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Don't Look

Don't Look

  • By Rollo
  • Release 28/05/2002
  • Music Genre Rock
  • Media Format CD
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Price: £6.98

Product Notes

Shamelessly Exaggerated Band Description (Truthful version below) Rollo, one of the legendary unsigned bands from the early 1980s who frequented CBGBs and other notorious New York City punk/rock clubs, seem determined to rewrite history with the release of their first CD after more than 17 years out of the limelight.  'Don't Look,' a compilation of 15 original songs, marks the first new material from the reclusive band since the underground 45 containing 'Heyday of the Automobile' and 'After the Dance' rocked the music world with it's relentless techno-synth backbeat and scathing lyrics. Rollo fans may miss the intensity of 80s favorites like 'March of the Brain Dead' and 'Geek Train' - songs that became virtual anthems for a whole generation of disaffected Village youth.  The newly-released material evidences a subtle shift away from the societal critiques that marked their earlier work, aiming instead for a reappraisal of adolescence and love, themes largely beaten to death within the existing pop/rock genre but here given new force and power. Who are Rollo? Rollo are Jonathan Ochshorn, Dan Smullyan, and Kurt Ochshorn.  Dan is the principal song writer for the group, and continues to write music and perform to enthusiastic audiences in New York City.  Jonathan is the singer and keyboardist for Rollo, and wrote several of the tunes on the CD as well.  Kurt plays lead guitar (as well as various horns and synthesizer), sings background vocals, and is primarily responsible for producing and engineering the original recordings.  Much of the instrumentation on the CD is sequenced, i.e., digitally programmed note by note and sound by sound, by Kurt and Jon - including all drums, bass, and much of the synthesizers.  In fact, virtually the entire vocal and instrumental arrangement, orchestration, and performance is the work of the two Ochshorn brothers.  Other musicians appear only on two songs: the dance hall classic, Eyes of a Spy, essentially a live performance recorded on 4-track equipment, and featuring - in addition to Jon on keyboards and Kurt on guitar - former Rollo bassist Julius Braunschweig and drummer Gary Letizia; and the plaintive That Must Be the Way (featuring Paul Mendolsohn's sax solo). Taking over 17 years to produce this CD, Rollo has surpassed even legendary studio recording artist-procrastinators Steely Dan in terms of total elapsed time from conception to implementation.  In fact, it is hard to think of any other newly-released recording started when Ronald Reagan began his first term as President. Why did this project take so long?  First, there were no CDs in the early 1980s when the recording project started. Rollo was simply unwilling to release their material as low-quality cassette tapes or scratchy vinyl phonograph records, opting instead to wait until digital recording technology developed and became affordable. Second, the recording industry was simply not ready for Rollo.  Inexplicably, record companies at that time tended to focus their resources on groups that could be manipulated into appealing to mass audiences. To salvage these songs for posterity, it was necessary for the original analog tapes to undergo sophisticated restoration procedures; only then could they be safely re-mastered and converted to digital files.  After being literally 'baked' under the expert guidance of Cornell Ornithology Lab audio guru Bob Grotke, the tapes were digitally 're-mastered' at Pyramid Sound in Ithaca, New York (engineer: Jason Arnold).  Soon thereafter, final editing of the material took place at REP Studio (engineer: Sim Redmond), also in Ithaca. More or less accurate version Rollo, one of the more marginal unsigned bands from the early 1980s that showcased occasionally at various New York City clubs, including CBGBs and Kenny's Castaways, is marking the new millennium with the release of their first CD after more than 17 years out of the limelight. 'Don't Look,' a compilation of 15 original songs, marks the first new material from the all-but-defunct band since the release of their vinyl 45 rpm record -- by default, a 'collector's item' -- featuring 'Heyday of the Automobile' and 'After the Dance.' Digitally re-mastered from the original carefully-restored master audio tapes, the new CD contains several 'new' songs which have never been available before, including the title track, 'Don't Look.'  Rollo fans may miss the intensity of 80s favorites like 'March of the Brain Dead' and 'Geek Train' - songs that typified and animated Rollo's live performances.  Unlike those little-known classics, the newly-released material generally eschews the societal critiques that marked their earlier work, focusing instead on the enduring themes that characterize adolescence and love in the postmodern age:  anxiety, paranoia, longing, and loss. Who are Rollo? Rollo are Jonathan Ochshorn, Dan Smullyan, and Kurt Ochshorn.  Dan is the principal song writer for the group, and continues to write music and perform in New York City.  Jonathan is the singer and keyboardist for Rollo, and wrote several of the tunes on the CD as well.  Kurt plays lead guitar (as well as various horns and synthesizer), sings background vocals, and is primarily responsible for producing and engineering the original recordings.  Much of the instrumentation on the CD is sequenced, i.e., digitally programmed note by note and sound by sound, by Kurt and Jon - including all drums, bass, and much of the synthesizers.  In fact, virtually the entire vocal and instrumental arrangement, orchestration, and performance is the work of the two Ochshorn brothers.  Other musicians appear only exceptionally.  Eyes of a Spy features - in addition to Jon on keyboards and Kurt on guitar - former Rollo bassist Julius Braunschweig and drummer Gary Letizia.  The 'semi-live' feel of this song derives from two unique elements: it's basement recording on appallingly primitive 4-track equipment, and the calculated - some would say fraudulent - addition of a 2-second digital public-domain 'crowd applause track' lifted from Apple's iMovie software.  That Must Be the Way features a Paul Mendolsohn sax solo. Why has it taken 17 years for these songs to be released on CD?  The short answer is this:  Rollo took a break from the music industry rat-race to pursue other interests and raise families. During that time, the master tapes from the 1980 recording sessions gathered dust in a suburban basement, de-laminating, degrading, and otherwise deteriorating. But as it turned out, the long delay between initial analog recording and final digital re-mastering created major problems for the original audio master tapes. Though state-of-the-art at the time, Rollo's Ampex 'grandmaster' 456 recording tape (along with most other comparable brands) from the mid-1980s almost certainly developed problems with binder breakdown or loss of lubricant.  Binder breakdown is easiest to fix (by literally baking the tapes); for lubricant problems, the process is more complex, involving burnishing, baking, re-lubrication, and re-baking.  Luckily for Rollo, their entire stash of irreplaceable master tapes could be restored - baked - through the former process. Under the expert guidance of Cornell Ornithology Lab Audio Engineer Bob Grotke the binder was stabilized for at least a short time.  Mindful of the window of opportunity thus created, Rollo rushed the tapes to digital recording studio Pyramid Sound in Ithaca, New York (engineer: Jason Arnold), where transfer to a digital format was accomplished.  Soon thereafter, final editing of the material took place at REP Studio (engineer: Sim Redmond), also in Ithaca.

Details

Artist: Rollo
Title: Don't Look
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 28/05/2002
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 692863026824
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