Record of the Week: Yagya: Rigning 2009 EX++ LP

I’m a big fan of dub and a much smaller fan of techno…but put ‘em together as dub techno and I practically fall over with joy and excitement. There’s something about that subtle warmth of the bass and underwater-sounding beats meshing with the colder clinical techno elements that really connects with my synapses. I think it’s all to do with the way my brain is wired as moves me beautifully.

This album is one of my top 5 dub techno releases because it also adds a distinctly melancholy element to the music and I bloody love a bit of sadness in music as I’m a firm believer that happiness is an overrated concept best enjoyed but idiots. (I was a big Joy Division fan when I was 13 so what sort of chance did I have?).

 

‘Rigning’ is Icelandic for ‘Rain’ and the whole album feels like you are watching the rain from inside when you really need to go out and have fun, but being weirdly contented with your position. Malcolm, my dog, hates going out in the rain and, when I’ve got him ready for his morning walk and he sees the rain he will look up at me in a defiantly sad manner – as if to say “you go, I’m buggered if I’m leaving the house”.

I’d like to think that this is the soundtrack to his thoughts.

Record of the Week: Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? 1979 Picture Disc LP

In late 1979 I had just started big school and my pencil case was already covered with logos of the Pistols, Clash and Sham 69 when I met another kid of the same age who told me that his favourite band was Devo. The name was vaguely familiar from the pages of Smash Hits but I didn’t know what they sounded like so he lent me this album. I took it home and played it on my dansette (I wouldn’t get a ‘proper’ record player ‘til Christmas ’79) and instantly hated every second of it. The stupid vocals and stupid rhythms and stupid other sounds just irritated the tits off me and I took it back the next day, telling him that I thought it was ‘alright’ (I was still weighing up cool points so didn’t want to pour scorn on it in case it turned out to be something cool).

Fast forward another 12 years or so and a girlfriend moved in with me, which led to the merging of record collections and the reappearance of this in my life. I remember telling her how much I hated it and she begged me to open my mind and try again, sitting me down and putting it on.


2 minutes into the first track I was hit by a thunderbolt and I suddenly got it – I finally understood what they were trying to do and that the staccato rhythms weren’t as stupid as my 12 year old mind had originally thought. The vocals were still pretty damn goofy but at least the keyboard sounds were more enjoyable than they were in 1979

But I still hated it and told her so (I thought their version of ‘satisfaction’, in particular,  was one of the most irritating pieces of music in existence). The relationship was doomed from that day on.


Now, all these decades later I actually don’t mind it, although I wouldn’t jump at playing it very often – at some point in time I actually ended up with a copy of my own but, for the life of me, can’t recall where it came from. I still feel the same way about ‘satisfaction’ though.

This particular copy is the bee’s knees/mutt’s nuts/pollock’s bollocks edition of this misunderstood (by me) album –being a gorgeous picture disc in a die cut sleeve with original insert AND original flexi (it’s good to see that Virgin used the least 2 audiophile
methods of playback here – 70s picture discs and flexis didn’t exactly produce
crystal clear playback) all in fantastic condition.

So don’t listen to me – get it yourself and be waaaaaay cooler than me.

Record of the week: Wedding Present: Make me smile 10″

Back in the late ‘80s I knew this moron called Lee, who used to proclaim that Stock, Aitken & Waterman were the greatest thing to happen to music ever and that everybody else was crap – he even used to slag The Beatles off because they “weren’t in the charts anymore”…

Naturally, my big ole musical brain used to throb with anger at such stupidity – especially  after he confessed that his SAW obsession was NOT as a result of post  Minogue masturbation guilt, and I used to take pleasure in arguing the toss over his terrible musical taste. Amongst a million other bands at the time,  I loved me some  Wedding Present (still do, actually) and they had just released their ‘Brassneck’ single – so I used to hold that up to him as an example of everything that was pure and true about great music. Given his dedication to proving me wrong he actually went to the local Our Price and asked them to play him said 7” along with a few other Weddoes tracks. 

The next day he made a special effort to find me and  told me that Mr Gedge & Co were the absolute worst band he’d ever heard and that ‘all the songs sound the same’. 

I’d like to think it was Lee the twat who the band was quoting on the front of  THIS RECORD but I suspect it probably wasn’t. Unfortunately there are a lot of Lees in the World, and they are all WRONG. 

30 years later Mr Gedge is still slogging away and Stock Aitken & Waterman? Whatever happened to them eh?

