After touring the US West Coast supporting David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, Mike McLeod booked time at Manny’s Estudio International in East L.A. “Far less glamorous than it sounds” says Mike. Joining the sessions was guest guitarist Steven Schayer, an LA-based musician who’d played in The Chills’ early 90’s Soft Bomb era, and he brought a different flavour, complementing The Shifting Sands’ independent DIY no. 8 wire approach. Producer Manny Nieto, who’s worked with Steve Albini, The Breeders and Los Lobos, recorded the band on a Neotek console to 2” tape, mixing to ¼”, then the songs were mastered back home by Tex Houston.
The 7” vinyl format completes the analogue approach whereas previous albums featured fuzzy guitars and synthesisers, this session involved fewer layers, but greater harmonic breadth. Tom added 8 string bass and Mike used a guitar tuned down an octave. While there are fewer layers of harmonic distortion – a characteristic component of the Shifting Sands sound – there’s still plenty of harmonic complexity, only done differently. These songs reflect a special moment in time, in the sweltering heat of L.A., while the band were far from their busy normal lives and able to spend time fully-focused on making music, in a vastly different environment to their base at Chicks Hotel, Port Chalmers, in their home town of Dunedin.
Occultation Recordings TITAN7E1053