singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
16 May 2014
(listening through speakers)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove
TEAD Vibe 1.5 / Pulse 2
TEAD Linear A
TEAD Model One

I was cleaning all my Quickspace singles (cleaning records is my new therapy), and this came out with them. I couldn’t remember what it was like, so I gave it a quick whiz on the Loricraft, and dropped it on the turntable.

Let’s be clear: some of Quintron’s stuff can be difficult. When he properly wigs out on that organ it can get heavy going and, like some of the more experimental electronics (I’m looking at you, Drum Buddy) perhaps a little self-indulgent. But I keep buying whatever records of his I see because he’s unique. A complete one-off, crackpot, genius. According to his website, “He has recently invented an analog drone synthesizer called THE SINGING HOUSE which is completely modulated by the weather”. And can you say that about your favourite band?

Ring the Alarm finds Mr Quintron (and the fragrant Miss Pussycat) in full pop mode: if you can sit still through this one you’re a harder man than me. Lord knows what they’re on about, Quintron may or may not be dressed up like a troll. Whatever it is, I bet it’s even better accompanied by puppets.

Recorded in Canada, released in Austria, barely of this world. You’ve got to love Quintron, even if you don’t like him. Great picture on the back cover too, of a workman’s arse, and a girl who’s really having it. You get stuck in love!

5

The following review contains mild rant.

I have been a record collector for twenty-five years. I have spent a lot of time in record shops, and I know what they’re really like. Largely staffed by unfriendly, elitist, snobby, judgemental types; frequented by 99% white males, frequently with social and/or hygiene problems. A favourite hangout for complete losers, freaks and pervs. Often cold, damp, dirty; mice not uncommon.

The idea of the record shop as a cool, hip place where beautiful girls find sensitive boys, and every record in the racks is a classic, is bullshit. Yes, the record shop appears to be coming back in a small way, but in the everything-is-at-least-£15 form, frequented by, smug twats who never buy anything but walk round with a carefully selected record in a clear carrier bag. (Yes, some record shops are run by lovely people, and are actually nice to go into, but there aren’t that many of them.)

Which brings us to Record Store Day. First, it’s shop. Record shop. Second, the “day” part appears to be key, because 99% of the people who participate only go to record shops on that one day of the year. How else do you explain queues round the block for places that rarely see more than three people through the door at once?

In Record Shop Day (you see what I did there?) someone has accidentally created a channel through which artists can release records such that the people who want them, can’t get them. There were half a dozen records released on record shop day this year that I wanted, because I collect the artists, because I enjoy their music. If these records had been released on any other day of the year, I could have bought them, from one of my favourite shops, with no problems, for the market price, and enjoyed listening to them and adding them to my collection. But because they came out on record shop day, they were all bought by people who took them home and immediately put them on eBay. By the time I got to my local record shop, the things I wanted had gone. I went home, and there they all were, on eBay and Discogs, at four to ten times the market price. So, I didn’t buy them. The artists don’t reach their fans. Record sit in cellophane for ever because they’ve got a sticker on that says “RSD14”. It’s bullshit.

This is an “RSD14” thing. Sold at an extortionate price even before the eBay markup, it’s an odd curio, and it’s hard to see why it exists at all. It was recorded in 2009 by a whole bunch of people, including Neko Case and Kristin Hersh, and clearly no one thought in the first five years of its life that it was worth committing to vinyl, yet here it is now, joining the party and demanding expensive attention.

Mses Case and Hersh are two of my favourite musicians. No: artists. And I mean that in the true sense of the word. Their names on the sleeve were each a sufficient reason to buy this record. They’re wonderful, towering talents. But they’re wasted here. Both sing about four lines of a not-great cover of a not-great Lou Reed song, and you kind of wonder what the point is, beyond cachet or completism. Very disappointing. I blame myself.

2

The only Toy track I’ve got is something called Rabbit Pushing Mower which is on an Annie mixtape CD compilation thing. It’s great, and it’s why I bought this. Rabbit Pushing Mower is a quirky instrumental electronic thing, a bit like if Broadcast did a kids TV theme. This one sounds like Hawkwind. I’m not even sure it’s the same band. Once again, “I am disappoint”.

2