►100% Analog Madness: A Look at The Ex-Bombers “Five Star Night” Vinyl LP

With the semi-recent boom of vinyl, many artists have opted to combine 12 inches of wax with a digital download of the album.

Financially this makes sense, but the analog and digital worlds of audio differ greatly from one another and thus leads to some sort of compromise on either or both of the releases. However, we recently heard about the label Cavetone Records who only releases vinyl (with no digital component) and who keeps the process 100% analog.

We picked up a copy of The Ex-Bombers “Five Star Night” LP and when we looked inside at the dead wax we were met with the message “100% Analog Madness.” The grooves themselves contain the surprisingly giant sounds of a film noir pop duo, who only use an 8-string bass, drums, and vocals.

We reached out to Scott Walus, the producer of the record and half of The Ex-Bombers, to discuss the analog process, the philosophy of maximum minimalism, and some pieces of gear that made the record.

The first thing to understand about the analog process, is that music making is a very human experience. There is tension, release, rage, and love, and the only way to get at that is to put the band in a room together and play the song all the way through,” said Walus. All of the tracks on the record were recorded without punch-ins directly to an Otari 8 track deck.

The second element of the analog process, is the importance of capturing every piece of sonic material in a basic track. For example, Walus paired some interesting gear for the signature sound of his Hagstrom HB8 bass. He opted for guitar amps like (Ex: Sound City 50 Plus, Ampeg Gemini II) out of bass cabs with 15s.

Guitar amps have an excitement and the natural low roll-off is just made for vinyl, but the 15s just move air and sound huge,” said Walus, “I mic’d it up with a vintage Sennheiser, because the vintage ones are lower gain and just magic, into an EF86 preamp, because pentodes are spectacular in the top end, and you’ve got a full bass sound that has chime and presence.”

The other instruments and vocals on the record follow a similar story of analog care, like the calfskin head on the snare drum, the 1953 Hammond M2 organ, or the 1960s Electro-Voice crystal mic through the Sound City Fuzz Wah face heard on “Oh. Wow.” Every track has a lesser-known microphone on it, like the original Audix OM-1 heard on organ overdubs or the Shure 330 unidirectional ribbon throughout.

The 100% analog madness continues into mixing as the mixes are done onto a half-track Tascam deck into mono using a tube mixer loaded with 6DJ8 tubes and a bunch of esoteric EQs (mainly passive White EQs), limiters, and reverb. Several of these units were prototypes, built point to point and with military-grade parts by Lancaster Amplification. “That’s the great thing about Dave (Lancaster Amplification), if you can dream it up, you can call him and he’ll have a schematic for it in his head from 30 years ago. He even mated a Fairchild and a Urei for me in a 4 tube pre channel peak limiter,” said Walus.

Thinking monaurally has two purposes for Walus. “Records sound best in mono. Stereo is actually an afterthought and a trick to keep up with tape, but record grooves are at their best in mono. Second, mono really hits and tells a singular story, where if you’re pulling from hot jazz and 60s rock/pop like we were, it’s the story that you want to tell,” said Walus.

The record is an intriguing and enjoyable listening experience with multiple layers. We seem to catch something new every time we spin it. The Ex-Bombers are hitting the road this summer in support of the record and touring with many of the same instruments from the album. They have also recently released a 60 second sound sampler video to provide a taste of the sounds of the album here: https://youtu.be/-jRcWYEh_vI

►Get Attention For Your Band With Instagram

Get Attention For Your Band With Instagram

Instagram has become increasingly popular over the past few years. If you are in a band, you’d be missing a great opportunity if you chose not to set up an account. The following tips will help you get more attention for your band through Instagram.


Captions can help viewers figure out what is happening in your picture. You don’t have to worry that much about being clever or writing a full paragraph. You simply have to jot down something about your picture that helps others to understand it a little more. It’s fine if you are funny in your text, but make sure that people understand the humor and it is not some inside joke. Basically, you want to write something that is interesting and informative.


If you have an Instagram account, you need to use hashtags. Hashtags are a short and simple way of letting others know what is going on in your picture. You can put a series of words together (no spaces) that describe the picture or make a statement about what is happening. When you use a hashtag, you want people to understand what your words mean even if they were not looking at your picture.

That said, you need to make sure that you don’t have too many hashtags going on. They all need to make sense for your picture and/or your band. If you put up a bunch of unrelated hashtags, you are likely going to turn people off. Try and be a little funny or witty with your words, but ultimately, as long as the hashtag has to do with your band or your picture, you are fine.

Finally, keep in mind that recurring hashtags are currently a huge trend. That could end one day, but for now, you need to get in on the action. For example, “#tbt” means “throwback Thursday.” Pick the day of the week that you want to focus on, and make sure you put up a picture on that day with the corresponding hashtag. Your followers will start to look forward to your posts and will search for your images at least once a week.

