It was conducted in the Off Quays building, in withering cold, as noisy bands played next door.
Technical difficulties were rife. DI-ing the bass resulting horrible, squelchy tones. The borrowed desk's adaptor was held together with masking tape. It contained considerable amounts of cigarette ash, causing the faders to crackle. A step ladder had to improvised into a mic stand. Microphones were held in place using electrical tape, as all the clips had finally given up the ghost.
None of this affected the band, however. I was impressed at how suddenly everyone locked back into the "endless groove" mode; virtually the same degree of hypnotic tightness as when we last played together in July. Five pieces were tracked, along with multiple bass overdubs to repair the faulty sounds from previous DI efforts.
Although time was extremely limited, I did manage to treat the drums at source for one track, PO BOX In Hammersmith Palais. All the tom and snare heads were covered with jumpers, t-shirts and towels, giving a fantastically deadened, compressed sound. Empty beer bottles were pulled from the overflowing bin and used as percussion. Rebecca Jones' Thermos flask was employed alongside a cowbell stuffed with mic fluffs, to generate metallic sounds. Stuart did a great job multitracking parts played on all these bits and pieces, integrating one particular pattern on one part of the kit, then doubling up with a complimentary pattern using a different section of the kit.
As well as PO BOX, we tracked The Sun Reaches Where It Shouldn't, Panama, Labyrinthitis and Side Scroller. All are long, cyclical pieces that revolve around a driving bass riff. Andy and I will begin layering up our parts at Christmas.
The LP5 project now runs to fifteen songs, with an extensive battery of additional material culled from vital live recordings made during rehearsal. No one is quite sure why Blizzard Storm - due to appear in a different arrangement on LP4 - has somehow been recorded again.