PRE-SALE: 25th Anniversary Remastered Reissue of “BLOWJOB” by Dore Soul

Magic Ears is proud to announce the pre-sale release of our latest album on the Magic Ears Music label:

The 25th Anniversary Remastered Reissue of “BLOWJOB” by Dore Soul, a fantastic 1990’s alternative rock band from South Florida.

Below, check out the liner notes from the album, which can be heard and purchased by clicking HERE.

Even if you weren’t a fan of the band back in the 90’s, this album is well worth a listen.

Great music is timeless…

 

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Dore Soul. It was at a fundraiser for a friend’s sister whose husband had died suddenly in 1992. It was at a dank, dark rock venue in Deerfield Beach called The Ambassador Club.

They hit the stage and completely grabbed the room and refused to let it go for the next 45 minutes. As I watched them, I remember thinking that this is what it must’ve felt like to see The Rolling Stones when they were just starting out.

I wasn’t that far off, as lead singer Carey Peak and lead guitarist Jim Hadzopolus were the Glimmer Twins of the South Florida original music scene for the next half decade, writing some of the catchiest and most rockin’ songs the scene has ever produced.

The two of them jousted with each other on stage, shoving back and forth, seemingly ready to throw down at any moment. All the while drummer Gary Norton slammed away at the drums like a jackhammer. You almost didn’t notice Derek Sullivan holding down the bottom on bass, and he seemed to like it that way.

At the height of the best years in the history of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach music scene, Dore Soul was one of the most popular acts.

And it was with good reason.

Their songs bridged the gap between what was considered alternative/college rock and straight up pop rock. The songs were smart, lyrically earnest, catchy and played with tremendous energy.

In their prime, on a good night, they were the best band in South Florida. There were, of course, off nights. Nights when the combustible nature of Peak and Hadzopolus would overwhelm their better angels, and things would veer off course and crash into a ditch.

But those nights were far outnumbered by their many great performances. Peak was one of the best frontmen I’ve ever seen. Period. He could sing. He could engage the crowd. He was a madman willing to climb, hang from and jump off anything.

Meanwhile, Hadzopolus cranked out riffs and leads that sounded like two people playing instead of one. I still have no idea how he pulled it off.

In short, they were my favorite South Florida band, and they still are.

Later, I found myself writing about the music scene for XS Magazine, a weekly alternative rag that was a key part of the success of the scene before it was co-opted by an asshole who won’t be named here. Before that happened, I wrote music features and reviews.

My editor handed me a cassette copy of “Blowjob” and asked me to review it. I popped it into the player and was immediately transported back to that night at The Ambassador. It was fresh and fun and captured the essence of the band. It wasn’t mixed exceptionally well, but the performances and quality of the songs made that almost irrelevant.

I gave it a glowing review and almost simultaneously “Breathe” started getting heavy airplay on WKPX in Broward and WVUM in Miami. Along with “Cigarratello” by The Holy Terrors, “I’m Not Average” by The Goods, “Mr. Malcolm’s Chronicles” by I Don’t Know, “Crackerjack” by Collapsing Lungs and “Insane” by Six Silver Spiders, “Breathe” was an honest to goodness hit song in South Florida.

It was on constant rotation on both stations (even though WKPX DJs were banned from saying the name of the album), as well as a staple on the ZETA and WSHE local shows, and that airplay helped push Dore Soul to the height of popularity, making them a top draw in the region.

Dore Soul was one of a handful of bands that transcended the stupid Broward-Dade battle that was waged unnecessarily for about five years.

They were too good for it matter.

After the review, I became friends with the band and became best friends with Peak. In mid 1993 when I started my own band, The Baboons, Dore Soul gave us opening slots on some really big shows. This helped us become one of the bigger draws in town until I left the band in mid 1994.

It wasn’t surprising that they would help a new band, as they were always about supporting the scene. They set the right example by attending other bands’ shows and were also tireless promoters, flyering until late into the evening at venues such as Squeeze and The Edge.

Never afraid to speak his mind, Peak was a go-to interview for most music journalists here.

When I started booking Squeeze in 1994, Dore Soul was always a top choice.

Oddly, while lesser bands were getting signed, Dore Soul remained unsigned. To this day, it makes no sense. They had the most hit potential of any of the popular bands in town. Perhaps it was their iconoclastic ethos. Perhaps it was just bad luck.

