Thursday, July 23, 2020
Here's my son Kieran Press-Reynolds with a fascinating deep dive into the world of virtual raves, virtual clubbing, and virtual fashion (and it's that last one that got me feeling like a befuddled fuddy-duddy - "how's that work then?!?", "what will these youngsters think of next?!" etc) for Highsnobiety.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Relieving the gloom of this indoorsy, inside-out summer, an unexpected treat from Moon Wiring Club - a dose of unseasonal dank in the shivery shape of Tabitha Reverb: a "re-re-remix album" of A Spare Tabby at the Cat’s Wedding to celebrate its 10th Anniversary.
"The tunes on TABITHA REVERB have been coaxed together using original MWC archive material from ASTATCW (and beyond) to include extended overhauls, exhumation of abandoned tracks, intricate reinterpretations and deftly-sinister manifestations of musickal intentions originally unfulfilled."
Ian Hodgson clarifies the concept and the constituents: "A mixture of long-form 'dance remix' interpretations of original Tabby tracks, tunes composed at the time but unused and subsequently modified, tracks that feature elements of MWC tunes ‘across the ages’ but which originated out of ASTATCW programming and stuff that was composed in the mind-set of the time but using better production methods..."
He adds that "the original idea was to have them as a Nineties style 2 x 12-inch set" but regrettably the realities of the current moment in terms of production / distribution / costs etc mean that Tabitha Reverb is a digital-only release.
This got me trying to think of 2 x 12-inch sets of the Nineties as described by Ian as his model for remix project. Mostly what came to mind was the vogue in the Eighties for putting your album out as two or three 45 rpm 12-inches (PiL, Cabs, Spands yeeuch). But then I thought of this great double-12 inch by DHS, containing the immortal "House of God".
That, however, was just two discs crammed into a normal sleeve, as I recall. But I'm sure there were others in that moment of dance culture's apogee of design awareness / packaging excess - releases comprising two 12-inches in a gatefold sleeve in the double-album style. In particular, I have a sense memory of a gatefold double-10-inch single in pic sleeve.
In other Moon Wiring Club news, the old BlankWorkshop website (which dates back to 2004) had to be demolished for health and safety reasons. Check out its replacement here.
Thursday, July 09, 2020
Here's a piece I enjoyed doing for NPR Music - a piece I had been wanting to do for a while - on the streak of electronic, experimental, and unclassifiably oddball records released by Folkways alongside its much larger and image-defining output of American traditional music and field recordings from around the world. The peg is Smithsonian Folkways's recent vinyl reissues of Craig Kupka's New Age classic Crystals: Music for Relaxation 2 and Ann McMillan's musique concrète gem Gateway Summer Sound: Abstracted Animal & Other Sounds. McMillan is sadly no longer with us but I interviewed Kupka and Richard Carlin, who worked alongside Folkways founder Moe Asch in the later years of the label.