Now I'm sure you've all figured out how much I like spending all my money on records. And surely you also know how much I fetishize vinyl, right? Well there have been a couple of releases recently that have raised the question "how far is too far" in regards to these predilections.
KTL - III (Or)
The latest release from the duo of Peter "Pita" Rehberg and Stephen O'Malley of Sunn0))) comes courtesy of Russell Haswell's Or label. It's a limited edition one-sided album housed in a thick card sleeve and pressed on heavyweight vinyl, the "blank" side of which is adorned with a Savage Pencil engraving. The whole thing is genuinely visually beautiful.
But boy is it expensive. That's fine as far as it goes but it's a shame given the fact that KTL III isn't going to be released in any other format. Therefore, to get "legal" access to this music, you have to have both the funds and the obsessive mindset of a fairly serious record collector.
This really is a shame because KTL III is by far the best thing they've done so far and it really deserves to be heard as widely as possible. Having said that, these things usually end up on illegal file-sharing networks the moment they're released, so perhaps it's not such a big deal.
3/4hadbeeneliminated - The Religious Experience (Soleilmoon)
A yes, my favourite Italian post-rock outfit. I've been waiting a while for these folks to bring something out on vinyl, so when this particular limited edition came up for pre-order, I jumped at the chance - in spite of the hefty asking price.
This one comes in a fragile hand-made sleeve. According to the label, said sleeve is supposed to be "delicately perfumed" or some such nonsense. In fact, it smells like it's been dipped in industrial strength toilet cleaner. The record itself is pressed on patterned white vinyl that makes it look somewhat like a giant peppermint. Cool, certainly but maybe a little gauche, no?
While I'm somewhat doubtful about whether this one was really worth the dosh as a collector's item, I certainly can't argue with the quality of the music. 3/4... have a distinctly spooky and pretty much unique sound - it's as if the whole album was recorded under the covers of a king-size bed.
For those of you who don't buy schmancy vinyl editions and aren't into the whole file-sharing deal, there is another option with this album. While, it's not actually available on CD, Soleilmoon did simultaneously release a "sister" CD to go with it, called Theology. If it's anything like as good as The Religious Experience then it's not to be missed.