Boomkat Product Review:
Grassroots selection of 17 covers played, recorded and mixed by Glasgow youth at Green Door studios. Includes satisfyingly raw, freaky and swaggering takes on Bowie, Joy Division, Gloria Jones, Devo, The Normal…
“One glance at this brazen cassette's track list offers a litany of seminal funk works, garage rock standards, R&B classics, loose disco, and new wave dirges, as well as several artifacts that seem to derive from no extant source. Unsurprisingly, this is not the cover compilation of a music-by-numbers, keyboards in the classroom, kumbaya-strumming enterprise. This is the real deal: music made by Glasgow youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).
Created, inexhaustibly managed, and exhaustively taught by Emily McLaren, Stuart Evans, and a host of Glasgow's musical players, the Green Door Studio's NEET course allows young people to record & mix their own efforts– for free– by drawing on production techniques of modern history's wildest studios: those of Phil Spector at Gold Star, Lee Perry's Black Ark, Visconti's Good Earth Studios, Sly & Robbie at Compass Point, and Conny Plank in his farm at Wolperath. Banded together in session groups, the young people run through old instructional staples, take these to heart, take them apart, bring new things to bear, and record the results.
Spiraling teenage riffs; loping, mopey bass lines; vocals both sanguine and sangfroid; haunted percussion; rude sequences; and baggy drums are whirled together through really reel-to-reel analogue production that leaves David Bowie's mix of Raw Power in the dust. With a kick drum mic taped to a brick, this is a sweet, kaleidoscopic slice of life in the Green Door Studio, and many seasons' worth of work that might make other musical efforts sound like cynical after-school specials.
Witness the next: extreme Martin Hamnett-baiting drum gating on Digital; why-not strings for synths on Jocko Homo; the essentialist sweat of Me and My Baby Brother; an office-party photocopy of Hurdy Gurdy Man; one of the best versions of Tainted Love ever recorded; plus two more large handfuls of precious stones and rough gems– rooftop bootlegs, hair-raising rip-offs, dead-thing-prodding freakouts, and lengthy excursions across the highways out of here– that openly defy your rules and question your technical comprehension.”