Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Goddamn Mixed RPM LPs!

So I got my copy of Ricardo Villalobos' What's Wrong My Friends? and found that my turntable would skate horribly on side C. I ended up doing the old/dangerous trick of weighing the arm head so I could rip the track.

The fucked up thing: the resultant track ("Africolaps") was 11:12. The listed length? 8:15.

WTF? I didn't need this type of headache after work. I'ma just want to listen to my music! But as I'm sitting here going from fat WAVs to Quality 2 VBR MP3s[1] I see something on the Discogs page:

"Sides A, B, and D play at 33 ⅓ rpm, side C at 45 rpm."

Well fuck me. I throw the switch on the turntable and suddenly the track slides along beautifully. So how did I make this fuckup? Well as it says on that same page:

"Durations are not listed on the release."

Nor are the RPMs. So am I just to guess? Sure, I have some maxi-single 12"s. But all of them say 45 RPM on there for we among the daft and dumb. And I gotta say this is the first time I've seen a heterogenous RPM LP.

Of course this points to one of my favorite activities: playing 45s at 33 ⅓, especially if it's supposed to be a dub. I have the maxi for Yazoo's "Situation" where the B-side is supposedly a dub but, other than some reverb, it ain't much of one. Yet you slow that bastard down. It's a fucking heavy stepper (Allison Moyet's chick-tenor just adds to it). Same with Aaron Funk's Black Sabbath dubs. Of course most anyone over the age of 30 probably finds this completely banal but, eh, oh well. I've decided to keep the 33 version of "Africolaps". It actually sounds like a Villalobos song, like his remix of Shakelton's "Blood On My Hands". It's got a good midline beat while the slowed down vocal sample gives it a hypnotic air. Like mixing codeine and cough syrup. Shit, the normal version is a short (in a Villalobos' worldview) 8 minutes long. This stretches it out to a nice 11:12. Enjoy.

[1] Don't trust the MP3 encoder in Audacity 1.3 Beta. Sure, it can do all the metadata stuff and do all the various encoding types, but it doesn't build the header right if you use VBR. So when you put that MP3 in iTunes it gives a different song duration and says the encoding is a static 160KBPS. Uhhh, no.

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