29 November 2003

About 12 years ago I was hunting through the bargain bin of Plastic Wax Records when I came across a couple of odd looking albums. One was called "Walt Rockman and his Synthesizer Band" and the other was called "Modern Mixture" from the Conroy Recorded Music Library. Both looked pretty beaten-up but I was curious enough to part with £1.00 for the pleasure of listening to them.
Walt Rockman featured jolly synth-cheese instrumentals and the Conroy one was a variety of synthy moods and had quite a melancholy feel to it. There were even a couple of prepared-piano pieces that wouldn't sound too out of place on Aphex Twin's "Druqks" album. Not exactly what I'd been expecting (but then again, I didn't know what to expect), but nevertheless I was pleased with my purchases. I would occasionally give them a spin, usually when entertaining friends, who would often delight at the naive melodies and easy vibes. This was before the trend for retro '60s/'70s-inspired electronica had fully developed.

Of course, since then I've learned that these were Sound Llibrary LP's, originally not for sale to the public , featuring music for use in the media. There's been an explosion of interest in these sorts of albums in recent years, no doubt fueled by compilations by Luke Vibert and Barry 7 among others.

So anyway, I decided it was time to send them to new homes and make a little cash for Xmas, so I put them on e-bay last week. The auctions ended last night, and both sold over their reserve price. We're not talking huge figures, as I said they're both in distinctly average condition, but I've certainly made a healthy profit on my original investment. Interestingly, both were bought by bidders in Tokyo. I guess this indicates that the Japanese have a particular thirst for Library LP's. So I'll be saying a fond farewelll to them. No doubt I'll miss them terribly now that they're leaving me. At least I'll always have the CD-R copies.

Bon Voyage my beauties. Enjoy your new lives in the Land of the Rising Sun....