Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Houston, we have a problem.

I have been formally asked to cease and desist all New Order / Joy Division activity, regardless of material and sourcing.  It was mentioned to me that the label has been focusing on me/the blog(s) as well.  Therefore, for my own protection and sanity, it's time to take a timeout and reconsider this blog (and I'm no longer going to be posting on The New Order Archives).

Maybe I'll start a blog about kittens.

-Analog Loyalist

Friday, November 30, 2012

An update

Removed text of email. I have asked for clarification if this is a general Cease and Desist request for all things Joy Division/New Order; I will update with any response.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DMCA: it's happened again, with Joy Division this time.

Today I received two notices from Mediafire stating the two Joy Division files (Part 1.zip and Part 2.zip) for the University of London Union were suspended due to DMCA complaints.


Dear MediaFire User:


MediaFire has received notification under the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") that your usage of a file is allegedly infringing on the file creator's copyright protection.

The file named JD - 1980_02-08 ULU (2012 master) part 2.zip is identified by the key (8nwbdu0xrzkvyge).

As a result of this notice, pursuant to Section 512(c)(1)(C) of the DMCA, we have suspended access to the file.

The reason for suspension was:

                I have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

Information about the party that filed the report:

Company Name: GrayZone, Inc
Contact Address:
Contact Name: GrayZone, Inc.
Contact Phone: (718) 360-9941
Contact Email: grayzone@grayzone.com


Copyright infringement violates MediaFire's Terms of Service. MediaFire accounts that experience multiple incidents of alleged copyright infringement without viable counterclaims may be terminated.

If you feel this suspension was in error, please submit a counterclaim by following the process below.
 I have no idea who GrayZone is.

This is very frustrating.  This material, while released at one point, was given to the label by US.  We enter the questionable area of ROIO (Recordings of Independent Origin) copyright.  Is it worth it for me to file a counterclaim?  Do I - as an "originator" of this work, have any grounds to do so?

I am not re-upping the files.  I also am not going to post High Wycombe (Still's CD2 from the 2007 reissues), also freshly mastered by me after discarding my 2006 work as-released.  That said, punters who did not download ULU yet can find it on the darker sides of the internets; I know at least one site that might be known as why.cd or some similar name has the FLACs available.

Additionally, Mediafire (the 2nd account I used) has suspended the analogloyalist account.  Therefore all previous re-upped links are dead.

At this time I am not re-upping anything - if I decide to re-up anything - until I finally sort out hosting.  It is expensive; with the bandwidth used the contributions from my readers doesn't really cover more than a week or so from what I've researched so far.

Due to the heavy spotlight on this blog, I question whether I can post anything not recorded/owned by me myself and I, such as my old bands.  Why would I want to?

Let's see comments.

Drew

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Joy Division 8 Feb 1980 Univ of London Union 2012 master

NOTICE:  Please read this first!!!

In August 2006 I was approached to assist with the sourcing, cleanup and mastering of various Joy Division gigs for inclusion in the then-upcoming double-CD deluxe edition reissues.  The in-between story, between first being drafted into the project and then September 2007's Warner Brothers/Rhino release of the Unknown Pleasures, Closer and Still Collector's Editions, is boring and not really worth rehashing.

What is relevant is that six years is a long time ago, with regards to my skill set and general knowledge of audio theory and mastering.  I listen to the stuff I turned in to the band and Rhino in late 2006 and essentially cringe.  Not because it's bad, because it's not, but with where I've advanced to today my 2006 work sounds amateur to these ears.  And while it's out there for the world to enjoy (and the two sets I did, for Closer and Still, all got great reviews), I can no longer listen without wishing for a mulligan.

Well, with my blog avenue, I can finally take that mulligan.


I went back to the original raw transfers from Duncan Haysom's 1980 master cassette tapes, the very tapes on which he recorded the Joy Division gigs that we released.  I started from scratch - essentially, if Warners came knocking today and asked me to master these gigs, I did what I'd do for them with the skills, techniques, secret sauces and magic I've either advanced or flat-out learned anew since 2006.

They are spectacular.  Not to toot my own horn, but these now simply crush what was used on the 2007 releases.  Even the most hearing-challenged of listeners can tell the difference, and not just by minutiae.  Cymbals ring, drums go THWACK and not "thwop", guitars slice through the murk.

If there were any justice in this world, Rhino would pull the 2007 sets off the market and reissue with these masterings.  One can dream...

So we start, chronologically by performance date, with the set used in association with the Closer Collector's Edition.  Recorded by Duncan, this set from the University of London Union is a stormer.  You get the still in-development Closer tracks (which had yet to be recorded by Martin Hannett) mixed in with stridently-performed Unknown Pleasures and other pre-Closer choices.  You get "Dead Souls" brilliantly leading off the set, and you get "Digital" taking us out.  And thanks to Duncan, it's magically captured on C45 tape for us to enjoy 32+ years on.

JOY DIVISION
8 February 1980
University of London Union

Mastered in November 2012 by Analog Loyalist, from Duncan Haysom's master recording

01 Dead Souls
02 Glass
03 A Means To An End
04 Twenty Four Hours
05 Passover
06 Insight
07 Colony
08 These Days
09 Love Will Tear Us Apart
10 Isolation
11 - encore break -
12 The Eternal
13 Digital

FLACs here.

Please to enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Order 23 October 2012 Sony Centre, Toronto

I saw New Order last night in Toronto, my third time seeing them (1993 Chicago, and 2005 Chicago, being the other two).

I had aftershow passes to meet the band.

It was, in a word, awesome.  Both the gig - by far, the best of the gigs I've seen them play - and the aftershow.

I didn't record the gig, but did record video of Ceremony and Elegia which once I figure out how to rotate 180 degrees (for some reason my Win 7 PC plays these iPhone 5 1080p videos upside down) I will upload. 

Hooky was not missed at all; Tom Chapman was fantastic in his pseudo-Hooky role and added his own contributions to each song which just plain worked.  The band is clearly in a happy place with their current lineup/outlook, both visually and in discussion, and while I still think the songwriting of more recent times doesn't quite match that of the 80s output, perhaps the reaffirmed bond and outlook of the band/management/personnel will lead to great things again.  Bernard said they will be doing a lot of writing and recording next year... And we can't at all discount the returned Gillian influence on the songwriting.

I didn't discuss the blog or Recycle, or the Archives project, with them because it was not the appropriate setting.

Steve is the most awesome guy ever, he knew straightaway who I was and was obviously just as happy to talk to me as I was to him (clearly he knew, based on the fact that he told me so, what I'd done for the band since 2006).  And a hell of a drummer; seeing him playing acoustic drums (rather than the electronic drumset he'd been using since 1987) - and hearing the audible difference in each song - was absolutely spectacular.

