Marvin gaye – Let’s get it on

Enticed by the bright orange carrot of 15 extra tracks, which I've never seen on another vinyl edition of 'Let's get it on', I finally plumped and bougght my first 180grm record by the Vinyl Lovers label.

 As previously announced here in News some months ago the Vinyl lovers label released a slew of interesting titles on vinyl. Owned or associated with Lilith records the very name of the label inspired excitement in me and no doubt many other vinyl fanatics. Strangely the music was licensed from Universal Music Russia, making it sound like a possibly dubious operation. But apparently it was all legal and even the neighbourhood shop close to you is bound to have a few titles.

 I already have a copy of this record on a re-release from the last five years or so. Pressed on shoddy vinyl and the sound is equally unimpressive. I was looking forward to teh possible improvements that Vinyl Lovers could bring to mylong suffering stylus.

 The record comes in the original gatefold sleeve, inclusive of Marvin's little penned tribute to the wonder of sex, and how really, we shouldn't feel too guilty about it. Sex is different to love though but is simply marvellous in its own right. Err, thanks marvin.

The records are excellent vinyl pressings, flat and silent. They're housed in my favourite paper sleeves with the plastic lined inners. Its all looking good.

I put the record with the fancy house label on the turntable, drop my  stylus and …..Ouch!! Possibly one of the brightest, most ear-piercing sound I've ever had the misfortune to hear. I really don't know how they managed this. My entire CD collection is more natural sounding than this atrocity of sound while my downloaded mp3 collection certainly comes close. It is reasonably detailed and clean sounding if that's what you're looking for.

 Really, what is the point?? If we're listening to vinyl record, its not because we're neanderthals who can't read the small print on a cd!! Or is it? Maybe that today makes up the majority of 'Vinyl Lovers' and who this record is aimed directly at.

You, dear reader, would be far better off saving your money to buy the entire Sundazed reissues of 'Sly and teh family stone'. Funky, warm and natural sounding.

 

Incidentally(it should really be the focus), the music on this record is of course peerless and its nice having the extra tracks. Its not as earth conscious awakening or inspiring as 'Heal the worl…' err I mean 'What's going on' but its a highly enjoyable and slightly sleazy listening experience. But you're probably better off joining me in the search for an original in good condition.

Calexico – Garden Ruin

Calexico have cast aside their familiar mariachi brass and pedal steel atmospherics in favour of a more straightforward, song-based approach on fifth album Garden Ruin.

Last year's successful collaboration with folk tunesmith Iron and Wine appears to have encouraged Arizona's Calexico to cast aside their familiar mariachi brass and pedal steel atmospherics in favour of a more straightforward, song-based approach on fifth album Garden Ruin.

The Morricone-influenced instrumental epics of earlier recordings have been replaced by melodic, jangly country-rock numbers such as opener "Cruel", together with a sizeable dose of electric guitar on heavier tracks like "Letter To Bowie Knife".

Only on "Roka (Danza De La Muerte)", featuring Andalucian singer Ampara Sanchez, and the Gotan Project-style modern tango of "Nom De Plume" are Calexico's Latin inflections allowed to take a front seat. Elsewhere, while their trademark violins, trumpets and shuffling percussion do flit unobtrusively in and out of the mix throughout, the band's variety of textures and moods has been significantly pared down in search of a more accessible but ultimately less interesting sound. One could argue that thislack of variety hasbeen replaced by a stronger set of songs than their earlier efforts.

Longer term listening leads to greater enjoyment and rewards.

Beautiful matt gatefold cover with lyrics printed within and extra artwork on the inner sleeve also. The packaging is a work of art in itself. Decent weight vinyl and well pressed. And the usual very good Calexico sound. Possibly a bit clinical but deep and well rounded.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/8qf9/

WASP – Headless Children

WASP – Headless Children

 

            Certainly not bad for a quid! To begin with I was attracted by the album cover, which can be compared to The Beatles Sergeant Peppers. It shows some great illustrations of various evils and faces, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Adolf Hitler, followed by a giant skull in the background. Very interesting to look at for a while.

            The album also has one of those cool card dust covers that I always like to see. Definitely better than the thin: ‘Home taping is killing music’ sleeves (ha).

            Before buying this album I hadn’t really heard anything about WASP, or their music. Just thought I’d experiment with some new bands. Whilst I admit the songs are all painfully similar, they’re well put together and a good listen. The opening track ‘The Heretic’, is one of the best album openers you are likely to hear in metal. It builds up a marching suspense and quickly erupts into the distorted guitars that countinue throughout the album. Very imaginative, and it’s the song that you always seem to remember after listening. It also somehow matches the album art if that makes sense. Probably not, but oh, well.

            I normally like to hear a wall of sound from metal bands and this is a great example of it, especially in the track ‘Real Me’. The vocalist, Blackie Lawless does a great job of using the ‘screamy’ style, but in a way that is subtle and sounds half melodic at the same time.

            ‘Forever Free’, the ballad of the LP, also greatly matches the vocalist. Forever Free also breaks the album nicely, as it does begin to become slightly monotonous by this stage. I’d imagine the CD version would emphasize this, with no definite side one and two. Not only that, but you couldn’t admire the full album cover.

            To conclude on that, I would say the music is great, but needs variation to avoid becoming ‘Motorhead like’. I think most people would know what I mean by that.

