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Hello, kind readers. Now that I have the production process streamlined, I thought it might be worth reflecting a moment on the potential of Rhythm Connection. My record collection is not huge, perhaps only hundreds from the African diaspora. Yet the records are mostly pristine, played only once or twice after purchasing them new. Most were bought in the wonderful shops in the Bay Area, but I also collected some during a year in Brixton, and on a couple of trips to southern Africa.

Bit o' music
Back in the day, I used to record new records onto cassette both for portability (Walkman, car) and to protect the record. Soon after CDs eclipsed vinyl, I became a music journalist and radio dj, and amassed several thousand CDs. The constant need to review new CDs meant there was almost no time to listen to music for pleasure, and my records and tapes were forgotten in storage. In fact, my entire perspective on modern African music (including sub-genres like reggae, soca, zouk, salsa, etc., etc.) became jaded, for complex reasons.

Most of my collection languished in boxes for over 15 years! Exploring this online community of music lovers rekindled my passion, though, and as I greedily consumed fresh, wonderful offerings by those kindred (and inspirational) blogs along the left side of this page, I also began to explore my own collection. And I wanted to be able to give back to this generous community.

Sound Rack
So this blog is the result of overcoming inertia, and figuring out the technical steps needed to get great music into your hands. I dub records from a Rega Planar 3 turntable with an RB300 arm and a lightly used Linn K9 cartridge. The Rega is mounted on a Rega wall mount to isolate its sound. All records are cleaned with a VPI 16.5 vacuum record cleaner before dubbing. Tapes are routed from a Nakamichi CR-3 cassette deck. Sound passes through a new Marantz PM 5004 integrated amplifier, and then via CAT-5 cable to my office iMac. Recordings are made with Amadeus, and no effort is made to filter any flaws. (Actually, I am experimenting with some click repair and de-noising, though I'm not skilled enough to satisfy myself with the sound, nor with the time it takes me. However I have now begun capturing recordings at 24 bits). As my records are generally like-new, usually they sound clean. Hopefully in the future I will make a couple of improvements that may improve the sound even more.  I pass all this information along for anyone else interested in embarking on this endeavor.

I'm pleased with the result. My recordings sound great, at least to me. I hope to post a couple of albums a week. Sadly, by the time I get through my record collection, CDs may be obsolete; yet then, and not until then, there may be a whole world of out-of-print CDs to share!

The View While Recording
This site itself may evolve into a communal effort, too, as is happening now on the excellent South African music site, freedomjive. I invite you to follow me along this journey. If you want to do so via RSS, paste this address into your RSS reader: