking.

The Uilleann pipes on 'Gone on through' are a slow cool balm after all the danceflooor exertions. Buddha Bar time!! Screaming Orphans provides the husky female vocal, backed up by what sound 
like the Soweto street band. Iarla again turns in another peerless vocal. Soaring and shivering.

'Persistence of memory' is probably the highlight of the album. At least along with the gabriel track. A gorgeous haunting melody, impossible not to be touched by it. Sung again by the wonderful O'Lionaird.

'Silken whip', another instrumental, sounds like we're soaring across the boglands and green hills of Ireland in a Hollywood blockbuster. At quite some speed though.

'Onwards' closes off the album in a subdued fashion. This is the sound of heading home at three in the morning after a fabulous saturday night. On your own. In the dark. Time to think about the time you had, to reflect on the people you were with.

All in all its an exciting and varied mix of different musicl styles. None of which sound out of place. They are perfectly and seamlessly blended into this perfect whole.Its a smooth seductive sound and you'd be wise to enjoy it.

So, the best afro celts album and the only one on vinyl. your choice is easy. Buy it. Sound quality is not bad, quite bass heavy but its geared for teh dancefloor. Its certainly an appealing sound. Vinyl pressing, as always teh case from Simply Vinyl, is excellent. Tow 180grm slabs of vinyl, quiet pressing with no defects or warps. Packaging is simple enough. Cardbaord sleeve is not a gatefold. Inner plastic lined paper sleeves. The usual hard PVC outer cover for protection.