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Voyages In Record Collecting - Equipment Upgrade!

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Jimmy Dread
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Location: 555 Dub Street
United Kingdom
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#1 | Posted: 01/04/2018 17:20 | Post subject: Voyages In Record Collecting - Equipment Upgrade! Reply with quote
Happy new year everyone. As anyone who's seen me post over the last few years will know I have a penchant (and addiction) for collecting second hand records. Flick through the "Albums You Added To Your Collection Today" thread and you'll likely see me bang on about some dub LP I picked up by the seaside or an indie-pop album won with a last-second bid on eBay. Truth is I can't help myself - my 'record room' (it's actually a study for when I work from home, but given that name by the wife) is crammed with over 1000 LPs which I've now run out of room to put on shelves, so some are now living in record boxes and those IKEA Dronga things.

Anyway, I digress. I thought it was probably about time that I talked about my record (that's vinyl to some of you) collecting exploits in a dedicated diary as opposed to clogging up the previous thread with missives and what-not. You'll see some familiar LPs in here, a few curios and every now and then some dross I picked up for a quid 'just for the hell of it', but as well as talk about the LP I've just bought (where I got it, what I paid, what nick it's in, etc, etc.) I'll give some thoughts on it. In that way the thread becomes both a place to show off what I got as well as opine, in addition to giving thoughts on if I'm going to keep it or flog it on.

I'm going to try and document my 2018 record buying exploits here, but for some background (and if you're genuinely interested) have a squizz at Very Good Plus - Vital Vinyl by Jimmy Dread seeing as none of you will likely ever come round my gaff to give some of these a spin (which is a shame innit)...

And just to be awkward, I'm going to start off with my last purchase of 2017...
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Jimmy Dread
ON SMOKO



Location: 555 Dub Street
United Kingdom
Moderator

#2 | Posted: 01/04/2018 19:26 | Post subject: Reply with quote
31st DECEMBER 2017

Location: Ben's, Guildford
Press: 2 x LP UK/Europe 1994
Condition: VG/VG
Price: £15
Listened Before? NO


Lifeforms by The Future Sound Of London

I've been shopping at Ben's for nearly 20 years. There's a bit of a back-story to my affinity (or at one time lack of) with this shop - the guy who owns/runs it (called Ben, unsurprisingly) used to work with a good friend of mine who told me that he used to pilfer away all the rare records, sell them on himself and from this built his empire. I've therefore always viewed his shop with disdain, especially when you consider that 3/4 of it is full of absolute dross: we're talking Wet Wet Wet, a zillion copies of Paul Young's No Parlez and as many albums on the Music For Pleasure label as you've likely ever seen. However, in recent times Ben's found things tough going (town centre redevelopment's a bitch) and has started renting out space in his shop to small-time sellers, taking a cut on their sales in the process. Quite shrewd business acumen, if you ask me.

Just by the till is a box of records which some bloke called 'Kev' is obviously selling as all the price tickets have 3 letters scrawled next to what they're being sold for. The box is actually pretty decent in terms of quality - original Blonde On Blonde (£30), a Harvest Chairs Missing by Wire (going for £50, mind) as well as other things that are either too expensive or I've already got. I tend to head there first as soon as I go in the shop, as every now and then there's a belter of an LP in there waiting to be prized out (as was the case when I got copies of Blackboard Jungle Dub and Back In Denim for £9 each). Lo and behold whoever 'Kev' is must have known it was my birthday, as lying about 4 records in was a copy of Lifeforms, an album I keep meaning to listen to but for some reason have never got round to.

It's odd that I've never taken the time to listen to Lifeforms before now. Even more strange when you consider that all the obvious LPs that could easily coexist alongside it (Orb's Adventures Beyond The Underworld and UF Off being the obvious two to these ears) or are cut from fragments of the same cloth (a more ambient Leftfield, a more mellow (early) Autechre or Underworld) have long been a part of my collection. In fact the only knowledge of FSOL I've had prior to this was Papua New Guinea and the track ("We Have Explosive") that came off a Wipeout soundtrack. I've seen this record labelled as a series on 'sound experiments', which isn't far from the truth on first listen, but there's an organic, almost tribal vibe running through the whole thing, almost like you've been dumped in the middle of a jungle with a compass, a moog and an 808 and no map to help you get out. Not that you want to, because every now and again you find yourself knee deep in some acid squelch, transmissions from some far-off star and some wild beats to ensnare and cook over an open fire for sustenance. Lifeforms is by no means an ambient album, nor is it 'techno'. Rather it's an amalgamation of various different bits of electronica - some may label it IDM, which may be a fair assessment, but there's dub techno, acid house and a whole plethora of other stuff going on.

