Summer’s nearly gone….

As ever, an extraordinary amount of time has passed since the last log post.

Have been recording for Kafka Diva’s second album…well, I’m recording the drums, they’re recording the rest at their house, then files over to me to mix and master…..we’re about half way through.

Started recording a new Shortwave Fade single last week, and there’ll be an acompanying remix EP that I’ve done for them, too.

Speaking of remixes, I’ve just finished one for a band I really really loved from the late 80’s, early 90’s : they’ve signed it off and ‘love it’….just looking how to release it..I will no doubt shout about it when they do.

I was back at Simon Says festival doing the pop up studio again: was great again…I say it pretty much every year, but it makes up for my lack of recording through the rest of the year. Highlights included The Millmen..10 piece Ska band….10 piece! 4 Mics! 4 DIs! ..really love the limitations and it sorts the men from the boys… also loved catching up with Uncle Frank

 

Books? Finished ALL the Mixerman books now…that’s all the ‘Zen and the Art of...’ series, and the newest Billionaire Apparent one…..they’re all brilliant. The Zen ones make you approach everything with some balls and attitude. He’s streaming the audio version of the ‘Daily Adventures Of Mixerman’ at the moment…so funny ,and so much to learn! Essential listening

Have released a few more music for media albums….more to come..upping the release rate with that now I have more composers on the books and a good co-publsher to do the leg work.

Image result for new order so it goes

Gigs….slow year but made up for it with a gig in Manchester seeing New Order and the Royal College of Music’s synth orchestra.

It was amazing….playing some of my favourite songs from my teens and early 20s..the years you’re most influenced by the music you take in, I think. Vanishing Point was just perfect…but Shellshock stole the show (surprisingly, as its not a strong single)

Albums thus far: Father John Misty’s is great, Goldfrapp’s is great, Mac De Marco’s is good….ummm….can’t think of any other this year so far…

 

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2014

Well, another year gone, and, as ever, a busy one full of some really excellent music.

It’s been the year I finally launched the Library Music company I’ve been planning for years. It’s been extraordinarily stressful to get it up and running, and frustrating that I haven’t spent as much time on it as I’d like to, but I’m really pleased with the catalogue I’ve released, with 3 albums nearly ready to go in the first bit of 2015. I’ve learnt so much in doing it: where to put my time and where I really shouldn’t have bothered. Won’t be sure if any music’s been used til the middle of the year, really, due to the way the collection societies and cues work but I have pretty clear plans for the next year or 2: the very definition of a slow burner.

Mixing’s been great this year : as well as the TV stuff, there’s been lots to do : I’ve mixed the next 2 Daydream Club singles ready for 2015: really enjoy being part of their world: super organised, but, importantly, really great songs..these next 2 singles will see them get to the next level, for sure, building off the back of their million streams profile¬†from the last EP I mixed last year. I should really now refer to myself as ‘million streaming producer, mixing and mastering engineer’ … but I won’t ūüėČ

Am half way through mixing an album by One Cure For Man: one man indie rock army with some hefty songs…all self recorded. Some great epic moments on there… enjoying mixing it immensely: I genuinely love DIY people who recognise they¬†can¬†do it themselves, but need a helping hand here and there. James, from the band (or rather¬†the band) is one such example.

Started recording / mixing a new Shortwave Fade EP in feb.. not quite sure that’s finished or not..? Good tunes, though. Stone Roses-esque proportions of in-between-material-ism, although the singer’s just had a baby , so will let them off.

Enjoyed mastering a load of  Edgy Production albums: been doing their stuff for over a decade, and have known the people there for ever and ever. Lovely to be involved in such a different project

I mixed a new track by more old friends, Sally and Greg under their new banner The Aurora…I think there’s a web site coming but here’s the¬†track.

Just finished another production for Hannah Magenta under her Mwah foil: uber smooth pop. Here’s one I did a while ago for her.

¬†.. the new one’s a bit more Madge (Madonna, rather than Bishop)

Had a great time at Simon Says festival at DMH in July: I did a pop up studio and gorged on recording some really great artists: recorded quickly, just how I like it (avoids boredom), and mixed back at my studio. As well as the Daydream Club, a few of these artists are doing really well, especially her and him

I’ve done a few remixes this year.. I enjoy doing these loads… blows the cobwebs away and no pressure for them to really do anything!

Highlight for me has been the Momus remix: am a really massive fan. Was bait obsessed with him in the late 80s into the 90s, so to get the ‘I like it, and here’s a video I made for it’ email from him was a real joy.

Anyone who knows me from my late teens will really know what a career high it is.

Anyway, in other remix news, I did this one for Laura Kidd who goes under the She Makes War banner ..I think it was last year I finished it, but it came out last week.. one of my favourite remixes I’ve done

.. I actually did another for 3 or 4 years back, and I love that one too. Am a fan of Laura’s work ethic x 1000 : look her up, gloom pop fans.

In the summer I remixed Lily Allen’s last album title track : I like bits of this remix… I imagine it’ll end up being torn up and used elsewhere in my canon, but I loved doing it

Have¬†enjoyed¬†lots of music, but particular albums I’ve loved, in no particular order:

Lykke Li ; ‘I Never Learn’¬†(not as good as the last album, but extra points for looking like she’d smell nice)

St Vincent ; ‘St Vincent’¬†(probably my album of the year, fact fans)

Johnny Marr ; ‘Playland’ (horrific sleeve, though, love…ask for help from Morrissey in future, yes?)

Wild Beasts : ‘Preset Tense’¬†(patchy but ace in places)

Morrissey : ‘World Peace Is None Of Your Business’¬†Lyrically patchy, musically panoramic

Baxter Dury : ‘Its A Pleasure’¬†(close second for album of the year)

Beck : ‘Morning Phase’¬†(lushest sounding album of the year)

Future Island ; ‘Singles’¬†(you just keep remembering Samuels dancing)

Metronomy : ‘Love Letters’¬†.. great article on the recording of that album here¬†

Damon Albarn : ‘Everyday Robots’ (except that one about the elephant)

Jessie Ware : ‘Tough Love’¬†(it’s a bit long and theres a bit of an X Factor choir at the end of one song that spoils it)

Royksopp and Robyn ‘Do It Again’¬†(gorgeous electropop)

Gruff Rhys ‘American Interior’¬†(proper quirky pop)

……showing some love for tracks by Aphex Twin, Perfume Genius, Black Rivers, Sleaford Mods, Ghost Culture, Lana Del Ray (irritatingly gets under my skin despite the lyric police being on 24/7 alert)

Track of the year for me has to be the Future Islands single ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’.. not that its an amazing song, just that I loved the way the Letterman performance blew me away in a way that rarely happens: ties the song with a moment in time, as this piece in the Guardian points out

Gig of the year was Morrissey at the 02 in November: he was in fine voice, and he brought a little tear to my eye when he did ‘Trouble Loves Me’ , ‘Asleep’ and ‘Meat Is Murder’¬†(complete with brutal video backdrop that surely converted a few people that night), despite it being a cavernous venue, his voice filled it. After all this time, he really is one of a kind.. and ace tour t shirt ūüėČ

be kind

Be kind to animals or I’ll kill you

Film of the year : ‘Northern Soul’ : lovely clothes, excellent music and amazing dancing.

So, new year around the corner, continued wishes for healthy family and time to enjoy them, continued musical journeys with nice people

Hope you all had a good year, and here’s to a great¬†2015

What you up to?

Was co mixing with Paul Wong at Seamus last night. Lovely time. Only finished 1 of the 5 songs for Free Control though.. but it was worth the tweak time. Finishing next week.

A little bit of Hannah Brine time tonight.. just structuring and programming to get the feel right before any audio gets put down.

Oh, Shortwave Fade’s first album’s on Bandcamp for free… their second one will be done … errrrm…. before 2018… they want to record a couple of more tracks to add to the 5 we’ve done already then do a mini album ….. I think… . Anyways, get the first album here.

stuff and then some

.. quick update. FInished the Shortwave Fade mixes ready for mastering. Taken a while and many revisions so advised the band to master with someone else. Hopefully they’re using the mighty Robin Junga for mastering. The band want to do another three songs to make up an album (?) so we will schedule that .. don’t want it dragging on, so it’ll be recording one week, mixing the next.

Here’s a link to one of the tracks pre mastering.. dead strong song.

Started some pre production with Hannah Brine¬†.. very much from a distance, so we aren’t jamming in a rehearsal room (as if I would anyway), but I chose a couple of tracks I think I can do stuff with, am setting her homework like ‘write more words, that’s shit. thats ace’. Theres one track am very excited about called Antistatic. Theres a version out there already but I’m ignoring it and its totally rewritten. The palette for the project in my mind is Air bass, Oberheim drum machines, acoustic guitars, analogue synths.. it needs to translate to the live environment down the line.

Also need to pick up the files from Seamus Wong Paul for Free Control’s new stuff which I’m mixing.

One Cure for Man EP is done and out, which sounds great.

The studio plans are still up in the air.. should hear any time now. Can’t wait. Bought three tape things pre holiday.. a WEM Copicat, a Revox 1/4inch and an Akai 4 track 1/4 inch.. really excited to plum em in.

Just treat myself to a pair of these mics¬†after reading a review in the new Sound On Sound : a pair of matched Omni mics with clips… ¬£31 with postage from America… watch out Behringer.

Musically, enjoying the new Antlers album.. but only some of it…….

Disappointed in the new Washed Out and Little Dragon albums….. both have their moments but ace production doesn’t mask pretty average songs. When they hit the spot, they’re great though.

 

 

 

 

Stuff

In the midst of two mixes for One Cure For Man. Really enjoying the arrangements. Strong songs. Pretty tricky to mix as there’s lots of ideas fighting for space, but luckily the writer/guitarist, James, has his head screwed on with lots of focussed reference points. The two first draft mixes will soon become honed, I reckon.

Am awaiting Shortwave Fade synth parts, then I’ll be cracking on with those two mixes, which are started.

Finally in mix land, am waiting for the nod for Peter Wyeths new ‘stuff’: I gave him a couple of variations last week…. once we’ve OKed and tweaked, I need to index…..it’s almost an old fashioned art is, indexing.

Other news…. garage conversion slowly picking up speed. Copied some scale plans today ready to add doors/windows, and I’m am choosing some victorian style glass blocks for a nice big window…… if anyone knows a reliable cheap builder….. pass em my way….

What’s going down (man)

Prepping mix sessions for Shortwave Fade and One Cure For Man, did some pre mastering stuff on a new Peter Wyeth piece (lovely by the way), then just finished a Christmas album master for Edgy Productions. Plays havoc with your body clock.

Coming up, I’m mixing an EP for Free Control¬†¬†which I’m happy about as it’s being recorded at Seamus Wong, my favourite studio. Paul’s producing it, and I think that’ll be interesting for the band . Plus I’ve known the band for a long time in various guises.

…. finally….. still flipping trying to find time to sort the garage-to-studio plans out

Shortwave recording

.. spent wednesday night recording Shortwave Fade vocals and thursday editing them ready for the mix. Nice to finally hear the words. Theres a definite single in there.. like an electro Ouija Board . We had much fun with some Godley and Cream vocal harmonies. Just waiting for dry synth tracks, then mix away.