Music lover. For me, there's no such thing as “cheesy” music.

In the 1990s, I maintained and contributed to numerous discographies, FAQs, mailing lists and fanzines about artists, labels, and genres, including ambient music, the ZTT label, the Art of Noise, Moby, The Future Sound of London, Sun Electric, The Orb, The KLF, and C-Schulz. I co-ran the VRave chat server and Hyperreal, the first electronic music and rave information archive on the Internet. I ran the ambient music mailing list, and I wrote reviews and participated in discussions on various other electronic music related mailing lists. I was an ambient/downtempo DJ at raves & clubs in the U.S. Midwest, and was associated with the well-respected music/art/party collectives Illuminator and ele_mental. I worked for six years at a used record shop which is still in business today. I was also briefly a live sound assistant at various ska, reggae, and indie rock shows and video shoots.

Building on my HTML and system administration experience, in the 2000s I had a well-rounded Web technology and computer programming career with significant experience in Java and Python. In the areas of character encoding and certain technologies, I was near the top of my field and contributed to several standards. I also became deeply interested in Discogs, Wikipedia, and audio file formats.

In 2018, I was interviewed for a feature on the history of the IDM genre. Also in 2018, my 20-year audio engineering hobby was rewarded with the inclusion of one of my vinyl transfers on the Cutting Crew CD released by Universal Music Canada, followed in 2019 by transfer and remastering projects for digital reissues of various Canadian pop/rock LPs.

I'm a huge fan of rhythmic music, strong melodies, and nostalgic escapism, so I'm way into classic techno & house music and all of its influences, including original-era disco and Italo Disco. I dig the Balearic and Afro/Cosmic aesthetics, '60s & '80s pop, New Wave, funk/soul/R&B, old hip-hop, jazz, classical, you name it. I especially like music that combines or reinterprets established styles in novel ways, as long as it takes me on a journey.

My vinyl cleaning solution recipe: Roughly 90% distilled water and 10% isopropyl alcohol, plus 0.2% Alconox powder, which is a little under ½ teaspoon (2 mL, or 3 or 4 "pinches") per liter. Alconox is a lab-grade detergent, like for cleaning test tubes and beakers with minimal residue. At the record shop we used a much weaker concentration (97.6% distilled water and less than 0.1% Alconox), but I find the extra alcohol and detergent really helps. Just do not let it sit; rinse or vacuum it off as soon as you are done with the scrub. It's best to do a final rinse and vacuum. And never, ever use alcohol on 78s.

I use a squeeze bottle to put a generous amount on the record, and I spread it with a classic DiscWasher microfiber brush (any microfiber cloth will do), holding the brush against the surface of the record as it rotates on a turntable. I also use a small carbon-fiber brush; I hold it at a slight angle against the rotation so the fibers really get into and scrub the wet groove. I use a KAB EV-1 with my household canister vac to remove the dirty solution and dry the record, and pinch a piece of thin denim around the edge to dry the lead-in area, since the EV-1 does not quite reach to the edge of a 12-inch record. I do the whole process 2 or 3 times per side.

With this system I have gotten some major improvements on some discs, but don't expect miracles. Some crud is really stubborn, and of course scratches are irreparable.

Barcode scanning:
I wrote these articles:
• Discogs Wiki: UPC-A and EAN-13 barcodes (essential info and how to tell them apart)
• Discogs Wiki: CD matrix barcodes (general & company-specific info)
• Discogs Wiki: CD matrix barcode scanning (how-to)

What I use (as of 2020):
• hardware scanner: Motorola/Zebra DS9208 - connects to my computer via a USB cable and simulates keyboard input; configured with Zebra 123Scan
• smartphone/tablet app: Cognex Corporation Barcode Scanner SDK demo (Android | iOS) – featureful, ad-free, free of charge

