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Bozon Tracks

For more information on the individual tracks, sound clips & images click the links below.

The King of the Plow and Stars
A Canadian Overture
A Protozoan Revenge
Puget Sound
Son Of Chuck & Bob
Ice Logic
Veins In The Pavement
Famous ‘admen of the West
Nomad Speaks

Bozon CoverFrom the CD packaging:

The band heard on this CD was Bozon in its final incarnation. Bozon began in the late seventies forging a unique form of jazz-rock in a rehearsal studio (”the space”) behind the Dharma Submarine Shop near the nexus of Market and Van Ness streets in San Francisco. Countless long days and late nights were spent working on complex original compositions that often featured an anarchic sense of humor and “odd” time signatures (with no regard, indeed a disdain for the monotony of the four-four disco beat so prevalent at the time). The diversity of the players’ backgrounds brought a large palette of influences into the mix. Sometimes, this created an overly complicated gumbo of confusion (both for the players and listeners). However, when things did go right, the results could be surprising and sublime. Bozon played a modest succession of rather eccentric parties and gigs, but it was hard to duplicate their sound out of the space. As disco gave way to punk, the handwriting was easy enough to read. The group disbanded in late 1980/early 1981.

The bulk of this CD was originally recorded in 1980 in the space on a couple of Teac 40-4 tape decks and the sound quality was pretty dismal. Almost three decades later this material was transferred into the digital realm (none too soon, as the tape was disintegrating) and, in a laborious process, cleaned up. Two of the pieces were originally recorded in 16 and 24 track analog studios and were also moved into Pro Tools for editing. The goal wasn’t to “re-do” the music, but to improve the sonic quality and present some lost work from an unknown band.

From my personal point of view:

In the late 1970's and early 1980's I was graced with a lot more hair than I now possess. I was also just beginning to play pedal steel guitar, whereas I had been playing guitar since my early teens. In 1979 a friend told me a band called Bozon was looking for a guitarist. Hearing their music, which was instrumental, largely through-composed, and usually in "odd" (not common) time, I thought it was amazingly interesting. I was really excited at the prospect of becoming involved with making this music. When the band asked me if I'd be interested in joining, I said yes! When I joined, the band consisted of Brian Schindele, Drew Anderson, Menno Marringa, Tim Vaughan and Chuck Masten. Playing this music required an immense amount of practice for me to begin to play it accurately. Every aspect of my musicianship was challenged- I was a poor reader when I started and by the time I left the band, though I was still a poor reader, I was a little better at it for the practice. I struggled mightily to play the intricate and often very fast lines that Brian and Drew were writing for me. I was given the opportunity to write my own pieces and have the band help develop and play them. To this day, I have rarely worked harder than I did during those two years. For me, Bozon was one of the benchmarks of commitment and quality that I have always since aspired to in my career. We worked REALLY HARD to craft our music, but sadly, we were either ahead of or in a parallel universe to our time. We rehearsed like fiends, but only ever had the opportunity to play a handful of gigs: odd time makes for difficult dancing... Other than a handful of devoted friends who'd come to brave our few shows, we weren't exactly burning down the house. We sent out demo tapes to all the record companies we could think of, but never got any of them interested in what we were doing.

6 Track Recording:

Among the five of us, Brian and I were the most interested in recording technology. We did our best with the knowledge and paltry tools we had at the time, to craft recordings of some of our work. By the time we began recording in earnest, Chuck and Menno were no longer in the band, and Jeffrey Potter had joined. Jeffrey and I had been in numerous bands together since starting our first band at the age of 12. He and I were part owners of a mighty TEAC 40-4 (four track) tape recorder. The band had friends who owned a 2nd 4 track recorder, a TEAC 3340. We set out to start recording our material. We developed a methodology whereby we recorded "live" basic tracks- Tim's drums to channel 1, Jeffrey's bass to channel 2, Brian's Rhodes/Moog Mini/Elka Rhapsody and my guitar and pedal steel sharing channel 3, and Drew's piano and organ to channel 4. We'd record live, leaving holes in the performance for pre-determined difficult passages/solos, then we'd "bounce" those 4 tracks to a stereo pair on the 2nd machine, giving us the ability to overdub on the remaining 2 channels on the 2nd machine. Especially considering the substandard acoustics of the room we practiced and recorded in, and the cheap, cheap, cheap microphones and mixer we had, it's amazing that we were able to get anything worth keeping, but we did the best we could. Sadly, the process of bouncing our initial 4 tracks degraded the already questionable quality of the initial 4 tracks, and at the time, we had no other mixdown medium than the 2nd 4 track deck. The only take-home medium we had at the time was audio cassette.

