The Return of the Vinyl

ONE

I’m 52 and therefore I grew up with vinyls, LPs, EPs and singles.

I had dozens and dozens LPs. I was listening to music daily. It’s strongly associated in my head with the pleasure of music discoveries.

I remember Talking Heads and King Crimson, Mike Oldfield and Yes, second hand’s Genesis’ Trick of the Tail, the first time I listened to Killing Fields, or Soil Festivities and Mask (Vangelis), or EPs of Kate Bush, Bryan Ferry, Propaganda or Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I remember the singles : AC-DC (Hell’s Bells), Stranglers (Golden Brown), Buggles (Video Killed), The Police (Spirits in the Material World), etc…

TWO

I remember, in the end of the eighties, the excitation triggered in music lovers : Compact Disc! A better sound, no more surface noises and clicks and pops, no need to clean them, no needle to brush…

I bought my first one in Germany. It was “the first CD not available in Vinyl” : Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon. And for good reason : it was one single track, one hour long!

Since then I never bought any vinyl anymore. Indeed, vinyl became boring for everyone, with all it’s flaws, the dust everywhere, the risky exercise which it to change track (a wrong move and you have a scratch).

I love classical music. 70 mn on a CD is perfect. And a great sound, and… etc. The only regret we all had was… the sleeves.

THREE

I hear today about “the return of vinyl”.

Vinyls are beautiful. The sleeves are taller and gorgeous! I know that. And it’s a pleasure to “own” your LP (and the sound IS better than any streaming shit, yep).

I have to say that the main asset of this music listening process is you go back to the idea of listening an “album”, a whole suite of tracks. There’s no “next track” on a turntable!

FOUR

This, of course, triggers facepalms for many music lovers with a little experience. The “warmer sound”? It’s noisy, with clicks and pops, and it’s dirty all the time, and more :

Digital does not really exist…

Analog or digital, it’s just a “recording thing”. In the end : the speaker are vibrating (analog), the air is moving (analog) and your eardrum TOO.

The “warmer and richer” vinyl sound does not even exist. But I do understand one has the idea of it. “Warmer”. Yeah yeah yeah. I suppose that when you grew up with MP3, you find it warmer. Vinyl listening becomes like eating roasted chicken with french fries, plenty of sauce and onions, and carrots and pees, after the MP3 diet : crispbread with nothing on it.

Hi-Fi meant “High Fidelity” – What about the sound quality, now?

 

“The LP’s drawbacks include surface noise, less resolution due to a lower Signal to Noise ratio and dynamic range, stereo crosstalk, tracking error, pitch variations and greater sensitivity to handling”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording

 

FIVE

The return of the vinyl is not real. The market climbs a little, because it’s trendy. I was a vinylseller in 1989, and I can tell you it was fucking something else!

 

SIX

…says the contrary, what I called my Abba shock :

One day I downloaded a HUGE Flac archive of “Abba 24Bit Vinyl Pack” (each album weighed almost a gigabyte – a CD is mastered in 16 Bits, normally). So I began to listen on my expensive Sennheiser headphones a luxurious lossless compression of Vinyl music, digitalized at an splendid rate…. with a slight wow and flutter, some clicks and pops too, and Oh. My. God. It was fantastic!

What’s that paradox? Digitalized vinyl at high rate, without compression (Flac instead of Mp3) gave me an ears orgasm. Nailed.

OK. you won. I give up.

 

Have a nice day!

 

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Amelie Lens is dancing

I follow Amelie Lens on Instagram. She’s a Belgian DJ and she’s very very pretty. She has an “official” account with almost 300.000 followers. Good!

I just watched her live on Instagram.

YouTube her! You’ll find long concert movies made of this : short patterns, loud and fast rhythms, her happy energy to trigger these things. And no music at all. Not intent. Not a single idea. And she’s very pretty. And she’s dancing in front of her turntables.

Turning buttons happiness…

She made a hit, I think. Here it is. 1 720 964 views :

 

Then : you don’t understand, right? Me neither.

I tried. I’m interested in this music. I like to explore (though I prefer to explore other musical fields, from Boulez to ECM).

 

I love repetition and energy, like The Field (this guy know EXACTLY what he’s doing) who knows how to make you wait until orgasm :

 

Or the dry abstract Trentemoller, like a lego builder :

 

Or the modutating loud energy of Digitalism (two single ideas, but good ones – an harmonic one and a production one (dirty/clear)) :

 

I can even feel the trancy vulgarity of Astrix (listen all of it, loud) :

 

Or Vitalic, like a mainstream gorgeous thing, right?

 

Chemical Brothers, with the ever building Surface to Air (don’t watch the clip) :

 

 

All these guys are “music programmers”. Their musical tools are pretty… weak (small simple melodies, big rhythms, wait/relaunch processes), but for all of them I see what they do. I notice their “thing”. It’s delightful sometimes!

Not for Amelie Lens. I watched plenty of hers. The happiness of triggering buttons, wait/relaunches, and fuck : not a single idea.

It’s useful to have this milestone. The zero one. Röyksopp is the other milestone. At the other side of the bar : intoxicating “too many ideas”.

Why? How? What do I miss? Why do people love this? When something you don’t understand/dislike seems to reach zero, what about this rush of the mind : “What?”. Is the seek worth it?

Why do I dream to ask her this question :

“How do you progress?”

 

Thanks for reading!

