Strangeways is a recording studio located just outside of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, and is the workplace of musician, producer, and soundtrack composer, Andrew Halliwell. It’s an unconventional recording studio as there isn’t a control room, and the bathroom door creaks a little. It has a certain ‘vibe’, as they say. The studio comes well appointed with a fun collection of instruments and recording gear, both modern and vintage, in a spacious live room with two adjacent isolation booths. It’s perfectly set up for full band multi-tracking rather than recording layer by layer so time spent here produces results rather quickly. We work with a 24 channel Soundtracs inline analog mixing console and a RADAR 24 doing the conversion into the DAW so the results sound top quality.
Ultimately, it comes down to whether you like what you hear, so go give our work listen. The studio is available for audio production, writing/rehearsal stints and live music video production at the very least, space themed synthesizer parties at the very most. Shoot us an email if you’re interested in learning about our rates and availability. What’s even better is that it’s a short walk from the recording studio to great restaurants or to the beach where the local sea lions will sing to you the song of their people. Maybe all our records subtly contain recorded samples of sea lions, maybe that’s our secret, who knows? There are plenty of affordable AirBnB’s available in the local area for those coming from out of town.
You could shoot a video here
We've worked with some cool compadres
And here's what some of our compadres have to say.
Andrew worked with us tirelessly to make sure our album came out sounding great- Maverick Cinema
I always look forward to our time together.- Spencer Krug
The studio has a nice a smell, I have to admit.- Abraham LincolnNot that we like to gloat but it's important to consider these things.
Strangeways started out as a film production company in Vancouver operating between 2007-2014. In that time, Strangeways produced a number of award winning films, which include Occupy: The Movie (featuring Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Kalle Lasn, Chris Hedges), Down River (Winner of Best World Showcase SoHo Int. Film Festival, Winner of Best Motion Picture, 2014 Leo Awards) as well as a number of short films. The name “Strangeways” was coined during the company’s first production, These Charming Men, a low-budget TV pilot titled after the popular song by The Smiths, This Charming Man. The Smiths, an English band from Manchester (for the uninitiated) made a record called Strangeways, Here We Come, eluding to the gloomy Victorian era prison that sits near the centre of the city. Either way, a lot of business in British Columbia are named after trees and animals so this name stuck for conforming to non-conformity.
Eventually, producer and studio owner Andrew Halliwell, a lifelong musician (and Smiths fan), took up opportunities to provide music for soundtracks (Nash: A Documentary, In No Particular Order, Occupy: The Movie) after the music he created for his smaller, earlier productions was received with praise. This motivated the decision to leave the city and move to the island where he’s spent the last couple of years building up the studio and working on various projects with the ambition of continuing with this path for as long as possible. He currently performs as a solo act under the name A Life in Binary, produces bands and continues to create music for films & TV.