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ALEX JARVIS
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Alex Jarvis
In 2004, Alex Jarvis' Luxury & Denial EP (015) provided the setting for his song vs noise antagonism. On Sixes & Sevens, his debut solo album, Jarvis has expanded the template into a nearly-circular, nearly-picaresque, near-narrative. By early 2000, Jarvis' previous band, Automatic, had gone to that big old after-party in the sky, and whatever makes people make music took him over again. Time was a telling factor in the recording of Sixes and Sevens'. Process was discussed at length and, as Jarvis started playing live with different combinations of players, the songs also came to document his trajectory through that nascent community of players. Cal Orr, the engineer on the album was heard to say, 'It's like a fucken tree this recording is.'

James Dixon's role as Producer of Sixes & Sevens was only named such after the album was completed. Dixon was there during the sessions to offer sage advice on everything from wine selection to vocal takes to analysis on the personality of the Korg Synthesisor. The naming of oblique production roles including Chris Patterson for Patronage, and Dean Linguey as Sounding Board, serve mainly to show the community at work on the album.

So it was that the concluding recording weekend for the album followed the same vein. The Saturday saw Chris Smith and Justin Fuller perform an album-length set, which was later improvised over by Gareth Skinner and James Dixon. This set provides much of the texture of the album, was plundered wholesale with uncanny results, and appears sometimes in its pure form. The Sunday saw a new combination of players record the relatively new songs Nephylum and Sevens. The session was characteristic for the album: tender and drunken. Mixing for the album took place over two sessions at Digital Zero and The Suffrah's Ghetto. Enter mixer, assemblist and soulful punk Greg Wales (Sandpit, aMiniature). If Jarvis' recording was expansive, Wales' mixing was reductive. The similes flow like a just-popped La Baume when it comes to Wales' approach to the mixing desk: like a conductor, like a chef, like a dog trainer, like an editor, like an alchemist, and so on... The album took a long time. It was hauled around in various forms, tweaked and studied, slapped and tickled, forgotten and found, poked and prodded like the last course in a progessive dinner. Hope you like just desserts.



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