The Birthday Vinyl is in!

Hello again!

While I am still anxiously awaiting my limited run reissue of Cinematic Orchestra’s Motion (ordered back in early March!) I can at least report that some special favorites turned up for my birthday and have arrived safely at my new apartment.

I had a beacon out for a copy of the Orb’s legendary Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld in case a copy ever turned up in the United States.  This 1991 ambient house-concept debut album marked the official transition from works by The KLF (and Jimmy Cauty’s ambient project under the moniker “Space”) into what became The Orb.

If you ever track down this milestone album for yourself, you’ll want the original UK pressing, as the first US pressing was edited down from the double-disc 109:41 minute UK release down to a one disc 70:41 minutes – a crime against the world of ambient music.

Orb - Orb's Adventures Ultraworld
The album is best-known for the track, “Little Fluffy Clouds,” but should truly be enjoyed in its double disc glory.

It was an absolute joy to finally own this LP, but what I stumbled upon next really floored me.

I had been itching for the most memorable ethereal post-rock records of the late 90s and early 2000s.  I put together a list of my favorites – albums which immediately come to mind years after I first heard them.  Then I poured over my favorite web sources for hard-to-find wax.  On my second day of searching, I was delighted to find one seller on a particular site who had three of the six records I was looking for!  Better still, they were in the USA, and would ship any number of LPs for a total of $5!

Then I realized what seller I was dealing with – it was The Lakeshore Record Exchange in my old home town of Rochester, NY.

I immediately grabbed my phone and called the owner of the shop.  He had just sold one of the discs but said that he’d already re-ordered a store copy and would ship all three as soon as it came in.

What a treat it was, 5 days later to receive three elusive albums from my first years in college all from the shop where I spent some of my earliest vinyl-purchasing days!  (This, by the way, was the shop where a very beautiful record clerk played me Lemon Jelly for the first time and lead me on a 100-album binge for their complete recordings!)  Thank you, Marta.

Here are the three albums which arrived last night –

The first is múm’s first release on FatCat Records from 2001, Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today is OK.

mum - Yesterday was Dramatic

The next disc was another essential FatCat LP from Iceland –  Sigur Rós’ Ágætis Byrjun. Recorded in 1999, this is the 2013 UK DMM Remaster from Abbey Road on 180gm vinyl.

Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun Ltd Ed RSD 2013 (stickered version)

And the third record was the wonderful collaboration between Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid) and Dustin O’Halloran (who released his Lumiere LP on FatCat in 2011).

A Winged Victory For The Sullen was released on Kranky Records that same year.

A Winged Victory - A Winged Victory

The remaining three albums from my Contemporary Ambient list are Telefon Tel Aviv’s Fahrenheit Fair Enough, The Album Leaf’s In a Safe Place, and Pantha Du Prince’s This Bliss from Germany.

Hopefully I’ll pick them up by Christmas time.

Thanks for listening and THANK YOU, Lakeshore!

First 25 LPs at the New Lair

Greetings friends!  It’s been a crazy month but I’m finally moved into my new Lair (which you can check out here).  I apologize for neglecting the blog but I’m back with the last 25 LPs I’ve picked up.

One of the first people I met at the new apartments is close personal friends with Mark Burgess of the Chameleons, and we went out to the first goth night at a club in town.  She turned me on to proto-industrial, post punk and minimal wave music and so I assembled a collection of 319 essential albums from artists like Cabaret Voltaire, the Chameleons, Einstürzende Neubauten, Fad Gadget, Muslimgauze, the Residents, Solid Space, Suicide, Television, The Normal, Throbbing Gristle and others.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon two NM Chameleons singles at a flea market two days later!

Chameleons, The - As High As You Can Go

Chameleons, The - Singing Rule Britannia (While The Walls Close In)

Just before the move, I found a little hole-in-the-wall used record shop which had sprung up in town.  I was delighted to find a few LPs I’d had on my list for some time, and I traded a small pile of duplicates and got them all free!

Hugo Montenegro - A Fistful of Dollars
I have his Moog LP and this was a wonderful addition to my library.

St.-Elmos-Fire
St. Elmo’s Fire – filed beside my copy of The Breakfast Club Soundtrack

Best of BBC Themes
Best of BBC Themes 2LP (feat. the original Doctor Who Theme)

Jimmy Castor Bunch - Supersound
Jimmy Castor Bunch – Supersound.  Funky!

