Secession “Touch” and Rebel Rebel 1985

I have this record on pink marbled 12″ vinyl. I remember my friend Joe Forbes bought it first and it took me a while to find my own copy. Eventually I found it at Rebel Rebel on Bleeker Street. Amazingly Rebel Rebel still exists and the owner still stands in behind the front counter exactly as he did 20+ years ago. Recently I went in there with my brother and saw him only now with gray hair. We spent countless weekends, hours and money buying hundreds of records from Rebel Rebel. Secession had a few good songs. I love the melancholy melodies in Touch. Melodies like this were in so much of 80s New Wave and for me the memories are melancholy too. Forget Virgin Galatic I want a proper time machine.

“Rebel Rebel is one of the old school NYC record shops— they’ve seemingly been around since the dawn of time. The walls are lined with posters and records from bands that haven’t seen a recording studio in years. Vinyl is everywhere, promo posters are sold out of a box for $2 a piece. It’s one of those places where a record buyer just feels at home.” –

Bring back any memories?

via Matrixsynth

Neuton Medien Vertrieb announces insolvency.

I’ve had a Press & Distribution deal for my label Things to Come Records with Neuton Distribution since June 2002. Neuton has been a major force in vinyl manufacturing for electronic music. They out paced and out lasted many of it’s competitors. More likely than not if you purchased a new dance record in the past decade it had a small white “Distributed by Neuton” sticker on it somewhere.

According to Belgian online magazine Side-Line, Neuton will announce insolvency today. To be clear, I don’t know the exact details and what this really means. The word insolvency generally states they won’t be able to pay their bills. Is it a sign they are about to go out of business? My initial thinking is yes. The world is moving all digital and music is basically free. Vinyl is a niche product for collectors and audiophiles only.

“Neuton, one of the biggest (vinyl) music distributors, is about to announce its insolvency today. After the collapse of the UK distributor Amato and the Japanese distributor Cisco, the whole vinyl label scene and the distributors were under extreme pressure. Neuton worked with many top electronic labels, distributing music for diverse labels including Four Twenty, Tresor, Vakant, or Perlon and has worked in the past with labels like Bpitch control, Playhouse, Klang or M_nus.” –

If Neuton pulls through I will happily continue to produce records with them. If they follow the path of the DoDo bird I wish the very best to SIggi, Bo and all my friends there. Electronic music and great songs will always be produced.

For more info:

Interview with Thomas Stenumgård of

Nylvi is a new site about to launch from a group of Norwegian’s who recently moved to Berlin. They have been getting to know the city and its scene visiting labels and other music tech companies. I would say Nylvi has some similarity to the Discogs Marketplace but with much added style and extended functionality. From talking with Nylvi I see they understand social media and data portability which appeals to me as an online music seller. I think they are one to watch.

They visited my studio last month and today I recorded a short interview with Thomas who you can see in the photo above (left):

Visit them at

The Archive. A short film about a lot of records.

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

Paul Mawhinney’s has a 50 million dollar record collection. I always imagined there must be people with insanely huge vinyl collections. I personally have 5000 records in storage all mostly from the 80s. My favorite 12″? A German edition of Depeche Mode’s “Leave in Silence” on clear vinyl.

Paul Mawhinney was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Over the years he has amassed what has become the world’s largest record collection. Due to health issues and a struggling record industry Paul is being forced to sell his collection.

This is the story of a man and his records. I hope you enjoy it. –

So are you still hording a giant record collection? Do you have any records that are crazy expensive collectors items?

The Final Days Of Full Circle Records.

A Documentary By Michael Greene. In October of 2006, a small mom and pop record store in Southern New Jersey named Full Circle Records announced that it was going out of business and that the liquidation sale would continue until mid December. Ironically, at approximately the same time, Tower Records, the iconic juggernaut of the music retail market, made the same announcement. Something has happened to the music retail world and it seemed to have happened overnight. …Or did it? The Final Days Of Full Circle Records is a fascinating documentary that provides valuable insight into the rise and fall of the record store industry and subculture which may change the way you think about music, music retail, and the art of collecting music forever.


Discogs is a great music database and community.

You know about right? It’s a detailed online database of music releases. The best part of the site is the fact that it’s user driven. Anyone can join and add a release to the database. The input system is detailed so releases on the site are complete with information including artwork, liner notes and related links. All the data is moderated and voted upon keeping things tidy. There is also a comment system where you can review releases and add artist and record label blurbs. For example, Frankie Bones wrote the following about my label, “Things To Come does exactly what the name suggests, and that gives the future something to look forward for…..” (Thanks Frankie!).

