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The post Heavy metal and hard rock take center stage in music auction appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.
With only a few days to go until Crate Diggers Brighton, it’s time to introduce a few more special guests! Rotation.MCR, Manchester’s record fair and after party posse, will be making their way down to Brighton to bring you the best of the city’s record scene. In advance of this Saturday’s Crate Diggers, we had a little chat with Paul from Rotation.MCR.
What does your personal collection look like?
I have been buying records since 1978 so my personal collection is quite varied, with an underlying tone of soul and funk. After 41 years of collecting, it is currently spread over 3 rooms in my house whilst we redecorate, so it’s a bit of a minefield. Content-wise my collection joins the dots between jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, Afro, disco, boogie, house, and techno.
What’s your favorite record in your record bag right now and why?
That’s a tough one because it’s always changing. I’d say it’s either The BB & Q Band’s On The Beat, Sharon Redd’s Beat The Street, or Alton Edwards’s I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You), all of which I picked up recently at record fairs. They are all classic records and have the qualities I’m looking for right now – funky, groovy, proto-house vibe that I can play at my favourite venue.
Which record fair or shop do you never leave empty handed?
The Rotation Record Fairs we put on in Manchester always turn up something new for me, because the dealers that come down have seriously good taste. Record shop-wise, it’s always worth a good rummage in Vinyl Resting Place, Vinyl Exchange, and Eastern Bloc.
What can we expect to find at your table during the fair?
I will be on the Dig Deep Records stall as part of the Rotation sellers area alongside some of our other dealers. We sell what we love and there isn’t a record in our boxes that we don’t own ourselves. Style wise you can expect disco, nu disco, funk, soul, jazz, house, Afrobeat, Latin, hip-hop, techno, boogie, beats, and breaks with some rock and reggae thrown in for good measure.
Which other dealers will be with you on the day?
We are bringing two of Manchester finest record dealers Tomlin (Jam MCs/Delectable Lovers) and Dave The Ruf (Jeep Beat Collective, Mindbomb, and Godfather Of Weird). Believe me when I tell you what these two don’t know about good music is not worth knowing. Tomlin has been supplying the Manchester underground with killer vinyl selections for longer than most can remember, whilst Dave has over 10,000 records listed on Discogs alone! Both are also prolific DJs in their own right with fond memories of playing at Po Na Na back in the day.
Who will be representing Rotation DJ wise at Crate Diggers?
We’d heard there might be a bit of a Brighton/London/Manchester face off DJ wise, so we are bringing our A game on the DJ front with Rotation residents Reiss Johnson and Paul Thornton both bringing a mixed box. You can check out their DJ mixes here.
Will you be digging at Crate Diggers yourself? Anything in particular that you’re hoping to find?
Definitely!!! The whole crew are looking forward to picking up some gems to bring back to Manchester, be that to either DJ with, trade, or simply to add to their own collection. There are certain bits and pieces I’ll be looking for, but for me the best bit of crate digging is finding something I don’t already know…
We’re looking forward to seeing you in Brighton! More than 100 tables, free entry to the record fair from 10 a.m.
The post Crate Diggers: Bringing A Bit Of Manchester To Brighton! appeared first on Discogs Blog.
Where’s the best place to hear a BBC Prom? Standing right up close to the performers in Royal Albert Hall? Perhaps on a seat a little further back? Or maybe at home on the radio: on the sofa, in the kitchen, in the bath… Whatever your preference, we’re not going to take issue. We simply know that, for us at BBC Music Magazine, the Proms season is one of the glories of the classical music year.
