My new release for the New Year. A four track EP of poppy, slightly proggy, ELOish, World Partyish songs. Free to download from Bandcamp. Recorded in Logic using a mix of real and sampled instruments. All instruments/vocals by me apart from the picked 12 string rhythm part in Real Life which is played by Jay of Too Cool Kid.
Too Cool Kid’s been busy. Headlining the Cambridge Junkyard festival and doing remixes for other Cambridge bands. The Seven Twenty (or King James in their other guise) asked TCK to work his magic on this one. They were, in their own words, blown away by the result.
Another stonking remix takes a rock track – Falling Away by Cambridge band Motor Tapes – and turns it upside down, smashes it apart and puts it back together in a funked-up, energy-up remix.
Got the album back from mastering and it sounds excellent. Extremely bright, compared with my mixes, but modern releases so often stray towards over-bright. We asked him not to compress/limit the album into oblivion (which is even more the modern way, sadly) and as a result it’s clear and open sounding with lots of depth and dynamics. I think it sounds like a concept album but John, the artist, isn’t so sure!
Judge for yourself here: The Earth Beneath Our Feet on Bandcamp
The Earth Beneath Our Feet is the latest album from Harpenden singer/songwriter John Almond under his Feedback File guise. And today, we finally pressed the GO button on my mixes and off they’ve gone to Safe And Sound Mastering for the eight tracks to be compiled and mastered into the final album.
Amazingly, or alarmingly, depending on your point of view, I started mixing this album very nearly 18 months ago, at the end of 2013. John fed the finished multi-tracks to me, one by one, as they were finished – and in many cases, simply as works in progress.
I was able to add some guitar, programme some drums for a couple of tracks and, most importantly, do mix after mix after mix after mix for John as the songs grew and morphed as the project progressed.
The album features a whole host of musicians and singers: 14 or 15 in total playing instruments as diverse as Djembe and Tenor Sax as well as acoustic guitars, pianos, strings, synths, sound effects, and lots of atmospheric percussion.
The music is hard to pin down: it’s a touch English folk, think Nick Drake perhaps, a touch Americana, think The Decemberists perhaps. But it’s really lovely and it’s great.
Lyrically, it encompasses an equally diverse range of topics: murder, the Derbyshire Peak District, long-lost sing-songwriters and, most bizarre of all, Vera Lynn!
We’re absolutely thrilled with the final eight tracks and can’t wait for the final mastered CD to be in our hot and sweaty hands, ready for distribution. Here’s John looking, sort of, pleased it’s finished at last.
Too Cool Kid’s EP-idemic is the latest studio release from the aforementioned one-man band that is TCK. A more mature, bluesier sound perhaps than his first EP, this one follows on the sonic heels of the Swept Up single.
All three new tracks were recorded, mixed and mastered at Atticadia Sound.
As the Smoke Clears features Seth Tackberry, a very gifted young bassist from London, and Double Tap features backing vocals from Noah Bevington, lead singer and writer of popular local folkies, Mortal Tides, for whom Jay (TCK) is currently returning the compliment by popping up at big MT gigs to supply atmospheric (ie very TCK) lead guitar.
Alicia Catling is an exciting and highly inventive young psychedlic/folkie singer from Cambridge with a great portfolio of highly quirky and individual songs.
She asked Jay/Too Cool Kid to remix one of her most popular songs, Plants.
The Atticadia Sound remix took the original recording, stripped it back, beefed it up, looped key vocals and generally turned it into a different kettle of fish.
The result was a really interesting and most listenable example of musical cross-fertilisation: rock meets folk meets pop meets psychedelia!
Originally released in 1979, on bright red vinyl no less, and distributed through Rough Trade, this was the only formal release by Cheltenham-based three-piece, New Wave band The Vamps. (Not to be confused with the current pop band of the same name, of course.)
The leading track on the EP, I Only Saw You. was DJ Mike Read’s Record of the Week on his BBC Radio One show in 79 and was featured regularly on the legendary John Peel Show.
In the intervening years the red EP became a real collectors’ item with blogs all over the globe praising it and lusting after ownership. Only 1000 were pressed, sadly.
I’d never attempted a remaster of a vinyl release before but this turned out well. We realised that the original recording had been sped up in the vinyl mastering stage without the band noticing. It was also narrow and lacking in depth compared to a modern recording.
So I set to work using the wondrous tools of Logic Pro to restore all three tracks to their correct speed, to widen the sound stage, and to make a generally louder, deeper, more involving set of songs.
You can hear I Only Saw You in its remastered form here: