Billy Jenkins with the Fun Horns of Berlin

How the East was Drawn

Great lengths were taken to recreate an authentic early-70's Eastern Bloc recorded sound. BJ had carried the sound and primitive production techniques of an album by an East German heavy metal band  around in his head since 1976 (the sound could be recalled but he can't remember the artist). Suspicion from then on that the 'taste factor' between east and west was somewhat at odds were gloriously underlined in 1992 when Billy refused to leave the car (which had arrived at a gig in old East Berlin) until the local radio station had finished reverently playing the whole of Deep Purple's 'Concerto For Group And Orchestra,' one of England's finest worst examples of kitsch cross culture clash (try saying that fast), recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

How was this sound achieved? Well for a start Billy restricted movement of various Anglo and German offspring by keeping them in a room between the main studio and mixing room, where he had secreted microphones. A small portion of the resultant two hour tape was smeared into 'Fears'. Comrade Tony Messenger was sent into public houses with a discrete lapel microphone to secretly record  'ambience'.  The musicians were subjected to the 'iron fist' of M.D. Jenkins (actually, that applies any time BJ is recording). No one could enter the studio unless authorised (actually, that too applies any time BJ is recording...). Dave Ramm's amplifier kept up a healthy 'fluctuating power supply' type hiss.

Outbreaks of 'gay abandonment' - as when Huw Warren started to pluck the strings inside the grand piano - were swiftly curtailed (actually, it had just been restrung and, quite rightly,  Nick the engineer didn't really need salty sweat  attacking the wire...). But most importantly, all instrumentalists were considered equal and thus the 'open mike' policy  ensured  troublesome sound spillage and frequency leaks  which gave the finished article all the intended sophistication and finesse of the automobile icon depicted on Track 4.

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