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Archive for the ‘1990s – Early’ Category

MX Skroch – Loophole

September 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 65

Recording Dates: 1992-2000

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR25

ScratchNotes:

Here is the middle release from the “InSkroMental”, “Loophole”, and “Ugly Music for Pretty Girls” trilogy. This collection was created when I decided to digitally remaster & EQ some of my best original material to optimize fidelity.

“Loophole” is primarily focused on experimentation. This is the only album of the three to include other musicians, mostly on one-off performances or looped multi-track creations.

From the 90-second whimsy of “Soundo Effecto” to the brutal cacophony of the 17-minute “Intended Sexual Assault”; “Loophole” throws something completely different and unexpected at you every few minutes. Soundscapes, industrial music, loop built tracks, recordings of pizza delivery interactions…it’s all that and more!

Four samplings from this album can be accessed below. Enjoy!

P.S. You can click the cover image for a larger version.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Track Sampler

Track 01 – Tingle (MX Skroch) – A spooky cloud moves in from the distance. Your skin begins to crawl. Something is bubbling within. Suddenly it bursts out!  [Scratch on Sequencer]

Track 03 – Sitting Duck (MX Skroch with Suneel V.)  – Piano rock turns into crushing heaviness before bridging into a dance bit that turns into satellite signals reaching out for spiritual assistance when suddenly your messages get a response and a plea as sad orchestral music begins to take shape… Also featuring a rather unique vocal performance as I elucidate the context of modern life.  [Scratch on Bass, Vocals, Drum Beats, Galactus & Space Phone]

Track 08 – Cotton Candy (MX Skroch) – A drum driven, mostly sample based slap across the face. I’d recently taken a liking to obtaining collections of samples to play with. Where they came from wasn’t important – sometimes they came from CDs I bought; boom box recordings of the TV in my living room, or a small pocket tape recorder I kept handy for those special occasions.  [Scratch on Guitar, Drum Beats & Samples]

Track 13 – We Used to Wear Toughskins (MX Skroch) – This time it’s personal as I share recordings of pizza deliveries; answering machine messages from the Chophouse and our landlord trying to throw us out, and commentary about Jeffrey Dahmer. Oh, and I guess I made recordings of my neighbor’s kids in the mid-1980s so I fit that in as well; and some movie samples from 1961. So something for all ages I suppose!  [Scratch on Recorded Pizza Delivery, Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Keyboard, Drum Beats & Samples]

MX Skroch – InSkroMental

August 18th, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 62

Recording Dates: 1990-2000

Release Date: 2007

Catalog: SMR24

ScratchNotes:

My computer in 2005 was certainly laughable by today’s standards, but at the time it seemed so powerful that I decided to sort through all my recordings and digitally remaster & EQ some of my best original material. Remasters of the Raging Bellybuttons, IMF, and the Hidden would come later – first I focused on my solo recordings. Looking for themes I came up with a 3 CD set: “InSkroMental”, “Loophole”, and “Ugly Music for Pretty Girls”.

“InSkroMental” features (with one exception) compositions I’ve recorded completely by myself that don’t contain lyrics; newly remastered to optimize fidelity. These tracks were recorded everywhere: my Chicago apartment on Wolcott, then the Leaning House of Trog, then my apartment in Chicago on Larchmont, even at my Mom’s house over many years. Despite a wide range of styles this is the most straightforward approach to music I took during the 1990s.

Since this is a retrospective it features dozens of different instruments and effects I used over the years. The cover captures many of the tools used in the creation of these tracks.

