An Aural Binary of Putrid Reckonings

I have only two purchases to write about this time around.

R.E.M. – Reckoning

After the recent disappointing purchases I decided to be much more careful about choosing new music, spending more than the usual 280 yen per CD (this was 500 yen) and this one is a result of that new directive.

This is R.E.M.’s second album, one that I had not even heard one song from before. And it is very good, very R.E.M.

A fine addition to the R.E.M. collection, and a good start to my new and improved music selection process.

Carcass – Reek of Putrefaction

I had this album on vinyl a long time ago, and I now wish I still had it…why oh why did I sell it?

This is Carcass’ first album and is much maligned due to it’s terrible recording. From Wikipedia:

Reek of Putrefaction was recorded in four days at Ritch Bitch Studios in Birmingham. According to guitarist Bill Steer, the studio’s engineer “ruined” the record, especially its drum tracks. Carcass had only had a few hours available of mixing, so they had to release the LP as it was to meet the label’s deadline. The band were “everything but happy” with the end result, declared Steer.

When the master recording was first sent to the pressing plant, the original vinyl LP had to be pressed at lower volumes, because the bass frequencies were so low (sometimes reaching 25 Hz) that they were in danger of rendering higher frequencies inaudible.

Indeed it sounds pretty bad, but in a way it adds to the atmosphere of the album. But, when I saw on Bandcamp that there is a “Full Dynamic Range Edition” I had to get it to see what that is all about. Earache (the record label) are re-releasing their back catalogue by taking the original tapes and instead of fiddling about with all of the buttons, knobs, and sliders to try to make the sound better, have instead preserved the original dynamic range as recorded. The reason for all the fiddling back in the day was due to something called the “loudness war“, which is something I had not heard of before.

Anyway, this new recording does sound a little better, but not as much as I would have hoped. There are 22 tracks on topics such as detruncation, fermenting innards, and excretions of various things.

This is a classic grindcore album, certainly not to most people’s tastes, but I am an avowed Carcass fan, and John Peel called it the best album of 1988, so there you go.

Music count 2018: 70

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