My Bloody Valentine: m b v
Thanks to reader Martin O. for pointing us to this, the first new album from My Bloody Valentine since 1991's Loveless. That's a long time. m b v sounds just like My Bloody Valentine (how could it not even if it didn't?) which is a good thing to my ears all heavy and somber and hook-laden. The other noteworthy thing about m b v is the way its being released—you can buy the CD ($22), LP ($30.50 includes the CD), or download ($16) which is not uncommon but what is and shouldn't be is the CD and LP come with a free download and you get to choose between 320kbps MP3, 16-bit/44.1kHz WAV, and 24-bit/96kHz WAV versions. If you opt for just the download, you still get to choose the format for the same price. Nice.
This is the model that I'd like to see adopted by, well, everyone. Wouldn't you? And what's also nice about this choice is it allows those people who believe something they've read over something they've heard to skip the 24-bit/96kHz version and just get CD-quality! And for those that believe 320kbps MP3s can sound good enough, well you can go and get all lossy on m b v!
You can buy whichever version you like from the My Bloody Valentine website. My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields has some related thoughts, "You could just put it on a website or something, but when something seems to have a soul it's nice to give it a soul, which is to put it in a physical format."
Which reminds me of this lovely pass passage from Haruki Murakami's South of the Border, West of the Sun:
“Shimamoto was in charge of the records. She'd take one from its jacket, place it carefully on the turntable without touching the grooves with her fingers, and, after making sure to brush the cartridge free of any dust with a tiny brush, lower the needle ever so gently onto the record. When the record was finished, she'd spray it and wipe it with a felt cloth. Finally she'd return the record to its jacket and its proper place on the shelf. Her father had taught her this procedure, and she followed his instructions with a terribly serious look on her face, her eyes narrowed, her breath held in check. Meanwhile, I was on the sofa, watching her every move. Only when the record was safely back on the shelf did she turn to me and give a little smile. And every time, this thought hit me: It wasn't a record she was handling. It was a fragile soul inside a glass bottle.”
And here's some more from the My Bloody Valentine website:
This vinyl album has been recorded as an analogue album. It was recorded on 2 inch 24 track analogue tape and mixed onto half inch analogue tape and mastered with no digital processing involved.
The vinyl is a true analogue cut, i.e. it hasn't been put through a digital process during the cutting process unlike over 90% of all vinyl available today.