Tag Archives: records

Week 1, 2015: Danny, Ireland

dannyWhat made you start collecting records?
My initial exposure to vinyl came through my mother’s collection, which she amassed through her youth in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Her favourite band was Queen and she bought albums or singles as they were released largely by mail order. The first vinyl I consciously remember hearing at home was her “War of the Worlds” DLP while following the story through the booklet as well as continually staring at the fantastic artwork on the gatefold sleeve! I was really besotted with the sound, feel and presentation.

Sometime later, she also introduced me to Alice Cooper “Alice Goes To Hell” and “Welcome To My Nightmare” LPs both of which combined that sense of narrative with creepy rocking music. All three records were essentially on permanent loan to me by the time I had my first record player around the age of 15 years old and remain in my collection today even though she is still alive!

dturntableDo you remember your first purchase?
Growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, cassette was the format of choice. I began borrowing original copies from my older cousins and friends from school to feed my craving for more heavy music. My first purchase was Metallica “…And Justice For All”. Over the next twelve months, I continued buying original, albeit often second hand copies, of cassettes from friends. Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Slayer. I was reluctant to waste money on CDs as they tended to cost another 50% more than brand new original cassettes and without a part-time job in my early teens itcould have easily been a month between buying albums unless somebody else was culling their collection.

But it did mean that there was time to really absorb the music of each and every one. You know, playing them repeatedly on an old twin cassette deck by day as well as on a personal stereo when going to sleep at night for weeks and weeks at a time…Even without my own turntable, I began browsing the vinyl stands in a local independent record store that had been recently recommended to me. I was stunned at how much was available, boxes and boxes of second-hand titles in mint condition, the same price or often cheaper than the cassette albums I had been buying.

Comparing the detail of the artwork against small cassettes sleeves, large inserts with lyrics and my memories of those earlier experiences with the format, I thought it was time to take the plunge. Sepultura “Beneath The Remains” LP! Shortly thereafter, I was speaking to my cousin’s friend while waiting on the bus home from school. He told me he had two copies of Metallica “Garage Days Re-revisted” 12” so I promptly agreed to call round to buy that spare. As I gradually amassed more and more vinyl as my preferred medium for music my parents bought me a turntable for my bedroom…

How long have you been collecting?
Over twenty years now. My parents were genuinely surprised when I started buying LP’s just as they were making the transition to CD’s. They were even more surprised when I started ordering new albums in the post from overseas like my mother had done twenty years before me. Anyway, this pattern has continued throughout my twenties and thirties, as well as raiding local independent music shops, record fairs and mail order lists as often and as thoroughly as I could…

hawkwind

What sort of music do you mainly focus on?
My focus has always been based on Hard Rock and Heavy Metal although I have continuously had an experimental streak too. Back in my teens, whether we were buying albums locally or by mail my friends and I agreed to purchase different albums so that we could compare and share by way of blank C90 audio cassettes! Those albums that thoroughly impressed would obviously need to be bought as a personal copy further down the line. But again, it did make the most of our limited budgets. In this way, I took a punt on strange gems such as Paul Chain “Alkahest” LP or Ved Buens Ende “Written In Waters” DLP. Back then, the majority of my burgeoning vinyl stack would have been built around Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Venom LPs. You know, the classics. But there are always gaps though from that ‘70s and ‘80s period. In the past two or three years, I have made more of an effort tofill them in and was very pleased to source some of the old Atomkraft, Deathwish, Legend (Jersey), Raven, Satan, Tank and Warfare LPs I needed. For older original pressings, my difficulty is that there are not enough independent music stores still standing or regular record fairs locally. Sometimes whenever people have given up on the format and sell their whole collection, you can strike gold. Quite sporadic really because I prefer not to deal with unknown overseas sellers to avoid disappointment either in an inaccurate assessment of the vinyl or poor packaging for an item that cannot be replaced…

Original versions aside, my remaining efforts would be divided between sourcing new pressings for my personal collection and my mailorder. There is a certain overlap between the two although I know that not everything I like will sell. In the past few months, this has leant more towards stranger Dark Prog, Psych, Kraut and Space Rock by way of the back catalogues of Black Widow, Kommun2, and Sulatron. Some labels you can just trust as purveyors of good taste!

How do you discover new music?
My patterns have not really changed. It still comes down to word of mouth, reading zines or online blogs and scouring mail order lists for appealing descriptions. Gigs and festivals too. Of course it is now possible to stream so much music online although I rarely allow myself more than one song as a teaser. For me, an album should be experienced from start to finish on my stereo!

Where do you prefer to buy your records?
I prefer to buy albums in person at stores and fairs. But as previously explained, my collection would be infinitely diminished if it were not for mail order services and who can resist the excitement of 12” by 12” packages delivered to the front door?

paul chain collection

How is the Irish scene these days compared to the time you got into it?
In the early to mid ‘90s, I was too poor to travel to gigs in Belfast or Dublin. By the time I had my first job in ’97, there were no local gigs to speak of. The Troubles were raging on and foreign bands were too nervous to come here. But as I began to make contact with Irish underground bands by writing letters I discovered that there were smaller underground gigs scattered north and south if willing to travel. In April ’98, I helped Waylander run a bus from Portadown to an unlikely all-day event in the Folkhouse in Abbeyleix. Some seven or eight bands were on the bill and I still have the poster we used to encourage people to book a seat on it. Many of the friendships I made that day connected me to the heart of the underground and those faces remain active to the day as bands, promoters, distributors and labels.

From that point on, I travelled to as many gigs as I could and bought demos or albums available at them. The home-grown bands generally leant towards Death Metal although the lesser-known Graveyard Dirt, Thy Sinister Bloom, Arcane Sun and Scald forged a sound of their own. In the next couple of years, bands began to start travelling here again. Solstice,Waylander and Warning on the “New Dark Age” tour were all phenomenal. Cathedral hit the Rosetta Bar in Belfast a matter of weeks later and Anathema in the following spring. The same bills went to Dublin too although as a considerably larger city it would also have drawn larger bands such as Morbid Angel. Dublin always had more appetite for extreme sounds whereas Belfast has to this day more of a preference for Hard Rock.

There was a great network of records fairs around the country during that same period as well as a few independent shops in every town. Between Bangor and Belfast, I had more than enough opportunity to blow all of my pennies on old and new records. It is perhaps what I miss most from that era because of the range of titles concentrated in single shops or halls and at very affordable prices too. There was so much that was new or unfamiliar and it paid to take risks on covers that promised good music. By the guts of ten years ago, much of that infrastructure began to crumble and it was obvious how much less vinyl was circulating here hence the need to begin turning to overseas sellers for older titles. That lack of availability had a detrimental impact on the number of them I continued buying so the balance gradually shifted to newer albums or re-releases of classics almost all of which would have been sourced in England, France, Italy and Germany.

Any special relationship to Irish heroes Thin Lizzy? (one of my fave bands!)
Hmm, they were not one of my big bands when growing up and I still feel that many of my international friends love them more than me! Perhaps if I were ten years older it would have been different. “Vagabonds of the Western World” remains my favourite album and I would have loved seeing them on tour way back then. It’s always a blast when Slough Feg or Argus covers the band on their Irish tours too. From a local perspective, the Horslips possibly made as much of an impression on me because I loved that blend of traditional music and mythology with Hard Rock! Anybody out there still listen to “The Tain” or “The Book of Invasions” LPs?

paul chain test pressing

Name three records that are special to you, and tell us the story of how you got hold of them.
Looking back at my teens, I was knocked for six by a song called “Master of the Universe” by Hawkwind. I knew nothing of the band and had heard none of my friends enthusing about the music. So began my personal journey to hear more. Whilst their ’70s albums particularly struck a chord, it was the “Space Ritual” Volumes 1 & 2 that remain firm favourites. I bought the second vinyl first in a very small local record store in Bangor. I loved the colours, the artwork and the way the gatefold spine was at the bottom rather than the side. More importantly, the music was so damned raw, heavy and spaced out. It was years later before I found the companion DLP and cannot remember exactly where I purchased it. But as it was already part of my collection when I moved to my first house in Belfast, it must have been from a record fair or independent store thereabouts. Again, killer artwork, which was made all the more special by some very strange ink drawings on the inner sleeve. They must have been tripped out visions of the music and I have spent as much time lying on the carpet staring at them as I have the actual gatefold sleeve. Hawkwind’s performance here possibly edges it for me.

It is almost impossible to highlight the most special Paul Chain vinyl in my collection. My love affair began with the “Alkahest” LP, which I purchased directly from Rise Above when they ran a genuinely eclectic and affordable mail order. Thanks to a tip from a friend, I bought the “Ash” MLP (yellow logo with black vinyl) from I cannot remember where. By then, my thirst for Paul Chain was insatiable. I began blindly hunting for any other titles because without making a purchase I could not hear the songs. Do bear in mind the LPs were rare and the CDs often rarer still. Through Black Widow, I sourced quite a few more originals such as “Detaching From Satan” MLP and “Highway to Hell” Picture Disc. When I bought in bulk from Quasar Records at the time their shop was closing, they included a surprise signed test pressing of “Whited Sepulchres” LP! The remaining albums and singles were generally sourced from private collectors in Italy. The “Opera Decima” 3LP boxed set and “Violet Art of Improvisation” DLP in particular took quite some time. However, the “King of the Dream” 12″ with Sabotage on the reverse possibly provided the most elation because it was the very last one I needed and the building atmosphere on that song, the very first time I dropped the needle, reaffirmed the genius of Paul Chain and his cohorts throughout the collective’s many guises. Sanctis Ghoram RIP! As an aside, I am genuinely pleased that so much of the back catalogue has since been rereleased at affordable prices so anybody with a passing interest can now listen to Paul Chain. It is perhaps a pity though that so many came at once after being long out of print because it takes time to absorb and the demand seems to have been somewhat overestimated by labels. Very much a sign of the times. Not sure I understand the merit of expanding “Alkahest” to a DLP to mirror the CD edition with almost a fourth side of silence for the short hidden track. Or the artificial construct of “Vivid Eyes in the Dark” LP from the “Relative Tapes” boxed set. If anything, surely it should have been part of a bigger vinyl boxed set than the way it was presented without any explanation? But with Paul Chain no longer involved, of his volition, it should not be that surprising these imperfections have crept into being.

Lastly, it has to be Revelation “Salvation’s Answer” LP. As teenagers, a friend and I took a punt on a couple of albums from our local record store. He picked this one from the racks, I opted for Stillborn “Permanent Solution” LP and we made cassette copies of the other vinyl the following weekend. While I was enjoying mine I instantly preferred his find. The music was young and raw. Slow and heavy then prone to unexpected bursts of speed. But it was underpinned with melancholy. Honest and very human. In the midst of Death and Black melee of the early to mid ’90s, it was a breath of fresh air. Doom proclaimed the large round sticker! Doom that recalled the roots Heavy Metal and Thrash. Combined with that alternative pointy logo on the insert, photos of a very young band and the thoughtful lyrics it made a deep impression. Over the years, I tried to buy or trade it from my friend. He never would let it go. In fact, I’m not sure he actually ever said no. My request simply met with silence. Later still, if memory serves me correctly, Oli Richling, the Doom Dealer, bought old warehouse stock from Rise Above included this long sought for record. As I was flying to Doom Shall Rise that spring of 2004 and he agreed to keep a copy aside for me to purchase at the festival. Needless up say, I was very happy walking down the Chapel steps with it in my hands again. A formative album from my youth and a band whose sixth record (only their second on vinyl) I would release the following decade.

