Eclectic selections of lo-fi vintage electronica produced in bedrooms around the globe between 1980- 89.
Each downloadable volume of Bedroom Cassette Masters comes with an extensive PDF guide to the artists, the gear and the era + printable j-card cassette inlay.
“Sounds like vintage electronica, looks like vintage electronica…”
A compilation of tracks from all over the web which, while many of them were recorded in the 1980’s using analogue equipment, some of them most definitely were not. Nevertheless all have been produced with that same spirit in mind. Enjoy them at face value.
The album download includes a comprehensive illustrated PDF guide to the tracks and the artists.
released December 22, 2012
Curated by Simon Holland AKA Carrillion. All tracks have been *gently* compressed to bring the levels up to an average for improved listening pleasure. Collated from February to December 2012.
Acid rock, psychedelic band from Milan, Italy; their name comes from an ancient pre-christian festivity celebrated in Northern Italy when a big straw puppet resembling a witch is burnt as a propitiatory ritual towards the forces of nature.
CHICAGO — Maybe you’ve heard about Billy Corgan’s prized Fender Stratocaster, the one responsible for the dreamy tones that defined Smashing Pumpkin’s debut album, Gish. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin reportedly borrowed the guitar from a friend, or so the story goes, and sold it to Corgan, who refers to it as the “guitar that changed the direction of our lives.”
“The minute I started playing on the Strat, it was like it came to life. It was like everything I was doing suddenly was amplified,” Corgan told Rolling Stone senior writer Kory Grow. “On that Strat, it was like you suddenly could hear every little thing I was doing. … Suddenly the sound of the band got way more beautiful, psychedelic and wide.”
He immediately recognized unique details: The cigarette burn on the neck. The initials “KM” engraved in the bridge. The sloppy artwork Corgan added himself, the f-word scratched into the paint, and, of course, the way it felt in his hands.
You can see the joy in Corgan’s face in photos of the rocker’s reunion with his beloved “Bullet Strat” documented on YouTube, and celebrated online.
“I’m literally gonna take it somewhere, and get it fixed up,” Corgan told Rolling Stone.
That’s pretty much how the story ended, until now.
As things turn out, “somewhere” is a converted auto-repair garage at 1828 West Belmont in Roscoe Village, home to Chicago luthier Geoff Benge’s guitar shop.
There’s a reason the “Gish” guitar ended up at Benge’s place. If you’re looking for a Chicago guy to fix your most precious guitar there’s probably nobody better, according to people who know about these things.
I first met Benge in 2008 at his fix-it shop’s former Lake View location. He told me about the one-armed guitar player who brought in a Regal guitar that had been carried across Europe during WWII, and now rested in pieces in its case. Benge fixed it up so good that when the owner first pressed his fingers against the neck, he cried. At home, the man said with joyful tears, his wife would do the strumming.
“If I can’t fix it, it’s not broke,” Benge says with a laugh.
He’s worked on guitars since he scored his first job emptying ashtrays at Sound Post, a long-gone Evanston guitar shop, when he as 14. He helped open Guitar Works, and did a stint in the repair shop at Chicago Music Exchange before building his own repair business based on referrals from a long list of renowned Chicago guitarists. Nicholas Tremulis, Liz Phair, Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, Steve Albini and, of course, Corgan all count Benge as their trusted guitar repairman, and sometimes miracle worker.
For 20 years, Tremulis, a Chicago music scene stable, has had Benge electrify 1920s acoustic guitars.
In 1993, Albini, the famed recording engineer and owner of Electric Audio studios, had Benge convert a collection of right-handed guitars — including a rare aluminum Voleno guitar — so each one could be played lefty, in other words, upside-down and backwards.
On my recent visit, Benge and his pal and long-time collaborator, Kriss Bataille, ribbed each other about that.
“I remember asking Geoff if he knew why Albini wanted those guitars made left-handed,” luthier Kriss Bataille said.