Some of my data entry conventions/preferences:
• My devices are configured to scan the UPC/EAN add-on/supplemental (2-digit code following the main barcode on some items).
• My USB scanner is configured for HID input, i.e. it simulates keystrokes, directly typing the data into the release submission form.
• If using a mobile app, I manually transcribe what it reports, so errors are possible.
• If using a mobile app which reports a 13-digit EAN when scanning a UPC-A barcode (a shortcoming of many free apps), I omit the leading zero.
• When using my USB scanner configured to distinguish UPC-A and scanning an EAN-13 beginning with 0, I manually add the leading zero.
• Human-readable text is transcribed verbatim, with spaces representing any gaps, and all punctuation intact.
• BAOI descriptions are Scanned or Text, as recommended, optionally with location info (Sleeve, Sticker, Labels) when needed.
• BAOI descriptions I remove: Printed and String (both are ambiguous).
• Barcodes are placed together, as OK'd by staff (here also).
• Scanned is usually placed before Text due to a forum post by a user who said it helps in some contexts (this may be outdated now, though).

Vinyl track duration measurement: The following info is for people who are reviewing my edits to track durations on vinyl releases. The durations I enter are always based on measurements taken from my own rips to an uncompressed format. I carefully trim the audio in a wave editor to within ¼-second of the start and end of musical content, so that any between-track pauses, tape hiss, or tape bleed-through normally isn't included in the measurement. I then use the duration the editor tells me, but since Discogs doesn't support fractional seconds, I round up or down, usually up (though not always*). If there are special considerations, I'll mention them, but feel free to ask me questions.

My turntable is a well-cared-for Technics SL-1200M3D model I bought new in 1999. Like all 1200s, the motor is direct-drive and is controlled with "quartz locked" digital circuitry, making it one of the most accurate, speed-wise, in the industry. The M3D model is unique in that instead of a detent/click at the pitch adjustment slider's zero-point, it has a separate pitch reset button, which sets the pitch adjustment to zero regardless of the slider position. I always leave the reset button engaged when ripping. I also use the built-in strobe to visually verify that there's no drift, other than the normal and very slight “wow” oscillations; therefore, I'm fairly confident that my measurements are within about 1 second of correct. Incidentally, I've found that sometimes the same song can appear on different releases made from master tapes that were playing at slightly different speeds, thus they have slightly different durations.

* I admit, I'm inconsistent in my rounding. I'm never quite sure what to do with fractional seconds between about 0.200 and 0.499. I mean, it doesn't seem fair to say that something measured as 6:05.389 is “6:05” when it's actually a bit more than that, especially if there's no fade-out. But then again, is it fair to say it's “6:06” when it doesn't quite reach that mark?

My custom CSS for Discogs:
replace broken avatars
wide screen, monospace BAOI, etc.


Image credits for this profile:

avatar = a Tumbeast, by Matthew Inman. CC-BY-3.0 license.

background = a little part of "Alice in Wonderland" (2005), a painting by Sergey Tyukanov. Not licensed; hopefully he doesn't mind.


Just in case you thought the major labels kept detailed info about what they have actually released, here is an actual email I received in 2006 from an intern at Atlantic Records:

I just finished checking out the Strictly Rhythm discography on your website and I found it extremely helpful. I'm in the middle of trying to compile complete chronological discographies for all 12" released on the following labels:

Atlantic Records
Elektra Records
Warner Brothers Records
Tommy Boy Records
Cold Chillin' Records
Sugarhill Records

I realize your website is mainly for electronic music, but since your Strictly Rhythm discography was so helpful I wanted to know if you had discographies for any of those labels or could point me in the right direction for finding them (google hasn't been too helpful and has incomplete discographies for those labels). Any help would be great.

Recent Activity
posted a comment on Beethoven* - Staatskapelle Berlin, Vocal Soloists & Chorus*, Otmar Suitner - Symphony No. 9 Choral. 13 days ago
There is an article about this CD in the Dec. 17, 1983 issue of Billboard. This is not only the first 71-minute CD, it was also one of the first Denon CDs to be shipped in a blister pack.
added Tones On Tail - Performance to their collection. 25 days ago
added Information Society - Walking Away to their collection. about 1 month ago
submitted The Art Of Noise - Legacy. about 1 month ago
posted a comment on Khan - I Don't Wanna Say Anything. about 1 month ago
This is one of those highly suspicious "promos" which are almost certainly not promos, despite being marked as such. There is no other vinyl release, and look at how many people have this—165! On Discogs the "haves" of the most popular electronic ... See full review
posted a comment on Jonathan Gable - Central Park. about 1 month ago
I don't know what I was thinking. Indeed the vocalist is totally different.
submitted Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls. 2 months ago
posted a comment on Pet Shop Boys - So Hard. 2 months ago
I have never seen one of these with a red tray, so I bet it is something a previous owner did. I used to do that.
submitted Галина Карева - Старинные Романсы. 2 months ago
submitted Галина Карева - Русские Старинные Романсы. 2 months ago
submitted Евгений Беляев - Русские Песни И Романсы. 2 months ago
added Галина Карева - Старинные Романсы to their collection. 2 months ago
submitted Michel Rubini & Denny Jaeger - The Hunger (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). 3 months ago
added Frank Sinatra - The Capitol Years to their collection. 3 months ago
added Sun Electric - Present to their collection. 3 months ago
added All Systems Go - Pop Muzik to their collection. 3 months ago
added A Guy Called Gerald - Automanikk (Bass Overload Mix) to their collection. 3 months ago
posted a comment on Radioactive Goldfish - L.S.D. Is The Bomb. 3 months ago
The main voice sample comes from the first episode of the 1967 TV series Dragnet.
added The KLF Featuring The Children Of The Revolution - What Time Is Love? (Live At Trancentral) to their collection. 3 months ago
added The Spider (2) - Help to their collection. 3 months ago
added The Grid - A Beat Called Love to their collection. 3 months ago
added Gypsy (4) - Funk De Fino to their collection. 3 months ago
added Queen Latifah - Come Into My House to their collection. 3 months ago
added Funtopia - Beautiful People / Let Us Rise to their collection. 3 months ago
added Massive Attack - Safe From Harm (Remix) to their collection. 3 months ago
added The Funky Lowlives - Till I Left The Music to their collection. 3 months ago
added Procreation - Procreation to their collection. 3 months ago
added Dale* - Simon Simon to their collection. 3 months ago
added NewOrder* - Blue Monday 1988 to their collection. 3 months ago
submitted Depeche Mode - Policy Of Truth. 3 months ago
added DepecheMode* - World In My Eyes / Happiest Girl to their collection. 3 months ago
added DepecheMode* - World In My Eyes / Happiest Girl / Sea Of Sin to their collection. 3 months ago
added Yello - Call It Love to their collection. 3 months ago
added Yello - You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess to their collection. 3 months ago
added Propaganda - p: Machinery (Polish) to their collection. 3 months ago
added The Art Of Noise Featuring Duane Eddy - Peter Gunn (Extended Version) to their collection. 3 months ago
added The Art Of Noise - (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise to their collection. 3 months ago
added C-Schulz - 10. Hose Horn to their collection. 3 months ago
added Tangerine Dream - Streethawk to their collection. 3 months ago
submitted Tangerine Dream - Le Parc. 3 months ago
added Tangerine Dream - Flashpoint (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) to their collection. 3 months ago
added Barry Adamson - Moss Side Story to their collection. 3 months ago
submitted David Sylvian + Holger Czukay - Plight & Premonition. 3 months ago
added Various - The Lost Boys - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to their collection. 3 months ago
added Various - Manhunter to their collection. 3 months ago
added New Order - True Faith to their collection. 3 months ago
added Gary Numan - Dance to their collection. 3 months ago
added Information Society - How Long to their collection. 3 months ago
added Information Society - Think to their collection. 3 months ago
added Pet Shop Boys - So Hard (The KLF Vs Pet Shop Boys) to their collection. 3 months ago