As the nights draw in and the mince pies appear on the supermarket shelves, what says autumn more than….. Another CD Swap! After much soul-searching your genial hosts @moseley-moles and @kid-dynamite are back to give the much-maligned CD format its rightful place as the repository of your obscure mixes for one more spin of the CD club. For those who’ve been away for the last couple of years or are new around here, the idea is fiendishly simple and oh-so-90s Choose twelve tracks around a theme and pop them on a CD. Post them to a couple of other people, listen to theirs, then review online. So what’s the theme this time – the Kid says it’s time for Change..of heart, of mind, of gear, of sides…whatever you wish. Timetable and full details as ever in the first comment. And don’t waste a track on this one, we all know how it goes.
And via the magic of a Kickstarter project for only e999 these guys are promising that you can. The machine itself looks gorgeous but really? A breathless Wired article (is there any other sort?) says this excitedly: The Phonocut is an analog vinyl lathe, the first consumer device capable of making custom records immediately, right there in your home (assuming you’re willing to pay $1,100 for the privilege).
The device cuts 10-inch vinyl records, which can hold about 10 to 15 minutes of audio on each side. It’s a connected device; a companion app helps with formatting and song arrangement to better fit your music onto the two sides. But at its core, the Phonocut was designed for simplicity. All you have to do is plug in an audio cable, like from a headphone jack, and press Play.
“It has to be idiot-proof,” says Florian “Doc” Kaps, an Austrian analog enthusiast and Phonocut cofounder. “Even I myself should be in a position to cut the records.”
The machine works in real time. As the music plays, a diamond stylus etches the sound wave straight into the surface of the vinyl. Theoretically, you could put any audio you want on there—a » Continue Reading.
A reddit thread on the demise of emusic led me to this – a online musical locker/library/cloud backup that you can upload all your digital music files to and play through your pc. Nothing new there, like Google play. But it’s got an ios/Android app – again like Play (but unlike Play on the ios which of course doesn’t (I think) have the option for offline play. ibroadcast claims to be free, to store all your music for streaming, and to let you easily build offline playlists for music on the go. So it’s like Spotify if spotify only used your files and was free. Happy to pay for a family Spotify, but the combination of having my many digital music files on my phone easily organisable for free is very seductive as backup and phone. So anyone using it, any experiences good or bad? As far as I can see they are building up their user base and will introduce a premium sometime soon. Thinking it can sit happily as backup with occasional phone use for travel. Anyone using/want to start using with me and check in a couple of months?
I realise some people are going to say ‘what itunes, still’, but for those who do any chance of some advice? Yesterday I opened it as normal and it had changed Edit/Preferences/itunes media folder location from my hard drive to C: and thus could not find any songs as they are all on the hard drive. changing it to the external hard drive in this dialogue box doesn’t work, and everything I close and reopen it it resets to the C:UsersmoseleymolesMusiciTunesiTunes Media instead of the desired F:Back Up Feb 2011Music which is where all the music is. Can anyone help a brother out here? A quick google suggests resetting the Music Library – but that’s not the problem it loads all the playlists, just won’t look for the music in the right place.
Year: 2019 Director: James Gray
Brad Pitt’s interstellar epic has received mostly laudatory reviews, I’m more in two minds about it. Let’s start with the positive shall we, as in these dark times we need all the cheer we can get. The whole thing looks fantastic. The opening sequence, where Pitt is knocked off a space elevator stretching from the earth’s surface into space, is one any Bond movie would be proud of. From there we get a series of sharply-realised environments – a moonbase which looks and sounds like Luton Airport; a grimly functional government facility on Mars; and spaceship interiors which look credible and claustrophobic. Pitt’s face, on which much of the movie rests, is entering its craggy hard-bitten phase like some planetary surface after one too many orbits. Space is quiet, mysterious and empty – with humans and craft small fragile particles of light and warmth.
There’s lots to say about our obsession with wellbeing, Pitt is constantly being checked for his psychological stability and someone proudly proclaims that his heart-rate has never risen over 80 (calling to mind ‘Jerome, Jerome the metronome’ from one of our favourite movies Gattaca. Criminally passed over.). Those who fail are » Continue Reading.
As a part of Project Shelving I’ve been getting more severe with book series. Sci-fi loves a series. Known worlds and characters guarantee sales, and tap into the deep-rooted completist gene we know so well around here. Can we get by knowing that the story we loved in what is now part one now carries on into parts 2 to six. Maybe that mysterious origin/object/event will be finally explained in book 4/5/63. Over the last few years I’ve been consciously re-reading these and fighting the completist gene. Holding onto part one, as it’s very good, and ditching parts 2-6 as they are not. I am here to hopefully provide a counter to that completist gene, and reassure you that in these cases clearing those shelves is the right thing to do. Or you can safely stop at the end of the first book.
