Trunk Records.

So a good friend of the store, Jeff, recently told me about Trunk Records. Trunk are a small label (each album has a pressing of 500) run by one guy in England, Johnny Trunk. Jeff thought it might be something for us to carry in the store as it's not widely available here. I was pretty excited when I saw the site as besides being records of things I have never heard of even existing (incidental music to Dawn of the Dead!?), the packaging for all these are beautiful and it's all focused on mid sixities to mid seventies oddities like obscure film scores, commercial jingles, obscure english jazz, children's folk music, and unknown composers. I suppose vinyl hounds know about all this stuff, but for everyone else, trunk's catalogue is a minor revelation putting back into print truly great music. The Trunk Records site is also great in that way that you hope all personal businesses are great by being totally idiosyncratic and weird with their owner's obsessions overriding the need to SELL products. A section on nude cook books! Why? I guess the same reason there are sections and links to seventies interior design (dont be surprised when my next 30 comics all take place in manchester living rooms in 1976), record bin recommendations, and long rambling stream of conscious essays on where he found the original recordings, what he had for breakfast that day and why english bums are beautiful. Because Johnny Trunk is an odd duck.
So the stuff (what wasn't already sold out) finally arrived and I got chance to actual listen to it and its as good as one could hope. Every album is something I would never get the chance to hear otherwise on my own and more importantly really really good. The sort of interesting stuff that you can get insane about. One record in particular, Fuzzy Felt Folk, has been on rotation in the studio and at home everyday for the last month.
What is Fuzzy Felt Folk? Well in johnny's own words from the linear notes:
Hello and welcome to an explanation of Fuzzy-Felt Folk. This peculiar genre of sound came in to being one afternoon a few years ago when I was listening to kooky, childish records with fellow collector Martin Green. He played me the recording he'd found of "The Elf" which I found extremely charming, and when we tried to put our finger on exactly the sort of sound it was, Martin said 'Fuzzy-Felt Folk". It's a phrase that has stayed with me ever since and perfectly explains this quite wonderful area of sound.

The music has to have a childish, sweet sound but at the same time can have an old fashioned, spooky edge. This is music you may well have heard growing up and that also sound relevant and fine right now. These are the kind of gentle sounds you could (and possibly should) play to your children today. The tracks compiled on this album are quite something - we go from rare unreleased soundtrack demos to naive experimental psychedelia and even some rare music from seminal arts and craft-based TV series "Vision On" There is music made for dancing, skipping and dreaming. And of course for prancing around old school assembly halls acting like a tree.

Sounds great doesn't it? All the songs on this have that great thing of the best pop music-it sounds totally fun and pretty, with things like lush string sections, soft teenage girl voices, wazoo bands, deep english voices singing songs about Robin Hood and trolls which is all great, but with this deep undercurrent of sadness and longing (and a bit of nostalgia too) that takes it from being a fun novelty comp to something really memorable. It's the kind of thing that when people come into the room when its on, they comment on it, sorta make fun of it for sounding so NOT like anything and then ask me to burn a copy for them.
An excellent record that I can't recommend enough and now, I am proud to report, available online, on CD only.
The vinyl, like the rest of the Trunk catalogue, sold out as soon as it was released (becoming highly sought after ebay items). But Family has vinyl of the most recent releases. All future stuff, like the Blood on Satan's Claw soundtrack (!), will be online as it's released.

P.S. if you want to get a better idea of all this music, check out the the new 10th anniversary Trunk CD which features stuff from many past and upcoming Trunk releases:
1) I Start Counting (Demo): Basil Kirchin - From Fuzzy Felt Folk
2) Dark World: Sven Libaek - From Inner Space, the lost film music of Sven Libaek
3) Kiddush: Herbie (unreleased!) - From the forthcoming album Hear, O Israel
4) Zeus: Jonny Trunk - from The Inside Outside
5) Delia`s Psychedelian Waltz: From The Tomorrow People
6) Icicles: Douglas Wood (unreleased!) From the forthcoming G Is For Groovy album
7) Clangers: Music (edit) - Vernon Elliott - From The Clangers TV soundtrack
8) Orriel Smith: Tiffany Glass - From Fuzzy Felt Folk
9) Timex: Mike Sammes - from Music For Biscuits
10) Nature Waltz: Sven Libaek, From Inner Space, the lost film music of Sven Libaek
11) Waiting For Nina: Paul Lewis (unreleased!) From the forthcoming G Is For Groovy
12) Kes - Front Titles: John Cameron - From Kes, the original soundtrack
13) Kathy Crowned: Marc Wilkinson (unreleased!) From the forthcoming Blood On Satan`s Claw soundtrack
14) Sketches Of Israel: Michael Garrick, from the album Moonscape
15) Martin`s Theme: Dirty Fan Male
16) My Special Message - Dirty Fan Male
17) Sweet Young Fumbles: Mike Sammes -from The album Music For Biscuits
18) The Elf: Barbara Moore Singers -from the album Fuzzy Felt Folk
19) Negatives: Basil Kirchin (unreleased!), from the estate of Basil Kirchin
20) The Ladies' Bras: Wisbey (unreleased!)
21) Hula Saw: Bill Posters Will Be Band (Live at The Bull in Barnes), from the Battle of Bosworth
22) Secret Track: My Darling Teresa (unreleased!)

posted by sammy at 12:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to buy a bunch of stuff on your online shop but everything is out of stock.too bad for you!!

9:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For real. Anti-capitalism performance art. Cool!

10:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fucking love this blog. Like, a lot. Sammy, would it be cool if I post some pictures of yours that I found on Google Image Search on my blog? (Meaning I already did a while back.) I'm writing up a blurb about my Tom Gauld MOCCA acquisitions, and will probably write about your stuff eventually. Crickets, most likely.

Thanks man.
Ryan T.

10:41 PM  

Blogger sammy said...

-anonymous you are too slow! youre being left in the dust! WAKE UP CHOP CHOP
-lin, yes whatever is cool.

8:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what the anonymines are trying to say is that you need to pretend to be better businessmens/womens. I also tried to buy a few things, but everything came up OUT OF STOCK in internet sadtown. I went to another shop. Chop, chop, you. Updates, updates. Stay in biz!

5:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy. The first anonymous is me, "anonymous #1". I am not anonymous #2. The votes are in!!

6:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

that INNER SPACE record is awesome

2:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post...keep it coming.

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1:00 PM  

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