These two records capture the raw and trashy sound of two powerful rock bands playing. They resemble the sound of Spot's Husker Du recordings or Chris Burgess's work with My Dad is Dead more than records made today. Craig Bowen, who plays in Ink and recorded both records, describes his approach as, "I like things to sound natural and present and like the band in the room," and these recordings reflect that mentality. Bowen started ACR Audio in Baltimore 6 years ago, and it now resides in its second home, in the industrial Pigtown neighborhood. He employs a spacious live room and recently configured a new control room. To capture these sounds, his equipment collection includes an Ampex MM1000 2" 16-track, Telefunken v72 preamps, and Coles and Neumann microphones. Poem Rocket's Psychogeography crosses the dense guitar onslaught of '80s New Yorkers like the Band of Susans with the more melodic drone/pop combination of New Zealand bands like the Gordons and the 3Ds. Bowen's band Ink, which features two members of Baltimore's defunct Candy Machine, juxtaposes rhythmic vocals against a melodic but repetitive backing. Both bands combine aggression with restraint, and these recordings effectively reflect this approach. (Atavistic, PO Box 578266, Chicago IL 60657)

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

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