Author Archives: ianpreece
I guess if someone put a gun to my head, the third section of my book, Listening to the Wind, Encounters with 21st Century Independent Record Labels, contains some of my favourite music in there — or at least some of the longest-cherished tunes; right back to a first trip to Chicago in 1998. It’s getting slightly crazy, though, that this is the second 3-hour broadcast to accompany the huge loop south from Chicago to Atlanta and Durham/Chapel Hill then up to New York and north of Boston — and I haven’t even finished yet (there’s a final return leg to Chicago still to come). Hats off to Lance and April of Dust-to-Digital in Atlanta who, since featuring in the last broadcast, have released the superlative boxset The Harry Smith B-Sides, taking the trouble to omit the tracks featuring racist language. Also featured here are a few numbers from Unseen Worlds and Temporary Residence in New York, and Important records of Groveland, Massachusetts. It’ll be three years this summer since I conducted these interviews, but this music is for life . . .
I guess when Omnibus hit upon May this year to publish Listening to the Wind: Encounters with 21st Century Independent Record Labels they weren’t counting on a worldwide pandemic closing all bookstores across the planet — but there you have it. Regular listeners will know the book has been brewing for a while, so thanks very much if you get a chance to pick one up (in the UK from either Blackwell’s, The Flood Gallery or The Wire bookshop when that reopens; hopefully in all good bookstores worldwide from July). More good timing: just as we emerge from lockdown, here’s a three-hour set that takes in just part of part 3 of the book: the road trip from Chicago down through Cincinnati south to Atlanta and North Carolina, pulling together the likes of Jeff Parker, Angel Bat Dawid, Caroline No, Moses ‘Doorman’ Williams, Paul Bowles’ 1959 recordings from Morocco, Jake Xerxes Fussell and Terry Allen. Scott (International Anthem), Alex (Students of Decay), Lance and April (Dust-to-Digital) and Brendan (Paradise of Bachelors) were all fine and engaging hosts and interviewees. (As was everyone — New York, Massachusetts, Chicago again: next show.) So thanks again to them, and thanks for listening — peace & love in these times. Doug’s mightily expanded part 3 playlist on Spotify is here; the QWFWQ v Silentgroundsman soundclash is here. To paraphrase Ryley Walker — who once scrawled over a copy of one of his lps in a shop, ‘Put this back in the bin, buy Miles Davis Live-Evil instead’ — switch off and tune into these two.
There’s an old Low track with lyrics along the lines of ‘If I’m late, I’ll be later than expected.’ I didn’t really think it would take me going on for three years and a few sleepless nights to write a book about independent record labels — but it has. It’s done — bar the, er, edit. It should be out in the spring (Listening to the Wind, published by Omnibus). But for now, here’s the long-delayed soundtrack to part 2 of my roadtrip talking to cool, interesting, vital, soulful and virtuous independent labels — not overly virtuous, just decent, as in: not cowboys. I say ‘roadtrip’ — and I did get to America, Germany and Africa — but this leg focuses on labels on my doorstep here, or hereabouts, in London. The music of Pressure Sounds, Touch, Zube, Injazero, Heavenly, Rivertones, Arc Light Editions, Clay Pipe and Second Language is all touched upon in nowhere enough depth (Japan Blues are held over for a future ‘world’ show). Here’s a video of the UK I’m channelling:
This one too:
and plenty of this kind of thing
one more because it’s great:
this one, finally
the UK music scene: it’s not just the Beatles and the Stones, Blur or Oasis.
Corrections to the show: I forgot to mention that the very first record is ‘Cell Block 11’ by Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett & Dizzy (7-inch on Dub Store). In the lengthy ‘suite of English pastoralism and vintage electronics’ there’s also a snippet of a 1967 recording, Volume 8 of the Sound Effect Record 7-inch series on EMI, Seaside, ‘Beach Montage, Children’s Voices, Band Playing’. Joe Gibbs is, of course, Joe Higgs (‘Don’t Mind Me’); and David Sheppard is Snow Palms. And the two tunes dedicated to Thurston and Edie are ‘Revolutionary Dream’ by Pablo Moses and ‘Rock Version’ from Rocking Time in Dub, 1970s Versions and Dubs from Bill Hutchinson, King Tubby and Friends, a fine lp on Brooklyn’s Digikiller records, recently picked up from Honest Jon’s.
Thanks for listening/reading, and especially thanks to anyone picking up this show again after a two-year gap.
Third Light Home returns from a road trip down the west coast of America. The first in a new series featuring music from the great independent record labels of the world today! From Tuareg guitar, gritty blues, avant-garde hillbilly and ambient soundscapes to dubby b-sides, Japanese folk and the master, Lee Hazlewood.
Read the full sleevenotes that accompany this show on the Third Light Home Blog