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November 2018

Reggae added to UNESCO’s world heritage list


New rounds of Transmission and Fusion funds see Help Musicians UK award 22 creators over £45,000

from Help Musicians UK | Latest news

Happy to know my limited edition release of “Bowie Flying High…

via The Real Mick Rock

NeahkahnieGold Aphex Twin Albums Ranked By Most Collected, Most Wanted, And Most Expensive

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After reading about Aphex Twin’s logic for distributing limited-edition releases at live shows and his late-night Discogs epiphany in a recent interview for Crack Magazine, we decided to take a closer look at how his work is collected, wanted, and sold on Discogs. Discogs was initally started in 2001 as a Database for Electronic music (no other generes were allowed for the first few years), and Aphex Twin was just the 45th artist added. With more than 80 Releases and 650+ Apperances to date, he’s one of the more prolific musicians on Discogs. I’m sure most of you know his importance to the high-level Electronic genre and styles of Ambient, IDM, and others. From the clean and pristine Selected Ambient Works 85-92 to the competitive idiosyncracies in Drukqs, to the pulsing Collapse EP, he proves time and time again that he’s a brilliant and ever-changing creator. With so much out there, it’s interesting to see what has surfaced as Aphex Twin’s most popular, wanted, and expensive releases.

Most Collected Aphex Twin Albums

There are no major upsets in this list of most collected Aphex Twin albums. His 1992 debut studio album, Selected Ambient Works 85-92, is leaps ahead of the rest with nearly 20,000 Discogs collectors having a release in their Collection. Seeing a single in position two might be surprising if it were any other song, but the popularity of Windowlicker and its iconic accompanying music video by Chris Cunningham brought Richard D. James as close to the mainstream’s view as anything he has produced. Eight of the ten masters were initially released in the 1990’s.

Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Released: 1992

Collected: 19,313

Get some headphones and revisit this album. Selected Ambient Works 85-92 proves to be one of his easier to listen to, especially for the uninitiated. It’s easy to overlook now, but there was no Ableton or other popular music production software in the 80’s and early 90’s. Luckily, Richard D. James was both intelligent and talented. At the age of 11, he was already developing applications to produce music. In this context, the album is rich with melodies and rhythms not common in electronic music at the time.


Released: 1999

Collected: 16,183

Come To Daddy

Released: 1997

Collected: 13,896

Richard D. James Album

Released: 1996

Collected: 13,621


Released: 2014

Collected: 13,375

Selected Ambient Works Volume II

Released: 1994

Collected: 11,874

…I Care Because You Do

Released: 1995

Collected: 11,800


Released: 2001

Collected: 9,153


Released: 1995

Collected: 6,955


Released: 1993

Collected: 4,874

Most Wanted Aphex Twin Releases

Similar to our overview of Brian Eno’s most wanted releases, first vinyl pressings of LP’s dominate the beginning of Aphex Twin’s most wanted releases list. 8 of the top 10 are first-pressings.


Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Wanted: 3,505

Vinyl. First pressing, with no barcode on the sleeve, no catalog number on sleeve or labels, and containing 3 tracks each on sides C & D.


Wanted: 3,339

Vinyl. First Pressing. Yellow inner sleeve.


Wanted: 2,862

4 x Vinyl Box Set. 180 gram. First Pressing. Drukqs has not been pressed on vinyl since 2002.

Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Wanted: 2,593

2 x Vinyl. Repress, Remastered. Matt Colton and Alchemy Mastering identifed on run-out groove etchings. Significantly cheaper than the first pressing.

Selected Ambient Works Volume II

Wanted: 2,480

Vinyl. First Press. This edition on black vinyl is considered more rare than the ‘limited edition’ brown vinyl version, and allegedly has better sound quality.


Wanted: 2,231

Vinyl. First press.

Richard D. James Album

Wanted: 1,991

Vinyl. First first press. Aphex Twin is credited as “Me” for Producer, Written-By and Sleeve credits.

Analord 02

Wanted: 1,991

Vinyl. First and only physical release.


Wanted: 1,899

Vinyl. Limited audiophile vinyl version, 1000 individually numbered copies. 4 x 180 gram vinyl box set.

Analord 01

Wanted: 1,788

Vinyl. First and only physical release.

Most Expensive Aphex Twin Releases

Aphex Twin has developed a reuptation for releasing music in small-batches which never get repressed again. These surface in a number of different ways, primarily at the merch table at his live shows. Even, as is the case for Analogue Bubblebath 5, because of distribution errors. There are also a few first-pressings of vinyl here, which is no surprise given how they’re often his most wanted. Vinyl dominates the list, with a single cassette release breaking into the list in spot 10. Though rain gear is not allowed into the database, we might see the recently released Windowlicker Umbrella leap into future lists.


Analogue Bubblebath 5

Highest Sale Price: $1,282.05

In 2005, Rephlex mailed out Analord 10. For an unknown reason, approximately 20 buyers did not receive a package. Rephlex mailed out a second batch to those who had not received their order. This second batch included a free copy of Analogue Bubblebath 5. This distribution of “Analogue Bubblebath 5” was unannounced and has never been fully released. This goes down as one of the better apologies for messing up an order. Here’s to hoping Macintosh Plus is taking notes.


Highest Sale Price: $975

Limited Edition of 200 numbered copies.

Houston, TX 12.17.16

Highest Sale Price: $800.00

500 copies of the record were sold at the 2016 Day For Night festival in Houston. It was his first US show since 2008.

Analord 10

Highest Sale Price: $640.96

Sold via mail order via the Rephlex website, this limited edition 180g black vinyl pressing was packaged in a collectors’ binder with 12 transparent sleeves to hold further editions of the “Analord” series.

London 03.06.17

Highest Sale Price: $525.64

Special release in unknown limited quantities that was sold during the Field Day Festival 2017 in London.

3 Gerald Remix / 24 TSIM 2

Highest Sale Price: $524.98

The price of this record has dropped dramitically since it sold for more than $500 in 2017. The median price of the last 10 sales is just $42.50.


Highest Sale Price: $500.00

Audiophile Vinyl Version. 4 x 180 gram vinyl in 12″ x 17″ box. Limited to 1000 individually numbered copies.


Highest Sale Price: $454.53

Vinyl. First press. Not the mispress, which sells for slightly less than this correct release on average.

Selected Ambient Works Volume II

Highest Sale Price: $431.81

Vinyl. First Press. Black, not brown, release.

Aphex Mt. Fuji 2017

Highest Sale Price: $400.00

Cassette. Limited to 500 copies sold during the Fuji Rock Festival 2017.

The post Aphex Twin Albums Ranked By Most Collected, Most Wanted, And Most Expensive appeared first on Discogs Blog.

from Discogs Blog

OfficialDiscogs 10 Of The Most Popular Muscle Shoals Records From FAME Studios

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By Morgan Enos

Back in a tumultuous time in American history, a tiny Southern recording studio became a bastion of harmony. FAME Studios, aka “Florence Alabama Music Enterprises,” is still that unique space, from which disparate genres — soul, blues, country, R&B, and rock — have always shared a common thread.

Founded in 1959 by Rick Hall, Billy Sherrill, and Tom Stafford, FAME was an unassuming locale. The studio first opened above a drug store and a pawn shop in its titular Southern town. Arthur Alexander’s soul gem You Better Move On became its first hit. Thanks to its success, the studio was able to take the proceeds and move from Florence to a former tobacco warehouse in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Miraculously, a racially and creatively progressive musical Mecca sprung up in, as The Anniston Star paper would later put it in a tribute, “a state seldom publicized for anything but college football and embarrassing politics.”

In the ensuing decades, FAME Studios wrought hits from Bobby Gentry, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett, and many others. And in those days, the engine was its one-of-a-kind house band, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, featuring guitarist Jimmy Johnson, keyboardist Barry Beckett, bassist David Hood, and drummer Roger Hawkins. That ensemble’s legacy would only grow from there; they packed up and started their own legendary venture, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, in 1969.

Though Hall sadly passed away in January 2018, FAME Studios is still going strong, with modern roots-leaning songwriters like Jason Isbell, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, and the Dixie Chicks all choosing to create within its hallowed walls.

