Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shellac - Uranus

Steve Albini, post Big Black and Rapeman, with one of Boston's own Volcano Suns (and fellow recording studio guru) Bob Weston on bass.

After revolutionizing noise-rock, Albini was apparently inspired by Slint to create some sparse math-rock stuff, and that's sort of what this is. He kept the heavy distorted bass sound from Big black, but the guitar is a lot more minimal in Shellac, and the drums pound out some odd rhythms.

All of the Shellac records were impeccably packaged. This is a nice, heavy vellum envelope, with "Shellac" printed on it to look almost like a watermark.

Albini never put his lyrics in with any of his earlier records, just leaving a few cryptic notes of what the song is about in the liner notes, and this is no exception. A sheet inside the envelope reads:
"Wingwalker, Doris
It may look like choreography, but it is in fact aerobatics. Formation flying, you understand."
Befitting a recording geek of legendary stature, (and another slightly less legendary studio guy in Weston)  the remainder of the sheet lists every piece of equipment and even specific settings used in making this record, including the brand of magnetic master tape. It sounds great, as you would expect.

Got some Christmas music on the way...

A: Doris
B: Wingwalker

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