Tuesday, October 21, 2008

They cut discs … now he cuts theirs

I am always amazed at what can be done with old records that are beyond saving. Many just wind up in the trash, but there are many folks out there (this article is from 'down under') who can make art out of these old relics. And, let's face, we all have some records in our collection that could be used in this way. Very interesting....

written by Louise Schwartzkoff

TO MANNE SCHULZE, Kamahl's 1969 vinyl LP Dreams Of Love is a thing of beauty. Not for its music as such but for its aesthetic appeal.

In the name of art, Schulze took to Kamahl's records with a band saw, carved them into pieces, and reassembled them into large abstract works. An Olivia Newton-John boxed set received the same treatment, as did the Seekers' Big Hits.

Schulze quickly points out that these are not his own records. His taste runs more to Led Zeppelin, Kraftwerk and the occasional Beethoven symphony. "I didn't touch my own stuff," he says. "Except for some really obscure rubbish that I shouldn't have bought in the first place."

He has long thought LPs would make a spectacular artistic medium but could not bring himself to destroy his own collection. He found the raw material he needed a few years ago when a friend's father died, leaving behind a box of records, mostly classical and crooners.

Apart from an album of Abba songs played by an accordion orchestra, which he saved for its absurdity, he sliced them all into shapes and stuck them onto aluminium backing, forming patterns and geometric shapes.

The largest work in Schulze's Newtown show, Squaring The Circle, is a shiny black square made from hundreds of vinyl fragments. The grooves cast reflections in every direction. Other works use coloured labels and record sleeves. Both Sony BMG and APRA have expressed interest in some of the assemblages on display.

"It's a great way to work once you get the hang of it," Schulze says. "The records are brittle and flexible at the same time. The surfaces change depending on the light."

Once he had exhausted the original box of records, he scoured second-hand stores and begged friends to donate their collections. Though most of his donors had long since abandoned their record players, they still had records hidden away in boxes in attics and garden sheds.

"I know lots of people who don't listen to them any more but they just can't let them go," he says. "And that's what makes them such an interesting curio. There are all these memories attached to them. Even though you can't listen to them any more, the memories and the music are still there."

For Schulze, this project is part of an enduring interest in recycling the work of others. Several years ago he was one of a group who called themselves "daubists", artists who manipulate and add additional images to original works by other artists. Some saw them as vandals but Schulze believes they were salvaging cultural detritus and giving it new life and relevance.

The same goes for these records, he says. "I'm using material which has been discarded to give it an aesthetic overhaul so it can be appreciated again."

SOURCE: http://www.smh.com.au

Metallica "Death Magnetic" - Vinyl sounds better than CD

I found this to be of interest, the recording techniques may have got the best of the metal band

The vinyl LPs of "DeathMagnetic" sound better than the CD release.

Not by a huge margin - they were clearly made from the same, heavily distorted original mixes, but despite this they sound a little more real, more dynamic, more spacious and (yes, really!) more exciting.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the difference isn't that huge, and not all the tracks sound much better - there is more difference on some than on others. And also, the versions I listened to are the $100 5-LP set. So not only do you need a turntable to listen to them, but they aren't cheap.

There are however several fascinating questions which are raised by this, of which the most controversial is:

Did the CD mastering actually make the sound worse ?

To read the rest of this compelling story: http://mastering-media.blogspot.com/2008/10/metallica-death-magnetic-vinyl-sounds.html

New Vinyl Releases

Yes will release a series of "180 Gram Audiophile" vinyl versions of the band's catalog. Close To The Edge will be the first release in the series from Friday Music, with Yessongs, Tales From The Topographic Ocean, 90125 and other Yes albums all on the way as well.


The vinyl version of "Silhouettes", the latest album from the Dutch progressive metal band TEXTURES, will be released on November 12 through Garden of Exile Records. The LP will be limited to 500 copies and pressed on 180-gram vinyl. The artwork will be printed on extra-thick cardboard gatefold jacket with golden foil print.

The vinyl will be pressed on three different colors in the following pressing:

* Gold vinyl: 75 copies (only available directly from the band and Garden Of Exile)
* Gold/black vinyl: 175 copies
* Black vinyl: 250 copies

Cheap Trick Vinyl Release

BUDOKAN!: 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION, that brings the sight and sound together for the first time. The set will arrive in stores November 11th through Epic/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. Separately on October 28th, a new 12-inch vinyl LP of the Live at Budokan original 10-song album will be issued on 180 gram audiophile pressing.

Liverpool Native Russ Hamilton Dies

Russ Hamilton, who had major hits on both sides of the Atlantic, passed away on Saturday, October 11 in Buckley, North Wales at the age of 76.

Born Robert Hulme in 1932, the Liverpool native began entertaining at Butlins camps in the U.K. as a Redcoat, doing shows for the patrons. A number of the members of the Redcoats got together to form a skiffle group which led to Hamilton recording his first record, the teen ballad We Will Make Love. The song went to number two in the summer of 1957 in the U.K. but, in the United States, the record was flipped and Rainbow became the hit, reaching number four on the pop and ten on the R&B chart. It was rare for a British artist to have an American hit at the time, so it gave him the unique requirement of performing and promoting on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hamilton followed up his U.K. hit with the number 20 Wedding Ring but never charted again in America. He released a total of 17 records between 1957 and 1964, including a number for Mercury Nashville. Throughout, he kept contact with the Redcoats and joined them on tour in 1967.

