Blog Archives

Alan Licht: March 4, 2016 Saint Vitus

March 16, 2016
By

Alan Licht
[photos by PSquared Photography]

Since 2011, Alan Licht has been playing guitar in Lee Ranaldo’s backing band, The Dust. For someone normally associated with the downtown No Wave and Minimalist set, The Dust has been an outlet for Licht to play song-oriented guitar rock. His recent album, Currents, splits the difference between experimental and rock music, blending minimalist and melodic solo guitar work into one of the most compelling solo-guitar records of the last few years.

Last week at Saint Vitus, opening for Rangda (that recording here), Licht devoted most of his set to tracks off Currents, adding a special cover that he has only recently begun playing solo. Openers “Riding on the S’s” and “First Love, Haleema” recall Licht’s guitar work with The Dust, and accomplish what even the most seasoned guitar players have difficulty doing: creating a narrative without words. Those tracks are followed by “Raw Deal” and the album-closer, “(Thems the) Breaks,” which despite their titles manage not to sound like downers.

For his closing piece, Licht looks back to his performance at the 2004 No Fun Fest (where he and band were billed as Alan Licht’s 1970), for a fifteen-minute explorative composition based on The Stooges’ “1970.” What begins as an earnest cover with that most-recognizable riff, wanders into a thematic meditation on that tune before returning back to the original. While I normally expect some audience chatter to seep in to a solo guitar set, in this recording you can almost feel the crowd’s collective breath held for the length of Licht’s set. The performance of this Stooges—and Licht—classic tops off an already excellent set.

I recorded this set from our usual location at Saint Vitus, the room mics combined with a board feed from FOH Nick. I mixed those two sources, favoring the room sound. The quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Alan Licht

Alan Licht
2016-03-04
Saint Vitus
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Nick) + AKG C480B/CK61 (PAS) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [35:57]
01. Riding on the S’s
02. First Love, Haleema
03. [banter]
04. Raw Deal
05. (Thems the) Breaks
06. 1970 [The Stooges]

Support Alan Licht: Buy Currents via VDSQ

Sunwatchers: March 6, 2016 Palisades & March 11, 2016 The Studio at Webster Hall

March 13, 2016
By

Sunwatchers

Sunwatchers’ self-titled debut record was unleashed on unsuspecting turntables everywhere last week, via Castle Face Records. In celebration, the band embarked on a short tour bookended by two hometown shows: March 6th at Palisades for a late night vegan chili- and alcohol-fueled set, then March 11th opening for Yonatan Gat at the Studio at Webster Hall. We caught up with Sunwatchers for both.

The Palisades recording captures the band playing to an audience of friends and family who know what to expect from their jazz-psych excursions. Most of the record’s cuts are represented here, with a couple non-album additions: “There Are Weapons You Can Take to School” and “New Dad Blues.” For the raucous denouement of “Ape Phases” and “Moonchanges,” Sunwatchers are joined by Sam Kulik on trombone and Jesse DeRosa on trumpet to round out the brass section.

Meanwhile, their Studio at Webster Hall set finds the band among an audience who may not know Sunwatchers yet; but opening for Yonatan Gat, the open-minded had their minds opened indeed. For the shorter opening slot, Sunwatchers pared down to the essentials with album-opener “Heard of Creeps,” “For Sonny,” and “Moonchanges,” plus newcomer to their repertoire, “New Dad Blues.”

I recorded the Palisades set from the stage lip, combined with a board feed from Palisades FOH, Ariel, while Acidjack recording the Studio at Webster Hall set from our usual location at the soundboard with a board feed from the Studio’s FOH, John. The recordings each sound fantastic, presenting different shades of Sunwatchers—I highly recommend both.

Sunwatchers will be back in Brooklyn on March 22, at The Living Gallery. More info here.

