These items are from my own collection (unless noted) and have been transferred to the best of my abilities, without the aid of expensive noise reduction software. They are for research purposes only. With just a few rare exceptions, I post items that are not available on CD in any way, shape, or form.
Excavated Shellac is also on Facebook.
As I mentioned in my first post:
It’s been my philosophy that good music is best when it is shared. Of course, nothing beats that feeling, say, when you alone break open that box from Turkey or Indonesia, place the fragile platter on the turntable, only to feel your hair stand on end when the music begins. The feeling that you’ve never heard anything like this before in your life; it transports you to a place where words are irrelevant. But part of that feeling is thinking how you’d want to share that with others, to have them feel exactly the same way. This music – old music – never sounds “old” to me, personally. In fact, I believe that it is music of THE FUTURE. Our future.
Record collectors are eccentric people. I don’t even like the term “record collector.” They’ve been parodied far too many times. Accurately, I might add. But I could not live with myself as a “collector” without at least one person I could share sounds with. So this blog is for my friends, and for you, stranger.
If you like what you’re hearing, drop me a line. Yes, yes, it’s okay to download everything and then leave, but seriously – if you feel so moved, give me a shout out!
E-mail me for more information, or if you are the copyright holder of materials herein, and would like something removed.
With respect to the pioneers: Pat Conte, Richard Spottswood, Benno Haupl, Michael Kinnear, Hugo Strotbaum, Rob Allingham, Chris Strachwitz, Pekka Gronow, and Paul Vernon.
The written work on this blog is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
And of course, if you find any interesting 78s and would like to unload them, please get in touch!
Q: What kind of equipment do you use?
A: For at home listening, I use a workhorse Esoteric Sound turntable from the mid-90s (when they rebuilt Gemini turntables), about 6 different 78rpm styli, mostly made by Expert (but also Stanton and Ortofon). I run the turntable through a KAB EQS MK12 preamp, and then a NuMark 30-band equalizer. I use Cambridge Sound speakers.
Q: How do you transfer the tracks?
A: I bring all tracks into the computer raw, clean them up and EQ them using SoundForge and Cool Edit Pro with a variety of noise reduction plugins. Then a mono mix-down.
Q: How come you don’t post more tracks?
A: I like to take my time with my posts. Less is more, in some ways. I am also very busy and that’s a big factor.
Q: How long are the mp3s posted for?
A: They are posted here on the site for a while, and then they move over to the Excavated Shellac page at WFMU’s Free Music Project. If you don’t find something here, check there.
Q: Do you have any stuff from [fill in the blank]…?
A: Maybe. I have material from all over, although there are many gaps I’m constantly trying to fill. Most really great 78s are at the same time some of the hardest to find. There are some places where early recording engineers did not travel. My specialty is probably music from Africa, but obviously it’s such a vast continent with many recorded musical styles in each country, that’s crazy to even state. Let’s just say that I’ve worked hard to find lots of tough African 78s.
Q: I really like this one track – can you make me a CD of all your tracks from that particular region?
A: I hate to even bring this up, but I’ve received a lot of requests like this, and I kind of understand. But, unfortunately, I just don’t have time to do that. I wish I did, but I just don’t, I’m sorry. Keep checking in and perhaps I’ll post more of whatever you’re particularly interested in.
Q: You collect 78s? So, is “Ghost World” accurate in their portrayal of 78 collectors?
A: Another one I’m asked fairly often, believe it or not. And whenever I do, I become instantly crestfallen - either that or I fly into a rage: “Do I look like a Dan Clowes character? Huh?” The fact is, “Ghost World” is painfully accurate in some ways (“You think it’s healthy to obsessively collect things? You can’t connect with other people, so you fill your life with stuff…”), and a hilarious stereotype in others. No, we’re not all single dudes – no, we’re not all socially retarded or hopeless in one way or another…but there’s a heaping topping of obsession there, and we all deal with it in our own way, I guess. Eh, I could go on and on, but this ain’t the place.
I hope any viewers and listeners out there appreciate the music.