Monday, 7 November 2011

Cheapmachines #2

Last weekend I received a copy of "Debris" a 7" test pressing by Cheapmachines. Due to the test pressing being unsatisfactory the 7" never was released, a shame because I really like what Cheapmachines were doing here. As a rule, and as far as I understand although let it be known I am no expert, I thought that if one test pressing was unsatisfactory the pressing plant would then run off a few more copies with the problem (hopefully) solved but in the case of "Debris" the single was never released. The project was never realised. A real shame.
I have another "faulty" test pressing, that of Defektro's "Hard Luck Heart" EP...after many moons the single was finally released, maybe that's be the story with "Debris". Anyway, I contacted Phil Julian (AKA Cheapmachines) to a: thank him for the vinyl & b: probe him on the test pressing.

I am playing the single loud and at 33rpm. Is that correct?

It's cut at 45rpm both sides, but I'm not precious about it if you prefer the slowed version :)

You are not happy with the pressing. There are moments when (on side A) it sounds like a pause button is being held in for a micro-second, also there is a massive drop and rise in volume towards the end....was this the problem?

Yes, those are the main problems, along with the mobile phone blips on side 2 from the guy doing the cutting, evidently texting someone while he should have been concentrating...

Side A has some great "old industrial" style sounds and textures, making me think of 1975-76 Throbbing Gristle (the Giftgas CD on Dossier for Eg), what was the instrument line-up for this track?

Thanks, that's a big compliment. Both sides are semi-improvised computer pieces recorded at the same time as the tracks for "Secede":

No "instruments" as such - real-time computer synthesis, granular samples, some pulsar generation, sinewaves, internal feedback...

The two tracks sounded better side-by-side than crow barred into the album so the intention was to make it a 7". Never happened as a proper release, only these test pressings exist. I might come back to it at some point... using a different pressing plant of course.

I like Side 2, it sounds like there are three different levels happening here all at the same time. Abstract textures, drone pieces and contact mic' recordings. HNJW! (Harsh Noise Jazz Wall) - it also sounds like a live to comment?

Both tracks were improvised, then some layering and then editing mainly for length. Don't recall any direct contact micing but there are a number of samples being yanked about in there which could well have been derived from a contacted mic-ed object or two. Jazzed-up Punk Shit Wall ;)

If you could respond to one or all of these questions, I'll put them on my blog - if you can't be arsed, fair do's.
Thanks (again) for the package.

No problem.

Also with the 7" came a new C20 cassette release "Accessory". This was made to support Cheapmachines live events in October. Left over copies are available directly from Phil at I've enjoyed a couple of plays but I'm slowly letting it into my psyche....

1&2: Cheapmachines test pressing.
3: Defektro test pressing sleeve.

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