When we hear that one of our favorite artists is heading into the studio, it always piques our interest. When that artist is heading into the studio to record a direct-cut album, then that really gets the juices flowing—we couldn’t wait to get involved! That’s exactly what happened the week after the Munich Show. While we were all recovering from the show, the bier, the wurst and the spargel, our Ax Angel Cables were on their way to Air Studios in North London, where Eleanor McEvoy was getting ready to embark on one of “the most nerve-wracking experiences of (her) recording career”. Of course, Eleanor is no stranger to either recording or performing in front of a live audience, but she described the direct-cut experience as “not just different, but a whole different kind of pressure. One that asks different questions and definitely requires different responses.” Fortunately, this wasn’t producer Mike Valentine’s first direct-cut project and, along with the experienced staff at Air Studios, a calm, focused and creative atmosphere soon prevailed.
With just guitar, vocals and piano accompaniment, there really is no place to hide, musically and artistically, so the whole one-take/multi-track structure of a direct-cut LP side screams caution. The whole point of the exercise is to capture the immediacy and artistic tension of the live performance – without the benefit, energy and feedback of a live audience. The result is a musical tightrope that was negotiated with the aid of three weeks of intensive rehearsals and two takes per side. We’re still waiting on the vinyl test-pressings, but the digital copies are in and the results are everything we hoped for. A mixture of established and new material, the eight tracks will be available on LP, CD and analog tape, as well as downloadable from the Chasing The Dragon website.