It was quite something getting deeply involved in technoweenie audio engineering discussions with someone who cares, and knows what I'm talking about, with Steve.  I got a lot of questions answered that aren't really relevant to share here, and some essential background on other things that aren't really ideal to discuss in this format.  One thing that is of interest is that our Western Works reel isn't the master per se, but a dub of it (all the Cabs members and NO had reel dubs off the master, and this was likely one of those), and the Rob Gretton vocal track ("Are You Ready...") was unfinished.  He thought how we obtained the reel was awesome.

Here's your humble blogger and Bernard (who was jealous of my iPhone 5; he said his iPhone 4 was getting a bit too slow, haha)...


I am tired, it was a long night and drive back from Toronto but absolutely worth it.  Cheers!

Friday, October 5, 2012

critique the blogger, Pt. II: Helium Derby (1998)

The reaction to last week's post frankly surprised me.  I knew we had some good songs, but the recording quality was shite and my "mastering" job was really quick-and-dirty.  Frankly, they were done in a basement with two mics feeding into a 4-track at standard cassette speed.  Not at all professional.  But I guess, in a sense, it was perfect for our music.  I think we all would have loved to put some of those down in a real studio, multitrack style, because as I said in more than a couple cases the songs were there.  But it's what it is, and if people dug it, that's really cool.

Which brings me to the next one.  Several months after these were done, I was planning to meet up with a college friend in Chicago who was in town from California, visiting a mutual friend from Colorado (I attended university in Colorado).  Turns out the apartment I met my friend at was two houses down from my best friend's flat, which, in a city the size of Chicago, is pretty impressive.  What was also coincidental was that the mutual friend had become a pretty damn good guitarist and, after the "hey man, it's been years!" pleasantries (and more than a couple beers) had been exchanged, a band of sorts was formed.  So for that fall of 1997, and spring of 1998, I'd saunter back and forth from my best mate's flat to the band flat, playing, rehearsing, writing, drinking.  One fall afternoon, I remember sitting on the deck at the best mate's flat, smuggled Fat Tire Amber Ale sat on the floor beside me, and guitar in hand after spending some time listening to Wire's Pink Flag record.  A few strums later, I had a song.  Knowing I was meeting up in a couple hours with the band for practice, I hurriedly grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote some half-assed lyrics.  That evening, we had the full song.

Another time I was in full-on Bob Mould mode at my house and was endlessly playing my 12-string, throwing off a lot of Mould-ish chordings and guitar figures, and suddenly had the framework for another song.  I quickly laid down the basic guitar track on my cheap 4-track, and came up with a pretty cool bass part using the lower strings on the guitar.  The lyrics didn't come as easily as the music, but eventually I had those too (and somewhere still have the original handwritten lyrics, with all the scratched-off changes and crap, on the back of an envelope).  It turned out to be the first original our nascent band did, and remains (IMHO) the best written song we had.

Then there was the song built around a stolen Yo La Tengo guitar riff (the main riff from "I Heard You Looking", namely), that after some struggles with the musical bed, quickly became another song with tossed-off lyrics.  I wrote the lyrics because it needed words, basically...

This band was called Helium Derby.


Eventually, we had quite a few songs written and in good enough shape to record an album.  We had only played a few parties, no real gigs, but figured why the hell not do a record?  One of the guys knew another guy who recorded bands, so we hooked up with him and recorded the album in his Lake View apartment.  The engineer had, which at the time seemed really fucking cool, a hard disk recording setup and other bits of gear which you'd expect someone like him to have.  This was 1998 so the concept of hard disk recording, in an apartment on the North Side of Chicago, seemed really major league to us.  While no ProTools, or 2-inch analog tape, it was better than the 4-track we had.  So we tracked the record; drums in the practice space (the drummer's basement, namely), everything else in the apartment studio.  Some songs took fucking ages to get right (I remember one song taking a month to do the guitars, only because the recording sessions were short, and I was constantly fighting the engineer as to how I wanted my guitars to sound), while others were done in an hour. 

My favorite moment of these sessions was watching the Cardinals' Mark McGwire break the single-season home run record, live, against the Cubs with Steve Trachsel pitching (this was in the thick of the Sammy Sosa / Mark McGwire home run record chase).  And I fucking hate the Cardinals.  We stopped whatever song/instrument we were tracking, watched the festivities, and resumed what we were doing.

We ended up with 10 songs, no mastering, and eventually a few hundred CDs.  Our plans were to play shows, sell the CDs, do more band stuff, but things petered out with one of the guys moving to Minneapolis for graduate school.  But it was fun, and an experience I'll never forget, not having done it since.

So here we are, with these 10 songs finally unleashed to an unsuspecting public.  Somehow I doubt the industry will be beating a path to our doors...

Helium Derby
...Nada en Fuego
(c) (p) 1998 Helium Derby


musicians:
Analog Loyalist - bass (except tracks 1, 5 and 7: electric guitars)
Isaac Adamson - electric guitars (except tracks 1 and 5: bass)
Ian Sethre - 12-string guitars
Sean Ramsey - drums, percussion
Eric Gautschi - vocals

engineer: Todd Nall
mastering (October 2012): Analog Loyalist

01 All Along
(music and lyrics: Analog Loyalist)

This is the song written by yours truly in Bob Mould mold. I play all the electrics, including the "solo", and Isaac pretty faithfully plays the bass line I wrote.  It sounds great both in this loud, driving interpretation as well as on a 12-string (as it was written on an acoustic, rooted on the very Mould-ish G5/Em/C5 chord pattern).  My one gripe with this song is that we never could nail the mix; I remember umpteen mix candidates all rejected for various issues, and I think we ended up with the final mix just by default.  It really could do with a remix, but alas... In this mastering, I tried my damnedest to smooth out some of the really horrible EQ and muddiness the final had, and it's a lot better, but not ideal.

02 Curious, I Know

(music: Helium Derby; lyrics: Eric and A.L.)

This was built from the bottom up in practice; I had been listening to a lot of Massive Attack in that timeframe and wanted to see if we could do something a bit more rhythmic.  We failed, completely, at coming anywhere close to Massive Attack, but out of the debris came this pretty cool song.  I get to express my inner Hooky on bass, much more successfully than "This Curse" from my previous band.

03 Such A Long Way
(music: Ian; lyrics: Eric)

I don't remember why we didn't actually track this in true multitrack fashion; we recorded the music completely live as an ensemble (with little mic separation, meaning we couldn't redo any parts without redoing the entire performance), with Eric laying down his vocals at a later time.  It was quite stressful for me on bass as it fell on me to keep tempo pretty solid throughout, but I think we pulled it off.

04 Nothing More Than This

(music: Ian; lyrics: Eric)

I don't remember much about the genesis of this song at all, but that I really dug the basslines I wrote for it, and just overall liked the feel and poppiness of the song.  I just sort of recall it falling out of the sky from Ian's 12-string, and suddenly we had a song.  I think he and Eric had worked it up before he presented it to the rest of us?

05 Lose Control
(music and lyrics: A.L.)

This is the Wire-influenced song I wrote on the back deck of my mate's apartment.  It's two chords, throughout, with only picking/strum patterns separating the components.  This is all me on electrics, including the descending harmonics.  Thanks Jay for the "2 B Real" lyric snippet!

06 Doesn't Matter Now

(music and lyrics: Ian)

Sometimes I think Ian's goal was to see how many lyrics he could fit in a 2:48 song, hehe.  We get a bit rootsy here, which I had no problem with at all.  Another song that just sort of emerged fully formed, though I think Ian had it all complete anyway and just showed it to us once or twice before we had it down.  I totally nicked U2's "With Or Without You" for the bass.  Sue me.  My favorite part is the stray snare in the bridge; it was an error, but it's perfect.  Perfectly placed and great.

07 Too Damn Cold

(music: A.L./Helium Derby/Ira Kaplan; lyrics: A.L.)

This is the Yo La Tengo song.  Well, a guitar riff is, at least.  One night in practice I started jamming on "I Heard You Looking" with another similar riff against it, and eventually we had a song all ginned up.  It didn't come across on tape as good as it did when played live, but we could only do so much with the time we had.  Lyric idea from Isaac's off-the-cuff vocal when we first were jamming it; he said he was singing something about being cold so I ran with that idea and quickly had a lyric.

08 That's What I'm Talking About
(music: Helium Derby; "lyrics": Eric)

Was and always will be called the Porn Song.  Never had a lyric, just Eric's, err, utterances.  One listen and you'll know why we called it the Porn Song.  Really, it was just an excuse to play ridiculous disco-style bass.

09 The Bitter End

(music and lyrics: Isaac)

Isaac was into 16 Horsepower and came in with this thing pretty much fully formed.  I just wrote up a bassline, and Sean the drums, and we had the song.  Isaac and Todd went gonzo with the guitar FX in the box.  If you listen carefully, you'll hear the drunken Arkansas hillbilly behind Eric's vocal track.

10 San Ysidro

(music: A.L./Ian, lyrics: Isaac)

I came up with this terrific idea for a song on bass, and from the very beginning always knew I wanted it to be an album closer (it just always had that closing feel to it).  In fact its working title was "Closing", from the very beginning.  I just couldn't come up with a decent chorus to save my life, which thankfully Ian stepped in and wrote.  The song is just a plain favorite of mine, in its entirety, and it's a beautiful one.

Get yer MP3s here.  Again, FLAC is available for the bravest of souls, just ask.

enjoy!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

new game: critique the blogger's own music!

You've read enough of my words.  How about listening to your host's first band?  Turning the tables, I present to you music of my creation, not of my ripping.  And I want you to critique it.

This band was called V-Girl.  It didn't get beyond the basement.  It featured your humble blogger on bass and a few songwriting bits here and there, and his sister on vocals for most of the non-instrumentals.  We also had a guitarist and a drummer (first human, and then machine).  These 23 songs were recorded at various points in the guitarist's basement in 1997 live-as-she-went, some with the drummer, and some with the BOSS instead.

We fizzled after the drummer quit because we weren't punk rock enough, and she wanted to spend more time with her significant other.

We had fun.  It was my first real experience on bass guitar, as well.

The shitty basement tapes are now tarted up, listenable, and just as important, laughable.  Shit, I laugh at us just listening to it.  We had some really good songs (I'll let you figure out which ones), some jokes-turned-into-songs, and some ridiculous attempts at massacring covers.  We knocked a couple of the covers out of the park (I love, LOVE our take on Seam's "Shame", for example), and others I completely forget the lyrics and just go "aurrrrreh" instead (yes, that's me on a few of them).  At least I nailed "New Dawn Fades".

Enjoy - or not.  I don't mind :)

V-GIRL
23 Songs

Recorded in the basement in 1997 live to two track
Mastered September 2012

Bass/vocals: Mr. Analog Loyalist
Guitars/vocals: Mr. Jeff Hodge
Female vocals: Mr. Analog Loyalist's sister
Drums: Ms. Tricia Wollrab
Replacement drums: BOSS

01 Hello
This was our version of a stupid intro song.  We decided it didn't sound right unless we sang like some idiotic Britpop singers.

02 Johnny Pissed Himself
I really dig this song, to this day; as a nascent bassist at the time I am pretty proud of the bass work.  Our singer didn't appreciate our naming of this song based on the lyrical subject matter.

03 7 Years
Another song I dig.  In an alternate universe - or perhaps professionally recorded - this could have been a real good one.

04 Sad Spot
I liked it at the time.  The Sad Spots are our singer's tear marks on the lyric sheet, at some point she cried while writing it I think?

05 Swill
The first one here that I instigated.  Jeff liked my bassline I was just diddling around with in practice, and a few minutes later we had the song.  I think our singer wrote the lyrics in as much time as it takes to listen to it.  I pick up a bass today and still can't repeat the absolute rhythm and picking pattern I have in the middle of the song when the guitar drops out.

06 Something Significant
The second one I essentially wrote.  At some point we decided it sounded better split into double time bits, so we did.  Our singer sounds like Ozzy, bizarrely.

07 Marry The Moon
For the life of me I can't recall why we decided we liked the start/stop effects.  I like what I do rhythmically and chordally with the bass during the choruses.

08 Play The Game
It always sounded better playing it than it does listening to it.

09 Hell's Demand
We wrote this at a night our singer didn't show up, played it, and then Jeff and I took the tape and sang these ridiculous lyrics over the top of the jolly tune.

10 Death Pit
Just fucking around in practice.  Someone starts playing something, the others join in, and voila: a shitty song (if you can even call it a song)!

11 This Curse
Another one I wrote; it was my first attempt at aping Peter Hook's style on the bass.  It didn't really work.  I have another version somewhere with a full lyric, but the performance wasn't as good.

12 Velour
I have no earthly idea why we decided it would be fun to try some swanky pseudo jazz thing.

13 Shame (Seam cover)
I came in one night and told Jeff that we had to somehow play a Seam cover, because I was just ridiculously in love with that band that week (and still am, really).  He picked this one, which works because the original Seam version also has a girl singing (Sarah Shannon of Velocity Girl).  I really, really love this song and this cover.  I think this was only the second time we played it, and we fucking nailed it.

14 Disconnected (Face To Face cover)
I wasn't, and still am not, a fan of Face To Face.  But someone was, and we learned this song for the hell of it.  I do like our version; I like that I nailed the melodic bass intro-y bit and enjoyed singing backups.

15 New Dawn Fades (Joy Division cover)
I don't remember why we picked this Joy Division song to cover, out of the entire universe of Joy Division songs.  I think Jeff liked the Moby version of it?  I remember him modeling his guitar work after the Moby version more than the Joy Division original, at least.  I sing it, pretty well, and I still like this version a whole lot.

16 99 Red Balloons (Nena via 7 Seconds cover)
We all were punk rock kids when the 7 Seconds version of this song was new/popular in our small circle.  So of course we had to do our own version.  It's pretty funny.

