For those who are into absorbing sparse modern folk with a cerebral poetic twist a la Wilco or Sparklehorse, then the sparse and etched sounds of Royal City will carry you through another joyfully unbalanced day. This is urban home recording at its honest best. Almost everything has that microphone-in-the-kitchen feel, thus being a highly suitable sonic reflection of what this nicely rough and loose playing combo of piano, guitar, organ, voice and drums are all about. The recording was first done onto ADAT but was soon found to be unsatisfactory, so the band reverted to the trusty analog 4 and 8-track machines. What is best and ballsy about the whole ordeal is that the final mixdown was done in gloriously forgotten MONO, making this all sound so very communistic in approach. Nice. (Threegut Records, 9 St. Patrick's Sq., Toronto, ON M5T 1W8 Canada,

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

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