revelation LP

You have been running Pariah Child for a long time. Please tell us about your label!
Label? I still find it strange that some think of Pariah Child in that way. First and foremost, it remains a zine. It evolved from my previous publication, Abandon All Hope. My motivation had been to hold the breach where printed zines proudly stoodin the ‘90s. I missed Reflections of Doom, Isten, Fitted Kitchens of the Living Damned and Steel Conjuring. I missed the detail, the wit and the enthusiasm. With the turning tide of the internet, communication became much easier although nothing, to this day, really replaces holding a tome in your hands. My focus was my tastes and space was not for sale as many of those who asked at the time will recall. I printed two issues under both names and circulated 1,500 copies worldwide. But the weight of handling everything alone as Pariah Child took its toll in the wake of real life. In 2009, after a silence of three years, I penned another issue, which I considered to be my fourth, after an earlier version was partially shelved and printed elsewhere. Two or three attempts to have it designed by those more able than me came to nothing so it gathered dust. A lot of dust. Then eventually a newly-forged alliance with Hell Bent For Metal under the banner of Masters of the Pit resurrected that old ghost two years ago. Spurred on, we joined forces again and we printed a brand new issue in October. If you still crave real zines, it’s 80 A5 pages crammed with lively features on varied bands such as Queen Elephantine, The Hounds of Hasselvander, Rise And Shine, The Black, The Story of Death SS Part Two and Brad Moore (Argus artist) amongst much more.

In a bid to spread the zine further and to champion the bands included in its pages, a small mailorder evolved organically around it. Very limited copies of demos, singles and albums.Ten to twelve years ago, long before YouTube or Bandcamp was taken for granted, with all manner of music only a click away, I found the underground community very willing to try what was presented almost regardless of the format or style if quality was guaranteed.Then there have been a few bands for whom I have gone that extra mile again. Eight Hands For Kali, was the first. They gave me permission to press copies of their independent EPs, “Mount Meru” and “Himalayan Necromantia” in 2005 and 2007 respectively. I manufactured 200 copies each, both of which were well received, sold quickly and requests still come for them. In 2009, when I began writing the zine again, I finally took the plunge to press vinyl when Gnod welcomed the opportunity to co-release their debut album with Pariah Child. Since then, I have pressed another five vinyl, some as co-releases, some alone, with Oresund Space Collective, Heathendom, Argus, Revelation and Second Grave. My focus has always been living bands regardless of their style. Even on paper, they are quite an eclectic horde. Earlier in the winter, the Yoshiwara Collective and Pariah Child also sent the latest album by Ogre into production as a special LP and 7” single set. This is my boldest project to date and genuinely hope it will help earn the band the higher profile they deserve when released early February 2015. While I have always favoured print media and analogue pressings, earlier this year Pariah Child took its first step into the present! I have begun to compile an archive of my written material and releases via http://www.pariahchild.co.uk so those that missed the original issues can dip into what I hope remain intriguing historical testimonies. This is really only a hint of what will come as the vaults are deep and will be gradually supplemented with new features. Of course there are some choice items for sale too although I must stress that they are not always brand new. This is not motivated as a commercial venture and I have no interest in distributing all and sundry. Instead there is a small tried and tested selection that often goes back decades because those albums made an impression and remain vital. It may often follow that I have also already written about them or will do in future. So when you think of Pariah Child, please remember it is not just another label flooding the market with an endless string of re-releases or young hip hopefuls. It is a much more personal affair that moves at my own slow pace. There has been a small yet loyal following over the years, forever cyclic, as some fall off the edge of the world only to be replaced by new faces. But each and every letter and purchase has been greatly appreciated.

