HARDHOUND

The Durutti Column – The Return of the Durutti Column

Author: Colin | Published: 27/1/13

The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column

The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column

The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column

The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column

The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column

The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column

The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column

The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column

Artist The Durutti Column
Title The Return of the Durutti Column
Label Factory Records
Year 1979
Design Anthony Wilson
Music Beautiful
Notes This record belongs to my good friend Arthur Haggerty. Despite its witty title, it’s the first album by the Durutti Column and was the second album released by Factory Records, the first being Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures. I bought its two successors, LC and Another Setting, 25 or so years ago, to my abiding regret they disappeared at some point in my perambulations.

According to Discogs there are two pressings of this record with slightly different tracks on the B side. Arthur’s copy doesn’t have anything spray stenciled on the sleeve and he doesn’t have the 7″ flexi-disc by Hannett bearing two rather lovely melodic test signals. Anthony Wilson is credited with the idea for the sleeve, inspired by Guy Debord’s book Mémoires whose sandpaper cover was intended to damage its neighbours on a bookshelf. Martin Hannett’s production starkly frames Vini Reilly’s beautiful music.

For some of us this album approaches the status of a secular holy relic because, in addition to the beauty of the object and the music, Vini Reilly states that Joy Division were paid by Tony Wilson to assemble the sandpaper sleeves to earn some extra money. In another report, Ian Curtis allegedly did most of the work while the other three sat watching television in the next room.

The album was also released in one of Saville’s lovely cassette box designs.

Fact14c, image courtesy of www.cerysmaticfactory.info

Fact14c, image courtesy of www.cerysmaticfactory.info

7" flexi-disc

7″ flexi-disc

My friend Arthur

My friend Arthur

Listen

:zoviet*france: – 7.10.12

Author: Colin | Published: 20/1/13
Previous Liking this a lot Next The Durutti Column – The Return of the Durutti Column

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

zoviet*france

Artist :zoviet*france:
Title 7.10.12
Label Altvinyl
Year 2012
Design conceived and designed by :zoviet*france:
Music :zoviet*france:
Notes It was a real pleasure to meet Ben from zoviet*france before Christmas. The fact that Milorad Pavić’s Dictionary of the Khazar served as partial inspiration was particularly interesting as it’s long been one of my favourite books. I love the combination of rich signification and minimal design that this work presents. Here’s further detail:

On the origins of 7.10.12

Within Milorad Pavić’s ‘Dictionary of the Khazars’ there is a reproduction of the illustrated title page from the original Joannes Daubmannus editon of the ‘Lexicon Cosri’ (Khazar Dictionary). Within that title page is the publication date, 1691, which is a rotational ambigram, or vertical palindrome.

The recordings that make up the album, ‘7.10.12’, were originally intended to be released as a trilogy of 12-inch singles, one every few months. While the mastering process was underway for this, the vinyl record format was, naturally, very much in our thinking. The chance encounter with 1691 led to a wider consideration of the significance that some dates attract due to their numerical sequence and the realisation that the date 7 October 2012, when expressed numerically in the Gregorian little-endian format, is 7.10.12 – the three diameter sizes, in inches, in which vinyl records are manufactured.

Within 24 hours of the 1691 encounter, we were able to convince alt.vinyl to completely change the concept of the project from three 12-inch singles to a boxed set, equivalent to an album, containing a 7-inch, a 10-inch and a 12-inch record, and for it to be released on the seventh day of the tenth month in the twelfth year.

Why Daubmannus chose to publish his lexicon in 1691, a date that remains the same when turned upside down, is unknown to us.

:zoviet*france:
Newcastle upon Tyne, January 2013

Statement on the band’s Facebook page:

Limited to 250 copies.

“Devoid of any pictorial imagery or narrative text, this is a set of three label-less heavy weight translucent records – a 7-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch – housed (suspended and separated) in a custom made heavy textured card archive clam shell lined box along with traces of the area’s unfathomable prehistory: a blind rubbing – a paper impression – taken from one of the neolithic cup and ring carved stones that pepper the region and a vial containing dried hawthorn berries, a tree with imbued with much pre-Christian metaphysical meaning.” – Label press release

Nothing can be opened unless it has first been closed (Lamargi)

conceived and designed by :zoviet*france:
mastered for vinyl by Patrick Klem at Klemflastic Sound
alt.vinyl av040/av041/av042
altvinyl.com
© 2012 copyright control :zoviet*france:
Disc 1: 45rpm; Discs 2 & 3: 33rpm

Listen Listen to samples on Boomkat.

