Monday, October 01, 2007

Madhouse and the Whole Thing Almost There

The 'new' album by local guitar ace and good mate Mike Walker is at last finally being mixed after considerable delays due to problems with the original producer. This record has been a long time in the making, but it looks like it will finally see the light of day quite soon. Mike is currently working on the second round of the mixdown and reports to be 'well pleased' with the results so far. There's the small matter of the artwork still to be sorted which it's hoped will be less traumatic than getting the mixing done. The album is called 'Madhouse and the Whole Thing There' and has Iain Dixon on saxophones, John Ellis on keys, Mikey Wilson on drums and Sylvan Richardson on bass. Mike says about the record:

"This album is the first under my name. It's about dissonance masked by consonance, and having clear statements despite the density. I wanted the harmony to be supported by the melody. I wanted the rhythm and bar lengths to feel completely natural, even though they're not. I wanted it to be singable, and street-walk whistleable. I didn't want the face to reflect the inner workings."
The intriguing album title is taken from 'The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness', a book by the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing and is a quote from English literary critic and poet William Empson. Getting the album mixed has proved to be a study in sanity and madness for Mike and Iain who had paid a significant sum of money upfront to the presumed to be trustworthy Steely Dan producer Roger Nichols who is based in the US. Roger accepted the work and the money but then proceeded to do nothing. Progress reports on the mix were given along with promises that it would be ready 'in a week or so'. However no mixes were forthcoming and Roger proceeded to go AWOL. After a year of constant hassling from Mike and Iain, the music was returned unmixed but still no cash was to be seen. It's taken almost two years and a sustained email campaign by Mike and friends, but after much heartache and stress for all concerned they eventually got the cash back courtesy of Roger's boss and have finally been able to go ahead and get the album mixed. The man himself is yet to resurface and has not offered so much as an apology.

I haven't heard a note of the record myself yet so I'm really looking forward to the conclusion of this long running saga.

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