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Family members: Jonathan, The Rural Goose

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Balearic Breakfast is a Family affair. Jonathan became a friend a few months ago when he told me how much he liked the blog. Let's meet the Rural Goose!

 

Dear Jonathan, thank you so much for answering these five very Balearic questions (laughs)! First things first, what were the first records you listened to when growing up? My pleasure, Artur; I'm honoured to be asked! My first memory of enjoying and taking an interest in music was listening to my dad's cassettes in his car; I particularly remember a great Best of Roxy Music, along with Jean-Michel Jarre and Jan Hammer compilations. Actually, the first record I ever bought was a 7" of Phil Collins - Easy Lover. I bought it whilst on a French trip with the school. When I got back to the bus, I looked at it and to my horror, I saw that it had a really big hole in the centre. Luckily, one of my ever-helpful fellow pupils said he had an adapter I could buy to solve the problem; he could sell it to me for £30.00, a bargain!! Fortunately, I got home, and my dad already had one! I then remember getting particularly good value out of 'Now That's What I Call Music 7', along with the necessary Sony Walkman! The first band I became a big fan of was INXS, but that was probably because other friends were too. I personally also really liked the sound of the early Pet Shop Boys. I could relate to Chris Lowe, and I liked their stylish minimalism; it seemed more grown up than other pop music. The cover art and videos also were quite arty, I thought. I remember hearing S-Express on the radio and thinking, this sounds different. I think it was my first encounter with dance music!

Your eclectic musical tastes and excellent musical knowledge lead me to this second question. How do you listen to music? Are you the “analytical” type of listener, or do you simply enjoy the music? By the way, do you see yourself as an audiophile? I generally try to listen to music in a room where all the records, CDs and HiFi are situated, as it is well set up for it. Living in the country with no neighbours in earshot can allow the volume knob to creep up as the night goes on and the wine goes down (laughs!). I don't think I am an analytical listener; I often fall asleep ;-). I think I use it mainly to relax with a drink at the end of the day. There was a time when I was listening to the kit more than the music because the HiFi wasn't right, which is some people's definition of an audiophile, I guess. However, now, I have a more transparent system that doesn't really get in the way of the music; I find myself listening more and investing in the music rather than the HiFi system, which I actually get far more pleasure from. I still tinker, though; squash balls under the CD player worked quite well the other day! As chief Uber driver to my teenage kids who hate living in the country and need to be in constant company with their townie friends in different towns, I also listen a lot in the car! You also shared with me your passion for djing. When preparing for a set, how do you choose the songs you’re going to play? Do you take some extras “just in case" or stick to a prepared set tailored for the venue? The DJ sets I do are generally two 40-minute sets. I do them with a few other friends, and we play for 4 hours. I prepare and have a predetermined set to play. However, I always take a good few extra records to allow me to try and follow the mood of the place where required. Ideas can come from anywhere, for example, the weather, what is happening in the world or perhaps a new record I have picked up and can build an arrangement around it, for example, if the weather is good, maybe Balearic; if wintery, perhaps some deep jazz for a while. For this coming month, I picked up the Frida track played on the Balearic Breakfast 3rd anniversary show and plan to build some Abba-esque bits around that!

We met thanks to “Balearic Breakfast”, and you told me that you are presently working on a nice project on Discogs (which influenced me about presenting the related posts differently, laughs!). Can you tell us more about this ?! Yes, with great pleasure. You know, Balearic Breakfast has been quite an eye-opener for me. I thought I had a relatively broad range of music tastes. Still, the show has really enlightened me about less mainstream material from an era before I started listening, i.e., the late seventies and early eighties. I think the production on many of these records is top-drawer, too, which makes them even more enjoyable. Plus, I have discovered a lot of later material that has been off my radar for one reason or another; it's hard to get to everything. Balearic Breakfast has struck a chord with me, as I enjoy and admire 95% of what is played. So I started to make a central list of everything played on the shows, and I thought Discogs would be a great place to do this as it can be shared with others who might also take an interest in collecting the records / CDs played on the show, too. In my opinion, there is still nothing like owning physical media, as it's your own and cannot be taken away. Tracks on streaming services go AWOL all the time (laughs!). I decided to list the albums on which the tracks appear rather than the single version. The album is generally more valuable as they are the same purchase price as the single. That is unless the 12" is played and offers any real significance over the album version. The Balearic Breakfast Discogs list link is visible from the Discogs release page, so it also advertises the show (https://www.discogs.com/lists/Balearic-Breakfast/1337331). The hope is that other diggers can also discover the show through the list and join the family! I also added the tracks to a Spotify playlist, although I see others have done this too (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5Exgt3H5en9Izu9mVpZmfj). So, it's a long-term project. I am only at show 16, but I expect it will gain momentum as I try to while away some dark, colder winter nights over the coming months.

That's so cool. Really! I will try to help you the best I can, as I'm still catching up on older shows and publishing posts about them! As we can feel it, music is all around you, really. But you’re into sports too, you love cycling! Do you believe that “being Balearic” is also about caring for oneself through sports? Does music accompany you when you’re riding? Well, I am not sporty in the competitive sense, but I do enjoy cycling, more for the challenge or adventure than anything else, in fact! I particularly like long-distance cycling, where you go out for the day or more and cover a pre-determined route and distance. It's called Audax cycling or Randonneuring in continental Europe. This form of cycling gives me great freedom, which could be considered Balearic, I suppose. Oh, of course, It isn't too Balearic when the rain is coming down and the wind is blowing the wrong way (in your face), though (laughs!).

On some of the longer rides, I might put on a 4-hour Gilles Peterson show and dip in and out of it as the mood takes me. Depends on road and traffic conditions, though. In Ireland, where you may have wide-open, quiet roads, it's relatively safe to listen at lower volumes compared to busy cities, which wouldn't really work for me anyway (also, those Bluetooth JBL speakers fit rather well in a bottle cage, but you do look pretty mad to the onlookers as I have found)!

Thank you so much, dear Jonathan; I'll see you soon! My pleasure, Artur!



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