The latest issue of The Sound Projector, Ed Pinsent’s hefty annual survey of interesting music, has hit the streets.
For over a decade now, the magazine has ploughed an unfashionable furrow, championing the alternative, overlooked and avant garde. It thankfully steers clear of the pretentious language usually associated with ‘Art’ criticism, instead bringing honesty, healthy scepticism and insight to the subject and making a lively and straight-talking case for why this music is important and can enrich our lives.
The magazine sees music as an active, not a passive experience, as born out in both its motto ‘better listening through imagination’ and Ed’s uncanny facility for translating his listening experiences into evocative visual descriptions. Helped by regular contributors Jennifor Hor, Richard Rees Jones and Aaron Robertson, he investigates such diverse areas as folk music, Black Metal, field recordings and, this issue, Australian surf music.
My contribution to this issue is an essay which explores the thinking behind the Guilty Pleasures (TM) phenomenon, whereby music fans confess their love for uncool records by the likes of Phil Collins or David Essex, and finds it wanting. By way of comparison, readers may also be interested in the appreciative surveys of 90s chart music which I compiled for previous issues of the mag; the issues in question are now sold out but the first of them can be downloaded as a pdf via Scribd (see The Chartists, p76). Happy readings!