Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Black Addiction (or....... One Man's Search for the Strange and Weird); Interview with Ian Quann aka Oiche

I love weird records.

Love them. Anything strange, bewildering or different. Novelty records. Strange music. Collector's Items. Randomness.

One man's trash is another man's treasure and that is no more apparent in the world of the record  collector.

I have a few items I'm particularly proud of for their ability to make the listener think WTF?? One of them was a wedding gift from a dear friend.

I also have this little oddity.

The Wakkiest Races on Record

a totally great piece of plastic fantastic. This particular record is a collection of horse races. It has 16 different complete races on it but with a unique twist. At the end of each race there is a split groove and a different horse wins each time its played.. I'm thinking if times get tough I'll just invite some local boobs from the local betting track over and set up a little bookie service.

"Step right up gentleman. Step right up. The records gonna get played again, place your bets, place your bets!!! Get Ready gentleman, no new bets once the needle is down. Thats right no new bets once the needle is down"

I'll clean up!

Also I have a another great gem which is this one.

Kenny Everett-The World's Worst Record Show

A great find, Kenny Everett's World's Worst Record Show is, thats right, on "Sick/Turquoise " coloured vinyl and has a lot of great world's worst gems including of course the global hit of bad taste records; The Trashmen Surfin Bird.

I say global hit because the song has found a strange misdirected renaissance due to this particular TV show......

And lastly a record I never believed could exist unless I saw it and bought it myself is this one....thats right...."That's not a record,..... now this is a record."

The really strange thing about this one is not just the amazing strine Paul Hogan has but the weird way he still starts the record the same way he would start his TV show, "Gudday Viewers". Strange way to start a record whose primary method of enjoyment is listening don't you think?

But I digress. I recently met a guy who,as part of his collection  focuses on the weird and the strange. Allow me to introduce to you Ian Quann; record collector and fellow forum participant at "Spin The Blackest Circles" internet forum. Ian bravely answered my call-out to find people to interview about their collections and he deftly rose to the challenge. It appears Ian has amassed an impressive  collection of wax. 10,000 or so to be exact. I fired off some questions to him about his strange addiction to all the weird things out there on vinyl and here is what he had to say.

Name: Ian Quann (Oiche on forums / discogs)
Age: 41
Location: Colchester, Essex, UK
How big is your collection and do you collect from any specific genre (i.e. soundtracks) or do you collect other kinds?
I estimate ten thousand records altogether. Soundtrack and library records probably account for about 1000 of these as I have a pretty eclectic taste taking in everything from spoken word, baroque, folk, jazz, world, rock, indie, drone, minimalist, sound effects, etc. During the last few years though I have mainly been interested in the soundtrack and library side of things.

I also love to collect oddities on vinyl. I have a record released by an occult website which records an interview with a resident of a high security psychiatric facility, Ian Ball, who had planned to kidnap Princess Anne of the English royal family in the 70s. It’s a weird picture disc with the royal couple’s wedding picture on one side and the interview recorded over a soundtrack of the wedding ceremony played backwards throughout! Its very odd.

I also have records that came as instructions with sewing machines in the 50’s with that upper class twang all media folk had in the UK back then; a private 78rpm that someone made of their wedding ceremony; records about people’s lives living on longboats; and so on.

Field recordings also interest me as do records made by artists for installations, sound effects and the like. One record I love the idea of, was a single by Janek Schaefer called ‘recorded delivery’ where he mailed a motion-activated tape recorder to himself to record the whole experience of a parcel in the mail. You can even hear the postman whistling as he delivers the parcel back to Janek! I love anything that’s a bit out there or which plays with the format like that. 
Janek Schaefer's Recorded Delivery

How long have you been collecting? Since I was a nine year old growing up in Ireland. The first record I bought was a Madness single, followed by Adam & the Ants. I used to steal my dads records which made him a bit anxious as he treated them like precious jewels – which of course they are! He brought me up on Hendrix, Thin Lizzy and Planxty. I remember as a kid Dad playing me Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds and I thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever heard. Experiences like that sow the seed.

Do you collect for love or money or both? (by this I mean do you own and run a record store? Or do you just sell records on ebay? Is it business or a hobby or both?) Love and obsession always. I do sell some on discogs but I only have about 50 or 60 for sale at any one time. I mainly sell bargains I come across in sales that I have already. I don’t sell anywhere near enough to cover even 20% of my habit. I read in another interview on your site that record collectors are among the most obsessional people in society which I agree with totally. I can get completely lost time wise with the whole thing and my lovely, patient girlfriend needs to pull me away from the vinyl websites!

Q: You've found some incredibly great weird finds how on earth have you come across these oddities?  Relentless digging? Seeking them out on ebay? Do you have any great stories about hitting upon your weird finds?

I do have a tale of being approached by a shadowy figure who slipped me an old and cobwebbed LP from his cold fingers with the whispered instruction of telling the world the final truth and then disappearing into the ether, but it would be fantasy/ wishful thinking. The real truth is that we dig relentlessly for years through many records that we see again and again, to unearth these odd gems. The internet obviously helps, but is a tenth of the fun on a physical find. Reading music magazines and listening to radio shows helps pick up info too, as does talking to other collectors. Here's a small selection of odds and ends.

A small selection of my BBC sound effect records with the cat helping.


What's your most favourite record? Hardest question on earth. I’m going to say Basil Poledouris’s Conan soundtrack as it brings back so many memories and still gives me goosebumps, but it was Aion by Dean Can Dance for many years which is close to a perfect album in my books.

What's the most valuable record you own?
I own every piece of vinyl pressed by Trunk Records, which as a complete collection is worth quite a bit. I know some of the rarer ones go for just under £100. I don’t own any super valuable pieces. I have lots that are worth about a £100 and a Stockhausen 7lp boxset that worth about £400 that I paid £1.99 for in a charity shop a couple of years ago.

What's your holy grail? What record(s) have you been looking everywhere for but still elude you?

Yan Tregger / Fabio Frizzi / Walter Rizzati - Bloodnight (12e Festival International De Paris Du Film Fantastique Et De Science Fiction) (Jonathan, Jonathan - ATO 28005, ATO 28.005)

There are expensive copies on discogs but I don’t want to spend £80 with shipping, not on my salary! Also it takes the fun out of tracking down a good value copy which makes you love a record even more. I will continue to look when in record fairs but I’ve never seen a copy in the flesh, most of them pop up in France.
I also want copies of Basil Kirchin’s Worlds Within Worlds 1-2 & 3-4, but money again. The former goes for £300 - £400 averagely and the latter about £70.

Throughout your collecting career have you lately noticed an increase on prices for collectible items now that Vinyl is apparently on the comeback? 
Yes, without a doubt. Some Jazz lps have always held their value, but the price of collectors vinyl is definitely on the rise in the last few years due to the dramatic increase in new collectors, especially soundtracks. I didn’t think Inception’s soundtrack was that brilliant and it’s changing hands for $400. I’ve seen the crowds at record fairs change over the last 5 years especially, from middle aged blokes to a much younger crowd mixed of both sexes. It’s great to see on one hand, but on the other hand this means more competition! I’ve noticed the amount of good stuff I’ve been picking up in charity shops has really reduced in number to almost nothing now; they’re really picked clean. There are so many people collecting now. I just have to remember that it’s good for the format in the long term, and for the continued production of the format / new releases.

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