Does it hang together as an album? Hmmm... well, a couple of listens in and I couldn't tell you of a moment that stands out above others, although Room 208 sounds like proto-Boards Of Canada if that helps anyone. In parts it sounds like a mad professor's lab - taking bits and bobs of all sorts and seeing what sticks. Luckily, at least on first impressions, a lot of it does.

It's somewhat ironic that for the first entry in a diary called 'voyages in record collecting' this album is a voyage in itself, and one that once I've finished writing this I'll probably jump on with a pair of headphones over my head and the lights off.

KEEP/DITCH? KEEP, without reservation.
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Jimmy Dread
ON SMOKO



Location: 555 Dub Street
United Kingdom
Moderator

#3 | Posted: 01/04/2018 19:59 | Post subject: Reply with quote
4th JANUARY 2018

Location: Sound Machine, Reading
Press: LP UK 1994
Condition: EX/EX
Price: £10
Listened Before? YES


Protection by Massive Attack

Spied a first UK press of this hiding away in the 'dance' section of a record shop which, much like Ben's in the previous post, has got better in recent years. Strangely enough a lot of the second hand stores that have popped up of late use Discogs as their bible, and price records at the average selling price regardless of condition. The more established ones still have the odd bargain hiding away here and there, of which this is a prime example.

I haven't given Protection a spin in the best part of 20 years, although listen to Blue Lines at least one a month from start to finish and really like the Mad Professor dubs (No Protection) that came out alongside this. Stand outs - Horace Andy specifically, whose vocals soar on "Spying Glass" (even though "Light My Fire" has never been up my street), the bass riff to "Better Things", Tricky's rhymes on "Karmacoma", the title track. But whilst you can't fault the production (the sound on this record, especially the bass frequencies, are sumptuous) this suffers from two main issues - its lack of soul (it sounds like a comedown record, far more atmospheric than Blue Lines) and the fact it's always going to be compared to the album that came before it. Ditch the boring instrumentals (Weather Storm, Heat Miser), bring the vibe. Nicolette sounds lovely on Sly (a Bond theme that never was), and Three, but she's no Shara.

Totally forgot how patchy this record was. The highlights don't do enough to distract from the mis-steps. If Blue Lines was the sound of Bristol, then Protection is the sound of 3 Bristolians and their mates on a boring day trip to Weston-Super-Mare.

KEEP/DITCH? ON THE FENCE - may keep it for posterity, or as it fills a nice gap between Blue Lines and Mezzanine that was empty this morning...
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albummaster
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Gender: Male
Location: Spain
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#4 | Posted: 01/05/2018 10:05 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Really enjoyed reading. I hadn't realised Nicolette appeared on that album. I've just been on a YouTube binge to hear Single Minded People again, and then all the related tunes from that era. (Btw, love Protection more than Mezzanine but not as much as Blue Lines - but like them all to be honest. And what about the Banksy thing... very cool if it's true Cool ).
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Tilly




Location: Forest Park
United States

#5 | Posted: 01/05/2018 14:33 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Jimmy Dread wrote:
4th JANUARY 2018

Location: Sound Machine, Reading
Press: LP UK 1994
Condition: EX/EX
Price: £10
Listened Before? YES


Protection by Massive Attack

Spied a first UK press of this hiding away in the 'dance' section of a record shop which, much like Ben's in the previous post, has got better in recent years. Strangely enough a lot of the second hand stores that have popped up of late use Discogs as their bible, and price records at the average selling price regardless of condition. The more established ones still have the odd bargain hiding away here and there, of which this is a prime example.

