discaholic interview Reine Fiske 2017

Jun.18, 2017

Reine Fiske

Discaholic interview – 2017

 

 

Are you an official discaholic? Is there such a thing?

Do you need help with it?

 

Discaholics exists for sure. As with the other of the -holics. Well, among my closest friends and ”colleagues” I’m very much regarded as THE collector, but there are others whom I’m regard as more ”obsessive” I think – bless them. My friend Mikael Åkerfeldt in Opeth for instance; his collection of prog and psych is huge, incredible. He obviously has more money than I have, or at least he spends a lot more money on specific rare and expensive records than I could possibly do.

There was a time in the late 90´s that I could have had something of a habit – but there was always ”the music”. It can be sort of nerdy and lonely in a way, and eventually I felt stuck in the same kind of rut. It could turn into living in a ”micro-cosmos” sort of existence, never looking out of the box and that is where the so-called ”nerd” hides perhaps. I totally understand that people can end up there.

 

When did you start collecting?

 

I think I started to get into records for real around the time when I met Stefan Dimle of Mellotronen in 1989, then a rather small store in Stockholm. He eventually turned into a bigger business with his own label and eventually organising smaller festivals and gigs. He became a very important catalyst for me in terms of getting into different kinds of music – a lot of the European and British underground music and the rare hard rock stuff, but most importantly the Scandinavian scene from the late 60´s and early 70´s. He showed me all these mythical albums and they often had a special look of being RARE – I knew I would never get hold on many of them, but it created a big buzz in me. And much of the music and the sound of these recordings was amazing too. It was like looking into another dimension with all these bands that were around back then.

 

 

 

Was vinyl the first thing you collected?

 

I was into stamps and coins a bit – sounds very typical I know, but that was just being a kid, but there was something about things being old and sort of pristine, telling its story of a different time. I’ve always been into old things in general – they immediately have a story to tell. Like old books, of which I have very few though. Older instruments also has something magical about them.

 

 

What was the first piece of vinyl you got?

 

Probably a present for Christmas. Could have been a kind of lousy Heavy Metal collection with a dreadful cover – I was a Scorpions fan so I remember getting ”Love at first sting” in 1983/84. The first album I probably bought was Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force – the first album. I had a massive affection for him for a year or so sitting in my bedroom trying to copy him.. I failed miserably.

What gives you the buzz? The hunt itself ? or finding the actual object? Do you still get the buzz finding rare records that you have been looking for?

 

The buzz is very much apart of it, of course, even when I actually decide to pay a lot for a specific record. That’s very much my kind of collecting really: to get the specific ones. But there are so many factors at play here; if you really dig in every possible crate you’re eventually gonna find stuff – some people are obviously very professional at that especially if that’s what you do and make a living out of, but in general nothing or anything out of the ordinary will pop up for someone like me – or it’s rare that it does, it’s very much the same records everywhere. If you’re not able to travel or talk to people about what they have in their homes it’s rare to find anything outside the stores. Sometimes you can get something at a good price, in stores I mean. This is the case in Stockholm anyway, BUT, I also know that this town is amazing in terms of finding records, but these records are tucked away deep in the homes.

Stefan Dimle once told me about a man he met at a record-fair who worked at the school were the fair was held. They started to talk and when going through some of Stefan’s rarer Scandinavian stuff he just said ”.. I have some of this stuff at home”. Eventually Stefan persuaded him to let him into his house afterwards and he had lots and lots of records. But in another room there was another smaller shelf. ”Oh, those are my wives records. It’s all ”womens-music”. Stefan had a quick peak through them later that night at some point, and there all the really rare stuff was like Forest, Comus, Julians Treatment and lots of various folk and prog-rock records.

Through my old work in the post-office I have had the luck in finding men in their ”bachelor-pads” who bought a lot of records in the 70´s and early 80´s and some of it has been amazing. Hard-rock rarities and some Swedish stuff. But I rarely have the time to go around the normal shops anymore – and when you eventually find something it’s usually very pricey. At a flee-market you can find things every once in a while but as I said before, there is no time for that, and it’s usually filled with senior peoples albums, people that never had an affection towards the records themselves anyway, that end up there – Christian records, the more common classical and ”dance-band” albums. And Pelle Karlsson of course.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you buy a lot of your records mostly on tour these days? Anyone else in Dungen that are into vinyl collecting?

 

Everyone of us like to look for records, but it’s mostly me and Gustav Ejstes who are the ones going for that – when there is time. Mostly there isn’t. I like to have at least one goal hitting a new town and that is to find good coffee and the ultimate record-store to my tastes. In the U.S there are lots and lots of records and backwoods stores and thrift-stores or those ”barns” with millions of records in them but finding the right one demands some special knowledge I guess.

Are there any more vinyl projects planned for Dungen with Jack Whie´s Third Man Records?

 

No – that was just a one-of sort of thing. It was great meeting him though. It was fascinating how he had the whole process of actually making an album very much in the same building, down to producing the actual lacquer. We all jumped into his old white Cadillac and went for burgers at this late-night drive-in during the session. That little session was both fun and sort of tuff to do in a way; I remember sort of ”taking over” a bit ’cause Gustav sort of ”bailed out”. The ground takes sounded incredible but when the vocals were supposed to be done everyone was so tired and dozed up that it was difficult to sustain the original power of the song. The B-side was done the day after.

 

 

 

 

 

What is your dream re-issue project on vinyl?

 

There are some treasured recordings with Träd, Gräs och Stenar from 1970 that I want the world to hear, because it would very much change people’s view on them in a way. At that time they were at their very peak I think and few live-recordings from this year has been released, except for the Gärdet recording that we released almost 20 years ago.

Another one is Nisse Sandströms Grupp, a sort of free-form avant-garde project based in Stockholm between 1966-68 and this is something I know you have been into doing as well! I know about some rare recordings with them but it was such a long time ago that they could be lost forever.. I’m also trying to collect material from unreleased and more obscure Swedish bands from this era and and maybe put out a collection album of sorts.

 

How do you measure your collection? In meters? Kg´s? or by the numbers?

 

I have a lot of records but it’s not a ”huge” collection, I would like to have it more organised – parts of the collection is very well organised and other parts are just complete chaos. Again, time and space is the problem here. I sometimes get the urge of quitting with 20% at least just to get more space for the albums that I really love.

 

 

 

How do you sort your collection? Alphabetical? Genre? Chronological?

 

As I said it’s all over the place, really. I would call it in ”sections” – the Scandinavian section is probably the most organised, in labels and my ”psych-rock” section is alphabetical.

 

 

 

Are you a completist ? Do you wanna have complete collections of a certain artist or a label?

 

I’m not a completist, because it’s basically out of my reach. Though I would love to have all of the early Blue Note-albums or all the BYG releases just because of the incredible documents they actually are. I still and will always see myself as more of a ”fan” of music and a seeker musically and there is still so much to discover, so many genres to dig into deeper.

If there is a specific album that I totally freak-out about, then my sort of ”manic” side switches on; I HAVE to get the album. And it HAS to be an original descent playing pressing. M/M is not important here. If the music is delicate it has to be in good playing condition of course..

The only bands or artists that I sort of have collected or tried to complete are probably Terje Rypdal and Popol Vuh for some reason. I’m almost complete here; I even managed to find a Mint-copy of Djong Yun’s (singer with Popol Vuh 1972-76) ”Ave Maria/Du Solbst Leben” 7” on United Artists – now this is an extremely rare record, recorded simultaneously as the ”Hosianna Mantra” album in late 72´early 73´.

My biggest Rypdal-want is the one he released with his then wife Inger-Lise, a 7” on Warner Brothers in 1971, ”Tried to make you happy/Tough Enough”. It is so rare that only a few copies are known among collectors.

 

 

 

 

What single vinyl release got you going to start play the guitar?

What vinyl makes you wanna stop playing the guitar?

 

Vinyl came later – though cassettes was the thing that contained music in my early music years. My mom had so many of those and it was mainly 60’s music. All the great bands and artist.. I remember the sound of the Shadows. That spurred a sense and affection for a sort of big ”wall of sound” in me I think. If you listen to those early recordings with them and where Norrie Paramour did the arrangements it’s HUGE. I still find the sound of the production, and Hank’s sound, even though it can seem a bit cheesy, as spellbinding. After all it was Abbey Road and engineers in white coats back then..

There are very few records that I hate in my collection; some I still haven’t figured out, they could be a bit disturbing, but I still keep them out of curiosity.

As a Scorpions fan I bought their first album ”Lonesome Crow” around 1986 or something, and I hated it.. I found the guitar player almost annoying and that he played really badly, like a drunk or something. Now I cherish it as one of the main German hard-rock/psych albums ever recorded. And that same annoying guitarist was Michael Schenker, then only 16-years old. It sounds like he is seeking a higher level of consciousness in his playing at some point..

 

As a guitar-player you obviously go through listening to many of them, and much of the musicianship on many of the classic albums that I listen to and always seem to fall back to are a source of inspiration, like ”grails” sometimes; it’s something you’re not supposed to compete with; I see the records and the music as treasures – and you yourself is sometimes an instrument that music sometimes want to use..

 

What was your first release at all on vinyl?

 

Landberk’s ”Riktigt Äkta” on the Norwegian label Colours in early 1993. Me and Stefan Dimle started as early as in 1990 to put together songs, just for fun. Later Stefan’s old friend Patric Helje joined and suddenly there was a possibility in making a record. Our influences was the Spring album on RCA-Neon, Trettioåriga Kriget, Swedish-folk and many of the other Scandinavian albums that me and Stefan were into. Like Haikara, Kalevala, Panta Rei, Saga Life and the likes.

 

 

 

Can discaholism be cured?

 

Whatever it is, I don’t think so. Or maybe.. It will just find it’s way leaping into other things I guess. It’s the same with playing music; even if you live your life out of the simple notion that music is sort of ”the highest” you simply have to find a space where the actual playing and the will and inspiration for playing coincides and works with everyday normal life. This can be hard sometimes I think. Collecting is also partly this kind of ”man-cave” phenomenon; there are female collectors too, but I think they collect somewhat differently. And perhaps they are more open with it in a way.

There is an extremely funny, clever and interesting book written about the subject by Brett Milano called ”Vinyl Junkies” that I love. Everyone should read this book I think. Every little thing about collecting is something that is a part of everyone; it’s about finding something ”other” in a way – a bit of an escape too. For me records are, or specific albums are ”major works” of art; just as a great novel or a big piece of music written by one the big composers. I am not into so-called classical music very much, but I know I need and want to dig into the more modern avant-garde or modern sides of it too, like Ligeti or Messiaen.

 

 

 

 

What record can set off a war?

What record would create peace?

 

I wonder what record could turn Putin into a beggar on the streets of Moscow giving his possessions away to his people in need.. He should be doped with hallucinogenics together with Trump I think, twisting the whole world-economy systems around towards a healthy, loving, political climate full of debate but with Peace and without unnecessary wars based on economy.

There is a lot happening in the various music-scenes today too, but it’s not like in the dramatic beginnings of hip-hop or amongst the sound systems of Jamaica – or 1966 in the U.K hip London-Underground.

Certain artists have a way of being a mirror of their present society, creating something that incapsulates the times it was created in and it comes back when listening to it. Whether it being during a specific era or out of pure frustration or anger in not being able to reach out more politically or spiritually. But new scenes are being developed out of frustration and the will for expression everywhere. I think the next few years will produce a lot of this because of the present situation now accelerating.

 

Like the first Suicide album – or Silver Apples. They are strangely and very obviously connected in a way, THAT is music out of the underground – and now it’s seen as totally groundbreaking and other-worldly – which it is. Music that wants to shake down the barriers and the walls of predictability. DOM and the album ”Edge of time” is also very important I think – practically unheard and un-loved – a highly spiritual psychedelic album.

As with Can’s ”Monster Movie”. It is out-of-this-world music; revolution. Free, open spaces.

 

It usually happens very much in the underground I think: ”Sgt. Peppers” wasn’t Underground, but they delved in that and was and very much wanted to be a part of it even though they were the biggest pop-group in the world. They created a very important bridge between those two worlds and also made it somewhat ”popular” through a ”major-work”. Pop music as art, and all of that..

Pete Townsend also had a lot to do with the scene in the U.K and how it sort of changed, or how he sort of saw it change and also created major-works in the rock-field around that fact in the post-psychedelic era.

It was music more created ”because of the wars” rather than starting one.

 

 

 

 

 

What record has changed your life most dramatically?

For the best ?

For the worst?

 

As sort of a dark and rather lonely soul of a person in my late teens I wasn’t into playing, like,  Grind-Core or Punk-rock or anything; I probably would have needed it in some way – but I was too shy and didn’t hang out with the tuff boys very much. For me the darker sort of ”woodsy” music created some kind of a mirror. The Swedish fiddle-music was one of them. Two violins, playing a minor-key polska is still the sort of ultimate music for me -

As far as specific albums go I was very much into Talk Talk’s ”Laughing Stock” and ”Jazz på Svenska” by pianist Jan Johansson with the bassist Georg Riedel. Those two albums are forever desert-island albums for me. It is music so far away from technique and flash that is so common to get involved with in the electric guitar-world too. It was great to have that as a mirror as well. And it’s more ”spritual” music too.

Before I even heard Miles I listened intensely to the early works of Terje Rypdal. My mother is Norwegian and I actually have a Norwegian passport, though I was born and bred in Sweden, so the link to Norway felt very important for me back then. His ”Whenever I seem to be far away” is still his ultimate album I think. And one of the No.1 Mellotron albums as well..

Van Der Graaf Generator’s ”Pawn Hearts” destroyed me totally; and then the footage of them playing in this cold, big white room that was a TV-studio in Belgium, shot for television in March 1972. I still regard them and that specific era in their existence as being the forefathers of goth and death-metal all together – I would trash things and listen to them. The most epic, insane, beautiful, aggressive music in rock ever.

And then we have the danish underground band Alrune Rod’s first album from 1969. That is a life and death album.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe a perfect vinyl hunting day!

 

I’d like to go on a trip through Europe and end in Turkey – or do one through the U.S sometime, to just try to hunt for records. In these small places, like a classic road-trip.

Nowadays I’m happy if I even find ONE record that I’ve really looked for. The internet has changed and opened up the whole thing for all collectors of all kinds of stuff, me included. But the rarest records are still shared between collectors of course.

A perfect vinyl hunting day is combined with having a good time with someone you share the ”obsession” and ”the hunt” with

The perfect vinyl hunting day is that sometimes you can sense that you’re gonna find something particular when walking into a place or a specific store. It’s rare though.

I have a new friend, Samantha ”Sam” Swig, who is very much into the same stuff as I am. She lives with her as-obsessive husband Eric Bosnik in Oakland, CA. She is a big fan of Dungen, and we’ve become great friends lately. She even put on a show for us in Nicasio outside Oakland near the Redwoods and it’s really a treat.

We’ve talked about the movie someone should make about two vinyl-junkies going on this kind of weird trip – but writing a script that isn’t just for the people of our kind demands something else to trigger the story I guess.. It would be great to fill it with music that few people outside the collectors-world would have heard of.

 

 

 

 

What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

What record do you wanna steal from the discaholic website?

 

I have a Mint-copy of ”Popofoni” on the Sonet-label w. the Jan Garbarek Quartet, Karin Krog, Arne Nordheim and Kåre Kolberg etc. The back-cover even has the taped-on correction with Karin’s name, I don’t remember the story behind that now – that says it all I think; how many copies could possibly have been corrected, and how many copies were even distributed, or even pressed? Who glued on that little piece of paper for all the copies that got sent away?

You would probably be interested in the ”Min Buhl” album – also a Mint-copy, but it’s probably in your collection, right?!

I recently purchased a cover-less copy of The Christian Yoga Church ”Turn on for the hip at heart” from 1967 which is probably one of the most unique and bizarre records from what you can call the Psychedelic era in the U.S; some sort of a christian yoga-commune outside of San Francisco that had connections to a spiritual centre in Virginia or something recorded a ”seanse” and released it as an album. The music is very weird and moody and totally unique. The fun thing is that Stefan Kéry has a cover that I’m gonna get from him. He is currently selling his copy for 1000 dollars.

I also have the ”Shh!”, ”One Point Music” and ”Samsa Trio” albums on the mythical Finnish O-Records, connected to the collective Sperm and their member Pekka Airaksinen.

I haven’t been around your site that much actually – I’m painfully unaware of the free-form movement too, but I know you have amazing stuff from all over the palette of musics.

 

 

 

 

Lathe cut, cassette, flexi, reel-to- reel or 8 – track… what is the best alternative to a regular vinyl release? If there is one….

 

I ’dunno – some reel to reel boxes looks nice, and they obviously sound great. As a format, an Lp or a 7-inch just looks good, just for the label alone. It’s the real thing. I have two smaller portable 78’rpm players stashed away somewhere so to try and get some nice old blues and jazz records for those would also be fun one day..

I also love tape – for all it is and what it does to sound. The old mix-tape. I have Logic in my Mac but I don’t know much about it really – I’m gonna try and start to learn more about doing some mere digital ”tapeless” recordings – It would probably be good for me. Splicing tape is fascinating. Mattias Glavå (lately the Dungen-producer) still splices 2-inch tape and it’s amazing to watch him do it. He rarely fails.

 

 

 

 

Do you have a favourite tool/ knife to open your packages (eBay/ trading parcels arriving w the mail)?

Do you have a routine / method  opening the packages – or do you just eagerly trash it all open?

 

Usually I just try to be gentle – with a knife and scissors. I take away all the tape just to be able to re-use the boxes sometime or to put them in the recycling. Lately I’ve been very lucky with the people who have sent me records. Some people don’t have the faintest about who parcels are being handled once they start the journey for their new and hopefully final address.

 

 

 

 

Is trading records the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

 

To be frank, I haven’t traded many records with anyone. The stuff I eventually had or finally got hold of is for the keeping very much;

I once traded a Mint copy of ”Icecross” AND a copy of Junipher Greene’s ”Friendship” for C.O.B’s ”Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan lancers of the sacred heart” though, and Claes Wohlin (R.I.P) of Funhouse Records was still kind to me ’cause he knew I loved that album so much.. He was a really nice guy, I really really liked him – he wasn’t the classic dealer kind of guy either.

Recently I let Sam have my ”Underground Failure” album, the one version that was only pressed with that specific brown Balalaika orchestra-cover in 50 copies, simply because I never listen to it and see it more as an ”fun” artefact, more than something I really treasure; she has given me so much stuff, so I just wanted her to have it. It’s not everyday that someone gives you a copy of Radiomöbel’s ”Tramseböx” – an album that I treasure. I recently found out that it was the very same copy that blew my mind some 20 years ago – Stefan Kéry was the original owner.

 

 

 

 

 

What is the first section you hit, while arriving to a vinyl shop, where you have never been before?

 

New arrivals. And I look at what’s stuck on the walls. There you sense what kind of stuff they hold. If it’s a huge store, they hold everything of course..

 

Secondly?

 

The prog/psych and then the folk-section.

 

Thirdly?

 

The jazz-section. Although I don’t know that much about jazz really… I look for Coltrane, Sanders and the likes – the interesting European free-form stuff.

 

The section where you would never look in?

 

12-inches. Hip-hop/rap and the techno-section.

My beloved girl-friend has a big collection of early Detroit-techno and electronica, but I never got into that. I love Aphex Twin though. And the stuff Mad Lib, Dj Shadow, Cut Chemist, J-Dilla and Mad Villan does with sampling – more turntable-ism’ stuff. Gustav got me into that.

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite record shop in the world?
Why?

Favorite city for vinyl hunting?

 

Mellotronen in Stockholm WAS my favourite store for obvious reasons.

Otherwise it’s hard to say. Maybe that store exists somewhere..

There are some really good stores in Stockholm, since they always buy up huge collections, and Stockholm is so full of records, but nowadays they’re also very aware of everything that comes through the store. Everything is more or less looked up on the internet price-guides.

I like the Amoeba stores though – but I rarely find anything ”rare” there. I just like the vibe. You need to find the smaller shops, or the ones that specialise in specific genres. Me and the family are soon going to Berlin so I’d very much like to find the place that holds a lot of the rare German stuff, of which there seems to be an overwhelmingly lot. But it seems that its gotten drained out there totally over the years. Now an original copy of ”Tago Mago” suddenly is around the 200 Euro mark, at least. Those albums end up in Russia or in Japan anyway.

 

 

 

Give us a list of your 5 favorite:

 

- International psych vinyls:

 

Freedom’s Children ”Astra”

Aguaturbia ”Volumen 2”

Julians Treatment ”A time before this”

Arthur Lee Harper ”Love is the revolution”

Dom ”Edge of time”

.. ”psych” it may be – or ”prog”, but just to name a few..

 

- Scandinavian psych vinyls:

Kalevala ”People no names”

Culpeper’s Orchard ”same”

Saga ”same”

Alrune Rod ”same”

Mecki Mark Men ”same”

.. same here..

 

- Fuzz drenched vinyls:

 

Dark ”Round the edges”

Human Beast ”Volume 1”

Taman Shud ”Evolution”

Amon Düül 2 ”Yeti”

Jimi Hendrix Experience ”Are you experienced”

 

And what is your all time fav Kebnekaise album?

”Resa mot okänt mål”. Incredible album. Two astonishing guitar-players on the same album with the old Baby Grandmothers trio letting loose in a slightly more rock setting for sure. Anders Lind had just gotten a new eq-filter for the 8-channel mixing console and he thought that improved on the whole sound, which is totally true.

 

 

 

 

And what is your all time fav Mecki Mark Men album?

Their first one. One of the most adventurous, original rock/jazz/psych albums with a heavy, drone feel that’s ever been produced. I had the privilege to remix it when Stefan Dimle and Mellotronen did a reissue some years ago – only to realise that I had panned the drums to the opposite channel than to the original LP-version. I tried to keep it as close to the original mix as possible, but everything already sounded as amazing on the original album anyway – I just put the faders up at the right tweak and level, everything on the album sounds as it was actually recorded. Some of the vocals were done as an overdub. Sometimes it was just 3 channels even. Mostly 4 though. I sometimes gave the guitarist more room, especially on the song where he is actually doing a solo. It was a magical moment for me..

Thomas Mera Gartz was supposed to be there but he was too busy. I had a hang-out with him and we listened to it afterwards though.. It was an incredible evening – we got smashed.

 

 

 

 

And what is your all time fav Träd, Gräs och Stenar album?

 

Hard to say. Since I have heard so many recordings that never saw the light of day on an actual record it’s even harder. All the albums, or I see them more as field-recordings that made themselves onto an album, especially the live-albums on Tall, have something on their own.

Perhaps the 1st one, IF I HAD to pick one. There is a clear meaning in there; it’s a somewhat darker album, and you can hear BoAnders nod towards Terry Riley in a way, even more..

And the Pärson Sound album that I produced and compiled. That is a totally different story though.

 

 

 

Is this interview too long?

 

No, I have time.

 

 

 

 

Who do you wanna see get interviewed in this serie of discaholic interviews?

 

Hmm. Stefan Kéry of Subliminal Sounds for sure, Mikael Åkerfeldt perhaps. that would be a treat for you I guess – or Paul Major in New York of Endless Boogie and his label Parallel Worlds.

 

What record is closest to sex?

Which one is no sex at all?

 

”This is soooo white!” as our tour-manager Chris Newmeyer once said about something he played in the van for us..

My girl-friend, Agnieszka Lewalski, is a genius in finding comparisons, metaphors or feelings about music and putting them into words and sort of describe them as pictures. Not that she’s into music for that fact, if it’s sexy or not, but some of the stuff from her collection is incredibly sexy. She usually points out specific sounds as particularly sexy – how songs change in tempo or mood. She sometimes have to remind me that some of the stuff I actually listen to is ”.. sort of sexy”. For instance a song like ”Forever my queen” with Pentagram; or even Human Beast Vol.1 on Decca. Sort of quirky facts.

I wouldn’t say that the music I listen to is un-sexy, perhaps it just falls into the ”thinking-mans” music vein too much. ”In the court of the Crimson King” isn’t regarded as a very sexy album. Neither is Comus ”First Utterance”. Tribal-sex perhaps. The sound of the Mellotron isn’t very sexy. It’s more sophisticated and doomy, etheral.

Sexy music doesn’t have to be funky, or even ”black” – pardon me – to be sexy either. Of course THE song ”Sex machine” is a hell of an anthem and a beat – and the group who’s actually playing that is one of the grooviest in the cosmos – it’s funky, but I don’t think it’s ”sexy”.

 

One hell-of a sexy album though is the first Funkadelic album. Sex laced with acid.

The Wendy & Bonnie album was very sexy once I remember..

I haven’t really experienced s sex together with music to be honest – but that is perhaps a fantasy on it’s own then.

Dungen isn’t vey sexy either. It’s more desperate – angst-driven, heavy or what have you. There is a different kind of mixed up or messed up feeling that deals with longing and getting somewhere in this beautiful yet so fucked up world, with love and out of love. Love for sound and recording, getting something across. Trying to keep up the true creativity and never get ”old”, ”soft” or ”boring” along the way.

When I get older I better find a kind of music that ”suits my age”. Perhaps running over guitars with vehicles and then record it and as an encore putting my record-collection on fire and record that too – dedicated to the Trump-regime.

 

 


Discaholic interview Crys Cole 2017

Jun.18, 2017

Crys Cole

Discaholic interview – 2017

 

Are you an official discaholic? Is there such a thing?

Do you need help with it?

 

When I position myself against someone like you, I am not so sure! But… I would say that I am and have always been obsessed by collecting & exploring music and my magnetic draw to record stores and the hunt for music is very passionate. Also the rush of researching, seeking, hunting and finding is a serious thing for me.

 

When did you start collecting?

Was vinyl the first thing you collected?

 

When I was very young I inherited a small box of 7”’s that had belonged to my dad. In all honesty I’m not sure that he gave it to me or if I just decided that they were mine. It was a small 7” carry-case from the 60’s filled with a hodge-podge of singles from the 60’s & 70’s (see attached photo). I had a small portable turntable and would listen obsessively, studying all of the lyrics and music. I think this is the root of my initial obsession. I was always a keen listener to sound in general and music, especially the vinyl format was a major focus for me. I had a collector brain from a young age… silly things, passing obsessions… and I think as a girl, collecting things other than music was more understood. Though, when I hit my teens music collecting was fully my focus.

 

 

What was the first piece of vinyl you got?

Aside from the 7” box (which included amongst other things – John & Yoko’s ‘give peace a chance’ & Rupert Holmes ‘him’) the first 2 LP’s that I remember getting for x-mas that I asked for were Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits, when I was 6 or 7.  I collected a lot of cassettes when I was young (Motown, Soul, soundtracks, Beatles, pop stuff) because it was a cheap but mostly because I could listen to it on my Walkman. I started buying vinyl occasionally when I was around 10 but didn’t start nerding out at record conventions and shops until I was in my late teens, particularly because I didn’t have a decent turntable until I was 18 and living on my own.

 

 

What gives you the vinyl buzz? The actual hunt or the moment when you find the actual object? Do you still get the buzz?

 

The hunt! I mean, finding the gold is the best rush, but I’m driven by the hunt. I prefer to dig without anything too particular in mind. I always have a few key LP’s in the back of my mind that I’m searching for, but I prefer to dig and see what appears. I TOTALLY still get the buzz! I find flipping through record bins very meditative actually. The flipping is the build up and then when something killer appears it’s a total rush!

 

How do you measure your collection? In meters? Kg´s? by the numbers?

 

By how little space I have left in my apartment for it!

 

 

 

 

How do you sort your collection? Alphabetical? Genre? Chronological?

My collection is totally alphabetized by artist. Within the artist sections the albums are chronological. With a section for comps and soundtracks at the end. I find that genre separation starts to get far too abstract and lots of artists cross into various territories. Categorizing & genre became a pet-peeve of mine working in record stores actually.

 

 

 

Favorite vinyl color ? why ?

Black. Classic. I have the ‘ooh-ah’ moment briefly when I see colored vinyl, but honestly, I love clean glossy classic black the most.

 

 

 

Is Ora Clementi as much into vinyls as you are? Does she care ?

I don’t think Ora would be into vinyl or really anything tied to the material world to be honest.

 

 

Can discaholism be cured ?

Why??? If it feels good do it. J

 

 

 

What record has changed your life most dramatically?

For the best ?

For the worst?

 

BEST / WORST: Karuna Khyal – Alomoni 1985 - Voice Records (1974 – Japan)

It was the first rare, expensive LP that I indulged in. I found it in Tokyo on my very first trip there. It could be said that it’s the worst or the best because it broke the seal of justifying expensive indulgences… !

 

 

 

Describe a perfect vinyl shopping/hunting day!

For me, my ideal vinyl-hunting day is in Tokyo, 100%. Start the day with a mentaiko udon for breakfast and then head to Shinjuku to do the Disk Union crawl. As there are several in Shinjuku I would make my rounds with some pit stops in between for amazing food and coffee to refuel.  Possibly head over to another area where another Disk Union is and end the day meeting friends at a great izakaya for food and drinks and to go through the bags and show our treasures!

 

 

 

What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

Good question… come on over and see!

 

 

 

What record do you wanna steal from the discaholic website?

Not the rarest one, but I’d probably grab the Sea Ensemble – Manzara LP because I saw it in Milan last year and I didn’t snag it, thinking that I already had it. When I got home and realized I didn’t have that one I was so bummed.

 

 

Lathe cut, cassette, flexi, reel-to- reel or 8 – track… what is the best alternative to a regular vinyl release?

Hmm… though I grew up with cassettes, I’m really not a big fan of them. I guess I would say CD’s only because I think that the medium is a suitable format for certain types of long form music. Also, some releases (especially improv, some Japanese & contemporary music) is only available in this format.

 

 

 

When it comes to microsounds – what appeals you the most with vinyl? the actual background noises/ the sound of the grooves?

I love the noise of vinyl. Of course I don’t love it when it interferes with listening to a beautiful record but I definitely get a very comforted feeling from the warm crackle of old vinyl. This no doubt goes back to my childhood 7” collection that were battered & worn. For many years I worked with busted turntables and old records in my work specifically for that warm textural palette. Nowadays I can still hear that influence in the way I work with contact microphones and voice.

 

 

Do you have a favourite tool/ knife to open your packages (eBay/ trading parcels arriving w the mail)?

Do you have a routine / method opening the packages – or do you just eagerly trash it all open?

No special tool, but I always wait, building up anticipation before i open packages.

I think to take my time and wait until I can really spend time. Then I methodically and gently slice along the taped edges to slowly unveil the goodies inside.

 

 

Do you collect the vinyl cardboard boxes- that the albums arrive in -  as well and keep them, store them, just in case… ? ( I do…)

Umm… yes… I have a storage room with stacks of them

 

 

Is trading records the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

To be honest, it’s not something I’ve done much of.

Digging for records & listening to records with good friends are two of my favorite things to do though.

 

 

 

What is the first section you hit, while arriving to a vinyl shop, where you have never been before?

Avant Garde / experimental

Secondly? Free jazz / Jazz

Thirdly? Prog/Kraut or International

The section where you would never look in?

Hmm… I guess the Christian Music section. Pretty much any other section is fathomable.

 

 

 

What is your favorite record shop in the world?

As mentioned, I love Disk Union in Japan – because it is super diverse and full of GOLD. I love that it’s not overly curated and covers a lot of territory, so I can randomly find several things that excite me in very different genre’s.

I’ve had my socks knocked off by many shops around the world though and I love discovering new amazing places in every city.

 

Favorite city for vinyl hunting?

TOKYO (as mentioned).

 

 

 

How is Winnipeg these days, when it comes finding good shit? Or is the focus in town still mainly on Ice hockey?

Hah… well, I wouldn’t know about hockey, never been my bag but… Winnipeg is a tough town to find real gold. You can always find classics, staples, and the odd gem hidden in the bins though. It’s a great town for filling in gaps in classic rock, pop, soul etc. and at very cheap prices!

 

 

 

 

Give us a list of your 5 favorite:

 

-       Experimental/ noise vinyls:

Oh man, impossible to pick 5!! What are your top 5 jazz records?? ;)

Off the top of my head;

-       Walter Marchetti – Antibarbarus

-       Organum – Submission

-       Robert Ashley – Automatic Writing

-       Henri Chopin – audiopoems

-       Alvin Curran – Canti e Vedute del Giardino Megnetico

 

-       Canadian rock/ psych vinyls: (not really my forte)

-       Poppy Family featuring Susan Jacks – Which way you goin’ Billy?

 

-       Oren Ambarchi vinyls:

Are you trying to start trouble?

 

-       micro sound albums:

honestly, I don’t really know what micro sound means as a genre…

but most things by Toshiya Tsunoda, Bernard Gunter and Rolf Julius would likely fit the bill.

 

 

 

 

 

Two of my all time fav psych/ garage albums are made in canada: Plastic Cloud and Ugly Ducklings… how come Canada became such a hot spot for that music in the late 60´s ?

I don’t know why that is… it seems that the garage thing was pretty big in Canada and I suspect accessibility and proximity to the US nurtured some of it. There is a particular weirdness that is unique to Canadians (take the Poppy Family or Intersystems for example). I’m still discovering a lot of this stuff, often through friends who are not Canadian.

 

 

Is this interview too long?

Nah keep it coming – though as you noticed, the longer it is the longer I take to get it back to you ;)

 

 

 

 

Do you work with a wantlist?

I do. I always keep it pretty simple and streamlined. As I find things I replace them with new things. Otherwise I get too overwhelmed.

 

 

What is highest up on that list?

Current top:

Folke Rabe/ Bo Anders Persson ?– Was?? / Proteinimperialism

David Behrman’s Leapday Night

 

 

 

What kind of music / genre do you put most focus into? What is your prio?

My interests are so varied and when I shop I like to get a mixed bag of music to bring home. I definitely have more of a focus on experimental/avant 20th century stuff but I will get just as excited about finding a fantastic disco 12” as I will a great concréte record.

 

 

 

 

What single vinyl release got you going starting making music and art yourself?

A lot of the music that really inspired me in the early days was originally purchased on CD – Organum, Hafler Trio, Zoviet France, Nurse with Wound. All due to what I could access afordably in the middle of Canada in the 90’s. From there free jazz, musique concrete, fluxus etc…

 

 

 

What vinyl makes you wanna stop making music?

Hmm… when it’s good it just inspires me to keep making music.

 

 

 

 

Who do you wanna see get interviewed in this series of discaholic interviews?

Keith Fullerton Whitman & Eiko Ishibashi

 

 

 

 

Will the collaboration with Oren Ambarchi and king Leif  (Elggren) of Elgaland/ Vargaland eventually become a vinyl album?

Yes it is!  The record is called ‘Certainly’ and it will be released by Dennis Tyfus on his fantastic label Ultra Excema this year!  Working with Leif was such a dream, he’s fabulous.

 

 

 

What record is closest to sex?

Oren & my first duo on Planam (Italy), Sonja Henies vei 31  ;)

(or anything by Prince)

 

 

 

Which one is no sex at all?

Jam bands like the Grateful Dead

 

 

 

 

 


ELENA WOLAY – JAZZ ÄR FARLIGT – DISCAHOLIC INTERVIEW MAY 2015

Jun.03, 2015

 

ELENA WOLAY -  JAZZ ÄR FARLIGT – DISCAHOLIC INTERVIEW MAY 2015

Are you an official discaholic? Is there such a thing? What would categorize a discaholic?

 

 

Yes, there are such a thing as discaholics. Discaholics are People who do, and people who absolutely do NOT know how the get their priorities right.

People who spend hours finding the right records, and people like me who can totally lose it over losing an Ebay or Tradera auction..

 

I would like to categorize male “discaholics” in different categories, such as:

-The Vertigo-guys with “I love discogs” t-shirts who are constantly farting at record fairs (oh yes, they do exist, and they do love the record fair in Husqvarna, Småland).

- ”Progressive-collectors”, that only wants to talk about the good old days and Gump classics.

- New “Prog rock fans”, who keep calling all the old prog musicians in Sweden, never making an interview or anything, just emptying everyones record collections, paying them about 7 SKR for records worth 14 000 SKR.

- Hard rock fans with Ice Cross patches on their jackets, wishing they actually played in Ice Cross.

- I don’t need to talk too much about the old jazz enthusiasts buying 78’s.  They do exist and isn’t that just great……………..!

- I do love the shy, quiet characters, those that order everything online, and preferably from the electro-acoustic and industrial scene. There’s a reason why they do it. Reality is too harsh on these lovely creatures.

- Last AND least… Discaholics who never play their records..

Bildresultat för DJ conny charles lindström

 

 

You do vinyl DJ- ing, fanzine and club  activities under the name “Jazz är Farligt” ( Jazz is Dangerous ) – why and how is jazz dangerous ?

 

Can jazz be made even more dangerous?

 

- Jazz will always be dangerous. Not only because it is the only musical genre that has so many sub genres and is developing so fast and in so many different directions. The sub genres are also so wide and different, depending on who You ask and yes, Jazz will be more dangerous..

 

 

 

 

 

How come you started to collect vinyls? What is it in the grooves?

 

- The first records I got when I was about 13 my first collection disappeared though in one of my many moves. Years after that I started collecting records again mostly because I loved the music, but also because I love the format.

It really got going when I started arranging gigs, events and playing records in clubs when I was about eighteen. Then it started escalating… fast!  I mean, really fast and I was playing records about six days a week and I was buying records every day..

 

 

 

 

Is Philemon Arthur & The Dung the best children music album ever?

Is Philemon Arthur & The Dung the best adult music album ever?

 

 

-Yes and yes! And on top of that, the group got awarded a “Grammis” in 1972. (The Swedish “Grammy Awards”) As a result of the protests against Philemon Arthur and The Dung getting the award, the awards were cancelled all until 1978! YEAH!

 

Every record for children should do things like that!

 

 

Did you follow anyones example? Did you have a (role)model when you started DJ- ing and collecting?

 

 

Many! When I moved from “Swedens Jerusalem”, Jönköping, the unofficial “Christian Capitol” of Sweden when I was eighteen years old, I more or less broke all contact with my family. On the music scene I soon met garage rock queen Anette Ericson from the band Voladoras. The first time we met she said “if I had a daughter, I wish she was exactly like You!” So she kind of adopted me. Today I have my own “girl’s room” at her and her boyfriend Måns Månsson’s place and I get to share a room with their LP collection.

 

Around that time I also met my extra-punk/new wave-dad, Marcus Törncrantz, who gave me the nickname “Hatti”

Marcus (Törncrantz) was the manager for bob hund for about 22 years, has been setting up clubs, playing records everywhere and has the most genius post punk/ new wave collection I have ever been touched by.

 

And then I met Conny Lindström… Conny has supported me and my record collecting habit. He gave me a monthly fee to buy records to renew my set when I was resident DJ at Strand Hornstull and yes, he was CEO over the venue. Amazing, right?

 

But the list goes on…

 

 

Can one dance to free jazz really? Can one party to abstract free british improv?

 

- I saw Phil Minton dance until he fell to the floor, at the same time as he was impro-singing to one of my sets at unlimited Wels. It was fantastic! If Phil Milton can do it, everyone can!

 

 

 

Fav formats ?

- Mmmmmmmmmmm flexi!

 

 

What gives you the buzz?
- To win a bidding over a wrinkled penis

What single record find would really kick you off?  What is your dream find:

- 7”, Åke Hodell – Brainwash

Of existing vinyls ?

- 7”, Åke Hodell – Mr Nixon’s dreams

Of non- existing vinyls?

- 7”, Åke Hodell together with Bruno K Öijer and Sun Ra.

 

 

 

How do you buy your records mostly?  eBay? Local shops? Internet shops? Friends?
- Friends and local shops. Gotta love Sweden for the great local record shops.

 

 

Is trading records the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

Is trading records the ultimate intimacy?
- I never traded a record in my life and would never do such a thing.. I’m way too attached to them…

 

 

 

Describe a perfect hunting day!

 

Or a weird hunting day? I was one my way to Fylkingen together with Conny (Lindström) one night and totally forgot that I was playing at another venue not that far away together with the Swedish progressive band and discaholics, Dungen. The problem was that I didn’t have any records with me.
I simply bought a new record bag with everything from Fylkingen second hand record shop.

Perfect night and evening.

I love Fylkingen.

 

 

 

How do you sort your collection? Alphabetical? Genre? Chronological?

- I don’t sort my collection. Maybe because it’s always updated and I still am djing quite often. Ok, It’s a mess. A dangerous mess that no one ever are permitted to touch.

 

 

Can discaholism be cured? If so, how ?

- To stop collecting I think something really dramatically has to happen your own collection… Like a house fire.

 

 

What record can set off a war?
- Any Ethiopian record in Eritrea.

What record would create world peace?

- Larry Saunders – Free Angela

Matt? Glossy? Laminated? Plain? Silk screened?
- Matt

What record has changed your life most dramatically?

For the best, bäbi – milford graves.
For the worst, The Bear Quartet. All of their records.

What record is closest to sex?


- Lena Skoog – Oh, Älskling – Ta mig inte nu

Which one is no sex at all?

- Broder Daniel – Shoreline

 

 

What record do you wanna steal from my collection?

Lasse Werners first EP.

Do you have a special record bag with you when you shop? waterproof? earthquake proof?

- Fylkingen tote bag.

What is your favorite record shop in the world?
Why?

- I also used to sleep over at record shop Linné Skivbörs.. Those where the days. So for the hospitality I’ll go for Linné Skivbörs if I have to choose.. (So sorry Record mania and An ideal for living)

 

Favorite city for vinyl hunting?

 

- Stockholm and Gothenburg!

Give us a list of your 5 favorite:


7”´s/ EP´s?


Äppelkartes – Skjut lillbabs,
Massmedia – Sveriges Radio,
HFOS – Gubbkärring,
CCCPs – Olof Palme.

Mental Sacrifice – Mentalsjuk

Floor fillers ?

Ennio Morricone – Svolta Definitiva
Silver Apples – Oscillations
Joe Mcphee – I’ts Nation Time

The Kurws – Tanz Mitt Kommune

The Slits – Slime

 

Party killers…what music would just stop/ kill  a successful party / club evening ?

I played one side of ”The too much too soon Orchestra” – Saw

Once at Strand Hornstull during a opening of a really bad private party. Party was over and unfortunately they threatened to beat up my dj-partner and legendary punk-drummer Jonas (Jonsson) instead.
That happens to him a lot… Poor guy.

Is this interview too long?

- No.

Why arent there more female vinyl collectors around?

What can encourage more women to collect?

Why is this mostly such a male behaviour? Or is it ?

- Because men are assholes most of the time.
Why should one encourage women to collect. Collecting records is quite stupid anyway.

As a female DJ and collector with an ethnic african background – are you met with curiousness in general? Or do you find skepticism and racist attitudes when you work and when you hunt for vinyl?

- curiousness in general, skepticism and racist attitudes, All of above.

I find your DJ- ing and general attitude very liberating and wide open – are people provoked by your mix of music while DJ- ing? When you mix old swedish progg/ psych/ punk rock music and mindblowing funk with blasting free jazz or noise mayhems?

- I think people are provoked by my sets mainly because the music I’m promoting is quite………………………………. white.
When I was younger I used to agree with bookers that the main genre I was playing was “soul-music”.. And then they heard me play….

 

 

Who is the most unexpected guest on your dance floor that you had while spinning vinyls?

- Hmmm.. Maybe hip hop-producer Timbaland.

What in your discaholism behaviours and doings havent you told us about yet? Anything you want to share with us?


- I love the smell of unplayed records In the morning.

 

Who do you wanna see get interviewed in this serie of discaholic interviews?

- Måns Månsson (The Crimson Shadows), Anette Ericson (Voladoras), Marcus Törncrantz (Playboy Marse), Jonas Jonsson, Micke Goulos, August Ekström, Jockum Nordström and many more..

What vinyl makes you smile EVERYTIME you  see, hear and feel it?

- Lasse Werner och Hans vänner. I really love Lasse. I actually cried once when I tried to describe him to strangers in a bar in Gothenburg. Yes, I was drinking wine. But oh I love Lasse! And yeah.. Almost forgot, International Harvester – Sov gott Rose–Marie!

 

 

 

 


Johan Thelander Discaholic interview – april 2015

Jun.03, 2015

 

 

 

Johan Thelander  Discaholic interview – april 2015

 

 

Are you an official discaholic? Is there such a thing? What categorize a discaholic?

Yes. I definately think there is such as thing as being a discaholic. when basically all your sparetime goes into looking for that particular title, countless hours of searching and that it effects your mood in someways. and the relief and joy you feel when finding that lp – I cant describe all the emotions it starts, I can not put words on that lovely feeling when you find a long time wanted vinyl. I think that a good way to describe my discaholic diagnosis is that every Friday when a certain recordstore puts out their weekly update of records on the web, I´m always at a meeting at the school where I work , so I have the feeling- seriously –  every thursday evening,  that I want to quit my job (and I love my work with kids) so that I don’t miss any vinyls the coming day at that update. Also one thing that comes with the sickdom is the horrible time perspective connected to it, ”just ten minutes” in a recordstore is in real life actually represented by a couple of hours. And I can forget my passport when traveling but would never forget the list to the different record stores of the places I´m going to. Also a discaholic has a sixth sense of finding records and record stores – every time you go somewhere you always find opportunities to do some diggin. So yes I admit; Hi my name is Johan, and I´m a discaholic. But loving every bloody second of it, because music is the most beautiful thing mankind has created.

 

 

 

When did you start collect? How come you started to collect vinyls?

My father always collected records and he also writes about music, so records and music have always been a huge part in our home and life and I was always fascinated by them. He doesn´t play any instruments but he collects and still does.  Early on I remember how I always loved to go to the recordstores with him, to hear all the adults listen and talk about music. Album coverart always fascinated me, especially I remember how I thought that Miles´s ”Bitches Brew” cover was the coolest piece of art I´ve ever seen. At first I was strictly just into hiphop, but sometimes when my father played some jazz, fusion or rock I could recognize elements from my hiphop records, in a way that I understood that the hiphop I listened to, came from samples. That lead me to take interest in and discover a lot of music from different genres. At first I collected cd´s since it was newly released stuff (hiphop) and it was cheaper to buy the music on cd than on the vinyl release, and I wanted to hear and get as much hiphop as I could. But when getting into samples and so I found out that it was easier to find that ”old” stuff, the sources to the beats I were digging, on vinyl so it gradually slided over more and more to vinyl in my early adulthood. And once you got hooked on it, it´s no turning back, the sound, the feel of having it in your hands, the large cool cover art, to see the record spin on the turntable, you can’t get that thing with a cd. I think I somehow know it would be vinyl in the end, because when it came to hiphop I wasn´t much interested in the rappers, I was always more fascinated by the DJ. Take the classic rap group RUN DMC as an example:  I never cared so much about Run or Dmc, I always felt Jam Master Jay – the DJ-  were the coolest of them three. So the vinyl collection grew… and for the last ten years it´s basically been strictly vinyl (unless the music is only released on cd)… My father and I still goes to different jazzconcerts together and we haven’t missed many record fairs in stockholm over the last couple of years, and now it´s even more fun to go record hunting together when we are both listening mainly to jazz music.

Was vinyl the first thing you collected?

Nope, I collected comics as a kid and only the comic magazine – ”Fantomen” (The Phantom). I ran around with homemade lists of magazines I didn’t have, crossin it off one after another from the list – in the end I managed to get a complete collection of all released magazines between 1978 – 1998! I can definitely see similarities to my record collecting behaviours as an adult today…

 

 

Are you specialised in any categories or genres ?

 

Both yes and no. I listen to and collect a lot of different music. But the last years it´s mostly been about Swedish jazz, from 1950 and forward to this day.

Jazz in general is my main thing and my biggest record fix. But I also love and collect Reggae especially Dub and also some Psychedelica/Prog/Rock/Soul and World music of different kinds. Hiphop of course, that´s what started it all and I still love it.

 

Any fav formats?  I know for a fact that you collect 7 ´s, since you and I are sometimes going for the same items when we look for stuff in Sweden.

I love 7” singles/eps! but my favorite format is actually 10”´s – its smaller than the 12”s and therefor easier to handle and you get the often beautiful cover art in a slightly larger size than the 7”.

 

 

Lathe cuts, cassettes, flexis, reel-to- reels or 8 tracks what is the best alternative to a regular vinyl release?

Of course I prefer vinyl but my discaholic diagnose is more connected to the music than the format. During my childhood/youth in the 90´s I loved cassette tapes, a lot of mix tapes were made in my youth. I always gave people cassettes, played them in school and recorded  stuff from the radio. But I haven’t bought a cassette tape in years, to be honest. They are a bit unpractical and soundwise the best alternative to vinyl is cd´s in my ears. I don’t hate cd as many vinyl collectors do. I have a couple of thousand of them. and I still buy some new music on cd – if there are no release on vinyl. One of my favorite albums from last year – Leo Lindberg´s trio ”Leo´s bag” (Stockholm jazz records), were only released on cd for example and it is a highly recommended album, that no discaholic who likes jazz should miss only because it´s not released on vinyl.

What is so appealing with EP´s ?

One part is the active listening that the format demands, it´s quite short so you cant sit down – you must be there, standing by the reord player and just listen. you cant do the laundry or the dishes at the same time, cause there are not much more than 3-5 minutes  of time. Then you have to change the side or the record. So that you can fully let the music take over your senses.

Another major argument is that much of the music that can be found on ep´s has never been released on lp´s. The unique cover art is also an important aspect of my obsessions with ep´s. Swedish jazz ep´s often has the most beautiful photos, often taken by Bengt H. Malmqvist (the Swedish Francis Wolff!) or the cool graphic design by Stig Söderqvist or Nisse Skog. And they don’t take up too much space either in our apartment. This is an aspect that my beloved family probably appreciate,  haha…

 

Why do you think people dont collect EP´s more frequently ? I find it very fascinating that not more collectors are hooked up and obcessed to this format.

 

I believe that many collectors are audiophiles and when it come to ep´s  - especially swedish jazz ep´s  from the fifties –  you cant be too picky about the sound quality. There´s gonna be some hissing from the pressings and often some marks on them, but collectors will be missing out on a lot of good stuff! Like Abeleen´s ”Pia” (from ”It´s soul time ep”) or the Swedish modern jazz masterpiece ”Stormvarning” on the Nils Lindberg ep. A soundtrack to the Swedish television show ”Farlig kurs”. It is such an epic song! or Lars Färnlöfs orchestra version of ”Att angöra en brygga”. I nearly cry every time I hear it…

 

What gives you the buzz?

Whenever Pär (at Swejazz) says he has gotten something that would interest me…

 

 

What is your dream find :

Of existing vinyls ?

Ep: Bosse Wärmell/Bertil Lövgren – Blue train/Rue Chaptal

Lp: Sven Hessle/Gilbert Holmström – Grekisk rapsodi/Novotek, Holmström is such an great saxophone player – his debut lp ”Utan misstankar” is one of the best swedish jazz lp´s ever recorded.

My dream in the end is to have complete catalogues of Monica Zetterlund and of course Lars Gullin.

Of non- existing vinyls?

In 1970-71 there were plans of a record with Gullin and Zetterlund, with texts by Olle Adolphson that could have been some outer world stuff, but it never happened sadly.

If Jimi Hendrix hadn´t died and he and Miles had recorded an album together, like they were planning.  And there are so much live stuff I would love to see on lp, especially from the days of ”Gyllene Cirkeln” in Stockholm . For example it would be cool to hear a recording of  Karin Krog when she played there in may 1964. And I would love to see what would have happened if Börje Fredriksson had gotten a longer life, and the same goes for Coltrane of course.

 

 

How do you buy your records mostly?  eBay? Local shops? Internet shops? Friends?

It´s been strictly local shops or when travelling somewhere, in real shops.  Sometimes from friends or other collectors, until now. Since I started an Instagram page where I post my records I´ve made a lot of connections to good and friendly collectors around the globe and some tradin has taken place. It´s getting harder and harder to find my wants so eventually I probably must go more online. just registrated as a user at ebay for instance and won my first auction (a Gullin 10inch on Prestige and payed peanuts for it!).

But I´m not really happy about the online activity, the physical digging plays a major role in my discaholic diagnose. I wanna see the records, browse thru them and talk and interact with the shop keeper and people in the shops. The best deals are done over a friendly chat about music while sharing a coffee and you can´t get that on eBay or discogs. When an auction is over at eBay your hands are still clean. I don´t like it. I love to get my fingers muddy and dirty from the actual diggin!

I always used the internet for music research, figuring out/comparing prices etc.

One of my favorite thing is to browse through the cover collection archive over at Birkajazz… And I can read discographies and session listings for hours on the net.

 

 

Do you have a network of people to trade with?

Not at the moment, but I am slowly building more and more relations with other discaholics. I have made some trades and exchanges but not so many, so I ´m not very familiar with this aspects of the discaholic behaviour. Yet… I may add. Gettin´ there eventually.

 

Is trading records the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

Probably. Like I said above, my experience in that field is quite limited.

Is trading records the ultimate intimacy?

I would say that to sit with any other discaholic and discuss, listen and maybe trade some records is an intimacy that is hard to beat. To share music with each other is like sharing a bit of your souls to each other.

 

 

 

Describe a perfect hunting day!

 

Coffee (don´t do anything without it first) firstly! After a pretty long breakfast with the family I go and have a quick workout at the gym. Then hit the charity store nearby the gym (never findin anything but it´s also a place where ”gold” can be found) then continue on to a couple of stores in town, digging –   having another cup of coffee –  and chat with the owners and other people in the stores, then onwards to the next recordstore and the pattern repeats itself… finishing at Bromma records were it easily turns out to be an all evening hangout.

Vinyl, good people and coffee!

 

 

 

How do you sort your collection? Alphabetical? Genre? Chronological?

Every option above. It´s a bit of a mess at the moment, genres/labels/alphabetical some things connected to the mood I ´m in. But I actually know were things are, so it´s workin for me. I keep track on my records in some mysterious way.

 

Can discaholism be cured ?

 

Did Coltrane play the trumpet?

no way. impossible ;)

 

 

What record can set off a war?

Any Beatles record that will surface and that only exists in one copy – cause those Beatles collectors seems to be dead serious, not just metaphorically speaking…

 

What record would create world peace?

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme.

 

What record has changed your life most dramatically?

Dr Dre – the Chronic, my first album and the one that started it all. Hiphop lead me on to the wonderful world of jazz or all music I guess…

 

 

For the best ?

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, It played an important part at my wedding last summer. And it´s essential in my life.

 

For the worst?

No, can´t remember one. Someones trash is another ones treasure…

 

 

What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

Most of the jazz I think you already have so it probably should be the two best swedish rap records ever made. I  don´t think you have them in your collection and I think you should ;) Firstly a 12” with Ayo and the track Värsterort (Topaz),a  classic end of the subway´s Blue Line anthem!  and secondly a lp by The Latin Kings – I skuggan av betongen (Redline Records).

What record do you wanna steal from the discaholic website?

Several ;) .  For example the Lasse Lystedt  ”Krypto” ep that never got an official release. But there´s especially one grail I know that you possess that you have been writing about in Orkester Journalen in your Vaxdax column – ”Jubileumsskivan” with Zetterlund, maybe only one existing copy so that means I will never be able to have a complete Zetterlund collection, that sucks haha…

 

 

 

Do you have a favorite tool/ knife to open your packages (eBay/ trading parcels arriving w the mail) with?

 

It´s only one tool for parcels and packages – the good ol´ Stanley knife!

Do you have a routine / method while opening the packages or do you just eagerly trash it all open?

Always make coffee first! I must have time to really enjoy it, open it, feel it, smell it, weigh it in my hand, study the cover, read the liner notes and then listen to it.

.

Do you have a special record bag with you when you shop? waterproof? earthquake proof?

I have a recordbag from the british label Soul Jazz records. I got it in their store ”Sounds of the Universe” in London. Since it is from the UK it keeps away water pretty well. But

I´m planning on getting a new one. I have one in mind, if only the recordshop will sell it to me….

 

 

I have seen your beautiful Trane tattoo on your arm can we expect more tattoos with a vinyl / jazz connection in the future ? I considered for a while to make a 7 in full size, with grooves and all.

 

haha you definitely should do that, a 7” would be nice! Just be aware that tattoos can be equally as addictive as records, once you start you´re hooked. So, to answer the question; yes, my next tattoo will be a portrait of Monica Zetterlund, probably the picture from the Swedish Sensation ep… and there will be some kind of tribute to the dub master/inventor – King Tubby-  in the future.

But I have already several other music tattoos. Basically you could say that all my tattoos are either politically related or musically, many times both combined!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the first section you hit, while arriving to a vinyl shop, where you have never been before?

After a quick glance at ”The Wall”, I go and ask if they have any boxes with Jazz ep´s…

 

Secondly?

Then the jazz lp section.

 

Thirdly?

Either the Reggae/Dub or the

World/folk section, I´m always looking for Middle Eastern records. My absolute favorite singer is actually the lebanese singer Fairuz…

 

The section where you would never look in?

Country or Heavy Metal.

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite record shop in the world? Why?

Golous Skivbörs in Stockholm. I rarely find anything there anymore but it is more for sentimental reasons and the fact that I have been going there since before I was 10 with my father. So, for over 20 years has that store provided me with records. A hangout. Micke, who runs it, has opened my eyes to so much good stuff over the years. I don’t think I have bought anything there the last year or so, but I pop in there at least once a week to say hi and discuss music, life and politics.

skivborsen

If in stockholm; there are four stores you cant miss, all runned by wonderful people with knowledge and they are like my second home. They are so much more than just recordshops. You have Mats and Pär at Swejazz/Bromma records, the whole crew at Recordmania, Jörgen and Marianne at Mj Retro and the Master of jazz; Harald at Andra Jazz, that has a selection that probably is hard to beat even in a worldwide context.

Favorite city for vinyl hunting?

Apart from my hometown Stockholm, it is Gothenburg.   There are always great titles floating around in that city.  Lovely shopkeepers and better prices than in Stockholm.  As a child I used to travel there together with my father to buy records. My brother in law lives there so I got the chance to go there and dig a couple of times every year.

London is a favorite too. I always find great ska, rocksteady and dub there. I dream about digging in Beirut, Tokyo and Istanbul. Three cities I´ve decided that I must go too just for discaholic reasons.

 

 

 

Give us a list of your 5 favorite:

 

 

Jazz eps:

The ones I´ve enjoyed the most over time or at certain stage in my life is in no particular order;

Lars Gullin – Danny´s Dream, Jan Johansson – Mäster Johans gata 12 (spridda skurar!). Staffan Abeleen Quintet – it´s soultime (for the song ”Pia”), Nils Lindberg – Jazz in Tv time (the version of Taboo, and also one of the first time you hear Maffy on a Swedish recording!).  Lars Gullin & Monica Zetterlund – Med andra ord ep (two giants together,  what could possibly go wrong?!?).

Honorable mention; Miles Davis – Ascenseur pour l´échafaud. Monica Zetterlund – Taklagsskivan (one of my rarest ep´s). But I could go on for hours probably. Lists like this is damn hard to make. To narrow it all down to just five?!? Impossible ;)

 

Record labels:

Metronome, Blue Note, Impulse, Death Row Records and Studio One.

 

Lars Gullin compositions:

This was a tricky one hehe… ”Danny´s Dream”, ”Late Summer”, ”Fine together”, ”Dyningar” (Kullhammar Quartet has made a lovely version that´s worth mentioning!) and ”Prima vera”.

 

 

 

Is this interview too long?

 

Haha maybe a bit ;) but I enjoyed it all the way, more concerned about the readers though…

 

 

 

 

Do you work with a wantlist ?

Oh yes, I have several.  For different genres, artists, labels…

 

Top want ep´s jazz:

Jan Henning – Indiana (Columbia), Gullin´s Polydor ep and the one with Jutta Hipp. Bernt Rosengren – The new Beat Generation. Lars Werner – Point of View. Staffan Abeleen – Djingis Khan.

 

Lp´s: there are so many… but to mention just one –  it would be Monica Zetterlund – Swedish Sensation (Columbia).

 

One of the records I´ve been searching the most after is actually a cd (never been released on vinyl).   I had it when it came out in 1994 but it´s been lost for over ten years now. It´s Latin Kings first album in its Spanish version. If anybody out there has a copy,  please let me know I  start to go crazy because of it! How hard can it be to find a bloody cd??

 

One thing about wantlists or discaholic diagnosis is that general rule that could be applied to it; for every record you buy,  it leads you to two new ones that you want. So it´s a never ending cycle. It is a gift and a curse, and I´m  lovin´it!

 

What in your discaolism behaviours havent you told us about yet? Anything you want to share with us ?

The social aspect of it – it wouldn´t be the same if it wasn´t for all the people – discaholics, collectors, musiclovers I´ve meet thru the years.

The interaction with people that you probably wouldn´t have met otherwise. But you have gotten to know them because of a shared interest in music and record collecting, That is the the most beautiful aspects of discaholism.

 

Who do you wanna see get interviewed in this serie of discaholic interviews?

 

Elena Wolay – Jazz är farligt! She seems to have such an eclectic and diverse taste and deep knowledge. And all the work she´s doing for the swedish jazz/impro music scene is just amazing! Big ups!

 

 

Why arent there more female vinyl collectors around?

Hard to know for sure but one of the aspects is the overall inequality in society between the genders and that leads to that male dominated environments. So it is not up for grabs for everyone…

Record collecting has been so male dominated (especially by middle aged, rich white men) for such a long time that I think women either doesn’t feel welcomed in that sphere or aren´t allowed to be let in (by the men). one of the most ”non welcome” areas in society are those were men are in majority. Just look at a crowd in football –  it isn´t that women doesn’t like football but…. If you try to go to a stadium during a derby as a woman… that isn’t a very fun experience. And I think the same goes for record stores, record fairs and so on… that´s fucked up.

Music and record collecting should be open to all, to collect. It should be fun. And the whole discaholic experience get so much deeper, fun and learnable thru the meetings and sharings with other people.

 

What record is closest to sex?

 

”Olé Coltrane” or Lil Kims debut album.

 

Which one is no sex at all?

 

anything with The Beatles.

 

 

 

 


BRUNO JOHNSON

Mar.18, 2014

 

Bruno Johnson / Okka disk —-  Discaholic interview  2013 / 2014

 

 

- Are you an official Discaholic? Is there such a thing?

Do you need help with it? Is there a cure?

 

In my mind I’m one. But in the real world… not hardly.

I self medicate, thank you. A cure? Sure. But no one will take it.

 


 

-Was vinyl the first thing you collected?

 

Yeah! ’71 “Gimme Dat Ding” 45 by the Pipkins. And “Snoopy vs the Red             Baron” LP by the Royal Gardsmen. Karen Ireland had older brothers and             thought both of them to be shit, so I took a closer look at more “adult”             records.

 

- Growing up in the US – were there kickin vinyl shops around?

Which one is the best vinyl shop in the history?

Why?

 

By college I got the record thing and Madison Wi. had some fine shops.

I was lucky enough to run one of them (Paradise records) into the ground             by the time I left school . It’s the place I discovered that Reggae was a lot             more then Peter Tosh & Bob M. (thank you Lee, Tom & Jerry).

 

Best shop? Jazz Record Mart. The pricing was CRAZY and by the time I             worked there it was carrying EVERYTHING, jazz wise. Great store to get             music in. But you know I don’t get around like you freaks.

 

- How do you buy your records mostly nowadays? eBay? Local shops? From musicians

 

Shops and musicians. I don’t like the internet (as you can tell by the time it             took me to return this interview). I like to touch what I’m buying. Hey,             Honest Jons… where is my fuckin’ order from last year! Don’t pretend you             don’t hear me! God, I bet that is one cool store… I’ll never go into.

 


 

- How do you measure your collection? By the pound? Feet? Amount?

 

These days… by the box, ‘cos I’m moving them all the time. I think Adrienne  would trash them if she could.

 

- Do you sort your collection Alphabetical or by genre?

 

Once a long time ago strict alpha but now I like them just, you know,             around. Find something new every time you move a stack. Helps you

Keep your mind active and alert.

 

 

- Is trading records the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

Is trading records the ultimate intimacy?

 

No, live music is the best! I wish I could see more of it.

Ultimate intimacy? Come on! Get you head out of your ass! You have kids!

 


 

- Favorite format?

 

VINYL ALBUMS! But… now don’t hate me… I do like the CD. It makes soul             and reggae collecting easy. For the price of one Madeline Bell Phillips LP             from the 60’s I can listen to everything she recorded (and by the way it is             real good music!) on CD and buy myself some whiskey and lunch for             Adrienne and I. AND if I shit the disk up! Well, I buy another. I’m guessing             that this is what would exclude me from your little club.

 

- You worked a lot with Brötzmann, Fred Anderson and Ken (Vandermark) over the years. What records by them are your personal favorites?

The most obscure ones? By the way – have you heard the Lp where Ken is playing reggae?

 

From okka? The Octet/Tentet shit, the Atlanta Concert LP. Shit, anything Fred is on! Love that man! Ken’s Territory Band, Double or Nothing, DKV…

Mouth Eating Trees is right up there as well! Great disk.

You laugh but Ken & I have a dub remix of DKV by a very good engineer so you just may see a 10” disco plate from DKV soon! So be nice and I’ll save one for you.

 

 

- When did you start producing records? You had your own label before Okka disk, right?

What did u produce then? 7” ´s? Rock stuff?

 

I had a short lived rock label (1 ¼ York) God’s Acre, Freakwater and the  Waste Kings. 7”ers and one 10”. I liked doing it but… by then my heart was  in the jazz.

 

- Do you collect all kinds of music?

 

Mostly Jazz, reggae, soul, funk, punk, rock, African, post punk… Very little             metal (little             boys jerkin’ off about swords and death what a waste). Very  little classical, sorry, too little time.

 

- When did you first get into free jazz?

 

An old friend of mine William Mohline (he did some early art for okkadisk)  turned me on to the AEOC in ‘82/’83. I was listening to a lot of industrial shit and he told me that they could make just as much of a racket AND  actually play instrument! Well… he was fucking right. Within months using  6 degrees of separation I was listening to everything from Ayler & Peter to   Morton & King Oliver. Never regretted it, a great ride!

 

- Rank the following discaholic parameters: smell, feel, music, message, liner notes, cover art, design, sound, collectability, rarity, obscurity, thickness of viny:

1. Music    not much after this one… but

2. Cover Art

3. Design

4. Liner notes

5. Smell

6. Sound

7. Obscurity

8. Feel

9. Collectability

10. Rarity

11. Thickness (jeez)

12. Message

 


 

- Any other parameters of importance?

 

That list is way more than I have ever thought of.

 

- What record is closest to sex?

“Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)” Shangri-Las

 

 

Which one is no sex at all?

“Why” Discharge

 


 

- Why is vinyl more attractive then a cd or a download?

 

Vinyl is just beautiful. Period. Like I said CDs are okay by me.

But just like the UPC code on LPs (the ugliest thing EVER on a record. I am  really sorry that your disc is the only one on okka with a UPC code on  the art. sorry sorry sorry) the download is just a load… of shit. Period.

 

- What record has changed your life most dramatically?

For the best?

“Interstellar Space”

 


 

- For the worst?

 

The first few okkadisks. After they came out I was in the hallway selling  records and not at the damn show. Shit that’s not true. I love what I do. Never a worst around when you have records

 

 

 

 

- What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

 

I’m sure you have everything in my collection that you would want.

 

- What record do you wanna steal from the discaholic corner website?

I want to look at those white label 45s that Corbett was talking about.

I’m sure that the day I make it to yours… you will play me all the rare shit.

 


 

- You have been bartending in Chicago for years – for instance at the legendary Green Mill and the Hop Leaf and now you are running two bars in Milwaukee!

What is important, from a vinyl perspective, to get a bar seriously kickin?

 

A good DJ is what you need. If they are worth anything the joint should be cool.

 

- Can you trade a beer for a good vinyl in your bars?

What good record is only worth a beer? The Pipkins “Gimme Dat Ding”?

 

- What jukebox would you like to have? Any favorite models? Does it need to have random function, or do you prefer to control the flow of 7” s?

 

I ever tell you the story of the sad fucker who came into the Hopleaf, sat down next to the juke, kerplunked quarters and played every cry in my beer country song, one after another. God, sorry your gal left you. But fuck-  all now we all have to be sad as well. Never let the customer control the mood.

 

- Are record covers the ultimate wall decoration in a bar?

What covers do you currently dig in your own bars?

 

They’re okay but not nearly as cool as Adrienne’s paintings (and at the Palm I’ve got some great photos Ken V took in Ethiopia).

 

 

- What is the first section you hit, while arriving to a vinyl shop, where you have never been before?

I go to the walls and the counter first.

 

- Secondly?

Reggae ‘cuz none of you nerds will be there. I’ll have it all to myself. Then…

 

- Thirdly?

I can follow you all into the jazz, African or rock sections.

 

 

- The section where you would never look in?

The ones I don’t have time or money for… folk, classical. Metal.

 

 

- Give us a list of your 5 favorite:

 

I have a hard time with the best of list.

 

- Best jukebox singles, from a bartending perspective:

 

Any Kent soul and funk comps. on CD. I hope I’m too busy to flip records.

 

- Most amazing album covers:

 

Ascension – early Hat Huts – Hairy Bones – Paal’s dirty bits on covers –   Peter’s shit. (gotta read that book!)

 

- Coolest label logo:

FMP it screams quality.

 

- Free jazz records:

Coltrane

Ayler

Tayler

Braxton

Coleman/Cherry

 

- Soul records:

 

Tyrone Davis

Laura Lee

Madeline Bell

Doris Duke

Syl Johnson

 

- Punk / HC / Post Punk records:

 

The Fall

Wire

Discharge

The Pop Group/Maffia

Sex Pistols

 

- Is this interview too long?

 

Not by half.


 

- How big is your own recorded legacy?  You were a singer in some punk bands for a while, weren’t you?

 

Ah. Yeah. All evidence was stolen from a Toyota pick-up in LA a long time  ago, thankfully.


 

- Any new vinyl plans for Okka disk?

Ken and I are talking about some DKV stuff and we will have the new Margots out this summer.

 

- You worked for many years at one of the biggest record shops around: The Jazz Record Mart in Chicago. What are the rarest records you have seen passing by the shop?

 

I’m sure John C. has told you all about his financing a trip to Europe on the

Back of a rare record auction at the Mart. But the late 80’s early 90’s didn’t

See a lot of rarity coming through the Mart. Lots of CDs.

 


 

- Did your own collection grow fast while working there?

 

I have some nice Bill Dixon LPs and some other goodies. The cool thing was

I got a lot of new vinyl from that time Hat Art doubles, Po Torch, Cadence,

Leo, Nimbus etc…

 

- Our own experience from working in record stores… is that you end up earning no cash at all… but rapidly building up your own collection.

 

It is a wonder how little a young man needs to live on. Beer, records, more beer, more records. How did I pay my rent? How did I find girls to go out with me. I remember being out with three girls all night                 drinking and partying (handcuffed to a bed a one point) and still getting  home with a big bag of records under my arm, safe and sound.

 

- Any big regrets of records you didn’t pick up at the time?

Sure but so what. I can’t play everything I have now. So do I need those LPs I missed?

 

- Your best vinyl find ever?

Hand written note from Bill Dixon to a reviewer talking about the solos on

the split LP with Archie Shepp, Savoy MG-12184 very cool. Great copy of

Intents and Purposes, as well on that same day.

 

- Most disappointing find ever?

That I can’t have everything I see.

 

- Can you recognize a fellow discaholic in an ordinary group of people? Are there any specifics that give the discaholic away?

Like any nerd, just start talking and poof there they are.

 

- Have there been any real fights at JRM among customers, wanting to buy the same vinyl?

Or other weird incidents, regarding Discaholic behaviors?

 

No. just lots of sad faces. But is that from finding or not finding… who knows.

 

- Have you met many female collectors over the years? Or is this a men only activity?

1 or 2. But this is a boys world after all.


 

- Who would you like to see get interviewed in the Discaholic Interview series?

The women or significant others of discahalics (stop capitalizing the word). Who are the real victims of this illness!

 

- 62 hand crafted beers or 62 rare free jazz vinyls? What’s your preference?

 

I’ll take the records. I got the beer already.


 

- What beers would best fit to the following music:

 

Doris Duke – Champale

Peter Brötzmann – Scull Splitter

AEOC – New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk Imperial Milk Stout

DKV – glass of fine bourbon and a Duvel

Misfits – no idea

Jim Baker – Goose Island Lolita

Fred Anderson – too sad to think about

 

 

- What beer can save the world?

“Cause of and answer to all the world’s problems” thank you Homer.

 

- Which record can save the world?

None, sadly.

 

- Which record will not save the world?

 

ABBA’s Greatest Hits

Lionel Richie’s Greatest Hits

ZZ Top’s Greatest Hits

Cat Stevens’ Greatest Hits

Chicago’s Greatest Hits

Brettney Spears’ Greatest Hits

Madana’s Greatest Hits

ELO’s Greatest Hits

AC-DCS’s Greatest Hits

Foghat’s Greatest Hits

Well you get the idea…

 

 


 

http://www.okkadisk.com/

 

 

 

 

 


stephen o´malley interview

Mar.18, 2014

Stephen O’Malley

Discaholic interview –  2013/ 2014

 


Are you an official discaholic? Is there such a thing?

I have many -aholics which I try to survive… discaholoism is a form of obsession and pleasure. I have a friend who was a heroin user for many years, went through the worst typical junkie periods etc but he survived and cleaned up eventually. He has been VERY sober for a few decades now, save his allowance of intense record collecting. This is a form of healing and therapy, and he inspired this perspective in myself. When we’ve discussed this he has said «well at least I’m not spending my money on junk»! Unlike alcoholism, you cannot take a pill to make it feel like you’ve «had enough» with music. It’s like trying to pour the ocean into a chalice.

Do you need help with it?

What I need help with is organizing and storage of my collection in a useful, ordered way instead of the piles of chaos which invade every corner of my habitation.

When did you start collecting?

Probably age 12 with my discovery of speed/thrash and the fact that you had to honor and cherish these jewels if you had the fortitude to unearth them. Once I found underground mailorder and tape trading collecting became an obsession, love and full priority.

Was vinyl the first thing you collected?

No, I collected comics for ages as a youth, then cassettes (both published albums and tape trades)… then CDs. I am a child of the 90s, vinyl didn’t enter seriously until the late part of that decade. The exception is probably 7 inches.

 

What was the first piece of vinyl you got? Can you still feel the vibe from it? the excitement?

Although we had a lot of LPs at home in my Dad’s collection (John Fahey, The Who, Zep, Jeff Beck were and still are favorites), and I was buying a ton of tapes before… I think first was given Prince’s soundtrack for Tim Burton’s «Batman» and loved it. It’s not very impressive but I’m not embarrassed by that fact any longer. Just learned recently that the Arkestra was the band on much of that LP.

What gives you the buzz? Do you still get the buzz?

Let’s put it this way: my postman climbs a lot of stairs each week because I live on the fourth floor of a walk up. It’s endless… I love music and it’s a staple of pleasure and regularity in my life. The discovery and unlocking of the structures/stimulation is killer. Putting on music does something crucial to my brain and the environment… seems like such  simple, obvious solution to many problems or mood issues.

 

How do you buy your records mostly nowadays? on tour? eBay? Local shops?

We have Souffle Continu here in Paris who I’ve manage to trick into a trading scheme, passing them my own releases for credit at their store. This is an important relationship. I buy tons on discogs actually, not so much ebay any more… I guess the whole bidding thing is boring. If I just want the record I’ll just buy it and will if I can find it, afford it, don’t want to gamble. I love record shopping on the road, that and finding great meals are what it’s all about anyway. Checking out local shops and talking music with the people I’m traveling with, meeting locally, getting advice (usually very good or very bad) and blowing too much money on records and dinner. Also this turns right into stories of peoples experiences with the bands, musicians, histories etc. In Copenhagen last week the promoter spent an hour talking about early Neubauten concerts there (the first two times) where they threw molotov cocktails into the audience.  I used to trade a lot more through the mail and sell records/run a small mailorder but have come to the point that I dont have enough brainpower to manage that each day any more.

How do you measure your collection? Meters? Kg´s? numbers?

Boxes. Because I have a storage space in a warehouse in Ivry filled with all of my possessions pre 2007… the year I moved to France. There are many score boxes of music (LPs, CDs, tapes) which have sadly been hibernating uncracked since February 2007. There are also a lot of speaker cabinets and amplifiers, gear in this space, and books. Transient issues.

How do you sort your collection? Alphabetical? Genre? Chronological?

The collection at home is a mess… mainly sorted from recently purchased/acquired to oldest acquired. I live in a small flat with my lady… she is super into books and I am too in addition to albums. We are moving soon though to a bigger place and I dream about proper shelving/organization then. I do manage some subsections here and there like Annette Peacock section, 60’s/70’s electronics, Hindustani, important composers or research items, CD boxed sets, Faraway Press titles. I have a big Haino section in my NYC stacks… a lot of live bootlegs I got from an old trader named Scott Slimm (of aRCHIVE label) as well as all the official releases etc.

 

I admit that I do like this type of mess because every time I get some time at home to look through it and spend some afternoons and evenings swimming in the music I find shit I totally forgot about, or do not know where it came from or what it is. There is a kind of luck logic to it but my lady does get annoyed frequently as she cannot find anything without spending 20 minutes searching.

How would a soundtrack to one of Richard Serra´s black and round paintings sound like? Who would play on such? Isn´t  that serie of paintings all about vinyls and grooves?

I like this point of view on Serra… definitely haven’t heard that before. Since many of his paint stick drawings have highly politicized titles, or named after great humans, I have always heard them as more of a very high powered electromagnetic or strong/waek force or gravitational field.

 

What was your first release at all on vinyl?

Burning Witch «Towers» on Slap-a-Ham recorded 96 and released in 1998. Thank you Chris Dodge. It still blows my mind as Albini recorded it (first album he recorded in Seattle apparently) and it was on that cult label!!! I also think that the sound quality of the production on this record is one which we possibly haven’t been able to reach since.

Can discaholism be cured ?

I wonder if record  label directors or record store owners are trying to do this or if that is more like a alcoholic opening a bar or a coke head opening a nightclub. Purity through complete and total immersion?

What record can set off a war?

Come on dude. I note the fact that the theme music of the US middle east military actions of the past 20 years seems to have been highly informed by death metal. That seems so fucking obvious but is too sad at the same time. It validates the worst stereotypes.

 

There have been some fallouts resulting from mid-period SABBATH. I like that SKINNY PUPPY is suing the State Department for use of their music in Guantanemo.

What record would create peace?

«Live in Toronto 1969»

 

 

What record has changed your life most dramatically?

For the best ?

For the worst?

Definitely (maybe?) one of my own… but I’m not sure which. Several of the SUNN O))) albums represent obvious psychological issues/states when looking in retrospect… and many were not very good ones. «Monoliths & Dimensions» opened so many doors in my mind and possibilities in the world. I think that was a giant step for the better personally and artistically. Even if it’s not my favorite album I’ve made, personally and creatively.

Describe a perfect shopping/ hunting day!

I love record shopping in Tokyo. People seems just made for it and there are so many possibilities of discoveries, STILL. discUNION Tokyo crawl in the morning with a surplus of tour money… then stumbling upon a yet-unknown (even to the locals) or recently opened shop on an upper floor of one of those mini-skyscrapers. Maybe a guy trying to get clean of his -aholism. Udon lunch in Shinjuku just north of the station (you know the place). Maybe pop in to AIRS to see the recent live boots and look at the photos of other recognized AIR vistors/fellow explorers of sounds. Then hop over to Volcanic Tongue right before closing: getting loaded up by their weird/intuitive tastes and hilarious conversations and then hauled over to Brew Dog for apero! Watch the skies for crashing police helicopters. Then back to Dan’s in Shinjuku for some asparagus and hangs with Jim, Enju and Shun until the end of the night.

 

 

What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

Ah come on… that’s lame and dishonorable.

I once realized that one of my prior bands was doomed when I had to witness the act and justification of an to-remain-unnamed bassist stealing a host’s sacred Beefheart LPs out of a house we were generously given to crash in after a show.

What record do you wanna steal from the discaholic website?

How do you steal an LP from a  website? But do you have any G.I.S.M?

 

Lathe cut, cassette, flexi, reel-to- reel or 8 – track… what is the best alternative to a regular vinyl release?

Lathe cuts are silly… I say I love cassettes but never/rarely listen to them any more (no car)… probably fucking CD for me actually. I still pick up tons of shit on disc. It’s true that a lot of forms of music work on this longer format including raga, which I love, and long form compositions.

Do you have a favourite tool/ knife to open your packages (eBay/ trading parcels arriving w the mail)?

I have a PROEDGE Xacto knife which has done the honors for as long as I can remember. I think I acquired that thing in college.

 

Do you have a routine / method  opening the packages – or do you just eagerly trash it all open?

I carefully slice the tape over the overlapping flaps of back/bottom of the record mailer and hold my breath nervously while I carefully try to cleanly slice the tape on the sides of the box. If I can do this without losing my agility it is very very satisfying. Next I place the mailer flat on our dining table and extract the album, nervous about any bends or dings (but those alone won’t spoil the record for me). There usually aren’t any worth fretting about (but I had one of the most discouraging vinyl mail order experiences ever lately: preordered the latest SABBATH from Warner in UK. the record arrived bent in half! I dont know how this happened as the box was totally fine. I was bummed. Sent it back and still have yet to receive a replacement or refund. Anyway…) One thing I hate is when people additionally wrap albums in bubble wrap and then put too much tape on it. Its hard to cut that open carefully. Also when the record is «protected» like this but is in a polysleeve the polysleeve gets warped or stretched…. annoying. People, please just use those cardboard corners and 30cm cardboard slugs!

Are  there any competion, vinylhuntingwise, on a tour w Sunn O)))? We understand that there are other discaholics in the group?

Or do you simply just share?

Not really too much in the way of competition but we have had some problems in Japan running in to the 70s jazz bootlegs section. Usually we are too obsessed by our own interests at the time though. Greg is a fucking discaholic but also abuses amazon prime at home to satisfy his cravings. He is obsessed with amazon and has loyalty/points accounts etc. Attila is the guy with the cheapest MP3 player you would find at a Polish airport kiosk filled with bad industrial MP3s.

Is trading records the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

Is trading records the ultimate intimacy?

Not really, probably because I want to keep everything I have… even the disappointments!

 

I used to trade with that Belgian record flipper guy Ulixes and got some great stuff (again trading for my own titles, test pressings etc)… but now I don’t like to do that, and try to resist the Faustian urge. I get jealous sometimes when my own records are then resold for a big markup. It’s a paradoxical attitude though… cannot mark up one’s own releases but would gladly trade them at record flipper value for Organum 12»s etc.

 

 

What is the first section you hit, while arriving to a vinyl shop, where you have never been before?

Wow, that’s a tough question… usually I get either attacked immediately by vertiguous obsession or confusion, depending on where I am and the size of the shop. I would say a safe bet is that I’m a sucker for tables full of «new releases» and «reissues» or possibly the recent «used» LPs from the week, etc.

Secondly?

My teenage taste leads me to «experimental» or «metal» as a distraction for a few minutes.

Thirdly?

Either whatever the «world music» / «folk» («fork») section is or contemporary/electronics.

The section where you would never look in?

 

Dance.

What is your favorite record shop in the world?

Can only answer with Nostalgia. I loved Second Time Around in Seattle in the early 90s. (but A-musik in Cologne also rules)


Why?

STA/Seattle: Young age, found so much crucial shit there, and that was a good period to haul the obscure metal releases. They also sold guitars and bongs.

 

A-Musik: my taste matches very closely to what they have and good new discoveries are always made there.

 

Favorite city for vinyl hunting?

Tokyo. There are also a lot of Japanese musicians, bands and composers I like to discover over there or track down release by when I’m there. NYC used to rule, before it started to be shit. That’s the story of that city on most topics. It’s still the greatest city.

How is Paris these days, when it comes finding good shit?

Meh. Souffle and Bimbo are fun for new stuff.

 

BUT!!! Dame Blanche is fucking great…. but expensive. That’s my fave place to bring out of town heads. As are the record fairs. I am away too often to get dialed in on the fairs/markets though… they happen often. When Whitman is in town my radar gets realigned.

 

 

Give us a list of your 5 favorite:

darkest vinyls:

ABRUPTUM first album (Anti-Mosh 004) and FUSHITSUSHA (PSF 3 / 4 and 15/16) rule this category in all aspects.

brightest vinyls:

Benjamin Britten «A Ceremony of Carols Op. 28» (ok, I only have this on CD).

Sun Ra vinyls:

I only own reissues but have hundreds of albums from torrents (sorry!)…

Most erotic album covers:

I’m totally into Annette Peacock at the moment.
There are a lot of funny erotic sleeves out there from the 60s; the «My Pussy is for Daddy»  (BEACON-305) sleeve being a prime example.

Also please find attached a recent favorite 7» sleeve by Sandro Becker. We can all relate to this cover I think.

Metal albums:

Here’s attached is a photo collage of one of the stacks instead… and the «to listen» crates and etc. I like to pose some of my fave covers and albums on the wall… nothing was changed for this photo.

Is this interview too long?

It’s definitely not too short.

 

What new gems on vinyl will see the light on Ideologic label in the future?

There is an Ai Aso LP coming out next month. She is a great songwriter from Tokyo.

We are planning on doing LPs by  PITA, Attila and NAZORANAI later this year.
Also a 7xCD box of Ákos Rózmann’s «12 Stationer». I would love to do that as a vinyl box but simply do not have anywhere near the correct resources or attentions to make that idea work successfully.

Any 7 inch ideas for the label?

No, too expensive. I also prefer the album format for many reasons the main is which the sense of attention required to mentally digest the format.

What Scandinavian vinyls are you looking for, at the moment?

You know what is silly? Colored vinyl. I used to love it, was fun to release albums on colored, but these days I prefer black… I dont care about collector value at all, just the classic black vinyl. We still use colored vinyl as a marketing tactic though, people love it. Ok some solid colors are not bad like white… also solid colors in transparents can be appropriate if the music is so luscious and sweet… that you want it to be candy.  Transparent orange is pretty nice. I like total clear vinyl too sometimes. But the absolute worst is this splatter coloring system that GZ made popular. Looks like fucking vomit after a night Robotripping or on the NyQuil or a god damned slurpee… arent musicians horrified and embarrassed to present their hard work with a barf coloured splatter LP? Disgusting.

 

I also love LP labels. Maybe you dont know this but I’ve been designing record sleeves for bands and musicians for almost 20 years now (?!)… some for the worse, and some bad ideas for sure, but also some for the best, with some accomplishments and good efforts and even a few which I am proud of. Over the years I discovered that the LP labels were often the best part of the design and also the part I enjoyed the most. These can be even more important than the sleeve since they are after all the part you watch when you put the record on the deck. They are in that way more intimately connected to the music than the sleeve (also an opinion on the color of the vinyl).

I love the polysleeves too and like to make sure that as many of the LPs are in them as possible. I have some mylar ones with the heat sealed edges for some of the more important LPs. Somehow these polysleeves clean up the collection a lot… and they create a sense of calm amongst the chaos of the collection at the same time.

 

 

Do you work with a wantlist ?

Too disorganized.

 

I just checked discogs right now and noticed that I have a want list with 98 items on it. But that’s just a matter of clicking a button and receiving reminders when said item is available… nice system.

What is highest up on that list?

It’s not organized that way… There is a THRONES cassette I have been after for a long time, on the Punk In My Vitamins label I think.

What does Fylkingen records means to you?

Intricately tied with EMS studios and the venue both of which I love to visit, hang and play at… it’s very cool there is a record store in the venue again, right next to the bar. They even have space to place your pint next to the record bins in the shop! That is very very thoughtful and humane.

What single vinyl release got you going to start play the guitar?

Maybe Melvins «Bullhead» or «Lysol».

 

 

What vinyl makes you wanna stop playing the guitar?

I get discouraged from my mediocre playing so-called «styles» on a frequent basis, often wonder why to bother. Especially when I have the miracle of finding myself not only in the same room but on stage with people like Haino or Lucier. Too close to the flame sometimes? Illuminates one’s multiple shortcomings and inefficiencies, naiveté, but on the other hand I get super excited by listening to music which sends fucking lightning into my cortex and spine… too many ideas to give up. It’s the curse of Icarus.

Who do you wanna see get interviewed in this serie of discaholic interviews?


You should contact this guy Fabio I met in the beautiful Rio De Janiero. He is doing Supernut records and the guy has 30000 LPs in a two bedroom apartment, takes visitors buyers by appointment only. Nuts. I am told he is the expert on Tropicalia in Rio but is also a metalhead and stoner rock (bad taste) fan. Found a lot of great Brazilian psych records when I visited him as well as long wanted Walter Smetak LP and a Suya indingenous music LP… and some Clementina De Jesus LPs one of which I am going to put on right now…

What record is closest to sex?

Takehisa Kosugi «Catch Wave». Also original Japanese vinyl versions of «Pangea» and «Aghartha».

Which one is no sex at all?

Manowar’s catalogue. Or maybe Megadeth is worse?

 

 

 


oren ambarchi discaholic interview aug – 13

Aug.29, 2013

OREN AMBARCHI Discaholic interview aug – 13

 

 

 

 

Are you an official discaholic? Is there such a thing?

Do you need help with it? Or are you happy as is?

- Most people close to me know that I have serious discaholic issues. I have had it all of my life and it seems to get more chronic as I mature. I’m revelling in it of course.

 

 

 

When did you start collecting?

- My mum started buying me 7”s when I was a one-year old for my little portable record player. I don’t know if that counts as the official commencement of my record collecting but I became addicted soon after, finding lps by any means necessary.

 

 

Was vinyl the first thing you collected?

- Absolutely. I wasn’t interested in toy cars and that kind of shit. McCartney 7”s were alot more satisfying.

 

 

Was there kickin vinyl shops in Australia when you grew up , or did u have to do the import by yourself of the yummie vinylbits from overseas ?

- When I was around 12 or 13 I used to go into the city after school and buy used jazz records with my lunch money. The used vinyl stores in Sydney in those days kicked ass and they were cheap. I would come home with Impulse! lps that were usually $5 a pop.

I remember finding a Cecil Taylor 3lp box set on Shandar for $7.50, those were the days!

When I got a bit older and interested in more obscure releases I would obsessively mailorder lps from outlets like RRR, Forced Exposure, Japan Overseas, Artware etc etc.

It was super exciting to order weirdo releases just from a short description on a printed catalogue. You never knew what the hell was going to arrive a few weeks later. Exciting times!

 

 

How do you buy your records mostly nowadays ? on tour? eBay? Local shops?

- All of the above but it’s definitely fun to buy records on tour. Apart from eating local food, hitting the record stores on tour is where it’s at! Unfortunately apart from a few exceptions, the stores aren’t what they used to be.

 

 

How many meters of vinyl do you have in your collection?

- You’ve inspired me to buy a tape measure, hold on a sec.

—–

From what I can see, approximately 34 meters (as of August 22, 2013)

 

 

How many meters would you like to have?

- To quote Andrea True, ”More More More”.

 

 

 

What is Music?

- To quote Seal, ”My power, my pleasure, my pain!”

 

 

Have your music ever set a fire alarm off?

- Stephen O’Malley was DJing at the CMJ festival in New York in 2004. Apparently he was playing my piece “Corkscrew” and the low frequencies set off the fire alarms and sprinklers in the venue; the audience was evacuated and the New York fire department rushed over. He emailed the next day saying, ‘We need to work together.’

 

 

What vinyl  would trigger an earthquake?

- Most definitely Bill Bruford’s ”Hells Bells” or X-Dreams by Annette Peacock.

Or maybe the first Walter Franco record (by the way, did you find that one for me in Brazil?). ( red: still lookin.. still searchin….)

 

 

 

Is trading records the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

Is trading records the ultimate intimacy?

- I don’t trade much as unlike you, I don’t buy 3-4 copies of every rare record known to man.  But I have fucked up alot lately in Japan, buying a record I already own in a hyped & confused discaholic frenzy (very embarrassing). My close friends and loved ones benefit from this folly as it is a pleasure to shower these people with choice vinyl treasures they don’t have.  Most of them don’t appreciate it though, hahah!

 

 

 

 

Did you celebrate your 33 1/3 rd birthday ?  The 45th ?

- I forgot to celebrate the 33 1/3rd  but for the 45th I am planning a big karaoke night where I will belt out my favourite hits from the 70s and 80s and make all attendees suffer immensely.

 

 

Favorite format?

- LP. As much as I love the sharp focus of a 7”, I prefer it when an artist stretches out. I like to sink my teeth into something you know?

 

What is the ultimate weight?

- 220 gram is pretty damn sexy but generally I’m not fussed, it’s all about the music.

Actually shipping this shit to Australia is crazy expensive so fuck 220 gram reissues.

 

Fav vinyl color?

- Black is the color.

 

 

 

Can discaholism be cured ?

- Don’t think so.  I’m a lost cause & that’s fine with me.

 

 

Can you let us know how a vinyl per day can keep the doctor away?

- As you know from experience, 1 per day at a minimum. It will make your life more pleasureable and meaningful.

 

 

Alphabetical or by genre?

- Both although that can get a little complicated (but it’s too late now..).

 

 

What record is closest to sex?

- Robert Ashley’s ”Automatic Writing”

 

Which one is no sex at all?

- Stockhausen’s ”Donnerstag aus licht” box or something by Nick Cave

 

 

 

What record has changed your life most dramatically?

For the best ?

 

- Hearing Hendrix’s ”1983” on Electric Ladyland when I was super young opened up so many doors, it had a pop structure that was laced with studio experimentation, free/open sounds, extended duration, ”psychedelia” etc etc – everything was there, kinda like The White Album in how varied it was for a huge major label release. Other early revelations were Coltrane’s Impulse! recordings, Yoko Ono’s ”Fly” and Miles Davis’ 70s releases. I was pretty young when I nabbed these releases so being exposed to killer pop with studio experimentation like the Beatles and important free jazz records really shaped everything for me.

 

For the worst?

 

- As above – those records got me into all kinds of genres which is a serious problem cause I wanted to hear everything! I’m obsessive about so many styles, killer pop, weirdo shit, you name it. It’s an expensive habit and lps weigh alot! Postage to Australia ain’t cheap either..

 

 

Describe a perfect shopping/ hunting day!

- You are in a new city with a slight hangover &/or jetlag and you don’t have any obligations or time restrictions that day (a rarity).

You hit a killer restaurant for a brunch with some good friends and have a drink or two so you’re feeling loose as a goose, then you hit the stores – preferably stores all of you have never been to before. Stores that suprise the shit outta you cause they have stuff you can’t freakin believe. And the people running the store are nice/cool, but they have no idea what the hell they have in the store and therefore the lps aren’t overpriced.  The people running the place have also never heard of ebay or the internet. They don’t talk to eachother loudly or bother you.

And the store is open late.

You go fucking crazy and buy shit you can’t believe. And as the prices are cheap you take risks and grip things you’ve never heard of, all of which are gold. You also have some knowledgeable cohorts that already have all the lps you are looking for, therefore there’s no competition or fighting – they accompany you purely for encouragement and advice/recommendations. They even buy a few lps FOR YOU that they think YOU NEED. Additionally your cohorts buy any lp you recommend to them without questioning you.

After that you all have a big celebratory meal and do it again the next day.

That’s a little slice of heaven my friend.

 

What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

- Don’t know, it depends on your taste, but oh, you only listen to jazz right?

Not sure if you’re into signed lps but I have a few I’m proud of including a signed ESP ”Call me Burroughs” lp that I paid $2 for. Years ago I cheekily had Brian Wilson sign a ’Smile’ 3LP bootleg along with The Beach Boys ”Love You”, one of my all time faves. My copies of Hanatarash 1 & 2 both have elaborate signed artwork by Eye. Keiji Haino has signed/illustrated a few of his early lps for me. Yeah, I’m a nerd..

 

Mono or stereo needle?

- Stereo. And man, I’m not an audiophile, my system is good but I don’t go crazy with the gear, I prefer to keep discovering more lps I haven’t heard yet, not crazy expensive gear.

 

 

What jukebox would you like to have? Does it need to have random function, or do you prefer to control the flow of 7” s?

- I’d be into having multiple jukeboxes with the option of a random function if I was mixing drinks/entertaining guests,  all with different themes for the particular mood I’m in. For example, you could have a 70s ”one-hit-wonder” jukebox for a fun vibe, or a Merzbow 7” jukebox for a fun a vibe etc etc. The skies the limit.

 

 

Have you ever ”borrowed” a vinyl at a party/ dinner … and just kept it for ”a while”?

- Mats, you know I wouldn’t do something like that

 

 

What vinyl would you like to give away to people, in order to change matters to the better? Did you ever buy for instance 10 copies of a vinyl, just to give away because it is so fuckin good ?

- There’s so many amazing records that I would love to give away, only problem is they are usually crazy expensive. Fuck, I wish I could force people to listen to all kinds of records I love and make them dig it! I get so excited about certain records it can be pretty overwhelming for alot of people..

I love it when people turn me onto records too.

Actually alot of people avoid going into record stores with me cause I literally force people to buy certain records. And if they don’t listen to me when I recommend something, they are punished – next time around if they are in a store with me and I spot something essential I will recommend it to another friend in the store instead of them.

 

Over the years I’ve bought copies of the Massimo Toniutti lp from ’91 and given them away to friends. It’s super underrated and ahead of its time and not ’hip’ so it’s slipped under the radar which means it usually pretty cheap.

Speaking of which I was very touched when you sent me a beautiful copy of Milford Graves & Don Pullen’s ”Nommo” lp just because I ”needed it”, how sweet of you Mats!

 

 

What is the most valuable (economically or emotionally…) record you have in your collection?

- Emotion is more important than economics when it comes to these matters but there is no emotionally valuable record in particular that I could narrow it down to.

It would probably be the ones that were super revelatory when I discovered them, the ones that I played the shit out of at the time of purchase and still do 20 years later.

Some of my choices would not make any sense to anyone else as it’s so personal (Steve Khan’s ”Casa Loco”, Pat Metheny’s ”Offramp” or side 1 of ”As falls Wichita” anyone?).

 

Speaking of emotion, did you ever hear the song ”Emotion” sung by Samantha Sang?

She was an Australian singer from the 70s who sung this track written/produced by Barry and Robin Gibb and it was a huge hit. Holy shit it’s a killer track.

The clip for it is kinda creepy too.

Check:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mkTg1Cyun4

I just picked up her LP the other day, it has its moments but holy shit, that track is fucking incredible.

 

Cheapest?

- I have plenty of killer el cheapo records.

Man, I was in Winnipeg last week and bought loads of super cheap records, all were $1 at the most (hey, I had to buy something when I was there). But alot of them were super cool! I’m fine with having a Peaches & Herb lp on the same shelf as a Henning Christiansen gallery edition lp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Limited or unlimited?

- We all fetishize the limited release (I have plenty of prized limited releases), but some of my favourite music are on lps are easily available classics.

 

Protecting plastic covers or not?