Your suggestions please for series where the start should also be the end – interested in fantasy, crime etc – not genres whose series I know well.
Rendezvous With Rama – the original AC Clarke novel is full of mystery and understatement, the three sequels written with (by) Gentry Lee get progressively longer and less rewarding. A » Continue Reading.
We’re all guardians of good taste here right? Yours truly recently contributed to the reggaecast, and we’ve just enjoyed a good rake over post-punk. Philly soul, dub reggae, shoegaze – there’s no genre we can’t parse for a collective playlist of pure gold. Our best albums of the last sixty years has some truly excellent vintages.
Nothing if not up for a challenge, this track coming up on some Spotify playlist has caused me to think about….UK Garage. Can there be a less immediately attractive genre? It has cheesy chart stuff sold by the yard at Woollies in the early noughties written all over it. One which gave the world Craig David rewinding when the crowd said bo selecta, that ‘I like to move it’ track from Madagascar, and So Solid Crew. So, challenge laid down. Can we come up with a playlist of UK garage that we can get behind?
I’ve found another couple, in the comments, taking me up to a grand total of…er, four. Your greatest UK garage tracks please. Reel 2 Reel not needed on voyage, whether featuring the Mad Stuntman or not. If we can do this, there’s nothing we cannot accomplish.
As @vincent points out the greats are about to leave the building. In order to save time let’s get ahead of this avalanche by building a one-size-fits all rock obit. Generic Rock Star was born plain Keith/Albert/de Pfeffel Jones in Moosejaw/Little Micklevor/Barnsley in 1940.
Aged 3 his dad died in the Dambusters raid/was fatally poisoned by a bad bacon sarnie/ran off with the First Sea Lord, leaving GRS to be bought up with six sisters/101 Dalmatians/Gyles Brandreth by his mum.
GRS’ early musical promise was shown aged 8 in the school Nativity play/Festival of Britain/annual moonshine tasting when he stunned an audience with his rendition of Underneath the Arches/Greensleeves/John Cage’s 4’33’
Moving to secondary school he developed a love of woodwork/Lacrosse/goat-wrestling which in later years he would often mention in interviews, usually commenting how much happier he would have been pursuing this as a calling than rock stardom.
His first band – the Dog and Homeworks/Pimple/Sicknote played at the sixth form school disco – prompting the following headline in the local Evening Echo: ‘GRS set for stardom/borstal/career in accountancy’
With best friend Troubled Sidekick he moved to Camden/Alaska/Neptune and quickly became one of the most in-demand » Continue Reading.
It’s not quite that, but Jeremy Deller’s film on rave is on the iplayer only today and tomorrow. It’s not your average music doc, as JD talks a group of 18-year old politics students through his version of the 80s and early 90s, from the miners strike and post-industrial decay to Shelleys Laserdome and more bucket hats than you can shake a stick at. There is copious excellent video footage, and the villain of the piece if there is one emerges as ‘agent of chaos’ Paul Staines who started in rave PR and promotion and now runs the right-wing gossipfest Guido Fawkes.
It’s excellent, and the bits when kids of today get there hands on some vintage Roland kit will have you laughing.
Other thoughts welcome.
I’ve just been listening to Ride’s 2017 album, Weather Diaries, and it’s a bit more than a return to form. Picture the scene in 1994. Alan Mcgee walks in to Creation HQ: ‘Hi ride, this shoegazing thing, it’s a bit passe isn’t it? I’ve just heard some lads called Oasis and they are the future of music. Here’s a copy of Revolver. Now let me introduce you to Jon Lord.’ After two sublime albums what emerged was the excrable Carnival of Light (called Carnival of Shite by the band) and the end was nigh. Fast foward 20 years and the band have achieved something remarkable, not just a return to form, but musical time-travel. They’ve gone back and made the album that should have followed Going Blank Again. A sixth album is in the works (so effectively erasing the even-worse Tarantula). Anyone else managed this time-travelling feat to right the historic wrongs in their back catalogue.
Have a listen, Lannoy Point is just great.
yes yes yes I’ve been listening to Prince Far I @leicester-bangs and Exodus (Bob Marley thread) but the summer isn’t all about showing the depth of your bass bins and your Trojan rareties. The sunshine does something to our taste filter, and makes stuff that we’d not give the time of day to on a grey March day appear mighty fine. I’ve been working my through Hed Kandi Summer 2006 this, the essence of disposable commercial clubbing mixes. It has a cartoon young lady on the cover and three CD’s of – well club bangers which sound brilliant with the car window open. So, which tracks are on your real summer playlist but, well let’s just say they are never going to be on your Desert Island Discs. ps this track is great, but like a proper club track the intro is 3 minutes long. Well worth it.
