Hot Air label, SPME 2.
Silver-labelled and clear-sleeved, this uncoloured see-through 33-revs seven-inch from 1997 comprises eighty-four locked-to-infinity grooves, each a fragment extracted from a larger work - an isolated sung or spoken "me", in fact.
Some sounds are sufficiently distinctive for straight-off identification : there's Ashes To Ashes; Ian Dury's ...Rhythm Stick; the unmistakable voice of Ivor Cutler; The Seeds' Pushin' Too Hard; Television's Marquee Moon; Magazine's The Light Pours Out Of Me; The Beatles' Help and Come Together. Other locks are irritatingly familiar, real tip-of-tongue-sters : we're teased, tantalised but never presented with enough sonic information for that magical brainbox click we so desire.
Whilst I'm in the dark as to S,H & W's motivation behind the forging of this wonderful plaything of a record, this Pop Quiz gone awry, I'd hazard a guess that it's a sarky comment upon the egomania present in much of popular music - the very me, me, me of it all, if you like. Then there's that age-old question of how literally we take the narrator - should we have belief in them, view their words as autobiographical; or is what's in the grooves all just pretence, stuff which presses all the required emotional and consequently commercial buttons ?
I very much enjoy listening to these locks - in particular, the little shard of Marquee Moon has an incredible relentless energy when on ad infinitum repeat. Quite a contrast with the dynamics of its original near-ten minute parent.
I notice that this is the third record in this journal thus far featuring The Beatles, Favorite Recorded Scream and the Roger Miller release being the others, though the latter only incorporates pre-track crackle from a Fabs disc.
Images : http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=209384.