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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Secret Machines “Awake in the brain chamber”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Secret Machines
Album Title: Awake in the brain chamber
Year released: 2020
Details: Black vinyl, 180 gram

The skinny: Much like last week, this week’s Vinyl love post is one of my favourite albums from 2020. However, unlike “The view from halfway down”, which I came across too late for it to officially make my end of the year list, Secret Machines’ fourth long player “Awake in the brain chamber” did not escape my notice and easily found its way to the number five spot on said list. Released more than a decade after their last record and almost as much time since the untimely death of one of the band’s founding members, it was the polar opposite of a disappointing return. It had all the hallmarks of the band’s big and epic sounding first two records but scaled back into manageable serving sizes. Of course, I was going to procure a copy of this for my vinyl collection. It didn’t matter that it was a bare bones release (as is evidenced by the few photos above). It was a heavyweight, 180 gram disc and had impeccable sound.

Standout track: “Everything’s under”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Venus Furs “Venus Furs”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Venus Furs
Album Title: Venus Furs
Year released: 2020
Details: standard black vinyl, hand written note from the artist

The skinny: A week and a half ago, when I started my annual series counting down my favourite albums of the year, I told the story of how I learned about a new act out of Montreal while perusing one of my favourite sources of all things indie music, Under the Radar. The self-titled debut by this very same act, Venus Furs, captured my imagination and drew me in while listening to it on Spotify through my iPod ear phones. It may have been during my second time through that I went on the hunt for it on vinyl, thinking that something this expansive required owning it in a better format. I ordered a copy of it from frontman Paul Kasner’s own label, Silk Screaming records, and received it within a couple of days, complete with a handwritten ‘thank you’ note from the man himself. Always a nice touch. “Venus Furs” ended up squeezing its way into the number 9 spot in my top ten for the year and if you enjoy noisy psych rock in the vein of Spiritualized or My Bloody Valentine, this might just be for you too.

Standout track: “Chaos and confusion”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Mew “And the glass handed kites”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Mew
Album Title: And the glass handed kites
Year released: 2005
Year reissued: 2020
Details: 2 x 180 gram, black and white marbled vinyl, Limited, Numbered 1450/2500, 15th anniversary expanded, RSD 2020 drop 2

The skinny: So here’s one of the four Record Store Day exclusive releases I managed to pick up from this year’s offerings. This 15th anniversary expanded edition of Mew’s fourth album and undisputed masterpiece, “And the glass handed kites”, was released by Music on Vinyl on the second (September) of the three ‘drops’ this year. The record is pressed onto two 180-gram slabs of white and black marbled vinyl, the second disc being of b-sides and alternate versions of the studio album’s tracks, and it includes a lovely 12-page booklet, as pictured above. This album was my introduction to the Danish band and what an introduction it was. An epic and big sound, songs that ebb and flow into each other, creating a sonic dreamscape that would fit snugly in the same solar system as Spiritualized, Ride, and Sigur Ros. Beautiful stuff and this pressing sounds just amazing, well worth the money.

Standout track: “Why are you looking grave?”