In January of 1993, Guppyboy moved from Burlington, VT to Chicago, IL. We were drawn by the (then) cheap rents to be had there, as well as the vibrant independent music scene that was exploding all over the city. Holed up at the house we had dubbed Fletcher Manor (in the neighborhood of Roscoe Village) we recorded on a Tascam 4-track cassette as well as a 1/2" 8 track. We were constantly experimenting with lo-fi sounds and thrift-store electronics recording techniques. It was creation for its own sake. Some of the recordings were demos, some were working song sketches and some were distorted, dark expressions and exorcisms. We occasionally played live shows in various holes around the Windy City with next-door neighbors, Loud Lucy.
When you woke at Fletcher Manor, somebody was already writing a song. When you got home from work (from your restaurant, temp or copy store job) there was a jam going on in the basement with whoever was home. Or maybe someone was in the middle of recording on the 4-track, halfway through a bottle of something. Every couple of months, we'd get together and have a mix-down party. With candles burning, couches and chairs were rearranged to collect everyone's latest songs onto one master cassette. We'd cut-and-paste artwork together for j-cards and make tape copies for each other. Guppyboy was only in Chicago for eighteen months, but by the time we moved back to the east coast we had recorded hundreds of songs; many, many hours worth of material. Some of the songs ended up more realized on 7” records or albums like "Haci Baba" and "Jeffersonville", but most of it was never released.
Twenty years later, we’ve pulled the original recordings back into the light, cleaned them up and remastered the songs for posterity. We're happy to share a few from the archives and we hope you enjoy them.
released July 17, 2015
All songs by Guppyboy. Chris Ziter, Jeff Baron, Zachary Ward, Michael Barett and Sasha Bell. Recorded 1993-94 on Tascam 4-track and ½” 8-track at Fletcher Manor, 2019 West Fletcher St., Chicago, IL. Additional tracks recorded 199298 in Burlington, VT and 336 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
Vocals on “York” by Jessica Higgins. Wurlitzer on “The One” by Christian Lane. Bass on “The One” by Tommy Furar. Guitar and vocals on “Place to Stay” by Matthew Gallaway. Piano, violin and vocals on “The Ravenswood” by Eva Moscow. “The Ravenswood” engineered by John Cunningham. Drums on “Damen Bus or Blue Island” by Karl Steen.