Vinyl – Enough Said!

28 04 2015
Rega RP1 Turntable

My new Rega RP1 Turntable


I was 36 last week and with that in mind and after much discussion and procrastination with my wife about the relative merits of going back to a turntable she bit the bullet and bought me one!

So I am now the seriously proud owner of the Rega RP1, as pictured, what a piece of equipment, and what a sound – I had genuinely forgotten the warmth and range that vinyl offers.

I had an old Garrard about 12 years ago but had gotten rid of it when we moved house along with the majority of my vinyl, I have been undergoing a musical renaissance of late and really just fancied it again. The Rega is bloody easy to set up pretty much plug and play. Not only was it easy to set up but is simple to use and more importantly (not really but to some maybe!) is great to look at with really modern styling.

Currently I own 6 pieces of vinyl so I know for a fact I am going to be off record hunting this weekend to see if I can add a few bits and pieces.

The best thing I own so far is Valtari by Sigur Ros and that is a delight, something I really want though is the latest Godspeed You! Black Emperor offering but I may need to save a few pennies first.

Buying records in their physical form has undergone a resurgence in the UK, I have probably gone on about this numerous times previously on this blog but I still buy CDs (yes god damn it they still exist!), most of my collection is in this digitally recorded format, and I will continue to buy in this way until I physically can’t anymore. Vinyl is different though it is not for everyday listening. I know that sounds kind of stupid but what I mean is that vinyl is special, it takes effort to listen to music in this way, but with it comes feel, texture, smell and the delight of gently handling that piece of plastic before placing it in the spindle. That experience is why I will be switching and buying certain key albums in vinyl, those albums that will either sound great or are intensely personal to me.

What would you recommend?


What Happens at the End of the Road?

5 03 2013

Well what happens is we go and see Sigur Ros that’s what!

Couldn’t believe it when I saw them as the headline act at this years End of the Road festival. Not only is it great to see Sigur Ros on the bill it’s even more greaterer (don’t think that’s a word but it should be!) that they are playing within my own county of Dorset, the venue is less than an hour from my house, at hopefully the sunniest time of year. Simply cannot beat that.

Of course there is more than Sigur Ros, but it them we all really want to see right? Looks like an awesome array of musical artists, comedians and other fun stuff.

Since we have had our son my wife and I have frequented less concerts/gigs/festivals than we used to, comes with the territory. However, he is now of an age where he may well enjoy the festival atmosphere at the right venue. This one looks perfectly built for kids as well as big kids so we are considering a family camping break – that’s what we will tell him – to the End of the Road festival.

Anyone been before or going this year?

A New Band to Start the Week: Under Byen

8 10 2012

Picked out The Listener by Howe Gelb as my first listen of the week and this great Americana album from 2003 features a track called Torque (Tango De La Tongue). A slow moving track with a definite jazz hint from the bass and piano licks. I wondered who the female singer was that duets on the track.

Henriette SennenvaldtThe album notes told me it was Henriette Sennenvaldt, I was of course at a loss with that having never heard of her before so I put trusty Google to the test and it turns out she is the lead-singer with Danish band Under Byen. The title of this post is a new band to start the week but in this respect it is simply new to me, so forgive me if you are already well-versed!

So a quick click across to Spotify and I find two tracks, a  very miserly number considering the band have 4 studio albums to date plus a remix album and a soundtrack to their name.

The two tracks available on Spotify are also the same two tracks available for download on Amazon MP3 so I am going to have to do a bit of searching to find the four albums. the two tracks in question are Pilot and Sort Vinter [affiliate links] both of which come from compilation albums.

Have to say from the limited listening I have had so far I am very impressed with a sound very reminiscent of both Sigur Ros and another Icelandic act múm in places.

Under Byen (Danish for below the city) started in Denmark back in 1995 but didn’t release an album until Kyst in 1999 and this was followed up with Det er mig der holder træerne sammen in 2002. Since then there have been two further albums which includes the last release in 2010 titled Alt er Tabt.

If you are a fan of Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, múm, Bjork or even post rock bands like Mogwai then Under Bye could be worth a listen. If anyone can find any more tracks or official downloads online please let me know.

Beautiful, Thoughtful

18 08 2011

Bought an album a while back and whilst making my way through the alphabetic list on my shelf I came across it again, still in all of it’s sealed plastic glory.

I have a thing for live performances as I feel it really gives you an essence of what an artist is really about, you can here any flaws, or in the case of this album, the lack of them.

I like to listen to that raw sound that only a live performance can give you. Sadly, for financial reasons, myself and my wife, once avid gig-goers, rarely get chance to go and sample this delight in it’s true form. However, an excellent live recording more than makes up for it, in my opinion.

Anyway the album I am talking about in this instance is Jonsi – Go Live. I have seen Sigur Ros once in my life and I have to say it was one of the most beautiful and thoughtful live shows I had ever been to, especially finishing the set with Untitled 8, one of my all time faves!

This live recording of Jonsi is also of the same ilk, he seems to manage to make it a very personal journey into his own world. The recording itself in terms of production is excellent and his performance lacks any flaws at all. The voice is at times chilling and takes of off into some distant realm where you either want to be or not!

I think the standout track for me on this recording is Tornado, a sweeping sound scape that just sets you off in a relaxed state with a great building of atmosphere and awe. I wish I could play music like this!Jonsi


Make it Poignant

14 12 2009

I had been contempleting writing this blog for some time, I work hard and wanted something which gave me some warmth and relaxation and a chance to discuss one of my true passions.

I listen to most music but the bands that really set me going are the likes of Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Muse and Editors and some old bands that you would think don’t fit. Marillion are a band I have followed from before my teenage years, a band I discovered like many through my Dad.

Every day I can find myself listening to something completely different, I love to delve back through my collection and unearth an old gem, something that has not been listened to for ages.

Just this weekend I rediscovered the first Fiona Apple album, pure brilliance.

I will be making a daily record on this blog of what I am listening to, buying, downloading or going to watch. You can get involved as well by commenting on the blog posts.

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