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Blonde Redhead : “Elephant Woman”

Blonde Redhead

“Elephant Woman”

Angel I can see myself in your eyes
Angel won’t you feel for me from your heart
Do return my heart to me
No don’t insist I’m already hurt

Elephant girl
It was an accident unfortunate
Angel threw me like a rubber man
Aiming for the ground
Why amuse yourself in such way
No don’t insist I’m already hurt

Lay me down on the ground softly softly
Don’t remove my head hurts much too much

You never return it
Well I wouldn’t miss it
I shed no tears for broken me
You never know it my peace of mind
Now inside and outside are matching

Why amuse yourself in such a way
No don’t insist I’m already hurt
If you never return it
Will it break your wings
Will you shed no tear for broken me

Les Pieds dans la Lune (Feet in the moon)

 

♪ Les pieds dans la lune ♪

Combien de pages ont vu s’échouer
Les gerbes d’orage en bris de mots
Contents les vents se sont marrés des tours noyés
Dans une mare de cent regrets

Combien de vagues j’ai ravalé
Quand dans la marge tu n’avais pied
Violent courage que ce pas fait
Qu’on sait défait
Mais cède s’aide cède à qui sait donner

Sur la lune à pieds
De plumes en funambules
J’essaie de filer
Les pieds dans la lune
Qui d’amour jamais ne s’est laissé tomber

Sur la lune à pieds
De plumes en funambules
J’essaie de filer
Les pieds dans la lune
Qui d’amour jamais ne s’est laissé tomber

Shazam!

Heyyy what did I shazamed recently?

 

Methyl Ethel : Ubu – it climbs, the bass is cool, and it becomes messy.

 

Tove Lo : Habits – totally boring but the chorus is insanely délicieux.

 

Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin : I don’t remember why.

 

Bet My Life – Allie Moss : it’s a crescendo. And the percs…

 

Dave Matthews Band – Too Much. Because.

 

Alt-J (∆) – Taro

 

 

Donald Fagen – I.G.Y., a sound, and these modulations…

 

 

Jessye Norman – Je Te Veux. Eric Satie!

J’ai compris ta détresse

Cher amoureux

Et je cède à tes vœux

Fais de moi ta maîtresse

Loin de nous la sagesse

Plus de tristesse

J’aspire à l’instant précieux

Où nous serons heureux

Je te veux

 

 

Je n’ai pas de regrets

Et je n’ai qu’une envie

Près de toi là tout près

Vivre toute ma vie

Que ton corps soit le mien

Que ma lèvre soit tienne

Que ton coeur soit le mien

Et que toute ma chair soit tienne

J’ai compris ta détresse

Cher amoureux

Et je cède à tes vœux

Fais de moi ta maîtresse

Loin de nous la sagesse

Plus de tristesse

J’aspire à l’instant précieux

Où nous serons heureux

Je te veux

Oui je vois dans tes yeux

La divine promesse

Que ton coeur amoureux

Vient chercher ma caresse

Enlacés pour toujours

Brûlant des mêmes flammes

Dans un rêve d’amour

Nous échangerons nos deux âmes

J’ai compris ta détresse

Cher amoureux

Et je cède à tes vœux

Fais de moi ta maîtresse

Loin de nous la sagesse

Plus de tristesse

J’aspire à l’instant précieux

Où nous serons heureux

Je te veux

 

 

I understand your distress Dear lover And I yield to your wishes. Make me your mistress We are far from moderation And further yet from sadness I long only for the precious moment When we will be happy I want you

I have no regrets And only one desire Near to you, close as can be Living all my life So that your body is mine So that my lips are pressed by yours So that your heart is mine And that my body is pressed to yours

I understand your distress Dear lover And I yield to your wishes Make me your mistress We are far from moderation And further yet from sadness I long only for the precious moment When we will be happy I want you

Yes, I can see in your eyes The divine promise That your heart is in love Come find my caresses Entwined, forever Burning the same flames In a dream of love We will exchange our souls

I understand your distress Dear lover And I yield to your wishes Make me your mistress We are far from moderation And further yet from sadness I long only for the precious moment When we will be happy I want you

Musetta is a pest in La Bohème (Puccini)

Don’t go, it’s about opéra but it’s short and there’s a pest!

La Bohème is this Puccini opera happening in Paris. Let’s make it quick :

Rodolfo is a poor writer living with a few pals (Marcello the painter, Colline the philosopher, Schaunard the musician) in the Latin Quarter (Paris) in the 1830s. He meets Mimi, who lives in another room in the building. They’ll become lovers (of course).

In the Act II, the four friends+Mimi are in a restaurant within a great crowd. Comes Musetta, “formerly Marcello’s sweetheart” with an elderly admirer. She’s hoping to reclaim Marcello’s attention, and Marcello is furious, jealous, and… in love. All this in songs!

OK.

We all have our comfort food, comfort film, comfort anything.

My COA (Comfort Opera Act – YESSS it can beeee) is Act II of La Bohème.

It’s fast, rich, crowded, full of surprises (lovers, drama, plenty of fun, kids, a Parpignol (who sells toys to kids)) and there’s a happy fanfare at the end!

Musetta is the bigger than life pest-and-pretty. Opera is exaggeration? Musetta is bigger than crazy, and the singers who play her have obviously plenty of fun.

Colored, pest, adorable and extraverted, Musetta is also visibly a delight for costume designers

Push the levers, Jane!

There are hundreds of ways of playing this character. Some days, I compare (YouTube is your friend) and I laugh a lot : Poor Marcello!

Have a nice day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game : Find Musetta in this finale :

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