Archive for the ‘1990s – Late’ Category

Scratchrock Volume XIII

March 11th, 2012 Comments off

Album #: 32

Recording Dates: 1999 – 2000

Release Date: 2001

Catalog: SMR18


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…







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]


August 29th, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 23

Recording Dates: 1987-1997

Release Date: 2000

Catalog: SMR15


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.



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]

Sheep Fiends – November 14, 1999

May 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 21

Recording Dates: 11/14/1999

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SF


The lineup from 10/17/99 returns for an encore – tackling Mancini and Pink Floyd when not laying down the mellow jazz licks.



Two Track Sampler

Track 02 – Let’s Get Into it Love [edit] (Sheep Fiends)Light some candles, pour a glass of wine, and listen to the sounds of romance as only the Sheep Fiends could envision.  [Scratch on Sampling Keyboard]

Track 08 – Interstellar Overdrive (Sheep Fiends)If I recall correctly, I was unfamiliar with this Pink Floyd track at the time and had no idea we were playing a cover song. Not that that fully explains my vocal performance…  [Scratch on Vocals]

Categories: 1990s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – October 17, 1999

May 21st, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 20

Recording Dates: 10/17/1999

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SF


This CD from late 1999 takes a more free form approach than former discs and reveals full ten minute jams as they happened. A mixed result in my opinion, but a odd outing by a unique lineup is always welcome.



One Track Sampler

Track 05 – Virtual Hat (Sheep Fiends)Dual guitars and dual keyboards battle for the groove in this uptempo exploration of sonic excess.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 1990s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – Era 060799-081599

May 21st, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 19

Recording Dates: 1999

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SF


Over the past several years Sheep Fiend jams have become a special event that happens a few times a year. But back in 1999 the band was very active as illustrated by the four jams from a single nine week period that are featured on this disc . Veering away from psychedelia and into full on space rock this release features many concise and often compelling numbers.


Four Track Sampler

Track 01 – Cosmos (Sheep Fiends) – Load up the tanks with Wah Wah pedal and let’s be on our way.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 02 – The Chase Scene (Sheep Fiends) – Pounding drums and prominent piano dominate a track worthy of the soundtrack to some low grade action flick.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 08 – Injection Inspection (Sheep Fiends) – Samples from this track were used for a little Internet video game back in 2000, and all I see while listening is a little ball spiraling towards the center of the screen. But maybe you hear a funk jam from the alien abduction after party.  [Scratch on Bass]

Track 15 – I Was Afraid Then (aka Fear Is Real) (Sheep Fiends) – A brooding stomper featuring the always enticing improvised lyrics and vocals of Brian M.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Categories: 1990s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Sheep Fiends – 051899

March 29th, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 18

Recording Dates: 05/18/1999

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SF


While it is now common for the Sheep Fiends to put together and distribute a CD representing the sounds of a single jam; this recording of May 18, 1999 is the earliest example of such a CD. The Sheep Fiends had released a number of cassettes before I added my slant to the band, but it was Dave L., Brian C., and myself that lent a $600 SCSI CD-burner back and forth and dragged the Sheep Fiends into the digital age.



Three Track Sampler

Track 02 – Columbine (Sheep Fiends) – This entire CD consists of swirling trippy instrumentals like the three presented here. The recording quality continues to be fairly low as a Walkman was the recording mechanism of choice (necessity?) for this event.  [Scratch on Sampling Keyboard]

Track 06  – Metropolis (Sheep Fiends)[Scratch on Bass]

Track 14  – Overture (Sheep Fiends)[Scratch on Sampling Keyboard]

Categories: 1990s - Late, Sheep Fiends Tags:

Scratchrock Volume XII

March 29th, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 17

Recording Dates: 1998-1999

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SMR13


I graduated from school, got married, landed a decent job and moved back to the dirty city. Our landlord spent every night for two months in our apartment installing a furnace. I ran into Brian C. at former Hidden voiceman Brian M.’s wedding. Soon thereafter I joined the two of them in the fluctuating entity known as the Sheep Fiends. With a revolving lineup of musicians, the band emphasis was on improvisation, and the spontaneity kick-started my lagging musical spirit. Meanwhile, I had met Suneel near the end of my tenure at ITT, and had begun recording industrial music with him.

My primary expression shifted from guitars to sample manipulation with the addition of a powerful home computer. Much of 1999 was spent using that computer to create the first twelve volumes of Scratchrock.




Five Track Sampler

Track 02  – The Skipper (Sheep Fiends) – Keyboards and guitars pulsate on this low-grade recording from an early Sheep Fiends jam.  [Scratch on Guitar]

Track 06  – Everything is Kinda Bizarre (MX Skroch) – Clocking in at over six minutes, this tour-de-force of home studio trickery came out well despite my less than compelling vocals. This song illustrates why it’s not too difficult to look outside oneself and see the array of confusion that presents itself. The outro bit is the ending of a very early prototype of the song.  [Scratch on Vocals and All Instruments]

Track 13  – Ralph’s Reed (MX Skroch) – Speed manipulation and overdriven drums pound away on this foray into sonic religious terror.  [Scratch on All Instruments]

Track 16  – Victory Riot (Sheep Fiends) – Just another otherworldly mindfuck typical of 1999-era Sheep Fiends jams.  [Scratch on Sampling Keyboard]

Track 20  – Catfish With Advil (MX Skroch) – The flipside of Ralph’s Reed, this track slows the tempo to a crawl…letting every eerie note sink in.  [Scratch on All Instruments]

Suneel Bloody Suneel

January 10th, 2010 Comments off

Album #: 16

Recording Dates: 1998 – 1999

Release Date: 1999

Catalog: SMR12


I met Suneel at ITT Tech, and before long we began collaborating on music. Suneel’s industrial-tinged electronic music was a new genre to play with and I got busy slicing and dicing samples to layer on top of drum machine and sequenced beats. Most of the basic songs on this disc originated from Suneel – I pitched in on production, did most of the sampling, helped program drum beats, played some guitar, called in on the Space Phone, and in one case provided lyrics and vocals. I’m still good friends with Suneel, but our musical relationship primarily existed in this late-1990s time frame.





Three Track Sampler

Track 01  – Mosquitoes (MX Skroch & Suneel Viktor) – This is the heaviest track that Suneel and I put together, and it is one of my favorites. I hadn’t had a good reason to play some screaming guitar in quite some time, but this electro-rocker provided the opportunity.  [Scratch on Drum Programming, Guitar and Sample Manipulation / Suneel on Drum Programming, Keyboards and Vocals]

Track 02  – Doom (MX Skroch & Suneel Viktor) – This is one of Suneel’s epic tracks – and he plays all the music here. Doom is the first track where I played around with looping samples and saturating them with effects to add to the drama.  [Scratch on Sample Manipulation / Suneel on Drum Sequencing, Keyboards and Vocals]

Track 05  – Panic (MX Skroch & Suneel Viktor) – An unfinished track that does not yet feature vocals, musically I would describe this as claustrophobia with a good beat.  [Produced by Scratch / Suneel on Drum Sequencing, Keyboards and Guitar]

Categories: 1990s - Late, with Suneel Viktor Tags: