published: 23 /
Indie-rock/vintage computing trio The British IBM tell Dave Goodwin their 'Vinyl Stories'.
You may remember that back in 2012 we did a gig review and also an album review for The British IBM, a Cambridge-based indie rock and vintage computing trio who actually officially formed in 2012.
They were commandeered by singer/songwriter and retro-enthusiast Aidy who along with musical comrades David on bass and Paul on percussion toured in a different guise a few years before.
The group's self-titled debut album (produced with Neil "Bugs" Rogers) featured their first single 'Animal', which was accompanied by a well-received animated video made by Ridertoons' Jose Cubero.
The second single and title track 'The British IBM' garnered acclaim with its use in the trailer for the 2014 documentary film "From Bedrooms to Billions" which outlines the story of the British video games industry from 1979 onwards.
The band say they sound similar to the ramshackle charm of Guided By Voices at their most melodic, adding a boyish enthusiasm that tips its hat to both Weezer and Matthew Sweet. They also namecheck some non-musical influences such as technologists Sir Clive Sinclair, Chris Curry, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Bob Noyce, Steve Furber and Nolan Bushnell as well as chess prodigy Bobby Fischer.
In the past they have made reference to vinyl records and collections, so when I got back in touch with them and asked whether they would take part in 'Vinyl Stories' they jumped at the chance. Here are the trio's recollections of their vinyl:
My first record was 'The Blues Brothers' soundtrack and I had it on constant rotation when I was a kid. Then one day I found that someone had scratched a massive W into it, and it wouldn’t play anymore. My younger brother confessed to it and my parents made him buy me another copy. I still have both to this day. I never discovered why he did it.
I owned every Michael Jackson album he ever made. I purchased 'Dangerous' on the release day but at the time I had one of those record players that goes on its side and you kind of screw the vinyl to the turntable and the needle moves in a weird horizontal movement. I think keeping that album on my odd record player turned the vinyl into a kind of bowl shape and it kept skipping but somehow I managed to persuade the shop I got it from to replace it.
I used to buy a fair amount of music, mainly bootlegs, from a place called Slipped Disc II in Chelmsford. It was a record store downstairs and a guitar store upstairs, so it met most of my requirements back then. The guy in the guitar store was awesome - he was the only one that ever seemed to be able to set up my Fender Jag-Stang.
My favourite purchase was a massive 14 LP box-set of the Japanese post-hardcore band Envy. It took forever to be shipped over from America but it's an awesome package for the superfan.
One year two friends of mine told me they got me this amazing vinyl for my birthday. As annoying mates do, they really egged it on for weeks. Eventually it turned up in the post and I opened it only to find a copy of Leo Sayer's 'Greatest Hits', bought from a charity shop. I still haven’t played it.
My prize possession, though, is that Envy box, which is called 'Invariable Will, Recurring Ebbs and Flows'. It was created for their 20th anniversary as a band, and cost me the best part of £200, with import tax on top of that. As well as the vinyl it has a DVD, a book that features all their lyrics in Japanese and English and a whole bunch of photos of the band.
I've recently got into soundtracks from the likes of Mondo, Death Waltz and Laced Records. Being a pretty big gamer and horror fan, things like the soundtracks for 'Doom', 'Silent Hill', 'Hotline Miami', 'Day of The Dead' and 'Cannibal Apocalypse' were all pretty big gets for me.
You'd be surprised how smooth the soundtrack to 'Cannibal Apocalypse' is! Some weirder stuff includes the first and currently only vinyl release from Matt Farley, the prolific songwriter who has made over 20,000 songs. I got quite obsessed with him a few years ago, found his movies, listened to his band Moes Haven, and even made a podcast where I interviewed him.
Growing up, the first music I got into was rap and hip hop. I always used to say that my first record was 'Bad Touch' by Bloodhound Gang - but after thinking about it, it might have been that godawful remix of the 'Hamster Dance' song!
I got the first Elastica single 'Stutter' on vinyl. I think it was only a run of 1000 so would be worth something if it wasn’t scratched up.
I used to own the 'Klingons on the Starboard Bow' song on vinyl.
I also had a personalised 'Scott, It’s Your Birthday' single when I was a kid from my aunt.