Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Old Joy

Supreme Vagabond Craftsman Just You, Me and the Baby
Aidan Smith Fancy Barrel

I have been reviewing records for a while, typically in the pages of Frank's APA with the reviews subsequently appearing here where a tiny handful of people look at them. Yet I have never received any free music to review – UNTIL NOW. Thanks to a fortuitous bit of Facebook friend-tarting I have found myself pals with the guy who does the web design stuff for the record label Analogue Catalogue, from whence these two records come. I must be honest and say that neither of these records has grabbed me that much, but they are interesting to listen to, basically because of how they were recorded. Analogue Catalogue are kind of a recording studio with a label attached, and their studio's thing is that all the studio equipment they use is analogue. Apparently it is the only completely analogue recording studio in the UK (which probably means it is also the only one in these islands). Depending on your mindset you will either dismiss this as unpleasantly Luddite, if not crypto-rockist, or maybe you will hail it as some kind of return to a truly authentic way of recording music. I do not have any strong opinions either way on the analogue-digital debate (a debate that digital has won by force of numbers, let's face it), but I do like that there is room for at least one all-analogue studio in the world.

Right now I am listening to songs from these two records that have been ripped to my computer from the compact discs that came my way. Even going through those two intermediate layers of digitisation, the records still have an "analogue" feel to them – a somewhat rawer sound and an almost acoustic quality even when the musicians are playing electric instruments. Of course, a lot of this could be down to the production rather than the recording equipment, and both records being produced and engineered by Julie McLarnon (or Ms Analogue Catalogue) would perhaps give them a more uniform sound. But still, there is an interesting quality to the sound that makes me think the world could stand to have more music recorded this way. I also think I could do with listening to these records a bit more, so that I could have something to say to you about the music on them rather than how they were recorded.

An inuit panda production

analogue polar bear

No comments: