My first ever exposure to electronic or synthersiser music was in the unlikely venue of an aunt’s living room somewhere in Middle England. Undoubtedly bored with the family conversation, I snuck off, donned headphones and listened to records on the ‘music centre’. One of the records was a ‘stereo sampler’, a 12″ vinyl record designed to show off the then-new technology of stereophonic sound recording. Among the tracks was the senimal Kraftwerk track, Autobahn. I can still recall the sensation of the ‘cars’ on the track ‘driving’ from one ear to the other and back again.
During a recent exchange about music in general and electronic music in particular, Dave of funkypancake mentioned a few online on demand music sites that I might like to try. As Spotify has yet to find Aotearoa on the map, I have been trying out We7 (wee-seven) instead and very good it is too. While the range of available music doesn’t always match what I’m after, there’s plenty to keep me happy.
When we emigrated, I carefully packed up the best part of thirty year’s vinyl and given I currently have no turntable on which to play my collection. With the help of We7, I’m enjoying listening to on demand versions of all those LP albums, 7″ B-sides and 12″ single remixes I have tucked away – readers under 30 might like to ask their parents what these are.
One interesting discovery in all this audiophiliology is how my long-held perceptions about certain tracks are not always in sync with reality. For instance, listening through Replicas by Tubeway Army once again, I am struck by the fact that they were really more of a post-punk New Wave guitar, bass and drum combo with a Mini-Moog than the full-blown synthesizer band of my memories.
Elsewhere on the site, I’ve found the ‘The Sole Inhabitant’ live concert versions of Thomas Dolby‘s ‘The Golden Age of Wireless’ tracks. So familiar from years of listening, they now sound new, different and more rounded in these later versions. This and the deft touches he brings to his songs, like weaving the Martin Luther King speech snippet into ‘The Flat Earth’, will surely mean that Dolby will never be the nostalgia act so many of his contemporaries have become.
Categorised as: Music