May 8, 2012


Even after you learn to replicate the basic core of Kevin Shields’ endlessly-finessed guitar effects, you have a ways to go to unravel all the tricks in his kit. For starters, you need the aforementioned Alesis box for the “Bloom” effect on Isn’t Anything-era material (patches 47 and 49), and then any number of early-’90s Yamaha units can get you the underbelly of Loveless, the “reverse reverb” (actually “reverse gate”) that produces Shields’ signature whale yawn. This patch appears on everything from the SPX-90 to the GEP-50 and even REX-50, but throughout the 2000s people were paying ungodly money on eBay for SPX boxes, thinking it was the holy grail. These days, every vanity pedal outfit sells some variation on the circuit. In the past I’d kind of nod in appreciation and enjoy bands like the Fleeting Joys, who were able to suss out the bulk of Shields’ tricks, but today it’s so easy, I wince whenever anyone goes there. It’s one of the most beautiful sounds you can make with a guitar, but unfortunately for future shoegazers, it is also an unmistakable creative trademark. Unless it was sampled from It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, but nobody’s thought to ask Kevin, and so the similarity remains a wasted opportunity for a good interview question.

(via deactivated-shallowrewards)

  1. danhougland reblogged this from lookaghost
  2. imathers said: This might be my favourite post here yet.
  3. summeromegadeth reblogged this from thenotes and added:
    literally the only people who talk about guitar equipment more than metal dudes
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