            The record itself is in very good condition, so I have no idea why it ended up in the reduced bin alongside Mike Oldfield and Jazz Britania. The record is very thin but doesn’t have many scratches that are sometimes associated with this. The cover and dust cover are also in great condition and would go well for a pound anytime. I would pass this on to any fellow metal fan.

Press your own records

This was posted in the forum. I think its interesting enough to go on the main page.

 

Anyway it's to tell everybody that my friends and I will be creating a website called www.collectors-studio.com, and we want to know if people will be interested.

We're addressing vinyl collectors and fans (like you and us). We'll be offering first of all a free and unlimited music listening service. If you know www.deezer.com you'll know what I mean. This is a server which has songs by a lot of artists, and where you can freely listen to any music you want. You can even create your own play lists, save them and listen to them again whenever you return. This service is entirely legal, because music isn't downloaded, and artists are paid.

At Collectors Studio we'll be doing basically the same, with the big difference that our members can get a 33" LP vinyl copy of the music they listen to! For example, if you're a member of Collectors Studio, by the end of this week you'll receive an e-mail giving you the list of music you've listened to and asking you if you want a vinyl with this music. You can modify the songs of course if you want, and choose any song in our collection, so you can add it to your vinyl. Also interesting, you will be asked to choose between album arts that we will specially craft for your package! Your vinyl will be later sent to you by mail.

So I'll want to know if there are people interested out there by this offer. Anyway I can resume it to :
1. You can put your favorite music into vinyl at a cheaper price than what you will find in record stores. We have done the math, and it adds up to 10$ per vinyl, with a free one after 20 vinyls bought.
2. Besides, record stores sell you ready-made albums, while at Collectors Studio you basically create your own album, with its music and album art. Remember you will be able to choose music from a huge library containing classic and contemporary songs. There's virtually no limit to what you can listen to and put together in a vinyl. Imagine a classic rock anthology, with a Doors song between a Joy Division and a Jimi Hendrix.
3. If you prefer classic albums anyway, you can put together the songs of your favorite album into a vinyl.

Well, thank you a lot for your attention if you've kept reading until here! Our enterprise will be opening in France like next year or so, but we really want to know the opinion of English-speaking collectors and vinyl fans! You can write to me personally at silvio.figeac@gmail.com to give me your opinion (what you like, what you don't like, if you expect something else…) or post an entry. I would also like to know the opinion of the records industry about this please…

Yours truly,

Silvio,
(33)6 71 53 39 35
Manager, Collectors Studio,
Bordeaux, France.

Ron Sexsmith – Time Being

I've always quite enjoyed Ron Sexsmith without being a huge fan. I did however love Cobblestone Highway and retriever, and indeed gave the excellent Diverse pressing of Cobblestone Highway a pretty good review on this site.

So here we have another reissue of his latest album on vinyl by another new label called Coppertree Records. They seem to be based in Wales and, well, I don't know very much about them at all.

But they do have something to say for themselves and this record…

Coppertree Records start their vinyl campaign with a lavish 180g heavyweight pressing of Ron Sexsmith’s Time Being. His eighth album proper, and his first to have the tender loving Coppertree vinyl treatment. Considered the singer / songwriter’s songwriter, Ron Sexsmith has earned immense respect from his peers, critics, and a devoted international audience. The Toronto based singer / songwriter boasts a who’s who of celebrity endorsees such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle (who produced Ron's 2001 album, Blue Boy), Sheryl Crow, John Hiatt, Bono, John Prine, Radiohead, and Chris Martin (who dueted on the track Gold In Them Hills). Coppertree Records have taken due care and attention to the finest of details, and produced a lavish and desirable release that will have any vinyl junkie palpitating at the very thought of it. The heavyweight 180g vinyl pressing is housed in a full colour inner sleeve which is stored in a beautiful double weight, embossed and hand numbered sleeve. To have Ron Sexsmith on ‘the original analogue format’ is essential, so stay tuned, as Coppertree Records may have some more announcements to make with regards to Ron Sexsmith’s material

The packaging is simple enough. An embossed single outer sleeve and a flimsy inner picture sleeve. Everything is glossy!! 🙂

Sound quality is very good. Its credited as being mastered by Bob Ludwig which is always a good sign. however the vinyl will have been mastered by someone else. There are no problems though. Its a good vinyl pressing and the sound comes through nicely on the vinyl though does sound digital. Good digital.

Lyrically as always, Ron is quirky interesting and thought provoking. No standard statements here.

Unfortunately the music, while not bad, does not seem to be such an instant classic as the two previous albums mentioned above. Sexsmith has a laid back style which never exactly reaches out and grabs you anyway. Here the music seems to do so even less. I see from the website that its been getting 4* reviews all over. I think I'll give it a 3.

Portable record Players

The other day i saw this in HMV.

It looked kind of cool and I might get one. It reminded me of these

What a cool name, the Sound Burger! 🙂

and this classic in car player from Philips. Only 45rpm singles mind!

I'd say that doesn't skip.

Having a look around the web there's a surprising array of funky record players available out there. Modern models. They look old but are really a cheap and tacky plastic. Usually anyway.

Like here

and here

Anyone know of any other interesting turntables?? 🙂

Links

www.steepletone.com

www.numark.com

http://www.retroradiozone.com/record_players___turntables.html