Monday, April 30, 2007

I Knew It!

The summer before my senior year of college (way back in '02, believe it or not- I choose not), I "borrowed" my dad's old record player, a Luxman PD272 that had been gathering dust for decades in a storage warehouse. I then accessorized with a big stack of aging vinyl, which, despite weighing in at what must have been at least fifty pounds, barely scratched the surface of the mountains of dusty gems he had hidden away- but that's another story. Thus I acquired a complete "Baby's First Deck!" beginner set, and all was good in the world. Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?

Cut to Berkeley a few months later. I was walking past Amoeba Records on Telegraph when I noticed a big cardboard box full of vinyl 12's sitting on the street. The box itself looked like it might have been peed on, and the entire stack of record sleeves inside had been unflatteringly spray-painted with a big pink stripe across their tops. I wasn't sure what to make of any of this, but I decided to do what any self respecting citizen would, and whisked the whole mess back to my apartment. I'm a hopeless public servant, always have been.

As it turns out, the box hadn't been peed on (that I could tell). It had, however, been filled to the brim with crap: musical crap! All the records that wouldn't sell even after being marked down to the magical price of $0.99. Obviously I was pleased to no end. If you think browsing random stuff on YouTube is fun, you should try sifting through the aural detritus of generations past! I carefully filed my newfound treasures away, brushed my teeth, and proceeded to dream sweet dreams of crackly barbershop quartets and rico/suave country crooners of yore. Or at least that's what I would have done had this been the dramatic re-enactment of that night. In reality I probably dreamed something much weirder and then forgot it fifteen seconds after waking up the next morning. But I digress.

Over the next year or so, I came across a number of similar boxes of free records outside of Amoeba and Rasputin, never failing to rescue them and add them to my growing collection of reject history. Every now and then I'd pull one out for laughs, but for the most part they just sat there masquerading as "real" music and making me look cool for having oh so many impractical yet charmingly-retro petroleum products. They gathered dust and took up space, and I loved them for it. And I dreamed of their limitless potential... or probably just of weird stuff that, again, I forgot upon waking. But for the story's sake, let's say I dreamed of potential because it seems more poetic that way.

The point of all this rambling is that, over the last few days, I actually, finally, started pulling out, wiping off, and going to work on my flock of orphan recordings. And lo and behold, they have potential! Whoa, and I have WYSIWYG formatting, that's pretty cool. Italic and bold text in one paragraph? I really did major in Computer Science!

OK sorry about that, I get a little excited sometimes.

Anyway yeah, I ended up finding quite a lot of interesting tidbits, and have a few new pieces I'm working on that incorporate what I've found so far. I know sampling vinyl is the oldest idea in the electronic music book , but it's an exciting "discovery" for me! And so I can't help but share a couple of very early clips- all disclaimers apply, but I think I like where they're headed.

(Side note: I'm writing Clip B for the eventual incorporation of vocals. I don't know by whom, but if you'd like to give it a shot please let me know! If you live in Germany and are related to me you get automatic first-dibs.)

Clip A
Clip B

I'm pretty tired, so I'll leave it at that for now. Away I go, to dream of... well, something I'll probably forget.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

allow me to paraphrase Kid Koala
~"So now, I'm going to play my worthless records for you and as usual, I'm going to play them wrong"