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In Writing

Mats Gustafsson's Discaholic links

February 2013

Swedish power jazz dynamo and vinyl-addict Mats Gustafsson shares his six essential links for the burgeoning "discaholic". Gustafsson is on the cover of The Wire 349 in an article by Daniel Spicer.

Gustafsson introduces his guide to online discaholism: "In this fast moving information society where there aren't any filters, with efficiency mechanisms controlling our lives, where the desire for fame and a ”career” rule, we need to slow it down: In music and in life. Real knowledge is best comprehended in a slowed down manner. Chewing it all. Digesting it all. In 33 1/3 rpm, in 45 rpm, or in 78 rpm. The truths are in the grooves, in between the grooves, in vinyl, in all colours and formats. So, here you go: six essential keys to discaholism and one link to a great charity project in Ethiopia."

Discaholic Corner
A website for fellow discaholics. The term ”discaholic” was invented for the tour of the Discaholic Anonymous Trio in Japan (myself with Thurston Moore and Jim O’Rourke) ten years ago, trading free jazz vinyl with the audience after every concert. The DC site includes info about rare free jazz and experimental music vinyls, trade possibilities for the real discaholics, chart lists from fellow musicians and discaholics, links, texts and a massive amount of interviews with people like Robert Crumb, Byron Coley (writer of The Wire's Size Matters column), Thurston Moore, Henry Rollins, Jim O’Rourke and much more. "One piece of vinyl per day keeps the doctor away".

Dust & Grooves
Perhaps the most amazing and informative website on collecting vinyl. It is all there: cover lovers, vinyl road trips, DJ excursions, analogue machineries, flea market hunts, vinyl blogging and record mania in general. Photographer Elion Paz has managed to collect together a fantastic variety of different perspectives on vinyl collecting. Check The White Album feature, our favourite article from last year. It is all in the grooves… And this is a great guide into deep discaholic behaviours.

Stockholm's Andra Jazz
The best jazz vinyl shop in the world. It has everything: from Bunk Johnson whistling Buddy Bolden phrases to Axel Dörner whispering through his muted trumpet. Harald Hult is controlling things and if you behave you might be offered coffee, sandwiches and the best help possible into the land of jazz on vinyl. The man knows it all. Be prepared to be tested. Be prepared to be thrown out if you don’t pay enough attention. Be prepared to be blindfold tested. Just be prepared. The website is great. No links. No info and a fake email address. It couldn’t be more old school. It couldn’t be better.

From Sonny Blount To Sun Ra
The next Nobel Prize to Robert L Campbell? This site is stunning! A complete (?!) overview of the Sun Ra output on 78s and vinyl LPs. From the very beginnings of arranging music for Jump groups and doo wop ensembles, as well as arranging music for Fletcher Henderson and others, to the wild Saturn experimentations on very limited editions with hand painted covers and outer space metamorphosis! This must be one of the most ambitious studies on one single musician's work and recorded output ever. But, be aware: to be a Sun Ra completist is no good. It just can’t happen. But it is great fun to try.

Corbett Vs Dempsey
This is a kickass gallery in Chicago with a very strong music connection. Just the fact that the gallery is on top on one of the greatest record shops in the world says enough. Yes, CvsD presents art (and they have been doing some heavy shows lately, including the works of Albert Oehlen, Christopher Wool and others) but they also have some amazing Sun Ra paraphernalia in their collection, alongside Brötzmann related objects and newly produced records with Joe McPhee! Occasional concerts in the gallery make this a hotspot for creative music and art!

An extremely informative and inspiring website, a wet dream of jazz record cover ecstasy, and pure vinyl mania heaven! Mr Sörhuus has created a wonderful website, the Birka Jazz Archive, packed with images of classic and unknown jazz gems. It's categorised geographically and by labels, with very informative texts accompanying each cover, and more info about the artists, photographers and designers. The Swedish section of jazz EPs is amazing and very inspiring! There are also records for sale, but the real shit is the archive section…feel the bug… feel the discaholism taking over! Feel it! Dig it!

An amazing benefit project run by my beloved daughter, Swedish bass player Alva Melin, and Ethiopian trumpeter Israel Dejene. Zola is a small community school in Ethiopia, far away from roads and modern technology. This project is about finding ways to fund a new roof for the schoolhouse and new books and educational material for the school – realising the project outside of help from larger organisations, and with the assistance of a local contact (Dejene). Realistic and beautiful in a small format.

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