More Miaow Demos Found In Our Archive


The Factory demo that never was.

The Factory demo that never was.

When I set out to restore old Miaow cassettes years ago, I assumed I had heard everything I could find and play without disaster. Tape flakes or dust and debris seemed more likely to be my first audio discovery. Surprisingly, they didn’t turn out to be too awful. An attempt at a wash & wax was made several times. Each break in the action resulted in new software developments from our plug-in dealers. Eventually, things became affordable and amazing. I may not be able to make pure garbage sound great but I can make it tolerable.


So when Cath (Carroll) handed me three more Miaow cassettes yesterday, I was a bit stunned. I thought we had found them all?


The newest Miaow archive cassettes contain a real assortment of issues, sonically speaking. And the content? An original demo of When It All Comes Down and an unmixed version of Break The Code were the biggest gems! They have all of the imperfections of tuning & timing that real demos have and Cath isn’t always quite pitch-perfect, but there is that sense of urgency and fear as the song is being captured. The band’s performances are subtly different as well.


Unfortunately, the cassette formula is a normal bias TDK AD stock and does not have the shine and transparency of the metal oxide from the Priceless Restoration cassette source. And the hiss is pretty outrageous, too. There will have to be an intensive rehabbing. The third tape is (probably) completely useless since the levels are almost non existent. A virtual cacophony of tape drag on the head.


Included in this collection is a version of Stolen Ears, which is identical to the one found on LTM’s excellent compilation, When It All Comes Down (2003). Marry Me Dusty Springfield is presented several times but it also seems to be identical to our earlier restoration. And sonically inferior no less.


The real shocker was the material recorded over or found in between demo material. Several musical acts that can’t be identified. Apparently the tapes were early recycling examples with all three having contained previously recorded material. One segment in particular, a spoken word documentary, detailed the memories of Jim Jones’ son and the events of Jonestown. Chilling would be an understatement. I wish we had the rights to use it.


When the restoration phase is finished we’ll post the results on The Pad.

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