Matt: I only feel I really have an album or single if it’s the vinyl pressing of it. When I’m in the studio, I think in sides….side one…end of side two….whether it’ll be an E.P and so on. I would do, I was brought up with Garrard turntables and 45rpms… Hello Susie on pink Immediate….I’ve Been A Bad Bad Boy on black and silver Columbia….Lps by T Rex on Fly….I used to come home of a lunchtime from junior school and play records backwards as well as forwards…I was obsessed at an early age with the grooves, the needle, the then stacking mechanism on many a Dansette….I would burn an extra hole off centre to see what it did the the song….which would usually ruin it….I would paint a record a colour thinking it would still be playable….I even thought that the run out grooves would eventually take all the song away and leave the disc blank….as I say, I was obsessed with them.
Nothing has changed…other than not wrecking them out of curiosity. Now they are handled with much care and stacked upright although I still sit and examine them…sometimes they actually get played as well…
I’ve released four solo records. I sat in on the lacquer cutting of the first three right down to how long each gap should be before the next track came in. It was important to me and it felt the album was only official once I could see the actual grooves of the songs in front of me.
Which is why when it came to my fourth album Wake Up The Moths and there would only be a CD release of it that I never felt it was properly official… until now that is.
As I write this there are two heavy test pressings sitting in the music room of that fourth album while Plane Groovy press up the coloured vinyl version with, finally, a real sleeve..as in a 12″ one with an insert. The album is, in my view, official at last and after hearing the test pressing and seeing the songs as grooves for the first time in nearly a decade of it’s original release I am very very happy. When I played the record the other day I actually got to hear it in it’s full range. The digital roof had been removed to reveal a depth and width that was always trying to get out but never managed to. It feels unlocked and liberated. Chris at Plane Groovy put a lot of effort a enthusiasm into making this happen and I really feel it was worth it. I’ll be hand numbering the album when they arrive in the next week or so. What I won’t be doing is painting it a colour or burning an extra hole in it…although I can’t guarantee I won’t be staring at it for a while…….