Solar Shears is the third studio album and fourth album overall by Scottish Celtic fusion band Shooglenifty. After the critical acclaim given to their underground second album A Whisky Kiss (1996), the band left Greentrax Recordings and signed to Vertical Records in the UK and Compass Records in the US and hired long time producer Jim Sutherland to produce their new album. The album sees the band expand their self-described “acid croft” sound, featuring a wide range of musical influences such as worldbeat, Eastern music, African music, psychedelic music, bluegrass, breakbeat and techno fused with a traditional Scottish Celtic music sound. With this album, Sutherland introduced many unorthodox approaches to the band’s music, including looped beats, scratching, electro-atmospherics and sampled ‘discovered sounds’ from industrial clanks and rumbles to snatches of telephone conversation and recorded pelican crossing announcements.
The album was released in August 2000 the UK by Vertical Records and in January 2001 by Compass Records in the US, their first release for the label. The album was the band’s first album to be released in the United States. It had received generally positive reviews from critics, complimenting its eclectic sound and wide array of influences. One critic called it “interesting and innovative,” and another “a landmark album.” Many also praised Sutherland’s production work, although some were less favourable towards it. The band left Vertical Records and established their own label, Shoogle Records, for the follow-up, The Arms Dealer’s Daughter (2003).
Excerpt taken from Wikipedia
- Banjo [5 String], Banjo [Banjax] – Garry Finlayson
- Bass, Double Bass, Harmonica, Berimbau – Conrad Ivitsky
- Drums, Percussion, Programmed By, Sampler, Psaltery, Bass – James Mackintosh
- Engineer – Nick Kinloch
- Fiddle – Angus R. Grant
- Guitar, Sitar, Mandolin – Malcolm Crosbie
- Mandolin, Banjo [Tenor], Vocals, Performer [Wicky Wicky Stick] – Iain MacLeod
- Mastered By – Paul McGeechan
- Programmed By, Synthesizer, Producer – Jim Sutherland