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Emeralds In Obsidian
The Dark Star



available as...
Auricle AMCDR 244 7.00
bandcamp download

duration: 57'54"

1. Lianne 3'41"

2. Emeralds In Obsidian 4'44"

3. Ardglass Parts 1 & 2 9'33"

4. The Dark Star 5'06"

5. A Kind Of Farewell 5'06"

6. Journey Through A Dream, Parts 1-5 29'32"

1) Prelude To A Dream 2'14"

2) Jabberwocky 3'35"

3) Lift Off 9'29"

4) 28 Trillion Miles From Home 6'59"

5) Dawn 7'15"

Recorded between May 1984 & June 1985 at home on 2 or 4 tracks, and at Hollow Sun 8 track Studio. Mixed and mastered at Hollow Sun with Steve Howell, whose help was invaluable in the making of this album.

Originally issued in 1985 on self-released cassette, catalogue number K 03.

This is issued out of chronology due to only having a back-up mp3 that wasn't good enough to remaster, and Kevin no longer had any masters either. Thanks to Jack McCafferty, who had digitised his cassettes before they died, I was able to do a reasonably good remaster (in spite of some major drop-outs) restoring it with surprisingly good results and only a minor trace of tape-hiss sizzle.

In early 1985 a Portastudio had been acquired so now more useful home recordings would be made initially. By March work on Kevin's second solo album METAMORPHOSIS was about 75% complete and a track had been submitted to Dark Star Tapes (now Auricle Music) for inclusion on an International compilation album that they were preparing.
About half of METAMORPHOSIS (released in July 1985) was recorded at home with the OSCar and Portastudio with a few overdubs added later in the studio. Like all his home-recorded material these tracks are remixed and mastered (onto quarter inch tape and metal cassette) at Hollow Sun, now possessing 8-track facilities incidentally. The other half is wholly studio recordings. When working in the studio Kevin naturally makes use of facilities that aren't available at home (microcomposers, vocoder, sampling, etc.), but because time is money he has a very good idea of what music he's going to produce far in advance of entering the studio. Now this brings me to an important aspect of Kevin's views on the use, or rather over-use/misuse of technology in the production of Electronic Music. Whilst obviously enjoying working with and making the best use of the sophisticated hardware that studios have to offer he is careful not to fall into the trap of letting the equipment take over the proceedings. He likes to be, and indeed succeeds in being, in control of the progress of each piece of music and the direction it takes. Once again the word 'structure' springs to mind and I make no apologies for labouring the point for this is a key factor in Kevin's music.

from an article/review by Peter Harrison in Audion #2 from 1986

You may notice a couple of dedications here to our own releases, with The Dark Star inspired by some of our Alto Stratus recordings, and the opus Journey Through A Dream which was an extended version of his contribution to the Auricle release Journey To The End Of Night. (Alan Freeman).

Original issue: MC (K 03) - released 1985.
CD-R: 20 numbered copies - released 1/3/2017.
Bandcamp download - released 20/11/2018.

Auricle on Discogs
Kevin O'Neill on Discogs

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