Advice to Users  Tantrum

Advice to Users

(2005) Tantrum

Download free 128kbps mp3s here:

Maisie's Friend Tantrum

Maisie’s Friend

(1995 cass, 1999 CD) Tantrum

Download free 128kbps mp3s here:

Buy mp3s or album downloads from itunes Buy mp3s or album downloads from amazon Buy this music on last fm Buy this music on cdbaby Buy mp3s or album downloads from itunes Buy mp3s or album downloads from amazon Buy this music on last fm Buy this music on cdbaby

Latest Album: Advice to Users, released February 2005

The full title is: Advice to Users of Life: work less, earn less, spend less and do more.

First Album: Maisie’s Friend, released November 1999

Again recorded at home, mainly in Stockbridge Edinburgh in six months in 1995. Recorded on 8 track and 4 track. In its original cassestte/demo form created a bit of a stir getting some very favourable reviews and catching the eyes of all sorts of business types. Which led to us trying to play it live which was a bit of a disaster.

In 1999 we re-released it as a cd.

Who are tantrum?

tantrum were formed in 1995 and recorded the album ‘maisie’s friend’ that summer. The album was released on cassette in november 1995 and on cd in 1999 after re-mastering it. Work begun on the second album in the autumn of 1995 but it took four years to build a working studio. After recording FAKE TAN’s first album ‘Snippets’ in 1999 and 2000 tantrum started work again on the second album in 2001: ‘Advice to users’ released in 2005. From 2005 to 2007 they worked on the second FAKE TAN album ‘Pieces’ which we hope to release in 2007. Work has begun on a third tantrum album.

tantrum are Nikki Grant and Tom Fraser on guitars, bass, vocals, drums, samples and produce the music. Additional sounds and production (on maisie’s friend) have come from Mike Wheeler (Tinkerbell’s Dope Ring, Gasgiant, Sativa Drummers, Alice Schwindel, AngeloD) and Arthur Finlay (Tinkerbell’s Dope Ring, Realm of the Shoppingtrolley, Blab).

Musically its sort of hot rock ambient lofi guitar music, sometimes with vocals, sometimes not, with quite a lot of other recorded sounds from tv, radio, out the window and stuff. The sound is guitars, basses, drums (sampled and programed), vocals, and lots of effects.

We did play lave for 2 horrific years, 96-98, whcih pretty well put paid to nikki ever singing again. Though she does but very rarely to record a particular song. But it can take a year or two per song.

Recording Maisie’s Friend

Recording  Maisie's Friend In flat in  Stockbridge Edinburgh Autumn 1995

Recording Maisie's Friend In flat in Stockbridge Edinburgh Autumn 1995

all the songs apart from tantrum egg and blue velveteen were recorded many times on 4-track before we started on the 8-track (skunk, for instance, was on version 14). Some of them were begun 10 years before.

we borrowed a Fostex A8 8-track reel to reel tape machine and we striped track 8 of each tape with time code (except the filmsongs and blue velveteen), and recorded a mono guide track of the drums for each song, and then began recording.

just about everything went through some of the pedals at some point. the pedal order changed whenever we felt like it. lots of sounds came from anywhere around the flat: tv, radio, cds, sticking microphone’s out the window, and were recorded onto 4-track and mixed down either onto 8-track or or at the final mix.

a few of the tracks were restriped and drummed when we thought the speeds were wrong.

so we recorded everything, usually, eventually, recording over the guide drums as well – depending on how strapped for space we were – and then left the tapes alone for a month.

after that we listened to them and re-recorded most of the songs in some way or another

we hired a dat machine for two days and mixed three versions of each song, spent a week deciding on which version, and about a month on the order. two songs: ‘wrestler’ and ‘salome and the new lads’ were thought too out of character to go on.

from borrowing the 8-track to having a finished tape of 8 songs took 5 months and were recorded in our flat (sitting room and kitchen) in raeburn place in stockbridge, edinburgh.

