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For the record, I was a vinyl vandal | Barbara Ellen

Bad track record: 'My surviving records are scratched, reeking of wine, and sprinkled with fag ash.' Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo T here are reports of bumper sales of turntables this Christmas. Young people are buying them and older people too, keen to revisit their old records. Which is understandable, though spare a thought for those of us whose old vinyl wouldn't be up to it. As a former music journalist, it's sometimes presumed that I "must" have a great vinyl collection. That rather depends. I had a great time listening to my records, but are they in a great state now? Nope. My surviving records are scratched, reeking of wine, sprinkled with fag ash and even a few boot prints. The inner sleeves have nearly all vanished, and I once found a copy of Kate Bush's Hounds of Love on the kitchen floor, wrapped with drunken tenderness in a dirty tea towel.

Read more - 3 days ago

HMV's new voice is relishing the fight to save all the stores

On 20 July 1921, presided over by composer Sir Edward Elgar, the very first HMV store was opened by the Gramophone Company at 363 Oxford Street, London. Photograph: Mark Thomas/Rex/Shutterstock "Our goal is to keep all 127," he said. "I think there's hope [for Oxford Street]. We would love to keep it open, it is such an iconic store. We would even be willing to keep it open and lose money. Customers love it." HMV has been trading on London's most famous shopping street for almost a century - its original store was opened there in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar, the British composer. But the site is expensive - rent on the Oxford Street store is £3.2m a year, and the rates bill is £1.4m, according to HMV's former owner, Hilco.

Read more - 5 days ago

Copy of Prince's The Black Album sells for record-breaking $27,500

Prince performing in Paris in 2009. Photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images A vinyl copy of Prince's fabled 1987 LP known as The Black Album has sold for $27,500, making it the most expensive record ever sold on online music marketplace Discogs. The album was withheld from release by Prince, who described having an epiphanic experience that prompted him to scrap it. He told Rolling Stone in 1991: "I suddenly realised that we can die at any moment, and we'd be judged by the last thing we left behind. I didn't want that angry, bitter thing to be the last thing." His decision meant there are just a handful of promotional vinyl copies in existence. The copy sold on Discogs is particularly rare, one of the 500,000 retail versions that Prince ordered to be destroyed.

Read more - 1 week ago

McIntosh unveils new all-in-one-turntable with HD Bluetooth

The MT100 is described by McIntosh as a turntable designed for people who want “maximum flexibility”, but don’t have the space or desire for a large system.

It features a shielded phono preamplifier, Sumiko Olympia Moving Magnet cartridge, unbalanced auxiliary input, digital audio coaxial and optical inputs, HD Bluetooth receiver, a subwoofer output, stereo speaker outputs, and a headphone jack.

Read more - 2 weeks ago

Vampire Weekend detail new album Father Of The Bride

Listen to two new singles - 'Harmony Hall' and '2021' - now. Vampire Weekend have revealed the title of their forthcoming album, Father Of The Bride . The LP will be their first since 2013's Modern Vampire Of The City . VW have also released two tracks from the album - 'Harmony Hall' and '2021' - after having teased them with a two-hour video of a looped guitar riff taken from 'Harmony Hall'. According to a Beats 1 interview with Ezra Koenig, 'Harmony Hall' features production from ex-Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij and guitar from Greg Leisz and Dirty Projector's Dave Longstreth. In another interview with NPR, Koenig revealed that '2021' samples a piece of music that Yellow Magic Orchestra's Haruomi Hosono composed for Muji stores in Japan in the '80s.

Read more - 2 weeks ago

Iconic library music label KPM has digitised its entire catalogue

Heavily sampled by producers like J Dilla and Madlib, the iconic "Greensleeves" of the KPM 1000 series - so called for their uniform green covers - have become highly sought after items over the years. An outlet for session musicians to experiment away from commercial pop music forms, KPM released music in a vast number of genres, from Soul Organ Showcase to Marches For Any Occassion and A Moog for All Reasons , making cult stars of its musicians Keith Mansfield, Alan Hawkshaw and Alan Parker in the process. The digitisation process, which involved working against the clock to preserve the original reel-to-reel master tapes, has now been extended to lesser-known labels, such as German library imprints Coloursound and Selected Sound. Overseeing the process, EMI Production Music's Paul Sandell said: "There is no bigger name library music than KPM, which is reflected by its rich and diverse catalogue spanning 70 years, including some of the best-known television theme tunes.

Read more - 3 weeks ago

Jazz trio The Comet is Coming announce new album, Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery

Featuring saxophonist King Shabaka (Shabaka Hutchings) keys and synth player Danalogue (Dan Leavers) and drummer Betamax (Max Hallett), the record "aims to answer universal questions with universal truths" shares the label. Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery follows Shabaka Hutchings' Sons Of Kemet album Your Queen Is A Reptile - one of our favourite albums of 2018, which was also released via Impulse! last year.

Read more - 3 weeks ago

Iconic dub label On-U Sound releasing Pay It All Back Volume 7 on 2xLP

"The Pay It All Back series started 35 years ago!" Sherwood explains. "These compilations were designed to promote the world of On-U, a 'payback' for the people who supported us and to encourage others to investigate the label's work." " Pay It All Back features previews of several forthcoming On-U releases, unique mixes, deep cuts, and unreleased tracks from Roots Manuva, Sherwood & Pinch, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Coldcut, Ghetto Priest, Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart's Magic Band), Mark Stewart, Horace Andy, and Little Axe." As has become tradition, the tunes are bridged by "special pirate radio style" intro and outro segments.

Read more - 4 weeks ago

Brits 2019 The 1975 come out on top with two big awards

Other winners on the night included George Ezra and Jorja Smith, who won best male and female respectively. Ezra, who performed his number one single Shotgun at the event, said "There's a not a day goes by where I don't count myself very lucky and this is the icing on the cake." Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Brits 2019: On the red carpet Calvin Harris bagged his first two Brit awards - from a total of 16 career nominations - for music producer of the year and best single, for One Kiss with Dua Lipa. He said on stage at London's O2: "I've been coming here for a few years and never had the opportunity to say anything. "I want to thank anyone that's bought a tune, streamed a tune, come to a show, listened to the song by accident on the radio and gone 'what's this?'.

Read more - 4 weeks ago

Producer Jayda G releasing debut album, Significant Changes, on Ninja Tune

Significant Changes features nine tracks, including several contributions by vocalist and frequent collaborator Alexa Dash. According to Ninja Tune, the album draws on Chicago house influences as well as Jayda's research work in environmental toxicology, where she investigated the effects of human activity on the Salish Sea killer whales (orcas) of Vancouver. Its title refers to the masters degree Jayda recently completed in Resource and Environmental Management - 'significant changes' was the most used phrase in her thesis. As Jayda explains: "I'm trying to bring my two worlds together... to bridge the communication gap, engage people in a new way." "I don't know if people in the electronic music world will want to talk about the environment but I think I should try! I think it's our duty to use a platform like this in a positive way, that's our social responsibility." Significant Changes follows recent records on the Freakout Cult imprint she co-ran with DJ Fett Burger, as well as her remix work on Oscillate Tracks 001 - one of our favourite EPs of 2018.

Read more - 4 weeks ago

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