Prior to my last ten years as a commercial photographer, I was working in the music retail industry. This was my first long term job, and one that paid really well, especially for shop work, even more so for a youngster, I thought I was made for life. Not only that I was surrounded by music, something I'd spent all my money on growing up. I've always had music in my life, I can thank my parents for having some pretty decent taste over the years. I've no idea how I managed to get in to so many gigs as a youngster, I'm guessing they just didn't give that much of a shit back in the day. We got away with murder, and every last buck was spent at gigs or in record shops, moving swiftly onto the club scene as I got older. I've still got most of the records, but like most folk there is an eight year gap where MP3's kicked in, and well we didn't always have to pay for those. Not a great admission, but when I left the record shop, I left that easy environment where music would land on my lap, and I'd pretty much have to buy it. I was always one for following specific artists and labels.
I got sick of the retail side of it, with the particular shop I worked for falling prey to it's own success, and when they stopped selling vinyl, I sort of stopped caring, I was there too long. I'd be lying if I didn't say there are aspects I still miss, like having my head constantly in the game, tracking down more obscure and beautiful records and waiting for them to arrive in the stock room. I had some great like minded customers as well who kept coming back for more, seeing their excitement really made it worth it at times.
Despite that, I've always listened very keenly to music, it's the flipside of the same coin as photography as far as I'm concerned, one feeds the other for me, there are certain images I've take over the years that I would have never thought of if I hadn't listened to certain records. Bark Psychosis were one of my big influences, I completely lost myself in Hex (seminal first album) it was on constantly in the dark room in my folks loft. So many more to mention, more blog posts on that later.
I've been back at it this last couple of years, it feels good to actually do the artists justice and buy their music, vinyl of course being the preferred format where possible, it is easier now to get in direct touch with artists and respective labels, as more and more are self publishing in small numbers. Music is alive and well. I'll support it where and when I can. A huge disposable income would go a long way, there are certain websites and shops I could quite easily spend a crazy amount of money on week in, week out.
What we have here is the haul from the last month or so, looking forward to picking out some more gems soon. Here's the list: