Rail Dynamics

My first apartment was sort of close to the railway.  It wasn't beside it or anything but when a train went by, there was a light rumble and I could certainly hear the train and the bells going off to warn people that trains are big and can hurt you.  It never bothered me.  I actually liked the sounds.

I had a friend who grew up in Chicago and her first apartment was slightly closer to their train system.  Every few minutes a noisy, dirty, rickety old train would shake her place so bad that I felt like it would possibly cause infertility if I were to stay there for any extended time. 

Whatever your thoughts are on trains, the railway system was (and still is) the backbone of North America.  Without it we would likely have never heard of places like Vancouver, San Francisco or East Moline, Illinois.  We would have never had hobos.  There would be a whole genre of blues music missing in our lives.  The harmonica would just be an annoying whistle of sorts.  Yes, the rail system is not just a means of transporting people and goods for sale.  It is part of the stitching of the North American quilt.

This record is simply recordings from various stops along the New York Central railway.  Its beautiful.  Not just for the sounds of locomotives, diesel engines and passing night trains but for the fact that someone appreciated the railway enough to want to let these sounds tell their own story.  They do not produce vinyl like this anymore... sounds for the sake of sounds

I picked this up at a junk shop for $2 and while listening to it my girlfriend mentioned that she found it soothing and relaxing.  Now normally trains screaming past you with their air horns blaring would be the last thing you would think of as relaxing but there is simplistic beauty in these steam powered notes.  Its almost as if you are transported back to an era when trains were still miraculous.  When every technological advancement was seen as wizardry and not just something Apple did to their phones. 

If I took anything away from listening to this record it was that I should simply listen more.  There is music all around us in everyday situations.  Not just birds or frogs chirping but even in industrial noise and massive cityscapes.  We sometimes just forget to listen for it.

Artist: Trains
Title: Rail Dynamics
Label: Cook
Matrix: 1270
Year: ???
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

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