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SOLO WORK 2: 1983-1991


Buying a "Tascam 244" multitrack cassette-recordor allowed me to make recording at a truly phenomal pace - in excess of one "album" a week. But, left to my own devices - and lacking the discipline for writing-out my ideas - my recording became too experimental and erratic in nature. Much of my work became unlistenable and I'd already thrown out a few hundred tapes in a "cull" by the time the Tascam broke down in 1988. Shortly before that my bass-guitar was 'broken', anyway - my old favourite Ibanez "Les Paul" copy joined it some time afterwards.


Any reservations I have about these discs are noted in italics.

- Bizarre Guitarre: This is a compilation of 3 minute excerpts from 20 of my 1984-88 solo "albums" that I prepared around 1989 - mostly borderline psychotic stuff - heavy guitar with liberal doses of music concrete. I handle drum machines, bass, guitar, keyboards, sampler and turntable, plus all manner of effects - flange, distortion, auto-wah, octaver and pitch-shifter. The sound quality is pretty poor, though.

- The Facts Of Life...: This is a compilation of twenty 3-minute "songs"originally recorded from 1986 to 1988, using the female voice as a common theme - either sampled, manipulated by turntable or taken from films and videos. Due to the source material, or the ways in which the vocal sound is manipulated, this disc may be unsuitable for minors or persons easily offended.

- Extreme Guitar: This is a progression from "Bizarre Guitarre", and was made from a compilation tape of 1984-1988 songs that I recorded in 1992 when I got my Yamaha MT 120 multitrack cassette recorder. Sound quality is also much better than BG, but even I don't have a lot of time for my "guitar hero"solo recordings of this time. Featured at http://www.mp3.com.au/AlexVanStarrex/.

- Stretching Out: I'm guessing on 1985 as being the year of this recording, which features my Roland drum machine (together with added "live"snare hits), bass guitar and single (Strat-copy) lead guitar. The lead guitar uses a T-wah (auto-filter) effect throughout. The six tracks are all over 10 minutes long - hence the disc-title - but the good news is the excellent playing (especially on bass).

- Private Party: My first decent TR-505 (digital drum-machine) album, from around 1985-6. Nice clean guitar playing, though the 10-minute long pieces seem pretty dull at short listenings.

- Mad Journey: One of my (more) bizarre distorted lead-guitar albums, from around 1987. I may throw this out.

- Old Guitarists Never Die...: A clean multi-track guitar album from October 1985. Not that great, though.

- Weird Science: From a compilation tape of my more extreme distorted-guitar works from 1985/6-8. I 've reservations about this - including the song selection and variable sound quality.

- Guitar Sampler: A multi-track "clean" guitar album from around 1987, using real drum-playing samples synched to a drum-machine. Reasonable, though not essential.

- Universal Hymns: Sampled vocal snatches synched to a drum-machine, with delayed-synthesiser and flanged rhythm guitar - all in a dub mix. Reserve for special states of mind.

- Arpeggio: 1986-ish. TR-505 drum-machine, arpeggiated Poly-61 synth, bass guitar and delayed (dub-mixed) distored lead guitar. Sounds much like a poor man's Return to Forever, though.

- Green Album#1: Pitch-shifter everything - drum-machine, bass, rhythm and lead guitar - from 1987. Later I re-recorded the lead-guitar - this is the original take, but I might actually prefer the later version and remaster it from the 4-track tapes.

- Shorts: A 4-track guitar album from 1985(?) - 24 tracks, with an average length of 2 minutes, and some of my best soloing.

- Fragments: A collection of bizarre 4-track recordings from April, 1985 (with some 2002 "bonus" tracks) - sort of an anti-guitar album.


This page may have to be split in due course - there are hundreds of recordings to be put here.

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URL: http://homepages.tig.com.au/~avanstar
Alex Van Starrex