And finally, what do you see in the future of record collecting?
Given the vast number of new titles and rereleases currently being pressed, month on month, it will be very interesting to see what happens when demand takes a dip. And it will. There is no hope in trying to keep pace with the machine. I have already seen quite a few people building up collections only to give up and flog the lot for whatever reasons they might have! It will do no harm to see the death of a raft of greedy labels too. We all need a little time to step back and review what music really matters. Record collecting should be about cherishing the music you love. A collection should be living and breathing. Cut the dead wood. There is no point hogging unnecessary titles. As people move on or ultimately die, plenty of titles, good and bad, should come back into circulation for more reasonable prices as tastes of the time shift. But classics will remain classics, and sure, pockets of avid collectors will remain everywhere. What intrigues me is which albums will be considered classics in ten or twenty years from now.

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Week 11, 2014: Bernard, France

ImageHello Bernard ! Please introduce yourself, and tell us your musical history.
My name is Bernard Gueffier. My interest for music started with the first Progressive releases back in the late 60’s with Moody Blues.
I was so impressed by this new creative style that I became rapidly a great fan of Prog, searching and buying vinyls throughout Europe. I was living in a small French town were it was not easy to find the latest LP released, so I used to buy though mail orders from UK and Germany. After a while, more and more friends asked me to import records for them and this became my first business in the musical field. Later in the 80’s, I observed that all record companies forgot about Progressive Rock and turned to more profitable styles such as Punk or New Wave. I found particularly inacceptable that any music style may be condamned only for profit reasons. This conclusion led to the creation of Musea Records in 1985 as a Non-Profit organization.

Do you remember your first purchase?
Absolutely ! During a stay in UK in 1969, I purchased “On the Threshold of a Dream” by Moody Blues which was my first ever LP. I was so impressed by the classical form of this album, by the use of Mellotron which gave a so strong symphonic touch to this work that I think that my taste for all Symphonic music comes from that time !

I think the French 70’s scene was different than the Italian, and UK for example, and French artists were far more inspired by bands like SOFT MACHINE, rather than YES and KING CRIMSON. Why was it like this ?? Or am I wrong ?
You are right ! One of the reasons for this is historical: in 1967 Soft Machine came to France to play their famous shows on the French Riviera, particularly in Saint Tropez. When they wanted to go back to London, Daevid Allen, an Australian citizen, was denied re-entry to the UK and forced to stay in Paris where he formed Gong. Starting from this time, this musical style later called “Canterbury scene” had two heads, one in UK, and a second one in France. Thus the influence of these groups became much important in France in the early seventies with bands like Moving Gelatine Plates, Contrepoint, Travelling etc.

ImageI know you started early with your vinyl passion. How do you think the music progressed from the time you begun to discover music to today’s style ?
Generally speaking, scientists know that any evolution is not a progressive process but rather a process evolving by irregular steps. And most observers of popular music evolution agree to consider that within de few years between 1969 and 1975, a peak of creativity happened. In a few years lots of new styles, new musical experiences, new fusions between various styles of music were invented, giving birth to the so-called Progressive Rock.
For me, most of the music released after 1975 is only the continuation and exploitation of the discoveries of the previous years, nothing quite new indeed !

Musea and it’s sublabels have been one of the most productive European progressive rock labels in the 90’s and to present time. I guess around 1000 releases, how did you manage all these releases ?
Actually we released over 1500 albums since 1985 !
After just a few years, we reached a release rhythm of one new CD every week, roughly 50 releases per year. In the first years, many of these releases were reissues of vinyls albums from the 70’s. But in the 90’s we saw lots of new Progressive bands emerging from all over the world and Musea wanted to open its catalogue to these young bands.
Musea team includes a Production Dept which handle the CD releases. Generally, we received from the bands the complete material ready for printing the CD’s, i.e audio master and graphic files for the booklet. Most of our work consists to include the legal and technical elements in these graphic files, such as bar code, logo etc. and make all legal declaration before pressing.

What sort of music do you mainly focus on?
All over the years, Musea opened several labels, each one devoted to a specific style of music: after Musea devoted to Progressive and Symphonic Rock, we lauched Musea Parallèle, with a more open musical field, Ethnea (Folk and World Music), Dreaming (Electronic Music and New Age), Great Winds (Jazz), Angular Records (Neo Prog), Bluesy Mind (Blues)…
All these different styles have their place in Musea and we do no focus on any specific style.

