Spaghetti Junction

Faced with the life and death decisions of the Net’s culture of digital downloads, the music doctors at Noodles Discotheque go straight for the vinyl cutters. By anthony AT

A decade after the dance-music twelve-inch saved the age-old analogue vinyl from format extinction courtesy of the Digital Compact Disc, should we believe that having an MP3 music library available via your internet phone will make old-fashioned record labels extinct? Not so long as we have the disco according to Si Begg and Lenny Logan’s new label Noodles Discotheque.

Self-declared ‘Stupidest Recording Organisation in the World’, Noodles Discotheque has evolved from roots in the Cabbage Head Collective (see Mute 4) and Brighton’s No-Future. (Logan’s work is still largely unknown in the UK, but that of the label’s A&R man Si Begg is better recognised – thanks to work as Buckfunk 3000, remix work for Leftfield as well as countless releases on other labels such as Drought, Mosquito and N-Tone.)

Noodles’s double vinyl compilation, The Death of Cool, was released in 1997 to critical acclaim and instant cult status. Its satire on the tired clichés of marketing hype and pathological mutation of recognisable genres made it stand out like a beacon in a sea of self-similar compilation albums. To scramble the nomenclature even further, the tale’s next chapter is ‘Noodles Discotheque’ – a series of twelve-inches following the album’s culture-crunching logic, now stripped down into a toolkit of especially engineered cuts for DJs.

The décor of Skint Records’ Big Beat Boutique night at fashionable London night-spot Fabric, where Begg has a monthly residency, recently featured a large banner saying “It’s just a big disco”. And well, yes, it is. In the same way, Noodles Discotheque is simultaneously about breaking down the barriers of style – ‘punk’, ‘casual’, etc. – and keeping feet firmly planted in the disco which, after all, remains dance-music’s as much as turntables’ (and hence vinyl’s) home.

Still, the future is far from certain. Whether we like it or not, the ability to create quality vinyl may soon die out as a new generation of sound engineers grows up without the requisite training and experience to produce it. Logan, for his part, is considering ploughing the proceeds of Noodles Discotheque into purchasing a Neumann Cutting lath, the machine-tool that a cutting room (sic) uses to make master copies of records. For, as the Noodles small-print asserts, “this high-fidelity recording is scientifically designed to play with the highest quality of reproduction on the phonograph of your choice, new or can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future.” That way, even if vinyl dies, Noodles can live it in the future.

anthony AT

Noodles Discotheque 001 twelve-inch vinyl released August 21st 2000Noodles – The Complete Death Of Cool – will be out shortly thereafter.For more info and MP3 trailers and previews, check out: and