In The Red

ZE 032CD ZE 032CD

Michael Dracula is a group led by Emily MacLaren, an American girl living in Glasgow, and this is her debut album. In The Red is a selection of songs Emily MacLaren had composed and been playing live with the various incarnations of Michael Dracula as it has evolved over the past 4 years. Although it was two years in the making, and was first conceived as a sort of obituary to the first four years of Michael Dracula, In The Red (so named due to blighted finances and two weeks spent mixing in a freezing November with no heat due to French utilities supplier's "red days") will always be a sort of work in progress, as much of the recording technique and style was really just a mix of instinct and accident. The idea behind this recording was based on a frustration about what seemed to be standard production for most modern albums: a production where every instrument sounds punchy and powerful, where there is a bland democracy in the mix which renders everything clear and equally present, no mistakes or even happy accidents. So, even though they were recording everything onto computer, the idea was to stay away -- as much as possible -- from using it to clean up any live takes, maximize drums, or add sound effects. Instead, they just placed microphones all over the room -- which, in a 500-year-old villa, was incredibly vast and reflective. Even cardboard boxes and pillows were used as percussion. The result is just what was expected: driving rhythms on an out-of-tune piano, repetitive drums with minimal fills, Motown and dub bass lines played by a white girl from Ohio, five guitar parts all playing the same wrong note while the ghost of an organ hums a tune on the periphery of your hearing, and a chorus of backing vocals chant from the bathroom, all providing the backing track for songs about the complexities of human relationships, and getting fucked up.