As the self-described “heartbeat of the Muscle Shoals Sound,” FAME Studios belongs alongside Abbey Road, Ardent, and Hitsville U.S.A. in the highest echelon of great rock and roll locales. Here are the 10 most popular albums ever cut there, according to the Discogs community.

If you’re looking for an introduction to good old Southern soul from the late ’60s, apply here. Pickett was on fire in those days; The Sound of Wilson Pickett is one of three albums he issued in 1967. He wasn’t always a FAME recording artist; he’d done previous material at Stax Records’ studio in Memphis, Tenn., but when they decided to ban outside productions, the singer fled for FAME. Pickett would record some of his biggest hits in that converted warehouse, including his classic reading of Funky Broadway, featured on this disc. But really, great performances are everywhere on The Sound of Wilson Pickett, from barn-burning grooves (Soul Dance Number Three) to expressive slow-jams (I’m Sorry About That). It’s one of soul’s all-time talents at the top of his game.

An obvious worshipper of Sam Cooke who never quite forged his own path, Arthur Conley still delivered some fine Southern soul despite being far from a household name. 1967’s Shake, Rattle and Roll features some uncanny Cooke imitations — he’s got his phrasing and vocal grit down on the title track — and to drive it home further, he even covers A Change Is Gonna Come. Despite all the aping, Shake, Rattle and Roll is well-produced and goes down easy if you come at it from a completist’s standpoint. Conley would turn out to be a tragic figure; feeling like he’d be targeted by the public for his homosexuality, he moved to Amsterdam and changed his name to Lee Roberts. Though he’d shown promise in American markets, his insecure rebranding confused whatever fans he’d accrued, ultimately derailing his commercial momentum before he passed away at 57.

In 1960, Etta James hit the ground running; her debut album At Last! is still considered a masterpiece of soul. In 1968, she’d decamp from Chess to FAME Studios for the first time at the behest of Leonard Chess. The change of scenery paid off; Tell Mama is perhaps her lushest, most full-blooded work. Highlights abound! Her relentlessly driving take on Don Covay’s Watch Dog is on par with other proto-feminist anthems like These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, while It Hurts Me So Much rides gnarly, emotional waves of desperation. On Tell Mama, James bore her soul more nakedly and honestly than ever — and had a major hit in the process.

The Queen of Soul’s most well-known album — the one that gave us Respect and Do Right Woman, Do Right Man was only partially recorded at FAME Studios, but its Southern-fried sound rings out loud and clear. Franklin had mostly recorded at Columbia, but for her 10th album, producer and svengali Jerry Wexler personally tapped the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section to bring their unique fire to this classic-to-be. Franklin being egged on by the Muscle Shoals crew during cuts like Drown In My Own Tears and Soul Serenade is something you’ve got to hear to believe. Burning through 11 songs in a scant 30 minutes, the Queen never burned this bright on an LP before or since.

A blue-eyed-soul contralto and an underrated storyteller, Bobbie Gentry was ready to make her most decorated, lavish album to date with Fancy. Like Franklin’s I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You, Fancy was split between Columbia and FAME Studios, with Rick Hall at the helm for both. Fancy isn’t typically as well-known as Gentry’s 1967 breakout album, Ode To Billie Joe, but it has charms all its own. The song choices are killer for Gentry’s voice, especially when she tries on an earthy, huskier approach for Leon Russell’s Delta Man and accesses Laura Nyro’s bottomless melancholy on her Wedding Bell Blues. While polished covers albums like this saturated the market in its day, Fancy is a sassy, appealing mini-tour of the 1970s songbook.

Rick Hall produced the sixth long-player by the innocuous musical family that saturated pop culture in the ’60s and ’70s. While Donny, Jimmy, Marie and the rest would go on to try marginally more edgy styles — like 1972’s rock-oriented Crazy Horses — Osmonds is right in their squeaky-clean, gee-whiz wheelhouse. While Hall was surely used to edgier, grittier material at this point, he steps up to the plate on Osmonds, shining every happy-go-lucky harmony vocal and tinkling glockenspiel to a palatable sheen. Whatever Hall’s approach, it certainly worked. The Osmond’s Jackson 5-style reading of George Jackson’s One Bad Apple rocketed to No. 1.

