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.

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. 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. If the record has a lot of crud I will 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.

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.

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?


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
added The Art Of Noise With Max Headroom - Paranoimia to their collection. about 21 hours ago
added Juno Reactor - High Energy Protons to their collection. 1 day ago
submitted Juno Reactor - High Energy Protons. 1 day ago
submitted Sade - The Best Of Sade. 1 day ago
added Various - em:t0094 to their collection. 2 days ago
added The Orb - Back To Mine to their collection. 2 days ago
posted a comment on I:Cube - Lucifer En Discothèque EP. 4 days ago
If you are talking about the crackle in "Jah Menta", it's part of the song. You can also hear it is on a loop.
added Curtis Mayfield - The Very Best Of Curtis Mayfield to their collection. 5 days ago
added Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection to their collection. 12 days ago
added Sade - The Best Of Sade to their collection. 12 days ago
added Pointer Sisters - Break Out to their collection. 12 days ago
added Moby - Rare: The Collected B-Sides (1989-1993) to their collection. 12 days ago
added George Clinton - Atomic Dog to their collection. 12 days ago
added DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Homebase to their collection. 14 days ago
added Various - Three A.D. (Volume Three Ambient Dub) to their collection. 14 days ago
added Kool Moe Dee - Knowledge Is King to their collection. 15 days ago
added Various - Volume One to their collection. 15 days ago
added Pet Shop Boys - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing to their collection. 15 days ago
added Pet Shop Boys - Please / Further Listening 1984–1986 to their collection. 15 days ago
added Pet Shop Boys - So Hard to their collection. 15 days ago
submitted Peter Gabriel - Birdy . 15 days ago
added Duran Duran - Strange Behaviour to their collection. 16 days ago
submitted Various - Three A.D. (Volume Three Ambient Dub). 17 days ago
added The Future Sound Of London - Papua New Guinea Translations to their collection. 17 days ago
added Plaid - Double Figure to their collection. 20 days ago
added Boards Of Canada - Geogaddi to their collection. 21 days ago
added Link & E621 - Antacid to their collection. 21 days ago
added Slowdive - 5 EP (In Mind Remixes) to their collection. 21 days ago
added Andrea Parker - Melodious Thunk to their collection. 21 days ago
added Peter Benisch - Soundtrack Saga to their collection. 21 days ago
added The JAMs* A.K.A. The Timelords - The History Of The JAMS A.K.A. The Timelords to their collection. 22 days ago
added The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds to their collection. 22 days ago
added Various - Super Stars Super CD to their collection. 22 days ago
added Various - - Bless You to their collection. 23 days ago
submitted Orbital - The Middle Of Nowhere. 24 days ago
submitted 808 State - Cübik / Olympic / Pacific (8 Tracks). 25 days ago
added The Youngsters - Lemonorange to their collection. 25 days ago
added Carl Craig - More Songs About Food And Revolutionary Art to their collection. 25 days ago
submitted Various - Caipirinha Music: Re-Inventing Culture. 25 days ago
added Bandulu - Cornerstone to their collection. 25 days ago
added Various - Energy Rush to their collection. 25 days ago
submitted Apotheosis - O Fortuna. 25 days ago
added Art Of Noise* - The Best Of The Art Of Noise to their collection. 27 days ago
added The Art Of Noise - In No Sense? Nonsense! to their collection. 27 days ago
added Various - Kickin' Mental Detergent - Second Slammin' Volume to their collection. 28 days ago
submitted Various - Club Classics 1982-1984 Volume One. 28 days ago
submitted Various - Street Jams: Electric Funk Part 2. 28 days ago
submitted The Egyptian Lover* - Pyramix. 28 days ago
submitted Lamb - Lamb. 28 days ago
submitted Village People - The Best Of Village People. 29 days ago