“And I said, ‘No, I don’t give a f—,'” Benge said.
Benge, 54, doesn’t care much about that. It’s not like he played on Nirvana’s final record.
“You know what I remember,” he said, while twisting the tuner on a recently restrung acoustic. “Months later, Albini brought the guitars back and said, ‘Make ’em righty again.’ So, I did.”
In February, Corgan told Rolling Stone he figured his newly returned guitar was built in 1974.
After taking the guitar apart, taking into account it’s outfitted with one of Fender’s first die-cast bridge saddles and talking with a guitar electronics expert in California, Benge pegged the Strat as a ’75. But the serial number etched on the 3-bolt neck plate hints at a different story.
The Stratocaster’s exact vintage, well, that’s complicated. Corgan’s Stratocaster was built during the heart of the “CBS era” — a low point in Fender’s corporate history when the quality of each guitar was a crap shoot.
Between 1973 and 1975 Fender’s factory was in flux, lacked inventory and quality controls and, Norvell says, factory workers “went off script.” Back then all Fender guitars were made by hand, and put together with mismatched parts from unmarked bins. Sometimes, even guitar necks and bodies didn’t match.
“Billy’s Strat is more of a guitar on the cusp,” Fender Executive Vice President of Products Justin Norvell said.
Benge found the Stratocaster’s “flat pole” pickups were stamped with the date, Dec. 30, 1975. The guitar’s ’76 serial number hints that a Fender craftsman didn’t put the finishing touches on before celebrating on New Year’s Eve.
Another good find this time out of France with a familiar sound that could have come out of Manchester or the US in the 90s.
I can hear The Stone Roses, Primal Scream in psychedelic mode and vocals reminded me of Janes Addiction.
The three piece strikes again with a record that represents the band itself : beauty, chaos, tension and relief. This ep is the result of numerous jams where the drums/bass remain frenetic, and the guitar/vocals stand impassive in front of what could look like a big beautiful mess.
The band has proudly kept the same team as it’s previous LP to work on that new material: this has been recorded at le K7 studio with Franck Molin, mastered by Renaud de Saint Vaast, and cover designed by the mighty Chufy.
Three recent favourite Bandcamp purchases featuring Russian bassist, vocalist and style icon, Svetlana “Zombierella” Negaeva of Messer Chups, Tentative Reels and Bleak Engineers.
All roads lead to Red Square?
Well, my search for late 1950s early ’60s rock ‘n’ roll inspiration, during lockdown, led me first to Berklee Music School — where I discovered one of the best chord progressions of the late ’50s era: Doo Wop, along with other excellent chords and scales.
Armed with this I pushed on to Pinterest where I loaded up on pics for a full-scale assault on the beaches.
That worked out excellently as waiting for me — with machine gun-like solo’s — were non-other than Surf Rock legends Dick Dale and Link Wray — already dug in.
I couldn’t stop there. As I clicked save on every inspiring image, who should pop up but Tarantino ready to bring it all together.
I went off Tarantino films for a while, maybe it was Desperado, Kill Bill, Django, Inglorious Bastards .. The Hateful 8.
There’s only so much hate I can stomach in one sitting. Sure I like classic movies — the originals are great, and these reimagined films are something else which is also interesting for what they are.
To me, Tarantino is like the enthusiastic friend we all had at school, he has rich parents so he can afford to indulge in obscure interests — in this case, violence, feet and cool music. It’s good to know what you like.
What’s a burger without cheese? — and deluxe milkshake? It might make you unhealthy but hey.
He definitely redeemed himself with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I’ll never get bored seeing hippies get wrecked.
If in doubt, go left — as they say in the gaming world. The good news, on every street there is always a right turn — back to that special place, the main square.
So, Comrades, here I am… ALMOST where I began with post-punk electronica, the best of Soviet-wave and doomer; everything inspired by Kraftwerk, Joy Division, classic B-Movies and the American Dream..