AUTOBAHN,
The TVD First Date

“As a young child I remember the record cabinet looming over me like a tall skyscraper. A plethora of 12” vinyl stacked in alphabetical order ran through the walnut cased rack. I’d push each record in just enough so they all lined up, then nudge them out so I could do it all again.”

“Even at this early age I knew not to fuck up these records. I’d happily carve my name into the family mantelware or use the single paned front door as target practice for free kicks, but I stayed clear of those records. They had some importance, some mysterious being, which gravitated me toward them when the turntable spun. My earliest memory of music will have come from that turntable, the first time I ever listened to Bob Dylan, the first time I ever listened to the Sex Pistols, and last time I ever listened to Pink Floyd.

The day came when I could finally just reach the summit of the cabinet, leading to the impossible task of choosing a record to play. I’d deliberate for half an hour trying to decide which Frankie Goes to Hollywood album to put on. Spend another half an hour working out which side I had to play first. Listen to the first couple of songs at the wrong speed, before final getting that ‘Maha-hiya, Guess what’s happening now?’ at the start of ‘Relax.’ YES I’d made it, what a banger.

I’d then listen back to that same track, ten or twenty times. Moving the stylus back to the start. It’s something I still do to this day, I’ll listen to something on repeat until it kills me. While the record played I’d read through every last note in the inlay, trying to find any hidden bits of information about the artist. Back when I was a lad, there wasn’t any internet, so this all meant a lot. The internet has ruined that mystique, I still try avoiding the news.

For this piece I decided to look through all my collection to find my first owned vinyl. Digging deep into a dusty record box I find a colourful 7-inch record, etched with ‘A PERSONALISED RECORD FOR CRAIG – 4 DISCO PARTY SONGS’ from 1985. This must have been given to me at birth and played on the record player when I was brought home. Listening back now, track ‘Play the game’ sounds pretty frightening. Imagine a half speed, warped Devo, trying to claw you back into the abyss…terrifying.

I guess my love of music, vinyl, and walnut furniture all stem from that record player—thank god for that.”
Craig Johnson

AUTOBAHN’s The Moral Crossing is in stores today, November 3 via felte (The Americas) and Tough Love Records (rest of world) on limited edition white vinyl. It can be pre-ordered here.

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