P.S If for some reason you have a problem with a not-quite-big-enough 10″ then i’m happy to push your eyes towards the 12″ version that has a full 2 more inches but a much shitter sleeve.

Latest Update 28/02/2018

We’ve added some brilliant new albums lately – from all genres and all guaranteed to tickle yer musical taste buds. Here’s a selection of some of the hits, misses and downright failures, click on the photo to go to the item:

Faction: Heaven orig EX+ 1990 UK A1/B1 LP

Quickspace (Supersport): Supo Spot orig EX+ 1997 UK Ltd Handmade LP

 

 

 

 

Splinter: The Place I Love orig EX+ 1974 UK A2/B2 front opening LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trapeze: You Are The Music We’re Just The Band EX 1972 UK P1/P1 LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guns N Roses: G N’ R Lies orig VG+ 1988 German 1A/1B LP UNCENSORED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free: Tons of Sobs UK A2/B2 Pink I label 2nd pressing 1969 UK LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Ruth: Birds of America ltd edition NEW LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Young Gods: The Young Gods orig EX+ 1987 UK A1/B1 LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fall: Seminal Live orig EX++ 1989 UK A1/B1 LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After The Fire: 80-f NEAR MINT 1980 LP with PROMO PACK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various: Southern Comfort 2 RARE 1983 Minimal Synth Near Mint LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snotty Scotty & the Hankies: S/T Near Mint 1988 Doo-Dah Private press LP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Band Of Susans: Here Comes Success orig EX+ 1994 UK A1/B1 LP

The Bluetones: Expecting To Fly orig Near Mint 1996 UK LP + insert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, new things are being added every single day so come see us soon.

Cheers

Phil mono-stere

Record of the week: Visionary Hours – Beyond the White LP

My New Years Resolution for this year was to promote labels that I believed in – we purposely don’t sell many new records and CDs on the site as we couldn’t possibly hope to compete with the South American rivers of the selling World and because, quite frankly, it would bore the shit out of us.

Funnily enough – this was the first New Years Resolution that i’ve ever managed to keep…

The labels that I want to promote are labels that follow a few rules set down by me as Dictator of the mono-stereo World: the music must be both interesting, there must be an overall aesthetic or tactile quality to the releases and they must be run by people who give a shit about what they do.

The first of these ‘Labels of Love’ is Preserved Sound – a label run by Hayden Berry from the artistic centre that is Hebden Bridge and personifies my golden set of rules. Releasing most things on limited hand numbered CD, with an occasional vinyl release, everything has an immediate feel of artisanal quality and attention to detail. The sleeves are always handmade and the music is always hand picked with love.

Visionary Hours is Hayden Berry himself, along with a large list of collaborators (including Bruno Sanfilippo, Richard Youngs, Western Skies Motel, Adrian Lane, Trigg & Gusset, Isnaj Dui and 3+ among others), with the pieces constructed around elegant guitar pieces and the other musicians freely adding their own contributions. Berry chose which piece of music to send which artist (sometimes more than one artist and so, in a sense, some artists were unwittingly collaborating with other artists) and then edited the contributions to create the final pieces.

The resulting album is simply beautiful, with the guitar interweaving amongst clarinet, piano, cello, zither, organ, flute, violin, fender Rhodes and saxophone. The different instruments and sounds are always complimentary to the guitar picking, and even letting space between the sounds resonate more so than the actual instruments in some cases.

This feeling of space gives the album an overall feeling of lightness and relaxed ambience, with the moments of silence being equally as important as the moments of sound. This impression of the air hanging around the music brings to mind the last two Talk Talk albums with their equally beautiful production, editing and attention to detail.

I have played this album more than any other in the last month and yet it still offers up new experiences with every play – such is the depth of beauty and the way everything hangs together whilst still retaining an air of minimalism.

Available on LP (99 copies only)
and
CD (150 copies only)

Record of the week: Fern Kinney: Groove Me LP

Ok, ok Mr Pedant – this is more ‘Song of the Week’ than ‘Record of the Week’ as I am choosing one particular track from the album, but it’s my site and I make the rules so…

In complete contrast to last week’s offering of anarchist punk minute long shoutings, this is an incredible near 9 minute disco groove with Ms Kinney intoning her pleas for her suitor to ‘groove her’ over the top. A cover of a 1970 King Floyd soul tune, this version takes the original song apart and leaves the bare bones around for Kinney to pick over.

