Haunted Grams and the British Library

Photo by Mr. Nigel Bewley

This redoubtable fellow is Mr. Alex Wilson of the British Library, here taking delivery of the last remaining copy of The Ghosts Of Bush‘s original pressing (last seen fetching what Kool G. Rap might call ‘Bugs Bunny Money’ on Ebay) to add to their Sound Archive. This venerable institution contacted me recently to ask if they might take posession of a vinyl copy to include in their vast store of cultural treasures, and I was delighted and humbled to oblige; partly because of the honour of having my work preserved here long after I’ve shuffled off to that great fog patch in the sky and partly because the British Library has some recordings in it’s collection that I’m rather keen to lay my grubby mitts on…

In case Mr. Wilson looks familiar, I should tell you that as when not tending the archive for future generations, he is also co-founder and curator of the Public Information label; which for my money is one of the most exciting imprints around at the moment. Only a handful of releases old, but boasting work by almost-forgotten Radiophonic Pioneer Fred Judd, the ever-brilliant Ekoplekz and most recently this compilation of 70s and 80s tracks from the Parry Music Library in Canada, crammed full of breezy and optimistic vintage electronic doodles that all sound like they ought to be soundtracking a corporate video in heaven. It also wins my highly-coveted ‘sleeve of the year’ award for this little beauty:

Better snap up that repress pretty sharp-ish when it arrives, I can tell you!

Many thanks to Alex, Cheryl, Paul and Nigel for a warm welcome (and a free lunch!). The Sound Archive’s blog is well worth checking out, as is their ‘Secret Songs of Birds‘ CD. You won’t believe what a Grasshopper Warbler sounds like at 32% of it’s normal speed!

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While we’re on the subject of archives, I’ve dug rather deeper than usual into my own and put together this special mixtape of 78rpm records to celebrate my new-found immortality (of-sorts). I had originally issued this with the strict proviso that it was only to be played on the occasion of the listener’s 78th birthday, but I quickly realised there was no practical way of my enforcing this. Besides, I had a very excitable response on Twitter from someone pertaining to be the actual Sean Connery, and quickly realised that the world simply wouldn’t wait that long…

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