Unearthing lost tapes for reworking
Pete Gofton, but he’s a man of many pseudonyms. In the 1990s he was Johnny X, drummer with chart-bothering Sunderland noiseniks Kenickie, a band fronted – of course – by his sister Lauren Laverne. In the 2000s, he became folktronica wizard J Xaverre. Now he’s The All Golden, and his new album ‘Pagodas’ is an utterly charming collection of teenage and 20-something four-track recordings, finally given the finishing touches. “I had a filing cabinet full of cassettes,” he explains. “It followed me across the country, through multiple house moves. A lot of them I have no memory of making, which is perfect… I always wanted to be my own cover band.”
Why The All Golden?
The name comes from a track on Van Dyke Parks’ classic 1967 album ‘Song Cycle’, and two tracks on ‘Pagodas’ are titled in honour of avant-garde classical singer Cathy Berberian. “I don’t know her music too well,” admits Pete. “I just like that she was mentioned in a Steely Dan song.” The album itself is sweetly redolent of a halcyon age for bedroom taping with trilling acoustic guitars, wobbly synths and pattering drum machines. “Being a hoarder, I still had my four-track recorder, and some of the instruments that I used on the original tapes,” he says. “I tried to retain the arrangements… four tracks maximum, with the original mistakes left in.”
Tell us more…
“I like the idea of finishing things I began decades ago,” he adds. “Not enough stuff ends nowadays. I even had an initial idea of doing something auto-destructive with the tapes themselves. I was going to wrap copies of the album in the unspooled master tapes. Probably a bit too messy and time consuming, though.”
‘Pagodas’ is out on Modern Aviation