Another good way to get followers is to make posts look popular by buying Instagram likes for your account or a specific pic. It will have a positive psychological impact on people and is very beneficial.

Mix It Up

Don’t put up the same type of pictures all the time. Get creative and be unique! You don’t just have to put up images of the band posing. You can do some action shots of you in concert or post a picture of the group brainstorming. You’ll keep interest going if you mix it up.


The images that you put up on your account should be clear and bright. Dark images that are hard to decipher won’t get you very far. Your followers probably will not take the time to figure out what is happening in them. Not only that, but dark pictures aren’t very uplifting. Make sure you also take advantage of some of Instagram’s filters!

►Back For Good – Hello Again EP (Mancha Recordings 8)

Back For Good – Hello Again EP (Mancha Recordings 8)

Earlier this year the Berlin based music label Mancha Recordings brought up its first release after 6 years. From the past we were already used to hear very solid house gems from artists like Luvless, M.ono, Rik Elmont and Martin Hayes on Mancha. With their actual release named „hello again“ the Mancha guys have released great music again that is a bit more oldschool Electro and New Wave focused. In our opinion this is a good development as the music sounds very individual and unusual but you can still hear Mancha´s house music roots, especially in the tracks „Back for Good – 727“ and in the one with the nice long name „Wer hat sich denn da wieder schmutzig gemacht?“ which means something like „Who has made themselves dirty again?“. This is a warm, individual and unique sounding oldschool house track with dirty, bit crushed drum elements. In my opinion it is the best one on the EP. „Back For Good“ is by the way a side project of Matthias Speck from Berlin who has released his first Album „Zehn“ two years ago. His album got very good international feedback from Stacey Pullen from Transmat Records and GROOVE magazine founder Thomas Koch. So it’s very desirable and also expectable that we will hear more from Back For Good and the Mancha Recordings guys in the near future.

Back For Good – Hello Again EP on soundcloud:


Back For Good Website: http://backforgood.eu/

Back For Good on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/back-for-good-1

Back For Good (Matthias Speck)2 Matthias_SpeckZehn

►The Online Music Library with a Difference

Dubbed ‘a website built by musicians for musicians’, the team at Firstdub are excited with the initial reactions to their new music platform.

Firstdub is an online music library for buying and selling instrumental music.
Using the latest technology, Firstdub provides musicians and producers with a personalised music store to sell their music almost anywhere online.

Johnny Walker, one of the founders of the company says; “Firstdub was launched in early 2016 out of a passion to develop a platform for musicians to control and earn an income from their music, whilst at the same time, creating a large and diverse library of instrumental music for film projects, video games, vocalists and songwriters”.

Subscribers are able to share their music across the internet via their own music store, which is compatible with smart phones, iPads and Tablets.

The Firstdub platform also maintains high-encryption security, providing musicians with detailed sales statistics, a profile page and instant payments on every sale.

Subscription is free and musicians retain all their creative rights, making this a great opportunity to expand their audience, interact with music buyers and generate an income from their musical endeavours.

The website houses a detailed FAQ which is helpful in answering common questions.

To learn more about Firstdub, visit Firstdub.com


►Welcome back to the new (old) website!

Just a quick notice to inform that this website is back and that the project isn’t dead (actually nobody ever said it was, but it’s just in case…). Due to my work, I presently have little time to work on the blog/site, though, so don’t expect much to happen here, at least for now. See ya’ around! =)

(credit for image to quichauelromero on http://www.imagui.com)


►In case you need a rescue – TestDisk

Just a quick post to help anyone who might be in this situation and doesn’t know what to do and also doesn’t have the 500+ Euro to spend hiring professional data recovery services. My wife recently had that SD-card which died directly while being used in her Android-phone and had photos and videos on it of our baby which obviously she had no backup and they would be lost forever, so she asked me for help. After some research I found the free (GNU) software called Testdisk, which allows lots of different kind of data recovery. I tried it out and was astonished: it not only detected the completely lost partition table (normal partitioning tools and harddisk-repair tools I tried had all failed), but it also restored it and almost all data was recovered without any problems! I highly recommend it to anyone who has a memory card, harddisk or any other storage medium which is not readable or recoverable with normal tools. The program also works in a very careful way, in case it is not able to restore, you still can take the medium to the professional, it won’t mess up anything more than it just is.

Good luck! You might need a little patience until understanding exactly how to work with it – at least the selection and recovery process of the files it finds is a little confusing, but there’s a high chance it will succeed.

On another note: this blog isn’t dead, ok?! You might think that because of no new posts for the last months, but it’s just been complicated to find time to write anything on here, between being a father, a husband, my full-time job, my music and everything else…. I promise I will try to post a bit more often from now on…