I paid cash money for mp3s – SHOCK CONFESSION

I don’t spend enough time with my records (who does?). Most of my music listening is done on the walk to and from work.

Sitting at home in my cupboard the other night, I discovered that the ace Dug Out label were re-releasing “Hole Up Your Hand” by legendary north London reggae MC Raymond Naphtali on ten inch. Awesome news!

Then I thought about the pile of records in the living room, sitting there. Not exactly unloved, but certainly not attended to very well. And yes, eight quid plus postage is a reasonable amount of cash to lay down for such an item, but it seemed like quite a lot for something I wouldn’t hear that much and would play out even less (if ever – this is the first year for a while that I’ve not taken to the decks. And actually that is OK).

As TIm P over at Dancecrasher pointed out, Honest Jons are doing Dug Out mp3s for 60 pence a pop. Which is frankly a bit of a no-brainer, even for an mp3 sceptic like me. You get them straight away, for cheap, and you are still supporting a great shop and a great label (and presumably the artist/producer as well).

I splashed out on a whole bunch of Dug Out releases, including the stone cold classic “He Was A Friend” by King Kong, which I had also baulked at buying on wax a little while back. It’s a digital lament to the late Tenor Saw which has been much in demand (I think it was even on the notorious Boomshakalacka “Best 100 tunes of the eighties” list?).

All the tunes are great and I have been listening to them repeatedly on the commute. There isn’t the same visceral thrill of holding the vinyl in your hand and lowering the needle, but this lot will do me fine as a compromise.

Then comrade T-woc pointed out on the Blood & Fire forum that Boomkat has bundled up a bunch of “psyche-dub” mp3s as part of their weekly “14 tracks” special. 14 tracks for 7 quid. Seems about right to me.

I’ve been listening to a fair bit of mad stuff recently, so this fitted the bill nicely: some droney, some noisy, some abstract. But all tied together in a bassy, echoey package. Mostly artists I had never heard of – or had heard of, but not got the chance to investigate properly.

Again, high quality stuff for the most part, that I am enjoying wading through. It reminds me of the seminal Macro Dub Infection and Isolationism compilations that Kevin Martin put together for Virgin in the nineties. Dub as process (rather than a genre) which links the outer fringes of all sorts of mindwarping musics. It’s a great bit of curation in fact – something much needed in the avalanche of new things to check out… I’ve now got some new things to investigate and some future purchases to make.

If people keep doing good stuff like this, then I’ll keep supporting it. Hopefully I’ll not be alone in doing that – which means we might have turned quite a significant corner in terms of our little zone of the music industry surviving.



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