The Record Store Day takes place on April the 13th this year 2019, and we at Concrete Shelves decided to create a special post for it, collecting a set of suggestions from some of the artists and friends that featured on our blog, plus some anticipation on future articles.
These are far from being the ‘favourite ones’, these are just records mentioned during the conversation we had.
This is list is not a top ten.
These items are just a listening (or better buying) suggestion for you readers.
We mixed already published articles (Mark Nelson, Angèle David-Guillou, Tony Buck, Nuno Moita, Alexander Hacke…) with some anticipation, including Chris Forsyth, Paolo Bertoni, Benjamin Finger…
So now read, explore, enjoy, listen and buy.
Colin Herrick (Time Relased Sound):
Deux Filles – “Silence and Wisdom“
The duo Deux Filles is actually two men, that’s them on the cover of the album, in disguise! One of the two is Simon Fisher Turner, famously known for all his later fantastic soundtracks to the Derek Jarman films. The album itself is just beautiful: a wonderful mix of English pastoralism and electronic lullabies and meanderings, with a middle eastern twist at times! There are individual tracks on YouTube, but I couldn’t find the complete album anywhere. Certainly worth getting a copy of, it’s also out on CD…
(Colin Herrick, from an unpublished yet post)
[Note from Concrete Shelves: I actually took it and I confirm it’s beautiful, and so it’s also the second one from the couple, “Double Happiness”, that is included in the double CD version I bought]
Chris Forsyth (Peeesseye, The Solar Motel Band):
Träd Gräs och Stenar: “Träd Gräs och Stenar“
Träd Gräs och Stenar: They are… the best band ever? You should definitely investigate. Another huge influence not just from their recordings, but because I toured with them for about 8-10 days in 2008 and the spontaneity with which they performed and how they operated as a unit.
(Chris Forsyth, from an unpublished yet post)
[NOTE from Concrete Shelves: I’ve got “Träden” self titled LP, that is actually from the same band, or sort of, and it’s just incredible, especially the interplay among guitars. I can now understand why Chris loves it so much.]
Mark Nelson (Pan American/Labradford):
Kramer, Featuring Bill Frisell – “The Brill Building, Book Two“
The Brill Building record (as you might guess) is a collection of versions of classic American pop from the 50’s and 60’s. Although not strictly all from the songwriters associated with the Brill Building scene. I got it mostly to hear Bill Frisell in an extended context playing pop music, and his playing is just spectacular on this record, so subtle and supportive but still so sophisticated and fun. It’s a cool record! Their version of “America” by Simon and Garfunkel and also Smokie’s “Needles and Pins” are my favorites. The latter has been one of my all time favorite songs since I has probably about nine years old.
[NOTE from Concrete Shelves: That cover of Simon and Garfunkel is really sticky, I had it in mind for ages after having listened to it].
Patrick Leagas (Sixth Comm/Mother Destruction/Death in June):
Bourbonese Qualk – “Unpop“
One of the very few CD’s from the 90’s that I have kept. The others either binned, sold on eBay or given to my daughters. To be perfectly honest I don’t know who Simon Crab is or anything else about the band. I could google it I supposed but I won’t. The album was given to me by Robert King, the label owner. I think that I was distributing, on a small scale, one of the labels titles. I can’t even remember the year but I will guess between 1992 – 5? You will know more about this album than me. I haven’t played it for years but it’s one of those totally underrated and under recognised albums in my humble opinion. It’s just a really fine mixture of post industrial, ethnic, soundtrack with a little punk attitude at times. It just works and I like it a lot! At that time I was working under the name of Mother Destruction, I guess that that some of the atmospheres and instrumentation was not too dissimilar in some respects. This album will remain in my diminishing collection.
[NOTE from CS: just one of my favourite albums ever].
Neil Young – “Dead Man – OST“
The soundtrack of “Dead Man”: that albums certainly holds a special place in my head. I was lucky to see the film when it came out in the theatre and I can still remember what a huge impression the soundtrack had on me (I have two vinyl copies of the album). I remember walking out of the cinema asking myself what I had just seen, like I was in the midst of some heavy fog or something. There’s something about the guitar playing that made a huge emotional impact on me. It’s so raw and primitive but at the same time very moving.
(Benjamin Finger, from an unpublished yet post)
[NOTE from Concrete Shelves: I have this album, and I always loved it, but for some reason it scares me out a bit, so I can’t listen to it too often].
