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The Softened Pattern

by M-1 Alternative

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Bishop Such a joy - I'm loving these releases. The early version of Hour of Mercy (later on M-1's debut La Llorona) is especially sweet. Favorite track: Hour of Mercy.
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Truth 06:12


After a year in New York, I returned to San Francisco, and Bruce and I convened in Defeatist Attitude's room at Turk Street Studios to write new music. At the end of the summer, we booked our first session at Peter Miller's studio, a garden shed filled with antique equipment, including a beautiful two-inch sixteen-track deck, with a room in the main house filled with posters from the Mersey Beat scene, in which Peter, as Big Boy Pete, had played a part. Of course I knew the big band from that scene, but it was the sight of all the others that fascinated me - those who played a few opening gigs or pressed a single seven-inch before starting schools or jobs or families. I imagined just how amazing some of them must have been, and how many of them might never have even recorded their best songs at all. Perhaps I sensed our kin in the smaller print of those posters. To the garden shed we brought two new instruments - a Korg KPR-77 drum machine, in its only recorded appearance, and a Roland JX-3P synthesizer - and three new songs. Truth was perhaps the most evolved of the upbeat funk workouts with which we opened our first four cassettes, while Hour of Mercy appeared in its early claustrophobic form years before its rerecording for La Llorona. At the end was Trapped in My Own Shadow, my personal favorite of all of our recorded songs, and perhaps the closest we came to the synthesized reverberated high melodrama of our early musical heroes. A crude blunt-force edit was included on a compilation LP (CUTS) released at my school, but here is the full-length epic. The original master tape was lost, probably in the course of making the compilation, so what remained for this release was a chrome cassette dubbed off Peter Miller's mixing desk. We would return to his lovely studio in 1984 and 1985.

Music and production by M-1 Alternative (Joshua Maremont and Bruce Musser).

Recorded on 8-24-1983 at Peter Miller Studios.

Engineered by Peter Miller.

All tracks transferred from a mixing desk cassette by Joshua Maremont at The Pancake Institute in 2021.

Album mastered by Joshua Maremont at The Pancake Institute in 2023.

No compression or limiting was used in the mastering process.

Please download lossless formats; the audio files are 96kHz and 24-bit.

The photo is of the towers of Whaleship Plaza again, now reflected in a puddle left after days of rain. The Old Waldorf, a small club in which a number of our early influences played, was located there. I purchased my first analog delay pedal after watching two groups use them on that stage.

This album continues the release of the studio recordings of M-1 Alternative between 1981 and 1992.


released August 24, 1983


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Boxmanstudies San Francisco, California

M-1 Alternative band photo by Rico Schwartzberg

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