I haven't given Protection a spin in the best part of 20 years, although listen to Blue Lines at least one a month from start to finish and really like the Mad Professor dubs (No Protection) that came out alongside this. Stand outs - Horace Andy specifically, whose vocals soar on "Spying Glass" (even though "Light My Fire" has never been up my street), the bass riff to "Better Things", Tricky's rhymes on "Karmacoma", the title track. But whilst you can't fault the production (the sound on this record, especially the bass frequencies, are sumptuous) this suffers from two main issues - its lack of soul (it sounds like a comedown record, far more atmospheric than Blue Lines) and the fact it's always going to be compared to the album that came before it. Ditch the boring instrumentals (Weather Storm, Heat Miser), bring the vibe. Nicolette sounds lovely on Sly (a Bond theme that never was), and Three, but she's no Shara.

Totally forgot how patchy this record was. The highlights don't do enough to distract from the mis-steps. If Blue Lines was the sound of Bristol, then Protection is the sound of 3 Bristolians and their mates on a boring day trip to Weston-Super-Mare.

KEEP/DITCH? ON THE FENCE - may keep it for posterity, or as it fills a nice gap between Blue Lines and Mezzanine that was empty this morning...


Yeah. I totally agree. I always thought it was an instant classic when it came out, but it I has the sudden realization about ten years ago that it wasno Blue Lines or Mezzanine. There's a couple of absolute clunkers on this album that are downright skippable. I hate Light mY fire for instance. Still, enough stunning tracks of Massive Atack in their prime to definitely be a keeper. It's a GREAT EP. lol

Peace, brother. Loving these posts. Brings back some good memories of the hunt.
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Jimmy Dread
ON SMOKO



Location: 555 Dub Street
United Kingdom
Moderator

#6 | Posted: 01/06/2018 20:50 | Post subject: Reply with quote
6th JANUARY 2018

Location: Elephant Records, Winchester
Press: LP Germany 2016
Condition: MINT (new, sealed)
Price: £9
Listened Before? YES (cursory listen only)


Sweet Sweet Dreams by Shadow (click link to have a listen)

Decided to take a drive down the M3 for my first record fair of the year. And it was an absolute stinker. Literally. One of the vendors selling had terrible B.O, which unfortunately can be an occupational hazard of going to such events. The other is the shedload of bootlegs you come across - you pick out a record you think'll be a pretty good and it turns out to have a really poor repro cover fresh out of the photocopier and invariably is on 'coloured vinyl' for no fucking reason apart from to get the ill-informed to part with their money. Luckily Winchester does have one of the best little record shops outside of London, run by a really nice guy with very tidy facial hair and a beanie hat. It's likely got the best range of new music (in terms of variety - everything from African funk to doom metal to experimental oddities to indie pop) of any record shop within an hour's drive from me outside of the ones in London.

I saw this album for sale in Honest Jon's over a year ago but didn't put my hand in my wallet at the time. In fact, seeing it instantly reminded me of my first introduction to Shadow, courtesy of mon ami Norman Bates who recommended to me the rather splendid Sofrito (Tropical Discotheque) compilation on Strut some time ago. The track on said compy - "Dat Soca Boat" - is a monster Calypso/Soca crossover, instantly infectious, horn stabs and flute runs a-plenty, and guaranteed to send anyone with funky limbs into spasm. Witness:


Link


Shadow was nothing if not prolific - at least one album a year (and sometimes two) released between '74 to '97 barring a couple exceptions. In T&T he probably ranks alongside Lord Kitchener as the pinnacle of homegrown talent, although he's never really had much impact outside the Caribbean as only a handful of his albums were repressed outside the islands for the benefit of the Trinidadian diaspora. Which is a shame, because Sweet Sweet Dreams will likely appeal to anyone with a passing interest in afrobeat, disco-funk and dance-pop, as well as soca devotees.

This edition mixes up the tracks that were on the original studio release back in '84, with opener "Dreaming" missing out altogether on the repress I picked up. Just as well, as to these ears it's the weakest track on the LP. So instead jump to "Let's Make It Up", a fusion of soca, sophisto-80s pop and electro boogie with a synth riff not too far removed from the type you might of heard on the fabulous Space Echo compilation of Cape Verde electronica that popped up last year (JoD take note). In fact if you want to find an African paralell William Onyeabor's not a bad shout, especially on "Let's Get It Together", which is electro-funk par excellance. Somewhere there's a Trinidadian version of the musical Hairspray that has Shadow's version of "Without Love" in it (in fact I'd wager there's a potential plagiarism suit there if anyone wants to pursue it).