Download the Palisades show at the Live Music Archive

Download the Studio at Webster Hall show at the Live Music Archive

Stream the Palisades show:

Stream the Studio at Webster Hall show:

Sunwatchers

Sunwatchers
2016-03-06
Palisades
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Ariel) + AKG C480B/CK61 (stage lip) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, balance, compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [59:17]
01. [Intro]
02. Herd of Creeps
03. [banter]
04. For Sonny
05. [banter]
06. There Are Weapons You Can Bring to School
07. [tech break]
08. New Dad Blues
09. [banter]
10. White Woman
11. [banter]
12. Ape Phases
13. [banter]
14. Moonchanges


Sunwatchers
2016-03-11
Studio at Webster Hall
New York, NY  USA

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41V (at SBD, DFC, PAS) + Soundboard (engineer: John)>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mix down, adjust balance of SBD, adjust levels)>Izotope Ozone 5 (effects, EQ)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks
01 Herd of Creeps
02 For Sonny
03 [banter]
04 New Dad Blues
05 Moonchanges

Support Sunwatchers: Facebook | Bandcamp | Buy Sunwatchers via Castle Face

Rangda: March 4, 2016 Saint Vitus

March 8, 2016
By

Rangda
[photos by PSquared Photography]

When the first Rangda record, False Flag, arrived in 2010, it was a transmission out of the multiverse—from an alternate reality where Corsano, Bishop, and Chasny wielded their instruments for evil instead of good. The roaring cacophonies bore titles like “Waldorf Hysteria,” “Bull Lore,” “Fist Family,” “Sarcophagi,” and “Serrated Edges” (to literally list in order the first five of the six songs on that record), ensuring that Rangda was not for the psych-tourist or those with pacemakers. At the time, who knew if these three could sustain this cosmic energy, or even find overlap in three busy touring schedules to make Rangda more than a one-off supergroup.

Two albums later, even if they aren’t the most prolific band out there, Rangda is sticking around. 2012’s Formerly Extinct softened their approach only slightly, trading in the instrumental clash for interlocking rhythms and something resembling rock songs. Their latest, The Heretics Bargain, continues on that trajectory, making Rangda downright palatable. Songs like “The Sin Eaters” and “Spiro Agnew” sound upbeat, anthemic even. But if the album itself isn’t proof Rangda is drawing the newly-initiated, last week saw the band play their largest yet NYC venue and crowd, with a set focused most-heavily on Formerly Extinct and the new material.

False Flag is here represented by the sole “Bull Lore.”  Formerly Extinct by “Majnun,” “Silver Nile,” “Idol’s Eye,” “The Vault,” and “Plugged Nickel.”  From The Heretic’s Bargain, it’s “The Sin Eaters,” “To Melt the Moon,” “Spiro Agnew,” and the song nearly as long as its title, “Mondays Are Free at the Hermetic Museum.” For opening night of their tour, the band is on fire. I can only imagine the many realities ahead.

Rangda may be coming to your very hometown! Full tour dates over at Drag City.

I recorded this set from our usual location at Saint Vitus, the room mics combined with a board feed from FOH Nick. I mixed those two sources, favoring the room sound. The quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Rangda

Rangda
2016-03-04
Saint Vitus
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Nick) + AKG C480B/CK61 > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, exciter) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [56:36]
01. Majnun
02. The Sin Eaters
03. Bull Lore
04. [tuning]
05. To Melt the Moon
06. Silver Nile
07. [tuning]
08. Idol’s Eye
09. Spiro Agnew
10. [tuning]
11. The Vault
12. [tuning]
13. Plugged Nickel
14. [tuning]
15. Mondays Are Free at the Hermetic Museum

Support Rangda: Buy The Heretic’s Bargain and other records from Drag City

Mary Lattimore and Dave Mies: February 7, 2016 Trans-Pecos

February 24, 2016
By

Mary Lattimore and Dave Mies

I might’ve had one of the quietest ever Super Bowl Sundays this year, having spent the afternoon at Trans-Pecos for a bill featuring a Matt Valentine solo set, another solo set from Samara Lubelski, and a duo set from experimental harpist Mary Lattimore and Dave Mies, one-half of Tall Firs. For a self-described “depressy guy,” Mies’s songs aren’t nearly the downers the lyrics might suggest. Instead, his overpowering-yet-delicate vocals and quietly strummed guitar produce songs that you feel you could wrap yourself in like blankets. Paired with Lattimore’s harp, the two instruments form a dialog that belies the isolation of the lyrics. Besides a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Nothin'” and the Tall Firs tune “Winter Wind” (off last year’s excellent Ghostlight Ensemble), the set is a batch of entirely new songs that will nonetheless sound pretty familiar if you’ve been following along with Tall Firs. One can only hope they’ll see release soon in some form, whether as a Tall Firs record or something else entirely. In the meantime, there’s still some winter left for you to get warm and depressy with this recording.

I recorded this set from the stage lip at Trans-Pecos, with the mics also picking up the vocals from the monitors. As usual for a quiet set like this there’s some ambient noise, but nothing too distracting. Overall the sound is excellent. Enjoy!

Mary Lattimore will be back at Trans-Pecos on March 4 for a record release show. All upcoming dates are here.

Stream and Download via Bandcamp:

Mary Lattimore and Dave Mies
2016-02-07
Trans-Pecos
Queens, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

AKG C480B/CK61 (stage lip) > Roland R-26 > WAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (limiter, compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [26:09]
01. [Intro]
02. Not My Friend
03. 69
04. Nothin’ [Townes Van Zandt]
05. 55 Watts
06. Winter Wind
07. [banter]
08. Scratch
09. [banter/tuning]
10. I Give Up

Support Tall Firs: Facebook | Website | Buy Ghostlight Ensemble via Amazon

Support Mary Lattimore: Website | Buy Luciferin Light via Bandcamp | Buy Slant of Light (with Jeff Zeigler) via Thrill Jockey

SAVAK: January 22, 2016 Union Pool

February 17, 2016
By

SAVAK

It was sad news last year when Obits announced their dissolution. Fortunately we were there for their second-to-last NYC performance, at Brooklyn Night Bazaar back in November 2014. It goes without saying that Obits will be missed. However, Obits alums Sohrab Habibion (also ex-Edsel) and Greg Simpson weren’t quiet for very long. Only a month after that announcement, Habibion and Simpson debuted their new band, SAVAK, having recruited a veritable who’s-who of nineties and aughts indie rock: Michael Jaworski (The Cops, Virgin Islands); James Canty (The Make-Up, Nation of Ulysses); and Matt Schulz (Enon, Holy Fuck); plus Greg Vegas (Hat City Intuitive, Monsterland) guesting on saxophone. SAVAK recently completed the recording of Best of Luck in Future Endeavors, which will be released on Comedy Minus One in late May. I conned my way into a sneak preview of the mastered album—why else tape shows if not for the graft?—and I assure you, this one’s a keeper.

In anticipation of the upcoming record, we made it out for a snowy evening with SAVAK at Union Pool where we were treated to a performance of much of the Best of Luck in Future Endeavors, plus a cover of MDC’s “I Remember.” If I were to make comparisons I’d feel pretty confident making the obvious one to Sohrab Habibion’s classic nineties band Edsel. Additionally, SAVAK channels I.R.S.-era R.E.M., especially on the standout track “Reaction.” The rest of the set will have you shaking in your desk chair in no time, so let this tide you over until the album release.

SAVAK’s next scheduled show is at the Bell House on May 11, with Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkeybirds. Tickets are on sale.

I recorded this set from our usual location at Union Pool, the room mics combined with a board feed from FOH Robert. I mixed those down and then Sohrab provided some additional mastering. The results are excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

SAVAK
2016-01-22
Union Pool
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH
Mastered by Sohrab Habibion

Soundboard (engineer: Robert) + AKG C480B/CK61 > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, balance, compression, mixdown, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Mastering > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [37:27]
01. Split Decision
02. Alive in Shadows
03. They Are Bones
04. Reaction
05. This Currency Exchanged
06. Elapsed Remaining
07. Drop the Pieces
08. Sick of War
09. Early Western Traders
10. Call It a Night
11. I Remember [MDC]

Support SAVAK: Website | Facebook | Comedy Minus One

Matt Valentine: February 7, 2016 Trans-Pecos

February 9, 2016
By

Matt Valentine

This past Sunday, those of us with little interest in the big game joined Matt Valentine for an afternoon of warbly space-psych at Trans-Pecos. Valentine is perhaps best known as one-half of MV/EE with partner Erika Elder, but lately he’s been dropping some heavy solo outings, most notably last year’s excellent double-LP, Midden Mound. (Though I’ll note that MV’s solo career hasn’t slowed the duo down at all—last year also saw the release of two killer companion MV/EE joints, Alpine Frequency and Alpine Tenement.) But back at Trans-Pecos, Valentine treated us to a set culled mostly from Midden Mound with a couple exceptions. “Anji Variations” is Valentine’s take on the Davy Graham/Bert Jansch song “Angie.” That one’s a b-side from the “Before It’s Gone” single. “Ave B” is a Tower Recordings song from way back when, and if you’re a long-time New Yorker you’ll appreciate his story about playing the Mercury Lounge on a Super Bowl Sunday bill with Chavez. Speaking of way back when, I’ll use this opportunity to mention that it was this very room in which I first saw MV/EE perform, back when bands played in the kitchen of the old Silent Barn. It was a pummeling show, with Valentine and Elder joined by Mick Flower and Chris Corsano (later collected on No Floor Tour). And while this solo set from MV is something of a quieter sort, and performed on a stage instead of a kitchen floor, the spirit of the music is the same.

I recorded this set from the stage lip combined with a board feed from Trans-Pecos FOH, Ned. The results are excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Matt Valentine
2016-02-07
Trans-Pecos
Queens, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Ned) + AKG C480B/CK61 (stage lip) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, balance, compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [47:48]
01. Freeware
02. [banter]
03. Jeremiah Red
04. Virtual
05. [banter]
06. Ave B
07. [banter]
08. Anji Variations
09. [banter]
10. Shine a Ton > Black Sun > Shine a Ton

Support Matt Valentine: Facebook | Buy MV/EE and MV solo records from their blog

Dan Friel: January 9, 2016 Palisades

January 28, 2016
By

Dan Friel
[photo by Rocketman]

Sure, you can call Dan Friel an electronic musician and you wouldn’t be wrong. But to do so would be to describe his instrumentation and the way he makes music, rather than to describe the actual music he makes. Friel got his start with Parts & Labor, a band that epitomized the late 2000s era of Brooklyn indie and noise rock, and his solo work sounds more like a continuation of that aesthetic than a departure from it, even if he is dispensing with the more traditional rock instrumentation. That’s all to say that if you’re a fan of Parts & Labor, Friel’s solo work is going to be a welcome addition to your record collection. Friel’s latest album for Thrill Jockey, last year’s Life, is his most engaging yet, and his set from Palisades a few weeks ago showcases those tracks nicely. The final song, “Thumper” from 2013’s Total Folklore, perfectly encapsulates Friel’s music: a pulsing, distorted beat is overlaid with intertwining keyboard melodies that dis- and re-integrate through the course of the song. Be sure to mark your calendars for March 6, when Dan Friel will return to Palisades for a show with jazz-psych rockers and NYCTaper favorites, Sunwatchers.

I recorded this set with the AKG’s set up at the stage lip, combined with board feed from Palisades FOH Leeor. The results are excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Dan Friel
2016-01-09
Palisades
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Leeor) + AKG C480B/CK61 (stage lip) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, balance, compression, normalize, fades) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [29:15]
01. Bender
02. Life Part 2
03. Lungs
04. Rattler
05. Life Part 1
06. Pink Helicopters
07. Thumper

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Dan Friel. Visit his website, like him on Facebook, and buy Life from Thrill Jockey.

Creepoid: January 14, 2016 Trans-Pecos

January 27, 2016
By

Creepoid

Soaked in reverb and haze, Creepoid satisfy that itch for nineties-influenced shoegaze like not many bands can. But this is no genre exercise—Creepoid is for real. The strength of last year’s Cemetery Highrise Slum was more than enough to draw us out to Ridgewood for a weeknight show, and our efforts were rewarded with this killer set. For a young band, Creepoid have already built a significant body of work. Most of these songs here are off of Cemetery Highrise Slum, including “Eating Dirt,” “Tell the Man,” “American Smile,” and “Shaking.” “Old Tree” hails from 2014’s self-titled record, while “Truth” is off the same year’s Wet. “Dream Out” and “Enabler” harken way back to 2011’s Horse Heaven. That latter song gets stretched into a breathless, staggering finale.

If you missed out on their Trans-Pecos gig, Creepoid will be touring the U.S. in March. Head over to their website for a full listing of dates. They’ll return to New York on March 25th at Rough Trade NYC.

I recorded this set with the mics set up at the stage lip, combined with a board feed from Trans-Pecos FOH, Ned. The results are excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Creepoid
2016-01-14
Trans-Pecos
Queens, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Ned) + AKG C480B/CK61 (stage lip) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, balance, compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [45:29]
01. Eating Dirt
02. Staircase
03. Truth
04. Tell the Man
05. American Smile
06. Baptism
07. Shaking
08. Old Tree
09. Dream Out
10. Enabler

Support Creepoid: Buy Cemetery Highrise Slum via Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

Oneida: January 9, 2016 Palisades

January 20, 2016
By

Oneida
[photos by Rocketman]

Way back in 2013, in a prehistoric Williamsburg where you could still catch a show on Kent Ave., we called Oneida shows “a standing appointment.” To drive that point home, and proof that we’ve lived up to our end of the bargain, we’ve since then posted a whopping seven Oneida shows in the past two years. 2015 brought not only an increase in activity from the band but also a return to more song-based sets, compared to the lengthy jamming typical of Oneida sets in 2012 and 2013. Some old favorites have even entered the rotation, including “People of the North” from 2001’s Anthem of the Moon, “Caesar’s Column” from 2003’s Secret Wars, and most surprising, “Happy New Year” from, well, Happy New Year. Of all the many, many Oneida shows I’ve seen, this was the first time I’ve seen them do “Happy New Year,” making this recording something special indeed. The set rounds out those classics with some newer tunes: two from Oneida’s next album, “Reputation” and “Cock Fight,” plus two from their recent Positions EP, covers of This Heat’s “S.P.Q.R.” and Chrome’s “All Data Lost.”

If you’re just dying to see Oneida break out some classics new and old, you’re in luck. They’ll tour six cities in March, and we’ll see you at Shea Stadium March 11.

I recorded this set with the AKG’s set up at the stage lip, combined with board feed from Palisades FOH Leeor. The results are excellent. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Oneida

Oneida
2016-01-09
Palisades
Brooklyn, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Leeor) + AKG C480B/CK61 (stage lip) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, balance, compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [01:09:24]
01. [Intro]
02. I Will Haunt You
03. Economy Travel
04. Caesar’s Column
05. People of the North
06. Happy New Year
07. Reputation
08. S.P.Q.R. [This Heat]
09. Cock Fight
10. [Untitled]
11. All Data Lost [Chrome]

If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Oneida. Visit their website, like them on Facebook, and buy the Positions EP from Rocket Recordings.

Herbcraft: December 12, 2015 Trans-Pecos

January 4, 2016
By

Herbcraft

Like the Northeast’s answer to Eternal Tapestry, Herbcraft trade in spaced-out, far-flung psych pastorals. Ever since we caught the Portland, Maine band nearly two years ago at Mercury Lounge, we’ve been itching for the opportunity to get them back to NYC. So when we booked Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band to headline Trans-Pecos (that set here), Herbcraft were high up on our wish list of openers. In forty mind-expanding minutes, Herbcraft took the room on a wild journey. Their set begins with a long improvised jam that segues seamlessly into “A Knock at the Door” from The Astral Body Electric and then into “Bread Don’t Rise” from last year’s Wot Oz. The tunes are rhizomatic head trips—pulsating, looping, and expanding without origin or destination. There is no other option but to kick back, tune in, and give in to the mighty Herbcraft…

I recorded this set with the mics set up at the stage lip, combined with a board feed from Trans-Pecos FOH, Ned. The results are outstanding. Enjoy!

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:

Herbcraft
2015-12-12
Trans-Pecos
Queens, NY

Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by Eric PH

Soundboard (engineer: Ned) + AKG C480B/CK61 (stage lip) > Roland R-26 > 2xWAV (24/48) > Adobe Audition CC (align, mixdown, balance, compression, normalize, fades) > Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ) > Audacity 2.0.5 (downsample, dither, tracking, tagging) > FLAC (16/44.1, level 8)

Tracks [40:59]
01. Untitled Improvisation
02. A Knock at the Door
03. Bread Don’t Rise

Support Herbcraft: Bandcamp | Facebook | Buy Wot Oz from Woodsist

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