Some people try to use bouncing to squeeze a lot of tracks onto a 4-track recording, to simulate a live band using overdubs. There's even an album called Made on a Teac that explains how to bounce 12 tracks down to 4. On his first solo release, Port Chalmers, New Zealand resident Brian Crook takes quite a different approach. The album is sparse, containing merely Crook's guitar, his vocals, and sometimes drumming by either Robbie Yeats or Peter Stapleton. Crook's solo material ranges from ambient soundscapes to more straightforward songs, reflecting his diverse experience playing in the Terminals, Renderers, and Flies Inside The Sun, amongst other bands. After hearing Crook sharing the spotlight in all of those groups, it's great that his fluid guitar playing and understand singing receive central focus in these sparse arrangements. While the packaging includes no information about recording, I'm assuming that it was created in a very modest 4-track setup. Everything sounds great, and a lot of attention was obviously paid to the recording and mixing, no matter what equipment was used. (Medication) 63 Purakaunui Road, R.D. One Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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