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planet10 19th October 2004 04:34 PM

Frank's not gone, his Meat is just dead...
I was pleased to have this cross my in box today


Frank Zappa fans now have the opportunity to indulge in a sonic freak˜out of epic proportions, thanks to DTS, the Zappa Family Trust and its Barking Pumpkin label. Released September 14, the DVD-Audio QuAUDIOPHILIAc presents a variety of Zappa works, largely from 1970 to 1979, in various multichannel formats as their composer intended them.

"Frank had been doing surround-sound remixes of different pieces," his son, Dweezil Zappa, the album‚s producer, tells ICE, "whether it was in quad or LCRS [the Left Center Right Surround process used for film sound in the mid-‚70s]. We started looking for projects he‚d worked on and found quite a bit of stuff. What we ended up with is a sort of an Œaudio documentary.‚

"One of the most interesting tracks we‚ve called ŒChunga‚s Basement,‚" he continues. "It‚s a full surround recording of an early version of ŒChunga‚s Revenge‚" [1970], recorded in the basement of the family‚s Hollywood Hills residence. "There‚s no mixing, the faders are all at the same level; what you hear is just what happened in the room at the time. The amazing thing is that he was doing this in 1970, well before anybody could ever play it back in that format."

Other QuAUDIOPHILIAc highlights include the previously unreleased "Rollo," from a 1975 concert at UCLA‚s Royce Hall, featuring Zappa‚s rock band with a full orchestra; a version of "Wild Love" from 1970‚s Top-30 album Sheik Yerbouti; and a quadraphonic mix of "Waka Jawaka" from the 1972 LP of the same name. There‚s also a surround version of the guitar solo "Ship Ahoy," which appeared in stereo on 1981‚s Shut Up N‚ Play Yer Guitar.

Rather than chronologically sequence the album‚s contents, Dweezil "created some segues in between the songs. I used elements from a series of experimental things Frank called ŒThe Knick Knack People,‚ which was noises, percussion hits, laughter, just general weirdness. Some of it was used in the background for [Zappa‚s 1979 film] Baby Snakes. The record is about 53 minutes long, so it‚s just long enough to feel like you‚ve gone on a little special ride."

Dweezil says there are "probably a dozen things getting to the completion stage, so there‚ll be more coming out over the next six months to a year. We‚re getting to the point where we can create a subscription service for the fans, so they can either subscribe [through <>] and get everything for a year, or just a selection of things, depending on what they want."

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