Jimmy Castor Bunch - Butt of Course
But THIS was the Castor EP I’d been after!  “The Bertha Butt Boogie!”

The next two record stores I visited each had a few Miles Davis LPs I had been looking for, and I picked up each for no more than $4 apiece.  I am trying to assemble the complete Columbia recordings on vinyl.

Miles Davis - Round About Midnight

Miles Davis Sextet - Jazz at the Plaza

Miles Davis - Porgy and Bess (6 eye)
The week of the move I visited my old home town to pick up my items from storage and happened upon still another new record shop.  I was blown away to find a mint original press of Portishead – Portishead, Tom Waits’ Big Time (one of the few discs I was missing), and, believe it or not, The Black Rider!

Portishead - Portishead

This is an absolutely essential Trip Hop / Downtempo disc of the 90s and was a proud addition  to my collection.

Here’s the biggest hit from the album, “Only You” performed live in NYC.

Tom Waits - Big Time

I don’t know how I’d gone this long without ordering a copy of Big Time.  What a great disc!

I had to pass on the copy of The Black Rider, however as it was stickered at $100 and I needed to pay for the U-Haul that day.  Next time, Gadget.  Next time.

I received a few Discogs alerts for classic singles I’d always wanted from Underworld (I have over 250 of their releases between vinyl, CD and FLAC.)  Not passing up another opportunity I grabbed them both.

The first to arrive was the limited white vinyl edition of “Rez”/”Cowgirl”, two of their best-known songs.  This copy was still in its original shrink.

Rez Cowgirl

Here is the best-ever live performance of the two tracks, from the Everything Everything Live DVD.

But the real treasure came two days ago – an original first pressing of JBO29 – the first single featuring “Born Slippy.nuxx”.

Born Slippy Nuxx jbo29

If the title of this floor-stomping anthem isn’t familiar, you might know it better as “that song from Trainspotting.”

Next I visited my favorite antique market and didn’t hesitate when I found Steve Reich’s Desert Music.  I have a huge thing for 20th century minimalism and the next box set I buy will be Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach.

Steve Reich - Desert Music

I did make it to a record show just before the move and didn’t get a chance to post the one item from my list which I was able to find.  I’ve been on a HUGE experimental German music kick and felt like a kid at Christmas when I found Amon Düül II’s Phallus Dei on vinyl.

Amon Duul II - Phallus Dei
File under “creepy German psych shit.”

Also in the mail last week was a milestone recording – Nick Drake’s Pink Moon.  I had recently purchased a mint pressing from the late 2000s but flipped it for cash to order this elusive pink wax pressing as soon as I saw it post to discogs.

Nick Drake - Pink Moon

Speaking of colored vinyl I also sold off my mint sealed Spiritualized Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space 2LP and quickly snatched up a copy of the same album on blue vinyl, a Record Store Day release from 2010.

Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen (Blue Vinyl RSD 2010)

This is my all-time favorite shoegaze record.  There is also a fantastic 3CD expanded edition which I highly recommend.

In my recent travels I’ve also been looking for Ken Nordine’s Colors and Word Jazz LPs.  So far I’ve only found Son of Word Jazz, but rest assured, I will find the others.

Ken Nordine - Son of Word Jazz
The interest in Ken Nordine was rekindled when I heard his guest vocals on DJ Food’s Kaleidoscope, an early release on Ninja Tune which I couldn’t resist ordering.

DJ Food - Kaleidoscope
Here’s the track feat. Ken Nordine – “Aging Young Rebel.”

Still on the Ninja Tune kick I ordered an original pressing of Cinematic Orchestra’s Remixes LP as well as the pressed-to-order reissue of their greatest album – Motion.

Cinematic Orchestra - Remixes

Cinematic Orchestra - Motion

And finally, I received another discogs alert when a seller posted the first two limited edition mint Black Swan drone music LPs for a total of only $15 including shipping!  The first, In 8 Movements was limited to 300 copies worldwide, and the second (my favorite) – The Quiet Divide was pressed on red vinyl and limited to 100 copies.  What a steal!

If you’re into drone this is some killer music.

Black Swan - In 8 Movements

Black Swan - The Quiet Divide (ltd ed red vinyl 100 copies)

Special thanks to The_Dig for kicking me in the butt to get blogging again.  So sorry I’ve been gone so long, but thanks for sticking with me!

It’s good to be back.