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Archive for the ‘1990s – Late’ 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]

Sheep Fiends – Live from the Rumpus Room – 10/16/2005

December 30th, 2017 Comments off

Album #: 54

Recording Dates: 11/15/1998 & 10/16/2005

Release Date: 2005

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

The Rumpus Room became our new home base around this time. This was Brian M’s posh basement gathering spot with wood as far as the eye could see. While this space would see dramatic change a few years later; during this era we only had access to 2-track straight to tape recording – meaning the mixes on these CDs are as varied as the genres are…

This CD also contains a bonus 20 minute guitar freakout from 1998. You can listen to that one over at sheepfiends.com if the mood strikes ya.

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Two Track Sampler

Track 01 – A Friend Like You (The Sheep Fiends– Some slide guitar over a rumbling shuffle lays the groundwork for Matt C. to speak his mind and take the role of emcee. If you love off-kilter this is another one for you!  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 07Levi’s Gonna Break (The Sheep Fiends) – Sometimes the Sheep Fiends get topical, such as during this bizarre musical reaction to Hurricane Katrina. Robot voices and a Big Black guitar. Tones from the cosmos. Then it somehow devolves into some dumb blues. Then the singers riff on the theme of natural disasters. So it’s definitely the Sheep Fiends!  [Scratch on Vocals]

Categories: 1990s - Late, 2000s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – TimeStrands

February 14th, 2015 Comments off

Album #: 46

Recording Dates: 08/10/1999

Release Date: 2002

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

Another compilation arising from Brian C’s deep dive into unreleased Sheep Fiends material. This album puts together some very different sounds from several eras but I’m only featured on a few tracks of dark melodrama and one about dinner. The best of these tracks is available below.

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One Track Sampler

Track 01Fear is Real (Sheep Fiends) – A brooding and sometimes raging stomper featuring the always engaging improvised lyrics and vocals of Brian M. [Scratch on Casio SK-100]

Categories: 1990s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – Rock

July 7th, 2014 Comments off

Album #: 42

Recording Dates: 1998-1999

Release Date: 2001

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

As should be obvious, this Sheep Fiend release from the “genre six pack” features more rock oriented tracks – including a freshly unearthed recording from my very first Sheep Fiend jam.

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Two Track Sampler

Track 02Fifth Birthday (Sheep Fiends) – Not the most mind blowing improvisation, but this was recorded at my very first Sheep Fiends get together on November 15th, 1998. And there’s no denying this one is ROCK!  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 12Pix (Sheep Fiends) – Another instrumental from the largely experimental and keyboard heavy 1999 sessions. Swirling electronic rock is the order of the day.  [Scratch on Casio SK-100]

Categories: 1990s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – Electronic

July 7th, 2014 Comments off

Album #: 41

Recording Dates: 1999

Release Date: 2001

Catalog: SF

ScratchNotes:

In 2001 Brian C. put together a nice six disc compilation of the Sheep Fiends first eight years or so of recordings; delineated by breaking the songs into specific genres. In addition to utilizing songs from previous Sheep Fiend albums these CDs also included some unreleased material. Both new tracks I appear on from “Electronic” were recorded during the Spring of 1999.

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Two Track Sampler

Track 02Waves (Sheep Fiends) – It’s just so swirling…and wet sounding. Like waves!  [Scratch on Keyboards]

Track 10 Victory Riot (Sheep Fiends)This rather harrowing journey into fear and madness was recorded on my Walkman live at Section X. Crazy man, crazy.  [Scratch on Sampling Keyboard]

Categories: 1990s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Scratchrock Volume XIII

March 11th, 2012 Comments off

Album #: 32

Recording Dates: 1999 – 2000

Release Date: 2001

Catalog: SMR18

ScratchNotes:

Recording with the Sheep Fiends increasingly made up the bulk of my musical output as my free time turned to other endeavours.  A sick fascination with the stock market ensued, and an emotional obsession was fostered by way of the rise and collapse of Wall Street.  I must forever live with the knowledge that at an April 2000 Sheep Fiend jam, I warned through song that “The Nasdaq is gonna crash” – while in real life I kept my tech stocks and took a beating.

My former role as multi-instrumentalist in the Sheep Fiends became mutated, as I slowly transformed into one of the main vocal presences in the band. My unique improvisational take on reality and what should be done about it meshed well with the more folk and hippie elements typical of the Fiends lyrics. A few of the band members began making edited CDs of our rehearsals, and the Sheep Fiends’ archiving ritual was stepped up a level.

I purchased a digital 8-track recorder which saw little use – “Vikings (part 3)” and “The Skyway” being the only recorded output to date.  I also played around with sample manipulation using my PC, and participated in a few left field collaborations.

Anisa and I kept quite busy during this period, our primary activities being the creation of the “Vortex of Skrochocracy” website, and making preparations to buy a house and finally ditch the dirty city…

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Five Track Sampler

Track 02 – The Rising Price of Gasoline (Sheep Fiends) – Behold my autobiographical rage at the concept of having to pay 20 bucks for a tank of gas. Those were the days my friend…  [Scratch on Vocals]

Track 03 – The Wind Cries Howard (MX Skroch and Dave L.) – The Howard Stern show occupies Jimi Hendrix in this indigestion-fraught reinterpretation that I don’t…really…understand. But I was happy to lay down the bass track for this jam and think it’s an amusing one-off track.  [Scratch on Bass]

Track 08 – The Skyway (MX Skroch) – Sadly, a rare example of my solo work during this period. The Sheep Fiends were fairly active and my projects with Suneel were underway so my personal output was scarce. But I really like the few tracks I did knock out; including this rocking tribute to the tollway lifestyle.  [Scratch on All Instruments]

Track 13 – The Madness (MX Skroch) – Just samples and effects. Despite a slightly rough final production I think this track sounds just as cool today as it did a decade ago.  [Scratch on Sample Collection & Manipulation]

Track 17 – Unhappyman (MX Skroch and Suneel Viktor) – I pour my freshly plucked sample collection all over Suneel’s synthy grooves to satisfying effect. He thought there was no way he could lose… [Scratch on Sample Collection & Manipulation]

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]