Just saw on a Facebook page that the Los Angeles gig has sold out. To me this is like the grim reaper popping in the door and saying NO I’M NOT HERE FOR A CUPPA. Grim reaper?
Well look there’s a certain comfort in being a small target, and we have been such a very small target for a long time that it’s been quite cosy. I have no idea why any group of people would be at all interested. But they are. I feel like I am drawn to walk up to people and sob BUT WHY? WHY ARE YOU HERE? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? WHY DAMN YOU! Like a bad episode of a British Science Fiction show or something.
(I have to explain I am also pretty sick with fever right now and so running on ‘a different way of seeing’ that I’m going to regret in a day or so).
Anyway we are putting together some merchandise. Look at this:
It’s based on the Australian Hot With Fleas sleeve. Look, the knives go over the edges. Have you any idea how damn expensive it is to do that? I do. We are talking classy. Of course we’ll have a few cheaper ones.
I also want to have a live album. You download it, but you can only get the code at the show. It’s like an Xmas card, but instead of Grandma’s $10 note there’s an access code. I’d love to have a SH snow globe but, luggage, y’know.
Oh yeah the new vinyl too.
Never done merchandise like this before. It feels so authentically USA.
I’ve heard from Dark Entries that, flood of Italo-Disco allowing, they hope to have copies of Petrol Station and Clifford Darling ready for September.
As it turns out the Petrol 12″ has four versions – the live performance at Metro Screen, the MSquared version a.k.a. Lamborghini, the cowboy version that was on Beyond The Southern Cross, and the flip side of the 7″ single edited by Robert Racic. I call it Petrol Station but you can ignore me.
Clifford Darling Please Don’t Live in The Past is pretty much identical to the original except that it has been cut from a digital copy of the master tapes we sent over to the UK in 1986. That is, we backed up the open reel tapes we sent to digital before sending them. Because the same machine did the playback, the quality is good. There are a few moments where I have applied gentle treatment to improve the clarity.
The Stretcher re-issue is coming along. I’ve had several goes at every track in search of perfection. There’s some detail that would be nice to bring out that I know is in there.
I’ve sent demos of the Ear Bitten/Side 2 LP (and bonus 7″) to Vinyl on Demand. This is part of a much larger compilation of Australian music that’s going to take quite a lot more wrangling!
Pre-Sale in Shop starts 15th of June – estimate Release 30th of June
Garry Bradbury’s new compilation, PANSPERMIA , comprising of 2 lp’s and a bonus one sided 7”, is an assemblage of remastered and re-edited works recorded sporadically over a period of around 20 years from 1986 to 2005.
Much against my own wishes, the USA set will be oldies. The audience being oldies. They will want their youth and they will get it.
UPDATE: Chicago and Florida shows will be constrained to 50 minutes. Other shows can be longer and have some newer stuff.
Most of it is well known and well developed, but I do have a few videos to make and tracks to rebuild. Before I get too far into that I want to hear requests from people, so I know to make up ONE track that may not have been done before.
Do not vote for bloody Dead Eyes Opened you fools, it is already mandatory. ADDENDUM do not vote for completely obvious singles that any fool knows have to be played Jesus people…
Working on Clifford Darling now. This was a compilation album called in by Ink records in 1985, which was to collect all the stuff made before Since The Accident. So only a two – four year backtrack, compared to the vast distances travelled now to pillage the past. Even so, we were wary of the lack of progress you get when compiling ye olde shite, and I think it was Garry that collected the famous “Clifford Darling Please Don’t live in the Past” line (although “try think of three guys laying a telephone booth” is better).
So a lot of this was cassette, some was 1/4 track tape – all the Blubberknife and Clean stuff. We compiled onto a Revox B77 and then bounced that out to Betamax Digital. So I have the Betamax of the medley on sides C and D, bounced from tape, which is the best master. Sides A and B I have both bounces from tape and the direct cassette to Betamax dubs. Because I’ve only recently cared about archiving they’re all called xxxx.wav and xxxx2.wav & I don’t yet know for sure which is which. The xxxx2 versions have been topped and tailed, which will probably mean they are not the raw dubs. Hey at least I took the time to back it all up over that crazy media period.
Sides C and D – fuck it, I’m not touching it. It sounds like what it is – cassettes and tapes – and I am not going to try ‘correct it’. That was also the decision long ago when making the CD version.
However the CD version does have maximisation on A and B. I was a bit shocked at what I had done in 2002 – the waveform was nearly flat – until I looked at the cassette transfers – they’re nearly flat as well – because us 80’s guys had blasted the cassette tape to get the highest signal to noise, and a touch of tape compression. When you look at the open reel that went to Ink in 1985, there’s obvious points where a cassette is playing (flat line), then a voice sample leaps out (jumps up 6dB).
The CD version isn’t actually wrong, it just moved this flat -9dB line up to -3dB which is a bit loudness wars. But I recall I made some 2000 era treatments to some of the tracks, so delete that. I’ll use the absolute masters and move the baseline to -6dB which leaves heaps of headroom. Then a few tracks need a bit of help.
First problem is woof. The bass sounds spread out and become flatulent on the cassette. That needs a little multi-band compression, put a bit of an envelope back where it should be. It’s mostly untreated 808 so easy to spot the problem.
Second problem is splat – mostly high hats that are now fish frypans. Using a little exciter can make the high hats not quite as splurt splurt – bringing back the overtones can move their frequency centre up to where it should be.
Some frequencies are leaping around – probably because a different cassette deck was used to play back the stuff. Multi-band compression used ever so slightly will help.
I’m not going to touch any underlying noise. I will have a look at what’s going on at less that 20Hz though, because whatever it is, it’s not a sound recording on cassette!
In fact there’ll probably be more changes made in the cutting room than any of what I do. Just fix the obvious bruises, leave the surgery to doctors.
We’re starting to piece together the likely offerings for 2015. All of this is likely but I cannot say that is inevitable. There are known knowns and unknown unknowns and all of that.
Greater Reward 12″ vinyl.
This old thing still gets some deejay culture and so we are all well pleased to say it has got its handbag out on behalf of Optimo in Scotland. I don’t believe you have to be a DJ to have this but it certainly helps.
So this was going to be the 12″ that was released by Normal Records in West Germany in 1986. But there’s so many versions of Petrol that you could do a whole album. Lordy! What will Dark Entries decide? Find out in 2015.
Clifford Darling, Please Don’t Live In The Past. 2x LP
Relive the past with this luxuriously ironic title, presented in full colour for the first time. This the album that inspired this re-issue. What will Dark Entries think of next?
Stretcher 2x LP?
Somebody is crazy enough to be talking about STRETCHING STRETCHER over 4 sides. That crazy is Medical Records but will their accountant find out in time?
Vinyl On Demand are demanding some stuff – more later.