- I’m not fussed.

 

 

What is the first section you hit, while arriving to a vinyl shop, where you have never been before?

- I check the display wall  & hit the Avant/experimental

 

Secondly?

- New arrivals

 

Thirdly?

- Free jazz/progressive/or rock/pop

 

The section where you would never look in?

- The Christmas section.

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite record shop in the world?

- Disc Union, Shinjuku


Why?

- Because I am continuously overwhelmed with the breadth and quality of what they stock. You will ALWAYS find something there that blows your mind and the prices are not insane.

 

Favorite city for vinyl hunting?

- Tokyo of course.  One of the only cities in the world that has record stores that are completely unaffected by ebay/discogs. The amount of killer stores there is mind boggling.

 

 

 

Give us a list of your 5 favorite:

 

Best smelling vinyls:

- The Harry Bertoia lps on Sonambient

 

Most erotic album covers:

- Annette Peacock’s ”Been in the streets too long” is pretty goddam hot.

 

Coolest label logo:

- Cramps. Actually make that ECM hahah!

 

Free jazz records:

- Too many to list but Milford Graves’ Babi Music is up there

 

Merzbow records:

- Again too many but some faves are Noisembryo, Rainbow Electronics & most of the mid-90s stuff, ”Steel cum” 7”,  + early releases like Ecobondage

 

Derek Bailey records:

- New Sights, Old Sounds

Aida

Duos with Bennink

Improvisation

Dart Drug

Incus Taps

Mirakle (!!!) etc etc

 

 

 

What is your best guitar solo , recorded on vinyl?

- They are all incredible

 

The worst?

- None, trust me, they are all incredible

 

 

Is this interview too long?

- It’s like the Well Tuned Piano, it just goes on and on and on..

 

 

Do you store multiple copies of your own recorded legacy?  In case some fellow discaholics arrives at your doorstep in 20 years from now and need that 2 lp set with Fire! and yourself in the limited white vinyl edition?

- Rune Grammofon only gave me one copy of the white vinyl edition!

 

 

Do you often recommend shitty Scorpion Lps to your fellow musician friends?

- Sorry about that. Did you get into trouble at home?

Oh, did you listen to the Genesis lp? Probably not… ( red: of course i did . it is ROCKIN!)

 

What single vinyl release got you going to start play the guitar?

- Probably the Who, Led Zep and Hendrix 7” releases I had when I was a baby

 

 

What vinyl makes you wanna stop playing the guitar?

- Anything by the Grateful Dead

 

 

Can you recognize a fellow discaholic in an ordinary group of people? Are there any specifics that give the discaholic away?

- It can be difficult but there are signs if you look out for them.

For example I was recently in a tour van with a Swedish band that I’d just started working with and didn’t know very well personally. At one point the sax player violently demanded that the driver stop the van so he could go to an outdoor record vendor he’d just spotted whilst the driver was speeding down a freeway. Something like that usually is a good indication.

 

 

What jacket surface makes your breathing more irregular?

Matt? Glossy? Laminated? Plain? Silk screened?

- All of the above.

 

 

Which record can save the world?

- ELO’s ”A New World Record”. Man, that record is amazing..

 

 

Which record will not save the world?

- Neil Hamburger’s ”Great Phone Calls” which is very unfortunate as it should.

 


dennis lyxzén discaholic interview july – 13

Jul.05, 2013

Discaholic Corner Interview  —- dennis lyxzèn

 

 

Are you an official discaholic?

 

-Yes, I would say so. I think about records/ Record collecting pretty much every day. I dream about it quite often as well.

 

 

 

When did you first realised that you were bitten by the discaholic bug?

-When I was pretty young. Maybe 14-15. I started buying records and collections pretty early on. Not in the same magnitude of what I do today but still. I remember when I was 15 and was competing in High jump. Every time I would win a contest I got to buy 2 record. I won a lot.

 

 

 

 

Can it be treated?

-I mean, I’ve heard of people getting treated. But I think that I’m a lost cause.

 

 

Do you want it to be treated?

-No, of course not. There are of course times when you are wondering what the hell you are doing but no, I like to be a discaholic.

 

 

 

Do you collect anything else?

- No, not really. I like books and movies and general pop-culture related items but no serious collecting.

 

 

 

 

 

How did it all got started?

- Well, I just fell in love with music and when music started to define my life it did so much stronger then for my peers and then I realized that there was something special in my connection to music. It never let up since really and I am glad that I found it. It gave me a sense of purpose and a way out. I grew up in the middle of nowhere and I was pretty much the weirdo of the school and music gave me strength to become myself and to get out of where I grew up. Even though I still live up here where I grew up it gave me the capacity to expand my mind beyond the limitations of the small town.

 

 

 

What was the first vinyl you got?  Where did you buy it?

-The first record I bought was David Bowie’s Let’s Dance. I can’t remember where I bought it.

 

Is it still in your collection?

-Yes, of course!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Do you measure your collection in meters, numbers or kilogramms?

-Still in numbers. Could maybe measure it in meters if needed!! :)

 

 

Were there records to buy in Vännäs when you grew up, or did you have to go into Umeå to hunt for vinyls?

-When I got into really buying records that were not really in the realm of the ordinary record,  I had to venture off into Umeå to buy records. There was a couple of good recordstores there at the time.

When I first started listening to music we had a paperstore in Vännäs that sold records. So I took my bike down there and bought whatever heavy metal record they had in store.

 

 

 

 

What is it with vinyl that appeals to you?

-Everything. I grew up with it and we all know that it feels and sounds better then anything else. I still think that there is something Magical about it.

 

Rank the following discaholic parameters: smell, feel, music, message, liner notes, cover art, design, sound, collectibity, rarity, obscurity, thickness of vinyl:

1. Music

2. Collectibility

3. Feel

4. Cover Art

5. Rarity

6. Sound

7. Message

8. Obscurity

9. Design

10. Smell

11. Thickness of vinyl

12. Liner Notes

 

any other parameters of importance ?

-Well, being a collector one of the parameter that you have to take into consideration is of course the completion!!

If you like one band you also have to have their crappy records. The same with labels that you collect. You have to buy the medicore records with the crappy sound or artwork. Just to complete the collection!

 

 

 

Are there any secret Refused or AC4 test pressings / acetates, laying around… that we haven’t seen yet?

There are test-presses of the Ac4 records. The usual 5 copies that the band have.

Also I’ve heard rumors that there are test-pressing of the Shape OF Punk to Come record but I don’t own it myself which is a complete bummer!!!

 

 

What was  your debut?  Refused´s  “ refused “ on cassette? Or are there any earlier releases  of yours on vinyl?

-The first thing that I have released on vinyl is my first Hardcoreband Step Forward. We had 3 songs of a punk compilation called Really Fast. I think that it was volume 6. Before that we did some demo-tapes and cassettes that we sold at shows.

The first Refused release was a Cassette on Umeå Hardcore Records!!

 

 

 

Will the “step forward” cassette ever be heard on a vinyl edition?

-I wish. It is one of the few things that I’ve recorded that never saw a vinyl version. I had a record label in the 90′s called Desperate Fight records and we did a Cd version of the 2 Step Forward Cassettes + some live stuff but it never got released on vinyl!

Step Forward was a pretty great band so hopefully some day someone would like to do a vinyl version of it!!!

 

 

 

 

Fav format in general?

- I love 7″. I love to the idea of having 2 or 3 of your best songs on a single. I like that when you listen to 7″ you really have to sit down and make it an activity.

 

 

Does format matters?

- Yeah, I mean… if you only released your music only on Cd there is a big chance that I will not listen to it. And that would be a shame!!

 

 

What is it really… in between the grooves?

- Magic!!!

 

 

Can a mono needle make a difference?

-I am discaholic, not an audiophile. For years and years and years I collected records that I played on my crap stereo. it’s always been about the music.

But I guess that if you listen to a lot of music that was recorded in mono it make a difference.

 

 

 

 

What kind of music do you collect?

- I collect mostly American punkrock and Hardcore from mid-70′s to the late 80′s.

I also have a pretty good collection of heavy Pshyc and proto-hardrock type of stuff. And of course Swedish 70′s punk.

I go through periods of collecting but when it comes to putting down the big bucks it is usually for Hardcore records.

 

 

 

Has the focus changed over the years?

-Yeah, I think so. I used to just buy tons of records. Just music. In the early days I wasn’t that interested in pressings and such,  more just in having the music on vinyl but as the collection grew I started growing more interested in pressings and rarities. Then as I said, I go through periods when I discover something new and interesting and I end up buying a bunch of records in that style and then move on to something new.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you collect complete catalogues by specific labels ?

-Yes, of course. There are so many great DIY punk and hardcore labels from the States from the late 70′s/early 80′s that are worth having and collecting. Like early Dischord, TOuch and Go, Taang Record, X-claim and so on and so forth.

 

 

 

 

Any artists / bands that you wanna have complete?

-Yeah, of course Completion is one of my weaknesses. When it comes to nerdy collecting it is mostly early American Hardcore bands when it comes to pressings and ratites. In general I am a sucker for a having the complete discography with bands that I like.

 

 

 

 

 

Are producing / releasing vinyls a useful tool to fight the stupidity back?

- I think so. Vinyl forces people to listen to music in a different way from when they do playlists on their mp3 players and such. I also think that from an artistic point of view that vinyl is, at least for me, the representation of what I want my music to be. The sound, the sequencing, the artwork. When you write songs and record them that is what you have in mind.

An mp3 can never replicate that and sometimes it is sad when you spend hours and hours into recording and writing music and then it ends up being ripped in poor quality and it sounds nothing like you wanted it to sound.

 

 

 

 

Do you believe in programmatic music to spread/ deliver a certain message? Or do u prefer to think about art and music as a way to open the doors up…. To make the people start thinking on their own and figuring out the shit themselves? Or do we need to be really clear about stuff in a more outspoken way?

 

- I think that music works on several different levels. For me outspoken politics like the Dead Kennedys were really important for my political education. They showed me how the world was working and they showed me how being a freak and an outsider was something to be proud of. And if people know anything about my musical endeavors they know that I’ve always been pretty straight forward with my politics and my ideas.

But music is also music and that in itself can be a powerful source of inspiration. I mean getting into punkrock and music did open up every possible door for me. But that might also depend on the individual. I have some punk friends where punk limited their lives into something of a stale pose but for me it was what opened up the floodgates and made everything possible.

Sometimes music however is just music. It is just something to dance to or to listen to when you drive your car or sitting at home. And not everyone has a political analysis worthy of putting into songs and then it just gets kinda weird when they try to be all political!

 

 

Are Lists a good or bad thing? DC is not sure… and we are very ambivalent… but… meanwhile…we will continue publish them…

 

-I like em. If people that I respect list music that they like I will check it out. So, yeah, I have no problems with lists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can u list your favorite 5 records in the following genres?

-And here is comes, the dreaded list making. The problem with this is that it changes, from week to week. You know how it is, always discovering something new and exciting.

So, this week:

 

American Punk?

 

Wiper: Youth of America

Detention. Dead Rock’n rollers 7″

Gun Club:  Death Party

Big Boys: Where’s my towel

Nerves: Ep

 

 

HC?

Bad Brains: The Roir Sessions

Minor Threat: In My eyes 7″

Negative Approach: Tied Down

Deep Wound: Discography

Battalion Of Saints: Fighting Boys 12″

 

Jazz/ free jazz?

Thanks!!! ;)

Ornette Coleman: The Shape of jazz to Come

Miles Davis: Bitches Brew

Miles Davis: live-evil

John Coltrane: Blue Train

Georgie Fame: Seventh son

 

 

European punk?

Cortex: Spinal Injuries

The Clash: Sandinista

The Sound: We all Fall down

KSMB: Rika Barn Leka Bäst

The Kids: St

 

 

 

Records made in Umeå?

Masshysteri: St

Regulations: To Be me

Isolation Years: Inland traveller

The Vectors: Still ill

Ward J: Hold it dear your career

 

This could go on forever of course and if you ask me next week I might give you a totally different list.

Also, best album of all time might be Slayer: Reign in blood!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you sort your private collection alphabetical or by genre?

 

- By Genre and then alphabetical of course!

 

 

 

 

What record is closest to sex?

- I am not sure, but maybe Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The boatsmans call would suffice for sexual purposes.

 

Which one is no sex at all?

- One time I tried to impress a girl by playing Napalm Death the Peel sessions to her. That did not work out that well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

 

- I would say some of the early swedish punk 7″ and maybe some of the obscure heavy Pshyc records. Maybe you would like to get your hands on the Minor Threat 7″‘s as well.

 

 

What record do you wanna steal from the Discaholic Corner website?

 

- Haha, probably to many to list here. I am always on the search for new and exciting music.

Ok, I just checked out the list. I know way to little about jazz but I understand that it is a very exciting list. You will have to educate me Mats!! But then again, I do not need a new genre to collect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is looking for vinyls with fellow discaholics the most fun you can do with your clothes on?

- Yeah, I love the vinyl hunt. It is one of the biggest reasons why I still try to play about 100 shows a year!!!! haha. That and playing soccer. Top two things to do in life. While still wearing some sort of pants.

 

 

Is trading records the ultimate intimacy?

- I haven’t really traded that many records. I still find it a bit scary. I did however come into possession of the elusive original vertigo pressing of DR. Z: Spiritus Man es et Umbra that I ended up trading for the first Bad Brains 7″ and some other punkrock treats.

 

 

 

 

What is the first section you hit, while arriving to a vinyl shop, where you have never been before?

-The wall. Always hit the wall first. That will give you a good idea about the quality of the store and just how much rare stuff you will be able to find.

Secondly? After the wall I check to see if they have 7″ behind the counter,  or rare records behind the counter.

Thirdly? The Punkrock/Hardcore/new wave section!

The section where you would never look in? Depends on the rest of the store. But usually if there is a section of electronica or modern dance music I stay clear of that.

Any section that involves guitars played by (mostly unfortunately) men I will look through!

 

 

 

What is your favorite record shop in the world?

In the past?

-Never really had a favorite store but Discourage records in Portland used to have a great selection before they started putting everything up on Internet.

 

In the present?

-I really like Trash palace/nostalgipalatset in Stockholm. They have a huge selection of punkrock and Hardcore stuff. A bit pricey at times but really well sorted.

Last year I also visited Vicious Sloth in Melbourne, Australia and ended up spending tons of money. Great collectors store.

 

 

 

 

How do you find your records? On tours ? In real shops, internet, friends, enemies?

 

-Mostly just on tours. I usually play around 100 shows a year which means a lot of traveling and every day I try to make record-store runs. Sometimes I hook up with other collectors and on the rare occasion I browse the internet but that is not really my thing. Kinda takes the fun out of the hunt!

 

 

 

Glossy or matt?

-Matt!

 

 

What record has it all? Great music, great cover, great feel, great rarity?

 

- Teen Idles: Minor Disturbance e.p. The first Dischord record. The first Straight edge record. What would become Minor Threat.

And also the Deep Wound 7″.

 

Is this interview too long?

-Pretty long. But I like it. Usually I just get to talk about politics and such things. Now I get to be a full-time nerd amongst other nerds.

 

 

 

What plans do you have for the future when it comes to 7, 10 or 12” vinyl releases of your own?

-My band Invasionen or INVSN as we are called is putting out a new record in September. We are making sure that it will be released as a 12″ vinyl version. Hopefully gatefold as well.

 

 

 

Who would you like to see get interviewed in the Discaholic Interview series?

- I would like to see J. Mascis interviewed. Whenever we meet we usually end up talking about Hardcore records and he seems like a nerdy guy so it would be interesting to see what he thought about all of this and if he is an actual Discaholic.

 

 

Any female discaholics you know ? We still would like to interview more women in this serie of interviews….

- Not on the top of my head. Unfortuntely this seems to be a nerdy mans game. I am sure that there are woman out there with fantastic taste and collection but why would they ever want to hang out with guys like us?

 

 

 

 

Do you work with a “wantlist” ?

- Yes I do. I mean, most of the rare stuff you sort of know. My list is mostly concerning “the missing records” of any given band or artist that I like. Sometimes it can be tricky to keep a track on what records you have when it comes down to the not so exciting records of someones career.

 

 

What “impossible” records are you still looking for?

- I got a pretty long list of rare punk and hardcore stuff that still needs to find it’s way to my house. But what about finding the Eat: Communist Radio on original pressing, that would be something!!

 

 

 

Which record can save the world?

- I think that in this fragmented world that we live in the chance for a record to truly save the world has come and gone. Maybe someone like Dylan has an inclination of a change in the early/mid 60′s. Now there are so many genres and special interests that I think that for one record to be able to save the world is neigh on impossible.

But then again, maybe that is the record that we should try to write. Every time!!

 

 

Which record will not save the world?

- Most of the crappy records I do have at home will not save the world! There are a couple, ( Well, not only a couple but…) punkrecords that throw their hat in the ring claiming to be the one but… usually that is never the case!

 

 

How many vinyls per day keeps the doctor away?

 

- Well, according to your site 1. But I have another theory. If I am on tour for 10 days, I need at least 20 records preferably 30 in my bag when I come home. So, 2 a day then!!

dennis lyxzén,  july 2013


discaholic interview paal nilssen- love

Mar.12, 2013

discaholic interview paal nilssen- love, march 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you an official discaholic?

- Nja, according to the airlines, I guess the answer is yes

 

 

Do you need help with it?

-Never. Need more time, more cash, more people like me in the bands…

 

 

 

When did you start collecting?

-Depends what you mean with collecting… the first record I bought was at the age of 10 or so… was making a list of all my records at the age of 13…

 

 

 

Was vinyl the first thing you collected?

- First record I bought must have  been some record with Kiss… can´t remember…

 

 

 

 

What gives you the biggest kick? Collecting shoes,  cymbals,  books or vinyls?

-This ”interview” is about records, so; records: vinyls

 

 

 

Was the fact that your dad has a great collection of vinyls an important start for you, as a young collector?

-Of course.. he´s a completist, so am I.

 

 

 

 

 

How many records have you ”borrowed” from your dads collection?

- Ha ha! My folks borrowed my flat the other day and he took back a Charles Tyler LP that I´d ”borrowed” years and years ago… quite funny… let´s say a handfull of 10-20 records…

 

 

 

Did Art Blakey give you any vinyls when you were sitting on his lap as a kid?

-No no, only his drum sticks which I broke next day when practising… my dad however got him to sign an LP for me

 

 

 

 

How do you buy your records mostly nowadays ? on tour? eBay? Local shops? Privately?

-On tour. Japan-Chicago and now Brazil…. Of course eBay and discogs

brazil march 2013

tokyo jan 2013

 

tokyo jan 2013

tokyo….. jan 2013…..

 

 

 

How many meters of vinyl do you have in your collection?

- Many…

How many meters would you like to have?

-How many can one have?

 

 

 

 

Is trading records the most fun you can have with your clothes on?

-Do you have to wear clothes when trading?

 

 

 

Is trading records the ultimate intimacy?

-Of course not! I´m not a f— pervert!

 

 

 

Is the smell of a record an important factor to you?

-No, it´s the shop and the other customers that smell…

 

 

 

Is the weight of a record an important factor to you?

- Depends… if on tour it´s a drag but then at least you fought for it when you get back home… 200 or 220g is of course the ultimate wheight of the actual vinyl.. then there´s the cover, 400g gatefold……..yeah baby

 

 

Can you let us know how a vinyl per day can keep the doctor away?

- 20 records can keep your wife away…

 

 

 

 

Alphabetical or by genre?

-Genre, country, then alphabetical… but from right to left

 

 

 

Mono or stereo?

-My amp has a mono button. Works fine…

 

 

Favorite format?

Was 10”…. 5” is nice

 

 

 

Limited or unlimited?

-Limited if possible

 

 

 

 

 

 

What record is closest to sex?

- Guinness?

 

Which one is no sex at all?

- Guinness?

 

 

 

 

What record has changed your life most dramatically?

-Any Luiz Gonzaga, Era Mela Mela with Mahmoud Ahmed, Clay with Yamashita trio, Jazz Composers Orchestra with Cecil Taylor

 

For the best ?

