Trashmonk – Mona Lisa Overdrive

This is an album that from a short distance I watched evolve over a period of two or three years, picking up many valuable ideas along the way and even inheriting the Akai recorder it was started on.

Originally named ‘Downloaded’ (more from the perspective of the song ‘Brownstone Symphony’ than any prediction of developing technology at the time), I remember my good friend producer Simon Tyrell meticulously crafting Mona Lisa Overdrive with Nick – recorded just up the road from my studio, this album was waaaaaaay ahead of its time in terms of its philosophy and the way it was recorded. Bands like Frou Frou (producer Guy Sigsworth) and William Orbit quickly picked up the baton and sold the industry on the new filtered/distorted/generally f***ed up sound that marked our final escape from the predominantly clinical and sonically average sound of the 80s & 90s.

Mostly featuring Nick himself on voice and instruments, he used a small handful of musically and philosophically aligned people to supplement the overall sound and set of performances – Jon Carin (who, incidentally, clinched the decision to buy my first Kurzweil) and Ben Goldsmith on violin, (I can only remember these two – the album will have full credits, though sadly there’s no Wikipedia entry for it). According to Simon, the recording chain included an EQ and compressor from Tim Paravacini’s EAR (Esoteric Audio Research) company and there was never a Sansamp or Sherman Filter Bank very far away. Great use was made of unusual and boutique gear, including a fine collection of guitars and other stringed instruments, along with an electronic keyboard tuned to an arabic tuning, bought from a bazar somewhere along Nick’s travels.

Creation’s Alan McGee quickly jumped on the album & threw himself headlong into its development, block booking Dave Gilmour’s Astoria, where it was knocked into shape and George Schilling did a magnificent job of the final mixes. just after it was delivered, Creation went bust! I’m not entirely sure the two facts are disconnected LOL!

anyway, enough waffling, here’s one of my favourite tracks….


Trashmonk – Polygamy

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