Due to the way this material was recorded, because we worked so hard to craft the music, it was always in the back of my mind to revisit the recordings at such time that technology might allow syncing the initial 4 track recordings with the additional 2 channels of overdubs we did on the 2nd machine, thereby improving the lower resolution and signal to noise ratio caused by the 4 to 2 track bounce necessary for giving us the ability to overdub. When ADATs came out I thought I'd give this resyncing a try, but alas, at that time I learned that the differences in speed between our two 4 track machines, likely plus internal speed inconsistencies in both machines, created a syncing nightmare. I could establish sync, sure enough, but it would only ever last for a few seconds, then the drift would begin. I put the tapes away again, and waited for the next generation of technology. With the advent of the Digital Audio Workstation (in this case Pro Tools), finally the tools existed to resurrect the first generation tracks for all 6 tracks. Brian and I went at it with a vengeance and carefully resync'd the material on Cold Fusion, phrase by phrase. With the precision afforded by this technology, Brian in a showing of extreme patience and dedication to his longtime friend and cohort Tim, was able to simulate some panning in the mono recording of the drums, and together we carefully found individual channels for the back to back to back disparate images we had crammed onto the overdub channels. The result is Cold Fusion

For those of you who have come to enjoy my albums Slider- Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar, and Hybrid, the music on this CD won't sound particularly familiar. As a professional musician/engineer/producer/composer (as you can see if you check out my discography), over the course of my career I've been involved with many, many different styles of music. Hell, if you had stopped in at The Saddle Rack (the West Coast equivalent of Gilley's, back in the middle 1980's), that would have been me under the cowboy hat, pickin' and grinnin' for your two-steppin' pleasure... For this reason, I'm happy that the internet will afford you the ability to listen to the sample clips before deciding if you'd like to purchase this album or any of its tracks. If you like my pedal steel playing, there's very little of it anywhere on this album, save for one track in particular, Puget Sound. Definitely one of my favorites on this album, I'm very thrilled to have been able to contribute pedal steel to this track.

For what it's worth, only two of the nine songs on this album were recorded using professional equipment, Ice Logic and Puget Sound. We were able to record Ice Logic professionally as a result of the track Nomad Speaks winning (it tied for first place) a composition competition, Seven Creative Days, sponsored by Carlos Santana and the Sri Chimnoy Foundation. The prize consisted of sharing the bill with Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock at a special show, and a few hours at a professional 16 track recording studio, John Altman Studios, in San Francisco. We recorded basics to Ice Logic at that session and later finished it at other professional studios. Puget Sound was the only other professionally recorded song. Basic tracks were actually recorded a couple years after the band had split up. At that time I was working in a 24 track studio and could record there in off-hours. I had really liked the piece when we were learning it, and saw an opportunity to chronicle before it was too late. For a variety of reasons, the recording went unfinished until Brian and I committed to crafting an album out of the old tapes, at which time we decided to finish Puget Sound using our current tools, which for me meant playing pedal steel guitar.

Bozon: Bruce Kaphan: Guitars, Drew Anderson: Piano & B3, Jeffrey Potter: Bass, Tim Vaughan: Drums & Percussion, Brian Schindele: Moog, Rhodes & Piano.

Guests: Ed Easton: Sax, George Marsh: Percussion, Skooter Fein: Percussion, Chuck Masten: Vocals, Bruce Bowers: Violin, Joel & Mazin: Vocals

Bozon would like to thank: Menno Marringa, Richard Crockett, Chuck Masten, Tom Meshishnek, Michele White, Liz Sizensky, Michel Schorro, Junko and Hiro

Recorded at: “the space’” (Bozon rehearsal facility), SF CA, John Altman Studios, SF CA, Dragon Studios, Redwood City CA, Music Annex, Menlo Park CA, New, Improved Recording, Emeryville CA, Niagara Falls.

Additional Editing: Niagara Falls, Fishtank, SF CA
Sonic Solutions No-Noise Processing: Ron Rigler, House of X, Novato CA

Mastering by Paul Stubblebine, SF, CA

Cover Photo: Misho, Band Photo: Vudi, Diana Photo: B Schindele, Movie Stills: Brandy Brawner

Design: Fishtank

All material © 1980 & 2010 Bozon Publishing: Inch by Inch Music/ASCAP
ⓒ ⓟ 2011 Wiggling Air Records All Rights Reserved. Made in the USA
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws

Bruce Kaphan

All content copyright © 1983 - 2016 Bruce Kaphan
all rights reserved.

Bruce Kaphan
P.O. Box 2012
Fremont, CA 94536