The late, great Allman Brothers Band guitarist left us far too young at 24, leaving behind a small-yet-precious body of work. An Anthology, which features a handful of FAME Studios-recorded cuts, is a fascinating look into Duane Allman’s work as a sideman, collaborator, and solo artist. Despite the disparity of artists featured — the set ranges from Aretha Franklin to Boz Scaggs — Allman’s heart-stopping lead guitar ties it all together. It’s a series of signposts as to where a singular talent could have gone; whether tearing it up with the Allman Brothers and Derek & the Dominos, or backing up Muscle Shoals acts, he was tantalizingly just getting started.

Back in 1982, this Country Music Hall of Famer did a bunch of impressions of country hitmakers — and scored one of his own biggest hits in the process. The Bird, a silly talking-blues novelty song in which Jerry Reed encounters a salesman whose talking bird can imitate George Jones and Willie Nelson to a tee. (“Anyone got a BB gun?!” he reacts during the bird’s rendition of On the Road Again.) The Bird was played for a laugh, yet ended up a massive hit. The titular, FAME-recorded album it belongs to doesn’t stop there: His rendition of Tim DuBois’ alimony anthem She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft) would be this country legend’s final number-one hit.

In 2002, a new presence would leave Athens, Ga., rock heroes Drive-By Truckers permanently changed. The precocious, then-teenaged Jason Isbell joined co-leaders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley as their third guitarist and songwriter, kicking the band into an even higher level of energy. For his second album with the crew, The Dirty South, all three songwriters turned up the heat. It’s a shit-kicking bullfight of an album. Recorded ultra-dry and mostly live at FAME Studios, The Dirty South practically bursts at its seams. Cooley’s anthemic opener Where The Devil Don’t Stay is practically the Truckers’ statement of purpose, Hood’s Tornadoes whips the band into a stormy, Sonic Youth-style frenzy, and Isbell delivers his haunting character studies Danko/Manuel and Goddamn Lonely Love. Isbell’s days in the band were numbered, with conflicting egos and substance abuse leading to his exit in 2007. But on The Dirty South, Drive-By Truckers got to be the fearsome, three-headed monster they always threatened to be — and the results are still thrilling.

With an appealing sound that harkens back to the days of Stax, Volt and FAME, St. Paul and the Broken Bones’ debut album updated a classic sound for a modern context. They even recorded right where their influences had lain the classics to tape. Half The City enjoys the same earthy, tape-saturated sonic approach that made hits by Wilson Pickett and Arthur Alexander really pop. Leader Paul Janeway lets it rip over his dynamic eight-piece band, going alternately downbeat and fiery depending on the material. Just listen to him testifying on Broken Bones & Pocket Change or riding the snaky groove of Let It Be So. If a soul-minded listener is curious about hearing the classic Muscle Shoals sound passed to a new generation, Half the City is worth seeking out immediately.

The post 10 Of The Most Popular Muscle Shoals Records From FAME Studios appeared first on Discogs Blog.

from Discogs Blog
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Scrolling down the posts on Facebook, from people pleading for spare tickets, you get a sense of just how in-demand tonight’s headliners really are. This evening, Londoners from all over, converge on Peckham’s newest venue, Ghost Notes, for the launch of There Is A Place, the highly anticipated debut album from South London seven-piece, Maisha, and you’d go as far as to say, it’s a roadblock. Led by drummer and composer Jake Long, Maisha’s brand of long-form, spiritual jazz has further broadened the lexicon of the UK’s well-documented rising jazz movement and sought to enthuse its more meditative and outernational roots.

Following the release of the group’s expansive live EP Welcome To A New Welcome on Jazz Re:Freshed in 2016, Maisha went on to open the trailblazing nine-track We Out Here compilation before joining back up with Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood imprint for their debut full-length LP. Alongside an impressively-sized guest chamber ensemble, Long pulls in a heavy cast of UK jazz luminaries including guitarist Shirley Tetteh and multi-reedist Nubya Garcia, and it’s Garcia whose tender and journeying flute intro that calms the bustling room to a hush. The group channel the delicacy and dynamism of Pharoah’s ‘Thembi’ on the album’s title track and on ‘Osiris’, their tribute to Alice Coltrane’s ‘Journey In…’, yet tactfully balance it alongside the rhythmic ferocity and Afro-futurist weight of fellow Tomorrow’s Warriors alumni Sons of Kemet and Ezra Collective, on ‘Eaglehurst / The Palace’.