And what’s more, unlike most other things the Brits traditionally look forward to in a summer, it’s reliable too: it doesn’t get rained off, it doesn’t get knocked out disappointingly in the quarter-finals, it doesn’t fall victim to French baggage handler strikes. But which features and quirks of the Proms in particular so excite, enthuse and enthral us? Below we present our Top 15, complete with occasional commentary by Roger Wright – as a previous Controller of the BBC Proms for 7 years, he understandably has quite a soft spot for them too…
Football fans will tell you that one of the most anticipated days of the year doesn’t feature any football at all: it is the day when the season’s fixture list is published. Ditto music lovers and the publication of the Proms Guide. So closely guarded is the seasons programme that trying to find out its details before publication date is akin to extracting a beautiful chord from a one-stringed viola. But then, come mid-April, the Guide hits the shops and we can all start to mark the diaries. Even with nearly 100 concerts to play with, the controller has an impossible task in trying to please everyone, and the letters in the press complaining of the lack of British composers such as Alwyn, Arnold and Brian are almost as much a tradition as the Proms themselves. That, Wright says, is not a problem: ‘The important thing is that people care…’
If the Proms season goes out in a blaze of much-hyped Last Night whizzes and bangs, it arrives in a more discreet fashion – knocking on the door on a Friday evening, clutching a bottle and suggesting that a couple of months of top quality music might be nice. There’s no set format for the First Night. Some seasons have seen ‘taster’ concerts in which we are given glimpses of themes to come, while others start off with one major work. Either way is just as effective: before you know it, the Proms have kicked off their shoes, stretched out on your sofa and made themselves at home. And very welcome they are, too.
For many, the Proms queue is all part of the fun. To find out how high profile a certain Prom is, just take a potter around SW7 2AP a couple of hours before it begins – the number of Promenaders snaking round the block will tell you all you need to know. Proms audiences queue with a zeal similar to their tennis-loving counterparts at Wimbledon, and for the really big-name concerts it’s not rare to see a number of die-hards setting out their pitch in the early hours of the morning, thermos flask and good book in hand. And no, Prommers are not blessed with supersized bladders: the Albert Hall stewards have a system by which numbered tickets are handed to queuers, allowing them to pop off for the occasional ‘comfort break’.
Here’s a tip. If you’re going to a Prom and already have a ticket, don’t just make a beeline for the Albert Hall. Should you be taking the London Underground, it’s worth considering travelling only as far as one of the stations the other side of Hyde Park (Lancaster Gate is a good option) and ambling gently over from there. Bring some sandwiches, sit on a bench near the Albert Memorial, watch the joggers running past and the skateboarders falling over. All subject to good weather, of course, which we accept can’t be taken for granted round these parts.
Those who choose to pay for a ticket on the day and stand fit into two groups: the Gallery (see below) and the Arena. Those in the Arena are arguably the very life and soul of the Proms. Inevitably the loudest, most enthusiastic members of the audience, their closeness to the action gives them a unique rapport with the performers. Some, admittedly, do appear to the casual observer as being one quaver short of the full bar, but anyone who can stand for four-plus hours of Wagner on a hot July evening gets our respect.
Standing right up at the very top of the Albert Hall, the denizens of the Gallery get a unique view of the Proms experience in its full splendour. It is, says Wright, a very special place: ‘When I used to Prom regularly, that’s where I preferred to be. There’s a real camaraderie there. And you have the freedom to lie down.’ While the stage may seem miles away, the sound up here is surprisingly good.
Piano concertos at the Proms come with a little pre-performance extra. As the Steinway grand is rolled on to the stage, the sight of its lid being lifted is greeted by a shout of ‘Heave!’ from the Prommers in the Arena, to which those in the Gallery reply ‘Ho!’. For amusement’s sake, we’d love to see one piano lugger rapidly lift the lid up and down… up and down… up and down… just to hear the results. But doing so would probably be more than their job is worth.
Once the Steinway is in place with lid up, someone has to play a note so that the orchestra can tune up to it. That job falls to a front-desk violinist. When he or she plays the required A, a round of applause follows from the Prommers. It’s a well-worn routine, but still somehow amusing.
It takes over 5,000 concert-goers to fill the Royal Albert Hall (not to mention 4,000 holes). So, when just a fraction of that number turns up to watch a concert, it has a wonderful feeling of emptiness to it. Starting at around 10pm, the Late Night Proms are when those in the Arena, after jostling shoulder-to-shoulder earlier in the evening, now find they have the room to spread out a little. A fair few lie blissfully on the floor, gazing up at the ceiling and losing themselves in the glories of, say, a Bach cantata or some mesmerising Minimalism. The hall’s spaces may be huge, but the experience is intimate.
And here’s what those ceiling-gazers are looking at. In 1969, a large number of fibreglass discs were suspended from the roof of the Albert Hall in a bid to tackle the auditorium’s notorious echo. What started life as a technical audio fix has since acquired an iconic visual status too – lit up in a ghostly blue, the ‘mushrooms’ are particularly loved by BBC TV directors hunting for that suitably arty mid-Debussy camera shot.
(Credit: Royal Albert Hall)
The calm and contemplation of the Late Night Proms finds its antithesis when the hordes of kiddies bounce noisily into the Royal Albert Hall on a weekend afternoon. These afternoon matinees involve seeing the public’s favourite time-traveller, Doctor Who to the gruesome tales of Horrible Histories. They’re accompanied by parents whom tradition dictates that we describe as ‘long-suffering’ but, in reality are probably every bit as excited as their brood.
It was in 2008 that Roger Wright decided to help Proms-goers discover their inner child and the formula is repeated with the Ten Pieces Prom and the CBeebies this year. Those of us of an older generation, whose earliest Proms memories consist of being dragged along as unwilling six year-olds to patiently absorb and appreciate the finer points of a Bruckner symphony, can only look on in envy. The concept of themed Proms, which has been received so positively, is surely here to stay.
The first time this hand-picked ensemble brought the house down at the Royal Albert Hall was in 2009 to celebrate MGM Film Musicals. Made up of some of the world’s finest musicians, (it’s not everyday you see the leader of the CBSO play Second Violin!) these classical musicals explode back into life to create an evening which you won’t forget. Since then, they’ve presented programmes of everything from Rogers and Hammerstein to My Fair Lady. Not unexpectedly, Prom goers have embraced them with open arms and toe-tapping feet.
Should our towel-and-soap man ever become reality, we’d hope that he’d donate his profits to one of the Prommers’ charities. One of the more charming aspects of each concert is when, during the interval, a unison chorus pipes up from the front-left corner of the Arena. ‘Arena to Audience…’ begins the Prommers’ spiel, before they inform the hall how much money they’ve raised during the season by collecting coins (and the occasional note) in buckets as concert-goers leave at the end of each performance. Hearing how the total has risen each day is a heartwarming moment.
Refurbished in 2004, the Royal Albert Hall organ is a mighty beast indeed. It’s not the largest in the UK – Liverpool Cathedral boasts that accolade – but it’s certainly got the most impressive rumble. Sometimes, such as in JanáΩek’s Taras Bulba or Vaughan Williams’s Sinfonia Antartica, its full potential is unleashed and the sound is truly impressive, though sit in the wrong part of the Albert Hall on those occasions and you’re in danger of hearing all organ, no orchestra. At other times, however – ‘Saturn’ in Holst’s Planets, for instance – it is that strange feeling of the hall vibrating around you that tells you that the organist has pulled out the 64' stop and is moving his feet stealthily over the pedal board…
The flag-waving shenanigans of the Last Night is, to be frank, not everyone’s cup of tea, and one former Proms controller infamously admitted to his dislike of the occasion in print. But any event that gets millions across the UK listening to classical music and is known right across the world can’t be a bad thing. So for one evening, forget the ‘purist’ qualms, stick on the dicky bow, grab a Union Jack… and enjoy it!
This article first appeared in the July 2010 issue of BBC Music Magazine.
Schubert composed his 9th Symphony after hearing Beethoven’s symphony of the same number in 1824, however it was not performed in his lifetime. Mendelssohn premiered the symphony in 1839, but its reception never took off, and this work remained relatively unheard. However, we have chosen the four best recordings of this great work.
