Monday, February 1, 2010

Butterflies Twice in One Day…who knew

Two wonderful things happened today. The first is sort of an update to you on what I've been doing. I can't believe this is my first post of 2010. I've really missed writing on this blog, but my silence here does not mean my keyboard and pen have been neglected. I've been busy writing in other ways. Anyway, this morning, I was gathering up dirty laundry to put in the wash, and as I walked down the stairs I thought about my interview with Marcellus Pittman that I just finished transcribing. It was such a great interview, I thought fondly to myself. He had really great things to say about DJ style, production philosophy, genre, and history. In the split second that all this passed through my head, I felt butterflies float up from my belly to my throat. I felt excited because I knew that I am nearing the end of this phase, nearing the end of the whole research phase and about a month away from entering the…swagger…serious writing stage! I'm really fucking excited to get this thing going. I know it's been a long while since I started and you might be wondering if I'll ever finish. I assure you that I will; there is no question. I decided before moving to Detroit that this is what I was going to do and it will happen. If I was a single woman and not a mother and had no other work to attend to other than my dissertation, I could knock it out real quick. But that's not what I've got going on, so just bear with me and trust that we will see this through. So that's butterflies number one.

The second wonderful thing happened later this evening after the kids were in bed and I was getting ready to do some cleaning up and then some more transcribing. I put on a record that I had been listening to earlier in the day with my boys. It's Ectomorph Destroy Your Power Centers (12", 1999, IT 13). It's not the green vinyl, sorry.

Here are the notes from discogs:

Black vinyl pressing.
There is also a limited pressing on green vinyl

"ectomorph have come to destroy your powercenters. the inequities of this system must be leveled. the power balance in your universe is wrong. we have come to right your many millenia of corrupt behavior. our robots will destroy your way of life."
Subversion/Subversion Dub pressed as double concentric grooves.
Mastered with NSC-X2 Groove Technology at National Sound Corporation, Detroit.

So I played it this afternoon not realizing that there are two tracks pressed onto side A with concentric grooves. I had listened to this record before, but either hadn't heard both "Subversion" and "Subversion (dub)," or I just wasn't paying attention. So the needle got caught into "Subversion" first this afternoon and the beautiful tones of the track's introduction really caught my ears and I said a gentle "oh shit" in my head. I listened to "Subversion" and "(We have come to) Destroy Your Powercenters (beats)" and then flipped to side B. Later in the evening, record still sitting snug on the platter, I started up side A again expecting to hear the melodic tones and sparse bleeps of the introduction. Instead, the needle caught "Subversion (dub)" and I did a sonic double take, wondering if, yet again, I was being a space cadet and hadn't really heard what I heard when I listened to what I had heard…when I heard it. So I took the record off the platter and turned on the ceiling light to get a good look at the grooves. Of course, I couldn't really see anything out of the ordinary; I just thought I'd take a look. I put the record back on with a hopeful suspicion that something awesome was about to be realized (by me). I carefully chose the needle's location so that after I heard the intro, I could consciously place the needle 180 degrees around the record. And I caught both tracks that way and had a delightful freak out! This was the first time I had heard or seen something like this. I mean, I know that there are wonderful things you can do with vinyl, and I've written about some of that here. And this link has got some pretty interesting stuff as well:

After I realized that the concentric groove tracks are both listed on the label of the record, I felt a little bit lame for not noticing this before. But that's okay, sometimes you've got to be new so that you can learn and grow and become not new. These tracks are just so beautiful and moving, literally moving! I'll be listening to this record again tomorrow for sure.


Lisa said...

I always love reading your blog Denise. <3

kent said...

the two coencentric cut thing was done with Monty Python's "Matching Tie And Handkerchief" record, and they released it entirely without any publicity about the cutting stunt.

Since most of us at the time had automatic turntables of some sort, most of us heard only one version of side two, unless we happened to hand cue it, and then got the other. It drove people nuts!

pipecock said...

nice one discovering the concentric grooves thing! i love records ;)

DJ Shiva. said...

Yeah, that is one delightful thing about vinyl. When people get creative with the cutting, all sorts of fun things can happen! :)

I can still remember my first experience with lock grooves. So simple, yet so friggin' AWESOME! :)

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