20 aprile 2021


E a proposito di revisione dei materiali storici dei Pere Ubu, David Thomas ha promesso per il Record Store Day del prossimo giugno una nuova edizione del famigerato 390 Degrees Of Simulated Stereo, in grado di affrontare in giallo il XXI secolo a quarant'anni esatti dalla sua uscita: "12th June is Record Store Day and sees a reissue of one of the first vinyl purchases of Pere Ubu for many who would then start a lifelong journey of all that is Ubu. We made it yellow. We remastered it. We edited it. We made it V.21C."

A suo tempo Thomas motivò la scelta e la qualità sonora delle registrazioni, tratte da concerti in vari luoghi e situazioni tra il 1976 e il 1979, dipingendo con efficacia l'esperienza sonora mediamente vissuta dal gruppo sul palco ed esprimendosi anche circa il valore degli album dal vivo in genere: "If you look at the back of 390 Degrees Of Simulated Stereo you'll see the recording device for each song is listed: 'portable cassette machine,' 'one channel of a Braun reel-to-reel,' etc. We listened to all the tapes we had - cassettes, 24-track mobile recordings, professional and amateur. The lo-fi recordings almost always sounded better to us that the hi-fi recordings. The ambiance and distortion and accidental nature of lo-fi more accurately portrayed the material as played live and the band as experienced live. A band on stage is an entirely different experience for the musician as well as the listener. Recording a band live is not simply a matter of transforming the concert venue into a studio. It doesn't work. At least it doesn't work for us. On stage, for example, I can't hear the synthesizer. The frequencies and waveforms are too subtle to survive the chaotic acoustic of the stage and anyway the monitor guy blew out the high end in my right ear when he sent a spike thru the side fill. I know what the synth is supposed to be doing. I trust that it is but I can't hear it. Over to the left, the bass cabinet is too loud and the bottom end a mess because the bass player wants his pants legs to flap in the air pushed by the four 15-inch speakers so everything I sing is drifting in and out of a soup of overtone and noise. Meanwhile, you as the audience are getting a mix of what we think we're playing as interpreted by our sound man who is usually located in the worst acoustical location in the venue compensating for what he thinks the overhang of the balcony might be doing to the lower mids and how the lousy cross-over in the left bank of speakers might be affecting the upper end on the other side of the room. And there you are standing in the part of the venue that pushes the high end to ear numbing levels and your girlfriend is getting tired and cranky and you don't want to look at her because you'll see it in her eyes but you can hear her fidget and she wants to go home and the guy behind you is talking and you're thinking about why the guitar player is laughing. That's what live sound is. We decided that live albums should sound like 390 Degrees because that's what the live experience is. It's my favorite musical experience and it's my favorite sound. And, of all the tapes, we liked those the best."