"All I Need" from Isn't Anything by My Bloody Valentine 

There was a drum machine beat just going like a heartbeat effect. I played an acoustic guitar to it and then it's basically an Alesis Midiverb II, it's the reverse reverb program. If I ever had a secret weapon it's the Alesis and the [Yamaha] SPX 90 and again, it's the reverse reverb program. We wanted an SPX. In the '80s in the small to midrange studios that was the kind of reverb. You wouldn't have the higher-up Yamaha things it was just like one unit. I got into it, oddly enough, reading a Bob Mould interview going, "I used reverse reverb before U2 and people like that" and I was thinking, "What is this reverse reverb?" It reverses the envelope — it creates a sort of simulated effect, you get kind of a rhythmic effect out of it if you have any transients, anything with attack, the attack comes back slightly but you wouldn't know it from listening to the record. We did was we took the whole track and put it on a tape and sped it up a few times so it's just the sound of some really high frequency thing, and that's just the track flying at four times the speed and there's not other guitars on it, no bass on it. If you can hear a tambourine then there's a tambourine. But, basically, it could've been done on an 8-track except for the fact that I just did four or five vocal tracks.


"Slow" from "You Made Me Realise" EP/single by MBV

That was the first time that I ever really, really used the tremolo arm the way I got known for using it and all it was was the guitar with the tone turned down, all the way off. So it just got no tone, this really dull sound, then holding the tremolo arm and playing the guitar quite soft like strumming really fast, like double time, and bending it into a kind of reverse reverb program. It would be guitar into the effect into the amp. Up until we did Loveless we only used Fender transistor amps. We didn't like valve amps then. I found valve amps a bit too unfocused. I liked the harder, more focused sounds of transistor amps, especially those little Fender Sidekick amps. That was the sound.


"I Believe" from "Feed Me With Your Kiss" EP/single by MBV  

I think that time we used — it could've been an SPX 90 instead of the Midiverb II, but it's just the reverse reverb program.

"MBV Arkestra" from XTERMNTR by Primal Scream

That came from the original tape. That was apparently a drum machine that Andrew Innes from Primal Scream did and it's through a wah. It sounds like a guitar, doesn't it? I thought it was as well. Yeah we just found all the good bits. We stuck that sound through the Midiverb II. That was just a disaster zone when it came to mastering because it starts off really quiet and then goes up about 12 dB by then end. People don't like doing that on records. It's all midrange, there's not much low end or high end, it's more just high mids.


"To Here Knows When" from Loveless by MBV

It's basically a guitar plugged straight into the SPX 90, the reverse reverb, and then when we printed that but basically it's a very soft sort of sound. The guitar sound, the bending thing, is one track and then I took that off tape and stuck that into a Marshall amp and then got that real growly kind of distorted sound by sending this sound off tape into a Marshall amp, recording that back and so that became the sound. For the low frequencies — there's no bass in that song — we used a BBC sound effects record and one of the things was a disaster in the distance and it's just the sound of rumbles, or...

The rest of this article is only available with a Basic or Premium subscription, or by purchasing back issue #26. For an upcoming year's free subscription, and our current issue on PDF...

Or Learn More