There’s something particularly pleasing about a privately pressed record. The artist or musicians involved have wanted these recordings to exist with such conviction that they’ve been willing to fund it themselves; the result is either a vanity project or something rather special. Steve Warner’s eponymous 1979 debut falls firmly into the latter. Funded by the combination of a bank loan and a council grant from his native Australia, Steve manage to record, produce, mix and manufacture what would be come to be his only recorded output (Steve went onto teach music afterwards – imagine being in that class!). Nick Armstrong at the legendary Spectangle Studios – also where Howard Eynon recorded ‘Jam’ – was there to assist and the album was eventually managed by Tasmanian label, Candle. Running to 13 tracks, 11 of which original compositions, this album of delicate folk songs, madcap ditties and more psychedelic orchestrated pieces feels incredibly accomplished for what was basically a one man show. For fans of Dennis Wilson, Roedelius, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and Elliott Smith (yes, as far reaching as that).
“At the time I would have long dreams about music, but strangely never did I actually hear music in them. I would dream of music in a very abstract sense – it’s tension and release, it’s inner harmonies, often in a visual or graphic way like an architect might. Lines of stress and of release, tension and slackness, angles between elements, heavy and light, strength and fragility. I used to be fascinated by the grey zone between sleeping and waking, and of finding that place in music.” – Steve Warner, 2015