Günter Wand (conductor)
Berlin Philharmonic (1995)
No recordings hold the attention so consistently as Günter Wand’s mesmeric live 1995 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic. It’s a dream partnership, the 81-year-old conductor inspiring the Berliners to sustain total concentration and dramatic intensity throughout such a lengthy work. No less important is his capacity to bring freshness and new insights to music that can easily be taken for granted.
Everything here sounds three-dimensional – weighty in tone at the most impassioned climaxes, wonderfully warm and lyrical in the reflective moments, miraculously light and feathery at the quiet return of the opening idea in the first movement Allegro, and fearsomely dynamic in the Finale.
This recording may be over 20 years old, but RCA’s engineers have managed to capture the excitement of a concert performance with a full-bodied sound that covers an enormous dynamic range. After the exhilarating impact of the closing bars, it is hardly surprising that the audience roars its approval at the outstanding achievement of conductor and orchestra.
Claudio Abbado (conductor)
Orchestra Mozart (2011)
DG 479 4652
Claudio Abbado’s last recording of a piece that was close to his heart is a life-enhancing experience. Working with his Orchestra Mozart, he presents the score with all the repeats fully observed, making this truly a symphony of ‘heavenly lengths’ (as Schumann described it). But repetition in this case is not a mechanical process, for Abbado draws attention to different aspects of the material second time round.
Indeed, the focus on inner detail is remarkable. A good example is the beautifully phrased slow introduction whose subtlety of projection and variety of instrumental colouring brings it close to the realms of chamber music. Abbado does not flinch from exploring the music’s darker undercurrents in this vivid live recording, but an overwhelming message of optimism comes through in the invigorating closing bars.
Wilhelm Furtwängler (conductor)
Berlin Philharmonic (1952)
DG 427 4052
It is remarkable that a recording made over 60 years ago still has so much to say to us today, but Wilhelm Furtwängler’s early 1950s performance with the Berlin Philharmonic holds a hallowed status among all the interpretations. Working on the basis that the symphony stands at the cusp of Romanticism, Furtwängler makes the stylistic links to Bruckner especially tangible in the funereal tread of the slow movement and the bucolic power of the Scherzo. Inspired by Schumann’s claim that the symphony explores unprecedented regions of experience, he creates some magical moments of repose, such as halfway through the slow movement where mysterious strings are placed against a repeated pedal note on the horn.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (1992)
Before recording a cycle of the Schubert symphonies with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the early 1990s, Nikolaus Harnoncourt undertook a study of the manuscripts, seeking to amend performance instructions that had crept into the score over two centuries. In lesser hands, such an exercise would appear stultifying. But Harnoncourt was too instinctive a musician to allow dogma to get in the way of creative interpretation.
The most striking aspect of this performance is his insistence on the lightest possible articulation which enables the wind and brass to cut through the texture in fully scored passages to thrilling effect. Adopting tempos that are swift yet fluid, he gives an account that achieves an ideal balance between the Romantic and Classical features of Schubert’s work.
Daniel Barenboim (conductor)
In his 1986 recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Barenboim tries to emulate Furtwängler by adopting a monumental Brucknerian approach to the score. Unfortunately, he does not display the innate understanding of structure that makes the other so compelling, and the slow tempos in the first three movements sound ponderous. Although the orchestra is woken up in a furious Finale, your patience may have worn thin by this stage.
Despite the Korean war, the Suez crisis, and the Cuban revolution, the 1950s is often remembered as America’s age of innocence. Thanks to a growing middle class and a consumerist boom many citizens of the United States felt a sense of security in their socially conservative society, threatened only by the steady eastern breeze of communism. Rock ’n roll had broken into mainstream media, and, with it, the romantic notions of teenage lust, love and rebellion that would come to define youth culture in the 20th century.
Although often contemporary in their setting, the films of David Lynch bask in the rose-tinted haze of sleepy small-town living. In his alternate universe, time seems to fold in on itself, collapsing the years onto one another until an eerie temporal disorientation is achieved. But it’s not simply innocence that Lynch is interested in – rather the corruption of it, his work pitting clean-cut characters against a world filled with misery and perversion; blurring the lines until morality becomes terrifyingly hard to discern.
If you know the imagery of Lynch, you know the sound of Julee Cruise. Alongside the instrumental work of Angelo Badalamenti, her voice has been a cornerstone of the filmmaker’s soundscape since lending its ethereal tone to ‘Mysteries of Love’ – a song written to replace This Mortal Coil’s ‘Song to the Siren’ in Lynch’s 1986 suburban nightmare, Blue Velvet. Taking a prominent place in the film’s final scenes, the dreamy composition earned a cult following and struck on a near-perfect symbiosis of image and sound.
Iowa-born Cruise had met Italian-American composer Badalamenti in a Broadway theatre workshop, both being veterans of performance and having helped stage a Janis Joplin revue together. Badalamenti had previously soundtracked films such as Gordon’s War and Law And Disorder in the 1970s and received little acclaim, but in 1986 an opportunity arose when he was hired by Lynch as a vocal coach to Blue Velvet’s seductive star Isabella Rossellini. Throughout production Cruise’s talent became an essential part of the director and composer’s nascent mythology that would later reach its zenith on the cult TV series, Twin Peaks.
Sensing they were onto something special, the trio combined forces to help create polymath Cruise’s first full-length musical release. Lynch, who claimed to have “$700,000 in the bank” following Blue Velvet, hoped to creatively shape the album by contributing his lyrics and ideas. As Cruise recalls, his direction was a necessary influence: “When David came into the studio it made a big difference. It was really a great team because Angelo and I are so malleable and so good at being chameleons.” Lynch’s lyrical style drew on the romantic, lonely, and slightly surreal atmosphere he had honed on his recent masterpiece – often dwelling on themes of abandonment and lust leading naïvety astray.
Album opener ‘Floating’ benefits particularly from the unique strengths of each contributor. Cruise’s somnambulant croon is a siren call, obscured by an impenetrable mist that only heightens her ethereality, whilst Lynch’s fatalistic lyrics toy with the well worn cliché of love as a burning, mesmerising flame. Meanwhile, the phantasmagoria of Badalamenti’s music takes the listener into the heart of the Overlook ballroom, evoking a sense of faded revelry that would later become a hallmark of his lounge jazz compositions such as ‘Audrey’s Dance’ and ‘Dance of the Dream Man’. The overall effect is arresting, tapping into a nostalgia for a time that, for many of us, is completely unknowable.
Floating Into The Night’s most popular song, ‘Falling’, would be the gateway to Lynch’s next major project. Badalamenti had created the melodramatic musical sequence that would become the Twin Peaks title theme in response to the directors prompt of a young girl alone in the woods at night. In its album incarnation (released before the show) Cruise’s voice blends seamlessly with the synthetic bliss of Badalamenti’s composition, embodying the sweet vulnerability of teenage bewilderment. After its Grammy-winning instrumental became an iconic introduction to the show in 1990, the singer’s original became an unexpected global success, charting in fourteen countries worldwide, including Australia, where it peaked at number one in April 1991.
For better or worse, Twin Peaks would come to define the legacy of Floating Into The Night and the future of Cruise’s professional life. She appeared in the surreal soap-opera herself several times as a musical guest at the town’s smokey nightspot, The Roadhouse, and subsequently became a cult figure for diehard fans of the show (which was cancelled after just two seasons). Cruise has since held a complicated relationship with its legacy, grateful for the continued fanaticism of its audience yet wary of the pressures Twin Peaks has placed on her: “I don’t want that responsibility”. But despite the overbearing influence of Lynch and Badalamenti on her initial two album run, Floating Into The Night is undoubtedly Cruise’s shining moment. A captivating and evocative vocal talent, she imbues its leading role with the beguiling quality that makes the trio’s work so incredibly singular.
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