Favourite Fives : Paul Byrne

I could rattle on about the few sites I check on a daily basis – so rather than that I suggest you open up your browser of choice and type in Test Pressing. You’ll be greeted with a plethora of DJ mixes, interviews, reviews and the odd Face Magazine scan representing everything that’s deemed Balearic.

We turned the tables on one half of TP, and Paul kindly obliged to give us his Favourite Fives.

Book : Carson McCullers ‘The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter’ / Josh Foer ‘Moonwalking With Einstein’

I am cheating and picked two. These two were my holiday books. I asked my friend for a novel to read (she’s the ‘always lost in a novel’ type) and she recommended Carson McCullers. I said I wanted something optimistic and she was like ‘yeah – you’ll love it’. Well it’s not optimistic at all and she was lying. It is though a beautiful book set in a small backwoods town in America that has one big dusty mood hanging over it. The author wrote it when she was in her mid-20s, which is impressive enough as it is, but put that to the side and feel like you are walking through that town with those people. Get lost in this one over winter if you haven’t read it and it won’t let you down.

The other book is Joshua Foer’s ‘Moonwalking With Einstein’. This one is about memory and chronicles the real life tale of the author as he goes from covering a memory championship to winning it in one year. It teaches you how to use your memory (invented by the Greeks) whereby you create a space in your head that you can visualise (your mums house for example) and then you place objects, people or whatever around it in a story fashion. I taught my boy how to do this memory thing on the beach on holiday, he made me write a list of 100 things, came back an hour later and repeated them all perfectly in order. We’d have nailed it on the Generation Game. Point is it’s very entertaining but also pretty handy. If you’ve got kids at school read this and get them on it. They’ll nail their GCSEs.



Item of Clothing : My Old Marl Sweatshirt

I’ve had this since I was about 18. I cut the label out then so haven’t a clue who made it as I’d buy ten now if I knew who made it but its one of those american brands. The point is its the comfiest thing I own and just hangs right on my bones. Sometimes you put something on and it gives you the same feeling as sitting on your sofa and putting your feet up. Not sure you can see an item of clothing as ‘my old friend’ but if you could this would be it.


Art : James Turrell ‘Wedgework V’

I went to the Light Show at the Hayward on the South Bank in London in February which was a collection of various artists work in the light field and have to say this was the piece that blew me away. Like the Carson McCullers book it just has a total overall mood. You sit there and gaze into this beautiful light and get lost in it. Its like a light version of a Rothko. I could have sat there for hours. I went back a few weeks later to look at it again and as it was my birthday I got a bit stoned and went and sat and it was even better. I would love to go to an exhibition of his work or even better his Roden Crater in Arizona. The man has a gift.


Music : Linda Di Franco / TV Scene

Not a record I play a lot anymore at home or anything but a sort of important one for me and the website we run. Test Pressing was sort of born around the time of Lovefingers, Bum Rocks and all that stuff… You know, guest tunes etc etc… It took a while and we sort of kept going, Rob got on the firm in Japan and here we are. The website is doing alright these days with and people say nice things. This record is important as it was sort of an anthem for the eclectic scene we are in having a rebirth. There was the first wave of balearic stuff in the 80s and now we are having another one (everyone and everything is balearic these days) but for me it seems we just take all the best bits from disco, house, reggae whatever and put it all together in one big melting pot of good music that sits to the right-hand side. I’ve started seeing it as the new world music as its exactly what world music should be to me. The best music from everywhere. This record does everything right. Large dose of sunshine, amazing production, congas, good song etc etc… It’s overplayed but that just tells you how great it is.


Something Else : Ku Posters

Can’t really say too much on this stuff right now but my favourite things recently have been these Ku posters we have been collecting. We are working on a little project that should be happening in summer next year with some lovely people involved. Its the organic way of life. Someone puts you onto something and as we now know how to run with an idea and make it work you can get it going. This one I hope will work.


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