IS IT FECAL MATTER, ORGANIZED CONFUSION OR SOMETHING ELSE???
Ok, everyone (im sure) by now, has the tape that is circulating under the name Fecal Matter. Recently people have been talking about how it could more likely be a recording Kurt did when he was really young called Organized Confusion. On the other hand some people are just calling it a fake and saying that it doesn’t sound anything like Kurt, and that the playing style is too bad to be Kurt’s. Well, I think that it is Kurt on the tape. Why? Because of the distinct vocal styling’s of the screams. This is just my opinion, so it doesn’t really mean much. It could still be a clever fake, but until someone comes forward and admits to making it themselves, I will believe it’s him. Let’s move past the disscussion of wether or not it’s Kurt, because we wont resolve anything. If you don’t believe that it’s Kurt’s voice on the recording then you can go to another section on this website.
We only have a few reliable sources that can help us to determine what the recording is. In this section I will refer to TWO of them: 1) A article from Goldmine magazine that talks about Nirvana’s recording history 2) Come as you are.
Let’s Look at what Come as you are says about Fecal Matter:
“That winter, Kurt got together with Dale Crover on Bass and Greg Hokanson on drums and began rehearsing some of his material...... After a while, they ditched Hokanson..... The two (Cobain and Crover) began rehearsing intensivly in preparation for recoring a demo tape......”
- Ok I just want you to notice something here. It says they rehearsed “INTENSIVLY”. I don’t know if any of you write song’s but, the material on the tape we have does not sound like it has been “INTENSIVLY” practiced. It sounds like they had the ROUGH idea of the song and improvised their way through it. Any way moving on....
“...With Matt Lukin behind the wheel of the trusty blue Impala, they set out for the Seattle home of Kurt’s aunt Mary, the musicain, who had a four-track tape recorder....”
- I will interupt here too. It says they recorded it on a 4-track. I have a four-track and have came up with some pretty GREAT quality recordings. Some people claim that the “tape” we have is too badly recorded to be 4-track. But then again, they didn’t really have experience recording and the 4-track was an old model TEAC. Listen to it and decide for yourself what you think it is. Personally I think it sounds more like a Boombox.
“.. Mary was taken aback by the aggressiveness of Kurt’s vocals..... He recorded the guitars directly into the tape machine.... They recorded 7 tracks with titles like “Sound of Dentage”, “Bambi Slaughter” and “Laminated Effect”, which sounds like a cross between Nevermind’s “Stay Away” and the MTV Theme, as well as a slowed-down, instrumental version of Downer....
- Ok, Laminated Effect on our tape is definatly NOT a cross between Stay Away and the MTV theme. And I personally don’t think what is labelled as Downer on our tape sounds like Downer.
“The Fecal Matter tape contained some of the ingredients that would distinguish Kurt’s later music-mainly the ultr-heavy riffing sparked by an ear for the hook, but it also had thrashworthy tempo’s and a gnarled sense of song structure as reminiscent of the Melvins as it is of Metallica. There were not yet any strong melodies to speak of and Kurt’s vocals reange from a gruff bark to blood-curdling howl....”
- The first part of that paragraph doesn’t sound like our tape but the last sentance sort of does. I think we can be safe to say though that the tape we have is NOT the fecal matter demo. And another thing Suicide Samaurai isn’t mentioned as being on the Fecal Matter demo, it’s mentioned as being on one of the tapes that Kurt showed Steve Shillinger, and Im sure Kurt made dozens of tapes. And people now think the there isn’t even a song titled Suicide Samaurai, but the real title is Seaside Suicide. But no one knows for sure.
Now on to what is mentioned in Goldmine magazine about the Fecal Matter demo and Organized Confusion:
“In between gigs I always set up the equipment in a corner of the dining room so I could rehearse,” she explains. “Kurt was probably about 10 years old when he first started asking if he could turn on the equipment, play my guitar and sit behind the microphone. I don’t have any vivid memory of what he sounded like, but I remember him being very careful not to damage the equipment. He respected it.” As his interest in music accelerated, Cobain was given a Lindell guitar for his fourteenth birthday by his uncle, Chuck Fradenburg, who also worked as a musician.
During this period, Cobain made what may be his first recorded effort, again at Earl’s house, who had married and moved to Seattle (two hours drive from). While visiting over Christmas vacation in 1982, Cobain brought along his electric guitar, and made a tape, also using Earl’s bass, and drumming on an empty suitcase with wooden spoons.....”
- On our tape in some song’s you can hear what sounds like spoons taping on a suitcase.
“Most of what I remember about the songs was a lot of distortion on guitar, really heavy bass, and the clucky sound of the wooden spoons. And his voice, sounding like he was mumbling under a big fluffy comforter, with some passionate screams once in awhile. Musicially, it was very repetitious. He called the recording Organized Confusion.”
- This sounds alot like our tape with the vocals sounding really muffled. And very repitious.
“Cobain would continue to make home recordings on a regular basis, both before and during the Nirvana years, up to the last weeks of his life. It’s not known how much of this material has survived, or what the quality is or if tracks said to be “Kurt’s home recordings” on the innumerable bootlegs on the market are indeed what they claim to be.
“Kurt enjoyed coming up here,” Earl adds. “He always was very very careful; whenever he ran into any problems, he would always ask me,‘Aunt Mari, could you help me with this?’” But though she was a musician herself, Earl says Cobain rarely discussed the specifics of his work with her.
“As far as really sharing his music with me, and saying, ‘What do you think of this?’ or whatever, he really didn’t do that,” she says. “Kurt was very sensitive about the stuff that he wrote and he was very careful about who he let hear it. ’Cause he didn’t really like someone just poking fun at it. And being a songwriter myself, I can understand that.”
HERES WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT FECAL MATTER:
Dropping out of high school in 1985 left Cobain with even more spare time to work on music. By the end of the year, he had formed a band called Fecal Matter with Melvins drummer Dale Crover (who played bass in the band), and Greg Hokanson on drums. Hokanson only lasted a few gigs, so it was Cobain and Crover who performed on the band’s demo, recorded at Earl’s Seattle home on a four-track TEAC, with Crover on drums.
“They set up in my music room and they’d just crank it up!” Earl remembers. “It was loud. They would put down the music tracks first, then he’d put the headphones on and all you could hear was Kurt Cobain’s voice screaming through the house! It was pretty wild. My husband and I, we’d just look at each other and smile and go, ’You think we should close the window so the neighbors don’t hear? So they don’t think we’re beating him or something!’”
- From this it is safe to say that we definatly DO NOT have the Fecal Matter demo. They used real drums in the demo and on our tape there are NONE.
Ok, the tape we have now, IS NOT FECAL MATTER. I think if you read the above, you will find the same conclusion. As for Organized Confusion, it's NOT that either. I heard they played a clip of that in K&C and it did not sound like our tape. So this means that it is either a FAKE or that it is a totally DIFFERENT recording done by Kurt. I recieved an email which said the following:
"Someone releated to the band has been quoted as saying that the tape is Kurt, but they aren't sure what the tape is, when it is from, or the song names."
Im not sure how reliable that quote is, but it is definatly a step towards finding the answer. Which I am sure is that it is just an earlier recording done by Kurt.
So What Do We Call This Tape on our Bootleg Page's?
Well for sure DO NOT cal it Fecal Matter or Organized Confusion, because that would be false. Some people have been calling it the Karaoke Demo from 1982, but I don't think it should be called that either. I think a more suiting name would be this:
??/??/8? - Unknown early Kurt Demo
But you can call it whatever you want on your page, just don't call it FM or OC:)
Written by Mike L.