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Relayer - Facade CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 21 ratings

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4 stars Get outta town!!!!

Roughly half of this album was recorded and produced by the band at a vacation home in Michigan called Three Dog Cottage (affectionately called Kamp Kiser for the weekend), which sits on the southern coast of Lake Michigan in the town of Lakeside. The setting allowed for few if any interuptions (family, phone, work, etc.) as Relayer poured out layer after layer of music, frequently using all 32 tracks to develop top-notch ear candy for their listeners.

Aspects of the weekend session (shorter than The Band's Big Pink, but in the same vein) included flying in an old-school friend Brigs (who has been a tertiary part of the band since its inception) from Colorado to support the group with food and beer runs, cooking, comic relief, and occasional feedback on the tracks. Recording time, by far, outweighed any other shenanigans that took place. From early in the morning to well past sunset, no less than 2 members and often all 4 members were hard at work tweaking virtually every aspect of each song recorded.

The lead singing and lead guitar were set off in a back bedroom while Tom Burke manned the computer and headphones for a majority of the time. Since Bill Kiser's percussion sections were already recorded, Bill spent much of his time offering his unbiased opinion on everything from the subtleties of the melodies to chord progression and synching the rhythm sections to the lead singing and guitar playing--sometimes his opinions were respected, other times they were respectfully dismissed, but by far, Kiser heard more of the recording than the other members. The entire crew did have a blast laying down the backround vocals late at night on Saturday, which included at some point or another every member of the band as well as Brigs and his tone-deaf pipes.

Interestingly enough, the DVD Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii was veiwed between recording days late into Friday night of the weekend session. Whether it was meant to inspire, divert, or influence the band in any way is unknown, but it was incredible to see the masters at work almost 35 years before. Other interludes included barbequing, utilizing the hammock, many visits to the firepit for smokes, a midnight shimmy to the beach, attempting to hail down a helicopter (with an ample spotlight), too much red wine, many many beers, partaking in a taste of the local fare, and walking through the serene forested, lakeside neighborhoods.

The remainder of the album was produced and recorded by the band in pieces over the next year until the masters were completed, but undoubtedly the weekend experiment of Kamp Kiser added some unique flavor to the often times mundane and taxing experience of recording, which hopefully resonates for the fans on the final cut of Facade.

dbrigham6 | 4/5 |


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