Sunday, 27 March 2011

Look At Me, I Own Records! #4 - Audio Antihero

We’re continuing this fabled journey into people’s record collections…sadly we’ve hit rock bottom and are now looking at mine. Mine isn’t as exciting as other people’s as I don’t really faff around with limited editions or first pressings or anything…I just own some frickin’ wicked albums.
I’m going to plug my own records too. You’ve been warned.

Makes this worth doing?
I present you with the records that vinyl was made for!
Curtis MayfieldShort Eyes OST
A harrowing commercial flop of a beautiful record to soundtrack a hugely unpleasant film about a paedophile’s journey in jail. It is not easy.
Isaac HayesHot Buttered Soul & Shaft OST
Albums you can have on CD for years and know backwards…but when you see them on vinyl…the journey begins again.

First I bought and can still find…
Limp BizkitChocolate Starfish & The Hot Dog Flavoured Water
Screw you guys, I was 13. I think prior to this I had owned a lot of Now That’s What I Call Music’s, a cassette single by Warren G, my dad bought me Busta Rhymes’ “Extinction Level Event” and I also got Metallica’s “Black Album” on cassette at some point (on the grounds that ECW wrestler The Sandman used “Enter Sandman” for his entrance theme, cleverly) but this was me and my pocket money hitting the streets for the first time. Loved every second of it (except Rollin’) and I probably still do. “SEEMS LIKE I GOTTA DO EVERYTHING MYSELF (MYSELF!).”. £9.99 from a supermarket, yeah boy.

I’ll probably never get rid of these as while they’re the worst records I own they also come from three of the dearest people to me.
WWF SuperstarsSlam Jam
A strange concotion of a dated beat and wrestlers shouting their catchphrases…”I’M THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE!”…Cheers Hittman. I can thank Jonny Blyth for that.
Sting All This Time
To be fair to my beloved mother (a real Mrs Bates), I did ask for this for Christmas once. For some reason, I thought jazzed up versions of Police songs would be great…and maybe they were. But this record just echos ‘stop making music’ – it's blander than wet tofu. Also, why do middle aged men always release crooner records with titles like “All This Time”, “Young At Heart”, “Years Gone By” etc. It just screams ‘HEY, BUY A RECORD FROM THE 70s INSTEAD, THIS WILL BE HORRIBLE AND PROBABLY FEATURE A BEATLES COVER AND PROCESSED DRUMS.’
The CallingWherever You May Go
My charming ex-girlfriend who can be credited with getting me interested in grunge (more interested), Sonic Youth, Pixies albums that weren’t “Doo-Little”, Soul and (not white boy) blues…also bought me a single by The Calling. I’m pretty sure it was my fault though.

Most proud?
Nosferatu D2We’re Gonna Walk Around This City With Our Headphones On To Block Out The Noise
Benjamin ShawI Got the Pox, the Pox is what I Got
Jack HayterSucky Tart
Oh baby! These records make me not hate myself.
I have one or two of each spare, so if you wanted to buy them from me I guess that would be okay…BANDCAMP.

Most DIY?
Broken ShoulderBroken Shoulderrr
Audio Antihero were very proud indeed to release the Broken Shoulder record digitally but even better than us is the handmade CDR you can buy direct from the artist (with an instant download off us). Every edition was hand drawn by the man’s busy hands. You should probably buy that too…BANDCAMP.

Favourite album cover?
Bruce SpringsteenNebraska
If you stare at it long enough you’ll be there, behind that lonesome wheel, thinking of Maria…”Mr State Trooper…please don’t stop me…”.

Worst Cover?
Gary NumanBerserker & The Fury
I love Gary Numan and “Berserker” is really good but when he ‘took control’ of his marketing, he did some really strange things image wise. More power to him…but Jesus.

Ugliest album?
A rushed collaboration between a typically bored Mike Patton and Masami Atika…the music never made much of an impression (and then I lost the disc). However it has to be the ugliest album I own? I don’t want to be called a prude or anything (though I am) but EWWW.

Most expensive?
William Shatner“LIVE”
I went mental for Shatner’s “Has Been” album and collaborations with Fear Of Pop and Lemon Jelly…but this is an oddity. A vinyl LP of Shatner talking and acting…he’s just up there charming folks, telling them about the new Star Trek film and acting out some scenes he likes from things. I can’t say I listen to it a lot…but why not, eh?
I probably spent £30 on it…which isn’t that much by muso standard…but quite a lot by mine, given that I blow all my money on Audio Antihero records that no one buys!

Similar to before…A ‘white label’ trance remix of the Fear Of Pop collaboration between Ben Folds and William Shatner. How did I ever come to own a white label anything? It’s pretty nice though…

Most bizarre?
Martini RanchHoly Cow
An 80s Rock & Pop record featuring actor Bill Paxton on vocals, I guess…? It actually has its moments. I recommend enduring this classic:
Wartime Fast Food For Thought
I think Henry Rollins is the coolest guy….but the man sometimes lets his sincerity get in the way of good taste. This a strange bass-led collaboration between Rollins and Andrew Weiss…touching on rap and 80s bleepery, it’s hard to tell where the parody begins and ends. But I kind of like it actually, unless you go places I don’t, you probably won’t hear a lot of records like this and for that it deserves some credit.. God bless 90s major labels for funding such insane stuff.
The Golding Institute’sFINAL RELAXATION
Released on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label…this spoken record is designed to slowly will its listener into killing themselves. The booklet even gives you the opportunity to sign away all your belongings to The Golding Institute. It’s genius…but I’m never going through it again. The words still creep into my mind when I lie awake at night…

Most stolen?
BlondieParallel Lines
Fleetwood MacRumours
Carol KingTapestry
Sorry mum and dad but since I moved out, these couldn’t be more mine if I peed on them territorially. Brilliant they are too.

Most influential?

Sub Pop VariousFuck Me I’m Rich
The screeching debut from Nirvana and a Sub Pop sampler starring Mudhoney, Tad, Soundgarden, Blood Circus and Swallow and featuring the words “Once upon a time, Seattle opened its legs and fucked the world.” – perfect.
If you want to get an idea how deep this influence runs…take a look at our upcoming release from Wartgore Hellsnicker “Moderate Rock” – STREAM & PRE-ORDER NOW. It is SHAMELESS (art wise, the music is immense). An ex-Sub Pop intern bought the Nosferatu D2 album, you can guarantee I high-fived someone over that.

Guiltiest pleasure?

Phil CollinsFace Value
Actually, I feel no guilt. TO HELL WITH YOU.

Most unlistenable?
Joy DivisionOut Of The Room
Turns out all bootlegs aren’t lost classics. I bought this in Notting Hill and was very proud to do so…but good lord it really is a big load of old fuzz. HOWEVER, the masterful “Ceremony” still cuts through (and reminds us that the best thing New Order ever did was a Joy Division cover. Suck on that everyone else.).

All I’ve really wanted to do since shaving my head for charity?
Dischord Various20 Years of Dischord
I have desired ever since to get punk as fuck with Minor Threat and State of Alert…and I have done so, man. I really miss my hair.

Most “I am better than you”?
Tempertwig / Air FormationSplit single
Before there was Nosferatu D2 there was Temptertwig. They released a 7 inch single that a few people bought. It’s Adam & Ben Parker plus a bassist. At one point they even had a second guitarist. It’s really good and I feel quite priveliged to have a copy. It makes me ever more frustrated that I could never afford to press any Nosferatu D2 to vinyl. Maybe one day, if they’ll let me.

Most historical?
Nosferatu D2 - Demos
The blue CDR is one that Ben Parker was kind enough to post to me when I nagged him enough and the other was given out at their gigs for awhile, I got mine the last time I saw them at a wee pub in Croydon. They’re CDRs so they’re slowly but surely eating themselves away…but I’m totally keeping them in THE VAULT.
Come over sometime and I might let you see 'em.
I have a similarly lovely CDR from Benjamin Shaw too but he burnt it wrong and didn't realise so I can't actually listen to it. It's just like Ben, really. He's all about the flash, never about the content.

