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A Box Of 78s in box on 12 inch vinyl. Over 50 sound documents, field recordings and vibrated memories. All captured to maybe document the lives and times of people in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. This leather box was owned by DinahBird’s grandmother. Lovingly cared for and shared within her family. It is now here on a limited 300 edition run. Share inside time.  

LP £19.49 Gruen 148/14

Ltd LP on Gruenrekorder. Edition of 300 copies.

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A Box of 78s by DinahBird
1 review. Write a review for us »
6/10 Laurie Staff review, 03 December 2014

This is the story of a box. Yep, a box. A box of 78rpm records that belonged to DinahBird’s nan was taken back to the island on which they were first played, to provide the soundtrack to an extravagant series of picnic trips led by a wistful Dinah. These trips were then recorded, forming a collage of long-gone operatic songs, modern conversation and the sound environment of the island itself.

It’s essentially the sonic equivalent of a scrap book whose compositional focus is on heritage and posterity, bringing history full circle and encouraging future documentation. Regardless of what is spoken, the way that each sound flows into each other is quite narrative, moving between different voices, accompanied by a snippet of oldies song, before fading to a human-led action such as the rowing of a boat or watching a plane glide over. Both British and American accents are present as well as the male and the female and the young and the old. It’s all beautifully recorded, with every sound crisp and detailed, satisfyingly panning around the speakers.

The main issue with the first ‘trackside’ of the record is how personal it is to the creator, which makes it impossible to reach the level of nostalgia DinahBird must be experiencing. Perhaps you’re not meant to, and are instead to focus on the ‘rekindling of lost sounds’, but it’s instinct really. Maybe I’m just lacking basic human capacity for sentimentality. Nah, I’m definitely keeping my Pokemon cards secret and safe.

A Box of 78s’ ‘loopside’ is simply 12 infinite vinyl loops, making it the least efficient use of wax since single-sided pressings. It’s around 1 minute of music in total on 1 side! Heresy. But this side is actually more enjoyable than the first, each loop becoming its own rhythm, with the discovery of new frequencies tracking change over time. This sort of backs up the whole ‘full-circle’ concept in a very literal way, but you realise this just before going totally bonkers from loop overload. A good exercise in posterity, but somewhat difficult to immerse into.



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