Newsletter January 2001

We welcome pedants everywhere to the real new millennium. Waking up and yawning at the back of class, we have a more instructional interview this month.

Those mysterious credits on the last page of the CD booklet are often hard to understand. Just what exactly does a producer, an engineer, a mixer or (help us) an executive producer actually do?

This month we interview Carl Beatty, a recording and mixing engineer with more than 20 years' experience in the trenches. How does he explain what he does for a living at parties? What is it that makes him tick? This is a non-nerd interview, asking the questions you never dared to, because of course everybody knows what is a producer, engineer etc. etc.

A second, brand new mix of Natural Beauty, the track from Sprawl, is now offered for mp3 download. It's louder and faster. It's just on eight minutes of high-profile danceability, retitled 'Supernatural Beauty' in honor of writer Lene Lovich's lyrical contribution to Cerrone's dodgy disco hit in the mid-seventies.

And by the way, we have been enjoying the (very) slowly crystallizing Lene Lovich album. There's a month or few yet in the studio, but she and Les Chappell have brought six or seven tracks to the boil.

There are other projects humming away at the Stereo Society. Thorne's second CD will be in noisy dance-party style, with original songs complemented by a cover of the Pogues' 'Tuesday Morning' among others. Go figure.

A first recording of a new version of the gigantic 'Universe Symphony' by father-of-American-music Charles Ives is also underway. This extraordinary piece defies categorization, but is for 71 instruments, including a huge percussion section which plays alone for 20 minutes during the symphony's hour-and-ten minutes. A prize will be offered for the first person cool enough to dance to it. More news follows as we head for release in three or four months.

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