Liking this a lot

Author: Colin | Published: 18/1/13
Previous iTunes 11 Next :zoviet*france: – 7.10.12

David Bowie Performing

I assume this is the image for the single. Love the inversion of the image, the crop, the black and white. And it’s that font which I really like here. Very nice and it’s what I was hoping for, exploring/developing the theme of the album cover. Wish I could find a larger version of the image.

iTunes 11

Author: Colin | Published: 18/1/13
Previous HMV RIP Next Liking this a lot

Although I love physical media, I listen to much of my music at home from my laptop and iPhone relayed through an Apple tv. I’m therefore pretty reliant on iTunes. It’s a reasonable music asset management and playback tool. As a way of viewing covers it was just about okay though it was only ever possible to view one element of the cover – there was no way to view the back or inside cover. However, there was the choice to display a grid of flat album covers flat against an optionally dark background and resize them up to a certain scale or, alternatively, view them even larger in coverflow mode with track details displayed below. Both views made it easy to see playcounts which is important to me so I could pick up listening to an album from the point I left off.

Then iTunes 11 came along, I read Daring Fireball’s positive appraisal and responded to his advice to “give it a go”. This was a mistake. It’s a nightmare to downgrade again and in the end I gave up trying. I dislike the latest version of iTunes because it removed both coverflow and the ability to resize covers in the grid display which now has a white background with no option to make it dark. These were replaced by the gimmick of the limited listing ‘reveal’ which displays a slightly larger version of the cover with the edges blurred out (this looks terrible to me) and the background colour determined by an algorithm that assigns a colour scheme made up of the cover’s dominant hues. I also have to change views to see playcounts which is silly. These design choices further reduce the visual experience of music and reduce ease of use, seemingly merely for the sake of change. Unfortunately, there’s no viable alternative in the Apple universe.

However, I’m writing this not to complain, but to point out that there’s a way to see a larger version of the cover art that is slightly hidden and might be of interest to cover art fiends like myself. If you click the miniature cover in the player window, it opens it up in a pop up window with a Quicktime player and window bar that appears and disappears on mouseover. You can even click the little green button to maximise the image and minimise the background iTunes window.

itunes11b

HMV RIP

Author: Colin | Published: 16/1/13
Previous Ursula Bogner – Sonne = Black Box Next iTunes 11

HMV Oxford Street 5

HMV Oxford Street 6

HMV Oxford Street 8

With the news that HMV has gone into administration the redoubtable Retronaut has published a suitably impressive gallery of images of the company’s flagship store in the 1950s. More pics here. I love the strapline on the sign on the first image: “Home entertainment and electric housekeeping”.

David Hepworth sees this news as tremendously significant for music: “Put it this way. This time next year people may have stopped saying “have you heard the new album by…..”"

Ursula Bogner – Sonne = Black Box

Author: Colin | Published: 13/1/13
Previous Bowie/Barnbrook Next HMV RIP

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Ursula Bogner

Artist Ursula Bogner
Title Sonne = Black Box
Label Faitiche
Year 2011
Design Jan Jelinek
Music Ur electronic
Notes I’ve been a long-time fan of Jan Jelinek’s music, particularly his work as Gramm and Farben. I did an interview with him a decade or so ago. The likes of Textstar, Personal Rock and Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records continue to strike me as supremely elegant/futuristic/contemporary. Around 2005 his interest began to look towards kozmische concerns and then further back to early electronic music pioneers which brings us to this release. Of course a sizable question mark hangs over Bogner’s head as to whether she’s Jelinek’s alter-ego or not. Jelinek acknowledges this in the book by including a short piece by Momus on the subject. The danger of such work – as with the English hauntological branch represented by Ghost Box et al – is that of pastiche. That’s not the case here either visually or musically. This is the opening paragraph of Andrew Pekler’s introduction to the release (read the rest here):

I was pleasantly surprised when Faitiche invited me to investigate the Ursula Bogner archives and assemble a collection of her works for this second volume of recordings. My delight was all the greater when during my research I came upon a cache of materials (tape recordings, notes, graphic scores) which bring to light two previously unheard but overlapping aspects of Bogner’s music: her experiments with tape manipulation and her use of the voice as a sound source.

Faitiche, which translates as fact/fetish (perfect name for the endeavour), is the label Jelinek set up in 2008 for previously unreleased installation, soundtrack, collaboration and other fragmentary works. It’s also released two brilliant 12″s of new Farben music – you can listen to samples and buy the EPs from Boomkat: Farben EP and Xango. The predominantly monochrome house style is consistently wonderful with playful references to ethonographic archives, 60s/70s museum displays and academic research. Each design sets my heart racing. Highly recommended.

Also Farben – Starbox
Listen Ursula Bogner sampler

More Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek - Bird, Lake, Objects

Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek - Bird, Lake, Objects

filing

trabant

Bogner

Next Page »