On their second recording in 1994, “The New Shit,” the band took far more control of the recording and mixing, and they were evolving as songwriters. While superior in many ways to “Blowjob,” it was an unfortunate afterthought for a band that wasn’t meant to live beyond a few precious years.

In 1996, Peak, Hadzopolus and Norton evolved into the C-60s and were signed to Spongebath Records. Sadly, by the time their debut album dropped in 1998, the alternative/college wave had crested and they never found the audience they deserved.

It is with pride and pleasure that Magic Ears Music presents all of the studio output Dore Soul recorded during their all-too-short lifespan.

Because the original source recordings have been lost to the ages, Magic Ears worked from the already mastered recordings, which had been digitally transferred from DAT to WAV files. As such, these recordings have only been lightly remastered.

But that hardly matters, as their music sounds as fresh today as it did two-and-a-half decades ago, and most fans have only heard the hissing cassette version of these songs anyway.

There is a treasure trove of 4-track recordings that will be released in the future, but for now I give you the 25th Anniversary Remastered Reissue of “Blowjob” with “The New Shit” added as bonus tracks (along with one four-track version of “Shoot The Horse”).

Enjoy!

— Adam Matza, owner, Magic Ears Music

Again, you can click here to listen to and purchase the 25th Anniversary Remastered Reissue of “BLOWJOB” by Dore Soul.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More

Dynamics are the New Loudness…

-16 to -14LUFS is where Spotify, Apple Tunes/iTunes, YouTube and Tidal are optimized for the best loudness/dynamics. Bandcamp, Soundcloud and ReverbNation are still the wild west, so loud, overly compressed songs still pervade.
 
-14 is where you want to be for vinyl. -12 to -10 is where you want to be for broadcast radio.
 
-10 to -9 LUFS is where you want to be for a CD.
And yet, people still want -8LUFS and lower (louder) for everything, regardless of genre.
 
Change your mindset, improve the way your finished recordings sound!
Check out this article and the links within to better understand why louder is not better…

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More

Magic Ears Music Debuts!

Magic Ears expands once again, as we will now also function as an independent music label. Our debut release will be the 25th Anniversary Reissue of “Live Six” by The Holy Terrors of Miami.

Here are the liner notes from the album, which is available for $10 NOW on BANDCAMP:

Sometime in the middle of 1991, when I was living on South Beach, I stumbled into the Cactus Cantina, lovingly known to the inebriated as the “Cactina,” with a fetching young woman who claimed that she had lived in a tree in Big Sur, California for the past year (I really didn’t care if it was true).

We did a completely unnecessary shot of this outrageously spicy and strong tequila and listened to Nirvana’s “Nevermind” on the jukebox.

Then something amazing happened. It kind of sounded like a cross between an airplane taking off and locomotive chugging at full speed.

The Holy Terrors had just started playing their set in the next room, and it felt like the Cactina was going to detonate and explode, hurling chunks of concrete and glass all across South Beach.

Up until that point, I had only heard about the Terrors via Greg Baker’s weekly “Program Notes” column in the New Times (we didn’t need to call it Miami New Times back then).

I might have heard their classic single, “Cigarettello” on WVUM once or twice and thought it sounded good and that I should catch them some time.

Turns out, they caught me first!

Completely off guard!!

It was perfect.

I have no idea how many times I saw the band after that night, but when I started booking shows at Squeeze in Fort Lauderdale in 1994, I wanted them to play as often as possible. I really could bore you with all the reasons why I loved them, but if you are reading this, it is likely that you don’t need me to tell you what you already know.

The original lineup was relatively short lived, including monster bassist Frank Labrador, who chose a more domestic path in his life within a couple of years after the night they assaulted my senses.

(As a side note, I was managing the amazing Cell 63 at the time, which featured future Terrors bassist, Will Trev.)

The Terrors had many lineup changes over the years, and they were always awesome, but this lineup was their best. And it was this lineup that showed up to play a live set on Bob Slade’s weekly WLRN radio show, “Off The Beaten Path,” on May 18, 1992.

Frank “Rat Bastard” Falestra recorded them and mixed the results. From there, they dropped a limited, cassette-only release called, “Live Six,” and set off to change the face of the South Florida music scene for the next decade and a half.

Over the years, Trev replaced Labrador on bass and drummer Sam Fogarino left and eventually made it big with Interpol, leading to a revolving cast of some of the best drummers to ever smack stick to skin in the history of the South Florida music scene.

The stalwarts were, of course, vocalist/guitarist Rob Elba and lead guitarist/vocalist, Dan Hosker. Until Dan’s sad and untimely passing nearly 20 years to the day “Live Six” was recorded, the Terrors soldiered on, releasing one exceptional studio album, “Lolitaville,” in 1994 and some odds and ends EPs later.

I never knew of the existence of “Live Six” until February of 2017 when South Florida singer/songwriter Jim Wurster shared some cassettes with me as I started to offer cassette-to-digital transfers as part of my Magic Ears Mastering company.

A live Holy Terrors release I’ve never heard before? Holy fucking shit!!

Listening to it brought me back to that night in the Cactina when the original lineup blew me away. I was able to transfer Jim’s extremely well-cared-for cassette via a vintage Nakamichi cassette deck and, with permission from Rob, began obsessively remastering the EP. 

Realizing it was the 25th Anniversary of the performance/recording made reissuing the remaster a no-brainer, and Rob suggested that the majority of the proceeds be donated to the Dan Hosker Music Continuum, a scholarship set up in Dan’s memory for students with a passion for music. It is awarded annually at Bishop Fenwick in Peabody, MA, where he attended high school.

This was a labor of love, and I hope you enjoy The Holy Terrors just as you remember hearing them in their prime. 

TURN IT UP LOUD!!!

FUCKING LOUD!!

— Adam Matza 

 

R.I.P.
Dan Hosker
1965-2012

THE HOLY TERRORS
————————-
Rob Elba…………………Vocals/Guitar
Dan Hosker……………..Guitar/Vocals
Frank Labrador………..Bass/Vocals
Sam Fogarino…………..Drums

Recorded and mixed by Rat Bastard with technical assistance by Steve M.
Remastered by Adam Matza at Magic Ears Mastering

This recording was originally broadcast live May 18, 1992 on Bob Slade’s “Off The Beaten Path” radio show on WLRN in Miami.

Original artwork/design: Danny & Sherry (updated by Adam Matza)
Photos: Dan

Thanks to: Washington Square, WVUM, WLRN, Uncle Sam’s, Y&T, Open Books & Records, Rat Bastard, Bob Slade, Glenn Richards, Tony Parodi la cosa nostra.

©ESYNC/TERRIBLE MUSIC
© & ℗ ALL SONGS BY ROBERT ELBA 1992

Reissued by MAGIC EARS MUSIC in 2017
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More

Cassette to Digital Transfers from Magic Ears

Like vinyl, the cassette is making a comebackThere are even music labels devoted to distributing cassette-only releases. While this is really awesome in 2017, it was the 1980s and 1990s that were the Golden Age of the cassette.

Buried Musical Treasures Waiting to be Rediscovered

Packed away in cases all across the world, there is a treasure trove of awesome mixtapes, rare albums and band recordings from the heyday of the cassette.

Unlike digital formats like CDs and MP3s (and even well cared-for vinyl records), cassettes deteriorate as time goes by, no matter how you treat them.

Parts of the cassette simply fall apart, even if you haven’t played them for a long time. Much like motion pictures on celluloid film, cassettes have an expiration date.

 All Cassette Tapes Were Not Created Equal

Longer tapes (90 and 120 minutes) required the use of thinner tape, which makes those tapes more susceptible to breaking.

Older tapes using chromium dioxide as a coating may not be as durable as later tapes using magnetite, cobalt-absorbed iron oxide, or ferric oxide and cobalt.

The felt pressure pads on cassette tapes deteriorate and fall apart in time. Tapes recorded on both sides may not last as long as single-sided recordings, due to bleed-through of the magnetic fields.

Bottom Line: The Clock is Ticking on Your Cassette Tapes

You’ve probably thought about transferring your precious cassettes to the digital format to be stored on your computer, on CDs or external drives, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

That’s understandable, as it is time consuming, painstaking and requires hardware and software to do it.

