Don’t know how I got here, but I just kinda, sorta fell in love with listening to “live” music, performances full of mushthakes, bum notes, off-key singing, garbled lyrics, ear-shattering amplifier feedback and alcohol-induced (or ego-fuelled) stage banter. It’s  about that little bit of ourselves that extends beyond the elevator: collecting & enjoying music. Apart from scavenging for books and kicking a football on Sundays, this is my other hobby.

Music trading is one of those things that no one plans for: much like a car accident or dialing a wrong number. It’s probably something that grew out of attending and listening to live music. Sharing music via trading can shed new light on familiar music, even bringing a different tone to songs well known or previously lost & forgotten. For the more serious fan, this hobby also allows you to chart the evolution of particular songs or phases; the audiophile amongst you will appreciate authentic live performances without the aid of over-dubs, re-mixes and such like. There are other shows which will make more sense to the obsessive compulsive amongst you. Don’t lower your expectations, though: you’ll hear hecklers and drunks, gossip and fights, pick-up lines and under-paid waitresses, amid the songs.

Most of the performances you come across in the trading community were taped by fans using basic (sometimes archaic) equipment under less than ideal conditions. Others were recorded for broadcast and subsequently circulated. A few were nicked straight from the Soundboard.

Three years and a thousand discs into my collection, I don’t really need anything – although there are concerts by favourite bands that I long to find. I don’t consider trades as forms of exchange; in fact, precisely the opposite. To consider one CDR as equivalent to another CDR is plainly too simplistic. Music is something that one cannot reduce to what Marx called “exchange value”. The upshot of all this is that sometimes discs get sent out just because.

Note: none of the discs listed here are commercial releases. It’s illegal, and I think also immoral, to trade official releases which deprive the copyright owner of proceeds. These discs, by contrast, are meant solely for private, aural enjoyment.

Send me an email

In urgent need of: Game Theory, The Reivers, The Neighbourhoods


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