The 12 Inch Single

From the mid-1970s the humble 7 inch vinyl single was joined by a much grander relative – the 12 inch single. It reached its peak in 1983 with Blue Monday by New Order, probably the biggest selling 12 inch single of all time.

Music Journalist and co-founder of ZTT Records, Paul Morley visits the Factory Club in Manchester to talk to Peter Hook of New Order about how Blue Monday was written and to designer Peter Saville about the famous sleeve.

Paul explores the origins of the 12 inch single as a potentially higher quality format than the 7 inch single and visits Abbey Road studios to watch an engineer cutting a 12 inch single; does it really sound better?

And he meets music producer Trevor Horn at Sarm Studios, home of ZTT records, to discuss the Frankie Goes to Hollywood 12 inch singles. ZTT released so many different versions of Two Tribes on 12 inch that the chart rules were changed – so was the record buyer getting value for money? And what does the 12 inch single tell us about 1980s excesses?

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 programme here:

Paul Morley on the 12 inch single

Guest Speaker – Stephen Mallinder

For this month’s audio project guest lecture I was very pleased to introduce one of my musical heroes. Stephen Mallinder is a founder member of Sheffield’s Cabaret Voltaire who’s approach to music production (cut-up technique, found sounds, tape loops, experimental electronics blended with the rhythms of early American techno and house) was an enormous influence on me and informed my own approach to music making.

Stephen’s talk was both interesting and enlightening – he’s a very engaging speaker. He spoke about music production with reference to his own work and also the work of artists such as Lee Scratch Perry, Marshall Jefferson and Kraftwerk and how his music connects with art movements such as Dada and Bauhaus. Referring to his PhD thesis Movement, Modernity and The Beat, Stephen also discussed the musical connections of club culture, graphic design and film-making.

With a long and varied career in many aspects of the music industry (running a record label, live promotion and hosting a radio show in Perth, Australia), along with his academic interests, Stephen’s talk was very valuable to our students and highlighted the importance of connecting your own work to many other creative outlets and industries.

The Cabaret Voltaire fan club* sat in the front row enjoyed it too.

*middle-aged male academics from the Lincoln School of Media 🙂

Luke’s At It Again!

Level 2 Audio Production student, Luke Pickering has formed a new band with members of his previous, now defunct, two bands! Traps have been recording in the university studios and are currently mixing their latest EP.
Luke says: “Traps formed late 2010 after our bands Prisms/Mute broke up and have been gigging since our first show in Sheffield mid-February. We’ve got a 5 track demo on our soundcloud/myspace for anyone to download which I just did in my bedroom so had some songs to get started with. Now halfway through mixing the EP, which we’ll send to independent labels and promote over a summer tour or two later this year”.
The line-up is:
Luke Pickering – Guitar, Lead Vocals
Ben Wilson – Bass, Vocals
Guy Chater – Drums, Vocals

Listen to the tracks recorded at the university here:
Traps: Nasty Little Man by audioproduction

Traps: Diagnose Me by audioproduction


Enter Calico Trailer

With a world premiere of all the videos on 4th November in Manchester, here’s a taster of the videos featuring in Clear Notice’s debut music app release for the iPad. More information on the Clear Notice website.

The premiere will take place at 8pm on Thursday 4th November 2010 and tickets are FREE, but issued on a first come, first served basis.

Along with the first full screening of the Enter Calico music videos will be an artist / videographer Q&A session (inc. David McSherry), giving you the chance to find out more about the work of CNR’s talented artists. Tickets are strictly limited, so please grab one only if you’re sure you’re able to attend.

Enter Calico Trailer from Clear Notice on Vimeo.