Lordy, it’s a new year so I thought it was time for some new recommendations. How very exciting. Actually these were supposed to appear in December but I ran out of time and stuff. Anyway, there have been few recommendations recently as it’s getting harder to find albums that genuinely excite me. This is daft really when you think how many records are out there now – but that has meant there is too much to see and ingest, I’ve almost become record blind. There are lots of new and weird and exciting discoveries from all around the world appearing all the time, as well as lots of people pressing albums that were repressed a few years ago, plus lots of people pressing any old rare LP because it’s rare and not necessarily that good. This creates a crowded and confusing marketplace, which works brilliantly if this is music you are just discovering, but for me it makes it tricky, and harder to find music that really thrills me and is worthy of writing about. Also, bargains are now hard to find, for all the obvious reasons. But I have found some old and new bits and bobs recently, whether they are actually worthy of writing about is possibly up for debate. But I’m going to do it now anyway.
School Daze – Patrick Cowley:
Holy cow, this is awesome. And completely unexpected too. I read a review about it that didn’t say it was either good or bad, but I was intrigued because it was his music for gay porn movies in the early 1980s. But rather than make new music, Cowley just sent the porn company tapes of music he’d made in the 1970s. It’s so wrong it’s right. I can’t quite believe how good the music really is. Like dark, weird, bleak techno but then not like that at all – it knocks the crap out of just about anything I’ve heard all year (by this I mean 2013). And possibly this century so far. And it’s certainly the strangest porn music I have ever heard. Here is a link
The Big Silence:
This Morricone score has been here before, but it’s here again now because a West London record dealer emailed me a picture of the Italian Parade label original pressing and said he’d found it in a strange collection and wanted to know if I’d be interested. Well I was as I’ve always wanted a real one, so we did a deal and I came away with a well priced record. I adore this record and now I have an original I keep playing it. This also means I can now sell my Beat copy of the soundtrack, so if you are interested please drop me a line.
How To Have Oral Sex:
A member of the Trunk mailing list and long-time Trunk collector emailed me recently with a scan of this 10” sex education record. He then, out of the blue, sent me the record, along with the second filthy 10” it was made with. So I got a pair of filthy sex education records which are a bit like a sonic version of The Joy Of Sex, a bit camp, a bit like playschool and one of the sides it’s beyond perverted and would get the people who made it probably locked up these days. We’ll be enjoying these records as we have family Sunday lunches. I might stick one of the cues up as a download so you can hear just how ridiculous it is.
Simon Fisher Turner’s Everest:
I had no idea how good this was going to be. It’s bloody marvelous. All cowbells and drifty sounds, I suppose a composed sonic collage. Now all I need to do is blag a copy of the DVD off someone. And let’s face it, who’d have thought the Green Cross Code Kid would turn out to be such an incredible musician.
How I Play Jazz Piano:
Sounds like a teaching aid but in fact is an album by a jazz unknown (relatively speaking) who taught himself how to play the piano by matching his fingers to the notes played by a player piano. Here, we have jazz standards like “Yesterdays”, or “It Might As Well Be Spring” that have been turned into slow, peaceful late night sounds. You may be fooled initially into thinking this is a classical album but it is jazz that sounds all classical – and played on solo piano. This is perfect evening listening and I use it to calm down after I’ve shouted at my kids for an hour or so. There is also some weird shit on the back of the album I do not understand.
Some Klaus Doldinger:
A good record chum of mine, called Sermad, who now lives in NYC came back a few weeks ago and decided to sell a heap of LPs from his Clapton lock-up. This all sounds a bit crooked but I can assure you it wasn’t. These were LPs he’d enthusiastically bought a few years ago, loved them and learned from them, but has now moved on and only wants to buy rare Italian film music and library LPs which I can understand totally. The sale LPs were all stupidly cheap as he wanted to get rid of them. In the small pile I bought was the classic Doldinger 2 LP set with the jazzy sax window on the front. I’m glad I got this as it has some of the Motherhood cues on it which I’d not ever heard as the original Motherhood LP has always been mental money. And now, having heard them, I can nearly understand why.
Will Powers 12”:
Yes, woman photographer called Lynn Goldsmith makes 1983 album under a pseudonym, and it’s sort of a piss take self help album. The extended versions of some of these cues are really on it.
Charlie Steinmann music:
Several years ago the Worker’s Playtime lot put together a Christmas comp which included the reasonably obscure track “It Is Such A Good Night” by Charlie Steinman. It’s a killer easy tune, all uppy and effervescent – great for a party. Fast forward a few years and the very same track turns up in Breaking Bad (in an early meth montage, and all of a sudden it’s back on my musical map. So I had to try and find it on vinyl, and then a copy came up on ebay as a buy it now for ten Euros and I nearly wet myself. Well I might have actually wet myself. Anyway, it’s one of those cues you play out and it’s all really happy and people either come up and start talking about Heisenberg and Jessie and chickens or they don’t. I got pretty obsessed by another track from the show but more about that another time.
A Dark Green French Library Record:
The MP2000 Label has been very interesting and also quite disappointing for me over the years. I have heard both incredible music and quite dull rubbish on the label, but then that is no surprise really. But this week I found a dark green album in the series I have never come across before. It’s mental. Sounds like a pissed up Frenchman (or woman) roaming around a foley workshop, hitting things with a bagette and some fromage. Brilliant.
The Goldberg Variations:
Music written in 1741 by JS Bach for Count Kaiserling to aid his fidgety sleep. I like this because 1) the versions I am listening to are by Glenn Gould and he’s sort of potty, and 2) the artwork is by a fine sleeve designer / photographer called Paul Huf who is super cool and you should really look him up. I listen to this a lot as it stops Mrs Trunk putting on the Inspector Morse 3 CD set of opera arias which I enjoy much less.
The soundtracks of Bruce Lacey:
Bruce is a proper British eccentric, the original art-meets-madness man. He built a robot, he built his own synth out of bits and bobs he’d salvaged (plus some Meccano), he made loads of weirdy films and made his own soundtrack music for them. Well it’s this music. And no you can’t get it as I haven’t released it yet.
This was made by the bloke what made the film with him and another bloke pedaling around the sea and then up the Thames in an old Swan pedalo. This is the album what he made using some of the recordings they made en route, mixed with some pastoral folky oddness. Jolly good it is too.
I do not have the Black Music / White People album but I have this, which I prefer even though it is possibly musically inferior because the sleeve is covered in Alan Jones style tits. The reason I have been listening to this a bit is because I really can’t work out if it’s really good or really bad. I’ll keep you informed.
AKA The Sand Man. And probably some other names too. Truly weird and excellent – what a guy. Just go and read up about this great arty odd character. And buy a record.
Gal And Caetano album:
The state of the front room was getting a little out of control - basically becoming overrun with my record player, records, amplifier, speakers and stuff. And this is downstairs, when all my stuff is supposed to be upstairs. So, we bought a sideboard. One big enough to put the record payer on, the little Quad amp next to it and a vase and some flowers too, and we made sure it had three little cupboards below that were big enough to hold some LPs to play. I filled the cupboards with a random bunch of wax and this little baby was one of the first to get played out from the new set up. And lovely it is too. The record I mean. And the new set up is pretty fine too.
The Music Of Connan Mockasin:
Miles from Wonderfulsound put me on to this bloke. Connan is from New Zealand and possibly from outerspace too. The music he makes is unexpected, polished, weirdly simple, unpredictable, a bizarre hybrid of all sorts of things (like Prince, helium, the local Chinese takeaway, Bowie, the avant garde, the Beatles, Gary Newman, Leigh Bowery etc) and then nothing at all. It’s bloody marvelous and sounds different everytime you hear it. Just what I needed to restore my faith in modern music. And I now have to get all his records. And a pair of those gold gloves like he wears in the video where he’s got lemons for glasses.
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