Is There an MD in the House?

No, I’m not sick or injured – not physically, anyway; the MD I’m referring to is the MiniDisc.

According to the US Postal Service’s online tracking system, I should receive my copy of Asobi Seksu‘s Fluorescence LP – the limited edition (1500 copies), 180 gram, clear pink vinyl version – in this afternoon’s post.

This is the first record I have purchased since buying the Human League The Lebanon 12″ single in 1984, and I have done so despite my neither owning a turntable nor understanding why vinyl is in such demand. This bit of pink plastic is, however, not the first in what looks likely to become my new record collection.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine ordered copies of Screen Vinyl Image‘s Interceptor album as well as the Ceremony/Screen Vinyl Image Split 12″ for me as a “thank you” present for doing him a favor. This same friend then sent me his extra copy of the 12″ Pallers Humdrum EP; I have no idea what it sounds like. Then last year, while going through my recently deceased mother’s effects, I came across several “wallets” full of 45s, and among them I found my copies of The BeatlesThe Ballad of John and Yoko / Old Brown Shoe and Hey Jude / Revolution singles. Unfortunately, when my brother annexed my collection after I left for university, he took the 45s out of their covers and put them into “wallets”, so now I need to buy a couple of covers.

I also have the beginnings of a cassette tape collection – thanks, once again, to Screen Vinyl Image and their cassette only release, Ice Station. So, guess what other piece of stereo equipment I no longer own? That’s right, a cassette player – receiver, amplifier, or speakers, would also have been correct answers.

Apparently, SVI are not alone in their desire to resurrect ancient technologies. A few weeks ago, Cous pointed me toward several interesting artists on Bandcamp, and I soon discovered that they all had connections to Free Loving Anarchists, a label based in Houston, Texas that features quite a few cassette only releases. Some of the music is experimental noise, but there are some very Shoegaze-like songs to be found there as well. I’d recommend checking out their bandcamp page.

Since Jake has hinted that there is some new music from Screen Vinyl Image on the horizon, I’m half expecting him to take the next step in the logical progression through the various personal music formats and make it a MiniDisc only release. I no longer own a MiniDisc recorder/player, but I would love to see them make a comeback. The MiniDisc was, hands down, the best and most versatile of all the personal music players prior to the iPod’s introduction. It could do everything a cassette could do, everything a CD-RW could do, and some things that neither of them could do – reorder song playback without re-recording for one, but it never caught on in the U.S., and that was a real shame.

Now that my iPod has decided it would rather be a pocket-sized version of my life than just a mere music player, I’m beginning to long for a return to the days when phones were used to make and receive calls, and personal music players played music. Slap one of the new, long-lasting, rechargeable batteries into the design, release the restrictions on recording codecs, and make them play nice with Macs, and I’d buy a MiniDisc recorder/player in a heartbeat. That would give me a great excuse to return to Wales for a visit: I’ve got between one and two hundred blank MDs sitting somewhere in my best mate’s attic.


About NWshoegazer

Over sixty, unemployed, and single, I am, apparently, of no use to anyone.
This entry was posted in Bandcamp, Records, Vinyl and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is There an MD in the House?

  1. Brett says:

    Hey Rob!
    I do indeed love my MDs – I remember having debates with a uni colleague over which was better, MD or DCC. *chuckle* When I got my first unit, it was a revelation – I could make a “mixtape” by copying songs from both tape and CD onto one MD, and then I patiently titled each track. That was cool. Anyway, it’d be great if some releases started coming out on MD – Hi-MD format even!

    PS – eagerly awaiting my Asobi Seksu vinyl done here in Australia!
    PPS – I really do need to get myself a turntable too

    • NWshoegazer says:

      Hey Brett,

      As it turns out, Jake has a MiniDisc recorder/player and about twenty-five MDs full of live performances and practice sessions. We had a laugh imagining the looks on people’s faces when they found out that the new SVI release was MD only, but then I realized that, since I don’t have a player anymore, the joke would also be on me.

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