For The Love of Vinyl: Brian Not Brian

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For The Love Of Vinyl is a blog interview series with record collectors from across the Globe. Up next: Brian Not Brian. Co-Founder of one of the most interesting outsider electronic music labels of the moment Going Good Records, Brian Not Brian is a true crate digger on a neverending quest for obscure, under-the-radar sounds and a truly fantastic DJ and selector. 

 

1. Hey Brian. Where did you grow up? And who or what sparked your love for music and vinyl?

Hey Miguel! I grew up in glorious Northern Ireland - Home of giants, car bombs and Liam Neeson. I guess my biggest inspiration would have been being utterly bored out of my mind when growing up to be honest! Well, that and staying out of trouble I suppose. In terms of people I'd say local DJ's such as David Holmes, Iain McCready, Stan Ferguson, Chris Caul and a few others had a big impact, alongside my circle of friends who were all music heads.

2. How did Going Good get started and what really sparked you into getting the label going?

Going Good was born of the frustration of two very unmotivated friends who couldn't really get it together to make music themselves. Instead we decided other people were much better at all that stuff than us and we'd probably be best suited to giving much better looking, cooler and more talented people a platform for their creative output. We also believed that we'd make a shit-ton of cash in the process. It's gonna happen. Any day now! 

3. What attracted you to vinyl as a record collector? And as a record label owner?

I have never seen myself a collector. I'm a DJ first and foremost, my records are my tools as they're pretty much always in use. Obviously I have records that I don't play out in clubs and just listen to at home, but the majority of what I own I have used in a club / dancing capacity at some stage. I've never been one of those 'trophy record' type people, that stuff winds me up! As a label owner there was no question that we'd put records out, both me & Sal have been involved in DJ culture all our lives so it's totally a logical and natural thing to put records out for us. Also I get a kick out of bossing people around so I felt if I had my own label I could do that on a daily basis. 

Photo credits: Flux music

Photo credits: Flux music

4. When did you start collecting records? Do you still remember the first record you ever bought?

I probably first got into buying my own records around 1993, I had been listening to music before that, whatever was being played at the local youth club roller disco (D-Mob, 2 in a room, that sort of that thing). I remember my sister gave me (or did I pinch it?) an Inner City 12 called 'Paradise - remixes' and some other bits and bobs, she was into dance music for a bit back then so I sort of acquired some of her records. I think one of the first records I went out and bought with my own cash was maybe Outkast's 'Players Ball'? My memory is not what it used to be! But yeah, I think it was that one. Still a killer track today! 

5. How big is your record collection and how do you organise your records?

I've never actually counted my records, but I did input it all into Discogs once a couple of years ago when I literally had nothing better to do and it was a couple of thousand. But recently I moved house (after almost 15 years in the same spot!) so I got rid of quite a chunk. Now it's a lot leaner but I'm sure the quality is as patchy as it's always been! In terms of organisation, it's not very organised at all! Need to sort that out I reckon, having trouble locating my Dolly Parton 12"s. As far as the organisational angle goes it's split into LP's / 12"s / 7"s - That's it! 

6. Any rarity you’ve been looking for forever?

Oh yeah, for sure.. too many! Off the top of my head these ones would be nice to own - 

Having loads of IC stuff and loving the label for years this one's always eluded me, pure snythed out bliss

Always wanted one of these, again, not ever seen a copy! As usual it's pretty wigged out in true Massiera fashion:

I know PPU just reissued this, but they did it without that sleeve! 'Thinking about you' is a total bomb: 

I had this when it came out, but I made a deal with an old friend when I was a bit 'inebriated'. Been trying to get it back ever since (Cheers Nik):

Absolutely killer narcotic, Eastern leaning dubby house(?) / balearic monster in the shape of 'Istanbul': 

I always thought I'd just stumble upon this one, but no! Elusive indeed. The 'Step on' guy gets cosmic! The cheaper Patrick Juvet version is also killer: 

7. Do you collect other stuff?

No, not really. I mean, back in the day I used to be really into graphic novels and had quite the stash, The Punisher 'Kingdom gone' was a big one for me as it was fully illustrated by the incredible painter Bill Sienkiewicz (He also did record sleeves for EPMD, RZA & loads more) and was a heavy, heavy story about how Frank Castle actually became The Punisher. I also dug his rendition of frank Miller's 'Elektra' too, that was visually mind-blowing. But mainly for me, it's always been records that have held the most attraction. But like I said before - definitely not a collector! 