17 Brand New Love (Sebadoh cover)
I just really love this song and got the folks to play it.  I never actually nailed the bass, and completely blew the vocals.  Ah well.

18 Sick Of You

19 Bridge
Tracks 18 and 19 were things that Jeff and I worked up immediately post-drummer.  Jeff does some interesting things with the guitars, and that's really about it.  Unfortunately the drum machine is too loud.

20 Freak Scene (Dinosaur Jr cover)
Jeff's pick.  He does a pretty good J Mascis.  Needs a drummer.

21 Pictures Of You (The Cure cover)
Another one I completely blow the lyrics on.  Jeff and I did it just to fuck with it (though we both love the song), and after "singing" it that night I think I had lost my voice.

22 Hungry LTW (Duran Duran cover)
Another one I have no recollection of why we played it.  It's stupid fun though.

23 Help Me
The music was one of the first things we did after starting playing (I think I originated it), but for some reason Jeff wanted to sing Concrete Blonde lyrics over it.  So this version is after our drummer quit (though somewhere I have a tape as the full band).

There you have it.  Here's the songs.  If you want it as FLAC (lord help me) I am happy (heh) to oblige.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Status update...

First of all I'd like to thank all those whom have contributed to future hosting.  The generosity of others is wonderful and while I will stay with Mediafire for the short term (under the new account set up in the wake of the old account's deletion), permanent hosting is in the plan.  Many have stated that the biggest cost will be for data/throughput, not server space itself; this means that it's critical I come up with a plan regarding lossless FLAC availability to all who want it.  Not sure yet what that will entail (link by invite only? Trackerless torrent using DHT?  Self-hosting at terrible transfer speeds (and the certain notice/hit it will be with my ISP)?  Things to think about.  Regardless, posting will continue.

Second, while activity may have slowed on the New Order Archives posting front, I still have a large pile to plow through.  I've taken a slight break from New Order simply because it was approaching burnout again; I'll bury myself into a project so much, at such a frenzied burst of activity, that I have to step back lest I not want to hear a single note again.  It was getting to that stage.  Rest assured that in short order new posts will be forthcoming, just as splendid as the last ones.  I do have some good ones in the works too for TPoIT only (non-New Order), I just have to get finished with them.

Creative solutions invited to the data throughput conundrum.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

status update regarding file hosting - read me!

For the short term I've created a new Mediafire account and will be slowly migrating content over to there.  Not sure if I'll go back in the archives of TPoIT because a lot of the original files I no longer have due to an older drive crash, though.

What's going to certainly be migrating is the recent New Order postings, starting with the stash sets here.  I'll post new links in the comments as I go along.

This is only a short-term solution, however.  A few readers have suggested a collection box to arrange for more suitable hosting as we proceed, and this is a good idea.  I'm also contemplating moving to a newer model whereby the public links are M4A (AAC) files, and readers who would want lossless can simply request it.  This would cut down on server costs, and I am slowly coming around to the convenience idea of the basics being easily accessible and usable off-the-bat by my readers.  The purist in me really is kicking and screaming that I am even considering doing this archival material in any form of lossy format, but the debate is raging healthily inside.

So... followers can help by PayPal, any amount, to dcrumbaugh at gmail dot com (I don't have the analogloyalist account set up properly for PayPal), and this will go to future hosting costs as I transition down the road from Mediafire to something a bit more reliable.

Thanks for your continued patience, and let's carry on!

mediafire account suspension - help your host out!

So, the blog's download host has suspended the account.  All downloads are invalid.  I've submitted a ticket to Mediafire asking which file led to the suspension, so I can remove it and ideally restore access to the overall account.

That said... your host humbly now asks if a follower can generously donate storage/hosting space.  Any helpers are advised to contact me via email analogloyalist at gmail dot com and your generosity will be greatly appreciated.

This affects TPoIT and The New Order Archives.

Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The New Order Archives: a new blog.

With the huge amount of exposure these "stash" tapes have received, and the large number of downloads the files have seen, clearly there is an interest in something more.

So, I've started a new blog, The New Order Archives.  The first post explains the mission statement and what to expect.  Please update your bookmarks, and keep both TPoIT and TNOA on your RSS feeds ;)

For a duration, I will crosspost new entries on TNOA over here, but only links to the posts over on TNOA.  But ultimately all "stash"-type material will only be on TNOA, with my normal non-New Order postings continuing here.

Speaking of New Order.... IFPI/Warners DMCA'ed the Run 2 unreleased mixes post.  I didn't complain this time as in this case it clearly was something the label had rights to and I had squat; I had just hoped that 20+ year old mixes, never released, would escape anyone's attention.  Then again, 6,000 downloads later since they were posted in 2009, there clearly was interest.  Ah well.

Enjoy TNOA!  I think my first post there will be new-ish masterings of the Western Works demos, hugely improved from the version I posted a million years ago.  Watch that space...

- Analog Loyalist

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Order "stash" tapes, 2012 mastering: 7 July 1984 Barcelona

New Order
Studio 54, Barcelona, Spain
7 July 1984


source: Hooky's rubbish bin (the "stash" tapes)
lineage: Master soundboard recording cassette
analogloyalist mastering August 2012

At long last I'm starting to fix up and free a stash of gigs - which first saw the light (heh) in 2004 on the long-defunct Sharing The Groove, but were essentially untouched beyond basic cleanup - that really show how brilliant New Order were in their prime in the mid-'80s.

The quick-and-dirty background:  Whilst cleaning house, a set of master New Order soundboard tapes (various mid-80s live gigs, some rehearsals, and a DAT or two from the band's 1989 US tour) was found by Hooky under the floorboards at his studio Suite 16 in Rochdale, England.  A musician friend of Hooky, who was in his employ for a duration in the early 90s, then rescued the tapes and sold them to an infamous collector in Florida, a collector not known for sharing the wealth.  In the interim, ATR (sometimes called Stash) obtained digital transfers of these tapes before they were shipped off to Florida.  ATR then shared them amongst the New Order cognoscenti, and then in 2004 we fed them to the world via Sharing The Groove.

All these gigs had their various problems as-received from the source in between Hooky and us, the least of which were sector boundary errors (which means, if burned as-is to CD, there are audible "pops" in between tracks) and all off-pitch by varying degrees.  Some were extremely muddy, and others were far too bright.  None of them were just right, but my aim is to make them so.

(The New Order "stash" gigs that were on Sharing The Groove, and various other torrent sites and blogs from 2004 onward, are all from those original 2004 releases and have not been formally mastered since, until now.)



This is easily one of my all-time favorite New Order sets.  Generally fantastic, crystalline sound; great setlist; unique segues; sequencer cockups.  It's all here.

"Ceremony" on the Retro box set live CD was sourced from this very transfer via one of the Stash transfer recipients, though obviously without my mastering (the Retro version is inexplicably slowed down, and has been "muddified" for lack of a better term).  It truly shines here and is one of my favorite performances ever of this track.  Don't let the sound quality of the Retro version scare you, at all - this completely shatters Retro's version and beats it to a bloody pulp.

"Skullcrusher" - enough said.  One of the few performances with "lyrics" - and I put that in quotes because it's basically Barney ad-libbing a lyric.  And it's wonderful, in its absurdity.  The performance is, simply, out of this world.  And "Lonesome Tonight"!  Easily a top 5 New Order track for me.

Throughout the sequenced tracks ("The Village" / "Confusion" / "Hurt" / "Blue Monday" / "Everything's Gone Green" / "Temptation") you can audibly hear problems with the sequencer.  It's cutting in and out (it's actually mostly in, it's only dropping out in a few places) of the board feed; I have no idea if this was a problem with the on-stage equipment or simply the feed into the PA.  It makes for some unique versions, and I absolutely love it.

There's a wonderful problem with the sequencer kicking off "Everything's Gone Green" in that it bleats "Blue Monday" in perfect sync with "Everything's Gone Green" until Gillian sets things right.  And the perfect segue between "EGG" and "Temptation" is done perfectly, the sequencer going for a full 12 minutes straight between the two songs.  Love it!

The original unmastered version of this gig has been spread pretty far and wide since 2004.  Trust me when I say you will want to bin it immediately upon hearing this 2012 mastering - it crushes it like a grape.  This version here is truly spectacular, and could be released tomorrow by Warners.

enjoy!

01 Your Silent Face
02 The Village
03 Ceremony
04 Skullcrusher
05 We All Stand
06 Lonesome Tonight
07 Confusion
08 Hurt
09 Age Of Consent
10 Blue Monday
11 Bernard and Hooky riffing
12 Everything's Gone Green ---->
13 Temptation

FLACs here.

Third of a series...

New Order "stash" tapes, 2012 mastering: 13 Dec 1985 Orleans

New Order
Salle du Baron, Orleans, France
13 December 1985

source: Hooky's rubbish bin (the "stash" tapes)
1st generation dub of cassette master (if not *the* master...)
analogloyalist mastering August 2012

At long last I'm starting to fix up and free a stash of gigs - which first saw the light (heh) in 2004 on the long-defunct Sharing The Groove, but were essentially untouched beyond basic cleanup - that really show how brilliant New Order were in their prime in the mid-'80s.

The quick-and-dirty background:  Whilst cleaning house, a set of New Order tapes (various mid-80s live gigs, some rehearsals, and a DAT or two from the band's 1989 US tour) was found by Hooky under the floorboards at his studio Suite 16 in Rochdale, England.  A musician friend of Hooky, who was in his employ for a duration in the early 90s, then rescued the tapes and sold them to an infamous collector in Florida, who is known for not sharing the wealth.  In the interim, ATR (sometimes called Stash) obtained 1st-generation dubs of these tapes before they were shipped off to Florida.  ATR then shared them amongst the New Order cognoscenti, and then in 2004 we fed them to the world via Sharing The Groove.

All these gigs had their various problems as-received from the source in between Hooky and us, the least of which were sector boundary errors (which means, if burned as-is to CD, there are audible "pops" in between tracks) and all off-pitch by varying degrees.  Some were extremely muddy, and others were far too bright.  None of them were just right, but my aim is to make them so. 

(The New Order "stash" gigs that were on Sharing The Groove, and various other torrent sites and blogs from 2004 onward, are all from those original 2004 releases and have not been formally mastered since, until now.)



This is the second of two French gigs sourced from the Stash.  The first being Rennes; it's not the first to be posted here because Rennes needs quite a bit more TLC than most of these sets.  Regardless, this Orleans set is easily one hour of my favorite New Order, ever.

Here, the band visits two songs that were not long for this world; "Hurt" only saw one more airing after this, and "ICB" went to its lonely place forevermore after this night.  Which is a shame; I love "ICB" and until Hooky's bass packs it in midway, it's well on its way to "classic track" status.

The rest of the gig is no shambles either, though there are a few whoppers in "She's Lost Control" and it's no wonder they don't revisit this song again until New Order Mk. III in 2001/2002.  "In A Lonely Place" cuts where the soundboard tape ran out / at the tape flip spot.  Which is a shame, it was going to be brilliant based on the 1:15 that made it.

"Elegia" sends chills up my spine every time I hear it.  This is easily the best live version I've ever heard.

The original unmastered version of this gig has been spread pretty far and wide since 2004.  Trust me when I say you will want to bin it immediately upon hearing this 2012 mastering - it crushes it like a grape.  This version here is truly spectacular, and could be released tomorrow by Warners.

enjoy!

01 - Elegia
02 - The Perfect Kiss
03 - Weirdo
04 - Love Vigilantes
05 - Hurt
06 - Sooner Than You Think
07 - ICB
08 - This Time Of Night
09 - In A Lonely Place (detail)
10 - She's Lost Control
11 - Blue Monday

FLACs here.

Second of a series...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New Order "stash" tapes, 2012 mastering: 7 Dec 1985 Slough

New Order
Fulcrum Centre, Slough
7 December 1985


source: Hooky's rubbish bin (the "stash" tapes)
1st generation dub of cassette master
analogloyalist mastering August 2012


At long last I'm starting to fix up and free a stash of gigs - which first saw the light (heh) in 2004 on the long-defunct Sharing The Groove, but were essentially untouched beyond basic cleanup - that really show how brilliant New Order were in their prime in the mid-'80s.

The quick-and-dirty background:  Whilst cleaning house, a set of New Order tapes (various mid-80s live gigs, some rehearsals, and a DAT or two from the band's 1989 US tour) was found by Hooky under the floorboards at his studio Suite 16 in Rochdale, England.  A musician friend of Hooky, who was in his employ for a duration in the early 90s, then rescued the tapes and sold them to an infamous collector in Florida, who is known for not sharing the wealth.  In the interim, ATR (sometimes called Stash) obtained 1st-generation dubs of these tapes before they were shipped off to Florida.  ATR then shared them amongst the New Order cognoscenti, and then in 2004 we fed them to the world via Sharing The Groove.

All these gigs had their various problems as-received from the source in between Hooky and us, the least of which were sector boundary errors (which means, if burned as-is to CD, there are audible "pops" in between tracks) and all off-pitch by varying degrees.  Some were extremely muddy, and others were far too bright.  None of them were just right, but my aim is to make them so. 

(The New Order "stash" gigs that were on Sharing The Groove, and various other torrent sites and blogs from 2004 onward, are all from those original 2004 releases and have not been formally mastered since, until now.)

With this set, we see the band in fine form in metropolitan London.  Two notables about this gig:

1) "This Time Of Night" from this gig was shortlisted for the live CD in the Retro box set, and this version (unmastered, presumably) appeared on very early track sheets (and working CD-Rs during compilation).  Bobby Gillespie loved it but Bernard had it binned for another track instead (I forget which).