As a whole, the album's not too shabby in the slightest - by no means a classic, but far from one you'd want to be without once you've heard it. Ironic then that the best track on my copy - "D'Hardest" - was never on the original press but added here as a bonus track. Afro-funk-electro-boogie meets soca/calypso, meets Alfredo De La Fe half way through and lets it all hang out on a Port-Of-Spain dancefloor. It's right up there with "Hot To Trot" and "When The Going Is Smooth And Good" for me in terms of disco mantras. If I were to DJ a club tomorrow, it would definitely get a spin.

KEEP/DITCH? KEEP - D'Hardest is going straight into my set-list
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Hayden




Location: CDMX
Canada

#7 | Posted: 01/06/2018 21:38 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Ah, yes

This'll be good.
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Jimmy Dread
ON SMOKO



Location: 555 Dub Street
United Kingdom
Moderator

#8 | Posted: 01/16/2018 17:27 | Post subject: Reply with quote
9th - 16th JANUARY

Haul for the week:



Highlight - undoubtedly a first UK press of Joy Division's Substance for a fiver. But from a sentimental point of view an original UK 12" of "This Charming Man" (£4 - sleeve's a bit knackered) ticks off one that's been on my wantlist for a while. And yes - that's an original Parklife. See what bloody BEA and Britpop threads will do to you.

Speaking of BEA:

Location: eBay
Press: LP US 2010 (repress)
Condition: MINT (new, sealed)
Price: £13, plus postage
Listened Before? YES


Colour Green by Sibylle Baier

Big thanks to LittleM for this - I'm sure he wasn't the first person to talk about this album, but it was certainly through him mentioning Colour Green on a thread somewhere that I discovered it. Unbelievable that this sat around gathering dust until the 21st century, bearing in mind that it was recorded in the early 70s and had only been circulated around family members on CDs as gifts. Sparse and raw - it's mostly just Sibylle on guitar and vox - it belongs to the same lineage as Vashti Bunyan's Just Another Diamond Day (in fact "Forget About" could easily fit on it and you wouldn't know any different), Anne Briggs' The Time Has Come and, albeit a little less so, Nico's Chelsea Girl and Bridget St. John's Ask Me No Questions. Now I adore all these LPs (and luckily enough own copies of them all to spin), but as with the first two in the above list there's a charming rustic innocence about Colour Green, as if you'd been transported back to an English village in the early 20th century and bumped into the farmer's daughter sitting on a wooden bench outside a church lynch gate, fresh from spending her day milking the cow and taking the weight off her feet before she returns to the farm to gather in the mushrooms. I can imagine listening to this album whilst walking through a cornfield and it feeling strangely apt and uplifting, that is until the owner chases you off his land with a shotgun. Until then, revel in the stark beauty, because this is simply divine listening.

Cheers Mike!

KEEP/DITCH? KEEP, without question.
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Jimmy Dread
ON SMOKO



Location: 555 Dub Street
United Kingdom
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#9 | Posted: 02/08/2018 20:10 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Been a couple of weeks since I last posted something in here, primarily due to lack of anything to report but mainly because I'm waiting to unveil a mega-post of what I've been buying this month (and there's a couple of reet goodies in there, trust me).

In the meantime, it's a fond farewell to:


Passed Me By by Andy Stott

Bought this at Spitalfields market over a year ago and listened to it once. Didn't think much of it at all so sold it to some technohead in Berlin for a tidy profit.


Totale's Turns (It's Now Or Never) by The Fall

Had it on CD and LP, so decided to flog the former. RIP MES.


Sylvan Esso by Sylvan Esso

Bought this at a car boot sale a couple of years ago but got it home to find out it was dished. Made my money back and a little more. Liked the LP for about 5 minutes.


The Correct Use Of Soap by Magazine

Ummed and Aahed about selling this on, but I've owned it for nearly 20 years and listened to it once or twice at most. Put it on and gave it a clean before packing it up to post and it only re-emphasised the fact that I did the right thing.

Plus a Swervedriver EP and this rather strange curio I picked up, which is like 60s experimental chiptune in nursery rhyme form. Not one for me, alas:



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Jimmy Dread
ON SMOKO



Location: 555 Dub Street
United Kingdom
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#10 | Posted: 02/10/2018 16:57 | Post subject: Reply with quote
SUNDAY 4th FEBRUARY - SATURDAY 10th FEBRUARY 2018

Well it's been a pretty busy week a-huntin' at the Towers Of Dread. I've shifted a fair few records on in the last week or two so with money sitting in my PayPal account and a couple of record fairs on locally I've been filling my boots.

Sunday was the Reading Record Fair. As per usual, I got there about 9am where all the emergency exits were still open as traders were setting up so I naturally jumped the door without paying the ridiculous £5 charge to get in. As always I head straight to Barry's Reggae stall - an old favourite of mine, he used to work as a UK distributor for Studio One so given my penchant for all things Dodd he's the main reason to duck out the house early doors (that and getting out of doing the ironing). I spy a copy of Sunday Morning by Alton Ellis and snap it up. On one of the tables opposite is a guy who lives just down the road from me who's brought all of his hip-hop vinyl along to sell. Skinny would have been creaming his Naff Naff jeans - the guy had first presses of a ton of 90s and 00s rap, from copies of The Low End Theory to a fair bit of Wu-Tang, to Pete Rock/CL Smooth to Del to Fugees to Quasimoto. Gutted he didn't have the two I would've loved ('93 Til Infinity and Midnight Marauders) but I picked up some crackers.

Came home from a day at work in Cheltenham on Wednesday evening (after a fruitless search in The Vinyl Vault - LittleM, they've really jacked up the prices in the shop under your old flat to the point of £20 for a copy of No Parlez - well, almost) to find a couple of parcels on my doorstep. One of these was an eBay grab of Termination Dub, one of my favourite dub LPs and previously a gaping hole in my Blood & Fire collection. The other a Discogs purchase of a Fall compilation before the prices went stupid. In fact, given that copies of Extricate are currently fetching £30-40 for a record you could previously find without much bother for £10-15 just goes to show the value of death to an artist's output. Scandalous really - exactly the same happened with Bowie.

Friday saw me pick up a couple of new LPs from a bloke in Sutton who blatantly had no idea about what he was selling. Not that they're overly exciting or rare, but given they're both Vinyl Me, Please pressings I was a little circumspect about picking them up given some of the quality control issues I've read about. Wasn't overly fussed with the coloured vinyl, but have to say they both sound pretty decent.

Another record fair this morning - a trip to Tolworth where again I bump into Reggae Barry and pick up another Studio One LP, this time a repress of Delroy Wilson's Original Twelve (cracking rocksteady - get on it if you like The Heptones, Gaylads, et al). Some bloke was selling a 12" of Stardust's Music Sounds Better With You but for once my powers of bartering deserted me (he wasn't budging from £15 for it) so I walked away with a load of new outer sleeves, the aforementioned JA compy and left.

But it was the hours between 10pm Thursday and 3pm Friday that were the undoubted highlight of the week, and with the acquisition of 2 LPs at long, long last I've finally managed to achieve the goal of owning all of my Top 100 on vinyl. Well, I say all as one's not been pressed on wax yet, but I've got a more-than-appropriate substitute which I ordered 3 weeks ago directly from the band only for it to sell out in less than 24 hours. The other... well, I'd almost given up ever being able to track it down given that it was going on eBay for £150+ and was only ever pressed in Japan. Luckily a Discogs user recommended going to Yahoo Auctions Japan to track it down, and lo and behold 3 weeks ago as I was browsing the web whilst in a queue at Boots to buy a new toothbrush head (first world problems and all that) I found it for sale for around £25. Now as luck would have it one of my good friends has a Japanese wife whose parents live in Nagasaki, so given that the quoted price to ship to the UK was something like £80 I asked her to bid on my behalf. With budget set (would have gone up to £50 for it) I was expecting an eBay-style last minute bidding war. But that never happened - there was only one other bid (the opening one) and once my friend's missus had done my bidding (literally and metaphorically) we only had to go 100 yen over the initial starting price (less than £1) to get it. A long journey of said record ensued, from Tokyo to Nagasaki to leafy Surrey, but on Thursday evening my mate dropped me an excited text, dashed over to mine and handed over a parcel which looked like it had been fixed together with hospital-strength bandages. A couple of photos later (apparently his wife and in-laws wanted to know what all the fuss was about) and I had it. Quest over. Until I decide to turn my chart upside-down again.

Haul below:


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