THE IPR DISPATCH ARCHIVE
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The holiday season is upon us,
and with it a longing for
Dear Friend of IPR,
The holiday season is upon us,
and with it a longing for
Well, our favourite tradition
here at IPR
is to attach exclusive news
to the dispatches
we compile for you,
so here it goes…
We’re excited to announce our next two releases:
An expanded, remastered reissue of A Produce’s 1988 album The Clearing,
An expanded, first ever CD edition of the compilation Tape Excavation, originally assembled by Bruce Licher in 2019.
The Clearing is the first in a series of IPR reissues of stunningly atmospheric ambient records from former Afterimage guitarist Barry Craig, a.k.a. A Produce. Armed with synthesizers, guitars, and a flair for the spaces in between, Craig began unleashing transfixing sonic explorations in the late 1980s. This first solo album appeared in 1988 in a limited edition of 500 LPs, featuring contributions from several friends in the Los Angeles Underground including Afterimage vocalist Daniel Voznick on the song Ashes of Love. In 2008 The Clearing was remastered by ambient electronic artist Loren Nerell and self-released by Craig in a very limited CDr version featuring one bonus track (Raga Riley, which appeared on the 2021 IPR compilation Source). This previous CDr edition has been unavailable since Barry Craig's untimely passing a year later and has long been in demand. Independent Project Records has now added three more bonus tracks (the three A Produce tracks from the early-to-mid-80's L.A. Mantra compilations released on Trance Port Tapes), making this new edition of A Produce’s first solo album a profound reflection on the meaning, and the power, of trance.
Six different cover variations were created for the letterpress-printed CD jackets of The Clearing, closely mimicking the geometric designs of the original vinyl LP release from 1988, which also featured six different cover designs created and printed at Independent Project Press by Bruce Licher and Barry Craig.
Tape Excavation first appeared as a collectible vinyl release in 2020, when IPR founder Bruce Licher started scouring through dozens of boxes of cassette tapes from rehearsals, demos, and other recordings to find previously unheard nuggets from his various musical endeavours. The record originally accompanied Savage Impressions, the acclaimed book reassessing Licher’s history as a designer through his work for Independent Project Records, Independent Project Press and outside commissions (and by the way, a limited number of copies of both the Savage Impressions book and the original vinyl edition of Tape Excavation are still available in the IPR Web Shoppe). Now Licher has added eight more tracks, including previously unheard recordings from his groups Savage Republic and Scenic, plus other solo recordings and even a raw, live 1981 blast of punky brilliance from a short-lived group formed by future LA Times food writer Jonathan Gold with Licher on bass accompanying Gold's amplified cello. Newly remastered by Warren DeFever (His Name Is Alive) at Third Man, Tape Excavation will have us digging for gold through the decades, unearthing jewels from IPR’s first ever release (a no wave-inspired blast of improvisation from the 1980 Project 197 EP) through the Savage Republic and Scenic periods (with solo demos and rehearsal tapes of otherwise unrecorded songs), through Licher's collaborations with Henry Frayne of Lanterna and Michael Krassner of Boxhead Ensemble, and culminating in a raw rehearsal recording of SR2, Bruce’s current project with his wife Karen Nielsen Licher.
Keep an eye out for our next Dispatch in January which will include pre-ordering info for both of these exciting archival releases!
If you're in the mood for ordering something now, we've got a couple great things you can consider adding to your shopping list. Head on over to our Bandcamp store, where until the end of December we've got a special sale bundle of all eight of the Special Edition CDs that IPR has released since re-launching in mid-2021. Buy the bundle for 25% off the regular prices, and get a free bonus to boot! Bruce Licher recently uncovered a very small stash of an original press kit created for Scenic's Incident At Cima album, which features a multi-page bio and a series of Licher's
photos from the East Mojave Desert, many of which have never been otherwise seen.
We'll include a free copy of this piece from Licher's historical archive with every order for the IPR Special Edition CD bundle.
Maybe it’s because we’ve been staring at the calendar for too long, but the perfectly titled 1988 For Against album December has kept us good company over this past couple of weeks. With such a soundtrack, our monthly quest for underrated jewels in the IPR vaults has taken quite an…’ephemeral’ turn.
For Against, photography by Karl Stephan
We’ve found very few original unused copies of an exquisite-looking tour postcard produced in 1987 to advertise the midwest and east coast tour that
For Against played to support the release of their first album Echelons. Printed on a rare yellow-coated chipboard stock, they’re available here:
Another great occasion to revisit the perfectly wintry music of For Against, isn’t it?
Make sure to add rare cut The Pennines to your playlists. It was first included in the Source compilation two years ago, and is an exclusive track to Source, not available anywhere else! For the occasion guitarist Harry Dingman III shared his memories of the song’s inception: “I can still picture the neat hand written lyric sheet (that Jeff [Runnings] wrote out) and wondering what the hell a Pennine was? And then thought it was pretty clever and went to work on a guitar line. I worked the guitar line out first at my house and brought it to our practice in Jeff's parents' basement. Jeff then put the lyrics and bass to the guitar riff, Greg [Hill] came in on drums, and in a couple run throughs the song was underway and done".
For Against - December insert photo by Ted Schlaebitz.
Speaking of Source, this compilation is a perfect introduction to Independent Project Records, perhaps the best place to start when you want to share what IPR is all about with your music-loving friends. Source is a 19-track compilation, a sampler of musicians determined to sound like no others, an expansive sonic experience of diverse musical genres that comes packaged in an oversized letterpress-printed die cut folder with a beautifully-designed 24-page descriptive booklet. Source includes previously unreleased gems from David J, Bpeople, For Against, Scenic, The Ophelias, Woo, Jeffrey Clark, pre-Shiva Burlesque band Torn Boys, Red Temple Spirits’ offshoot The Invisible Opera Company of Tibet, and Greenland & Craig (featuring Barry Craig, a.k.a.
A Produce). All these tracks are exclusive to Source and not available elsewhere! Source also includes tracks from Half String, Savage Republic, Shiva Burlesque, Springhouse, Lanterna, Red Temple Spirits, A Produce, AE Downs, and Exploratorium. With all of the varied tracks on Source united by their keen intuitive clarity, this music is sometimes raw, sometimes refined, and what we love about it the most is that it is always REAL. Pick up a copy today! And then head on over to the IPR News Blog where we've just posted a detailed compilation of Bruce LIcher's remembrances of each track on the compilation along with all 19 promotional video clips that IPR hired former Half String guitarist Matt Kruse to create for us for each of the songs on Source. It's a great way to sample the album, and to view some rare and otherwise unseen imagery from each of the 19 artists involved.
and, above all,
See you in a