Fad Gadget – Collapsing New People (1983)

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The recording of Gag was a turning point in Tovey’s recording career. It would be the first time he used a band of musicians to record an album, before he had recorded most of the musical parts himself. It would also see a major change in the recording location from London to Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin. He had wanted a break from the way he had been recording in London. The acoustic spaces in the German studio had excited Tovey. He was also excited about the recording equipment that was installed at Hansa at that time, including the computer controlled mixing desk. He found the new recording practices refreshing, having other people collaborating in the writing and recording process. Some of these collaborators included the viola player, Joni Sackett, and keyboard player, David Simmonds. The recordings included many acoustic instruments, which veered away from the electronic instruments which had been used on previous recording sessions. Tovey had used synthesisers when they were not fashionable to use – he had now moved away from electronic instrumentation when it was the current trend with other recording artists. During the recording of Gag the German industrial band, Einstürzende Neubauten, were also recording at Hansa and had been the support act for Fad Gadget at a gig at “The Loft” venue in Berlin. Frank liked their use of Industrial equipment and found objects something he had encouraged Nick Cash drummer and percussionist since first album to do. Frank Tovey heard a large printing press nearby which had a distinctive rhythm and got Gareth Jones the co-producer/engineer to record it, this was looped and became the basis for “Collapsing New People” with Cash drumming along and keeping the swing of the machine. Tovey then thought it would be good to ask Neubauten if they would add some of their percussion noise to the mix, however he thought there was enough going on in the track and their contribution was used on the B-Side “Spoil The Child” and on the 12″ mix of the song. Neubauten’s percussion was overdubbed over the already recorded backing tracks. The percussion tracks proved difficult to mix at the final stage, but Tovey was pleased with the final result. The track “Collapsing New People” was released as a single by Mute Records. Incidentally, Einstürzende Neubauten translated means collapsing new buildings. After recording the album Gag, Tovey began recording under his real name – Frank Tovey. He carried on moving toward acoustic instruments and in 1984 had decided he may want to record on his own again.

[In memory of Frank Tovey who died 10 years ago today]

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