Sunday, 31 October 2010

Vinyl shopping in Brighton and other assorted things

I visit Brighton regularly for the fresh air and and company. Even though I was pretty skint I justified a mini record shop spending spree because I was out of town and by the sea and other dubious reasons. Strap yourself in for this ... after the traditional stroll on the seafront.

Somehow I can't ever recall going to Rounder Records, so I went here first.

There was a busy Saturday atmosphere. I only managed to locate the hip hop section and bought this little gem, mainly because it was £3 and had a great album cover. Obviously the Public Enemy connection helped. The Professor is a bit nuts though as fans will know.

Then we went to Borderline which seems to have changed much focusing more on cds then vinyl bargains so we didn't hang around. Next to Resident which is bit more up my street featuring a good, yet pricey, selection of vinyl from medium profile artists.

Having then decided that Rounder was the best place for my needs we went back for it's cheap mix of mainstream and underground artists. This time there was much more room and I located the indie section immediately finding a £7 Action Beat album in blue vinyl. That's what happens when you start browsing alphabetically. After this discovery I didn't look as hard because there was just too much and we needed a sit down by this point.

With this purchase in the bag we made our way to the nearest cafe. It was then I realised I was bleeding. I had fallen victim to "vinyl browser finger death"!

A small price to pay for a satisfying record hunt. We also stopped in Wax Factor below and another second hand place that I forget, just so we could call ourselves completists.

Here are some other Brighton retail highlights, no purchases just aesthetic curio:

Brighton is an arty expressive place. Here's the evidence.


Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Music to Study to

Recently I've started a MRes Global Politics degree at Birkbeck, University of London which requires a huge amount of reading. A great excuse to post a photo of the beautiful building containing the fourth floor Senate House Library. As a student you can register here as well as the multi-floor university library.

Obviously the studying requires a lot of critical reading. Therefore I have to switch my playlist away from more vocal dominated artists who interfere on my fragile concentration. The artists who bang on about how they're not in love or in love or whatever. Drums > Lyrics.

Here are some academic friendly suggestions:

The Books - "Lost & Safe"

It's not much of a coincidence that such a playlist contains an artist called The Books. This duo make music that resembles a student art project, in the nicest possible way. Classical strings, glitchy beats, looping folk and random dialogue from what seems like dismembered radio and TV shows collide and beguile at once.

Oneida - "The Wedding"

Another great album from the ex-nineties rock band. It seems they can turn their hand to anything from the psych pop in High Life to medieval revery in August Morning Haze. Vocals feature on some tracks but not instrusively. Possible vinyl magic!

mum - "finally we are no one"

Lush etheral vibes from mum's orchestral electronica. More human noises rendered abstract in Icelandic; thus facilitating the contemplation of post-colonial free trade.  Accent on the 'u'? Still working out how to do it.

Mark Hollis - s/t

Formerly of Talk Talk whose Spirit of Eden is also great. Very soothing with a classical jazz quality through beautifully played instruments including trumpet, piano, double bass and drums. Not heard an album as intimate.

In fact talking of jazz, Miles Davis' - ESP is a pleasant listen while mulling over the merits of a mixed-method approach to a social research case study.