Friday, July 29, 2011

RRR Record Store Record

RRR - Record Store Record.
RRR - RSR. LP + Tote Bag

I once had that Ron Lessard in my back bedroom you know.  It’s true. About seven years ago Steve Underwood needed somewhere for one of his star performers to kip during a UK tour and I was the chosen one. Ron had played Manchester under his Emil Beaulieau guise and had shown us that noise needn’t be someone leaning over a table full of gadgets trying to deafen everybody. Ron kipped in the back bedroom where I now type this. Before hitting the hay we spun some records and the day after, along with the Durgmeister, we killed some time before the Leeds show by watching an old Jacques Tati film.

What I liked about Ron was his boundless enthusiasm for all things noise related [except noise records at one in the morning after a hard day on the road that is] he showed me an Emil Beaulieau release in which the label responsible had made the covers from the cut centers of old vinyl records, ‘why didn’t I think of it before’ he said slapping his forehead. In the short space of time I was in his company he seemed to be forever on the look out for new ideas for his RRRecords label.

I’m not alone in having serious respect for Ron and his label. He’s single handedly released some of the most seriously outlandish and some would say insane, noise related releases ever; the 500 artist locked groove LP, the 1000 track locked groove LP, the Pure CD series, the state by American state series of box sets that kicked off with the 10LP California job, the Recycled cassette series, the hand made sleeves and inserts all of it released without much in the way of fanfare but all of it received with that knowing feeling that the Ronfather has done it for the noise cause once more.

Perhaps the Record Store Record may be seen as his most outlandish release yet. Not because of the bag that comes with it or the deluxe gatefold sleeve with inserts but because the Record Store Record is actually a record with only the sound of record shops on it. Lesser labels might have issued this on CD or cassette but then that would have lessened its effect. It had to be vinyl of course. This record then is, in essence, a portable record shop. If you’ve never been in a record shop, and I bet there’s plenty of people out there in far flung places who haven’t, then this is your chance to experience them in the comfort of your own home.

It will come as no surprise to those who’ve had the chance to visit some of the shops involved here that people do what people do in record shops; they talk shop, they talk shite, they answer the phone, they joke, order pizza, wrap packages, they even play records. Some try to make noises out of stretched Sellotape but if you hear as much of stretched Sellotape as I do then you’l know that this can become irritating very, very quickly. This is pure audio verite for those who’ve never shopped at five of the best record shops that cater to the noise record buying public. The shops involved were Second Layer in London, Hospital Productions in New York, Weirdo Records in Cambridge USA, Sarvilevyt in Lahti, Finland and of course Ron’s own shop in Lowell. You kind of get the idea without playing the damned thing of course which is all part of the beauty and the madness of it.

Its this over the top absurdity that makes this such a stand out release. Tote bag in RRR camo colours, deluxe sleeves .. no expense spared on something that for the most part will be played just the once and in some instances not at all. I can see people buying this just for the bag. Ron is also so unassuming as to put the photos of his RRR shop on the insert and in true ‘lets totally confuse em’ RRR fashion puts the photo of Second Layer on the cover, a shop that still carries the signage of its previous owner Sound 323.


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