Sex Dummy
SEX DUMMY E.P.
Ballerina Geometry Sex Dummy Grey
album Polaroid Suitcase 2003 pictures Polaroid Suitcase James Betts 2003 lyrics Ballerina 2002 song Ballerina 2002 video Ballerina Edinburgh 2003
GENERAL INFO A promotional CD-R handed out mainly to friends, featuring the first four songs I wrote and recorded for Gary Le Strange. All four songs also appear on his official debut album, Polaroid Suitcase, but these are different, earlier mixes with different vocal performances and, in a couple of cases, different lyrics. I retroactively gave it a catalogue number - GLSCD001 - to make it an ‘official release’ but there’s nothing truly official about it beyond me saying it is and I never actually offered it for sale. I don’t think I ran off that many copies either, but it worked as a temporary means to spread the idea that I was serious about the act. RECORDING VENUES & DATES 74 Chewton Road, 27 Maude Terrace & 23 Maude Terrace, Walthamstow: 6 February 2002 - 28 February 2003 COVER IMAGE The cover pic is from Gary Le Strange’s earliest photo session on February 13, 2002, in the bedroom of 74 Chewton Road, Walthamstow, taken by my wife Katy. I hadn’t really thought too much about his image at this stage so I just wrapped a tie round my head and daubed several shapes on my face with lipstick. The RGB effect on the image was just one of the most basic settings on Adobe Photoshop. It seemed to work well enough, adding the right amount of colour and bargain bin mystery to the face. You can see the original CD-R packaging insert and a couple more cover attempts here. THE MUSIC These are Gary’s earliest songs so they’re all pretty basic in one respect - they’re all about things he likes or feels positive about. It’s almost like a list of character traits, or a list of basic statements saying “This is who I am” or “This is what I’m into” - he’s saying “I’m Gary Le Strange and I like ballet, geometry, shop window dummies and the colour grey.” THE RECORDING PROCESS I hadn’t been making music very long so the whole thing was a matter of trial and error, seeing what worked and what didn’t, starting with the simple tools I already had and adding new ones as and when I needed them. I’d learned how to make basic computer music not on a computer but with a great little music-making program made by Jester Interactive for the Sony PlayStation called Music - the original version was released towards the end of 1998 and I took to it really well, creating over an album’s worth of material in less than a month. It didn’t sound like the output of a professional recording studio but it was loaded up with interesting sounds and I realised that I could get a half-decent retro 1980s sound out of it if I tried. The second version of the software was called Music 2000 but the version I used on these recordings was its third iteration, MTV Music Generator, released in 2001 for the PlayStation2. But that just gave me rudimentary backing tracks. I couldn’t record my voice on a PlayStation, nor would it let me mix the vocal onto the backing tracks even if I could, so I had to improvise. I’d just made an animation for Channel 4 which had given me the budget to buy a decent film editing program - Adobe Premiere, which you could actually buy outright back then instead of having to subscribe to it - and a powerful sound editing tool called Sound Forge, which allowed me to record my voice and add basic effects like reverb, compression and so on. So using them seemed like the obvious solution. It’s only now looking back that I realise how complicated it all was. I could have just exported the finished backing track directly from the PlayStation but, realising I could get a slightly better sound if I remixed the track in Premiere, I made the decision to export each instrument separately. So I ended up with this really weird set-up, where I made the initial music on the PlayStation, hooked up to the TV in the front room, then exported each instrument track - each synth line, each kick and snare - as audio, in real time, onto a portable MiniDisc player. Then I recorded all the stuff from the MiniDisc into Sound Forge on my PC - also in real time. Why I didn’t just hook the PlayStation directly up to the PC I don’t know - maybe because they were in different rooms and I just couldn’t find a practical way of doing it. Later on, I think I bought longer audio cables just for that purpose, but in the beginning I’m not sure that even occurred to me. Always had to do things the long way round. From there, I could add effects in Sound Forge, learning music production techniques as I went, and reassembled the track in Premiere, where I could export a final mix. Then back into Sound Forge, where I’d master a final version of the backing track, before adding the vocal line. Looking back, I can’t quite believe I got such a good sound out of it, but the only microphone I could afford was a Shure SM58 - more often used as a live mic and not that well suited to studio work. And then the same process again - recorded the voices in Sound Forge, added effects, exported as WAV files, edited in Premiere over the top of the backing track and then back into Sound Forge for the final mastering process. Given all that, it’s a marvel that I ended up with anything even halfway decent, but these four tracks are my earliest attempts at recording proper pop songs, designed to be listened to by the ears of real humans who aren’t me. I’d re-record superior versions of them all within the next few months, but these are my first tentative mistakes. I’ve never released any of them to the public before, so this feels a bit like showing people my dirty underwear, but the opening track is available to listen to here and the rest will magically appear over the coming months as I work my way through the archive. THOUGHTS & FEELINGS Everything on this EP is done much better on Polaroid Suitcase so I don’t know why you’d listen to it out of choice. It was an important step for me but not necessary for you to hear it. I’m only uploading these tracks now to prove to you I’m not lying about it. It really did exist. BEST TRACK Geometry. Except the alternative spoken ending, which is terrible.
pictures Sex Dummy London 2002 script Sex Dummy Feb 2003 cd packaging Sex Dummy 2003
2003
album Face Academy 2004 video Loose Lips Living TV 2003 song Photocopier 2004 pictures Face Academy Andy Hollingworth  2004
SEX DUMMY E.P.
Sex Dummy
Ballerina Geometry Sex Dummy Grey
GENERAL INFO A promotional CD-R handed out mainly to friends, featuring the first four songs I wrote and recorded for Gary Le Strange. All four songs also appear on his official debut album, Polaroid Suitcase, but these are different, earlier mixes with different vocal performances and, in a couple of cases, different lyrics. I retroactively gave it a catalogue number - GLSCD001 - to make it an ‘official release’ but there’s nothing truly official about it beyond me saying it is and I never actually offered it for sale. I don’t think I ran off that many copies either, but it worked as a temporary means to spread the idea that I was serious about the act. RECORDING VENUES & DATES 74 Chewton Road, 27 Maude Terrace & 23 Maude Terrace, Walthamstow: 6 February 2002 - 28 February 2003 COVER IMAGE The cover pic is from Gary Le Strange’s earliest photo session on February 13, 2002, in the bedroom of 74 Chewton Road, Walthamstow, taken by my wife Katy. I hadn’t really thought too much about his image at this stage so I just wrapped a tie round my head and daubed several shapes on my face with lipstick. The RGB effect on the image was just one of the most basic settings on Adobe Photoshop. It seemed to work well enough, adding the right amount of colour and bargain bin mystery to the face. You can see the original CD-R packaging insert and a couple more cover attempts here. THE MUSIC These are Gary’s earliest songs so they’re all pretty basic in one respect - they’re all about things he likes or feels positive about. It’s almost like a list of character traits, or a list of basic statements saying “This is who I am” or “This is what I’m into” - he’s saying “I’m Gary Le Strange and I like ballet, geometry, shop window dummies and the colour grey.” THE RECORDING PROCESS I hadn’t been making music very long so the whole thing was a matter of trial and error, seeing what worked and what didn’t, starting with the simple tools I already had and adding new ones as and when I needed them. I’d learned how to make basic computer music not on a computer but with a great little music-making program made by Jester Interactive for the Sony PlayStation called Music - the original version was released towards the end of 1998 and I took to it really well, creating over an album’s worth of material in less than a month. It didn’t sound like the output of a professional recording studio but it was loaded up with interesting sounds and I realised that I could get a half-decent retro 1980s sound out of it if I tried. The second version of the software was called Music 2000 but the version I used on these recordings was its third iteration, MTV Music Generator, released in 2001 for the PlayStation2. But that just gave me rudimentary backing tracks. I couldn’t record my voice on a PlayStation, nor would it let me mix the vocal onto the backing tracks even if I could, so I had to improvise. I’d just made an animation for Channel 4 which had given me the budget to buy a decent film editing program - Adobe Premiere, which you could actually buy outright back then instead of having to subscribe to it - and a powerful sound editing tool called Sound Forge, which allowed me to record my voice and add basic effects like reverb, compression and so on. So using them seemed like the obvious solution. It’s only now looking back that I realise how complicated it all was. I could have just exported the finished backing track directly from the PlayStation but, realising I could get a slightly better sound if I remixed the track in Premiere, I made the decision to export each instrument separately. So I ended up with this really weird set-up, where I made the initial music on the PlayStation, hooked up to the TV in the front room, then exported each instrument track - each synth line, each kick and snare - as audio, in real time, onto a portable MiniDisc player. Then I recorded all the stuff from the MiniDisc into Sound Forge on my PC - also in real time. Why I didn’t just hook the PlayStation directly up to the PC I don’t know - maybe because they were in different rooms and I just couldn’t find a practical way of doing it. Later on, I think I bought longer audio cables just for that purpose, but in the beginning I’m not sure that even occurred to me. Always had to do things the long way round. From there, I could add effects in Sound Forge, learning music production techniques as I went, and reassembled the track in Premiere, where I could export a final mix. Then back into Sound Forge, where I’d master a final version of the backing track, before adding the vocal line. Looking back, I can’t quite believe I got such a good sound out of it, but the only microphone I could afford was a Shure SM58 - more often used as a live mic and not that well suited to studio work. And then the same process again - recorded the voices in Sound Forge, added effects, exported as WAV files, edited in Premiere over the top of the backing track and then back into Sound Forge for the final mastering process. Given all that, it’s a marvel that I ended up with anything even halfway decent, but these four tracks are my earliest attempts at recording proper pop songs, designed to be listened to by the ears of real humans who aren’t me. I’d re-record superior versions of them all within the next few months, but these are my first tentative mistakes. I’ve never released any of them to the public before, so this feels a bit like showing people my dirty underwear, but the opening track is available to listen to here and the rest will magically appear over the coming months as I work my way through the archive. THOUGHTS & FEELINGS Everything on this EP is done much better on Polaroid Suitcase so I don’t know why you’d listen to it out of choice. It was an important step for me but not necessary for you to hear it. I’m only uploading these tracks now to prove to you I’m not lying about it. It really did exist. BEST TRACK Geometry. Except the alternative spoken ending, which is terrible.
song Ballerina video Ballerina album Polaroid Suitcase pictures Sex  Dummy script Sex  Dummy
lyrics Ballerina