Stuart Wain (Lunar Cult)

Squarepusher vinyl

In My Vinyl Offering, we get up close and personal with your favorite metal musicians and friends to find out the most cherished parts of their record, CD or tape collection. This time around we feature the vinyl collection of musician and writer Stuart Wain, the man behind the bleeps and bloops of Lunar Cult.

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

The first vinyl I can remember buying with my own money was a second-hand copy of Powerslave by Iron Maiden, from a market stall that sold records and band merch. It was a pretty poor-quality copy, and the second side skipped like crazy – I think it was possibly even a bootleg. But it still felt like something important in my relationship with music. I’d brought lots of CDs before that, many of which I still have deep emotional connections to, but none really had the significance of buying a vinyl for the first time, especially as it was at a time when vinyl wasn’t fashionable like it is now (and nor were Iron Maiden, either).

The record that made me want to make music was…

The one that made me think “maybe I can do this!” in the sense of more than just messing around with a guitar or drums was GQ on the EQ++ by Kid606. At 16, the idea of being a solo metal or rock artist wasn’t on my radar – making guitar-based music that wasn’t, like, white-boy-with-an-acoustic-guitar like Bob Dylan, needed a band (or so my teenage-self thought), and I knew very few people who were on a similar musical wavelength to me – the few bands I became involved with inevitably went nowhere, not even playing any gigs. But solo electronic musicians like Kid606, Aphex Twin, and Alec Empire felt like people I could emulate. Of course, I had no idea what technology they were using, and the internet wasn’t as well developed as it is now (dial-up was the norm at the time, and there was no social media, or search engines as reliable as they are now), so didn’t actually succeed in acting on that desire at the time (despite my best attempts). Plus, I was a kid with no money! Haha. It’s only within the last year that I started getting interested in making electronic music again, after years of writing black metal and punk riffs that never quite coalesced into full songs.

The record I’ve played more than any other is…

It would be a close call between Yaphet Kotto’s Syncopated Synthetic Laments for Love and the Big Loada EP by Squarepusher. I brought both records during my late teens when I was at uni, and I’ve fond memories of staying up late listening to them, playing Command & Conquer with my hometown friends after a night at the pub, or switching between late-night studying and playing Pokemon video games. I also love how the Yaphet Kotto LP has a locked groove, which repeats “Bush is a dickhead” over and over. It’s a pretty immature form of political protest, but still funny (and, given that it was released in 2001, it felt highly relevant). If we include records I’ve owned on both vinyl and CD, The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails and Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger would be up there for sure.

The record that always make me feel good is…

The Crowning Quietus by Inconcessus Lux Lucis. It’s so ridiculous! Almost avant-garde black-thrash that morphs into classic metal feel-good grooves. It shouldn’t exist or work, but it totally does. The closing half of the last track is stupidly good, and I can’t help but marvel at the sheer absurdity of how it shifts direction. If you haven’t heard it already, go listen to it now.

SubRosa vinyl

The record I turn to when I’m feeling down is…

No Help for the Mighty Ones by SubRosa. This record (and band, really) is hugely inspiring, helping me feel connected to something bigger than myself, and grounded when my worries can run out of control – which is kinda ironic, given that it makes me think of fantasy worlds and other-worldly tales, as rooted in humanity as it is. I was lucky enough to chat to some of the band after the Manchester date of their UK tour a few years ago, and they were as lovely as you could possibly hope for.

The record with my favorite cover art is…

The Ladder by Palace of Worms. It’s insane! The level of symbolism and detail in it is incredible, what with the double-helix rising from the rotting corpse and ascending towards a heaven that looks as terrifying as it is glorious. It’s also one of my favourite black metal-adjacent records (I’m not sure if it can really be term as black metal, given that it owes as much to Celtic Frost’s Into the Pandemonium as it does anything else, but that’s the direction I always approached Palace of Worms from). I don’t normally buy records from overseas because of the shipping prices – especially in the last few years, what with Brexit leaving the Pound Sterling exchange rate in the gutter – but I had to make an exception for this.

The strangest LP I own is…

Tough question! I’m not sure if I’d consider any of my current collection to be inherently strange. But probably the most interesting one I’ve owned was the Nai Harvest & Playlounge split EP released by Dog Knights Productions. Dog Knights have a great reputation for releasing interesting vinyl – each of their releases has a host of colour variants, often including marbled vinyl, multi-coloured stripes, and gorgeous splatter vinyl. But this split was on a flower-shaped record, with a 7” playing surface. It was pretty cool to see. I sold it recently though; I’ve had to downsize my collection, and this was one that, sadly, I chose to part with. It wasn’t easy to do so.

The rarest LP I own is…

I’m not entirely sure! I’ve got an original press of City of Caterpillar’s self-titled album, which is pretty dear to me. And a copy of the split 7” between Indian Summer and Ordination of Aaron that I’d struggle to replace in anywhere near as good condition as my copy. I’ve been checking through my collection recently though, especially those records I haven’t played in years, and found some in there that are seemingly kinda rare. Going by Discogs prices I’ve a copy of Ceephax Acid Crew’s Part One EP which is quite rare and could potentially sell for a fair bit, but maybe that’s just people being optimistic with their pricing. But if we consider CDs, then I’ve a copy of Caina’s first demo, When We Are Grown, We Will Be Strong which isn’t even listed on Discogs – was really happy to get a copy of that!

The last LP I bought was…

The last LP I brought was Behold Sedition Plainsong by Dawn Ray’d. Even though I was lucky enough to get a promo download I love this band and record so much that I wanted to show support by buying a physical copy direct from them when they played at Damnation Fest. I also spoke a little with Simon (vocals) after the show, who is absolutely lovely – maximum support to this band and what they’re trying to do both musically and politically!

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Lunar Cult’s second EP of anti-fascist, minimalist black metal inspired chiptune, Upon What Has Gone Before, was released on August 30, 2019. You can download a copy from Bandcamp.

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About the Author

Ken Kopija
I'm a black coffee drinking curmudgeon who loves heavy metal and 80s alternative music.

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