I consider this set one of my more critical releases, so a full five song sampler is provided below. Enjoy!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Track Sampler

Track 01 – The Implant (MX Skroch) – This frantic opener was created when I got a new synthesizer/sequencer and tried to figure it out. Of course I went aggressive, dark and dissonant. Wouldn’t you?  [Scratch on Sequencer]

Track 03 – Covered With Blood and Twitching (MX Skroch)  – This is one of the most fully realized tracks I’ve written and recorded over the years – the Hidden even did a version on the “Brave New Failure” album. This mix is mostly instrumental and uses a wide collection of guitars, keyboards, and kazoo to tell the sad, sad story.  [Scratch on Kazoo, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Drum Machine, Samples & Vocals]

Track 06 – Toilet Sonata (MX Skroch) – Sometimes you need your soul to quiet down for a bit. In these times of introspection a piano ballad is often appropriate mood music. Are the sounds of my upstairs bathroom also welcome? Toilet Sonata makes the case that yes they are…yes they are.  [Scratch on Piano & Samples]

Track 12 – Vikings (part 3) (MX Skroch) – A follow up to some instrumental tracks from a few years back, the third incarnation of “Vikings” brings back pounding drums and jazzy horn sounds to accompany this fast paced and ever modulating rocker. I find the use of tension to be particularly effective here.  [Scratch on Guitars, Bass, Keyboards & Drum Programming]

Track 17 – Eyesore (MX Skroch) – Another sequencer creation exploring my twisted vision of chamber music. Or something.  [Scratch on Sequencer]

The Hidden – Brave New Failure

January 1st, 2018 Comments off

Album #: 57

Recording Dates: 1994

Release Date: 2006

Catalog: SMR23

ScratchNotes:

In the Summer of 1994 the members of the Hidden booked Flat Iron Studios in Chicago to begin work on the follow-up to their “Stop. I’m bleeding.” CD. Once again Chuck U. ran the board but this time not in his own studio. We recorded for several days and mixed down close to 20 songs. We were dubbing cassettes of the master tapes over several days to listen to music on other systems. Somehow the band never got a hold of the master tapes (or even a digital copy of mixdowns) of these sessions and broke up in late 1994.

I worked hard to find the best version available when I began work in 2002 on finally releasing this album. I had four different cassettes that contained most of the recordings so I could identify the best source material (arg…from cassettes) to create the album. There was tape fuzz to deal with; some tapes had little glitches on some songs but not others, plus the songs had never been mastered so a round of equalization was needed.

A dozen songs made the album’s final running order. Looking at it 23 years later (arg…I was 24 when we recorded this!) it’s kind of an odd album – which makes it fit perfectly into this discography!

Below are three tracks that I hope get across the many moods of this record.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Track Sampler

Track 03 – Salamander (The Hidden) – Here’s a blast of distorted heft leading into purgatorial torment. From heavy to haunting in a split second the band shows a more complex style than on early recordings, and displays a wide dynamic range on this metallic track.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 07 – Pink Snow (The Hidden) – Pink Snow was a live favorite and its relentless plodding still captivates all these years later. It’s got a stop-start intro, a slow groove bass, a frightening vocal performance and that simmering buildup to the ending with the bonus drum jam. This is one of the Hidden’s better constructed songs.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 09 – Suicide King (The Hidden) – Set the manic to 11 as Brian M. unleashes a violent sermon on another dark track. I’m quite fond of how my guitar came out on this recording.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 1990s - Early, The Hidden Tags:

From the Vault: Field Recordings 1991-1994

March 10th, 2012 Comments off

Album #: 31

Recording Dates: 1991-1994

Release Date: 2000

Catalog: SMR17

ScratchNotes:

Recording equipment and techniques change dramatically every few years. Sometimes you need to dig out the long forgotten gear and see just what you recorded. The “From the Vault” series gathers these leftover oddities into one place. Much of this collection was recorded on a microcassette player – in a tour van, in my basement, and even a recording of a phone call. Add in a few sample experiments using other artists’ music and you have the stranger side of my early 1990’s compositions.

