• Neil Ritchie

...Life is a Circle

I will forgive you in thinking that this is the title of one of our new songs, and one day it may be. But something occurred to me in the last few weeks. The older you get the more things come full circle. A couple of years ago my lad, then 17 bought a few LPs, yes the Vinyl variety. Some Northern Soul and generally Mod stuff. It became a talking point because of course i knew the history of records. From Wax, Vinyl, Cassette, CD, Digital to.........Vinyl. But he just said, he didn't know any of the middle stuff and while streaming was his go-to music source, he reminded me vinyl sounded better.... and had character. Turn the clock forward. The Salient Braves, debut LP. Matt Bailey no less, wanted his new album released on Vinyl. I agree. In fact i invested my time and money to get the best LP we possibly could produce. One which captures the 1980's spirit and one which makes you feel you just got a winning lottery ticket when the album is first opened. The thing is, while the whole process was a challenge, Matt was right. This album needed to be released on Vinyl. So where does that help this story? So the Demo test pressings arrive. Matt and i turn into the keystone cops. We are excited. We want to hear how it sounds. We then realise the challenge just got greater. Matt plays it and sounds ok but not great. The Turntable has its limitations. I rummage out two more turntables. It sounds ok but not great. Deadline is ticking. we sign off the demos and await the full stack of limited ediion LPs. Matts off working on all the feature set and promo. I Sort the accompanying tracks (we couldn't fit 13 onto a vinyl album without compromising on cut and weight - we wouldn't compromise). Then the reason why life is a circle. While we discuss the album in the local Vinyl Underground store i realise that i own that - The Clash Japanese import 7 Inch. "do you know how much thats worth' they say. Yes i think, its priceless. It leads me to the moment i declare......I have to either sell my Vinyl or get a fucking decent deck, record player, stereogram ....... DJ Sime will advise what we should really call it. I hear Sime playing this stuff and i have to say the crackles and minor pops make the songs special and don't dilute the quality at all. Maybe he just has good taste in music? So i buy a new set up. I am not disappointed. The Sunday session of 9 Albums extracted from the Garage. Cleaned carefully then played out is now a magical moment. And by the way The Salient Braves LP sounds awesome. The Vinyl made it special, the old cheap decks earlier made it sound ok. Years ago my Dad would play his albums on a Sunday morning. 'whats this then", he would ask. Couldn't fool me Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Millar Orchestra to name two.. I knew Little Brown Jug. Now i do the same. Connor whats this.......Foo Fighters he replies. (He did struggle a bit though with the sound of young Scotland having been indoctrinated by the Sound of Old Barnsley of late). So I'm now my dad (rest in peace dad). I have a great system and love the sound. Im in the same place when i got a New Order or Aztec Camera LP in the 80s. We love it. We love talking about it Thursdays on Solid Front Radio, we also love it when we chat in the studio, at work or even to strangers. The only annoyances (is that a word) is two fold. One, the frustration when people can't solve the Sunday 'who is the Album' quiz and secondly i have to get up every 15 mins to turn it over. I have gone full circle and so are my records and I'm loving it.

#Music #Vinyl


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