An Introduction

I first became interested in 4AD, a UK independent record label founded in 1980, towards the end of the '80's. I was falling in love with the music of Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, Pixies, Bauhaus and The Birthday Party and was surprised when the 4AD label sampler "Lonely Is An Eyesore" came out in 1987 that all these bands were from the same label.

After visiting a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition of some American's collection of art, I came to thinking of all this musical art that 4AD have released that may one day drift into obscurity unless someone shows it as art. So now I'm on a crusade, to collect the first ten years of 4AD's releases and exhibit the collection on 4AD's 50th anniversary in 2030. This is a big task which will have some interesting twists and turns along the way.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The frightening bit

Hello again. Why the title? Because one of the points of this blog, is for me to make a statement that then makes it more of a promise to you, the reader, of an intent. If I make a statement to do something on here, I’m more pressured to follow it through.

So what is my promise?

Well, apart from just collecting the first ten years of 4AD’s releases, and as part of the plan to exhibit the collection in 2030, I wanted to add some interesting elements. 4AD was and is an influential independent record label. Many questions come to mind such as, what are the barriers to starting a record label, how do you find printing presses, how many of a first edition do you print, what happens when the release doesn’t sell, how do you promote each release and distribute it? All these kind of questions would be interesting to know the answer.

It would also be of interest to know how vinyl is made, what does a master look like, what is an acetate, how is it decided to use test pressing for promotional use or make dedicated promotional material? When were CD’s introduced, when was the barcode introduced?

Other information would be interest. For instance, what was it like to work for 4AD, what has happened to the members of the more obscure 4AD bands, how do they feel about being part of the history of a legendary label?

To get all this info is one thing, but it would be a waste if a website wasn’t put together to compile all the data, all the above information, interviews etc.

So I will attempt to gather all this information together, put a database and website together and exhibit.

So you can see why I have planned this far in advance to exhibit in 2030. There’s a lot to get through, especially when you take into account that of the more than 700 releases I’ve compiled so far, I have only collected half this amount. At the moment the list of possible releases for the first decade of 4AD is growing constantly, the goalposts keep moving. I work full time, so my time and money is limited. So 2030 seems more probable.

If anyone can help me with contacts, data or advice it would be greatly appreciated. So thanks for reading and make sure you keep me to my promise. It’s as much about the journey, as the end result.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Added Links

Added a couple of links today. The first is a link to my record collection at discogs. This is in process at the moment. I still partially through putting my collection on there. I've concentrated on my non 4AD stuff first, then when I get to my 4AD collection I will spend more time making sure that all the submission already on this site are absolutely accurate.

The other link is to my band's site on Myspace. My band is called "Personality Crisis" and along with my fellow band member and best friend we recorded a few songs during the late 90's and early 00's. Let us know what you think. (You can download the tracks for free). I may at some point in the future also add the link to the other band I played for "13 Candles". I played for 13 Candles for two years in the 90's.

So I shall continue to expand my discogs data for now and come back to you soon.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Here We Go Then

First of all I must apologise for my terrible grammar and spelling. I'm not too hot on correct English.

I'll give you a bit of background info on myself first if I may. I got into music as an early teen. My first love was synth pop. Ultravox, Gary Numan, Thompson Twins. Then at about 14 I started listening to Jean-Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk and Tomita. This got me onto Prog Rock on the one side and strangely Goth on another.

I was very attracted to the Goth culture, the weird and even frightening way folk dressed and the way many goths loved the music wholeheartedly. The first Goth band I got into was The Cure. It was a new slant on the electronic music I was already listening to. I made regular trips to the library and borrowed records what I thought were other Goth bands like Cult, Sisters of Mercy, Mission. Then I borrowed three albums which started my love of 4AD. Treasure by Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance's first album and Medusa by Clan of Xymox. Medusa was an incredible album. Similar to the Cure, and similar to the electronic music of Jarre and Tangerine Dream.

In 1987 I bought a 4AD sampler album called Lonely Is An Eyesore. The wealth of music on this one compilation was incredible. On the album's inner sleeve was a full run down of all releases from 4AD up until 1987. Many were already deleted, which seemed such a shame. But I wondered how cool it would be to have all of those releases.

So this is what I hope to do. I have chosen only the first ten years as this will be a big enough task of it's own. I have listed 720 possible releases already and I'm still adding to this list constently. But I hope to add more detail to this blog over time.

The purpose of this blog is to track my progress towards many goals. Build a website, build a database, reach other enthusiasts, share excitement, and share plans of the big vision to exhibit in years to come. What would be very cool, would be to find a fellow collector that would like to collect the second decade and exhibit their collection along with my own.