RECORDS TO CHECK OUT!
We got sent a lot of decent records since starting Tape Op. Briefly, here's some of the highlights and general recording info.
Gastr Del Sol
Upgrade and Afterlife (Drag City)
Amazing sounds and noises assembled to be music and listening. Jim O'Rourke is the recording genius in this combo, and he's worked with many other artists in the studio in wildly creative ways. I think it's time to interview him for Tape Op.
Karl Hendricks Trio
For a While it was Funny (Merge)
I've never been the greatest fan of this band, maybe I don't get into the songwriting, but Brian Paulson is the producer here and he once again exhibits his flair for capturing a band's strengths without adding any overbearing producer "tricks." It's like he's invisible or something, which just goes to show how well he gets to tape what's going on. Now he'd be an interesting interview!
Dave Allen and the Elastic Purejoy
The Clutter of Pop (Schizophonic.World Domination)
Dave used to be the inventive bassist in Gang of Four and Shriekback and here he's the singer. It's odd pop music, recorded very clean and brightly but not too shimmery or lifeless. I still miss the days of his Go4 bass attack.
Nuetral Milk Hotel
On Avery Island (Merge)
If you read the Apples article you'll realize this was recorded by Robert from that band. Jeff Mangum is the one-man genius behind NMH and he's cool. The tunes are bizarre and fun, the sounds are fuzzy, murky and clear at the same time and it all works. Robert's 4 track reel-to-reel production is outstanding and stuff is layered deep to the best effect. Worth picking up.
Fasionably Lame (World Domination)
Kicking a Couple Around (Drag City)
Arise Therefore (Drag City)
So, like all these records were recorded by Steve Albini, probably one of the most outspoken and interesting producers of our time. I've heard he has a sort of sliding scale, like, say you're on a big label and totally blow, well, he'll charge quite a bit of money but if you're on some "cool" label and have something "real" going on then the rates drop down into the realistic range. I like this idea. Anyway, let's hope he got payed a lot to record Lizard Music, quite a bit less to do Palace, and did Smog for free. And you know what, they are all recorded real well, appropriate sound and feel for what's going on, which is the reason you call them "producers", okay?
RECORDS WE ACTUALLY BOUGHT!
First Steps and False Alarms (Ajax)
Clean & Stephen member's home recordings that'll mesmerize you. Revox A77 captured the genuis.
A great Portland band that will either be compared to the Uncle Tupelo clan or ignored, which is fucked 'cause they write some great tunes. Production is minimal, almost live, which is a nice change from the "accidently" too polished in the studio thing that most bands succumb to.
Guided By Voices
Under the Bushes Under the Stars (Matador)
Do I really need to tell you this is great? If you're reading Tape Op and you've never heard GBV then get to it, okay? They embody every screw-the-studio, let's just do it concept that I'm trying to get across. Rumor has it that the tapes from their first studio session were burned by the band in disappointment. Yay!