Amoeblog

Private Pressings Go Public

Posted by Rick Frystak, January 31, 2012 02:05pm | Post a Comment
Anyone who wants to can make an LP record! Yes, anybody, and it’s always been like that. Why can’t the world hear your creativity? Break out of those bedroom studios and living rooms and lounges and let the people know of your greatness! Why work all your life on your axe and never be heard by the masses? Who needs to wait for a major label to sign you to a rip-off contact? Call ACME Records and they’ll make a short-run pressing for you if you have the dough.  

Vanity pressings and small labels have always floated just under the surface of the platters you’d see in Billboard. My friends made some back in those days. Faces filled of hope, fame and just plain good-old personal righteousness. Words like “Real People”, “Outsider”, “Loner Folk”, “Xain Psych”, and “Steakhouse pressing” are just some of the many tags tossed about now about this history. And they’re filled with samples galore if you dig that sort of thing. Who doesn’t need a 5-second turnaround out of a live version of “Raindrops Are Fallin’ On My Head”?

These are not the Holy-Grail garage records. These aren’t the $1000 regional soul records. Just “real people" doing hard work and craft, and they're all available on Amoeba’s site to the first-come! Just click the title and see if they’re still there.  
 
 
Steve Jolliffe
Steve Jolliffe

Journeys Out Of The Body
Nada Pulse Records U.K. 1983

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The Choice Bin's Choice-y-er Buy Counter Scores of 2011

Posted by Rick Frystak, December 18, 2011 07:08pm | Post a Comment
As the year 2011 flies to a close, I've gathered some of my favorite scores from the past year together to reflect upon how much great stuff gets traded in at our used buying counter. All this art came in over Amoeba's trade-in counter but didn't make it past my "gotta check this out" sensors-in-overdrive...lots of stuff maybe not have been released in 2011 but plucked from the ocean of "keepers" and brought ashore, as the relevance and quality make it so, and the joy of reconnecting with a reissue or another format.  Our "Insurance Return" policy keeps the good stuff coming in as well.  And I've forgotten more titles than I've remembered...

Vinyl
LPs


John Adams

Harmonium

ECM 1984

I've owned this on a compact disc for ages, and then I see the magnificent film, "I Am Love" with the great Tilda Swinton and I see a vinyl copy of it and my head goes, "BUY THIS"!  This record was cut up and used as the score in such a wonderful, effective way, swooning, tilting and fanfare-ing the scenes making the picture so much more intense and sentimental. Bravissimo. The wax sounds amazing, too, as is the ECM tradition.



Havergal Brian

Complete Piano Music
Cameo Classics 1981

Amazing moods and very sound writing for piano. Think Debussy, Copeland, Ravel, Mozart, Haydn, Bryars and Gershwin and all this rolled into one fellow born in the U.K. in 1876. The great sound on this disc makes it so enjoyable, and being a wonderfully produced U.K. pressing with a brilliant performance by Peter Hill seals the deal.

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More Journeys Off the Beaten Track

Posted by Rick Frystak, November 29, 2011 04:44pm | Post a Comment

Peter Michael Hamel
Hamel
Vertigo 6641 055, 1972

2-Lp set on German Vertigo circa 1972 brings us a spiritual journey of minimalism and creative spark, alone in the studio…tape running and overdubbing, often not listening to the previously recorded material. Hamel was doing multi-tracked organ, synths, piano and percussion in Germany at the same time as Riley, Glass and those guys were, quite forward-thinking. He worked with maestros Joseph Anton Reidl and Luc Ferrari, but never went in that conrete’ or collage direction as a style musically. Terry Riley is still doing live organ pieces just like these herein, and classical composers have struggled with this style for decades. Here in these discs we have 2 luscious sides of organ and synthesizer pieces with each instrument “beating” or modulating the other, simple rooted tones yet always moving with melody and logic; 1 side of prepared piano with a Cage influence, yet Hamel shows his prog/pop and Indonesian gamelan inclinations rhythmically and tonally. Nice! The last side is synthesizer overdubs with water and breath sounds, owing to Hamel’s heavy spiritual side and his immersion in this new minimalism. This record is still fresh now, and vibrates with a wonderful, contemporary accessibility and creative spark even after nearly 40 years. And this 2-disc set on Vertigo vinyl is rarer than a 2-dollar bill at this point.

 

Pat Martino

Strings!
 

Prestige 7547, 1968

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Beaucoup Bins of Beautiful Boom

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 31, 2011 04:05pm | Post a Comment
Whazzup?! Tons of great records coming over our buying counter lately, much of it landing in "The Choice Bin," and circumnavigating my world. There's so much going on I don't where to start. Let's sample some of my choicest morsels of the past weeks and hope to nourish your auditory appetite!


Walt Dickerson

To My Queen
New Jazz NJ8283  1963 

A wonderful, somewhat neglected jazz music experience, with delicately grooving vibraphone and piano, gently singing over the percolating grooves of drummer Andrew Cyrille and bassist George Tucker. Andrew Hill on piano takes the passenger's seat to Walt Dickerson's moves on this date, and the results are a nice, ethereal journey that always swings and keeps the fire burning while keeping each note sensitive and meaningful. Cyrille's versatility here is a treat, as I'm used to hearing him mostly with Cecil Taylor, and his bubbling, bopping percussion is exemplary. The photo of Walt's "queen" on the cover sets the tone for this marvelous journey.
 
Steve Lacy Axieme Vol. 1
Steve Lacy

Axieme Vol. 1
Red Record VPO 120 1977

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All Enchanting Audio Artifacts Considered

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 2, 2011 01:02pm | Post a Comment
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  Welcome to The Choice Bin, where only thee most "choice" long-play records traded in over our magnificent buy counter in Hollyweird are considered and discussed as art and a most logical slab of entertainment and inspiration. Now and again a noteworthy compact disc or book will slide across the buy counter, blip my radar and fall into my orbit, but it's 2011, so O.K.  I'll be your host as we ponder the spectacular and the insane. And if we're really fortunate, and nobody's glommed the goods, most of these gems will be available in Amoeba's "Buy Stuff" section, 'cuz after all....we're also a store! Follow the linkage...

Michel Redolfi Sonic Waters
Michel Redolfi

Sonic Waters
Hat Art 2002
(2-LP)


Mr. Michel Redolfii is, among other things, an architect of wondrous underwater acoustic installations...sometimes pools, sometimes oceans. This is a 2-LP set on the Swiss Hat Art label in a sweet little cardboard box package with lots of notes that documents Michel's electronic compositions done on a Synclavier II in the studio, and then being performed in a heated pool and in an underwater aquatic parks. The studio recordings are broadcast under the water through underwater speakers, while hydrophone mics pick up the transformation through the liquid medium, and it's natural mixing with underwater natural sounds. The stuff is eerie, gelatinous sonic stew that totally delights me with every listen. He calls it an "aerodynamic and amphibian" music. Indeed, Sire!

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