Share a Clam with The Ullulators was the first release by The Ullulators, originally released in 1985 on audio cassette as an independent, non signed album.
The tapes were originally copied and distributed by a number of friends, associates, and the band, and sold at gigs, and later by mail order.
In this re-release we present all of the main tracks, restored,repaired and remastered to the best of our ability.
Given the transient nature of our lives in the early days, there was inevitably a loss and general mislaying of many early recording masters and tapes. It has been a work of passion to locate, transfer and restore these tracks from the best copies available after extensive searching of our dense and sometimes cluttered sonic archives.
The quality of these tracks vary, from surprisingly good, to... Well... 'Authentic' !! However, all tracks have been lovingly caressed into sonic integrity, and we feel that the original essence and ‘vibe’ has been amply preserved. I have tried not to mess with the stereo imaging etc too much, so consequently some tracks are a little left or right heavy depending on the instrumentation, mix, and other random factors from the time of recording :) At the minimum it is a vast improvement sonically in comparison to every cassette copy originally sold, and unoffiical online distribution via youtube etc. up to this point in time.
The Ullulators was a project was born by myself, Gavin Griffiths, and Joie Hinton after a lengthy and eventful trip to India in early 1985, and a desire to create a form of music that extended beyond the space rock genre we had been involved in up to that point. Joie was greatly inspired by the band 'Can', amongst others, and the maestro Holgar Czukay, one of the founding fathers of modern day sampling. We felt there was real scope for expanding this avenue of blending established musical styles with sonic elements from around the world in new and unique ways. This was one of the core inspirations for the Ullulators musical style.
Joie and I met at Stonehenge free festival in 1983 where I was performing with the Ozric tentacles, at that time called “the Bolshem people”. This band, later to become known as the Ozric Tentacles, was the result of 3-4 odd years of Ed Wynne and myself recording hundreds of tracks at home in London under the name ‘The Bolshem People’. But that is another story :)
At Stonehenge in 1983 we were camped up towards the north east corner of the site. We had a hire van and a generator and set up every evening and jammed into the small hours in front of a bonfire as a lightshow. Our adventures in several years of going to ‘Henge’ and playing firstly as The Bolshem People, and later as The Ozrics, are enough to fill a book… save to say they were wild and wonderful times.
One morning at henge in 83 a girl came up to our camp fire and told us they had just returned from India and that she had a friend with them who was a great synth player, and that he wanted to jam with us but was too shy to ask! Her name was Nessie, and after sharing a ridiculously strong chillum of Kerala grass oil with us Nessy introduced us to Joie. He told us he loved the idea of jamming with us, that he had his synths in the old red Ambulance parked next to our camp that they were living in, but no amp. I jumped on my motorbike and took off round the site in search of an amp to blag (as you did in those days) and came back with one shortly after.
Joie really didn’t know what synth style to play, so we thought about it and Ed just said “Just do loads of wind and bubbles!”…. and so a whole new era started. Previous to that moment the Bolshem/Ozrics had been a 4 piece band with Bass, drums, and 2 guitars, and just Ed doing synth parts on recordings with the 'Prune' (seq circ's Pro-one) as it was lovingly known.
Joie played pretty much every jam and gig with us after that, and later that summer we changed the name of the band to Ozrics (another story in itself!).
At the time Ed and I were sharing an apartment at the top of his parents house in Wimbledon, and later that summer Ed went on holiday to Spain for a few weeks with his then girlfriend Blim (creator of the original Ozric artwork) who’s mum lived out there.
Joie came over one afternoon for a jam and set up his synths, with me on guitar, and Joie and I jammed all night. The whole thing was recorded, and the 2nd to last track on this release ‘Eternal now’ was taken from that session. It was an amazing jam, amazing energy, and we both felt there was something really special about our all meeting. We named the jam ‘Vissudha cozmique’, and in the year and a half that followed the idea of a full band project was born. Share a Clam was our first release.
Largely recorded at Joie's squat in Brixton, and later his flat in Clapham north, pretty much all of the tracks here were recorded and mixed on a single tascam portastudio. The equipment, and available quality was very limited, but we pushed our creativity to great ends and created some pretty wild music. There is the odd guest appearance by Ed on synth, and the odd one take jam. The rest were recorded stage by stage by myself and Joie.
The bulk of the ‘Ethnic overdubs’ were recorded by Joie and myself in our travels through India, where we always had a recording walkman to hand… There were some truly magical performances by people we met along the way ;)
Die Hard fans will notice that there are interludes and snippets that served to join tracks on the original tapes that do not appear here. Sadly, due to respect for copyright, we have felt it best to withhold them from digital release. Let them remain a magical and unique ’collectors’ element of the original tapes.
They were truly great days with a very special and talented ‘family’ of musicians and friends, and these times are held dearly in the hearts of all members of our far reaching Ozric / Bolshem/ Ullulator family. The above represents a snippet of the whole story… perhaps one day that story shall appear in full :) …. Because… the Full itself remains :)
We have set the price at £6 to cover the high costs of baking and transferring old tapes to digital, various mastering trials, software needed to denoise and clean the old recordings, and the huge amount of time and effort that it has taken to see these old tracks come back to the best that they can be. We are humbly grateful for your contribution and support of this project and hope it brings you many hours of joyful listening :)
At some point we may decide to make a CD set of the 3 original tapes, but this would need to be a 4 CD box set given the length of the tapes (95 Min each) and at this point in time it is simply not economically viable. Should the funds generated by this and the other upcoming re-releases be sufficient, then we will happily put something together. We are aware that many people prefer CD, but it is simply a matter of costs. We thank you for your support and understanding.
released May 20, 2017
Gavin Griffiths: All Guitars, Bass, sampling, drum programming
Joie Hinton: All keyboards, Bass, Sampling, Drum programming
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