Produced by US composer and sound engineer Steve Peters, born 1959, this compilation gathers members of the Seattle independent music scene ca. 1982, with a special focus on vocal experiments. While he was studying art in Olympia, WA, between 1979 and 1985, Peters contributed reviews and interviews to OP Magazine, and was a radio producer on Olympia’s KAOS-FM. During the 1990s, Peters worked as producer for all ¿What Next? releases – as well as helping materialize the monumental Soundviews: Sources compilation cassette, 1990, posted earlier on the blog – and co-founded Non Sequitur, an experimental music label based in Santa Fé, New Mexico. He contributed an article to Robin James’ Cassette Mythos anthology in 1992, reporting on the Snapshot Radio broadcasts and cassette series he led with Rich Jensen, in which he asked volunteers to send their homemade cassette recordings, interviews, family and archive recordings.
♫ Regional Zeal appeared on ambient music label Palace of Light, led by Kerry Leimer in Seattle, WA, active between 1979 and 1983. Contributors include musicians from Washington State like vocalist Heidi Drucker, keyboard player Harlan Mark Vale or Steve Fisk (of Pell Mell and Pigeonhead). While some of the musicians included became professional artists later in the 1980s and in the 1990s, in 1982 they were still experimenting with their instrument and recording studio facilities, which gives this LP a wonderful exploratory atmosphere. The brief was apparently to contribute tracks based on words and vocals and the results range from sound poetry with added sound effects to multi-tracked vocal tapestries. For instance, singer and bassist Cheri Knight contributes two dense, multi-tracked vocal exercises in which she transforms the simple enunciating of monosyllabic words into a one-woman chorale, a kind of self-help mantra, so to speak, all thanks to re-recording. The duo of Steve Fisk and Steve Peters, Customer Service use a lock groove at end of side 1 to propel their obsessive sound poem into orbit. Steve Fisk reads a poem accompanying himself with a toy music box, OP Magazine editor John Foster added electronic sounds to his humming performance, while others bathed their vocal delivery in a background of sound effects.
01 Alex Stahl – Timbre Management (3:26)
02 Steve Peters – Lotta Lights T’night (6:28)
03 Steve Fisk – Generosity and Compassion (2:55)
04 Harlan Mark Vale – Good God Almighty (2:07)
05 Heidi Drucker – Getting Things Done (3:10)
06 Customer Service – Dog Eyes (3:20)
07 Cheri Knight – Primary Colors (4:23)
08 Cheri Knight – Hear/Say (3:58)
09 Steve Fisk – Donna Summer on the Radio (2:16)
10 John Foster – Academic Exercise (2:18)
11 Christopher David Kunkel – Heydiddlediddle (3:40)
12 Robin James – The View of the Moon . . . (1:40)
Total time 39:41
LP released by Palace of Light, Seattle, WA, 1982