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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

13th Floor Elevators Music of the Spheres - Complete Singles Collection: A Review

13th Floor Elevators Music of the Spheres
13th Floor Elevators Music of the Spheres


13th Floor Elevators Music of the Spheres - Complete Singles Collection

1. You're Gonna Miss Me
2. Tried To Hide
3. Reverberation
4. Fire Engine
5. (I've Got) Levitation
6. Before You Accuse Me
7. She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own)
8. Baby Blue
9. Slip Inside This House
10. Splash 1
11. May The Circle Remain Unbroken
12. I'm Gonna Love You Too
13. Livin' On
14. Scarlet & Gold
15. Reverbaration (Sic) (Doubt)
16. You're Gonna Miss Me
17. Fire Engine
18. Tried To Hide


I got it yesterday and listened to it once all the way through. It's pretty bad. First, it's a very, very LOUD CD. I had my pre-amp on 25% - 30% power and it was pushing the LEDs waaaaaaay up there on my amp. It's like they took these old, analog, recordings and tried to make them sound as loud and brilliant as something from today that was recorded digitally for CD release.

Second, the mix is pushed waaaay up into the treble end of things. This makes the recordings sound brittle and shrill.

The combination of the first and second deliberate fuck-ups make for that you can FORGET listening to this CD at a loud volume. 13th Floor Elevators not at a loud volume? What's the point? Additionally, the first and second deliberate fuck ups have ruined this disc.

What else?

There's a TON of hiss on some of these recordings. Howcum the Roky CD Club's versions of the SAME songs don't have as much? Oh, yes, they (Charly/Drummond) boosted the sound waaaaay up and jacked the mix up into the treble area. So the hiss got magnified.

The bass guitar actually distorts on some songs. Scarlet and Gold is fucking unlistenable because of it. FUCKING UNLISTENABLE! The bass guitar is just this low *BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM* of noise throughout the song. It's fucked up; a horror show.

Let me tell you people, I'm EARS OF STONE KILOH and I can hear this shit! And I'm playing my music through a top of the line system. You've all seen my video.

Charly? Drummond? Who-the-fuck-ever! YOU FUCKED UP!

It's as if Charly and Drummond took a beautiful piece of art, by a master, hacked it apart with a bloody axe and then glued it back together with wallpaper paste mixed with poop. They then have the enormous balls to present it to the public and go: "Look what we did!" It's a horror show! The 13th Floor Elevators, fucked again.

Look what that cow, Margaret Moser, recently said in her little column about the Charly Project AND the Roky Erickson CD Club:
Very little of this audio material is new or unknown. Most of it has been available for years in scattershot form. An Internet-based fan group previously packaged much of this in its own way, with great attention to detail in the final product but lacking the extras, information, and permissions of a legitimate release. Those discs have some value but hold little weight against these more comprehensive and better-detailed authorized recordings. That's because in the end, the true-believer fan – not the one willing to accept bootlegs or patchwork substitutes – wants the real thing: the stickers, the goodies, the posters, the handbills, the extras that say, "I paid for this."

Margaret owns EVERY SINGLE ROKY CD CLUB ISSUE! I know! Too bad I didn't tape all of the face-to-face conversations that we had where she told me how "important" the work of the Roky CD Club was; too bad I didn't keep her emails too.

Margaret has a LOT of balls saying anything about the Roky CD Club. After all, she ate out of my hand for over six years going "yum, yum" the whole time. Smacking her lips and cooing: "more!" into my ear. Then, after we put everything out, and she gets every drop, she comes back and slams us? You be the judge of THAT dear reader.

The fact-of-the-matter here is that Charly has botched the opportunity of a lifetime regarding the 13th Floor Elevators by putting out such product. Take the Roky CD Club's version of these precious singles and listen to it back-to-back with this abomination. I'll bet that you'll see that the "bootleg", made by the fans, for the fans, sounds much, much better than this.

How did a group of fans, working for free and remotely, outdo Charly? Well... we put each 45 rpm onto Soundforge. We found the "peak" of each recording. We set the level to max out there and then recorded the song. This way, we got the complete dynamic range that was on that 45 rpm. Pinnacle Pete then de-clicked each song by hand, manually sanding down each and every vinyl pop and click in Soundforge. We did that because running a "program" that did this was much more heavy handed. Then, maybe, Pete mixed each song a tiny bit in Soundforge.

That was it! We didn't compress the shit out of each song, like Charly did. We didn't skew the EQ waaaaaay toward the treble end, like Charly did. We didn't distort the bass signal, like Charly did. Basically, we didn't screw the pooch, like Charly did.

Margaret talks about what the "real fans" want. I have some experience with the "real fans". The "real fans" want it to sound good much, much, much more than they want stickers and fancy packaging and being able to say "I bought this". They want it to sound good.

So far, the Roky CD Club is the only 13th Floor Elevators reissue project that gives the original vinyl a run for its money in sound quality.

About the fabled French EP Tracks on the Charly disc. The French EP is a drastically different mix on some songs:

Reverbeation - Roky's voice is louder, the jug is mixed down and the band is
quieter. It just sounds plain different

You're Gonna Miss Me - Can't hear much difference.

Fire Engine - Different and cleaner mix than IA.

Tried to Hide - the band is toned down a bit and Roky is enhanced.

But the French EP is no reason to buy this CD. Save your money. Or spend the money and see for yourself. I could give a shit.

What the fuck? Who did this? Whose fault is this?

Listen to this piece-o'-crap and then listen to the Roky CD Club's version. I rest my case.

Beware.


Kiloh



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