February 19

Back To Black (and Yellow, Green, Red etc)

Although I am now starting to pick up the pace with reading once again, I have struggled to focus on books through the last year. So, rather than fight it, I thought I’d switch gears.

A lifetime ago I used to buy a lot of music. And yet, what with Mixcloud, Soundcloud and Spotify, I can’t have picked up more than two or three records in the last fifteen+ years.

Mid-January I found that my decks, which had been working fine, were having some weird objection to playing my beloved and very tatty version of Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book. After fiddling with wires for a few hours, I eventually cracked it – but this has ignited a bit of a mission that has since involved both upping my record game and starting to buy vinyl again.

Apparently the world has gone mad for coloured vinyl and exclusives, presumably in a bid to drive collector demand. And I’m a sucker for that sort of manoeuvre, so I thought I’d showcase some of my purchases over on Instagram, particularly those that are visually striking.

First up though, my head shells (the part of the record arm which houses the stylus) were 20+ years old and in horrible condition, so I’ve finally upgraded.

Having abused my record collection pretty badly over the years (most recently dumping the 50% that I was unlikely to ever listen to again in a skip), I really didn’t think I was the sort of person to buy a record brush or deep cleaner. But apparently I am – and my battered RunDMC and DeLaSoul records might eventually benefit from it (or it might already be too late).

In any case, I’m getting a blast out of listening to music rather than solely mixing and it’s been really fun to reconnect with what was a huge part of my life in my 20s and 30s. More to follow (much more, i suspect)…