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SONNEVILLE: 46 Tours EP (7″, Alienor ALIEN µ, 1994)

Sonneville - 46 Tours EP

Lumme, this is the second of a sparse few releases that Alienor put out that’s come up for discussion as the result of my wacky scientific random number generator tool. So be it, I can’t argue with fate, it’s like the Dice Man or something. It does, however mean that I had to find the µ character on my keyboard because of Alienor’s insistence of using Greek characters for their catalogue numbering. Still, I’ve found it now – another useful character in my typographical armery: MU. µµµ.

I really like clear vinyl, as this single is pressed onto. I’m not sure what makes clear vinyl clear – is it the absence of colouring put in during the pressing process, or is it a different substrate altogether? If the former, why aren’t more records clear vinyl? They look great. I especially enjoy the clear vinyl look of a good lathe-cut record; they have a look all their own, somehow smoother and more sleek than a regularly-pressed record. If you haven’t heard of lathe cutting, it’s basically the process of an individual hand-cutting every single copy of a record using a machine that runs at the speed of a normal record being played. I.E., very labour-intensive. In my exploits as a wannabe record label impresario, I have had one record produced using this process, as it affords the possibility of a very small run of vinyl. I believe, although correct me if I’m wrong, that there is now pretty much only one place to get lathe-cut vinyl produced – a guy called Peter King, who is based in New Zealand. He made my records, and it was a fine adventure getting them done. I had to correspond via fax with him, which wasn’t so easy given the obvious time difference; and the process was long and tricky. However, the outcome was spectacular and well worth it. In today’s mass-produced age it’s great to ask a supplier for an exact number of something – in this case records – and have that number delivered. No more, no less. Just like the olden times.

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