Garcia and guest trumpeter Axel Kaner-Lidstrom’s eastern-influenced melodic phrases wander across Long’s reflective and lifting compositions that feel just that bit more thrilling with an accompanying string section, while percussion, provided by Tim Doyle and Yahael Camara-Onono, is meaningful and seeks to reconnect and give thanks to the music’s early forbearers and origins in Africa. Tetteh’s intricately crafted guitar lines dazzle throughout and Twm Doyle’s long and winding double bass riffs are greeted with ecstasy from tonight’s crowd. However, it’s clear Maisha’s genius begins and ends with Long. Not only is Long aware of its vast history, but seeks to actively engage with the legacy of spiritual jazz, and place this group of musicians in its future-facing continuum.

Fabrice Robinson

from News

Six of the best… classical works about Scotland

The Hebrides, Scotland


With its rugged landscapes, beautiful wildlife and rich history, Scotland has always been a source of inspiration for composers. The distinctive quality of the country’s traditional music, instruments and style have resulted in some stunning pieces that express the vitality of the nation. These are six of the best compositions that take their influence from this spectacular country.


The Hebrides by Felix Mendelssohn

This famous concert overture is most commonly known as Fingal’s Cave – the source of its inspiration. After a visit to the island of Staffa in 1829 Mendelssohn was so taken by the echoing waves in the cave’s natural acoustic that he immediately wrote the opening few bars.

Sending the music to his sister Fanny Mendelssohn, he wrote 'In order to make you understand how extraordinarily the Hebrides affected me, I send you the following, which came into my head there.' The piece’s enduring appeal has encouraged people from all around the globe to visit this natural wonder.



A Scottish Fantasy by Max Bruch

Despite having never visited Scotland before its composition, the German composer took elements of traditional folk tunes such as Hey Tuttie Tatie, The Dusty Miller and Auld Rob Morris to create this four-movement composition for violin and orchestra.

Bruch had a special place in his heart for the music of Scotland, saying that the folk tunes 'pulled me into their magical circle'

The prominent role of the harp as an accompaniment to the violin is also a nod to Scotland’s earliest music. Highly popular at the time of its premiere, this piece remains one of Bruch’s most famous works.



Scottish Rhapsody by Ronald Binge

'The mist enshrouded lochs, the calm of the glens, the skirl of the pipes and the swirl of the kilt as the highland fling dances on its with merry way.' This is the image conjured up for composer Ernest Tomlinson by Binge’s mighty orchestral work.

As well as using tunes such as Kelvin Grove and Fairy Dance Reel, the English composer simply wrote in his own melodies where he saw fit, successfully managing to emulate the traditional style.



Four Scottish Dances by Malcolm Arnold

Written in 1957 for the BBC Light Music Festival, these four colourful dances heavily use key features of traditional Scottish music, such as scotch snaps and reels. The composer also used different timbres to imitate the drone of the Highland bagpipes

Though most of the vibrant melodies are original, Arnold did use one written by Robert Burns himself.



Farewell to Stromness by Peter Maxwell Davies                      

The simple yet heartfelt melody line of this solo piano piece unveils a stark political message. A keen environmentalist, Davies wrote this to protest the planned building of a uranium mine in Orkney, where the composer lived.

It was premiered in 1980 at the St Magnus Festival; an event on Orkney which Davies himself co-founded.



The Land of the Mountain and the Flood by Hamish MacCunn

Written when he was a mere 18 years old, MacCunn’s work is considered a prime example of the Scottish overture. Born in Greenock, MacCunn’s compositions all have a distinctly Scottish sound, and he championed his country’s traditional music.

This orchestral work is based on Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel. Despite criticism at its premiere, it went on to become MacCunn’s most renowned work.


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