A little history. Zadok had been working on our magnum opus, Agitated Molecule, for a long time by the turn of 2012, and we kept going. We were always a good live prospect because we drilled everything, could all play a bit, and the tunes are bendy, original and wacky. Not to mention the stage crack. Just saying. By summer, when Franko left the band to move home to Edinburgh and Al looked toward moving to Germany and Pete was going back to school, this was when I started to realise how much I relied on the photographic musical memory of my bandmates. Al isn’t the Iron Horse for no reason, for instance. He’s a mighty fuzz bass fax machine. Every orbit is a bit better and there’s no rush, but it struck me that it was time to pare down and make some tapes again. I had generated a lot of tapes by that time, and a stack of manuscript paper as tall as a tall mouse. Which is more than it sounds. But if your strengths are in composition and not recall, you have to work really hard, even if you can move your hands successfully. I started work on an album of material which should be alive by the turn of the year.
My basic setup at home for taping things has always been pretty simple. Normally a very battered Sanyo tape dictaphone and a manuscript book. I used to have a Tascam 414 mk1 4track that Chris Miller kindly gave me, but it’s a worn out carcass now. Then I got hold of a Yamaha 16G hard disk multitracker. It’s solid. Intuitive way to record and useful for bootlegs but not a great beast to mix on if you’re doing something serious. Dee would kindly let me use Macs at Northern School of Sound and I got to know my way around Logic as a DAW. I learned Logic Pro from Dee and passed the 301 exam. I got into Logic a bit. I might sell the AW16 if you get in touch. It’s in almost mint condition, apart from all the wacky music on it, which can be deleted, or even writ large on a VHS.
I was always cautious about getting too tied up in the interface. I like writing everything out if I can. I got hold of a real Juno 6 for a while (thanks Tweds) which woke me up to John Carpenter synths. Lo fi will always be a strong thread though, home taping fans. However, Logic is a really fast way to create music, if you already have an idea of what you want to do. In my experience, if you don’t have a song, you’re just burning your eyes at the computer and you’re better off playing an instrument, maybe with a candle. Use both things, use all the things. Life goes past too fast not to make use of the tools around you! Good luck! CM