By The Old Punk
All of the music that I've uploaded is ripped from my own collection (unless otherwise stated) and, with the exception of the sample tracks, is deleted / hard (if not impossible) to find online elsewhere / generally expensive to buy second-hand if you can track it down. On the odd occasion, I may also rip and upload stuff that's old but been re-released - the costs of recording, artwork etc. should've been covered by the original pressing selling out and, from a political and moral level, I don't think bands and labels (especially labels) have the right to a permanent income from their efforts once they've covered costs and received a fair 'wage' for their time and energy. I'm making them available for free because I think that these bands are an important part of radical musical and political culture and history (although on occasion it may just be because I think they make a good noise). They're also fuckin' great to drink, dance and revolt to.
If you want something and the link's broken, leave a comment or email me - I can usually upload it again pretty quickly for you. And if you have any problems with downloading or playing the files, let me know where you're getting stuck and I'll see if I can help out.
If you're the copyright owner and want me to take your tracks down, tell me and I'll happily do it. Please don't sue me. It's not punk and I've got fuck all anyway. I've spent it all on your music.
The technical shit
If I rip from vinyl, I use a Sony RCD-W100 recordable CD player and Pro-Ject Debut III turntable (Ortofon OM5E cart with Stylus 10 needle). All the vinyl is pre-cleaned with a KAB EV-1 (although there are good DIY alternatives for the more technically competent) and L'Art Du Son solution. That doesn't get rid of the scratches on some of 'em from years of hard party abuse when I was young, but that just adds to the character eh?
Whether I've ripped the vinyl to CD or I'm using an original CD recording, I extract the files using either Foobar 2000 (which is also a shit-hot media player) or Exact Audio Copy (EAC) software (both can burn discs too although I prefer Burrrn!, a free dedicated burning prog). Original CDs are extracted straight to .flac files using the FLAC codec (pre-March 2010 rips use the LAME codec set to V0 variable bit rate (VBR)). Vinyl rips gets extracted as a .wav file for cutting into individual tracks using Audacity, an open source audio editor (which you can also use for recording directly from hifi to PC, as well as cleaning up the sound or processing it some more if you want). After editing, they're resaved as .flac files using Audacity with the same FLAC codec and settings as EAC. Any additional tagging is done with MP3TAG (a free file tagger).
The files are shared using torrents. I've written a bit more about the hows and whys already, so take a look if you're not sure what I'm on about. I also try to upload files to MediaFire (MF), but it's become really unreliable, and I can't guarantee they'll always be available. For MF, they're zipped into folders using 7-Zip (open source file compressor and extractor). You can use the same program to unzip them again once you've downloaded them to your machine.
Did you notice that all of the above software is free? Good news for thrifty punks everywhere (although a donation where asked for is a nice gesture).
All of this sounds a lot more complicated than it is in practice, and the end results certainly justify the slight learning curve. Even an old git like me managed to follow the various guides available to get it all set up and working together. If you wanna try these programs but can't quite figure it all out, give me a shout and I'll try and point you in the right direction.
When we review something, we use this as a guide to what we think about it. A rating of 3 @s is a decent benchmark. It indicates that it ticks all the right boxes for that particular style, not necessarily that original but consistently good enough to make it enjoyable rather than endurable. Top marks are given to masters of their particular craft, while a lonely @ means it's probably best left to completists / die-hard fans only - any standout tracks can be found elsewhere. The X is self-explanatory.
Of course, the ratings only show our personal opinions but, coupled with the sample tracks and write-ups, it's hopefully enough to let you make a good call before splashing out the cash. If you think we've got it wrong, it's easy enough to speak your mind.
Ripping and editing the music, creating the images, uploading it all, then researching and writing about the releases takes a good couple of hours for each one. If you grab anything we've put up please don't forget that a 'thanks' costs nothing, makes everyone feel good, and is PUNK AS FUCK!