Nuno Moita (Grain of Sound/Ghent/Sonic Scope):
Mark Hollis – “Mark Hollis“
It’s a masterpiece and one of the most underrated and forgotten albuns of all time. In a “perfect world” this would be one of the most revered and loved ones. […]
I’ve made some research and the cover photo is from a “Sardinian Easter Bread designed to resemble the lamb of god”! An amazingly “simple” black and white photograph from Stephen Lovell-Daviswho has previously photographed the band Talk Talk for the “Spirit of Eden” record. For me it looked like a strange cookie for the very first time that I saw it.
[NOTE from CS: Believe it or not, we had this conversation months before Mark Hollis died.]
Eric Satie – “Vexations“
Satie is funny and serious at the same time, which is a key to sacred. By the way “Vexations” is a conceptual piece, but people forget it. It depends on realtime playing and listening. Conceptual art has to be experienced. I only have the CD which contains maybe 50 times the same phrase. If there is a concert, I would attend with preparation of food and water.
Tenniscoat – “Tan-Tan Therapy“
When asked about “How is your relationship with nowadays music? Is there any recent band or label (let’s say born after the 2000’s) you fell in love with?”, Paolo Bertoni replied:
I carefully screen each emission of today’s labels like Miasmah, Room40, Home Normal, Time Released Sound, 12K, for example. I mention only one band, the japanese Tenniscoats, I deeply love them.
(Paolo Bertoni, from an unpublished yet post)
[NOTE from Concrete Shelves: I didn’t buy the album yet, but the song “Baibaba Bimba” is absolotely impressive]
Angèle David-Guillou (Piano Magic/Klima):
Boris Vian – “Boris Vian“
I’m glad you like Boris Vian’s music and books! He’s very dear to me – a major presence in French music and French literature. He’s “incontournable” if you’re interested in French culture. Only he can write songs which are so rich and complex musically and with lyrics which are both hilarious and extremely serious at the same time, when not totally pessimistic. Somehow he is very little known here in the UK, perhaps because his books and lyrics are often untranslatable. I’m a fan of French music from the first half of the 20th century. It was a very interesting time when, under the influence of American jazz in particular, music could be both intelligent and light. You have this in songs (Vian, Mireille, Trenet) and in classical compositions too (Satie, Fauré or Poulenc).
Alexander Hacke (HackeDePicciotto/Einstuerzende Neubauten):
Throbbing Gristle: “Heathen Earth“
I like all kinds of stuff. I guess you could say my tastes are pretty eclectic, even though the things that I do not like are just as important in informing my style, but we do to need to discuss this here. I grew up with Throbbing Gristle, I was a hardcore fan from my early teenage years on and meeting them in 1997 in Berlin was an unforgettable experience for the little boy I was back then.
Tony Buck (The Necks/Peril):
92 Miles Davis records (to listen in chronological order)
I guess when I was studying I did collect an inordinate amount of jazz records. I had in Australia, for example, 92 Miles Davis records that at one point I decided to listen to chronologically, which took about six months, and was incredibly informative […].
Concrete Shelves: Wow! So which were your main findings after having listened to the 92 records of Miles Davis chronologically? What do you remember of that half a year in the company of his trumpet and fellows? You maybe investigated the shades related to the different drummers he had?
Firstly I guess it’s important to point out that while I was carrying out my chronological listening to Miles Davis I was also listening to other records as well. It wasn’t 6 months of exclusive Miles Davis.
The main thing I was interested in was how someone got from the early ‘Be Bop’ style and ‘Birth of the Cool’ sound through to ‘Bitches Brew’ and the heavy, psychedelic funk of ‘Dark Magus’ etc. in one smooth transition through his career; trying to hear how new approaches were introduced – where those influenced might have come from and how they were incorporated.
It was a very enlightening exercise.
I wasn’t so much focused on the drummers in particular but it is interesting how the rhythm section approaches were a big part of the stylistic transitions. The extension of typical ‘jazz’ approaches slowly moving into more abstract territory or incorporating more angular ‘rock’ shadings…. quite subtle really, but moving the music slowly and inexorably into new areas. The introduction of electric instruments also obviously had a big impact in the late 60s, but this too was introduced quite gradually over a number of releases. It was interesting to me that there was never a really radical break into totally new areas. There does seem to be a continual, slow development that really does make a direct connection from ‘Birth of the Cool’ to ‘On the Corner’ and beyond.
As for spending such a period in the company of his trumpet, it is interesting to hear how is approach to the instrument lends a continuity and consistency that carries through his entire, wide ranging career.
That’s all. So now, if you still care about recors, and if you’re still a curious person, go, reach a record store and order one of these little masterpieces.