2) "She's Lost Control" is debuted by New Order.  This period of New Order gigging is weird; it's obvious they were in a bit of a state because they played a handful of Joy Division tracks here in December 1985 to the extent they'd never done before, and wouldn't do so again until 1998.  They unearthed "She's Lost Control", "Atmosphere", and "Love Will Tear Us Apart" during this period.

The original unmastered version has been spread pretty far and wide since 2004.  Trust me when I say you will want to bin it immediately upon hearing this 2012 mastering - it crushes it like a grape.  This set here is easily a candidate for official release (barring the fades/cuts on the original cassette board master), should the band re-activate their once-planned-subsequently-binned live album project.

enjoy!

01 State Of The Nation (fades in)
02 Blue Monday
03 The Village
04 This Time Of Night
05 Subculture
06 Thieves Like Us
07 Confusion
08 Weirdo
09 Ceremony (cuts in)
10 Temptation
11 She's Lost Control
12 The Perfect Kiss

FLACs here.

First of a series...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Joel R.L. Phelps - finally! (a favorite of mine...)

Faithful readers will recall the time in the past when I posted some Joel R.L. Phelps : The Downer Trio records, ones long out of print, and got into a ... discussion with Joel's label owner about hosting music for download without the artist or label's permission, and ethics of file sharing, etc.  I eventually took down the post and I still respect Mr. Cook and Joel's right to release their music the way they see fit.


Joel hasn't put out a record since 2004.  He's virtually unknown, and if he's even known at all it's as the guy who left Silkworm (another criminally neglected band).

That said, he's easily one of my all-time favorite artists, both in terms of songwriting and style/performance.  There's something grossly unique about his vocal style - and I don't mean "grossly" in terms of disgust, I mean it in the sense of exaggeratedness.  If that's a word...  He's also a fantastic guitarist.

So imagine my surprise - when largely not a peep has been heard from Joel since 2004 - to come across a Facebook post of his yesterday announcing a bevy of new tracks on Soundcloud, and also mention that there may be possibly *two* new LPs this year. (!)  So, since he's posted these himself, enjoy yourself some JRLP.

All but "Darla Don't You Go", "The Way Down", "Counsel" (a track very high in my all-time favorites list, by any artist...), "Unless You're Tired Of Living" and "Good Advice For Dogs" are brand-spankin'-new.

Enjoy - and thank you Joel!

JRLP on Soundcloud


JRLP's Facebook group

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paris Angels, blog updates, news, etc

It's been a while.  So, here be some music updates, blather about the IFPI and blog future, and exciting news for your humble blogger!

---

First, I've tracked down two additions to the Paris Angels compendium I posted a couple years ago.  Get yer lossless FLACs here.

1.  "Muffin" - the B-side on the original Perfume 7", it's essentially an edit of "Muffin 2" which we've already had
2.  "Scope" - from the 27 September 1990 Peel Session broadcast (record date 26 August 1990), taken from an archived broadcast of the actual Peel program which debuted the session, it sounds spectacular.

I think we now have every released Paris Angels track, on any format.  "Give Me...Scope" from the Scope 7" is apparently a re-titled "Scope Two" which we already have.  What's left? The third track from the 1990 Peel session ("Smile"), and the entirety of a 1991 session ("Slippery Man", "Chaos", "Breathless", "GBF"), and an unknown number (probably 3) remaining from a January 1991 Mark Goodier session.  Of course there could be other radio sessions as well for other Beeb DJs, all we know about for certain are the two Peel sessions, and the Goodier session.

Moving on...

The heightened awareness of this endeavour by critters no less overlordish than the IFPI has really made me question my purpose here.  Obviously we are on someone's radar and while I've only been subject to two DMCA takedowns (the REM Cassette Set FLACs, and the Wedding Present), I really don't want any more.  Really.  It's pointless to blather on about something, which I feel strongly enough to take the time to compose said blather, to have it then unceremoniously yanked from underneath me.  I can understand the issue with things in print, which is why I've not posted currently-available material in ages and in fact removed the links myself to most other in-print things I've previously posted.  But where's the harm in stuff given away for free in the first place?  Who is losing money?  In the REM case, not the label, publisher or band.  There's no label, there's no royalties to be had for the publisher (I'm not putting up a PA at a renegade coffee shop and playing these without a BMI/ASCAP license), there's no fees or payments at all associated with free giveaways.  If the band has this in a release schedule, that is understandable and in that case I'd not only self-edit the post but be the first one to post the news and the link to where-it-can-be-bought.  But I've heard nothing about any possible release and in fact the band themselves has not - as far as I am aware - made one public peep about this at all.  And I've not heard anything privately either.

I do have some other less-downloady things in the pipeline - I made a promise to my friends at Chunklet to conduct and host another interview of a favorite band of mine and theirs, which I've been slack in arranging due to other time constraints - but as little life as this blog has had lately, do not be surprised if there's less downloads.  Or if there are, they are not entire records but rather "radio show special"-type compendiums focusing on a particular scene, movement or what-have-you (such as a long-promised early Chicago punk sampler).  Regardless, we are not going away.

Moving on, again...

Your blog host has now officially begun his nascent mastering career, as a paid mastering engineer.  Friends of the program reached out to me, and hired my services to master their latest record (release date TBA, and until they announce it, band name/project will remain anonymous here, for now).  That project is now done and delivered, the band is THRILLED with the results, and so I officially fling my door open to all comers for (non-vinyl) mastering services.  I am about as cheap as you could want, and my promise to you is to deliver a record that you yourself will want to listen to daily, on repeat play.  Which means comfortably loud, if that is what the client wants, but clear, precise, and not fatiguing.

Send your queries to DCmastering AT gmail dot com and we'll talk.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

this one goes out...

Today we were contacted by the IFPI to discuss removal of the Cassette Set from Mediafire.

From: IFPI <notices@ifpi.org>
Date: June 8, 2012 9:34:42 AM PDT
To: xxxx
Subject: Removal of Mediafire link
Reply-To: notices@ifpi.org
To: Webmaster
               
From:
IFPI
               
Message:
Dear Sir,
               
Can you contact me via notices@ifpi.org to discuss how the mediafire link containing REM recordings was removed.

Regards,
Reply sent.  Will update with responses as needed.  Interesting to see if this was not initiated by Universal, but clearly feathers have been ruffled because I don't see the IFPI following up on random run-of-the-mill DMCA takedowns with personal emails to the alleged offenders.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

country feedback

(crossposted with REMcycle)

Lots of press on the last post (on REMcycle, here).

First was Rolling Stone, I was starting to see pings on the blog at approximately 10am (EDT) from them.