If anyone wants to show me how this is done then e-mail me at info AT audioantihero DOT com about making it happen.
Never Say DIY!
Jamie – Audio Antihero: Specialist in leaving my CDs face up.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Look At Me, I Own Records! #3

Part 3 in our internationally recognised new feature, delving into the sometimes interesting record collections of the sometimes interesting people.

THIS TIME it comes from Kim Monaghan; the head honcho of Daddy Tank Records (who released the excellent Social Studies record, which was rocked in the Audio Antihero's "Never Say DIY! Radio") and also writer for Right Where You Are Sitting Now (where he has written reviews...nay, poems, of our catalogue ranging from adoring to civilised).

Let's see what he's got that's worth nicking...

First record bought (and I still have it) : Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates of Dawn. I wrote my name on this because Cd’s cost a small fortune at the time. The first record I actually got bought for me was Off TheWall by Michael Jackson. I don’t have it anymore.

Worst record I have : The Timelords - Doctorin’ The Tardis. A grotesque mash up of the Doctor Who theme and some Gary Glitter song, by the blokes that were the KLF; I thought it would be funny. It was when I was 12 but not now.

Most proud of : Adult. – The Decampment Trilogy. A trio of 7” in a limited edition of 100 copies, each one came with a signed print by the vocalist Nicola Kuperus who is also an amazing photographer. Not their best music but an amazing thing to have.

Strangest and most obscure : H.R.T 7” which is unplayable. They’re a sort of performance art type thing with cloaks and rituals and stuff. It came with photos of them dressed as clowns and a badge. I love the fact that it warns you of damage to your record player if you attempt to play it.

Most expensive and most envied : Saint Etienne – Who Do You Think You Are ? (Aphex Twin Remix) White Label Promo. Not Aphex Twin’s best remix but one of the rarest things I own. If someone actually tried to play it I would have some sort of seizure. I only handle it in one of those special boxes with gloves that they use for radioactive stuff.

The record I would buy for a friend : Social Studies – Proxemics (editors note: it's really good). I am never quite able to comprehend the fact that I have this album on my label. It’s just so breathtakingly good. The day I listened to the first copy of this album when I got it back from the printers was one of my happiest and proudest moments.

Best named and also worst cover : Christmas Baubles And Their Strange Sounds. These are Russian electronica wizards who released a few amazing things (“Tuner” and “Reframing”). Then they released an album of nonsense noises and insane beats with the worst name ever (it’s the English translation of Elochnye Igrushki which is initialized as E.U (weird huh ?)) and it has a picture of a Japanese lady in a pretty dress giving birth rather violently to a squid. They never really recovered.

Too scratched to play, to loved to let go : V Classic box set. Every tune on this first LP from V Recordings is an absolute legend. Drum and bass hasn’t aged well but this has.

Most heard : Iron Maiden – Killers. I probably listen to this once a week. It makes me want to cry tears of blood and rip my denim jacket (with a patch on the back) off and scream “N.W.O.B.H.M !!!!!” to the heavens. When I die I want to my coffin to be set on fire and catalpulted into the sea while they play “The Ides of March”.

Guilty pleasure and when I’m in that mood : Altern 8 – Full On Mask Hysteria. Look at it. It’s the best picture disc you’ve ever fucking seen isn’t it. Yes, it is. And it’s mine. And you know what ? It sounds even better than it looks. Total rave genius.

Most difficult : Cleric – Regressions. This album is astonishing in every possible way; unmatched in brutality and mind-blowingly innovative. It blows everything else I’ve ever heard out of the water. I think I actually love this band more than Lightning Bolt and that’s very difficult for me to say.

The other contender for most difficult album would be Mike Patton – Adult Themes For Human Voice. This is forty odd tracks of Patton losing his mind in hotel rooms and screeching, wailing and burbling into a tape recorder. Impossible.

Thanks Kim!

I would advise having a look at his label and taking pleasure in his discoveries.

If you want to contribute then please let me know at

Jamie - Audio Antihero: Specialists in Commercial Suicide