If ever a project had the feeling of being doomed from the start, then the third project the PRiDE recorded with the Deadpan is it.
From the moment the Knobster fired up the systems to start mapping out the backing on the first recorded track, to the moment the master was bounced, the project was plagued by what Hands would come to describe as ‘One crock of shit after another.’
Zblotnik’s increasing deafness, Rex temporarily withdrawing from the project after the death of his brother, the flooding of the Bunker, unhelpful insurance companies, arseholes pretending to be builders, defective microphones, overheating computers, lost files, hanging external drives, plug-ins not working in updated operating systems, fluctuating electricity supplies - the shit just went on and on.
Recording for the project began in December 2006, soon after The Empty Quarter had been mastered. It was completed in June 2009. Compared to previous efforts, this was the marathon to end all marathons. And if it hadn’t been for the relentless support of the Bollockbrains - who found files, troubleshot systems, bought new computers and instruments, and sorted out the flood damage - the project would’ve soon disappeared in a bout of collective CBA Syndrome.
But it didn’t and the fact that it was completed pays tribute to the resolve and sense of the ridiculous of all concerned. As Reindeer kept saying throughout the project:
‘Come on, lads, remember: the best way to deal with adversity is to laugh at it.’
From the outset, the PRiDE and Deadpan decided that musically, the project would be less dense, and centered round actual playing, rather than loops and samples. The subject matter, however, was an elusive kettle of fish to begin with, and the overall idea only came about by sheer chance.
One day, young Knobby was looking for a new USB lead as the one being used while programming a drum track was playing up. After ten minutes of shouting at Zeddy, he was told to ‘Look in the bastard cupboard!’
So he did. But it was the wrong bastard cupboard. Instead of finding boxes full of leads and other recording paraphenalia, he found shelves piled high with cosmetics catalogues, gardening brochures, supermarket flyers, take-away menus, political newsletters. In a word, a comprehensive collection of the unasked-for rubbish pushed through the letterbox by postmen and other deliverers of the banal.
‘You never know when you’re going to need them!’ said Zeddy, when everybody turned and looked at him.
‘You know he’s right,’ said the Deadpan, thumbing through the underwear pages in a clothing catalogue. ‘This may be just what we’re looking for.’
Lifelong connoisseurs of serendipity, the PRiDE agreed. And so the subject matter of the new project became catalogues and the things you find in them.
The collection of catalogues was thrown away during the refurbishment of the Bunker, but it’s influence lives on in the project, which was given the name The Cataloguer.
It was a difficult project to say the least. But the PRiDE consider it to be one of their best, if only for the simple fact that through all the shit, the humour shines brightly.
‘Adversity, my arse,’ said Hands as Knobby played back the mixes before mastering. ‘This is laughing in the face of absurdity!’
Use the player above to preview and download tracks in a format of your choice. Artwork is included if you download the complete project.
All tracks written by Deadpan/THE SPECTRAL PRiDE, ©2009 Deep Coma/Bollockbrain Productions.
Arranged and played by THE SPECTRAL PRiDE, with special guest Jonny Deadpan.
Recorded, engineered and mixed by The Knobster at the Bollockbrain Bunker.
Produced by Mr Reindeer.
℗2009 Bollockbrain Productions. Some rights reserved.
Please read the Zblotnikland Legal Page before downloading any tracks.