Platform:Playstation Age Rating:16+ Year of Release:1949 Review:
This batshit crazy Japanese manga-esque RPG explore-and-destroyer has been a game that’s broken through into the mainstream of gaming, selling millions of units worldwide and spawning an -ahem – active fan subculture around its characters and stories. We’ll return to that later. A sequel to the 2010 game Nier, N:A is set in a post-apocalyptic earth in which humans have retreated to space stations in orbit and the earth is ruled by clanky robots. Humanity sends super-smooth androids to earth to support the scattered resistance fighters left behind, and this is where the story starts. And how different the gameplay is from modern games. There’s no autosaves. The game starts with a near-half-hour section of sideways scrolling 90s retro arcade action. Die during that and it is back to the start. Rock-hard boss battles, wave after wave of enemies, sudden shifts of camera position: one day son, all games were like this. You play 2B, a severe female droid at the start of the game who goes through the entire game with a blindfold on, dressed as a sexy teenage dominatrix. Your sidekick is a somewhat wimpy boydroid called 9S. Combat is mainly » Continue Reading.
It has been fairly heavily trailed that Apples is going to sunset the current itunes programme, and split out music, TV/film and podcasts into separate apps, as already happens on ios. So how we are feeling – good riddance to what is a pretty bloated piece of progamming, or oddly sentimental about the potential end of such classics as ‘View as artists’ ‘Create new smart playlist’ and ‘sort by songs’. Having gone through the near-death experience of losing a decade’s worth of playcounts I am kind of more relaxed about it in terms of stats. However, it’s still insanely useful for those of us who burn CDs – and can’t help feeling that will go too. There are many around here who still use ipods, and I wonder what it will mean for them.
Year: 2045 Director: Chad Stahelski
The action hero movie has become something of an endangered species. In the 80s and 90s it was THE genre as Bruce, Arnie, Sly ruled the box office roost, supported by more niche musclemen like Seagal, Van Damme or Lundgren. These guys could wield a mean M-16, snap skulls with the back of the their hand, and drop-kick an endless parade of goons through the window. But they were just men. For the past decade these films has taken a back seat to all things costumed and be-tighted. Apart from odd spottings in the wild: the Liam Limper, a Jason Statham here and there, the action movie has become something that needs a twist (Bourne – he’s been programmed; MI – he’s a spy; F&F – the cars the star) or takes place in a historic, fantasy or scifi setting) or can’t be taken seriously (the Expendables). Enter John Wick. Something of a sleeper outing to date, the third chapter has seen Keanu’s suit-wearing assassin go seriously huge. As in 2 and 1 we start in fifth gear, and accelerate from there. Now ‘excommunicado’ from the secret league of international crime ruled by the High » Continue Reading.
Ok so no HJHs but it’s got analogue synths, the Grateful Dead, drugs, the sixties and a roadie in it. A very late April fool, or was the Grateful Dead’s roadie really called Oswley Stanley. Of course he was. I thought for a second that was Oswald Moseley – which would have been even better. Enjoy.
We have discussed the ‘one in one out’ rule. So a consequence is that while Hounds of Love or Station to Station can rest easy on the shelves, there are others whose continued place in the front room is up for grabs when they are pulled down for a listen. I approached The Definitive Impressions in this frame of mind. 28 tracks, early 60s, can’t consciously remember anything about the album…can this not go? There’s a new National album out.
Hell No. It’s just fantastic, and can’t believe that I didn’t think so when I last listened to it. Just listen to this – the vocals on ‘I sent away the girl loved’ after 40s, the brass arrangement. Curtis. And it’s just a B-side. So what else did you almost bin – only for a proper listen to reveal it’s greatness.
What does it sound like?:
What then is it fair to expect from a new Gong album? Original material, rather than asking Mike Batt in to layer some strings over your favourite tracks, is a good thing surely. There are four of them, ranging from 20-minute opener Forever Recurring to 2-minute trinket If Ever I’m Ever You.
The keynote here is psychedelic – but a very seventies synth-based psychedella rather than anything too sixties trippy. The first track unfolds gently in waves of anologuey-feel synths and phased vocals before guitar and bass kick in. It’s a bit Pink Floyd-ey, a bit Tangerine Dreamy, a more than a little bit System 7y, before they add their special sauce in the form of Ian East’s saxophone. If they’re in the team, they are going to want game time – and thus it is with the skroning and the parping that will perhaps decide for you whether it’s Gong or No Gong. My Sawtooth Wake is a bit more rhythmically based and perhaps is the track with the most going on, The Elemental is the most tune-based with the singer wibbling on about the golden age of man ending just as it » Continue Reading.
