Amoeblog

Where My Ears Went in 2012

Posted by J. Mark Beaver, January 10, 2013 01:33pm | Post a Comment
sandro perri impossible spaces
SANDRO PERRI Impossible Spaces
(Constellation Records)

Easily the most confounding sound I heard this last year. In all truth, this record was released in late 2011, but I didn't find any indicators pointing towards it until this year. Perri is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer from Toronto, Canada who also creates electronica under the name Polmo Polpo. On Impossible Spaces, Perri presents a light, meandering soul in a voice that sometimes reminds me of Michael Franks, sometimes Antony, sometimes Christopher Cross. It's a strange tone to hear in 2012, but it is all couched and wrapped in, levitated and nudged along by a busy production of electronica, (fretless?) bass, warped keyboards and processed saxophone that keeps pulling my ear deep into its sheer inventiveness. Guaranteed to confuse.








MOUNT EERIE Clear Moon
((P.W.Elverum & Sun)  

One of this year's two "sister" releases (with Ocean's Roar), Clear Moon, is issued, as it should be, on clear vinyl. Phil Elverum, the creative force behind Mount Eerie and its former incarnation, Microphones, is a master of mood. His albums are for headphones, for closed eyes, akin to sitting alone (or with silent friends) in the forest or on some chilled rocky outcropping from where you can see no sign of civilization and yet always aware that its there.
mount eerie clear moon

Favorite Home Recordings

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 24, 2008 10:20am | Post a Comment

An album made entirely in one’s bedroom is no longer a foreign concept. In fact, it has become the norm. Digital sampling and recording programs such as Pro-Tools, Reason, Cubase and Digital Performer have all become the norm for most musicians. Why pay studio costs and mixing engineers for what you can do on your own your own computer?

The unfortunate result has been that as the need to record in a pricey recording studio has become a thing of the past, so has analog home recording. There is something a bit different from home recording made from analog forms (cassette or reel to reel recorders) rather than digital. Most arguments made on digital versus analog have to do with sound. My argument has to do with creativity. Although you still have the ability to overdub parts in analog recording, there are no quick fixes. You cannot instantly quantize bad timing, edit mistakes, cut out background noise or automatically tune vocals that are off key; all which you can do on the most basic digital recording programs. Instantly the mediocre can sound like the professionals. But what if some mediocrity is part of the charm? Honesty captured onto tape, with background noise, slightly off key vocals and poor recording techniques that captures a song in its purest form. It's no wonder fans of Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix used to pay top dollar for bootlegs of their home demos. There is purity to their songs that got lost once they made their way into a professional recording studio. The same thing sometimes happens with digital recording. The options are limitless, so much so that the end results sounds nothing like the beginning.

The Lo-Fi movement of the late eighties/early nineties exemplified this. Artists such as Daniel Johnston, Sebadoh, and The Mountain Goats didn’t just record onto four track for the sake of purity, it was also about economics. A Tascam 4 track recorder was affordable. Many studios were selling their outdated eight and four track reel-to-reel recorders dirt-cheap as well. In a bedroom, garage or in a practice space, you were left to your imagination to create without the restraints of paying a studio an hourly rate.

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