Gosh – how time flies when you’re still servicing high interest debt! It was April when I last reported on the Bigot album. Since then I got the hot water replaced. (Hey, you might not care but to me that’s one less source of cold showers I’m going to have to face. Three thousand bucks to place a concrete sarcophagus over the old one, move people out of the infected region and install some special $300 valve that is now lawful.)
Now all I have to do is get the kitchen fixed up and … anyway. Bigot. So I met with LTM over in Belgium and the plan is now to box up Bigot with a couple of other LPs – Stretcher, Bigot, Bad Mood Guy and Rotund. In each case I have to revert to the original track listing and none of this modernity stuff. OK.
This is most difficult with Bad Mood Guy because I have the digital masters, but not the analogue tapes that Robert then hand spliced from those masters. Robert transferred some tracks to open reel tape and then used sticky tape to make edididididididits. That open reel tape was then duplicated to have vinyl cut (the Nettwerk LP was a dub of a dub). When I remade the CDs, I thought that the edidididididididits weren’t as important as working from the original sources. Well think again buster. LTM want it just like it was in 1928.
This was a puzzle indeed, because there wasn’t much chance that the tape still existed in which case you have to use a transcription from the vinyl which is more poetry than fidelity. To my surprise there had been a PCM digital copy made back in the 80s, and I still have the PCM recorder that could read it. Score 1 me. Getting good playback is a bit tricky (it’s on videotape) but I now have a decent rough of the whole album.
Next problem is that the analogue tracks have a different sound to the digital ones. They have gone from PCM tape through a mixer to 1/4″ tape then through a mixer to PCM and that through a mixer to my Pro Tools A-D. First, get rid of the 50Hz hum. A tiny bit of exciter rebuilds the treble. The bass is a whole different problem – it undulates very slowly, gaining and losing strength over a period of seconds which I think has to do with the way PCM used to work. There’s not really a way to fix this and so it’s just another factor in the patchwork that of this accursed album. Hell, the mix was made both at my studio and at CBS in 2 days flat. No two tracks are quite the same already. Let it be.
We haven’t decided on how the box set will be packaged. James asked me and I asked Stewart and he said he wanted it to sit nicely with all his other CDs. What do you think? A box? Jewel case? Hat box? Hollow out a goat? I’m a bit over CDs so I don’t feel that concerned.
It could come as many large boxes and a woman that took the CDs out for you when you wanted to play them. Although that would be creepy because she would stare at you while you had the headphones on.
Like this except with Captain Kirk crossed out and Severed Heads written on it in texta. Actually leave Kirk in, so long as he is the bad Kirk from the parallel universe that’s pretty accurate.
This Pentangle Box would be a good CD box if you smoked cigars. You could buy the Bigot Box and tip the CDs out and put cigars in it instead.
Maybe you have a better idea for a CD box set? If you have an idea that we can use we’ll credit you as executive box consultant or something.