Ace of Tramps

Monday, 5 February 2007

I collect cheap label records. It began out of curiosity: I wanted to know what kind of music there was on all the records that nobody seemed to have interest in. Most of these records come from the places that are just one step away from the trashcan. But I soon discovered that, apart from audio archeological artifacts, that shed some interesting light on the mysteries of music, some of these cheap records were much better than I expected.
A famous cheap label is Populaire Platen Kring, that released a few dozen E.P.’s and a handful of LP’s in the 60’s, in several European countries. Their repertoire consisted of covers of hits, played by studio musicians, that clearly had their minds on other things while they recorded these songs. I have learned to appreciate listening to music that completely lacks signs of inspiration and internal motivation. But I will not bother you here with examples of this genre.
On the PPK records there are also a few recordings that are worth being re-released on CD. Like the E.P with eight songs that supposedly were played by Orchestra The Tramps. But I have never heard of any other recordings by the same orchestra, so I guess The Tramps never really existed, apart from the few hours that the musicians needed to get these eight tunes on tape.
Without the experience of having listened to the complete PPK catalogue, hearing only one song by The Tramps will probably not have the same impact on you as it had on me. But the good news is that the PPK records can still be found in any second hand record store for a few cents.