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  • NXN023LP - LP

In the late 90s, the bands that Mike Badger had been part of vanished in the rear-view mirror. The La’s and The Onset were no more. With a young family and his tin-can sculptures emerging as his primary source of income, the evenings in Allerton (south Liverpool) found him quietly strumming his acoustic guitar, careful not to disturb the sleeping children. Weekends often led to the Penny Lane Wine Bar and later to Henry Epstein’s residence, a haven for revelry after closing time. A place where acoustic guitars adorned the walls, and impromptu musical sessions unfolded. In the midnight hours at Henry Epstein’s house, Paul Hemmings conceived the idea of compiling an album featuring Mike’s new tunes, which seemed to carry a basic “pastoral” theme reflective of settled domestic life. Demos were recorded on a porta-studio, and the album, initially titled “Naked and Beyond,” was crafted with starkness and simplicity, adorned with selected embellishments contributed by associates who shared drinks and stages. Recording took place at “The Lab” studio just north of the city, utilizing a Teac 24 Track machine and the warmth of analogue recording. The studio featured an old Italian “Eko” acoustic guitar, a classical guitar, Louis Johnson’s cello arrangements, and Tommy Scott’s backing vocals. Once the core of the album was laid down, the journey continued to Anglesey, to Henry Priestman’s “Gossamer Dome” Studio, where a baby grand piano, Farfisa organ, and “Parrot” accordion were added to enrich the songs with colors, harmonies, and magic, all against the backdrop of a sea view. The front cover of the album was adorned with an objet d’art created from a spiraled frying implement, part of Mike Badger’s “Lost and Found” exhibition. As the need to release the album arose, Mike Badger and his collaborators established their own label, “Viper,” and secured a distributor. The album, titled “Volume,” reflected its creation – from its initial sound considerations to the organic body of work composed in recent years. The recording process, though thorough, embraced imperfections, as Mike Badger believed that completeness emerged from these flaws, giving the performance its distinct character. The spirit of the performance took precedence over perfection, resulting in a product that felt genuine, unfettered, and honest – created simply because it was meant to be made. Now the album turns 25 it is released on vinyl for the first time via Nine X Nine Records.


(1) Where Love Is (2) Silhouette (3) Rhapsody (4) James Earl Ray
(5) Silent Secrets (6) Piano Sativa (7) Poverty of the Heart (8) Reach For The Stars
(9) Perpetual Emotion (10) Turn To Her (11) When We?re Alone (12) Twilight In D


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