I was talking to someone about art and how we bookend our experiences with both to show a journey through themes, mediums and personal growth/change. So for example with art I have gone from buying sculptures albeit on a small scale by people like Michele Mathison to recently buying prints by the likes of Kadir Nelson.
With records I think the first real love affair I had with a record was Sharam’s Dreamscape version of Prana “The Dream” which still hits me in the feels. It was probably the first 12" I bought that I took home and thought this was different. I was probably 15 at the time and had never set foot in a club but had been listening to house music on late night radio in South Africa and fell in love, and my older sister told me all about this store in the CBD that had what she called “doof doof” so obviously I had to go. Walking in was overwhelming and I had no idea what I was looking for but I plucked up the courage to ask to listen to some records, had no idea how to use a turntable and this was in that stack. I bought just the one and wore it out. Still has pride of place in the collection but it was damaged in the water incident and so far has been the only record I have replaced.
Moving forward to now, thinking of a record that I guess is “what I am about” to an extent and something that just hits the spot is Harvey Sutherland “Jouissance” which is I am not even sure is on a 12" or not. Be a pity if it isn’t but I have not been able to find one so digital it is. Much like the Prana record there are very clear and unique keyboard/synth elements and it has a groove that just locks you in. Still probably hanging out together musically but as much as I love big bold songs, I always veer towards this sort of record when I play fictitious DJ gigs in my head.
Music is incredible, and no matter how shit I feel, or how tough life can be sometimes, it is always comforting to know that around that corner is a melody, a bassline and some percussion to get me out of my head for a while.
Probably a silly topic but I am having a retrospective/introspective day.
tough for me to even try and pinpoint a beginning but i do know that the first few times i heard music with… let’s say “stuff i couldn’t identify” (beyond drums, guitars, violins, etc.) i was like THAT - i want to know more about THAT.
so on the front end it was things like moogs or inserted taped dialog or really anything beyond the semi-amplified acoustical instruments the world was full of. that really took flight and i had a decided interest in anything with a drum machine for a while or anything that was clearly tape-manipulated or employed some wild studio trickery. even simple things like hearing cymbal crashes run backwards, i just was fascinated and just sat and imagined how it could possibly be done.
the earliest records i bought were either really big pop records or stuff that had those kinds of sounds in them. this was long ago enough that buying records wasn’t particularly novel, it was the de facto way of listening to stuff on-demand as opposed to radio, so i wasn’t trying to become a collector - i just needed to hear it over and over.
things really changed when i was in my early teens - digital shit was just getting started (aka cd’s and to a different degree - samplers) so records were plentiful and cheap. and all of a sudden - the fairlights and emulators were starting become a thing of fascination. when sampling became “cheap” i was all in on anything that had odd sounds, industrial sounds, obvious nicks from other records - i was in love with collage, juxtaposition, experimentation - and of course, beats. around the same time i started going to clubs - that scene and that music weren’t available anywhere else, in my town anyway. if you wanted to hear new order, you went to the club or bought the records - i did both.
and eventually i became a dj and was all in on that for about 15 years or so.
and now i still buy records at an alarming clip, but i’m getting older and not so interested in what makes the clubs pop off anymore - i’m more interested in what i always was: unexpected sounds, clever arrangements, mood-enhancing textures, stuff that celebrates a moment, vibes that sound good to me when i’m at my most receptive. lately, that’s just a lot of atmospheric/ambient/abstract records and to that end - i guess it always was.
I think we’ve all basically been in training to become the greatest chill out room DJs of all time. I bought the Global Communication reissue recently and it really hit the spot. Felt like I was hearing it for the first time even though it was a staple for those Sunday 4pm to 6pm “we really should get some sleep” sessions back in the day.
An interesting thing to ponder.
I always woke up with a song in my head and went to bed with a song in my head as a child. Music was something that just filled me up and it was always just like that for me. When I got to about 14 I discovered hip hop and electro through things like “rocket” and the Street Sounds Comps.
I went to see Mastermind at a Nottinghill Carnival and everything just blew up. I got into going to clubs that were playing all the stuff coming out between’84 and '87, so very eclectic warehouse type of dance sounds and pre house.
Then came the house explosion and I was all into that too. I ended up DJing mainly because I hung out with DJ’s and had records but was always a bit more into being a punter. I found that I quickly missed unusual sounds and eclectic sets, so went looking for more unusual electronica etc.
Now I’m still DJing a bit but have found that I’m still looking for tunes that I missed in that pre house era(found a few on here, thanks very much). That sound has really been doing it for me again.