Purrkur Pillnikk‘s Tilf may seem like an odd choice for me to play on my Crosley. After all, it’s a desirable early 1980s Icelandic punk 7″, and while far from being one of the most valuable ones, it still sells in the $50+ range. This copy, however, isn’t worth anywhere near that due to some very unfortunate and heavy warping.
My friend Ingvar of Lucky Records fame gave this to me for free a few years ago, figuring maybe I could somehow flatten it out enough to play. So for nearly two full years it’s sat in the middle of a nearly foot-high stack of large format music books on top of my record shelf. I did try using a hairdryer on it at one point without success, and while I considered the old sandwiching it between two panes of glass and putting it in the oven trick, that seemed like a lot of work and almost certain to destroy it completely. It turned out the books worked, sort of. I think it flattened out a bit, though it’s still a mess, and while I wouldn’t want to put it on my Rega, I figured I’d give it a try on the Crosley since one of the knocks on that player is the heavy weight/pressure the tonearm applies to the records. Maybe that weight would keep the stylus in the groove, and even if it puts way more wear on it than a better record player would, it’s not like Tilf is something I’ll be playing a lot, nor do I need to worry about its condition since its already pretty atrocious.
And I’ll be damned if it didn’t play fairly well. The opening song of side B was a bit warbly, but all-in-all it played OK and didn’t sound half bad, even out of the little tiny speakers built into the Crosley. The Crosley doesn’t seem to like how close the grooves run to the inner label, as it’s auto-stop function kicks in prior to the end of the last song on each side, but that can be turned off, so not a problem.
Purrkur Pillnikk cram 10 songs onto the Tilf 7″, which ain’t easy to do. All the tracks appear on the two CD band compilation called Í Augum Úti that came out back in 2001 (a 44-song monster that you can buy via iTunes for $19.99), so none of these songs are “new” to me, but it was cool to see this record find a new life long after it appeared it had given up the ghost. I certainly wish it was a nicer copy, but it was a gift and I was able to make something out of nothing, which is exactly what Ingvar was hoping would happen.
So a big “Takk” to you if you’re reading this Ingvar, and we’ll be seeing you in Reykjavik in a few weeks for Iceland Airwaves ’15. I’m bringing a pocket full of kronur and an empty record bag…