8. If you could curate a movie soundtrack, which movie would you pick and which tracks would you select?

I think i'd like to have a crack at re-soundtracking the 1982 graffiti / hip-hop documentary 'Style Wars', It's a big influence on me since I was a teen and I always though that even though there is some great music featured in it it could have been done better and the way some of the music is edited and synced was a little sloppy, it was almost as if because the visual content was so top shelf that the music was an afterthought. Yeah, I reckon that could do with a spruce up but obviously Rammellzee & K-Rob's 'Beat Bop' would stay. 

9. What’s your current setup at home?

At the moment I have one 1200 and one 1210 set up in my living room with another 1200 in my basement, a Rane MP2016 rotary mixer, a cheap German isolator, some Celestion Ditton speakers and a nice 1970's Pioneer amplifier. There's a tape deck floating around somewhere too. I'd love to add some CDJ's in to the set-up though, I get loads of files given to me that sometimes never get released or are just things my mates have made so it'd be nice to be able to play them at home too. 

10. Which artist makes you want to have their whole discography? Why?

Well, a few years ago it would have been David Axelrod (RIP) but I stopped sort of seeing his LP's around. I'd still like to own them all. Also I went through a period of buying all of Klaus Schulze's stuff on spec, not even listening to it, just bagging it. I ended up with a LOT of records that sounded quite similar in the end. Saying that though, he has done some absolutely killer stuff and I've kept the one's I love. I always buy anything with Maurice Fulton's name on these days, he's one of the most original producers out there right now (& for many years actually), Funk is a big touchstone for his sound for sure and the way his productions sound are just immense, especially the drum programming, his tracks sound huge in the club. I'll always buy a record that the Mizzell brothers are involved in too, as a 'former' hip hop dude those guys music is embedded in my psyche! In fact me & my girl were just listening to Bobbi Humphrey the other night and it sounded incredible! 

11. Any artists or vinyl labels that have caught your attention recently?

There's tons of great music around at the minute, we're very spoilt I think! In terms of cool labels I came across lately I'd have to say I really dig the Cejero label out of Copenhagen. They're putting out some amazing stuff from artists like Jamal Moss and Robert Turman and their aesthetic is so good. I have to give my pal Danny Bushes' label a shout out too, it's only starting out but he's going to put out some fresh stuff and the first 12" they released was excellent. I always check out Demdike Stare's DDS label too, those guys have amazing ears and release some fantastic stuff. Recently i've been digging back through the Idjut Boys NOID catalogue too, those guys are amazing and they put out some great edits and original material on there. There's literally tons of good labels around these days, sometimes it's hard to keep up! In terms of contemporary artists I like I'll always check out what Sex Tags, DJ QU, Nuel, Edward, Maurice Fulton, Telephones, Bjorn Torske, Joe Claussell, Madlib, Optimo, Marcellus Pittman, The Maghreban, Harvey and FIT are doing (amongst others!).

12. When you go record shopping, how do you usually pick a record? And what do you look for in a record?

Most of the time I'm looking for things that are in my wants list, I still have pre-internet handwritten one's from years ago where I've still not found the records! But usually I'll look at loads of little details, producers, country, year, artwork, mastering engineers etc. Proper nerd stuff. Of course i'll take gambles too which can either turn out to be totally revelatory or just plain shit. 

13. Favourite record shop?

Oh, that's a tough one. Usually it'll be the one that gives me a cheeky discount! I go to so many that it's hard to just pick one spot, I guess the one I go to most is Greenwich MVE, they've always good stock in and it's pretty well priced too. Charity shops and places like them always feature heavily in my digging too, nothing better than picking up a killer record for super cheap, that's the one! Though saying that a lot of chazzers these days are taking the piss slightly with their pricing. 

 

P.S. Brian Not Brian is playing at this year's Farr Festival, one of the best boutique festivals in the UK. To find out more about Brian Not Brian, upcoming gigs, mixes and releases, check his soundcloud page.

Posted by: Miguel Ferreira

Founder & Selector at That Special Record. Miguel loves writing stories about outsider electronic music & vinyl culture.