Numerous reports out of the U.K. have stated that Hamiltion had recently fallen on hard time and had been living in a "council flat" (subsidized housing) for the last several years.

Classic Rock Videos

The Ronettes- Be My Baby

Album Cover Art

We are all the way to #8 on the Gigwise.com list of the most controversial, weirdest, best and worst album covers as compiled by their staff. Let's get to it:


8 Blind Faith: 'Blind Faith' - Yeah, give a young girl a horse (it is reported that was her compensation for posing for the cover), and put her image on the album cover.

Blind Faith were an English blues-rock band that consisted of Eric Clapton (The Yardbirds, Cream), Ginger Baker (Graham Bond Organisation, Cream), Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic) and Ric Grech (Family). The band, which was one of the first so-called supergroups, only released one album, Blind Faith, in August 1969. They were stylistically similar to the bands in which Winwood, Baker, and Clapton had most recently participated (Traffic and Cream).

Upon its release, Blind Faith topped Billboard's charts at the No. #1 spot for Pop Album in both America and the United Kingdom, and peaked at #40 on the Black Albums chart — an impressive feat for a British rock quartet. The album sold more than half a million copies within the first month of its release and was a huge profit-making device for both Atlantic Records (on their Atco label) and for Clapton & Baker (Blind Faith sales were helping to stimulate demand for Cream albums as well).

The release of the album provoked controversy because the cover featured a topless pubescent girl, holding in her hands a silver space ship designed by Mick Milligan, a jeweller at the Royal College of Art. Some perceived the ship as phallic. The U.S. record company issued it with an alternative cover which showed a photograph of the band on the front.

The cover art was created by photographer Bob Seidemann, a personal friend and former flatmate of Clapton who is known primarily for his photos of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. Bizarre rumours both fuelled and were fuelled by the controversy, among them that the young girl was Baker's illegitimate daughter or, alternatively as a fantasy, was a groupie kept in the meadowlands as a slave by the band members. Actually, the young lass was a London suburbanite, who posed upon consent by her parents and for a handsome fee, as described in Seidemann's mini essay about the origins of the Blind Faith album cover artwork.



8. Moving Gelatine Plates: 'The World Of Genius Hans' OK, a dead cow head, in a leather jacket, no less- I would agree that is belongs in the weird category.

Easily one of the most interesting group to come out of France in the early 70's along with Magma and the GonG galaxy , MGP's second album is certainly impressive having gained in writing ability what they have lost in enthusiasm. The ever-excellent Musea booklet explains the whys and hows of their relative success (and the lack of greater success), but these guys missed the golden opportunity to strike it big! Bankrupted right from the start (the bassist never even owned his bass and the drummer and KB player were forced to sell their instruments afyter the release of this album) , the lack of finances was probably the only reason for their failure because, talent they certainly had!



8. The Rolling Stones – ‘Dirty Work’ - Love the colors, I guess they did too. But Mick with the bright yellow pants- don't those belong on the golf course?

Dirty Work is The Rolling Stones' 18th studio album (or the 21st, counting their US releases). It was released on March 24, 1986 on the Rolling and Stones label by CBS Records. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the album was recorded during a period when relations between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards soured considerably, and is often regarded as a low point for the band.

The album produced a hit for the Rolling Stones - their cover of "Harlem Shuffle" - and features a number of guest appearances, including contributions by Tom Waits, Jimmy Page, Patti Scialfa and Bobby Womack.

Breaking with Rolling Stones tradition, Dirty Work was the first of their studio albums to contain a lyric sheet in the U.S., apparently at the insistence of then-distributor CBS Records, who also pushed for the atypical colourful band-photo cover. The album was also noteworthy as the first major release to be issued simultaneously on compact disc.



8. Roxy Music: ‘Country Life’ We have seen this before on the Gigwise list, they must be in love. Sex sells, always has and always will.

Country Life is the fourth album by British rock band Roxy Music, released in 1974 and reaching #3 in the UK charts. It also made #37 in the United States, their first record to crack the Top 40 there. The album is considered by many critics to be among the band's most sophisticated and consistent. Ferry took the album's title from the British rural lifestyle magazine Country Life.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 387 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was one of four Roxy Music albums that made the list (For Your Pleasure, Siren and Avalon being the others).

The cover features two scantily-clad models, Constanze Karoli (reportedly the sister of Can's Michael Karoli) and Eveline Grunwald. Bryan Ferry met them in Portugal and persuaded them to do the photo shoot as well as to help him with the words to the song "Bitter-Sweet". Although not credited for their photos they are credited on the lyric sheet for their German translation work.

The cover image was considered controversial in some countries such as the United States, Spain, and The Netherlands, where it was censored for release. As a result, a later American LP release of Country Life (available during the years 1975-80) featured a different cover shot. Instead of Karoli and Grunwald posed in front of some trees, the reissue used a photo from the album's back cover that featured only the trees. Author Michael Ochs has described the result as the "most complete cover-up in rock history".