Porky Prime Cuts

It was Record Store Day last week, and although I kind of missed the boat a bit because I was off running around in the woods, my new-found hunger for vinyl is at a peak. It's a completely childish and uninformed obsession at the moment, which is sometimes the best kind; I know nothing about the pressing process, nothing about what makes my turntable spin, and I am not even going to try and comprehend how a tiny needle can understand and translate all the notes and beats and voices woven into the grooves in that slab of plastic. What I do know is that listening to some of my favourite records on vinyl recently has been like listening to them for the first time again. Hallelujah, I have seen/heard the light!

When I visited my parents recently I dragged an old HMV record player down from the attic with a load of my dad's old LPs and sat on the floor guzzling wine whilst listening to them through the cracked in-built speaker. I felt like a skinny wee boy again trying to digest all this new and fascinating sound: Hendrix, The Beatles, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Crosby Stills and Nash, Joni Mitchell, King Crimson...wolfing it all down. It sounded unreal. (Not just because of the wine.)

My ears have become lazy recently I think. I listen to music all the time, mostly digital. I put my headphones on in the street, in train carriages, anywhere in the real world and I can go somewhere else altogether through music. I still love that, but the easy access to music that I have when it fits in my pocket and is one button away has been chipping away at my attention span, like most of the gadgetry I seem to surround myself with these days. With vinyl I think it's the more physical, more mechanical act of putting on a record that I'm finding so appealing. It requires attention and care, and the records themselves are big enough so that the artwork demands to be looked at. And so I sit and experience the whole record with the whole of my squishy brain and soul, it's not background, it's not distraction, all there is in that speck of time is me and the music, and I hear things I've never heard before. It seems more than ever before like Leonard Cohen is sat strumming away in the same room as me, or like Kate Bush and I are off cavorting together in strange outfits on the same cloud in Magical-Frightening-Ecstatic-Dream-Land.

Yes I am romanticising a bit now. But why not! I'm also already having ideas for the first Little Unsaid vinyl release. Nothing concrete yet, but the ideas are bouncing around like ping-pong balls in there so that's always good. Now I shall go eat some cheese before continuing my night of vinyl binge. Up next, some LPs of Chopin recitals that I found for 20p in a steam-train station shop...

John