The shuffling rhythm jumps in after 5 seconds and never really changes throughout the song – it just gets overlaid with synth flourishes and very little else, taking root in your brain and holding on for dear life. About halfway through, when the percussion gets more upfront, it takes on an almost motorik feel and makes you appreciate how close to funky grooviness Neu were when they recorded ‘Hallogallo’ (really!). I have found a Youtube link to this fantastic track and, although it’s not exactly audiophile quality (you’ll need the vinyl for that, obviously) here it is:

Slightly dodgy recording…

Fern Kinney is most certainly not a trendy name to drop these days, truly unappreciated (mainly due to the pop pap of the follow-up to this, the slinky-but-lightweight ‘Together we are beautiful’) but this an absolute Studio 54 era classic and deserves to be heard.  I can imagine that this would’ve sounded incredible, rolling out of Studio 54’s huge speakers whilst you confidently strutted around the room after ingesting a gram of coke snorted from the thigh of a 6ft adonis/goddess before heading back to your SoHo loft for an orgy.

Or even from some shitty speakers at the village hall disco, after ingesting a bottle of cider before heading home to your mum’s house…

Yep. It’s THAT good.

Get it while it’s hot,
HERE

Record of the week: Rudimentary Peni – Farce 7″

Picture the scene: it’s 1982 and two fourteen year old boys living deep in the country head off to the big city (Exeter) for their annual summer holiday record buying trip. These boys are massive fans of punk music in general and anarcho-punk in particular.  Anarcho-punk served up a cornucopia of pleasures – great music, brilliant artwork, information packed record sleeves and bloody cheap records (‘pay no more than…’ emblazoned on the front of every sleeve, and woe betide any record shop that dared to try and sell them for more).

All of these things are very important to these two boys – but  the cheapness of the records made them infinitely accessible to people relying on the contents of piggy banks and parental donations, so a dash to the ‘crass records’ section of record shops became the modus operandi  of all record buying excursions.

As normal, the two boys study the contents of the independent chart in Smash Hits magazine prior to the trip  and both become very excited about one record in particular:  ‘Farce’ by Rudimentary Peni. This record ticked all the boxes necessary for swift purchase – it was on crass records, they had a great name, it looked brilliant and it was only 80p.

It also had 11 tracks,

This was very important in the VFM required world of skint punky teenagers and so, of course, they both bought a copy.

On the way home,  in the back of the car, all the sleeves were unfolded and studied with meticulous obsession – anarchist viewpoints were digested and lyrics read (if the parents in the front seats had known how many ‘fucks’ were present on the sleeves behind them they would’ve thrown them out the car, so the boys kept it quiet – a small victory against the patriarchy that crass/all the other bands  told us to fight against, or avoidance of a telling off…) but none had the effect on them that the ‘peni did.

The sleeve was a mass of ridiculously detailed artwork, the like of which had never been seen before. Normally these sleeves would be full of mushroom clouds, CND badges, dead animals, soldiers, policemen and crude depictions of Reagan and Thatcher – but the Peni  drawings were bizarre depictions of amputees, flying popes, coffins, fetuses and other inhabitants of a scary alternate universe.  Years later it would be revealed that the artist, Nick Blinko, suffered from severe schizophrenia and that the drawings were the products of a tortured mind – but one single look at these immediately told you that something wasn’t right.

The artwork raised a lot of questions (and no answers)  so what the hell would the music sound like?  Needless to say, even John Peel hadn’t played the ‘Peni (certainly not when the boys were listening anyway) and so the boys hadn’t a clue what to expect…

The first track (‘Sacrifice’) started normally – buzzing guitar over a muffled rhythm section bashing out a good punky riff, but then – 9 seconds in – the vocals came in, and it suddenly sounds like no other band on Earth. Vocalist Nick Blinko’s vocals sound deranged and sad, like a man crawling out of a dark mental hole screaming for attention and pleading for help. in 1982 I (for I was one of those boys) had never heard anything like it and sitting here now, 35 years later, there is still nothing that comes close.

47 seconds later it ends.

And then the next track starts, then the next, then the next… until, finally, after 6 tracks (and about 7 minutes) side 1 ends and you are left physically and emotionally  drained after the onslaught of anguish and anger. And scared (but excited) to turn it over and see what side 2 had in store…  Having this record, at the time, felt like being a member of a secret society – no-one else like them (no-one in our vicinity, certainly) and nobody knew anything about them – they didn’t appear in the music papers and it took a lot of digging just to find out that they also had an earlier 7″  out the previous year.

35 years on, and revisiting this wonderful slab of vinyl, it still amazes/delights/scares me in equal measures – and that’s a brilliant recommendation.