THE APPLES in stereo
Tone Soul Evolution
Ive only had time to listen to the first few songs on this record but one thing's for sure- you need this album. The Apples continue on their bright pop path, this time recording at home on the 8 track and also at Studio .45 in Hartford, CT. If you remember correctly, you'll place that studio at the heart of the last Lily's CD, another fine psychedelic pop record. Once again, lead Apple Robert produced but Studio .45 main man Mike Deming co-engineered and mixed with him. It's great, trust me. (SpinArt, PO Box 1798, New York, NY 10156)
Shelter From the Smoke
This solo CD from the ex-leader of The Mice sat on my desk for a few weeks until tonight when it finally went into the player and shit, by the first song I knew I'd be checking this one out for a long time. Coming on like Roger McGuinn as recorded by Tobin Sprout it's right up my pop alley. Bill recorded all this on a four track cassette and had help from our pals Don Depew at 609 and Mike McDonald of Big Toe Recording (and a Tape Op contributor). It's a great example of four track cassette being totally suited to some purposes and I'm sure if it had a "studio sheen" I'd have been a lot less interested on first listen, y'know? (Cherry Pop, PO Box 400, Cleveland, OH 44107)
Caul of the Outlaw
Chris Heazlewood of King Loser is a 4 track reel to reel fiend. He's done a ton of stuff on these things. The extensive recording notes indicate which tracks were done on the trusty TEAC ¼" deck and which were recorded by "David Hornblow, tape operator, tontechnik and general asshole" on his "Atari (sic) ½" eight track" The neat thing is that the four track stuff sounds much better than the eight track recordings. Cool. Oh yeah, the music is totally fuckin' great. (Flying Nun, PO Box 3470, Chapel Hill, NC 27515)
If you're not a Barbara Manning fan this, her latest (and maybe 10th or so LP appearance) would be a fine place to start. Most of the record was recorded with Joey Burns and John Convertino, the rhythm section from the fabled Giant Sand at The Wave Lab in Tuscon, Arizona. It sounds amazing; totally clear and present but not at all over done. The sole track not recorded there was done with Jim O'Rourke at his house. It's a very scary fire piece that fits into "The Arsonist Story", the leadoff micro rock-opera on the CD. Basically, this is another amazing record by Barbara and a very well recorded one at that (not to slight Greg Freeman, of course...) (Matador)
THE AMERICAN ANALOG SET
From Our Living Room to Yours
There's no info on this CD, and I lost the press kit, but I believe this was recorded at home on an 8 track setup. It's cool dreamy organ pop like current Yo La Tengo stuff but much more drawn out and spacey, experimental and good. Well made and it's a treat to listen to late at night. Emperor Jones, PO Box 49771, Austin, TX 78765)
In what is probably a side path, Sonic Youth wander over to Wharton Tiers' place and lay down four tripped out instrumentals that just happen to be some of my favorite stuff of their's ever. It's just a nice feeling when they don't have to be a pop band and can let their hair down and jam. Plus, Wharton is one of the coolest engineers around, I mean, who else would have let Unrest record Imperial? (SYR, PO Box 6179, Hoboken, NJ 07030)
HOOKER O. K.
All I should need to say is that this CD was recorded on a 4 track cassette recorder using only PZM microphones and it sounds great. If that doesn't pique the typical Tape Op reader's interest I don't know what will. How about that one member is in the fab Number One Cup combo? Or that it's another Kingsize mastering job. Just buy a copy and quit saying you need new gear. (Sweet Pea, 2144 Farragut Ave., Chicago, IL 60625)
Last issue reported on my friend Adam's problem with a disintegrated pinch roller gumming up all over a reel of tape. It appears they carefully cleaned the reel with soap and water and have been able to save it all to ADAT. Alright!