How do you discover new music?
After almost 30 years of existence and +1500 CD’s released, I think Musea is known in the whole world as a possibility of release for musicians creating in the above mentioned styles.
Every morning, I receive demos and albums submissions from all over the world, usually 3 to 5 each and every day of the year !!!
So it is very easy for me: i only have to listen to these submissions and decide which CD I want to release or distribute.

ImageMusea have been great to give new artists a chance to release their music, but you also did a lot of old French 70’s music. Was there a early plan to work this way ? Many labels either do new, or old music.
Our aim when starting Musea was only to promote Progressive Rock and allow this musical style to keep on existing. In the mid-80’s most available Prog albums were releases from the 70’s. This is why we started with a strong reissue collection, on vinyl at that time, with bands like Atoll, Pulsar, Sandrose, Zao, Asia Minor etc.
Then, when new artists started to compose again in this style, we opened our catalogue to their music (Jean Pascal Boffo, Minimum Vital, Halloween etc.)
Today, there are very few 70’s reissues still to be done and most of our releases are from new bands.

Please let us know more about the French vinyl collecting situation. Many
people who collect?

Yes, this is a new trend amongst French collectors: some new records stores opened, mainly devoted to vinyls, as well as new records labels reissuing albums on vinyls. But this new market is far from compensating the decrease of the CD market and remains limited to collectors.

Where do you prefer to buy your records?
Obviously, specialized record stores are the right place to buy music ! You can find rare records, and some useful advices from sellers. But of course, one can not forget the Internet stores which are sometimes the best place to find rare records.

Name three records that are special to you, and will be buried with you.
Please tell us the story of how you got hold of them.
SOFT MACHINE “Fourth”
GONG “Angels Egg”
KING CRIMSON “In the Court”

I discovered each of these albums at the time of their release when I was between 15 years old (KC) and 19 years old (GONG). I think that the first music you listen when you are an adolescent is marked forever in your memory and is the basis of your musical culture for the rest of your life. Furthermore, these albums were creative at a level that was never reached later.
At that time, my record collection was not huge as today and I could listen to the same album several hundred of times ! This is also a reason why I was so influenced by these early works.

And finally: what do you see in the future of record collecting?
Like any collection, records collection will go on for centuries, I am quite confident about this !!!

Week 50, 2013: Tobbe, Sweden

ImageWhat made you start collecting records?
Love of music, I suppose! I collected stamps, coins, hockey idol photos and similar when I was a little kid but by then
it was all about quantity, so those collections usually faded as fast as they grew. When I started to buy CD’s, I caught myself wanting to own it as much as listen to it. The four or five CD’s I had on the shelf in my room was a great pride and I could stand and look at them, feeling pretty proud as I (probably) had the best CD collection among my class mates.

Do you remember your first purchase?
My very first purchase (I think) must have been the Jenó Jandó CD recordings of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s piano sonatas.
I believe I bought this when I was about 9 years old, and it’s probably the one record from my childhood that I still carry around. Even though only 15 % of the album is playable due to scratches.. Still good album!

ImageHow long have you been collecting?
I bought a lot of CD’s in my early teens, or maybe even earlier…
I have bought records on a continuous basis since mid/late 2011, the most I own today is probably from then to now.

What sort of music do you mainly focus on?
That’s a pretty hard question – it depends on what state I am in. When I was a kid (or younger, at least) it would start out with classical music, then my father would show me his – heavily damaged -70’s colletion which mostly consisted of Black Sabbath, B.T.O and E.L.O. From there I went to some heavy metal, then some grunge, then skate punk, then indie pop & singer/songwriter music…
Right now I am focusing on punk & hardcore, mostly early 80’s stuff but also early & mid 90’s. Besides that I’m also into prog, psych, stoner, jazz, some space rock and folk music.

