Recycled materials affect sound regardless of color. Black, purple, picture disk--the appearance really doesn't matter because a turntable needle will quickly break down shoddy material in place of the strong base found in well-made records. Reprocessing PVC isn't the best option--particularly for delicate audio reproduction--and affects the medium's purity, speaking strictly on the subject of playback. On paper, a piece of wax culled from the rainbow's palette can theoretically sound better than a release pressed in black. Unfortunately, the situation is usually the other way around, with colored records receiving the short end of the stick as black vinyl retains the tried-and-true formula mastered after decades of development.
|No post is complete without eye candy.|
Naturally, I was skeptical when two variants of Cold Blue Mountain's self-titled debut fell in my lap, but I silently noted the blue/white eye candy as soon as I pulled it from its slipcase. Both records are identical in terms of packaging and include a poster, as well as a download card to redeem a digital copy of the music from Bandcamp. As far as I know, the colored piece is limited to 100 copies, while the black is a little more common at 200. Had I not received the blue/white combination as a generous gift, I probably wouldn't have added it to my collection in the first place--and I'd be blissfully unaware of the best-sounding colored record I've been fortunate enough to hear.
|Black records have stood the test of time.|
Whether or not the colored copy will hold up after repeated listens remains a mystery to me, and perhaps it's worth revisiting in a post. For now, I can largely attribute sublime sound to the record being partially transparent, much like my colorless copy of Agalloch's Marrow of the Spirit. The trend is certainly no coincidence, especially because I assume both records were made from virgin material. Clear and transparent (pick a poison) offer a layer of extensive musical immersion--not unlike properly-pressed black vinyl--and pin-pointing the source can be tough. I'm no rocket scientist, as you expected, so it's past me to break down the manufacture process.
In any case, Gogmagogical Records has done a stellar job at serving up a rock-solid sophomore release. Compared with the original offering, Fister's Violence, Cold Blue Mountain is considerably more exciting and suggest the label's roster should groove rather than plod. And that's exactly what the Ohio-based record company needs--intoxicating music that gets better with every listen. Black or blue, Cold Blue Mountain's first album is a clear winner, and the record to add to your shortlist.
|Note: the poster is not shown here.|