Digitalanalogue is Ian Turnbull.
Supermoon is Neil Pennycook.
Viking Moses is Brendon Massei.
Virgin of the Birds is Jon Rooney.
Since the release of the last Split 12” Mrs. Toad and I have moved house. We’ve gone from Stockbridge back down to Leith, where we lived when I first moved up to Edinburgh in 2005.
This, of course, means all change for the Split 12”s and the Toad Sessions, because that living room in our old place was so integral to the look and sound of both. There’s even more change coming though, because next to our new house there is actually a small warehouse which we are turning into a very minimal recording studio, so we are going to have our own dedicated space in future, which is amazing.
I basically think Mrs. Toad just wants all these musicians and their crap out of her house when she is trying to relax after work, honestly. There’s work to be done before the warehouse is ready to be used though, so we sort of started recording in our new living room anyway. Much to her annoyance.
It’s a big, boomy, echoey room and you can really hear that in the new recordings. Instead of using effects we used close mics on everything, with a couple of strategically placed room mics, and just brought those room mics up in the mix until it felt like it had the right character, but wasn’t too overwhelming.
The sound of this record is a wonderful blend of bare acoustic music and slow-paced, rumbling drone.
The drone comes from the samples and looped violin on the digitalanalogue songs, or the bowed guitar on Virgin of the Birds, and I think the way it is offset by the gorgeous quiet of the sparser, more acoustic tunes, be they led by piano or acoustic guitar, is absolutely gorgeous.
This is going to be something of a one-off, because I don’t think we’ll record in our living room again. One of the reasons we moved to this house was so that the recording could move to its own dedicated space, so this is a one off, tolerated only because it was temporary.
The other big difference about this Split is that the lineup sort of came together over time. We recorded Brendon back in March, and Virgin of the Birds and Supermoon in May, when Jon happened to be passing through on tour.
Digitalanalogue only ended up on the album when Ian replied to a tweet I posted saying that we had the other three bands all done but had no idea who the fourth should be. He moved fastest, and the suggestion made total sense, and that was the final piece.
I’m really looking forward to getting the new warehouse up and running, and really want to turn it into the engine room of the label, but as an interim thing I am hugely excited by this record - just a one-off, idiosyncratic piece of work with real character that has come together so, so well.
released July 4, 2016
Engineered: Matthew Young
Mastered: Reuben Taylor
Artwork and layout: Matthew Young
Photography: Nic Rue