Come Crawling Faster! Obey Your Master!

I consider myself pretty experienced when it comes to the audio recording process. The only stage of which I am quite ignorant is the final stage: mastering. This is where you transfer your final mix to whatever format on which you are going to issue your music; vinyl, CD, 8-track, etc. It sounds easy enough but it is a bit more complicated than that. Each format has its own recipe of sorts that needs to be followed in order to create the best transfer for that particular format.

This especially true for vinyl. If you add too much treble, the needle will jump out of the groove. If you add too much bass, the needle will jump out of the groove. If you have too much of some element in one channel, you guessed it, the needle will jump out of the groove. In order to compensate for this, you have to calculate how much space there should be between the grooves. For a ≈40min 33 RPM LP you’ve got to squeeze those grooves together. The closer together the grooves are, the more the audio quality suffers to the decrease in the sound to noise ratio. Still with me? OK.

To be honest, most audio and recording engineers are only conceptually knowledgeable about the process. This goes for me as well. All that mumbo jumbo I just spouted is just what I can remember off the top of my head from school. It is a very specialized field. Ever heard of Bob Ludwig? Chances are, you have something he mastered in your music collection. He and a few other guys are the best in their field and master most of the high-profile big name stuff that the major labels release. You need really good ears, experience and lots of expensive and properly calibrated gear to do it well.

In this digital day and age the straight transfer from analog master tapes directly to vinyl is a rare occurrence indeed. However this is exactly the route taken by Matador when re-mastering the vinyl rerelease of Mission Of Burma‘s^ old LPs. Matador has started a video series on their site documenting the process. There is only one clip up now, but there should be more to come. Check it out. It’s cool.

I like how that particular master tape playback machine (Studer) has 2 playback heads. The first one sends the audio signal to a computer in the lathe one second before the actual signal to be recorded arrives. Based on the computer’s analysis of the first signal, it determines how to cut the grooves when it recieves the second. Crazy.

Ooh, I Met Somebody Famous

This is a blurry picture of a cheesy-grin-wearing Chillmost standing next to Academy Award Winner and lead singer of The Frames, Glen Hansard. In January, Glen Hansard came to Hamburg for the German premiere of Once. After the screening Glen talked about the movie and answered a bunch of questions. After that he played a few songs on his guitar. Along with Marketa Irglová, he just won an Oscar for best original song for the number "Falling Slowly".

Pas på!

We have many windmills around here that look just like this one. On a real windy day I will check them out to see how fast they are going. I have never seen one go as fast as the one in this video. This supposedly took place in Hornslet near Aarhus, Denmark. Wait until the end for the big finish.


One of the local bartenders I am friendly with is from the freshly-minted Republic of Kosovo. Previously, if you wanted to get him mad or upset, you could easily do so by bringing up the situation going on over there and watch him go off. His basic sentiments could be summed up in, “Fuck anybody that had anything to do with it.” It was neither fun nor amusing. That’s why I only brought it up once. Plus he has some rather large “home boys” that sometimes hang out there and they don’t like to smile alot. So, why push it, ya know?

Last week I stopped in and I had to ask. How was it, how do you feel about, uh, you know? He was much more willing to talk about it. He said that finally there is some hope. Hope is what he had given up. He was very excited about what the future holds and expressed gratitude that the US recognized Kosovo’s independence.

He also expressed gratitude specifically for Bill Clinton. I didn’t know that there is already a Bill Clinton Boulevard, a 25ft tall mural of Clinton and, get this, a 10ft tall statue of him under construction. They love the guy. He withheld comment on 43 though.

All this gave us a warm fuzzy feeling, certainly aided partially by our imbibitions, and the next round was on the house.

America! Fuck Yeah!

There Are Crazy People in Germany Too

Angered by his girlfriend’s smoking, a German man used a fire extinguisher to put out her cigarette. The apartment now looks like it snowed inside — and boyfriend was hauled downtown.

Sehr Gründlich

Hauled downtown? Cancer-stick? Who’s writing this copy, Mickey Spillane? Dashiell Hammett?

She was a feisty dame, but she burned a few too many bridges in Bielefeld and needed a place to lay low. I helped her out in exchange for, shall we say, companionship? I told her when she’s under my roof the only thing that smokes is the barrel of my .44.

I only tell someone once.

Venusberg, Live!

Hallo Hallo. I just wanted to let the world know that I will be performing with Venusberg, this Sunday, Feb 10th, at the Markthalle in Hamburg at 20:00. It will be an international evening with bands from Germany, France and Switzerland. Tickets are 7 EUR Vorkasse, and 9 EUR at the door. I know it is a bit short notice, but there may be tickets left to this one-night only show. In fact, there may be lots of tickets left. Lots. Seriously, if you live and Hamburg and you are not there, pffft, whatever dude.

Rumor has it the show will be broadcast live over the Internet on this website. So if you are on another continent somewhere, you can tune in. I will provide details about this as they develop.
I think all you have to do is go to the website when the show starts (20:00 = 2pm East Coast time) and the video stream should just come up when the page loads. If not, click on the purple square where it says TAG and scroll to 20:00 where it says Dub Spencer & Trance Hill. Scroll down a bit further and click on details and then “Zum Konzert”. I’m assuming it will just be on the front page but I don’t really know. I don’t think you have to login.

The line-up is as follows:

Dub Spencer and Trance Hill (Zurich, Switzerland)
Venusberg (Hamburg, Germany duh)
Jaywalker (Paris, France)

Check out this cool video from Jaywalker….