Image How do you discover new music?
Well, a few years ago a new world of music opened due to some new friendships, which allowed me to hear tunes I never even knew existed. And it was some sweet tunes as well! So back then my newest findings was mostly recommendations – and it still is, partially.
I’m also a pretty big fan of Discogs! I like to see an item I want from a seller, and go into the store and check out his whole stock. I would (and will) then spend hours making the order… I would check out the sleeves, look for music from interesting times, cool band names, interesting stories about the band etc. I made some really great findings that way, so it’s a nice way for me to find some music.
It might be pretty different for me as, I grew up in www times, but it’s still nice to do some detective work when discovering music; the Internet is a jungle…

Do you play any instruments yourself?
I play the piano and have done so since I was about six or seven years old, mostly classical and jazz. I did a DIY record and had some gigs when I was into being a singer/songwriter, but I have probably crossed too many genres over the years to acknowledge that record… I also like to think that I’m a decent guitarist, but I doubt it, as I am as impatient as a five year old kid when it comes to learning.. At least these days!

Where do you prefer to buy your records?
Preferably from web shops in Sweden, but also a lot from Discogs. When possible, directly from the bands. I bought a lot of jazz from Tradera (Swedish division of eBay) for a while but I got tired of being on my watch the last hour of an auction.
Whenever you go to bigger towns, it’s always nice to hit the pub and then head for the still existing record shops..

Name three records that are special to you, and tell us the story of how you got hold of them.
Well, November this year I was at Utrecht, Netherlands for the record fair.
The first stall I want to was heavily oriented in Italian music, so I went for the prog section and found Museo Rosenbach’s “Zarathustra” almost immediately. I was happier than a kid on Christmas Eve! As I got home I discovered it was not the 2009 Sony re-issue that I first thought it was. It claimed to be a Japanese re-issue from the Seven Seas label. There was only one known pressing on Zarathustra from Seven Seas (1981) and that should have been a gatefold… I still don’t know the origin of my pressing – the search continues!

Another nice one is half a year ago, when my cousin gave me a tip about his friend selling his record collection. So me and a friend went there and I found some DK and Butthole Surfers. Then my friend picked up Septic Death’s “Now That I Have The Attention…” and told me; “Hey, you went past this one!” I told my friend that the music “seems chaotic” and he said: “This is beyond chaos.” So I brought it home and listened to it, and I thought “This is Dante’s Inferno on wax. And it sounds like shit!” After a while a listened to it more frequently and nowadays, a week barely goes by without me listening to it. In the car of course, which probably makes me a irrational driver.

The last one is Carol Of Harvest‘s self-titled album from 1978. This is the first record I bought just because of the sleeve (and of course the fact that Guerssen has got a sweet catalogue!) So I listened to it a friday night on my own and was blown away by the dreamy melodies. I was also heavily impressed by singer Beate Krause, as she was only 16 years old when recording that album. The depth of her voice could have been sung by a 40 year old woman with the experience and insight of someone in their seventies..So that album kept me and the old gin bottle company for lots of fridays – something I still look forward to!

 Image

How many records do you own?
Right now I own about a thousand records, mostly LP’s but CD’s and 45’s included.
I believe around 700 of these are from the latest two and a half years, and the rest are from my spectacular adolescent years..

And finally: what do you see in the future of record collecting?
Well, the latest years there have been a lot of really nice re-issues, especially of the early 70’s progressive and psychedelic scene. There should be a clear demand for those, as they are sold out before you can get hold of them…! So I doubt the general fighting spirit of record collectors will disappear. And as long as there is a demand, someone will always be the supplier.. At least I hope so!

