The two bands formed a friendship touring together across Norther America, Europe, and Australia the last couple of years. King Gizzard’s Stu Mackenzie says, “I think we hit it off because our approaches are very different … Alex has studied music, whereas my approach is to fling shit at the wall and see what sticks. I can’t read sheet music at all. But we’re like the two ends of a horseshoe coming to meet in the middle.”
Alex stayed at Stu’s place for three weeks after the last tour and spent most days in the studio with the band recording the album.
The title could be perceived as both a knowing nod towards Miles Davis’s Sketches Of Spain – whose fusion of American jazz, European classical and Spanish song structures gave us one of the 20th century’s most important albums – and the sketchy on-the-hop, improvised nature of its creation. It also sees the band exploring the Tropicalia element only ever previously hinted at. Stu explains that a change of pace and tempo was necessary after “a concurrent period of productivity, a ball of energy and ideas”. Logistically, its creation saw the sifting through “piles of ideas” previously laid down during intense periods of creation that their frontman confesses he barely remembers having taken place. Truly this is impulsive music, sketches of time and place reworked and pieced together, akin to, says Stu “sampling-culture, in which old ideas are reshaped and suddenly things make sense. It was like we were continually jamming with ourselves.”