Mining Deeper Lows (2008 Demos)

by Jim McTurnan

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In 2008, as Cat-A-Tac was slowly fizzling, I began writing a new batch of songs. I'd never really had much patience for recording, and had always handed that task off to someone else. But, without any other means of recording the new tracks, and inspired by super lo-fi stuff like Times New Viking and the shit-gaze movement that was happening in 2008, I decided to start recording some demos entirely on my own. I recorded these tracks in the old Cat-A-Tac rehearsal space at 2nd and Lipan streets in Denver. I used one microphone, which was the communal mic from the PA system in the space and recorded with a tired Yamaha 16 track digital multi-track from the 90's. i played all of the instruments, tracked one at a time, using all first takes and not fussing much over mic placement or precision in general. I took the raw tracks over to Bryan Feuchtinger at Uneven for a quick mix and master. The results were pretty cool, but I decided they were too rough. Plus, by the time i finished, I had assembled a band, The Kids That Killed The Man, and had begun recording with the new band. So, I set these tracks aside and abandoned the whole lo-fi recording project. In December of 2012, I was cleaning up the house and found a stack of CDs with no markings on them. One of them had these four tracks. I had completely forgotten about them. With a few years of distance on them, I found that I really dug these sloppy old recordings with sleepy vocals. I particularly dug Bottom of the Sea, which, by late 2012, i didn't even remember writing. Two of the tracks, Give Up Suffering and Levitation made it onto the Kids that Killed the Man record, but in very different form. Give Up Suffering is much slower and trippier than the album version. It was one of the first recordings I made, so I hadn't quite figured out how to record drums with one microphone. I recorded a snare drum track, and a bass drum track where I was hitting the kick with a stick. Come With Us was the second track I recorded, and I discovered that I could record the whole drum kit with one mic by putting the mic on the floor next to the kick on the hi hat side, under the snare. The downside was I couldn't really hear the guitar tracks through the headphones over my drumming, hence the loose timing which, for me, just adds to the lo-fi charm. On Bottom of the Sea, I overcame the out of time drumming by double tracking the drums. The song already sounded kinda like the Warlocks to me, so double drums seemed appropriate. Levitation, in demo form, feels to me like Slowdive, but drenched in Neil Young-esque guitar noodling. I decided to share these tracks now, in early 2013, as I find myself again bandless, and inspired to write some new tracks, play shows, and create by myself. With luck, some new recordings will follow soon. ---Jim


released January 22, 2013

Jim McTurnan - Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Drums, Piano



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