Color with Crayons

Denny Carleton

Experimental. Avante Garde Lo Fi sound collage.

Denny carleton has been a long lasting figure in The Cleveland Ohio USA music scene. In 1983, Greenlight( his record company) released it's first tape, Dennis's "In With The Out Takes". This was followed in 1984 by the unreleased Lost Souls' recording sessions. Both cassettes were well received locally, and distributed by Important Records out of N.Y., when L.A.'s Option magazine, and Gorilla Beat from West Germany reviewed both tapes favorably. After being reviewed by these international magazines, Dennis was contacted by many musicians and artists throughout the world who were interested in experimental music. Dennis decided to record his own experimental tape, "Color with Crayons", which Richie Unterberger of Option Magazine called "the cutting edge of rock" in the 80's and voted it as his #1 favourite tape of the year, in 1985. Between 1983 and 1990, Dennis released 9 solo cassettes and established himself as a well known home taper in the Alternative underground music scene. His music was played on over 300 College and Public Radio stations, including WFMU in New Jersey, and CKLN in Toronto, Ontario. CKLN in Toronto and WAIF in Cincinnatti, Ohio both did two hour programs on Dennis's home tapes and sixties music.

Rictchie Unterberger review of Color with Crayons 1985

A suite of an hour or so of song fragments that flit in and out of hearing like snatches of a dream, woven together and embellished with odd reverb and sound effects. Most mainstream (and some underground) listeners will not be able to get past the sometimes primitive sound quality, especially some of the earliest parts of the piece, recorded with a thin and especially cheesy Casio. The sound quality does get better over much of the rest of the tape, and more importantly, it's an inspired work. The guitar-driven passages can be as catchy as the best power-pop, and are sung with an exuberant compassion; the experimental treatments and segues make the fragments add up to something more interesting and intriguing than they would have sounded if they were simply fleshed out into an album of normal pop tunes. If only the production and editing were better, this would be one of the most interesting overlooked albums of the '80s. As it is, it's still plenty engaging, if not that easy to find, with a personal auteurish quality that rarely makes it onto more professional-minded releases. -- Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide1985CSGreen Light

COLOR WITH CRAYONS review Gorilla beat germany 1985 Color with Crayons is Dennis's solo project of unfinished songs, recorded at his home studio .Most of the songs only feature Dennis's voice as well as a rythym machine and a synth .At first it all sounded very strange to me, as I used to know Dennis from his powerful guitar sounds, but after listening to the tape for several times I found an astonishing freshness and creativity in these songs.there is no exxagerated production that falsifies the original recordings. This tape is for people who like to hear avante garde sounds and who got tired of listening to what's available in your record stores.

NOTE - What I was trying to do with color with crayons was a few things. Richie was right when he said that I was showing the development of a song. He saw what I was trying to do. I also thought that these little song fragments that I put together in a collage were really interesting little bits that in themselves would be forever lost. I was releasing my bootleg tapes before I made it because I thought it was interesting idea. I also thought that by putting a tape out like this I would be going down a creative path rather than a commercial one.Many bands I had seenseemed to follow up there first succcesfull release with a carbon copy or clone of their first succesful tape,I had just been reviewed all over the world and I decide to follow up my first tape color with crayons with something do different that it would force me down and a creative path rather than commercial one. Another reason tjis tape came out is because of my motheer .she always taught me to make due with what you have,If you have some left overs don't waste them put them together and make some exotric stew.I had a lot of tapes with flwas but had interesting parts so I through them all together In 1985 I put out A newsletter talking about my releases on green light records.The way I described color With Crayons was like this: When we were children if we wanted to color the horse blue , or if we want to color outside the lines we did it. As adults we become regimented and we begin to conform and lose our creativity.This tape is dedicated to the childrens creativity.

Color With Crayons Review -Canadian review "Oh wow! SCTV here comes Tex and Edna's Emporium again. Or-gan, Oregon. Not for the ordinary. Egg salad goes nicely with salt crackers. Echoes in my head. More art, less music. Innovative, funny says the Banff Herald. Jump in your car and go and see it. Don't be shy if it hurts. Woeful, yet fluffy. Slick production in the end. Explores many genres in one tape and all it takes is a supreme lack of conventionality." Best Pick

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