@kid-dynamite is starting to post up tracklistings for the sets where all reviews have been posted. Top set have already finished their work. So this is a non-too gentle reminder for those of you/us still scribbling away furiously to: Post your reviews of fellow setters efforts Post your tracklistings to @kid-dynamite
22 April will be the final, final deadline when tracklistings for all will start to be posted so get going!
Simple post-it thread. Songs with lots of lyrics, lots of verses. Occasioned by the 14-minute Gillian Welch epic I dream a Highway which has 11 verses (plus of course lots of choruses) over its 14 minutes. Another very famous multi- verser in the comments (19 verses probably, in this version). Line and verse counts welcome. And if you’ve not heard this you’re in for a treat.
moseleymoles on In which Mr Moles muses on his life through objects
Recent changes chez Moles have thrown more focus onto the shelves, racks and piles of stuff that we – chiefly I – have filled our des res with over the years. The re-organisation of the Front Room has led Ms Moles to make what she would like to think is a ‘full and final settlement’ of the space allocated for CDs/vinyl/books/comics/DVDs. That settlement in full:
The DVDs not to exceed their allocated shelving. Roughly 650 DVDs worth.
The fiction shelving not to exceed their allocated shelving. Approximately 800-900 including overflow onto the floor below and behind the sofa.
Non-fiction and vinyl not to exceed their allocated shelving. Vinyl is one area Ms Moles does chip in with approx. a third of the total. And no, we may have been together 30 odd years and produced two offspring but those collections remain unmerged.
New shelving to be provided in the front room as part of its redecoration for the CDs – I would reckon between 1500-2000 (maybe 300 Ms Moles). And for the comics – around 2500 (er…all mine, 90% 2000AD).
Though I instinctively bridle, I know that » Continue Reading.
New album in the works and gigs in Cardiff, Plymouth, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, London, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin. 02 holders can do the presale, everyone else its 10am tomorrow. See you at the Brum gig.
Short UK tour in Nov in (for them) pretty intimate venues. Am going to Academy Birmingham on Mon 11 Nov. Dates in Manchester, Edinburgh and London.
It’s time for the reviews no? We’ve reached the point in the CD swap where it’s time to spill the beans to your group on the music you’re received, for the amusement and edification of us all. This is a gentle hurry-up to those still unposted, while those wondering if track 6 on a received CD is the White Stripes or Great Whit,e then give it another spin and get writing. Each group gets their handles in a comment, so post all reviews and sub-comments under that comment. Should be clear.
Post reviews here and not the original swap post, as that already has 100 comments and review posts have in the past gone well past that. We’ll remind everyone with a deadline before the track reveals so post your track listings and any liner notes to @kid-dynamite and myself. Let the reviewening begin!
Discogs if nothing else has meant that I can give up vinyl that scores ‘149 from sale from 0.50p’ to Oxfam with a clear conscience that they’re not getting say the value of a first pressing of Surrealistic Pillow. Now if only there was such a site for comics, as the space squeeze chez Moles (more later) means that I am trying to slim down the comic collection. It’s clear that my Sandman no 1 is worth a lot, Hellblazer no 1 quite a bit. But is Cheval Noir nos 1-4 (no 1 currently listed on sale on ebay for £21) worth that or in fact 50p. I have no Golden Age or Silver Age superhero stuff but mainly indie/Vertigo style titles from the 80s. Any suggestions as to how I can get the stuff valued including with a dealer I’m happy to sell too. Can’t see anyone in Brum in terms of shops you could like walk into and ask them for an opinion.
What does it sound like?:
Ten weeks in and the first essential album of 2019 has arrived, I would contend. UK rap has in Dave a bona fide superstar, and Psychodrama is a staggeringly complete achievement. Like all the best rap, it feels like a communication from the last ten minutes. Psychodrama covers growing up in S London (Streatham), love (Purple Hearts), London (screwface capital) and two tracks that will stop you in your tracks. Black, the subject of some controversy before release, is a witty and impassioned critique of what being black means: prejudice, heritage, pride, confusion, .. then comes and a ten-minute story of an abusive relationship (Lesley) that recalls nothing so much as the shattering Boiler from the Special AKA.
The music scape is a world away from the clattering beats and jittery rhythms of grime. The music is sparse, downbeat and introspective. Piano is the most prominent instrument, and if you can think of the gauzy moodiness of Burial, crossed with the pop sensibilities and drops of The Weeknd you’re halfway there. Without any of The Weeknd’s appalling misogyny. It’s a compelling listen from start to finish.
What does it all *mean*?
It doesn’t sound » Continue Reading.