If you visit the site you will see multiple pages for what seem like the same release. However, if you look closely they will be different somehow, either being on different labels, or having different remixes, artwork, something. This is great as I often check to see if there was a bootleg of one of my releases or another label somewhere in the world released something of mine without permission. Over the years I have found quite a few unauthorized 12 inches!

Discogs, short for discographies, is a website and database of information about music recordings, including commercial releases, promotional releases, and certain bootleg or off-label releases. The Discogs servers, currently hosted under the domain name, are owned by Zink Media, Inc., and are located in Portland, Oregon, USA. Discogs is one of the largest online databases of electronic music releases and is believed to be the largest online database of releases on vinyl media. Across all genres and formats, over 1,019,000 releases are catalogued. It also features listings for over 874,000 artists and over 87,500 labels. The site has around 200,000 visitors a day. – Wikipedia

Discogs is also the best place to buy and sell vinyl. They have a good working system called the “Marketplace“. Most of my friends tell me it’s better to sell records on Discogs than on eBay. Your user profile can have a a wish list, list of things your selling and even a list of records in your collection.

One thing I am looking for is the ability to embed the my own label’s Discogs page and releases into my own website. I see that Discogs has an API. Does anyone know how to do this? As of today I maintain my own database but it’s a pain to keep up especially considering there is already a great one auto updating on DIscogs. How about a Discogs widget? I would love to have one that displayed all my releases that I could put on my MySpace or Facebook page. Please let me know in the comments if these things exist.

Tim Xavier’s Manmade Mastering vinyl cutting room.

Scully Lathe

Here is a special photo set from my friend Tim Xavier’s mastering studio. He cuts vinyl with his unique Scully/Westrex 3D IIa cutter. There are only a few places in the world like this left. Due to Tim’s overwhelming success in his field especially with dance music this studio and his dog Sigmund recently moved from Brooklyn to Berlin. Some of his clients include Ritchie Hawtin, KiddazFM, Complete Distribution, Zuvuya Recordings and many more.

In the studio, Tim cuts on a Scully/Westrex 3DIIA cutter that is outfitted with a high powered magnet, and uses a Manley Massive Passive Tube EQ for equalizing. The Scully lathe has been modified with a Vinylium pitch computer (Stuka) for spacing grooves, which allows him to cut more time per side at a louder volume. (please see prices section for time constraints). –

To enjoy the full photo set from Manmade Mastering LLC on flickr: click here

Noise, electrical hum, LP scratches and warping.

Izotope Vinyl - screenshot

A few months ago I performed at a club called Rumours in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. This required us to get picked up from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and be driven about two hours north. In the car I was shocked to see there was no CD player or MP3 jack. Staring me in the face was a cassette deck. Looking around some more I TDK D90 Tapenoticed about 50 cassettes stuffed in various places. About an hour into the drive I realized how good these cassettes sounded. There was some very nice high end going on that I had not heard in years. The bass sounded warm and sincere.

There is hardware software that will emulate tape saturation. On the hardware side check out Robert Neve’s 5042 True Tape FX unit.. Software wise there are lots of options including Digidesigns Reel Tape Suite and PSP’s Vintage Warmer.

But what if you want to bring back some good old fashion tape noise? Adding a few seconds of noise before your song starts will trigger your listeners mind into believing your song was recorded in the 1980s or earlier. My favorite plug-in for the task is Izotope’s free plug-in called Vinyl. Here’s a list of some of the “sounds” you can add into your song using Vinyl:Scratched Record

  • Mechanical Noise
  • Wear
  • Electrical Noise
  • Dust
  • Scratch
  • Warp Depth

You can also adjust “Warp Models”, year and RPM of the Vinyl emulation. Lastly, there is a mono/stereo switch. Using the Dust and Scratch settings you can get a nice Portishead sound. I have to say I really love this plug-in and if it cost money I would buy it. Big thanks to Izotope!

Sonic Charge - uToniq

There are many other ways to get some noise into your tracks. Sometimes I turn off a synthesizer’s Oscilators and turn up only the Noise Generator. Adding a filter modulated by the LFO to the Noise makes some nice wave or storm sounds. Sonic Charge has a superb software drum machine called uToniq. I use it as a noise generator by clicking the oh so ever awesome random button. Or why not record some real noise with a microphone? Even aiming a mic at your computer’s fan while it edits a large Photoshop document will do the trick!

photo credits: Lee Jordan and Breakfast for Dinner