Passed away to the B-Side: why cremate when you can BE the groove eternal?


The British company And Vinyly, who rewrote the well known RIP (Rest in Peace) to RIV — Rest in Vinyl. Specifically: the ashes of the deceased are processed into a working vinyl record. The simplest version costs $3,100, but that will get you 30 vinyl copies (enough for friends and relatives) onto which music or a recorded message can be pressed. One particularly spooky option: opt against a song or message and leave only the eerie crackling of ash to be heard on the blank disc.

Of course, it can all get much more extravagant. For $786, you can get a custom tune composed; and for a bit more cash, you can circulate your records in shops around the world….

Personally, the idea of being distributed into record stores around the world is kind of enticing. Records are natural testaments of the dreams of their creators, why not make them literal testaments of the creators themselves?

the sound and the chocolate

Fife [Scotland] baker Ben Milne may be used to his friends Ziggy and Tommy making sweet, sweet music, but now he’s given it a go himself with the creation of a playable 7 inch single made entirely of chocolate.

The delicious record, which plays a recognisable version of Anti-Climb Paint by Edinburgh-based band Found, works on all record players and is completely edible. Even the paper label can be eaten.

The idea came to baker Ben when he and his friends from the band decided to do something together. His first attempt saw him pour molten chocolate on to a regular vinyl disc, but he found out that it played the reverse of the song.”

[He ultimately used the same template that the vinyl discs themselves are pressed from].

Either I’m hungry or this is really sexy.  A couple of issues, though:  I imagine you could only play the record like twice before the soft chocolate grooves degrade to the point of becoming unlistenable, and the chocolate would probably REALLY jack up your needle.  Super cute though.  Party/Wedding favor?

more from Scotland’s STV website, including video of the record playing.

Is Buying Records online Ironic?

“But ponder the process: You (we) go into the digital ether — probably after downloading a track or streaming a video of what we’re about to buy — and order some other person to mail us a piece of 1890s technology. In return, we give them digital payment information which they then use — working in that same newfangled ether — to make our digitally stored money numbers get smaller and theirs larger. All this high-tech action for an old-school piece of plastic.

Then there’s the phonograph technology itself, which is of course the epitome of analog: A needle runs along a groove cut into a piece of vinyl, then sends out a signal based on its tiny movements. Yet somehow this technology — which is older than airplanes, television, transistor radios, the modern map of Europe, women’s suffrage, and lots of other things we take for granted — is still the preferred way of listening to music for a lot of people. The Internet hasn’t changed shit — it just gets the records to our doorstep faster, and lets us buy ones the local shops don’t have.”

—from Ian S. Port, SF Weekly

Record as Art at Art Basel

Any vinyl aficionado knows that it’s no stretch of the imagination to consider the Vinyl Record as art. From the large-form packaging, to the myriad tints and swirls of color possible on pressings, to the actual sound held within the grooves, record albums offer a lovely mixed media opportunity for expression. A recent article on discusses an annual artist’s record pop-up shop called Art Records found at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

What was the inspiration
for the idea behind Art Records?

As a 20th century artifact, the
vinyl record is heavy with symbolism, and various of its features have prompted
a host of artists to employ it as an artistic medium: its comparatively
inexpensive production costs, ease of distribution, and undeniable conceptual
qualities. In the first show, the decision to present works by only a very few
artists was aimed at generating a more systematic interpretation of these
various themes and illustrating that artists exploit every single aspect of the
vinyl disc – from recording possibilities to covers, from pressing to printing,
from audio to visual.

Can you give some specific
examples of how artists have used the vinyl record in different genres of

A case in point was, for instance,
the series of nine 45 rpm records created by Jack Goldstein in 1976 on the basis
of sound effects used by Hollywood film studios: the wind dying away (“Dying
Wind”), the crash of falling trees (“Three Felled Trees”), and the roar of a
tornado (“The Tornado”) are early attempts at Appropriation art. Christian
Marclay explores the various qualities of the platter-shaped object in his
famous “Record without a Cover” (a sleeveless record that develops individually
as it is subjected to wear), one-sided records, records with spiral grooves, or
with the help of pick-ups repositioned on the turntable. Rodney Graham’s dual
focus on music and films since the 1970s has had a very productive effect on his
record productions: the pieces he composes and plays slot into the narrative
world of his visual work. For Jutta Koether, as for Steven Parrino, with whom
she has frequently collaborated in concert and on record, rock music is likewise
inseparably connected with the painting, film, and installation work – different
techniques whose mutual enrichment is the linchpin in a relationship to the
world. Genesis P-Orridge embodies the musical side of this relationship: amid
the radical cultural movements of 1960s and ‘70s Britain, he founded a
performance group, Coum Transmissions, subsequently enjoying a successful career
in the punk-rock scene with Throbbing Gristle and later with Psychic TV. In the
1990s, many artists turned to electronic music as a supplementary, parallel, or
principal form of artistic production: for example, Carsten Nicolai, whose
Raster-Noton label is a very active arena for electronic minimalism, uses
processed digital sounds to compose works that are equally effective as
sculptures and installations in questioning the creative potential of the codes
that surround us.

What types of works are in
this year’s Artists Records exhibit?

After this initial exhibition we
continued to develop relationships with contemporary producers, collectors, and
sellers, and built this unique resource as a “pop-up” shop that only exists for
a week in the Basel art fair. So now we have hundreds and hundreds of artist’s
records, tapes, CDs, etc. It goes from Yves Klein’s recording of the void to New
Humans’ latest releases, passing through Marclay’s, Yoko Ono’s, or Cage’s famous
records, but as well Tobias Bernstrup’s, the whole program of Christmas music by
Villa Magica Records, and so many other things.




iPad app parrots a good old record player (pops and all)

A new app for Apple’s iPad called VinylLove is sort of like virtual reality: sort of realistic, but just fake enough to remind you why you dig real life in the first place. VinylLove is an app that displays your mp3’s “cover art” as something you can “flip” through in a pixelated “crate” (awwwww…), and even super-imposes crackles and pops onto your tracks as you play them to supposedly add depth to your listening experience.  I have thousands of records, and though my threshold for such surface noise is probably higher than your average digitalphile, I don’t think that such noise is what creates the fabled analog warmth.  My most satisfying record listening experiences lack any noticible extraneous noise.  The whole thing smacks of a gimmick, like a New Kids on the Block pillowcase circa 1990.  Besides, I like to flip through great big obsolete records… (not scroll down a screen).

Speaking of gimmicks… isn’t this mug (by Sunart) cute?

from The Boston Globe: “Groove is in the art”

On the screen, a man with a sharp knife taped to his face chops an apple on a moving turntable. It’s an odd and twisted moment. So is another, of the same guy, burying a record player in a shallow grave. The dirt suffocates a syrupy, candy pop song.

“I only use records I hate,’’ said the Japanese artist Taiyo Kimura, explaining the contents on the screen as he stood in [Boston’s] Institute of Contemporary Art earlier this week.

“Haunted by You,’’ his short film, is just one of more than 100 pieces in “The Record: Contemporary ART and VINYL,’’ which opens today at the ICA….. click here for more….

“Vinyl Gets its Groove Back” from

In a world where advancing technology is the indication of progress in the arts – books and magazines are being replaced by e-readers and iPads and telephones that aren’t “smart” have become historical artifacts – where does nostalgia fit in?  Apparently, it’s found a nice home in the music industry, where record sales– of actual vinyl LPs and EPs— have been experiencing a renaissance.

Read more:

a groove. a print. a chair

009 Textiles, a West London based fabric design company has created this furniture homage to wax. The print consists of various vinyl singles against a white background, with the labels of each record adding splashes of colour to the design. Pretty cool.  I think I could co-sign on this if it came in a different background color.  White is kinda hard to live with in the real world.  The chair is available to buy from the My Deco Boutique for £2,382

just saying.

According to recent Nielsen SoundScan numbers, vinyl was the fastest-growing musical format in 2010, with 2.8 million units sold in the U.S. alone, the format’s best year since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991.  A drop in the bucket perhaps; but also pretty amazing considering plummeting CD sales.  Besides, those number account only for NEW pressings of both new and old releases.  Old school vintage vinyl sales were, of course, much higher.