Hey!Tonal – Hey!Tonal (Computer Students vinyl reissue)

4 out of 5

Label: Computer Students

Produced by: Mitch Cheney, Alan Mills

A reissue of the Africantape CD, first time (I believe) on vinyl.

While not remastered, this is a fun recording to own in this format – the mix of Storm & Stress style percussion and Don Cab guitar pluckings plus electronic manipulations sounds great on wax, and separating into two 45 RPM LPs adds a bit of forced patience in listening to the material – physically getting up to flip the vinyl over, or at the very least a pause between sides – which it deserves; I found myself appreciating this even more than I did the first go-around.

Computer Students have quickly proven to be pretty slick from a design sensibility, besides maintaining great aural fidelity on their rereleases, and Hey!Tonal is no different, striking a balance between maintaining the original packaging and adding some flair on the inside of the gatefold, the LP labels, and a huge-ass foldout poster. The only knock here is that the opposite side of that poster features liner notes from (I think?) co-producer Mitch Cheney, which are great! …Except the layout chosen was unlined, unbroken handwritten-style text that stretches across the entire length of that poster, which is not convenient to read. Keep it folded up like a newspaper and it’s manageable, but good luck keeping track of what line you’re on. From a design perspective, sure, it’s fitting, but I do actually want to be able to digest this stuff…

Anyhow, definitely not a deal-breaker, and worth the double-dip to re-experience this newly; and if you can only own one format, I’d go with this one.