Rolling Stone: R.E.M. Archive Blog Preemptively Shut Down by Universal
Label disputes post featuring the band's earliest demo cassette

Then they started coming in droves, mostly rehashes of the RS article but a few with original content (prefix, aux.tv, exclaim.ca...).



exclaim.ca (Canada): R.E.M. Blog Shut Down After Questionable Copyright Claim from Universal

The best one though, as they actually did original research (err, they talked to us) was from Spin - which also presented the most balanced piece:
Takedown notice thwarts latest project by audiophiles behind Joy Division/New Order blogs

And lastly, my favorite:


Here's the entirety of the Soundabble article, preserved just in case the editors realize the writer was beaming in from Mars (or felt that repeating the RS article was much more exciting if run through a loop of Google re-translations first):
The digital archivist who easy a singles catalogs of a Smiths, Joy Division and New Order in a array of blog projects is being strongly disheartened from starting a identical plan collecting R.E.M.’s beginning work. In a blog post on a nascent R.E.M.cycle site, a blogger famous as Analog Loyalist explained that Universal, a record association that owns a band’s IRS Records catalog, expelled a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice for an R.E.M. post on a writer’s sister site The Power of Independent Trucking featuring a easy chronicle of a band’s initial cassette demo, with early renditions of “Radio Free Europe,” “Sitting Still” and “White Tornado.”


“Tell me, what purpose does a IFPI (of that Universal is apparently a member) have to do with unreleased element available when a rope had no record contract?,” Analog Loyalist writes, referring to a International Federation of a Phonographic Industry. “These were demos openly given divided by a band. On low-fi C45 cassettes. And a IFPI thinks it’s their business how?”


The blogger is now reconsidering a knowledge of posterior a project. “So we can see since I’m really wavering to pierce brazen with this blog, usually since we don’t wish to see my efforts as a writer/archivist/engineer wasted,” he writes.


The site would in fact be a really labor-intensive process. As explained in a sidebar for a R.E.M., Smiths and Joy Division/New Order sites, a marks used are “taken from a best/earliest probable sources to equivocate complicated mastering techniques that vanquish a dynamics,” and a design is “scanned during a top probable fortitude and a form was reset when probable regulating a strange fonts.” All works featured in these projects are from out-of-print sources, and some marks have never been commercially expelled or reissued.
A rope has no record contract, indeed.

DMCA: The file "REM_CassetteSet_ALmaster.zip" has been suspended

Posted without (much) comment from yours truly. 

Please discuss the ironies of the IFPI (the British RIAA, for us Americans) filing a DMCA takedown notice on materials recorded when the band was under contract to nobody, for materials the band gave away for free, when nobody but a few journalists and partygoers in Georgia knew who they were...

The file "REM_CassetteSet_ALmaster.zip" has been suspended 

Dear MediaFire User:

MediaFire has received notification under the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") that your usage of a file is allegedly infringing on the file creator's copyright protection.
The file named REM_CassetteSet_ALmaster.zip is identified by the key (14zk3yvi31mj3g5).
As a result of this notice, pursuant to Section 512(c)(1)(C) of the DMCA, we have suspended access to the file.
The reason for suspension was:
Under penalty of perjury, we submit that we are authorized to act on behalf of the IFPI Represented Companies in matters involving the infringement of their sound recordings, including enforcing their copyrights and common law rights on the Internet.
Information about the party that filed the report:
Company Name: IFPI
Contact Address: 10 Piccadilly London W1J 0DD United Kingdom
Contact Name:
Contact Phone:
Contact Email: notices@ifpi.org
Copyright infringement violates MediaFire's Terms of Service. MediaFire accounts that experience multiple incidents of alleged copyright infringement without viable counterclaims may be terminated.
If you feel this suspension was in error, please submit a counterclaim by following the process below.

Monday, May 7, 2012

details: My Bloody Valentine Loveless 2012 remasters - manufacturing errors

Now that I'm home and at my PC I can elaborate on my last posting.

To summarize, briefly...

About 10 years ago it was rumored that Kevin Shields was working on remasters/reissues of the legendary My Bloody Valentine Creation-issued EPs and LPs ("You Made Me Realise" / "Feed Me With Your Kiss" / Glider EP / Tremolo EP / Isn't Anything / Loveless).  Hopes would rise and fall, announcements made with release details, then suddenly yanked, etc.

This is funny - and it's only the past couple years!

In 2008 review copies were sent out, and some made it "into the wild" so to speak.  These leaked copies were long questioned as to their veracity, until Kevin helpfully cleared it up in a wide-ranging interview with Pitchfork a week ago.  They were indeed legit.  Which was good, because it gave us a nice baseline (along with the original 1991 Creation CD which I have) to use in comparing today's release (finally!) on Sony.

The Loveless reissue consists of two CDs, the inlay details it quite nicely:

"Original tape" is the '91 DAT master.  "Original 1/2 inch analogue tapes" is exactly what it says.  The '91 release - and all pressings since, until now - were sourced from the digital "original tape" master.

Kevin helpfully detailed what he did in the remastering in the interview with Pitchfork:
So, of the two Loveless CDs that are coming out, one of them is exactly the same as the original, but everything's brought up to zero without crushing it with digital limiting, which essentially takes all the information and chops off the spiky bits-- transients-- that you don't hear as much as you perceive subconsciously. Those are the things that make you feel connected to the music. So something can be 10 dBs louder, but it somehow sounds slightly less involving. Each of those chopped-off peaks puts a little piece of distortion there instead, so the overall sound gets this hard, unpleasant kind of sheen, and you can't hear it as well. There is a tiny bit of digital limiting on one song on the Loveless reissue, but I'm not gonna say which one because it was a sacrificial lamb to get the rest of the album up a bit. And since the sound is brought back to zero, it means your CD player will be able to process it a bit better, so that it kind of sounds... "better" isn't the right word, it just feels different.

The original Loveless was from a digital master because it was much closer to the picture I wanted, and, at the time, the analog one was slightly twisted-- the process of putting it onto tape widened the stereo image and made the top and bottom ends too loud, so the guitar placement wasn't correct. I wasn't happy with that and I didn't use the original half-inch analog tapes. But, this time around, I had the time to take the original analog tapes and fix all the things I didn't like, so all I left was essentially the benefits of the analog with none of the disadvantages. 

When people hear the two new remasters, some can't hear the difference. But, for anyone who's slightly into it, I can promise that if you listen to the record from beginning to end, you're gonna have a completely different feeling with one version compared to the other. They're both good for different reasons; the digital one is slightly more like an inner head trip and the analog one is more physical, like you're conscious that some people did this. 
All of which greatly helps us sort out which CD in the package is which, because, the package has been horribly mispressed.

There are a lot of little details to the '91 master that carry over exactly to the digital (original) remaster - a bit of hiss before "Only Shallow" kicks in, an abrupt ending to the long "Soon" fadeout, and especially this:  there is no EQ difference *at all* between the '91 Creation CD, and the "original tape" remaster.  Except for a volume boost (as Kevin himself says), the versions are essentially identical.

The interesting - and to my ears, special - differences are with the 1/2 inch analogue tape version.  There are a lot of differences here: the stereo field is wider; the digital "shrillness" is tamed, there's a bit more presence at the bottom end, and the EQ is noticeably different.  The image below shows what one has to do to the "original tape" (meaning the '91 release, and the "original tape" remaster) to match the EQ to the new version of "Only Shallow":
There is a distinct difference in feel, presence and just general "analog-ness" for want of a better term.  It's just plain nicer to listen to, and much more revealing to me.  Granted, this isn't a *huge* difference in EQ, but it is enough.

The leaked version in 2008 matched the packaging: CD1 was the "original tape" remaster, and CD2 was the "1/2 inch analogue tape" remaster.

The 2012 release has the CDs backwards, though the cover art still indicates above.

Another critical error is in the "1/2 inch analogue tape" remaster:  there is an ugly digital transfer glitch approximately 2:46 into "What You Want", during the "I do, I do..." bit.  It's prominent and ugly, audible (yuck! through headphones) and visible in a spectral view.  This error was also present in the 2008 leak of the analogue tape variant, so Kevin/Sony has had (at least) 4 years to fix this.

These are critical errors.  The packaging/labeling error will confuse any and all buyers, and reviewers won't be reviewing the proper discs.  The glitching in "What You Want" needs to be corrected immediately.  It mars an otherwise fantastic release; in my opinion the analogue tape mastering is the definitive mastering of this essential LP.

Kevin and Sony, if you are reading this, do the right thing and recall/correct the problem.  You owe it to the fans who shelled out their hard-earned dosh for this, and if after all these years it can't be issued properly, there's no excuse for the error.

My Bloody Valentine 2012 Loveless remaster - errors?

[posting from my iPhone]

The legendary 2xCD of the legendary shoegaze masterpiece Loveless came out today and has also been available elsewhere for a few days.

One disc is remastered from the original DAT digital master - that used for the 1991 original release - and the other disc is mastered from the original half-inch analog tape master. Arcane, yes, but to me the differences are significant and wonderful (the new analog version is definitive).

 I will post the proof when I get to my machine, but Sony took 4 years to fuck this up. The new release has the discs swapped: disc one is supposed to be the digital remaster, and disc two from analog. They are labeled as so too. Except, a blatant manufacturing error - on all copies I've been made aware of - has the wrong labels on the discs. The new release has #1 labeled digital but with the analog master. #2 is labeled analog but has the digital master.

 How could they fuck this up??

 Details, and more proof than anyone will need, later when I get home.

update: New post with details, and pictures too!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Guided By Voices classic live: Crying Your Knife Away (analogloyalist remaster)

Some time back we were running through a compendium of sorts of key Guided By Voices tracks from the band's "classic years", roughly from 1990 - 1996.  The series petered out after Vampire On Titus, mainly because I realized what a fool's errand it was trying to pick a limited subset of tracks from the three following LPs (Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes and Under The Bushes Under The Stars) and (seemingly) hundreds of singles/EPs/errata that the band released.  For the most part, except for the non-LP sets *all* the LP material is essential.  The non-LP sets had many key moments, but my enthusiasm for picking through those releases faded as well.  Ah well, such is the life of the blog-as-diversion, not blogger-for-life.

And then I had the thought:  Y'know, this has already been done (mostly).  Back in the dark, dusty ages of 1995 I purchased this amazing 2xLP live set called Crying Your Knife Away, from the late, lamented Record Swap in Naperville, Illinois.  Barring less-critical thoughts about sound quality, and excusing the absence of some utter classics ("Echos Myron" / "A Salty Salute" / etc), this pseudo-bootleg had it all.  A virtual travelogue of the band's "greatest hits" up through the then-newly-recorded-but-unreleased LP Scalping The Guru (which was retitled and resequenced to become Alien Lanes), and a few classics from Propeller and Vampire On Titus.


Somewhere in the sands of time my 2xLP set disappeared.  I don't remember if I sold it, lost it, or what.  It's just gone, but for the magic of the internets it's not gone forever!  Also helpful was the 1998 reissue of this set on CD, packaging it all up oh-so-conveniently in a modern, portable, perfect-sound-forever medium.

The CD's sound quality was meh, however.  While obviously soundboard, and from a master, the "mastering" - or what passes for it - is shit.  It's been so long - 17 years? - since I've heard the original LP pressing that I have not a clue if the CD is faithful or not.  Regardless, the CD mastering needs a fair bit of help.

As a result, this thing shines - warts (beer too) and all.  One minor issue is that the sheets of feedback embedded in quite a few of the songs - audible on the original CD, but subsumed under the din - are brought almost too far forward in my version.  It's not something I've been able to solve, but then again, it was presumably present at the gig, too.

So here we go.  I love this record, and now you shall too.  Enjoy hearing the band, over the course of an hour, get progressively drunk(er) and as a consequence the endearing looseness it maintains.  Send in striped white pants!

GUIDED BY VOICES
Crying Your Knife Away
(analogloyalist April 2012 remaster)

Bass - Greg Demos
Drums - Kevin Fennel
Guitar - Robert Pollard (track 21)
Striped white pants - Greg Demos
Vocals - Robert Pollard
Vocals, Guitar - Mitch Mitchell , Tobin Sprout

Recorded live at Bela Koe-Krompecher's 26th birthday party in Columbus, Ohio on June 18th 1994.
Music interspersed with jokes and quips of Robert Pollard.
CD re-release of limited edition LP originally released in 1994.

01 [intro]
02 Postal Blowfish
03 The Closer You Are The Quicker It Hits You
04 My Valuable Hunting Knife
05 Gold Star For Robot Boy
06 Lethargy
07 Striped White Jets
08 Non-Absorbing
09 The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
10 Shocker In Gloomtown
11 Motor Away
12 Awful Bliss
13 Tractor Rape Chain
14 Blimps Go 90
15 Exit Flagger
16 I Am A Scientist
17 Quality Of Armor
18 Cruise
19 Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy
20 Some Drilling Implied
21 If We Wait
22 Weed King
23 Pimple Zoo
24 Break Even
25 Ester's Day

Bela Koe-Krompecher's 26th birthday party at Stache's in Columbus, Ohio, June 18, 1994. The party actually started at 3:00 PM in Bela's backyard. Kegs were flowing, and Pete Jamison manned the grill, while Bela's grandmother, (beer in hand), presided over the whole affair from a lazy boy in the middle of the yard. Records were traded, lies were told, and perception was severely impaired. Around 10:00 PM the party went mobile, stumbling a few blocks away to Stache's. The drink of choice was Rolling Rock, and before GBV took the stage, at least one band member caught a nap.

Grab it here, lossless FLAC as usual.

Anybody have, or can make, a high-res (600dpi would be nice) scan of the original LP cover?  The original is full color while the CD reissue is greyscale.  I've not been able to source quality versions of either on the webz.