17 July 2012
I first heard this record back in January, when i found a copy at the consistently great Rough Trade (East) record shop in Brick Lane. Being a big fan of Terje’s productions, i was excited to see he had a new EP out. I was in a bit of a hurry, as i was shopping with my girlfriend, she was ready to go and getting bored so I gave it a quick listen and then wondered whether it was worth adding to the small pile i had already accrued. I wasn’t convinced that i would but, thinking I was probably missing something, I gave them all another quick spin just to be sure. “Nah, it’s good and I’d definitely enjoy it, dance to it if I heard it out but it’s not THAT good,” I hastily concluded. “If i was a richer man…” etc. In these hard times, with spare change to blow on vinyl being in such short supply and a relative luxury, I’ve become a much more selective collector than ever before. More fool me.
Fast forward six months and every DJ worth his/her salt seems to be either talking about this record or playing it. I had a conversation at the weekend along much the same lines as the wee anecdote above with my friend, Brian d’Souza, who is currently in demand all over the UK/Europe as Auntie Flo, following a couple of killer EPs and a great album called Future Rhythm Machine on the Huntleys & Palmers label (but I digress, so more about that later). Brian had also listened to the record on release, been slightly underwhelmed and so not picked it up immediately, reserving judgement for later. He told me that he’d heard Inspector Norse played in the early hours of the morning at Sonar, just before he’d left the festival and flown directly to London, where he was doing another gig at the Lovebox festival, only to hear the very same tune being given an airing by the DJ playing as soon as he walked in…
Duly affected by that (now-that-I-hear-it-again) admittedly completely infectious riff, Brian bagged a copy of the vinyl himself and I’ll probably end up doing the same thing at the next opportunity (it’s amazing how this kind of buzz can change your opinion of a piece of music as a DJ)… There will, of course, be those who argue that this tune’s ubiquity is actually a pretty good reason not to bother picking up a copy now. ‘Everyone will be sick of it by the end of the summer’ etc. And, while there may be some truth in that with regard to the Inspector Norse track per se, I’m now very much inclined to disagree with this assessment of the EP in full. As i say, it’s curious how a bit of a buzz can affect your judgement but i will stand by it now, six months after making my initial, much rasher decision, what with the benefit of hindsight, a fresh assessment etc.
Having missed the Ragysh vinyl when it first emerged but played all of the digital files from the EP to death last Summer / Autumn, I wasn’t remotely shy about picking that vinyl up when it was re-pressed it. It is, as they say, ALL GOOD. And, having had the whole of It’s The Arps on rotation again this afternoon, I expect i’ll actually feel much the same about its superbly psychedelic synths twelve months hence.
I remember thinking in Rough Trade how beautifully produced Arps is and how much i liked the fact that Terje had once again thrown in all of these lush, analogue work-outs, Swing Star Parts I & II, on the B-side. Inspector Norse’s freshness may well only last for the rest of summer but the extra tracks on Arps – including the brilliantly quirky Myggsomer (which sounds a lot like Terje has been listening to the output of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) and all of which show just how far Terje has come since he initially cracked the dancefloor with Eurodans (via Soul Jazz and Full Pupp) back in 2004/5 – are very much the reasons for shelling out the extra money on this EP in all its glory, on vinyl.
All of this serves as a reminder of just how easy it is to get your hands on music these days and how much less meaningful/more ephemeral that makes the whole thing for many people. Those in the know also say that most of the people who pirate music or share bootleg files are the most enthusiastic supporters and biggest spenders on music as well, which is quite an interesting fact when you think about it. But, again, that’s another tale…