-All above

 

For the worst?

-Depends how you see it. Your own reaction to whatever record you hear that provoke the shit out of you can create interesting things.

 

 

 

Describe a perfect shopping/ hunting day!

- Serious hang over, then a full English breakfast (with tea), then loads of coffee, then some serious damage at whatever record store and then a good session at a favourite (to become) pub/bar with whoever was with you doing the same thing…. Repeat this next day

 

 

How is vinylhunting in Ethiopia?

- Was good but more and more people know where to find the gems…

 

 

Favorite city for vinyl hunting?

- Tokyo of course, then Chicago, now Brazil, might be Buenos Aires in a couple of days…

 

 

 

 

What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

- Ha ha. You´ve got Challenge that I´ll inherent from my dad so that´s done… and you finally found the ”Korean Free Jazz” with Evan Parker… hmmm.. Could be that signed copy of Art Blakey at Champs a Elysees….

 

What records do you wanna steal from the DC archives?

- I don´t steal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting plastic covers or not?

- not

 

 

What is the first section you hit, while arriving to a vinyl shop, where you have never been before?

-The shelves, new arrivals, world music, avant garde

 

The section where you would never look in?

- Japanese reggae (I like reggae, don´t get me wrong)… but in general, let´s say elektronika, techno, etc etc…

 

 

 

What is your favorite record shop in the world?

- Disc union in Tokyo; Shinjuku, Shibuya and not least Ochinamisu


Why?

- Got it all…

Dusty Grooves in Chicago is not bad either…

 

Why is playing in recordshops a good idea?

- Getting a discount

 

Why is playing in recordshops a bad idea?

- No time to shop?

 

 

 

Give us a list of your 5 favorite:

 

 

Ethiopian vinyls /7”

Lemma G. Hiwot – PH164, Hay Loga (Arr. Getachew Degefu)

Tewelde Redda – PH104, Kirar Mistequane (Trad)

Tlahoun Gessesse – PH100, Yehagere Shita (Arr M.Astatke)

Zeleke Hailu – ETH110, Ere Zeraf (Hager Feker)

Kebede W.Mariam – PH186, Weha (T.Lemma, Orch Ethiopia)

 

 

 

Cumbia vinyls

Anibal Velasques, Chico Cervantes, Michio Sarmiento, Lucho Bermudez, Pedro Laza

 

Drummer vinyls

”Learn how to play latin drums”, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Tony Oxley/Howard Riley, Clay with Yamashita trio, any album with either Ed Blackwell, Phillip Wilson or Steve McCall. Of course, Elvin Jones, Larry Bunker, Paul Lovens, Lytton, Bennink, etc etc

 

Brötzmann  vinyls

For the cover, package and music, the triple box with the poster, also duo with Walter Perkins, duos with Bennink, 14 Love Poems, machine gun of course… and for Adophe Sax

 

Shoe makers

Alden, Lucchese, Crockett & Jones

Girlfriends

Lollipop, Cashmere, Sugar, Cherry, Emerald

 

 

 

 

 

What is your fav drum solo, recorded on vinyl?

- Papa Joe Jones with Count Basie trio, ”Caravan”

 

The worst?

- He he … I have some manners!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Is this interview too long?

- Long a go…

 

 

 

Why are there so few female discaholics? How many do you know?

- That´s not the problem, there´s too many idiots that collect just to collect, most of them men… there´s a few chicks that like shopping vinyl, DJs and girls interested in vinyl… but rumour tells me there´s some girls in Oslo…

 

 

 

Are you a completist? Is there a label or an artist that you NEED everything from?

- Jaaa… but I´ll never get there….. got all Jair Rodrigues, Elza Soares… could easily go for the complete Incus and FMP catalogue. And Fuentes, Tropical, Phillips Brazil, Ethiopia, Analogue Africa, Sublime Frequencies, etc etc

 

 

 

What single vinyl release got you going to start play the drums, or was it a live experience that set it off?

- This interview is getting serious… Art Blakey, Art Blakey and Art Blakey, must of been the one with Monk

 

What vinyl makes you wanna stop playing the drums?

- Again, I have some manners… and some shit records encourage you to continue…louder, better, heavier

 

 

(Almost vinyl related questions):
Who is the sharpest dressed free jazz/ improv
musician?

- Not you I´m afraid…  Nick Stephens… John Stevens did a good job too

Who has the best shoe estethics and take care of his/ her shoes the best?

- Ab Baars of course

 

 

 

 

Can you recognize a fellow discaholic in an ordinary group of people? Are there any specifics that give the discaholic away?

- pale skin colour, foul odour, desperate look in the face,

 

 

 

What is the maximum of records,  in weight, that you have been schlepping home from a tour?

-50-60kg

 

What is the maximum of eBay packages per day that you have recieved?

- Sorry, 3

 

 

 

 

When will we see a vinyl release on PNL records?

- There´s already three out… cunt

 

(if you would have answered this interview in time , the question would still have been valid, dick! – Ed´s note )

 

 

Is the TRUTH within the grooves or in between?

- After

 

 

Are your roots in your record player?

- I like that phrase of Evan P. but music is something that happens live!

 

 

 

 

Which record can save the world?

-”We are the world”

 

Which record will not save the world?

-”We are the world”

 

 

 

 

paal nilssen -love  nov 2012 – marh 2013

 

 

 


discaholic interview R. Crumb

Mar.11, 2013

discaholic interview R Crumb, feb – march 2013

 

Photo © Sebastien Gokalp

 

 

 

-   Do you consider yourself as an official discaholic?  Has the discaholic bug bitten you?

I am absolutely a “discaholic.”  I never heard this term before.  Did you invent it?  It’s totally appropriate.  I have it bad.  Collecting addictions in general have a lot in common with drug addiction.  Very bad for the bank account, bad for human relationships.  Why is it that you never see an ardent collector as a hero in movies?  Collectors are perceived as creeps by most people, craven hoarders, narrowly obsessed little men.  There’s something contemptible about collecting in the eyes of non collectors.

I became an obsessive collector very suddenly around the time I turned nine years old in the late summer of 1952.  I remember it well.  Suddenly I wanted to save things, to have the series; to line them up, stack them up, accumulate them. I started with comic books, trading cards, matchboxes, bottle caps.  I spent a large part of my childhood and adolescence hunting for old comic books.  At age 16 I suddenly became a collector of old 78 records.  I already had a great attraction to old music that I heard in old movies from the early 1930s, old animated cartoons and the Hal Roach comedies.  When I discovered that this same kind of music could be found on old 78s, that was it.  I was hooked, and I knew it.  That was in 1959, just at the end of the 78 era, ironically.

The first 78s that really hooked me were the dance orchestras and jazz bands of the 1920s.  Don’t ask me why I was so powerfully drawn to this music of my grandparents’ time.  I have no idea.  And since I was at first completely isolated from other collectors and had no information, no books, no discographies, I learned from the ground up.  I bought a lot of records on mere chance.  Very few of the names were known to me.  Fortunately at that time you could buy second-hand 78s very cheap, ten cents to a quarter, usually.  There were lots of them around, stacked up in Salvation Armies or in big second-hand furniture stores.   Only in big cities like New York and Philadelphia were there any shops that specialized in selling “out-of-print” old records.  I was living in a small town when I first started, far from any big city. I had very little money, but collecting 78s was a cheap hobby back then.

I would occasionally buy 33 1/3 LP reissues of old jazz.  Nowadays I will acquire CDs of reissues if the original 78 records themselves are just impossible to find and possess, but I’d certainly rather have the 78.  One of the problems with LPs and CDs is that they are collections of performances.  I never ever listen to recorded performances in the same sequence.  I always make my own program, making a new choice after each three-minute piece is over.  I much prefer that way of listening to recorded music.  I also usually give the music my full attention when I play records.  I can’t work and listen to music at the same time.  Giving music your full attention is how you become a connoisseur, how you slowly but surely move toward the best, the music with the most character.

 

 

 

 

-   Do you collect other stuff?

Like I said, before I began collecting old records I’d already been a serious collector of old comic books since the age of nine. I gave up collecting comic books in a serious way when they started to become exorbitantly expensive.  I didn’t have that kind of money and still don’t.  Old 78s are still generally not a terribly expensive thing to collect except for the most sought-after rare items.  I also used to collect, for a while, old toys until that, too, got too pricey for my bank account.  I also collected old magazines, sheet music, old music-related photos, it goes on and on.  But it’s only the 78s that I collect with the grim, obsessive determination to possess that holds the true “discaholic” in abject bondage, a monkey on his back, a millstone around his neck.

 

 

 

-   What was the first record you bought with your own money?

The first record I ever bought with my own money was a late 1920s blues record called Down in the Cemetery Blues by an obscure singer-guitarist named Billy Bird.  I was 14 or 15 years old, rummaging around in Willkie’s second-hand furniture store in Milford, Delaware, where my family was living at the time (1958), looking for interesting old books, comics, magazines…. I was just attracted to old stuff.  There was a box of old records.  I was fascinated, intrigued by this one with an attractive 1920s label design, song title, artist’s name.  I took a chance on it for ten cents, took it home, played it.  All record players at that time still featured 78 speed and a 78 stylus.  The music was strange and alien to my ear, saturated as I was by the popular music of the 1950s.  This Down in the Cemetery Blues, by contrast, was primitive, stark, introverted, a voice from a world so far removed from mine, I didn’t know what to make of it.  I put the record in a box of random books and magazines under my bed and found it a few weeks later in there busted clean in half.  Oops!

And I never found another copy.  Turns out it’s a very rare record.

It was about a year later that the 78 collecting obsession kicked in when, again out of curiosity, I bought a few old records.  This time they were 1920s dance orchestras, and this music thrilled me immediately.  This was the music I’d been searching for.  It wasn’t until several years later that I began to appreciate the old-time country blues and white country music of the 1920s and ‘30s.

 

 

-   What was the first vinyl you bought only because of the cover?

I never bought a record just for the cover, but I am sucked in by the period graphics of the 1920s and ‘30s record labels and sleeves.  Until they began making 78 albums in the mid-late 1930s, 78s didn’t really have “covers” (plus, they were made of shellac, not vinyl).  They only had paper sleeves or jackets showing the label name and sometimes had lists of current releases on them.  Sometimes these sleeves were graphically attractive.  I have a collection of them.  But I don’t keep my records in their original sleeves.  They’re very fragile, printed on cheap paper.  I keep my records in stiff cardboard jackets.  These jackets are blank when you buy them, no graphics, nothing.  Sometimes I write notations on them about the music or the artist, and make note of when I’ve taped them or recorded them on CD for someone.

 

 

 

 

- What is the approximate weight of your collection?  For real discaholics, meter and kilograms are a more valid scale that exact amounts…

My collection weighs many tons, I’m sure.  No way to know precisely.  Lucky for me, this house is made out of stone, and underneath the room which houses my records there are massive vaulted arches supporting the floor above, so my records are not going to cause the place to collapse.  I have about 6,500 78s!  Crazy… Nuts… Must be out of my cotton-pickin’ mind.

 

 

 

-   Alphabetical or genre?

I have them classified by geographical location and then, within that, alphabetically by artist.  First, I have U.S. jazz, dance and popular music, then blues and gospel, then white country, then Cajun (Louisiana French), then French Canadian (Quebecois), followed by Scottish Canadian, then Anglo-Canadian country, then Canadian popular music, then Mexican, Caribbean (Porto Rican, Cuban, West Indian), then South American…  Well, on and on, finally ending, at the furthest right-hand end of the last bottom shelf, Japanese music.  I have only a few of those.  There’s not much that I find appealing in Chinese and Japanese music, even of the 1920s and ‘30s, but then, I haven’t yet visited those countries to look for records.  Who knows what’s there!?

photo: Jerry Brook

 

 

 

 

-   How do you get hold of your records?  Shops?  Internet?  Friends?  Enemies?  Private contacts?

I’ve spent hundreds of hours of my life hunting for 78s in second-hand stores, flea markets, yard sales, antique shops.  I don’t do that so much anymore.  I’ve also spent inordinate amounts of time looking at auction lists.  I still do that.  I also do some trading with other collectors, and I will do drawings in exchange for 78s.  In that respect I am a whore for old records.  I’ve gotten some of my most valuable records in trade for artwork.  I can’t pay $1,000 or $2,000 for a record, I just can’t do it, but I will trade a drawing for one or two or three records of that level of value.

 

 

 

 

- Is trading records the ultimate gesture of sharing?

Pfah!  Are you serious?? Every record trade I’ve ever been involved in was a scheming, conniving, craven affair, both sides trying to outwit the other guy, trick him by whatever device would work on him to come out the winner, to take away greater value than you’ve handed over, to get the better of the exchange. I’m guilty of it myself but mostly I’ve been the loser in these deals, as I’m not very good at this kind of manipulation.  Some of these collectors seem to have spent a lot of mental energy devising strategies for coming out ahead in their dealings with other collectors.  But it sure-as-shittin’ has nothing to do with any “gesture of sharing.”  I don’t know, maybe collectors are nicer where you live, more enlightened or something, but somehow I doubt it.

 

 

 

 

-   What do you hit first when entering a new record shop that you haven’t visited before?

I would only enter any record shop if there was the slightest hope that they might have some 78s for sale.  If it turns out that they do, the 78s are usually in the back somewhere, in boxes or on shelves in no particular order or categories.  One has to just start in, look at every label.  This can go fast if you’ve had a lot of experience at it.  First, I just skim over almost all labels from the 1940s and ‘50s.  Most of what you find in random stacks of 78s is bad pop music of the ‘40s and ‘50s, and classical music.  The good stuff is harder to find.  Not only because other collectors have been there before you, but also that the only type of music I and many other collectors are after was originally pressed in smaller numbers and came out in a low period for the recording industry, the 1925-’35 period.  A vexatious situation for the obsessed collector, this rarity business, but also part of the magic aura which surrounds these old discs.  I know many collectors who are so dazzled by the rarity thing that the music sounds better to them if the record is rare.  I’ve seen it often.  Absurd, but such is the human condition.

Nowadays, there are really no more record shops in which the proprietor has an extensive stock of old 78s, categorized by type of music and artists.  That’s pretty much over.  They sell them on eBay instead.  Unfortunately, I don’t do eBay, as I am computer illiterate, or maybe fortunately.  One could spend all of one’s spare time and money searching for and buying 78s on eBay.  I know some guys who do just that.

 

 

 

 

- What is the most important factor of a vinyl release?  Can you rank the following in order? (Music, rarity, obscurity, smell, cover/graphic art work, message, liner notes, overall feel, other aspects….).

“Vinyl release”?  For the 78 collector, it’s a “record,” not a “vinyl release.” That term applies strictly to LPs… Maybe EP 45s too, I don’t know.  Well, for me the most important thing is the music, absolutely.  It’s always disappointing to come across a rare label that you know issued some great music but this particular one is no good, or to find a record by an artist that made some great sides but this particular one is mediocre or lackluster. It’s tempting to keep records that are borderline — rare label, blues genre, etc., but just not very exciting, or records that have quirky lyrics but are musically dull.  Ultimately, though, this stuff gets purged from my collection just because I don’t have room for anything that I’m not going to want to listen to more than once.  I have to be ruthless and keep only the best performances.  Even so, I’ve accumulated 6,500 records!  Yow!

Condition is the second most important factor. But if all you can get is a worn, scratchy copy, that will have to do.  Then there’s the tough choice between a later reissue in good condition or an original issue in lesser condition.

What makes a musical performance interesting and enjoyable to listen to is another question.  It’s such a subtle combination of elements that are more or less beyond words to describe, though many have tried.  “Over all feel” has something to do with it.

 

 

 

 

-   What is the biggest score you actually made?

I’ve made a few big scores in my time.  The most recent was in Delhi, in India, where I managed to locate a veritable El Dorado of old Indian 78s of native Indian music.  I sent back 55 records from that place, the Shah Music Centre.  Fabulous Indian music, and since then I’ve bought more records from them and had them shipped over here.

Mostly, though, I’ve found records one at a time, or, you know, by winning a few on an auction list.

One of the first big scores I made was in 1960, still in Delaware, where I discovered an ancient music store in a little town, Smyrna, run by an old couple, that was perfectly preserved from about 1930.  One wall was lined with shelves containing only Victor records, unsold copies, from 1925 to around 1930.  As I didn’t have much money, I had to keep going back there to buy more records.  I had to pester my mother to drive me over there, about twenty miles from where we lived, as I couldn’t drive.  I never did learn how to drive.

 

 

 

-   What would be the greatest find ever?  If we talk about records you don’t know about.  What would really surprise you to find?

What gets harder and harder to find is an intact stash of great old 1920s jazz or blues or country 78s that haven’t been cherry-picked by other collectors yet.  I would be very very surprised to find a collection or even a stack of, say, twenty 78s like that at this late date.  It still happens occasionally.  You hear about it on the collector grapevine, legendary stories of fabulous discoveries… An obscure stash was found a couple of years ago of great country records from the 1930 period, all mint copies.  Some guy’s father had a music store, that sort of thing.

Records that I don’t know about?  Recently an old man from Norway gave me some boxes of records that had belonged to his father.  Among them was a group of about fifteen records made in Uzbekistan in the 1930s and ‘40s.  They were great!  Who knew?  Uzbekistan!  Big surprise.  There are still plenty of surprises out there if your musical curiosity extends far enough.  I keep discovering byways of music that were recorded in the old days that were completely unknown to me, great obscure regional traditions of music.  It’s amazing how much was recorded, how those A&R (artists & repertoire) men got around.  Some of those old Indian 78s are quite surprising.  The Lucknow Zananas… I asked the man at Shah Music Centre what the meaning of “Zananas” was.  They were eunuchs, he informed me.  Strange music.

Another sort of surprising collecting experience I’ve had a few times is finding rare early blues and “hillbilly” 78s in Europe.  How did these esoteric records end up in Europe?  What’s their story?  Such records are hard enough to find in the U.S.  They were not issued in Europe, were not exported to Europe.  I’ve read of sophisticated, cosmopolitan Frenchmen who traveled to the U.S., shipping back trunkloads of jazz 78s to Paris, but I don’t think these booshwah bohemians of 1930 were hip to country blues and hillbilly music.  In the post-World War II era, there were lots of European collectors interested in blues, and, maybe, in white American country music, who bid on American 78 auction lists.  Plenty of good American records got to Europe via these collectors.  My collection has benefitted greatly from a few of these older European collectors who were selling off their records.  Happily for me, these older guys were not aware of the huge increase in value of old blues records.  Even so, I had the decency to pay them a fair price — not top dollar, but enough to surprise them.

 

 

 

 

-   DC has a favorite early jazz recording: the American Music 10” release of Bunk Johnson talking and whistling in the style of Buddy Bolden.  We believe this is as close as you can get to the beginnings of jazz (through the bunk filter of course…) http://matsgus.com/discaholic-corner/?p=983.  Do you have any similar early fav’s?  From a historical point of view… that is putting light on the “real thing” and the birth of it all?

I’ve not heard this Bunk Johnson record you’re talking about, though it sounds interesting.  I kinda sorta like the “New Orleans revival” bands of the 1940s and ‘50s, but I’m so stuck on the twenties– Ah, the golden twenties — that I seek the origins of jazz in a small handful of bands recorded in that era, a few from New Orleans and even some from other southern cities that are obviously more or less playing in an older, archaic proto-jazz style of an earlier era.  This would include such groups as Sam Morgan’s Jazz Band, Louis Dumaine’s Jazzola Eight, Oscar Celestin’s Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra, all from New Orleans.  These are the musicians who stayed behind when King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Freddie Keppard, Jelly Roll Morton and others left New Orleans for Chicago and other points north.  Then there’s Williamson’s Beale Street Frolic Orchestra from Memphis, who played something halfway between ragtime and jazz, recorded circa 1927.  There are not a large number of examples like this, but enough to get the idea.  But, you know, there was so much music from before recording began that we can never know… I have an old photo of an English street band from the 1860s playing a variety of crazy looking horns — I’d love to know what they sounded like.  Reproductions of medieval music played on authentic medieval instruments doesn’t cut it.  We just can’t know what that music really sounded like.  It’s not possible, until someone invents a time machine.

 

 

 

 

-   At the end of the “Crumb” film, when you’re moving from the US to France, you have sold off a good portion of your collection.  Was this a painful process?  Are there any titles you now regret getting rid of?

This is not true.  I shipped the entire collection to France.  I spent months packing up the records, and as a result not a single record got even a hair crack!  Now I probably have twice as many records as I had when I moved over here in 1991.  God help me.

 

 

-   Has moving to Europe made it easier or harder to collect 78s?

Moving to Europe has certainly made it easier to find European 78s! Also, in France, finding fabulous North African records — Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Egyptian… Great music.  But in general, two contradictory forces are at work simultaneously.  One is that, obviously, with the passing of time, fewer 78s can be found “in the field,” that is, from primary sources such as people’s houses, second-hand shops, antique shops, flea markets, yard sales… 78s just don’t turn up in these places as much as they used to.  On the other hand, there’s this other force at work; the social media, eBay.  Tons of 78s are now for sale on eBay at all times.  I know some younger collectors who have quickly amassed amazing collections just by sitting in front of their computers for hours at a time.  And, except for the rare jazz, blues & country fetish items, eBay has driven the values of 78s down, there are so many for sale.  It’s still a lot more that if you found them at a flea market.  But it’s also a lot less work, clicking buttons on a computer than it was driving around, or in my case taking busses, spending the day going through the stacks in Salvation Armies and maybe at the end of the day coming home with one or two hopeful items, or knocking on doors in black neighborhoods. I did that in 1960-’61, found rare blues and jazz 78s, indeed I did, and paid ten cents or a quarter for them.  I was 17-18 years old.  The people in the neighborhood started calling me “the ol’ rekkid man.”  I still have some of those records!  Amazing to think of it.  I started bidding on auction lists in 1962.  I didn’t have much “disposable income” so never bid more than two dollars, maybe two-fifty.  Too bad — if I’d had more money then I could’ve gotten fabulous, rare blues and jazz records for piddling amounts.  Those days are lo-o-ong gone!

 

 

 


-   Do you work with a want list when communicating with fellow discaholics?

Yes, I always have my little want list going.  A younger collector friend of mine who looks for records on eBay has posted some of my wants on some kind of mechanism that alerts you if something you’re looking for is up for sale anywhere on eBay.  He’s found some of my wants for me in this way.  I’ll pay, I’ll pay.  This is an amazing phenomenon, this eBay.  I could spend years out searching, searching, asking around, for a certain record, and never find it.  Now, blip, there it is on eBay.  ‘Course, if it’s a rare fetish item, it’ll still be out of my range, but I’ve acquired many records I never thought I’d see through this eBay connection.

 

 

 

- Does the weight of shellac automatically make the music “heavier”?

Of course, all 78 collectors know this.  Plus, the original master pressing has a “presence” that cannot be reproduced by any technical process yet known, even the most state-of-the-art digital remastering techniques.  Something is lost, something that’s embedded in those grooves on that shellac.  Even a scratchy shellac 78 retains that “presence” that’s lost on the cleanest digital transfer.

 

 

 

-   What holy/unholy gems are you looking for at the moment,  Of course you don’t need to be precise, since telling it in public might make it impossible to find it… we know…

There are still so many great jazz, blues, country and ethnic 78s out there that I don’t yet possess.  There’s no end to it.  The deeply satisfying feeling of finally getting your hands on a long sought-after record — that moment of slipping it into its place on the shelf, is very fulfilling, but soon the craving returns for yet unfound, coveted items.  Such is the collector’s curse.  It’s nuts, but there it is.

I’ve tried to stop it, to control it.  I consider it a great weakness, this addiction to shellac. But it’s hopeless.  I have to live with it.  Yeah yeah, it has its positive, “noble” aspect; you are rescuing, preserving cultural artifacts of significant value to the human race, etc. etc.

 

 

 

-   Do you have a fixed routine when receiving parcels with records?  Such as a fav knife to open up the boxes?  Is there a specific ritual you are using?

It is a very exciting moment, receiving a box of records in the mail. I usually can’t wait, I have to open it right away and see the coveted records with my own eyes, to know that they are now truly in my possession, mine all mine.  I can’t put off this moment.  I have no specific ritual.  Why?  Do some collectors have a specific ritual when opening boxes of records?? That’s sick!  Sometimes if a box of records I’ve paid for is delayed in arriving, I can get worked up into a terrible state about it.  Day after day, that moment of deep disappointment when the box does not arrive with the mail.  I can become truly obsessed with anxiety, the longer it goes on.  Eventually the box always arrives.  I can think of only one time in all these years when a box of records actually got lost in the mail and was never found.

 

 

 

-   We know how to properly package a vinyl in a parcel, to make it a safe travel to fellow discaholics… But do you have any special advice / tips how to pack a 78 carefully enough?  We are terrified at DC to do this, since the fragility of the 78.

78s will never get broken in shipping if packed properly.  It’s not all that complicated. You have to make a tight sandwich of the records with one or two pieces of corrugated cardboard on each end of the sandwich, wrapped tightly around with tape, packed in the box with padding material on all sides, top and bottom, and Bob’s your uncle.  Some people pack carelessly and records get cracked or broken.  A few times people have sent me a 78 in an envelope with no protection of any kind.  I can’t imagine what they were thinking. The record arrived broken every time.  Once it was a very rare blues record a guy sent me as a gift out of the blue.  I wrote back to him and thanked him, but told him it was a cruel joke, as the record arrived in pieces.  Another time it was a very rare and unusual Estonian jazz record from circa 1930, again hopelessly smashed.  These guys were just ignorant amateurs, not serious collectors, but come on, you’d think common sense would tell you… Rant & rave…

 

 

 

 

 

-   What existing record shop in the world is your favorite one?  Why?

There are no good record shops in the Western world anymore for 78 collectors — It’s over.  But there’s that shop in New Delhi that I mentioned earlier, where I found so many fabulous Indian records, the Shah Music Centre.  These Indian hipsters who took me there were astonished that I was interested in old native Indian music.  Their eyebrows went up.  Apparently it was very unusual for a Western person to go there in search of old Indian 78s.  After two hours of going through 78s, the proprietor, Mr. Shah, a gracious man who let me test every record on a little machine he had there, told me I had looked at barely one percent of his 78 stock.  I did some business with him later through the mails and acquired more records.  I now have a very good collection of old Indian music of many different kinds, but, again, it’s a vast field.  I know there’s still many many surprises to be found.  I should make a trip back there and spend more time going through Shah’s stacks before, you know, the place is suddenly gone, the old 78s taken to a dump site.  Happens all the time.

There are dealers here and there who sell on the Internet but if you go to their house they will let you look and buy records directly.  I found two such goldmines while in Argentina a couple of years ago, one in Buenos Aires, the other in Montevideo, Uruguay.  I bought hundreds of 78s from these two dealers, mostly South American, but the guy in Uruguay also had a lot of North American jazz of the 1920s, which apparently was distributed widely in Latin America in those days.

 

 

 

 

-   What record shop is the best in history?  The ultimate?  Why?

The best record shops in history existed when I was too young to know about them, or before I was born, big places in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, L.A., that specialized in “back date” 78s.  This was back in the 1940s-‘50s.   By the time I reached these shops, they’d been cleaned out.  I looked through thousands of old 78s without finding anything of real significance, some second-rate 1920s dance bands, that’s what I usually had to settle for…

 

 

 

 

-   How much time per day do you spend categorizing/cataloging your records; listening to records?

I spend some time listening to records almost every day when I’m at home, and I spend time just pawing through the collection, just looking at what I have.  Sometimes I’ll pull a record off the shelf and just marvel at it, that it exists and that I own it.  Again, it’s a sickness. It’s embarrassing to admit openly to such behavior, like talking about masturbation or something.  Sometimes I have to listen to records in the endeavor to purge and make room for new acquisitions, since I’ve run out of room to put new additions to the collection on the shelves.  I have to get rid of something before I can put the new ones in.  This involves tough decisions.  My natural impulse is to save everything, don’t wanna get rid of anything.  If I had endless shelf space, I guess I’d have ten times as many records.  Purging, however, is good for the soul and just makes the collection better, more intense.  Borderline items must be eliminated, moved out, sold if possible.

 

-   Has that changed over the last years?

It’s amazing when I think about it how little I’ve changed over the last fifty years when it comes to this thing about old records.  I still listen with great pleasure to some of the first 78s I ever found.  I think my appreciation for the music has even deepened over the years, become more refined.  It’s amazing how abiding this passion has been.

 

 

-   Do you dream about your records?

I have vivid dreams of finding records.  In these dreams I’m staring at exotic labels I’ve never seen in real life, filled with excitement.  Sometimes I’ll even be listening to some great jazz band or incredible esoteric ethnic band that’s a total figment of my dream imagination.  It’s always deeply disappointing to wake up from such dreams.

 

 

-   What artists make you wanna have their whole discography, to become a completist of someones entire output?

I’m not one of these completists who has to have every record by particular artists.  I do have some completes on great bands of performers who only made a few records.  I have all three of Big Chief Henry’s Indian String Band records, I have all five records made by McLauchlin’s Old-Time Melody Makers — they’re all great, gotta have them all.  But even with the best performers — take the great Delta blues singer Charley Patton for instance — he made around thirty sides.  Some are exceedingly rare, but though they’re all great, some are very similar to others, the same basic tune with slight variations, different words.  It’s just not necessary to have them all to have a spectrum of what he could do on record.  The more prolific the artist, the less necessary it is to have all their recorded output.

Funny thing, the most records I have by any one artist are of the French accordion player Fredo Gardoni, who made hundreds of records in his time.  They sold well enough in France so that they have not been so difficult to find at the flea markets.  I have found hundreds of them but have only kept about thirty of them.  The problem is, while the musicianship is excellent, the tunes are often no good, corny, irritating.  But when the tunes are good, they are beautiful, splendid examples of the musette style.  So I have a lot of them… More than any other single artist!

 

 

 

- How many record covers have you created over the years?

A lot!  I don’t know exactly how many.  I’ve never counted them.

 

 

 

-   What record would be a great challenge to make a cover for?

The biggest challenge would be to make a cover for a band or performer that I didn’t like, or even hated.  This challenge I just don’t take on.  I don’t do it.  I have to like the music to some degree or other to be inspired at all to do a cover.  I’ve done lots of covers in exchange for old 78s, but even there I have to like the music.

 

 

-   Do you listen to records while working with your drawings? What is the favorite situation listening to 78s?  Do you have a fav sofa/chair to sit and enjoy it all in?

I cannot listen to records while working.  I think for me the most pleasurable listening experience is when I’m completely alone, or maybe sometimes listening with other serious collectors who also deeply love the same kind of music that I’m into.  That can also be pleasurable.  When I was young and more naïve I used to evangelize about old music and try to turn people on to it who were not familiar with it, but too often they just talked over the music or became restless and obviously bored.  This was an anxiety provoking experience for me, so I’ve stopped trying to “convert” people to my beloved old music.

Just last night, though, Aline, my wife, made a big Indian dinner for us and eight friends.  She makes great Indian food.  She suggested that after the meal we all retire to my office and listen to some of those wonderful Indian 78s that I got from the Shah Music Centre in Delhi. I played what I consider some of the most powerful of those records.  Aline likes them very much, but a couple of the other women present just wanted to talk, and they involved her in conversation.  Their voices just drowned out the music and I wasn’t about to turn up the sound and make it harder for them to talk, or tell them to be quiet.  One friend simply fell asleep in his chair while the music played.  Others picked up magazines off the coffee table and flipped through them.  A vexatious situation, but what can you do? You can’t expect them to have the deep appreciation for the music that you have.  You have to consider where they’re coming from, the kind of modern, commercial music they’re used to hearing, the unfamiliar, esoteric strangeness of this old music…

Like I said, I mostly enjoy listening when I’m completely alone.  I sit on the wicker couch that faces my old hi-fi set up, often I close my eyes while listening.  It can be a profound aesthetic experience, if one isn’t too distracted thinking about other records one needs to acquire, stuff like that.

 

 

-   Can diskaholism be cured?

I doubt it.  I certainly can’t be cured of this habit. I keep thinking, when I get old I’ll give it up, get rid of these 20 tons of records.  I used to think, when I’m seventy… but now that’s only a few months off, so that’s not going to happen… Maybe when I’m eighty.

 

 

 

 

-   The best looking labels/logos?

There were so many beautiful label designs in the early days of the 78, the 1910s and ‘20s… The label designs declined through the 1930s and into the 1940s and ‘50s, along with the rest of commercial graphics.  I keep a special section just for graphically striking records and sleeves that has nothing to do with the quality of the music.  But then, I also have a lot of old products on display just for the beauty of the package graphics.  It was a golden age of commercial graphics as well as recorded music.

 

 

-   Except the record player itself, what is your fav machine?  The jukebox, the vinyl cleaner or the vinyl cutting machine? Or any other machine that attracts you and your records?

Being highly non technical, I am not much into machines.  I just want something that will bring out the music that’s in the grooves to the best possible extent.  In the 1970s I had some hi-fi components put together for me by a sound engineer wizard, which I’m still using.  When this set of components wears out, I’ll have to get some help in finding the right stuff to replace it.  About once a year I have to order a new stylus from a small company in England, the Expert Stylus Company, which will re-tip your stylus with a new diamond tip specially made for pre-WWII 78s.  It now costs about 100 euros for this service.

 

 

 

-   In 1973 you released your own 78, “River Blues/Wisconsin Wiggles.”  Was it hard to find a place to do a 78 at that time?  Your remaining releases were 12” LPs, would you have preferred them to be 78s?

It was a dumb idea to put out a 78 rpm record, even in 1973, ‘cause — DUH — guess what?  Nobody could play them!  There was no longer a 78 speed on modern record players!  I was so blinded by my love for 78s.  It was fun to create the graphics, and for our little band of 78 collector-musicians to have our own 78 record!  We liked it so much we made two more of them!  By that time the publisher got wise and told us to knock it off, that this was an exercise in economic futility.  In the 1970s it was still possible for a few American pressing plants to manufacture a 10-inch 78 rpm record. It became will-nigh impossible through the 1980s.  Sure, I would have preferred to make all our records on 3-minute single 78s.  I don’t like the long-playing album idea, or the micro-groove vinyl technology of the 33 1/3 record.  The only nice thing about the LP album to me is the big 12-inch cover, with lots of room for nice graphics and notes. Otherwise I think it’s a jive idea, a sales pitch, as is stereophonic sound.  Gimmicks to sell more product.  I think the 78 record of 1930 with the level of sound quality achieved at that time was as good as a sound recording for commercial retail needs to be.  The only possible genuine improvement would have been a truly unbreakable record, and the light-weight tone arm to prevent surface wear.  The ideal would be to do away with the stylus altogether and have, instead, a beam, a laser perhaps, that reads the groove, as with the compact disc.

 

 

 

 

-   Would you consider making a solo banjo record, on shellac or vinyl, for Discaholic Corner records?

I can’t do a solo act.  I only play music as an accompanist.  I used to sing in public but I wisely cut that out a long time ago.  Good luck finding any place in the world that can still manufacture a shellac disc.  More’s the pity.  Shellac records will long outlive vinyl ones.  Shellac-coated artifacts were found in the tombs of ancient Egypt, three to four thousand years old, still perfectly preserved.  You just need to keep them in a cool, dry place, shelved, snuggly in the vertical position.  I have many 78s from that 1920s that still look brand-new!

 

 

 

 

-   What records do you wanna steal from the discaholic corners archive?

Hey, have you got a copy of Been On The Job Too Long by Wilmer Watts and the Lonely Eagles, Paramount 3210 or Broadway 8248?  Do you have Stovepipe Blues / Tipple Blues by the Kentucky String Ticklers on Champion 16577?  Do you have Miss Iola / Lime Rock by Smith’s Garage Fiddle Band on Vocalion 5336?  How about Searching the Desert for the Blues by Blind Willie McTell on Victor 23353 or Blue Bird 5391?  How about Wailin’ Blues / Good Feelin’ Blues by Zack Whyte’s Chocolate Beau Brummels on Gennett 7086 or Champion 15905 or Supertone 9685?  I’d be tempted to steal any or all of these if you had them.  Especially if they were sitting there on a shelf forgotten and neglected and nobody cared about them in a personal way and the back door was unlocked and nobody was watching and there was no surveillance camera.  I actually had an opportunity exactly like this once in the late 1970s at a university archive in L.A.  It would’ve been easy but I thought, nah, that’d be pathological behavior, that would mean that my lust for old records had truly turned into a sickness, and too, it would be bad karma.

 

 

 

-   What records do I wanna steal from your collection?

I dunno, probably nothing, as your taste is so different from mine.  I probably don’t have a single record you’d be interested in.  Hmmm, maybe you’d like my copy of Saxophobia / Nola by French saxophone virtuoso René Dumont on Odeon 165588, circa 1929.  His Saxophobia is the wackiest slap-tonguing trick saxophone solo I’ve ever heard.  But now that I’ve told you about it, if you ever come to my house and this record is missing after you leave, I’ll know that you stole it.

 

 

 

 

-   How many records per day keep the doctor away?

It’s true that acquiring a good record for the collection is like a fix, a shot of heroin.  I’m not too bad — one every few days is enough for me.  If I get, like, five or six good ones all at once, that will hold me for a couple of weeks until the craving returns.  A really big find — like, say, twenty or thirty or more, is almost too much.  Certainly it’s thrilling, but at the same time it’s overwhelming, it makes me feel a little queasy, a little dizzy and nauseated…. It’s too much, an overdose.  It might take me weeks to get straight from acquiring too many good records all at once.

 

 

-   What record will solve ALL problems?

There is no ultimate record.  When I was younger, I remember thinking, if I can just get my hands on a copy of In Harlem’s Araby by the Dixie Devils on Van Dyke or Radiex, then my collection will be complete and i can cease with this madness.  Well, I got that one, so then it was, if I could just get hold of a copy of Black Snake Moan by E.E. Hack’s String Band on Champion, then I’ll be satisfied.  Well, I traded a pile of artwork for that one, was thrilled to get it.  The guy later sold the artwork for $18,000, but, oh well.  Then it was Beans by Beans Hambone on Victor, the ultimate record, the Holy Grail. That one took a long time to find — DECADES!  But I finally got it, just a couple of years ago, and filed it into the collection, right between Vera Hall and Otis Harris, but guess what?  Not even Beans could cure this craving for records!  But I will say, my desire to possess yet more records is definitely not as strong as it once was.  It has waned, just as my sexual drive has waned.  I have so many good records, an embarrassment of musical riches!  More that I can possibly listen to in the years I have left to live!

We humans with all our intelligence and cleverness are helpless creatures driven by forces over which we have very little control and which we barely understand.  Who can fathom the collecting compulsion?  It’s not something to be proud of, though it’s certainly not the worst human trait.  Relative to some other human drives it’s harmless and innocuous.  The unspoken unacknowledged thing that’s always in the background when collectors get together is the absurdity of it… We all know deep down that this is a ridiculous way to be spending our precious lives, and we all know that we can’t help it.  We can’t stop collecting and put our energy and intelligence into something less selfish and more, shall we say, heroic. In all our ironic joking about collecting is the mutual acceptance of our common absurdity.

Some collectors will take offense and consider this view of collecting as too negative.  C’mon fellas, own up!  It’s true!  You know it is!  Don’t be a jerk!  To not face up to your own absurdity makes you, in the eyes of non-collectors, a creep!  Really!  That is the hard, painful truth of it.

 

 

-   Is this interview too long?

It certainly is.  It’s your fault, Gustafsson.  You shouldn’t have got me started.  Finally, we’re at the end.  I’m going to listen to some records now, all by myself, the way I like it!

 

 

-   R. Crumb, February-March, 2013

 

 

 

all images used by kind permission from R.Crumb ©