The new year began with finally getting to grips with the Blue Screem Of Death material.
Much of the 'Ribenaland' songs had been tracked in the summer of 2011, while I was still recording in the church. Initial mixes were not promising; the amount of bleed between tracks, hurried mic positioning and unrehearsed performances did not bode well for the completed work.
With persistence however, the craziness and energy of the sessions began to shine through. Offering a very different view to how the material later developed for the live show, the disc encompasses all the various methods the band chose to record. Audio was culled from YouTube videos, live webcast performances, sessions from the church, sessions with analogue vintage gear in Ginger Studios and dictaphone bootlegs.
The sheer volume of the material gave rise to an accompanying record 'Thin Like Twiggy', featuring some of the more esoteric moments from our back catalogue such as 'Fuck Buddy' and the rare cover of Rebecca Jones' 'Byker Bridge' - a total shambles if ever there was one.
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There was also the small matter of finishing the My Attorney material that had been hanging over me since 2007.
When you have been working on something for almost eight years, it means that you can't begrudge a few extra weeks at the bitter end of the project to get it right. Artwork was agonised over, things were remastered, notes were composed on Bandcamp after large slugs of coffee.
In the end, it is more momentous because of the space it occupied in my brain and heart, rather than the actual musical content. The latter is something the band has evolved away from, into something else completely. Listening to 'Correspondent' and its companion piece 'Art School Method', is like reading diary entries from years ago, or looking at photographs of yourself from school trips. It is undeniably you, but at the same time something that is of another person entirely.
To finally get this out, makes me feel like that scene from Return Of The Jedi when Ackbar is pleased and relieved with the destruction of the SSD Executor.
Continuing on that theme, making records requires the same gung-ho attitude of the escape from Bespin: never leave a man (or uncompleted recording project) behind.
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Another long-outstanding contract requiring my attention was that of Ian Courtney's second record.
Much of the latter half of this month was spent tracking vocals, bass and guitars for it. The gestation has been over two years, meaning some of the music has been recorded in the last three of my rehearsal spaces. It is, despite its humble acoustic/folk origins, beginning to sound huge.
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My Attorney also played their first show in a year, courtesy of Ian's charity shows held at The Bridge Hotel. We had guitar issues, which split the set into two parts (and meant the loss of 'In A Breathed Moment' sadly). Otherwise, a cracking show.
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The month ended with some meetings held with a production management company, but it's too early to tell whether something will come of it.