This is a journey into sound… From the harmony of the planets to the sound of hell; from white noise to treble culture: we’re picking up good vibrations….
Looking beyond the hype and the hyperbole of the pop charts, we instead examine the science and the magic of music making. We cover subjects as disparate as Aphex Twin’s robot maker, Godfried-Willem Raes, the field recordings of ex-Cabaret Voltaire member Chris Watson, the Shipping Forecast and yes, even the odd hurdy-gurdy.
The issue also boasts interviews with some of the world’s best musicians and instrument makers, including the incredible kora player Seckou Keita, piano makers Steinway & Sons and generative music pioneer Dr Mick Grierson. We delve into the obsessive world of the audiophile – whether their area of interest lies in obsolete recording technology or the historically accurate harpsichord performances of Linda Nicholson, who boasts one of the finest private collections of early keyboard instruments in existence.
The analogy with craft is a rich one: Andrew Weatherall, the legendary DJ-producer (and ex carpenter) tells us in a rare and exclusive interview how a seemingly throwaway track that took him six hours record ‘hadn’t taken six hours; it had taken 25 years and six hours.’ Likewise, we examine the incredible attention to detail (not to mention tongue-in-cheek humour) behind the serial numbers Factory Records gave to everything they produced.
Elsewhere you will find contributions from musicians including Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl and Pete Wiggs of St Etienne. We celebrate the joy of discovering a lost classic – whether it’s in a secondhand record store or the vaults of a recording studio – and examine how the popular music of the day influences and shapes our fashions and attitudes, from the high street to the coalmine.
Welcome, then, to the Sound & Music Issue. As Jeff Barrett, founder of Heavenly Recordings, so neatly puts it, ‘There’s that necessity to either call it a day or make it brilliant.’