That’s where Magic Ears comes in. We will transfer your cassettes for $15 per tape for a basic transfer and $30 for added sonic enhancements (including tape hiss clean up, raising volume levels to current listening standards and track separation). There will be a $5 charge per tape for S&H, if you want the tape returned via USPS.

Magic Ears wants to help preserve your music, your memories and a precious piece of your youth.

For more information, CLICK HERE or contact us at magicearsmastering@gmail.com.

NOTE: Magic Ears is not responsible for damages to cassettes. If a cassette cannot be transferred, Magic Ears will ship cassette back upon request. S&H costs will be deducted, along with a $5 service charge per tape. The remainder will be refunded to buyer.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More

Magic Ears Debuts ‘Magic Ears Radio’

Magic Ears is proud to debut Magic Ears Radio, Episode 1, which features 20 songs by: Plastic Pinks, Flower City Conspiracy, Killmama, Mike Maddison, Birdman’s Clambake, Lance Scott Greene, Charlie Pickett, Raker (Michael Sarasti), Fish Out of Water, Rob Elba, Jim Wurster, Leo Dorantes, Omine, Matt Snee, Fraidycat Band, Emily Needs, Life Runner, and The Weeds

All songs mixed and/or mastered by Magic Ears Mastering.

To listen, click here: MAGIC EARS RADIO.

magicearsradio

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More

Top 11 Bob Dylan Albums – A Tribute to a Nobel Laureate

Congratulations to Bob Dylan for winning the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Incredibly well deserved. Bold, restless and fearless, Bob Dylan has influenced every generation since the early 1960s and will continue to influence world culture long after he’s gone.

Dylan’s lyrics are poetry. He is one of my heroes.

tangled-up-in-blue-bob-dylan

Here are my Top 11 Bob Dylan albums. What are yours?

1) Blood On The Tracks
2) The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
3) Bringing It All Back Home
4) Highway 61 Revisited
5) Blonde On Blonde
6) Another Side Of Bob Dylan
7) John Wesley Harding
8) Nashville Skyline
9) The Times They Are a-Changin
10) Oh Mercy
11) Modern Times

If there was a number 12, it would have to be Desire. 😉

World Gone Wrong deserves mention because it is so sparsely recorded and raw…and it hardly gets any love. <3

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More

LOUDER Isn’t Necessarily Better When Mixing & Mastering…

Preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew today, I listened to the pre-remastered version of Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin for the first time in a long time.
 

Let’s put aside how amazing the songs are, as well as how great the playing and singing and recording and everything else are, and talk about the mixing and mastering.

0037___led_zeppelin___physical_graffiti_by_sunsetcolors-d94r2on
 
It’s not mixed and mastered nearly as loud as the recordings we hear today (including the superbly remastered reissues that dropped in the last year), but it retains all of those delicious analog dynamics that just blossom as you turn the volume up and don’t disappear when you turn it down (why you would turn down the volume on Physical Graffiti is an entirely different, “what’s-wrong-with-you” discussion).
 
When mixing and mastering music at Magic Ears, I always look for ways to bring analog warmth to everything I touch. There are so many remarkable and effective plugin emulations of classic analog devices that it is possible to get pretty close to retaining the recording dynamics and depth of the sounds GenX and earlier generations listened to while growing up.
But it also takes a conscious effort to mix and master musically, rather than simply for volume.
 
People in 2016 want LOUD, so it is a bit of a dance to find the right balance between dynamics and volume. With all the cruddy, overly compressed music streaming services out there, as well as the awful earbuds and tinny little speakers on which people listen to music, it is challenging to keep the flames of dynamic audio fidelity burning.
 
Every day at Magic Ears, I work to stoke those fires! I look forward to bringing that philosophical approach to your music.
 
Check out some of the results HERE.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read More

Jim Wurster Releases New Album

It was an honor for Magic Ears Mastering to work on Jim Wurster’s recording, “No Joke.” We had the distinct pleasure to work with Vinny Fontana and Guido Marciano, who were open to my mix suggestions, which allowed me to bring out the best sonic qualities in Jim’s wonderful songs.

Lots of talent on these recordings. Lots of passion in the performances.

Congratulations to everybody involved.

Check out this article in New Times Broward Palm Beach that discusses the man behind the songs…CLICK HERE.

 

img_5462

Save

Save

Read More