Trails

by Metal Rouge

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about

"'Trails' was the first release by the trio formation of Metal Rouge, recorded at Green Machines, M Geddes Gengras and Caitlin Mitchell's Boyle Heights hill top lair. We practiced as a trio weekly for around a year, maybe longer. Translating the personal musical language that me and Helga had developed in virtual isolation over a period of years into a language that a third party could understand was a long and difficult process. These recordings capture us right at the point where a working dynamic had been reached and was still fresh. Everything was extremely fluid. Caitlin insisted that we start recording on tape as the drums would sound better that way. She was right and from this album forward the majority of our material has been recorded on a cassette four track. I think out of every Metal Rouge release the texture and fidelity of this one comes closest to what I had imagined for it: tape saturated drums, spring reverb on everything else, grainy like poorly stored film stock. There was concern that the drums were *too* blown out. I did not share that concern. With the exception of 'The Sunshine Path' the entire album was improvised on the spot. There are no overdubs on the album at all. 'The Sunshine Path' is a 8+ minute dub-influenced trawl. 'May 1971' is inspired by the disappearance of Lew Welch. The title of the album comes from a line of Welch's: 'trails go nowhere / they end exactly where you stop'. This version was improvised on the spot and we never managed to play it live in this form successfully again. For the live version we rearranged it, replacing the drums with trombone. Hopefully a live version of it will surface in the future. This is one of my favourite pieces of ours, although no one else seems to like it. 'Ripe Century' was edited out of a much longer improvisation. Helga's vocal sound was result of a particular combination of tube amp, distortion pedals and vintage delay/reverb. Although we played this track live many times we never managed to accurately recreate the vocal sound we got on the record - it was pure luck. Caitlin is playing half a drum kit, Moe Tucker style. The other half of this track appeared on a tape later on. 'The Sad Song (666)' was improvised when someone suggested we should play 'a sad song'. For some reason each of us in tun says '6' as soon as the tape rolls, hence the title. The LP was mastered by Pete Swanson and was released in an edition of 300. We toured this album for a solid month across the US, the songs evolving as we toured, sometimes getting tighter, sometimes looser. Almost all the shows from this tour were taped and it's been floating around in my head to compile them for a release. Any takers? " - Andrew

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released March 3, 2010

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Metal Rouge Los Angeles, California

Punk, in the spiritual sense of the term.

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