In the Middle of Words

  •   1. Amen – Yeah or or (5:58)

  •   2. Little Julius (3:23)

  •   3. Telephone (3:26)

  •   4. In the Middle of Words (9:00)

  •   5. Child (4:02)

  •   6. Rubber tree (5:56)

  •   7. Neighborly (3:22)

  •   8. Sopot (4:32)

  •   9. New Progress Regulations (4:12)

  • 10. Mack Madoo (3:49)

  • 11. Shantrooczech (1:36)

  • 12. Glam Leather (2:21)

Original czech text translated by Google Translate

The album Utřed slov was recorded in 1990 in Zdenek Rytíř’s studio in Řevnice. It was already the band’s umpteenth experience with a studio, but never on such a scale. At the time of recording, most of the band had already left their civilian jobs, so there was plenty of time for experimentation. In May 1990, when the album was recorded, it was not yet common to use a computer, nor was a sequencer, at least for UJD, an available and common tool. Zdeněk rytíř, although otherwise he did not intervene or participate in the recording, arranged for the creation of metronome tracks – precisely with the help of a sequencer or so-called drum machine – and for this purpose the band had to provide him with the tempo and metric progression of all the songs.

There was no problem with the metric course (i.e. the sequence of measures), but determining the correct tempos, their changes and, above all, estimating the various accelerations and decelerations, was a real pain. „Thanks“ to that, there were many hot moments during the recording, when the musician barely played the relevant passage at a wrongly estimated tempo. The band only had a sound engineer used to recording and mixing pop, and he was also apparently used to having a music director sitting at the recording desk. In any case, he left the band a completely free hand and did not correct them in any way even in obvious missteps or broken necks. However, the band enjoyed it to the fullest, especially at the mixer, where the instruments flew from left to right and back again in stereo, the vocals as well, and the „invention“ was endless.

As a guest, the band invited Slávek Neuhoffer from Teplice, who played in the group aku Aku, on the violin. He was invited mainly for one passage in the song Neighbor, but while he was there, he also played in Amen and Telefon. The second guest was Petr Háj, it is hard to say today where he came from, if someone from UJD knew him or if he was recommended. His transverse flute appeared in the interlude of the song Juleček. This passage is connected to a slightly later incident, when the film Teplice on a Plate was filmed in Teplice in the so-called Green barracks. It was a regular concert, but as part of that concert, the filmmakers asked us to play one song for playback. It was the song Juleček and the recording was the one from Řevnice. When the flute passage came, no one knew what to do with it. Finally, Wanek pursed his lips and „whistled“ the whole flute for playback.

The last guest was Jaroslav Cvachovec, on bagpipes. He was tasked with playing only two notes in the second half of the song Sopot, always on an even beat. Although Cvachovec was certainly an experienced musician, for some reason he was unable to hit the even bars and consistently played the odd ones. Today it wouldn’t be a problem, it would slide on the computer and it would be. But at that time it had to be quite laborious to get from one track of the tape recorder to another through the second tape recorder, which had to be started manually at the exact moment one measure later and thus turn the odd starts into even ones. The bagpiper didn’t give it. However, musicians of all qualities have such jams. Just a stupid day.

The cover of the In the Middle of Words record is de facto the first work of Martin Velíšek. With this packaging, he also established the basic „trademark“ of the UJD, i.e. the symbol of a house with a dog inside and, above all, the color yellow. These two hallmarks still apply to the band today, and apart from the specific style of music, they make UJD instantly recognizable. Also, the motif of the gallows and the deer appeared many more times later. And one more detail – the chimney must be at right angles to the roof, as the children determined. There was one more person in the studio with the band, namely their first manager František Wanke. He was involved in discussions both during recording and mixing, and thus has some producer input on this record, although at the time neither he nor the band had any idea what that word meant.

At that time, the publishing house Aske Globus International, owned by Karel „Kocour“ Havelka from Vienna, undertook the release of only LPs. It was the first serious offer for a big record after the EP Rock debut in Panton, which by the way probably came in December 1989 in a very excited and completely intoxicating atmosphere of suddenly acquired freedom.

The selection of songs was relatively simple. Already at home, we decided to proceed chronologically, so with the exception of the song Jazz 1960, all the songs from the so-called early period, which could be called „pre-Waneki“, were included on the record, and at the same time, it was crowned with the extensive title track Udřet slov, which showed the path where the UJD will go in the future. The selection was also limited by the vinyl record and its technical possibilities. It was an unwritten tradition that the recording should not exceed 40-44 minutes. That was also the reason why Jazz 1960 didn’t get there.

The record caught We’re already at home in a line-up that had not yet been experienced in any way at that time. Drummer Pavel Pavlíček had only been playing with the band for less than a year at that time, and Miroslav Wanek’s almost six-month absence from November 1989 to April 1990, when he was dedicated to his role as the spokesperson of the civic forum for the Teplice district, must also be taken into account. There were still two wind instruments in the band at that time – tenor saxophone Jindra Dolanský and alto saxophone Alice Kalousková (today Flesarová). Pavel Keřka, who has been playing for a long time, played the bass guitar and reinforced the singing parts no less. The guitars were played by two former members of FPB – Miroslav Wanek and Romek Hanzlík (together with Keřka, actually three members of FPB). When Wanek sang the song Juleček, the sound engineer stared wide-eyed into the glass and, after the second or third attempt, called for a break because he believed that Wanek would lose his vocal cords. But Dolanský reassured him: „Don’t worry, the more times he sings it, the better it gets, basically he’s warming up his vocal cords with that roar.“

When the record was made, the members couldn’t wait for it to be pressed, the record disappeared from their hands for about three weeks and no one knew how it would turn out. There were rumors that in Loděnice they cut, flatten and otherwise crush the recordings, but on the day František Wanke brought the first box home, where everyone else was waiting for him, all fears were dispelled and the black disc was almost religiously placed under the needle. Wanek later stated, „We played that record over and over and couldn’t get enough of it, even took a few more out of their cases and played them as if there was something else on them. It felt perfect and we were very happy. No other record has evoked such an intense feeling of dream come true“.

The record saw several other releases:

More info about this album on Discogs.