Late summer 03, Kate and I tripped up to the Pinewood Bowl in Lincoln for a benefit show (I forget who exactly benefitted) because JV All*stars were playing. We had been listening to their “Document the Fall” EP constantly, and I knew “Distance” had been out for some time but I didn’t have a copy yet. After catching their set, talking to Eric for awhile, and picking up the full-length, mr1986 took the stage – a Lincoln band I’d heard about, but not heard.
mr1986 – “music without vocals” – True, but the voice they possess shouldn’t be primarily defined by the absence of vocals as a musical element. Songs like “Where Motion Is Rest” and “Adjust the Blinds” carry so much dynamic, wordless weight that singing would surely be a distraction. At the show, I picked up their album “The Everbimes” and a homemade bootleg tape, hand-numbered by the band, that is essentially untitled but could be called “In This War” (from a phrase used in the background of the first song). The sound on the tape is rough, but passionate, and it’s been a compelling piece of music for me.
Last week I decided to put some music on my laptop, and instead of taking the tape straight in I dumped it into ProTools, and used Ozone to master “In This War.” I didn’t do much, or spend much time on it – just some EQ to bring out some tonal fundamentals (especially in the bass, which was almost nonexistent) to hear the notes better, some tape saturation for a pleasant warmth & roundness, and I brought the overall RMS (average volume) level up. It’s still rough of course (that’s part of its essence) but a good improvement I think. I’d love to send a copy to the band, and maybe even talk about making it available through Mr. Furious Records, but their web presence is almost nil – mr1986.com hasn’t been anything for a year or more I think. If any Lincoln scenesters have contact with mr1986, maybe you would help me get in touch? “In This War” is a good testament to their power as musicians, and through the mastering have inserted myself by a fingertip at least into its story (I hope not in an unwanted way), and I’d love to share it.