REARVIEW MIRROR #2

Being an multi-part wander through the Vinyl Connection year in music

FEBRUARY

On-line consumerism is a trap, isn’t it?

I seem to succumb to the siren call of internet shopping in the late evenings. But is there more to the pattern than time of day? Is it more frequent, perhaps, at the end of a long and trying workday were the childlike desire for a treat lures me towards ‘buy now, regret later’ investments? Those records will rot your ears, you know that, don’t you?

Or maybe it’s the sneak in me, diving into the dark web of vinyl addiction when the house is quiet and no-one can witness—and confirm—your shame. Protestations of normality are hollow.

Sometimes I know I order records because there has been no chance to get to a shop and some artist or title has been on my mind. Plug that hole, tick that box.

Nonsuch had a great offer on their back catalogue, so I bought every one of their records I thought I’d enjoy. Somewhat to my surprise, it was the Emmylou Harris Wrecking Ball re-issue that brought the most pleasure; a ‘deluxe’ version worthy of the name. A wisp behind Emmylou were Brian Eno and David Byrne with the expanded My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, originally released in 1981 and still a compelling and disturbing listen.

ENO byrne bush of ghosts

Returning to plugging holes in the collection, a project is a fine excuse for buying.

Having marshalled my 1967 albums into their own little spreadsheet, I proceeded to compare the VC holding with month-by-month releases from that magic music-year half a century ago. Shock! Horror! I did not have either Donovan LP! Quick Robin, to the bat-computer!

Donovan Mellow Yellow 1967

When Larry Coryell died in mid-February, fans of jazz-rock fusion had no idea the Grim Reaper would cut a swathe through the ranks of fusion guitarists throughout the year. Larry led the charge to the afterlife and in a calculating piece of journalistic opportunism, I wrote about two 1967 albums he appeared on with vibist Gary Burton.

John Abercrombie died in August. The album featured was the timeless Timeless.

In between (April), Allan Holdsworth also pegged out. Somehow I did not make the time to honour this outstandingly diverse guitarist.

Nucleus, Tempest, Gong, UK, Soft Machine, Jean-Luc Ponty, Bill Bruford. Holdsworth was the worst kept secret in music, but never really recognised by the broader public.

Talking of guitarists, February saw the arrival of the first 2017 release at Vinyl Connection headquarters.

It was the new album by French experimentalist Richard Pinhas, Reverse.

Richard Pinhas Reverse 2017

Still pursuing his explorations of where music and noise intersect (or perhaps overlap), Pinhas’ new work is beautiful and disquieting in equal measure. For fans (like me) it was manipulated magic, but those wishing to explore the musician some have called the Gallic Robert Fripp should perhaps start elsewhere; I’d suggest Allez Teia (Heldon, 1974) or Stand By ( Heldon, 1979).

Took an expensive punt on the self-titled This Heat LP but it didn’t grab me. That happens; sometimes your ears are just not receiving the signal and willing it does not make it so.

Allan Holdsworth Atavachron

 

18 comments

  1. The Richard Pinhas album is brilliant I think. It’s in my top 30 releases of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fascinating list.
      Thanks for dropping by.
      Bruce

      Like

      1. I’ve been dropping by for a while 🙂 but I can’t resist a list!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh man, late night shopping online HAPPENS. So does drunken online shopping (though I’m days away froma year without a drop, I remember well those Discogs and Amazon sessions!). Anyway, I figure it doesn’t matter what hour it gets ordered – you were probably gonna order it anyway! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A truer word has never been spoken, Aaron.
      (And congrats on the anniversary, if that’s in order)

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      1. Wasn’t it you that had a whole list of reasons we give our lovely ladies/significant others/partners/etc as to why we bought an album? Pretty sure it was in these pages, anyway.. and those reasons get used when we order online!

        For me, online is just about all I’ve got We do have a Sunrise (corporate) shoppe here but it’s small. And one manky used shoppe (I recommend wearing gloves to dig the bins). Aside from my picked-clean place of employment, that’s it around here! Online has saved my life. As has trips to Taranna, but that’s 2.5 hours away and doesn’t happen more than a few times a year.

        The anniversaryy is fine – not really a problem that made me do it, just that day I decided I didn’t need it, stopped, haven’t touched it since. And so it goes!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh the fiendish internet and it’s wiley ways. Was it better when we had to hunt and gather or is it better now that it is a click away?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, the walking and flicking was exercise. That’s what I told myself. The internet is entirely responsible for my middle-aged waistline.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was just having a browse at records in an actual shop there… empty handed. Figure I’m gonna hit up the internets, cause, eh, online consumerism is, eh, the answer to my ‘fuck this week’ blues.

    Anyhoo, that Pinhas album has popped up on my radar a few times. I think it’s cause of the album cover. You know me and album covers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you succumb to the lure of M.Pinhas, do let me know what you think of ‘Reverse’.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Taking advantage of yon Apple Music and have it on just now. I’ll report back…

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  5. There’s a secondary seller on Amazon (Round3CA) that seems to know my weakness – CD singles from the cure/pavement/weezer/etc. listed at $0.70 + $3.49 shipping, how does one possibly resist?!
    And I smiled ear-to-ear reading the line about marshaling albums into a spreadsheet, I can relate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Resistance is useless!’
      Spreadsheets are useful!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Always interesting (informative also) never boring.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Couldn’t resist your challenge to explore Richard Pinhas. That Reverse album seemed to peter out towards the end but overall I like it. Some nice drumming in Ketter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has always been like that with M. Pinhas – the drums are usually very powerful and lift the music. Glad you found something to enjoy, Phil.

      Like

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