Equipment List


  • Fostex A8 reel-to-reel 8-track (b)
  • Boss 6-track mixer (b)
  • Pocket midi sync(?)(b, m)
  • Fostex X-30 4-track
  • 1/4 inch tape (s/h, b)
  • Atari 1040 (b, m)
  • big fostex 4-track(b, m)
  • DAT machine (hired)


  • Hopf (?) Troupadour guitar (b)
  • Westone thunder 1 bass (b)
  • Shure 58 Microphone
  • Roland Drumatix (b)
  • Alesis SR 16
  • TV, radio, video
  • in the flat. out the window


  • Yamaha DD1 digital delay pedal
  • Sans-amp pedal
  • Cry-baby wah pedal
  • Korg stereo chorus pedal
  • Guyatone Flanger pedal
  • yellow phaser pedal(?)(b)
  • Vox AC30 Amp & tremolo
  • Scamp compressor (b)
  • Quadraverb (b, m)

b = borrowed,   m = used at final mix and/or striping tape for timecode and guide drums. S/h – Everything is second hand, but especially the tape, apart from the Fostex X-30 4-track and the Shure 58 Microphone.

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NEW MP3 No 101: Boris Boogaloo – Black Haired Girl

NEW MP3 No 101: Boris Boogaloo – Black Haired Girl

10th October 2014

Black Haired Girl (70) Now i can’t say for sure but to me this sounds like its freeform, he’s making it up as he goes along (is that what freeform means (as in now we are not about to do a 2 hour freeform jazz odyssey), freestyle, scatting?? who knows. I do it a lot, its a great way to get ideas as you have no idea whats going to come next.

as for whats about to happen next its been a hellish week but on the other hand a lovely week.

For instance: i stumbled across this at The Howff – a lovely piece written about tantrum, fake tan and boris and blab.

and though its lovely to hear nice things about your self, its really great to hear that people like boris and blab as they are both fantastic. he also says nice things about Gasgiant but disguises them as a slight negative – i mean really ‘if you like Sigur Ros’ – its like saying … no cant do it,its like saying you’re like sigur ros what could possibly be wrong about that (ok there is an argument for post first 3 albums etc..) but still.

Talking about first 3 albums, i read somewhere that Spritualized ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space was them at their peak – how wrong can you be?! laser guided melodies and pure phase were the biggest influence (for me anyway, though sadly no one ever picked up on it and banged on about cocteaus..) for tantrum, brilliant wonderful albums. but as soon as you bring in a gospel choir you know budget has got in the way of ideas.

Howff wrote a book about edinburgh bands and its fascinating. so many almost made it bands set against a changing edinburgh from the 50s/60s to 2010. and we get a mention – which is, i dont know, an honour? weird? to get included friends will say i’m not from edinburgh – tough its printed! still

and on it goes.. to tinkerbells dope ring. the song angel on the lose got included in a list / mix tape of on a site called: http://www.positivenoisemusic.com/, though the mix tape is here.

thats a list to be included in? and what a dreadful sound our recording is in comparison, jesus. generous i’d say.

thanks so much to these folk who have gone out of their way to include and mention our funny floppy bands. its really kind of you. thank you.

i should have spread this out over more posts i know, better for SEO etc.. but time takes a cigarette around here.

Sold album on Bandcamp!

9th May 2012

i had sort of forgotten that we also had albums on  bandcamp. To be honest i seem to be selling  them cheaper there than here. Actually – thats not true. Just goes to show ho wlittle i look at these things. it seems i have them as Name Your Price. So this person bought Maisie’s Friend for 50p.  Which is jolly good of them, thank you  very much.

I think thats our first sale on  bandcamp.

On  a completely unrelated point though also today:  yesterday i read this article: How Intellectual Property Destroyed Men’s Shaving which admittedly i first heard about on  Techdirt (of course). And its something  that has bugged me for many years – the pointlessness of ever increasing  numbers of blades. So, i had been thinking  of buying  a Safety Razor (which may be a misnomer, judging  by my father’s occassionally bog-roll covered face), and now i’ve done it. Bought yesterday – arrived today. Which was a mistake, i always lick on  Free Delivery on  amazon, but somehow in  the excitement failed to that time. Anyway – it arrived to day!

Tonight, for i am an evening  shaver, i will shave with a Safety Razor.

just added tantrum maisie’s friend to paid downloads

30th March 2012

just added tantrum maisie’s friend to paid downloads. £1.25 for the album in  the file format of your choice (between aac, 320kbs MP3, and 499kbps OGG) at pretty high quality. also with a text file of notes and 2 sizes of album cover.

Paypal get 25p the band gets £1.

You  can buy it here: