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Madison Boulder

by Smiling Strange

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  • Severly Limited Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Download the whole thing here:

    'All of the sounds/music that is on the tape was recorded by some combination of me and my brother on to reel to reel tape recorders. We had 2, one TS something sony thing I got from a thrift store a couple years ago, and a more polished up, slightly newer reel to reel thing when that one stopped working for a bit.

    None of the music was planned out before it was recorded. I have something like 3-4 hours of tape that I used for this album. We just pushed record and tried to make something up that felt authentic and fun. We've always been good at coming up with song-like-bits, but we kind of fade out when it comes to sitting down and making full songs. So this was our solution.

    I took those 3-4 hours of tape and put them onto my laptop and then into garageband, where I listened to them, took a bunch of notes, and then took out the parts that worked. Then I fucked with them in garageband until I liked the sound, put them in order, and stitched them together with some of the better sounds and conversation bits that were also on the tapes.

    This whole process took quite a bit of time. I've got a notebook just full of notes on this thing as it was really a mess to work with.

    These are not planned out songs, they are an attempt at capturing that eureka moment of song playing. These are the moments where two or more people found something musically. For me, at least, that's one of the appeals of lo-fi music. It is painfully intimate at times as it seems to invite the listener into the creative process more so than other music.'

    ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

    Dubbed one-at-a-time onto monolith-grey cassettes. The J-Card is a photograph of Madison Boulder taken on a disposable 35mm camera, ripped into pieces and then taped back together in the hopes of carrying the spirit of the music onward into the physical release.

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'This is the second album recorded by Smiling Strange. We are a set of brothers from Massachusetts who have lived in separate states for a couple years now. Whenever we get together we push record on whatever devices we have laying around and play whatever comes out. One of the brothers likes lo-fi music, so bought a Sony Reel to Reel recording device that he thinks is from the 60's. He will look it up later. We use this device, termed "The Box", for most of the recordings.'

The Madison Boulder is the largest known glacial erratic in New England, and among the largest in the world. Madison Boulder is a huge granite rock measuring 83 feet (25 m) in length, 23 feet (7.0 m) in height above the ground, and 37 feet (11 m) in width. It weighs upwards of 5,000 tons. A part of this roughly rectangular block is buried, probably to a depth of ten to twelve feet. It is located at a state park in the northwest part of town.

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released August 31, 2014


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Liquid Library Bristol, UK

Always low cost and always low fidelity. Music for whatever the opposite of the masses is.


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