Like a photographic snapshot, Direction documents an era of the mid-nineties Illinois / Wisconsin / Midwest scene when everyone played in someone else's band. The compilation became a turning point for Polyvinyl, literally and symbolically representing the new path the label was beginning to travel.
Album highlights include:
Rainer Maria's debut song “Sooyoung” (named after Bitch Magnet and Seam founder, Sooyoung Park).
Hubcap features Jay Ryan, who briefly served as bassist for Braid and later formed Dianogah. Ryan is now an accomplished concert poster artist/screenprinter.
Braid contributed “I’m Glowing and You’re the Reason."
Mary Me was Todd Bell and Roy Ewing from Braid.
Fracture was Adam Goren who became Atom & His Package and co-founded the File 13 label with AM/FM’s Brian Sokel and Aspera Ad Astra’s Matt Werth.
Ezra Pound was Kaia Fischer and Bill Kuehn from Rainer Maria and Matt Tennessen from Pele and Paris, Texas.
Corm members would form Q and Not U.
Mariner Nine’s Brian McTear would go on to record matt pond PA and become Bitter, Bitter Weeks.
The compilation also includes San Diego’s highly influential Boilermaker and a rare Gainer recording done by Bob Weston.
The Orwell track (available only on the CD and digitally) features Bob Nanna of Braid.
Direction marked the final issue (there were five) of Polyvinyl Press Fanzine. The original CD was packaged in a flat cover resembling a mini-LP jacket and was placed in a slipcase with the 24-page fanzine. When the zines ran out, a jewel case was designed for the CD.
Making CDs is predictable. You send a master off to the duplication plant and wait for thousands of shiny, identical discs to arrive.
Vinyl is a very different beast. Making a record is an intricate process that starts with the creation of a master lacquer, which is then plated in metal and used to make a negative version of the record, called a stamper, that serves as the basis for mass production.
During this chain of events something can always go wrong --- causing pops, skips, crackles or distortion. You name it, we've heard it many times over.
Which brings us to test pressings, a very necessary part of the vinyl production process that helps catch these sorts of problems before all of the records are manufactured.
By their very nature, test pressings are rare and unique. They're the first taste we receive of each album on vinyl and only a small number are ever made, making them sought after by fans and collectors.
In fact, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive year after year is "Hey fine folks at PV, do you have any test pressings for sale?"
The sad truth is, after a few test pressings are given to PV bands as keepsakes, the remaining copies just sit on a shelf in the dark recesses of our office.
And so, we've decided to give you this opportunity to own a special piece of a treasured album. Enjoy!