Airlift takes the chorus of False Alarm from 1980 and opens it up, lets the air flow. It’s a decompressing experience, from diving bell to high-altitude glider, you might say.
Our second album Ultramarine was recorded exactly a year after the first. By the time they were recorded these songs were well honed and rehearsed, and the sessions advanced like a military operation, this time with the excellent John Fryer at the controls.
Stripe kicks off the proceedings, a personal fave of mine with its cool Jo Forty riff and eerie guitar from Mick Linehan. Another tale of social chaos, it’s interesting to observe the differing tone between this and the previous album’s opener Come Home. Where that song was filled with foreboding, Stripe almost seems to welcome the disorder. A year of Thatcher’s societal destruction and warmongering had evidently inoculated us to the fear.
It took more than a year for Ultramarine to be released, by which time we’d recorded another album without even knowing it. Almost universally ignored, I don’t remember or have a record of any review, except for a single bad one dutifully trotted out by the NME, in which Jane Solonas tried to do for us what her Auntie Valerie did to Andy Warhol. “The Lines sound drunk as well as stoned” she primly objected. To which I can only offer my best Big Lebowski staredown: “…yeah…so?”
In 1982 after completing the second album by my band The Lines I began engineering in a small electronic music suite called Guerilla Studio (pictured above circa 1984). The studio had been put together by my friends (and colleagues to this day) William Orbit and Laurie Mayer, who had started a band called Torch Song.
At first a modest 8-track, after the band got their record deal a bunch of high-end gear was leased and the 24-track Guerilla Studio was born. With the equipment upgrade a new class of clientele began to frequent the studio.