The album is now mastered, the booklet is being finalised, January release looks likely and you can catch some preview videos via the Miniatures 2020 Facebook page
Pulling "Miniatures 2020" together has been a task and a half. We are not out of the woods yet but just this week caught sight of the proposed artwork which features the brilliant collages of Michael Leigh. The album packaging is shaping up to look very special and definitely fitting for the latest instalment of "Miniatures".
A short while ago I introduced you to the "Miniatures 2020" project instigator Alan Davies. Now it's William's turn to give his side of the story. I have known William for a few years though I am pretty certain that our paths crossed in the halcyon days of cassette culture since we moved in similar circles so to speak. We were at least on each other's radar.
William is an excellent drummer and sound engineer with a list of credits too long to mention here. I have worked with him on Greta Aurora's debut e.p. and we have dabbled in some other collaborative work. I pulled him into the Miniatures project pretty soon after being drafted in by Al. I knew that he would be able to bring some of his contacts to the table and had some skills that would compliment what myself and Al could bring to the table.
He's done an excellent job of sequencing the album and knocking it into shape ahead of the mammoth task of mastering which was completed by the rather brilliant Bob Drake.
Anyway, enough of my rambling, I will let William tell his side of the story...
Whilst I was aware of the Miniatures album at the time of its release I shamefully never acquired a copy and only recently discovered the joys when purchasing the newly released double CD which includes Miniatures 2.
However, whilst listening through the album it immediately took me back to a time when I first started making music. I was heavily involved with and embraced the whole ethos of DIY and the self released cassette culture. My first proud foray into the world of released music was a cassette album called Musical Anarchy by ADH released on the Conventional Tapes label in 1979. It soon sold out of its very short run before disappearing into relative obscurity. ON fanzine gave it a glowing review and I’m reliably informed that we also had the dubious honour of having our music played whenever the Burnley Anarchists commenced their regular meetings!
A number of other cassette releases followed but have now disappeared into the mists of time. Hopefully one day they will resurface somewhere and I will get to relive some of the anarchic and chaotic times we all had in our very early days of music creation.
Miniatures to me encapsulates that very spirit of DIY. Each recording has its own special quality where any available piece of recording technology and space was utilised. I can well remember numerous sessions where we were set up in a living room with a cassette recorder on standby and everything recorded in one take, warts and all. These recordings accompanied by a rudimentary photocopied insert tucked inside a cassette case would be duplicated and then sold via the Sounds newspaper DIY column. It was always a cause for excitement to see your efforts advertised in a national weekly music paper, albeit a one inch by one inch piece.
The excitement still continues today with being involved in the current Miniatures 2020 album. Recording technology has advanced beyond all recognition since those heady days of the late 70’s and early 80’s, but the spirit is still very evident in the one minute masterpieces that are being created for this amazing project. For me it has been a great experience and privilege to be involved with Miniatures 2020 and to be working alongside such a vast array of talented people, not to mention the nostalgic throwback it has provided to my earliest days of music making. Let’s hope this spirit survives into the future. Here’s to Miniatures 2040!