4AD in the Early 90s

I used to be a 4AD fan and kept a discography going back in the 80s.  Or 90s, I guess. 

I also used to buy lots of British music papers.

Rooting through the basement storage here today, I found a cache of snipped 4AD-related articles and reviews that I had apparently collected back then, but had never done anything with.  So I thought I’d just scan them and assemble them into PDFs.

The scans should probably be cropped for easier reading, so I was thinking about writing an Emacs-based image cropping mode.  But then I thought “eh”, and wrote this teensy little library that just queries you for file names, and then uses the Gimp to do the cropping.

Gimp supports opening several files “remotely” (i.e., without starting a new instance for every image), so this turned out to be a workable way to, er, work.

The time period turned out to be 1989 to 1993, which isn’t the prime period for 4AD by any stretch of the imagination.  Half the articles are about Lush, I think.  I mean, I love Lush, but, you know.

So there you go.  Enjoy the fabulous early-90s British music journalism.

I should fold these into the general database, but that would mean getting the C++ program I wrote in 1989 to compile now, and that’s not…  fun…

Top 2012 Records

Hey, I wrote that thing that would pick out what albums I play the most.  Perhaps if I point it at 2012, it’ll just list all the best music that I’ve bought this year?

Cat Power Sun
Deerhoof Breakup Song
Django Django Django Django
Björk Biophilia Remixes Part Six
Neneh Cherry & The Thing The Cherry Thing
Thee Oh Sees Carrion Crawler-The Dream
Boris Black Original Remix
Various Bossa Jazz (2)
Various Minimal Wave Tapes Volume 2
Burial Street Halo
Actress Faceless
Hanne Hukkelberg Featherbrain
Leila U&I
Maria & The Mirrors Travel Sex

 Hey! It worked!

 Hm…  I wonder if it’ll be very different if I tell it to list the albums I’ve played most this year, no matter when I bought them.  Let’s see:

Cat Power Sun
Deerhoof Breakup Song
Django Django Django Django
Men Credit Card Babies
Björk Biophilia Remixes Part Six
Neneh Cherry & The Thing The Cherry Thing
Thee Oh Sees Carrion Crawler-The Dream
Various Crammed Global Soundcrash 1980-89, Part 2: Electrowave
Boris Black Original Remix
Joe Jackson Look Sharp!
Men Off Our Backs
Various Bossa Jazz (2)
Various Minimal Wave Tapes Volume 2
Burial Street Halo
Circlesquare The Distance After
Kate Bush 50 Words For Snow

Not a whole lot different. I play newer stuff the most, apparently.

Papp László Budapest Sportarénában

Who knew that Dead Can Dance had so many fans in Hungary that they had to play a sports arena?

I thought the sound was gonna be pretty iffy, but it was the last place in Europe that had tickets available.

The sound wasn’t iffy — it was horrible.

As Concert Goer Guy would say: Worst.  Echo.  Ever.

It was still ridiculously beautiful.  It’s Dead Can fucking Dance, innit?

Special CD

I was ripping CDs tonight, and one was giving me more problems than usual.

It was a cd by the band called disc, which is a Matmos offshoot.

I took the CD out of the drive and stared at it a bit.

Oops.  I think it might be one of those conceptual non-playable CDs.  And how did they make these pre-destroyed CDs?

Very inventive.

Kongsberg Jazz Festival

I’ve been to the Kongsberg Jazz Festival this weekend.

It’s mostly a blur.

I think we saw like a dozen free jazz concerts.  Most of them excellent.

Some stand out in particular.  Like the very quiet and magical John Tilbury concert.  And the very inventive  Augstí Fernández thing.

Oh, and the surprising Selvhenter concert.  And the Per Jørgesen thing.

Trey nice.


I’m going to the I’ll Be Your Mirror thing next weekend.  They’re doing a tape swap thing.  I probably won’t be participating, because I’m lazy, but I did start thinking about what such a tape would consist of.

Fortunately, Emacs has kept track of all the albums I’ve played over the last decade, so I could just let it pick the albums I’ve played most. I’d have to pick the songs myself, though, since it only keeps track of this stuff on a per-album basis.

Here’s the list it came up with.  The most played album per release year.

1957 Sun Ra Sun Song
1958 Kurt Weill Die Dreigroschenoper
1959 Ornette Coleman The Shape Of Jazz To Come
1962 Sheila Jordan Portrait of Sheila
1964 Eric Dolphy Out to Lunch
1965 Bert Jansch Bert Jansch
1967 Shirley Collins The Power Of The True Love Knot
1968 Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell
1969 David Bowie Space Oddity
1970 Vashti Bunyan Just Another Diamond Day
1971 David Bowie Hunky Dory
1972 David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
1973 David Bowie Aladdin Sane
1974 David Bowie Diamond Dogs
1975 Joni Mitchell The Hissing Of Summer Lawns
1976 Joni Mitchell Hejira
1977 David Bowie “Heroes”
1978 Kate Bush The Kick Inside
1979 Talking Heads Fear Of Music
1980 Talking Heads Remain In Light
1981 Japan Tin Drum (1)
1982 Eurythmics Touch
1983 Kate Bush The Dreaming
1984 Eurythmics 1984 (For The Love Of Big Brother)
1985 Kate Bush Hounds Of Love
1986 Tuxedomoon Ship Of Fools
1987 Tuxedomoon Holy Wars
1988 The Cure The Top
1989 Kate Bush The Sensual World
1990 Kate Bush This Woman’s Work II
1991 Pet Shop Boys Behaviour
1992 Jane Siberry When I Was A Boy
1993 Kate Bush The Red Shoes
1994 Joni Mitchell Turbulent Indigo
1995 Moloko Do You Like My Tight Sweater?
1996 Vinicius Cantuária Sol Na Cara
1997 Stephan Mathieu Wurmloch Variationen
1998 Arto Lindsay Noon Chill
1999 Arto Lindsay Prize
2000 Vinicius Cantuária Tucumã
2001 Vinicius Cantuária Vinicius
2002 The Notwist Neon Golden
2003 Other People’s Children Delete.Control.Escape: The Selective Memory of OPC 2000-2003
2004 DJ Rupture 58.46 Radio Mix
2005 Kate Bush Aerial (2)
2006 Arthur Russell Another Thought
2007 Tracey Thorn Out Of The Woods
2008 Laura Jean Eden Land
2009 Circlesquare Songs About Dancing And Drugs
2010 Oneohtrix Point Never Returnal Remix
2011 Men Talk About Body
2012 Actress Faceless