Thursday 17 February 2011

How (not) to clean your vinyl

Last week a friend of mine rescued a big bag of 45s from the skip at the charity shop where she volunteers. Knowing how much I love my vinyl she invited me over to do some cherry picking over a lovely pint of Cornish ale. She would give the rest of the records to a friend, who makes bowls out of them. To be honest I thought it was going to be 99% rubbish, but I was amazed of what came out of that bag! These were all singles from the sixties, I think from a jukebox (as they had no sleeves). There were The Beatles and The Stones, there were some crooners (Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones), some rock 'n roll (Elvis Presley, Chubby Checker, Brenda Lee) and some Motown and soul (Al Green, Sam Cooke, Ike and Tina, The Supremes, The Four Tops). I also took a few with intriguing titles, like The Human Jungle/Onward, Christian Spacemen by The John Barry Seven. Lucky me!!

Now I didn't expect these records to be in mint condition (they came in a plastic carrier bag - without sleeves...). But the biggest problem was that they were disgustingly dirty! So I went on the internet and Googled for cleaning advice for vinyl. Enter Nerdworld. I found all sorts home made recipes for cleaning fluid, using various amounts of distilled water, washing up liquid, isopropyl alcohol, acetone, Triton X-100, and/or tile cleaner. There was one guy who swore by using a diaper (a cotton one that is). Big no no's are using ordinary tap water and playing your records wet. A good way of drying them is putting them on a drill and then spinning them at the highest speed! Though this might be a myth.

They probably need a good clean in one of those machines, which "will apply the record cleaning solution, properly scrub the record and finally vacuum the dirt and liquid off leaving you with a dry and pristine vinyl record". But with these records 'a blind horse couldn't do any damage' (as we say in Holland), so I thought I'd just give it a go with some water with a few drops of washing up liquid and some cotton pads. I probably broke all the golden rules of record cleaning, but it helped. Somewhat. Just look at the dirt that came off!

Ieeew!! It took me an entire evening to brush and wipe them all off, but here they are now, nicely stacked in crisp white sleeves that I ordered on eBay.

Listen to a few of the treasures I received. Luckily for you guys I don't have one of those USB record players, so these MP3s are with out the crackles, scratches and dust :-)

I am extremely happy that Fingertips I and II by Little Stevie Wonder (aged 12 at the time!) was saved from the bin. It's a live take cut in two, so the jam just continues on the B-side. "Stomp your feet, jump up and down and do anything that you wanna do!"

Little Stevie Wonder - Fingertips I & II. Get it here (YSI).

Nice bluesy swing/big band tune, until 'Raelette' Margie Hendrix rips it up after a minute and a half. Holy shit.

Ray Charles - You Are My Sunshine. Get it here (YSI).

Another gem is Al Green's beautiful Tired Of Being Alone. But the B-side Right Now, Right Now is also a great track. Very funky, very Papa-Was-A-Rolling-Stone-esk.

Al Green - Right No, Right Now. Get it here (YSI).

Worth a clean right?!

Thursday 10 February 2011

Euphoric Loops

Recently I discovered that I'm a sucker for pitched-up friendly loops of guitar, piano and violin. This revelation happened after I heard the Fuck the Money song of B.o.B. that I posted below. Of course I was sceptic at first due to that horrible song with the Paramore girl. But perhaps Kanye West's magic wand did the trick? Anyway, it made me think of some other songs that I love that have the same high-pitch loop in combination with the smooth rhymes of a male rapper... Love love love these tracks by Subtitle (currently on tour in Europe, check his myspace for dates), Lil B, B.o.B. and Taz-Man!

Subtitle - Pub Chick (txt msg follow-up).
get it here (YSI)

Lil B - Real Life (Eras rmx). get it here (YSI)

(feat. Asher Roth) - Fuck The Money. get it here (YSI)

Taz-Man - Know Dis.
get it here (YSI)

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Cool. And not just by association.

DELS or Kieren Dickins as his folks named him, is really starting to make some waves here in the UK. And I must say, I love what I've heard from him so far. I guess you'd file his music under hip hop, but then outside the box of hip hop. If that makes any sense..

He has been working with some interesting people, like Micachu and Joe Goddard from Hot Chip. The latter produced
his current single Trumpalump and also made a remix of it, on which another great UK rapper named Ghostpoet joins in. Who happened to appear together with DELS before on a mixtape that Michacu made with Kwes back in 2009. You can still get this Kwesacu mixtape here! ANYWAYS (sorry about all the namedropping) his debut album, set to be released in April, surely is going to be cooler than cool. And not just by association.

DELS - Shapeshift. Get it here (YSI).

DELS - Trumpalump (Joe Goddard Quiet Remix feat. Ghostpoet). Get it here (YSI).

p.s. Did you know he
is not only a very gifted musician, but also a talented designer? He went to art school, he can draw (he made some pretty cute drawings for his first 7") and even knows how to use a sewing machine (proof here). His background as a graphic designer might explain the awesomeness of his video's. Like the one for Trumpalump. Watch closely, the 'color adjustments' weren't done in Aftereffects or whatever, but with paint!