The Weekly LP & Singles Platter, Please!…In Memory of Mick Karn (1958-2011)

This is the weekly installment where we recap what we’ve been spinning at The Synthesizer Book headquarters during the week. If it’s on this list, it got played more than once!

Happy New Year!

I’ve been listening to a lot of Vini Reilly this week. A year ago a good friend of mine went to Manchester and brought me back a paperback copy of Mick Middles’ book, Factory: The Story of the Record Label. I’ve taken it on trips a few times, but somehow had never finished it. I’ve used it almost as a reference guide, finding topics and shifting from chapter to chapter. I went through and read all the sections I could find in the index relating to Vini Reilly. Hence, the playing of his records.

1.Durutti Column-LC “Lotta Continua” (1981)
This is the first LP Vini made by himself when the rest of his band decided to exit stage left. He recorded this with the quirky, tumultuous, Martin Hannett. I can only imagine what those 2 looked like in the studio together. Hannet in one corner of the studio with his electronics and synthesizers and Vini being Vini! This features him on vocals, drum machine and of course, guitar. A fantastic record.

2.Durutti Column-The Guitar & Other Machines (1987)
A more electronic affair than his usual recordings during this era. As the title states, this recording features guitar, drum machine and the sampler which just about everyone was starting to rely on.

3.Durutti Column-Vini Reilly (1989)
Before Moby released Play, Vini was using vocal samples in his recordings. This is a great recording and one of my favorites of Durutti Column. This was produced by Reilly and Stephen Street of The Smiths fame. The album features extensive samples, with looped samples of vocalists (including Otis Redding, Tracy Chapman, Annie Lennox and Joan Sutherland).

4.Tame Impala-Innerspeaker
This Aussie band reminds me of the Beatles during their best period…1965-1969. This received quite the critical acclaim in Australia and I missed them when they played locally at the Biltmore Cabaret. Their mix of psychedelia, rock and even hints of pop make this a must listen to recording. They are signed to Modular Recordings and I am looking forward to learning more about this band.

5.L-Vis 1990-Various
Same friend mentioned above put me onto this artist. I like this stuff very much. Its slightly off-kilter beats and electronics sound unique and it’s always looked upon favorably to be introduced to new music by friends I respect.

6.Mick Karn-Each Eye A Path
I found out Mick passed away this week and it affected me very much. I was making breakfast for my boys and checking out my social media accounts when I saw a friend had posted that. I was instantly overcome with emotion. My son noticed it. I explained what had happened. I think he understands mortality, but not perfectly. He said he didn’t know about his music. I liked this album very much when it was released. On our drive to school, this played. RIP Mick Karn.

7.James Blake-Limit To Your Love
Sparse instrumentation…drum machine, piano, a very nice track. In the words of Will Farrow…”Glorious!”

8.Dali’s Car-The Waking Hour
Dali’s Car was a collaboration formed in 1984 by Peter Murphy (Bauhaus) on vocals and Mick Karn on bass, synthesizers, guitars and saxophone. Paul Vincent Lawford provided percussion. The band was formed shortly after Murphy and Karn left their former bands (Bauhaus and Japan, respectively). They recorded one album, The Waking Hour, and released one single, “The Judgement is the Mirror.” The cover of the album features details from Maxfield Parrish’s seminal painting Daybreak.

Rest in peace Mick. You may be gone from this mortal coil, but I assure you, you will never be forgotten.

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