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Two Track Sampler

Track 01 – AbubicaJoe and I play Zonk. We record it. Early 1990s.  [Scratch on Talking]

Track 02  – Freerange Eruption – A crappy Vesta Fire 4-track recorder and a Van Halen record.  [Scratch on Concept & Execution]

Joerock

August 29th, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 23

Recording Dates: 1987-1997

Release Date: 2000

Catalog: SMR15

ScratchNotes:

My pal Joe G. was the first musician I ever wrote music with. This is a compilation I put together featuring all four configurations in which he and I played as well as most of the solo material Joe recorded over a ten year period.

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Two Track Sampler

Track 10 – Blah (Joe G and MX Skroch)Joe lets the ladies know that he’s serious in his devotion…ridiculously so…  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 13 – Headwound (Joe G and MX Skroch)Music performed and lyrics by Joe, questionable singing by MX Skroch.  [Scratch on Vocals]

MX Skroch – From the Vault: The Three-peat Tapes

May 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 22

Recording Dates: 06/20/1993

Release Date: 2000

Catalog: SMR14

ScratchNotes:

We watched the big game and were excited to be a part of history – the Chicago Bulls Three-peat! But our excitement was quite muted compared to that of the city. Sixty-four minutes of chaos and partying in the streets of Chicago were recorded on my Walkman as I joined the neighborhood celebration. The abridged version here is the immediate aftermath of victory.

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One Track Sampler

Track 01 – The Three-peat Tapes [edit] (MX Skroch) [Scratch on the Corner ]

Categories: 1990s - Early, From the Vault, MX Skroch Tags:

Scratchrock Volume IX

September 27th, 2009 Comments off

Album #: 11

Recording Dates: 1994 – 1995

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SMR09

ScratchNotes:

Climbing aboard a shit-brown truck dubbed the “Urban Assault Vehicle Turdcutter”, the Hidden began a two week U.S. tour.  Colorado, Texas, New Mexico…the band played six shows in fourteen days for around $300 in payment.  A video tour documentary was created in tribute: “Soundmen, State Parks, and Open Sores”.  Unfortunately, the road trip intensified personal conflicts within the band.

Coupled with a quarter-century life crisis, I quit the band to go back to school.  Brian M. departed as well, and the Hidden disappeared.  I resumed delivering pizza, moved in with my parents, and began concentrating on solo work.  With a new workstation at my disposal, I focused on electronic music and pop songs.

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Five Track Sampler

Track 04 – Swell (The Hidden) – I know what you’re thinking – what would the Hidden sound like with a horn section? Find out here as the Hidden re-record this track for the “Brave New Failure” sessions with horns arranged by T.S. Henry Webb and performed by the Fazio Blasto Trio.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 7 – I Love You and You Love Me and We’re In Love (MX Skroch) – Come celebrate codependency in a disintegrating culture with this heavy rocker featuring some rather aggressive guitar playing.  [Scratch on Vocals and All Instruments]

Track 14 – Vikings (part one) (MX Skroch) – Vikings (part one) gives the listener the opportunity to create a horror film in their own mind – with this foreboding track an appropriate soundtrack.  [Scratch on All Instruments]

Track 16 – Settle For Me (MX Skroch) – Some people are looking for more than they deserve. Acoustic guitars and lead bass back up this tale of mid-90’s nightclub dwellers. [Scratch on Vocals and All Instruments]

Track 18 – The Specialist (The Hidden) – This track is a nice summary of the direction the Hidden was headed in the latter days of the band. Dissonant chords, spooky verses, stop/start breaks, manic vocals and paranoia. [Scratch on Guitar]

Capitalism…Hidden Style

September 16th, 2009 Comments off

Here is the business card of the Hidden’s front organization:

trog-card

Here are the invitations we sent out for the “Stop. I’m bleeding.” record release party that took place on 9/25/1993:

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Here is an official button from the Hidden. If you came to the record release party you just might have one…

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Finally, here are two metal sticker designs that the Hidden left a trail of across America…

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Categories: 1990s - Early, The Hidden Tags: