Wednesday, June 27, 2007

the PCBs

As has been mentioned here before, dodgy stereo is result of the combined efforts of more than one person. One of the more amusing projects that came to be from this collaboration was 'the PCBs'. I hadn't heard this recording for a few years, but have had moments of fond memories of the making of it. The blurb online states:

"Let's get together tonight. We'll stock up on cigarettes and beer... Why don't we write and record as many songs as possible. No more than 10 minutes per song... What do ya say?"

This may not be a direct quote of what we said to one another but it pretty much sums up the attitude we took to making everything that evening, when we wrote, recorded, and mixed down everything in one night. We challenged ourselves to get productive without being precious about what we were making - If anyone of us came up with an idea we would run with it.

This was all made back in the late 90's (1997/8?) when we had upgraded from four track tape recording to eight track recording. Although we were starting to use PCs at the time, cassette multitracking was what we used most often.

A similar approach to recording was used when making the Translucent Knees material years later, but at that stage the computer had really taken over and the sound quality/production values probably wouldn't have been achieved as quickly otherwise.The main thing is that the dodgy stereo attitude to genre was there - hi-fi / lo-fi / anti-fi / dodgy stereo meant these things weren't important. I think this is still true today as each of the artists still make music that uses whatever tools are at hand to make the sound that's in their head come of of speakers and into other people's ears.

Recently one of the PCBs put the material online on myspace, where you can now go to download and enjoy listening to the music we made. There are three mp3's the track listing being -

the PCBs Side A - 1.Dodgy Stereo Jingle 2.Plastic Boy 3.Cray-Zee Man 4.Little Flower 5.Tight Spot 6.Green Watch 7.Beady Eyes

the PCBs Side B - 8.Russian Reggae 9.Tenner Sea 10.Slug Porn 11.FrankQuinnStein 12.Dole Pineapple Chunks

PC/BC - 1.PC/BC 2.Sunday Life 3.Theme From Pingu 4.Dollar 5.Bum 6.Sud O Bangor 7.NiceHamDay 8.Hamburger Shots

The PCBs was chosen as a name for the group as it was made from the first letters of our names; Phil, Colin and Barry. It is also an acronym for Printed Circuit Board among other things.

Phil (and Hazel) recently made this video to one of the sleazier tracks the PCBs made...

Slug Porn

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Friday, June 22, 2007

BEW Bootleg

The shows the other night were as I said, in my opinion, quite successful.
If you want to hear how they went download and listen to the following.

01 - Electro-acoustic Improvisation
02 - Horn Joy Live
03 - Noisey Beat Mix Live

These were recorded from the mixing desk to minidisc then onto my PC.
The minidisc was running at LP4 - a low quality long play - so the recordings are quite fuzzy, but they still contain plenty of fun tones.
In addition here's a tiny snippet of noise from Friday's improv set at The Golden Thread Gallery it was recorded onto chrome cassette on a little SONY dictaphone so again lo-fi, fuzzy fun. If you want to hear more, let me know.
04 - live improv part 4

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Back in Belfast....

Back in Northern Ireland a week and all is well. The family are healthy and I'm not too busy to be vexed, and busy enough not to be bored either.My niece and I enjoying some pallet drumming...

The gallery opening performance with Nicky Keogh at the Gloden Thread Gallery was quite a success, albeit with some technical difficulties. We were set-up and ready to play for the opening at six o' clock and there were plenty of people in attendence. We played several short improvisations at low volume throughout the evening and "Knocked it up a notch" at the end (around eight o' clock).Some of the audio toys used and abused for the improvisation in the Golden Thread...

Unfortunately the Calor Gas Soundsystem's amp over heated and the last part was cut short. The minidisc recorder we used to record the performances also refused to update it's TOC and so most of the audio documentation was lost. Thankfully I had a spare cassette recorder and I captured a little of the noise from the end of the evening.

I finally attended Bop Yestrum and saw Indian Jewelery at the Pavilion Bar on Saturday night. This was an excellent way to prepare for the show there on Sunday.

The Show with Birds of Delay and Toymonger was a mixed bag. The attendence was low but the sounds were solid (thick, brutal, sharp, fuzz-filled, painful to listen to, occasionaly amusing, sometimes boring ((yes, I know it's supposed to challenge me to indulge in deep listening)). The soundcheck was short thanks to an unexpected private function for a bunch of golfers, but enough to test if equipment was working.
Barry (bew), Peter, and Chris...

As planned there were three parts to the 45 minute show. I started with an electro-acoustic improvisation using stylophone, cymbals, bells, microphone, loop cassette, feedback, and effects.
Chris Allen on bass.

Next I was joined by my colleague from S'Gottabomb, Chris Allen, who played bass and my younger brother, Peter, who played saxophone whilst I played clarinet to realise "Horn Joy", a tune from my unpublished "Harsh Missed EP".Peter Cullen on saxophone.

To finish I played/mangled a selection of my most recent tunes/remixes produced in Brno. Tracklist:
bew - musicbox bug 2 - a demo tune
bew - Crane Crash H&W 2 - a special edit made especially for this gig.
bew - Kookie Loop Dirt Step
Sunosis - Leap (bew remix)
bew - Adam Pharoh
+ lots of my samples.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


Masterbot96Hz (bew remix)
I met with Nicky Keogh to give him copies of the recordings I made using his synths and soundsystem in New York a few months ago. I then find out that the system is being exhibited at the new Golden Thread Gallery and that he'd like me to perform a bit at the opening night on Friday the 15th June.

This will act as a kind of warm-up for this Sunday's gig at the Pavilion Bar backing up the Birds of Delay and TOYMONGER.
I'm planning a short show of three movements for Sunday:
Drone noise improvisation.
Reedy melodic moment.
Harsh electronic bass with beats.

People have asked for a re-post of the 'Adam Pharoh' tune so here it is again.
I think it should be available for download from the noclarity blog soon too.

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