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MEMORABILIA. COLLECTING SOUNDS WITH... Eric Isaacson. Part I Produced by Rosanna Arbon Link: http://rwm.macba.cat/en/research/memorabilia-eric-isaacson/capsula PDF: http://rwm.macba.cat/uploads/20140313/Memorabilia_Eric_Isaacson_eng.pdf Collecting music began as a private pursuit for Eric Isaacson, from the age of five he was recording songs off the radio and making his own mix tapes. His biggest undertaking was reconstructing the Beatles back catalogue, track by track, album by album entirely off the radio which took him four years to complete. That kind of behaviour might lead you to believe the young Isaacson would grow to be one of the breed of sound collectors that William Bennett refers to as the completists, but Isaacson is far from it. Around 300 records make it into his personal collection at one time, it seems a small amount for someone who runs a record label but Isaacson's collection is constantly on the move – he gets hold of records as quickly as he gets rid of them because ultimately what matters most is the contemporary relationship he is having with each record in his collection. 'I'd go insane otherwise,' he says, 'my interests go in such different directions, I would have to have 50,000 records to represent what I'm into and that's impossible.' In lieu of a physical collection, Isaacson's notebooks which are filled with lists of songs that either have or might make their way on to a Mississippi release are a testament to the extensive amount of records that have been a part of his life over the past ten years. Isaacson's unique design sensibility adorns the covers of Mississippi releases, early influences include Daniel Johnston and punk rock zines, whilst more recent influences include the cover art of Folkways Records and Indian Tantra art, but as with Isaacson's sound collection, his artistic influence is vast. Isaacson says his style was created by his limitations: 'I had to find a unique voice because I couldn't use tricks or skills, flashing lights or dazzling techniques'. Isaacson's cover art is bold, colourful and raw, the imagery is almost cryptic at times and as such Mississippi releases can't help but stand out on any shelf. You can find the complete MEMORABILIA. Colllecting sound with... podcast series here: http://rwm.macba.cat/en/memorabilia_tag/ Enjoy!
MEMORABILIA. COLLECTING SOUNDS WITH... Eric Isaacson Part II Eric Isaacson, founder of Mississippi Records, presents a compilation that seeks to capture the magic of home recordings. Link: http://rwm.macba.cat/en/research/memorabilia-eric-isaacson-collection/capsula PDF: http://rwm.macba.cat/uploads/20140508/Memorabilia_eric_isaacson_partII_eng.pdf “This mix is all over the board. The theme is simply home recorded music, whether by the artist themselves or by field recordists who came over to visit. Some of the artists are very well known like Bo Diddley, who would work out his compositions at home on tape before hitting Chess studios to record, or Charlie Feathers who recorded at home all through his 40 year career using the same equipment... As a result you can’t tell the difference between a recording made in 1955 or 1985 when it comes to Charlie. Some of these artists are not very well known – like Scott Dunbar who never left the small town of Lake Mary, Louisiana. Some of the artists are stalwarts of the Mississippi label like Michael Hurley, Marisa Anderson and Abner Jay. The point of this mix is to show that the bloated magic sounds of the studio can take you pretty far in one direction... ain’t nothing wrong with that studio sound when its used right - like on Phil Spector’s genuinely psychotic wall of sound or George Martin’s bizarrely perfect rock on the Beatles Revolver album or stuff like that. I will grant that a fancy pants studio can achieve some magnificent things that a home studio never could. Conversely, home recording can achieve some amazing things that a studio never could no matter how hard it tried. Some things just can't be manufactured outside the home... “ Eric Isaacson