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Blog: In Praise Of A Dinosaur Planet

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Now that I am properly COMMUTING to work I listen to my WalkPod a LOT, and as I came home last night it shuffled onto Literature Search, featuring Mr Chris T-T. I haven't listened to that song for AGES and I was surprised/delighted to discover a) how much I enjoyed it b) how NUTS it sounds.

This, added to Sunday's presentation of DRAWINGS of scenes from the story, made me decide to listen to Dinosaur Planet on the way to work this morning and, fittingly, I got all the way to Literature Search before reaching my stop. And do you know what? I thought it was GRATE - DANGEROUSLY so!

It's funny with Your Own Albums - when you're MAKING them you listen to them ALL the time and then when they're finished and released you do again for a while just because it's so EXCITING, but then that's pretty much it. I know some people say "Oh I cannot listen to my own records" (to which the sensible reply is "So why do you expect other people to then?") but I always find it's more a case that you've HEARD it so many times that you're not likely to feel the NEED to that often. Thus it is AGES since I've heard the whole album, meaning that today I came to it almost FRESH.

And I tell you what - it's quite a thing! Throughout the THREE FLIPPING YEARS it took to make it we kept saying "We've got to do this right and not cut corners, because we're not likely to ever do anything like this again" and when you listen to it I think you can TELL! There's SO MUCH going on ALL THE TIME - listening to the bit in the police station near the start I realised you could hear not just the dialogue and the background but things like CHAIRS scraping when people stand up, pages turning and phones being put back in their sockets. Later on there's a bit where you can HEAR the Corporal clicking his heels together and there's a section where Grandad walks down a corridor and puts the kettle on which took about an HOUR to get right! The dialogue was all done seperately (with different people recording their parts in Derby or London or at home) so EVERY sound effect was deliberate - looking back now I am AMAZED by how well it works!

Over and above the technical aspects though, the NICEST thing about listening back is hearing the voices of some of my FAVOURITE people in the whole wide world. It's funny - there's some sections which remind me of recording them (the Dinosaur Chorus in Dinosaurs Talk Like Pirates conjures up some VIVID mental pictures of CONFUSION) but mostly I picture the CHARACTERS. Thus I can clearly see PC Darren being ordered around by Sergeant Phil and WPC Jenny, even though those three people have never been in the same room together.

It's wonderful but, as stated above, also DANGEROUS. I'm now far enough away from it all to have mostly forgotten how DIFFICULT it was. Also, now that I've given nearly all the copies away I don't have a MOUNTAIN of unwanted CDs in my flat. These, added to those drawings on Sunday, are starting to make me think that maybe it WASN'T such a crazy idea after all. All right, not many people bought it and hardly anybody played it on the radio and it did take several years of being annoyed and yes, yes it WAS incredibly stressful when the packaging had to be sent back TWICE, but hey! look at it now! Look at the artwork! Listen to all those sound effects!

I mean, FEAR NOT everybody, we've got the new Validators' album to sort out next year not to mention Hey Hey 16K to finish off, but once all that's done... maybe it wouldn't be beyond the bounds of sanity to do something similar again?

Or maybe I should just go and re-read the blogs about what a PAIN it was recording it all?

posted 17/11/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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