singles by choice
(albums when it's necessary)
20 July 2014
(listening with headphones)Avid Acutus
Funk F·XRII
Linn Kilmax DS (Renew)
TEAD Mastergroove
TEAD Vibe 1.5 / Pulse 2
Lehmann Black Cube Linear
Sennheiser HD800

Do you know how bad vinyl is for the environment? It’s a mix of oil and all kinds of chemical nasties. It doesn’t biodegrade, and isn’t great for recycling. And for God’s sake don’t burn it, that shit’ll kill you. Yes, vinyl is bad for the environment. Not as bad as your iPhone, which you replace every six months, but use to Save The Rainforest by liking something on Facebook. Can you begin to imagine how much electricity Facebook uses? Or Twitter? Or do you think that is offset by retweeting something about wind-farms? You idiot.

So, vinyl is nasty. You’d think people wouldn’t want to waste it, right? But this Jonas Reinhardt, he doesn’t care. Does. Not. Care. Here, he releases a 12” single, one side of which is a 33rpm 10”, the other a 45rpm 7”. He’s pressed 7” grooves on one side of a 12” record, and etched a simple pattern in the remaining band. Ticks the format boxes, yes, but THINK OF THE TIGERS. To make matters worse, he doesn’t even sing on it.

Musically, it’s a droney Hawkwindy type thing, with a nice bit of analog arpeggiation on the 7” side, and it was well recorded, and pressed at Abbey Road. Take a moment to think of the poor sods who work there and can never get the car down the road because of people taking stupid, pointless photographs of their stupid pointless friends on the zebra crossing to put on stupid pointless Facebook.

Isobel Salvado’s sleeve art recalls Mesopotamia by the B-52s, but lacks a hieroglyph of Fred Schneider.

Bollocks to the modern world.

2

This is an odd one. Even for Luke Haines, this is an odd one. The title track is a song about rock ‘n’ roll animals. Specifically, a fox, a cat, and a punk rock dog. B-side gives us Natural Mystic Furry Freaks, which would be something Julian Cope might have done if he’d lost it even more than he actually did; and a sinister reading of John Barleycorn Must Die. It’s only about corn of course, but Luke Haines has a way of making anything sound sinister and murderous.

It’s on lovely dark blue vinyl, and the cover folds out to a 14” square, showing characterful illustrations of Mr Haines and his titular animals by Sian Superman. The singer did the cover himself: a portrait of Jimmy Pursey, which I thought was gloriously random until I saw “to Hersham Village” on the map that’s printed inside the sleeve.

Apparently there’s a whole concept album of this stuff, which I think I ought to investigate.

3

Decent enough garage rock type stuff, with lots of fuzz and energy. Right enough.

3

Not, as the title suggests, a Philip Glass soundtrack, but a nice bouncy little off-kilter love song. The sleeve art (Caroline Walker) and catalogue number (7SPLITMAS001) suggest it’s a Christmas single but I don’t feel too Christmassy today. That’s probably because it’s the middle of July, probably the hottest day of the year, and I’m sharing a small living room with a large valve amplifier. The Voluntary Butler Scheme is one of those faux bands which is just a single person (Rob Jones - hopefully the ex-Liverpool right back, but probably not). From my reasonably limited exposure to his work I’d say Mr Jones has a definite lyrical style (slightly soppy but cool love songs which are as far from ballads as can be), and an excellent ear for a tune. Although both the tracks here suffer slightly from too-long repetitive ends (you are not Stereolab), they’re very enjoyable, and the A-side is a shoo-in for Christmas Spacker 2014.

4