Alien – An 8 Song Album
The recordings on this record originated around 1995 and spread across the following year or so. They were all recorded using either 8 track reel to reel tape or 8 track ADAT. I’d saved up for a long time to buy the ADAT which replaced the Fostex A8 1/4 inch tape machine.
On 9th June 1995, I did my first shows with Cranes. This is what broke up the recordings. It was a busy time and I came back to the recordings when I could, when I was home.
A lot of the sounds came from my long deceased Roland W30 sampler and I was still using Cubase on an Atari ST after moving on from a hardware sequencer called the Alesis MMT8. One track of the tape machine was striped with SMPTE and we were away. There was no automation and there was only outboard effects. I had one dual channel compressor and I borrowed mics from Crystal Studios where I worked when not on tour.
The songs are rough, there are mistakes, odd timings and experimentation. They were all recorded fast once I got going on each one, they had to be. My faithful old (also long gone) Fostex 812 mixing desk had a great sonic to it for what was considered a ‘cheap’ desk. Twelve channels and four groups, looking back it’s amazing what we did with so little. I sometimes think that the younger generation are missing out by having virtually no restriction at all when it comes to track count and outboard. Restriction, especially when you’re starting out, leads you to greater creativity.
So the multi track masters are gone. The ability to remix or reconstruct anything resembling the songs in this form is long, long gone.
Just after the release of ‘Tales from a Broken Heart’ I was going through a load of old archived material and came across the stereo masters of these songs. In total there were around 20 songs. I narrowed it down to these 8 and proceeded to try and fix them up a bit for a possible release.
After playing them for a couple of friends I was urged to do something with them. There was a strange attraction to putting these songs out without adding to them or re-doing them. For me, they are a snippet in time and all the things I’d gain from re-doing them would never top the things I’d lose by leaving them alone.
So here they are, warts and all. Mix misjudgments, playing mistakes, they are all in there.
Many thanks for your time and kind attention,
Paul – 2nd of October, 2013