Week 49, 2013: John, Sweden

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What made you start collecting records?
Well… Before that, I used to collect beer cans with different motives, and other things you collect as a child. I think it was mainly because my father had many records that I got into music so heavily at a very early age. The sleeves was fantastic, and the music was good. Nazareth, Steppenwolf, Slade, Sweet, Uriah Heep. At the age of around 9, I collected bottles that you got money from, from the loca l  winos, stealing the bottles from their hands before they were finished, or closely. Spent the money on records, could be 1 a week or so. As time went by, the more money you got, and in school, I could maybe buy 2-3 albums a month. That is the very early start. The more money you got, the more you purchased.

Do you remember your first purchase?
Yes, I remember the sleeve, but not the band. It was some kind of soul band from USA I think. Would really like to know the name. But I do remember other early records I bought in the late 70’s, like THIN LIZZY, PINK FLOYD and JUDAS PRIEST. The sleeves was very important, as I never heard the bands, but the musicians looked cool & dangerous to a youngster like me.
Image How long have you been collecting ?
Well, depends on what you consider collecting. I started in 1978 to buy records. I did spend most my money on records from that day. My most insane periode was probably in the early to mid 90’s, when I bought around 3 records a day. These days, I still get records every week, but it is getting harder to locate what you need, and miss in the collection…

What sort of music do you mainly focus on?
These days it is pretty much classic rock music, and bands inspired from the classic rock movement. In my record collection there are pretty much 3 different styles, 1-Punk & hardcore from the golden age, 2-Classic heavy metal style, and some thrash / speed metal as well, and the 3rd category is progressive, psychedelic and melancholic folk music. From punk, I have most items I want, metal – yes, still buy what I am missing, and in the 3rd category, it is a lot of re-pressings. I rather buy a re-issue that sounds good, than spending a lot of money on bad condition albums, just because they are rare. I’m mostly in it for the music, and not for the value of the records. But some are not re-pressed, and then, head for an original…

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How do you discover new music?
I try and follow internet sites. There are a lot of them. One thing that I really like is to click on collectors record collections on sites like Discogs if they have a similar collection like mine. I give YouTube a good try, but never be able to find someone that delivers good music there, and no time to search for a new song every 4th minute. So internet is my main source, but no internet magazines or so, just plain collector sites.

Do you play any instruments yourself?
Well, had a time in my life where I thought I could play the 4 string bass, and did some recordings, some tours, some records, but in the end, time was running out, and had no time for it anymore. I can imagine myself in 5-7 years sitting playing bluesy stuff on the local pub against a handful of beers.

Where do you prefer to buy your records?
Internet. I live far from a record store. The internet, you can locate everything, or mostly. It is mostly about what you are willing to pay for a record. I like Discogs, but also check out record sellers private stock, as there are mostly much more listed there, compared to their Discogs stock. I very rarely goes into the auction, as I am pretty tired of those who puts their bids in 3 seconds before it ends. Used to be heavily into eBay, but that site I have abandoned since long now.

Name three records that are special to you, and tell us the story of how you got hold of them.
Well…this is the hardest, but it will probably be THIN LIZZY – “Black Rose”, just because it was the second album I ever bought, and listened to this 1000 times. It is one of the few ones I will be buried with. Secondly, maybe the live album of MOTORHEAD “No sleep till Hammersmith”, as I was totally blown away when listening to this the first time. I could not believe anything could be that hard & intense, and it lead me into a completely new world of aggression in music. Third one…..hmmm…..maybe the 2066 AND THEN – “Reflections of the future” as it got me into a whole new world of progressive & psychedelic in the early 90’s.

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And finally: what do you see in the future of record collecting ?
Well, it will continue, but most records will be thrown away as they are pretty unsellable. There will always be a demand I suppose, and some records will skyrocket. It is getting pretty tough when one of my favourite bands, SAINT VITUS, releases a tour only M-LP, and you gotta pay 100 USD for it, when it’s brand new. In some way, I wish there would be larger editions of the records that are pressed these days, but also, understand the problems in todays record industry. On the other hand, how many records in the 80’s were made in 500 editions ?? Bummer…So I get it now, and not in 1 year – saves you a lot of bucks !