Greeting, friends! The past several weeks have been brimming with excitement and activity, and I owe you all an update. Please pardon the informality of this post, as it will be more personal and reflective than structured or academic.
It’s been a month of investment in the resources I have neglected in my life. I’ve enjoyed exploring the sound of the aforementioned vintage amp which I finally put to use after all these years in storage and I’ll be empowering my existing gear by upgrading my DAC from a Behringer Ucontrol UCA202 to the Audioquest Dragonfly Red.
I’ve been forging and developing friendships with intellectual peers and with introverted and reclusive contacts of mine from as long as 16 years ago with whom I never took the time during those chaotic college years. I’ve found them to be brilliant and engaging ladies and gents with an incredible command of knowledge in my fields of interest. I’ve had some of the most inspiring conversations of my life with a handful of these friends, and it has filled a void where rewarding relationships were sorely lacking from my social development as an adult.
I’ve also been developing my virtual relationships with fascinating individuals in faraway cities and countries. These musical friendships have brought me joy and inspiration in the form of musical recommendations of works which would otherwise be off my radar. These are beautiful people who I am grateful to have in my life in any form, virtual or otherwise.
My writing has also reached a critical point in its development. I found a mentor and a publisher for my book, but after thoroughly exploring the consequences of publishing a work on subjects as controversial as mine, it quickly became evident that I must keep the work clandestine, or otherwise risk millions of dollars in litigation, or worse – national exile. (If anyone is interested in the details, please contact me directly, as I would still sincerely appreciate the input of my friends and peers.)
My potential new home, should I publish my book – an outpost in the Arctic.
But on to the music!
The first LP is an unfortunate situation. I was at first thrilled to find that this summer, The Avalanches’ unparalleled debut record from 2000 had finally received a proper reissue, making the album accessible and affordable for everyone. My misfortune, however, began with my purchase of the record from a shop in the UK. It arrived damaged from international shipping, and the shop insisted that I ship the damaged copy back to them before they would dispatch a replacement copy. It cost me an additional $40 to return the item, (as I needed to insure the package less I risk losing both the album and the return shipping expense should the copy be lost in transit). Upon receipt of the return, the shop informed me that they hadn’t reserved me a replacement and that the album was sold out. They also refused to reimburse me for my return shipping expense. So now I have no album plus a $40 hole in my account. I’ve ordered a replacement from another seller Stateside and hope to receive it soon.
My misfortune aside, this album is a treasure for any listener interested in sampledelica and in music which pushes the boundaries of copyright. Since I Left You, which comprises an estimated 3,500 samples is, like all good sample-based music, a legal logistical nightmare.
While it is difficult to summarize the unique flavor of this debut, Christian Ward of NME accurately described it as, “a joyous, kaleidoscopic masterpiece of sun-kissed disco-pop.”
Whether you’re a purist who insists that The Original Australian Zomba Promo Mix is the only proper version or you’re just grateful that XL finally released an affordable reissue; Since I Left You is an undisputed classic of the sound of summer.
My next acquisitions were, thankfully, much smoother transactions. I’d recently revisited my copy of the 50th Anniversary edition of John Cage’s SILENCE: Lectures & Writings and was greatly inspired. I owned copies of Indeterminacy, Variations IV, Sonatas and Interludes / A Book of Music, and various compilations, but when I spotted a newly-announced reissue of the legendary 1958 25-Year Retrospective Concert box set on vinyl, I didn’t hesitate for a moment and ordered a copy straight away.
The musique concrète trend concluded beautifully with a visit to my favorite record shop from my old hometown. The owner knows precisely the sort of stuff I’m after, and many of my 20th-century avant-garde LPs are from his personal collection. The trip was most rewarding, as I took home two essential classics –
The World of Harry Partch (May, 1969)
and A Panorama of Musique Concrete (DTL93090 1956)
Also while I was in the shop, I spotted a collector’s dream on the shelf – an original 1970 copy of Rodriguez’ Cold Fact with the disc is astonishingly mint condition! It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but I sadly had to leave it behind. If you’d like the copy for your own, he’s listed it on his shop’s official Discogs page here.
I’ve two more treasures pre-ordered for this fall –
The Orb’s 25th Anniversary concert performance of The Orb’s Further Adventures Live 2016 3 colored LP + concert DVD
and Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas series complete box set
Happy autumn, everyone! And thanks for tuning in!