I was sent some music in early 2021 and I helped to organize it with some minor editing and the final mix. Very promising and cool project with no apparent past or future. Hidden Castle plays most things, with
Michael Belyea on drums, Michelle Elrick on flute and some guitar and synth touches by Jon Epworth.
This record was a long time coming. We worked on her debut (see below) and the groundwork was laid for this one very shortly after the other became available. We spent 4 days at Breakglass Studio in Montreal capturing Jeremy Gara’s drums with Dave Smith engineering. Once those beds were made, Camille and I flushed out the arrangements, piecing it all together over the next 2 years or so, collecting amazing contributions from Adam Kinner (sax), Josh Zubot (violin), Mathieu Charbonneau (keys) and Phil Charbonneau (vocals and synth). Camille and I mixed it at my place and it was mastered at Greymarket by Harris Newman. Hugely proud of this strange, moody record!
Longtime Snailhouse/Michael Feuerstack collaborator 2020 single. Written, performed, produced and recorded by Michael Belyea with Leith Fleming-Smith on keyboard and synth, Michelle Elrick on backup vocals and Michael Feuerstack on bass guitar. Recorded at Pentagong Drums & Recordings by Michael Belyea. Mixed by Michael Feuerstack and mastered by J. LaPointe at Archive Mastering.
I was invited to co-produce this record with this new project, formed from the ashes of Bent By Elephants. I attended some rehearsals in order to give my 2 cents on some of the songs and arrangements. Before long we found ourelves at the beloved Montreal studio Hotel 2 Tango, with the engineering hand of Shae Brossard at the desk. We took those bed tracks to a rented house outside the city in deep summer to add vocals and overdubs. I mixed it, and it was mastered by Harris Newman at Greymarket. It’s an amazing debut record, and I’m touched to have been invited into the process.
In June of 2018, I spent some time in Utrecht to record The Fire Harvest. We holed up in their jam space with a bunch of borrowed gear and made something really special. Apart from the vocals and a some fun overdubs, it was played mostly live off the floor. I then took the music back to Canada, added a couple more small overdub touches and mixed it here at home. Loud and beautiful.
The first album’s basic tracks were recorded in London with Ben Walker, whose shimmering arrangements and gorgeous performances were a treat to work with. I had the great pleasure of adding overdubs, and working with Camille to finish the arrangements and mix the album. Camille and I have been working closely ever since.
(2013) I completed a mix for this Dutch band. Chris Regtop, who is the principle songwriter, is a friend I met on tour many years ago when Snailhouse was touring with his old band, Paper Tiger. Chris enlisted me in order to get an outside ear. We worked together, sending mixes back and forth over the sea. Thanks to his insights and sensitive listening, it was a true collaboration. I learned a lot, and I think the final product is really strong. It’s a very catchy record.
(2014) This is the project of frequent Snailhouse and Michael Feuerstack collaborator Mike Belyea. He has written and recorded an amazing collection of songs with the help of many friends in many locations. Then he turned over a crazy amount of information to me and sheepishly said: “Hey man, wanna help me sort this out?” Mere months later we had chiseled all that great raw material into something really refined and unique.
(2013-2014) – We worked hard on this record from May 2013 (and even before that, really) only to wrap up the mixing and mastering in March 2014. We made the basic tracks at the Treatment Room and did the vocals and overdubs in our various homes and rehearsal spaces. This is a great document of a band really hitting their stride and bringing out the best in each other. It was a joy to be invited into the process.
(2011-2012) – I had the extreme pleasure of working with Tim Crabtree for his project Paper Beat Scissors. I consider myself lucky to have this as my first production project aside from my own recordings. The music was so good there was nothing I could do to mess it up. Against my protests, Tim felt he wanted a mentor and a guide through this, his first full-length studio record. I helped choose the studios, engineers and musicians that would suit his timeframe, budget and artistic goals. I played a bit, and I recorded a lot of the overdubs. I was involved from an early point in decisions about the who, where, when, how and even the why of making a record. We recorded the basic tracks at the mighty (sadly now gone) Confidence Lodge with Diego Medina. We did overdubs at my place and it was mixed by Jeremy Gara. I am immensely proud of the result, and I’m grateful to Tim for showing me that I had a set of skills I hadn’t yet added up.