Tape Op interview! ...and review.

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with John Baccigallupi from Tape Op Magazine about my work on the Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever album, Hope Downs.

It’s pretty techy - pretty nerdy, but it’s fun - check it out.

Read the full interview here by clicking on the album cover below;

I would just like to add that John was a super lovely guy and I had a great time chatting about this stuff, along with general gear stuff. Funny, and awesome chap.

Also, Tape Op have just published my first ever gear review!

It’s of the fantastic Buzz Audio DBC-20 Compressor.

This is a brilliant piece of kit and you can read why I hold it in such high regard by reading my review. Once again, the review is pretty heavy on the tech side of things and so it may not be for everybody, however if you are a gear-head like myself then please have a read and enjoy.

Read the full review here by clicking on the Tape Op magazine cover below;

 

2018 retrospective - LJ Sonic Funhouse style.

You may or may not have noticed that things have been a bit quiet recently around here and my other social media outlets and that would be because I have been moving the Funhouse to a new and improved location. Arduous and tough work, but ultimately unreal.

But enough about that for the moment - I wanted to briefly touch on the year 2018 and what kind of awesome things went down in LJ Sonic Funhouse land. Let me cut straight to this…

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Yes. The Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever album that I produced and engineered made it to NUMBER 3 IN MOJO MAGAZINE”S TOP 75 ALBUMS OF 2018!

This is some heavy shit, and man do I have a smile on my dial. Massive kudos to the band for being incredible - they truly deserve all the praise and success they are receiving for their album, HOPE DOWNS.

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Another release I’d like to mention is the album FEELINGS by my old mates BLOODS.

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This is a band I have a lot of history with, having produced their EP GOLDEN FANG and also having played guitar for them for a few years in the past. Aah, they were good times… But check this out - they had a new album out in 2018 through Sub Pop, it’s a cracker, and people are loving it. I’m happy to report that I got to produce and engineer a bunch of tunes off this. Sonically this album is a huge shift for the band it’s so exciting to hear them come out of the garage and into the city lights.

Before I sign off, I’d like to mention another exciting band I have been producing that has members from LEADER CHEETAH and IMPERIAL BROADS called REALITY INSTRUCTORS. We cut an album together a little while back and it is super cool, super fast, gnarly downstroke guitar punk with massive melodies and unbelievable cranked Vox AC30 attitude. In 2018 they released the IDEAL LOVE EP on cassette and digital…

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Head to my Projects page to hear some. The B-side we cut is killer too. Album comes out 2019.

Happy new year all! Absolutely cannot wait to jump headlong into new records this year.

Be well,

LJ





Three releases this week, and don't I feel just fine.

It seems nice and fitting that my first blog post should be in celebration of awesome tunes that I have recently been involved in. Three tunes in fact, and they have all come out over the last week.

First up…

I’m gonna cut right to the chase without too much philosophising or hyperbole. I got to mix a tune by two of my absolute heroes, Van Duren and Jody Stephens. Now, this is not a song that was recorded recently, no indeed. The tracking of this song dates back to the mid-seventies and it was recorded in holiest of holy Ardent studio in Memphis TN.

If you don’t know who Van Duren is, look him up now. Or wait for the documentary on him called WAITING which is coming out soon. It’s directed by my mates Greg Carey and Wade Jackson (whom the latter collabed on this mix with me).

https://www.waiting-vanduren.com/

Van is one of the true unsung heroes of 70’s American singer-songwriter and power pop, coming from the same circle of friends as Chris Bell and Alex Chilton. His story is far too vast and unbelievable to go into detail here - you’ll have to wait for the film for that. Just please go and check out his album Are You Serious? on Spotify and thank me later.

Jody Stephens is someone who is very dear to my heart as a drummer, singer, and songwriter in one of my favourite bands of all time, Big Star. I’m not going to spend any time going on about Big Star here - i’ll save that for a blog post in the future. All I will say, is getting to mix such a banging tune that has Jody drumming and singing, and Van playing bass and singing lead in that voice that could melt your soul, is such an extreme pleasure that sometimes I have to pinch myself and say “did that really happen?” Getting feedback from Van Duren over the phone and Jody Stephens via email (“I love it! Don’t change a thing!”) was so trippy, and fantastic.

So anyway, this tune never had a final mix as it was from an abandoned album that was never fully finished. But here is the first gem to come from these sessions. Listen to that piano - yes, that’s the same piano as 3rd/Sister Lovers and Radio City.

Next up…

…we have some new music from the wonderful Imperial Broads. Umm, yeah - they’re crazy but just listen to this! Holy Jesus! This is the first taste of their second record which is still in the making… taking a while but we’ll get there.

When we were tracking this tune, Eve from the band said that she wanted it to sound the way this image looks;

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These are the kind of notes I like to get from artists.

Another cool thing is that this song is also featured on a Spanish compilation of female bands called HITS WITH TITS Vol.5 with a completely different mix. Check it out below, it’s quite different.

I really can’t wait for their second album to be finished. I truly think it’s going to be very special. And awesome.


And now…

Today, these lads from Sydney dropped their new single that they tracked themselves and I mixed. What a luscious slice of fuzz-tone pop! I get echoes of Zombies and Kinks, but this is no throwback band. They are totally taking this sound into our new world and blending it with their own cool aesthetic. This kind of musing on a dystopian love affair is just my kind of fun. Have a listen, and let’s patiently wait and see what gold comes next…

Over and out, and be well.