A MUSIC enthusiast from Lezant is preparing to take on a new challenge as he launches his own vinyl-only record label.

After more than fifty years of attending gigs, collecting, promoting and writing about some of the world’s most obscure and innovative musicians, it was only a matter of time before retired Launceston accountant Colin Hill launched what is thought to be North Cornwall’s first vinyl-only record label, High On The Pyg Track.

His most recent release, ‘Memory or Dream’, is by The Brainiac Five, a band formed in the late 1970s in Penzance and who played many times in the Launceston area.  

Colin said: “The Brainiacs were firm favourites at The White Horse Stable Bar with their unique blend of punk and sixties-influenced psychedelia and they privately-pressed two 7” records before re-basing to London in 1980 where unfortunately they struggled to get established in a very competitive musical environment and after about a year they split up. 

“However, in 2012, after a hiatus of over 30 years they reformed in London with most of the original members and subsequently released six critically-acclaimed albums on CD.  Although they officially split up in 2022, guitarist Charlie Taylor and bass-player Woody continued to work on new music independently of each other but after a series of serendipitous events — some including Cornish poet Bert Biscoe who was also a founder member of the band — they realised they had unfinished business and decided to make one final Brainiac Five album with three of the four original members (Charlie, Woody and Bert plus long-time associate guitarist Duncan Kerr). The resulting collection of songs could be their real magnum opus, has a strong elegiac aura with many references to the band’s heyday in Cornwall and they decided that it would be fitting for it to be released on vinyl (with a lyric insert) on a Cornish record label.”

As Colin was a long-time fan of the band he jumped at the opportunity and instructed his friend, the highly respected psychedelic artist John Hurford from Chulmleigh in North Devon, to design the cover which is jam-packed with Cornish images and dazzling psychedelic colours.  

Colin said: “Local music fans please note that only 265 copies have been pressed and that it is hoped that Bert Biscoe and possibly one or other of the Brainiacs will be appearing at an event in Launceston some time in the fairly near future.”

Visit Colin’s website www.pygtrack.com for news. 

High On The Pyg Track Records came into being when Colin’s old friend singer Rod Goodway who, on being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2021, sent him tapes partly-funded by DJ John Peel, that had been recorded in Puddletown, Dorset, in 1970 with two of his late friends who had been playing with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.  

Colin continued: “Their music, deemed too crazy for even the self-proclaimed ‘God of hell-fire’ Mr Brown, was an intense and bizarre mixture of American West Coast psychedelia, most specifically Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, and avant-garde classical music, particularly Bela Bartok, topped off with eccentric English humour (e.g. The Goons and Monty Python), all played in idiosyncratic time-signatures by guitarist Android Funnel and drummer Drachen Theaker. 

“They called themselves Rustic Hinge & The Provincial Swimmers and they intended releasing their epic twenty-five minute piece titled ‘T on the Lawn 4 3’, on vinyl that played from the centre outwards.  

“Unfortunately for Rod and his friends, John Peel’s record label, Dandelion Records, never actually got round to actually releasing it but Colin promised his friend that he’d endeavour to get the recordings released in this format, even if he had to do it himself. 

“True to his word, and with help from his long-time collaborator Nigel Cross, they were able to source a lathe-cutting machine previously used at the legendary Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama which was used to cut the ‘inside-out’ acetate from which the resultant records were pressed.  

“As with all Pyg Track records, the remarkable artwork for the Rustic Hinge album is by John Hurford.  The release comes in a double LP set with gatefold sleeve (playing in the orthodox fashion) with the option to buy a third disc (not available separately) which plays from the centre outwards.”

Pyg Track Records has also issued a new solo LP by Jens Unosson, a highly-respected singer-songwriter from Swedish psychedelic band the Spacious Mind, titled ‘Be as good to others as they are not to you’ and has plans to release more weird and wonderful music on vinyl with eye-popping sleeves. 

All Pyg Track releases are one-time limited-editions, available from Launceston’s new record store / coffee shop Keep Audio Co, Rival Records in Tavistock or direct from Colin whose e-mail is [email protected]