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.
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…
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 😉
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
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 😉
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
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.
.. 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.
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.
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.
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….
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
.. 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.
Been very quiet in blog-land..not that I’ve been idle..quite the contrary. This time of year in education is really quite horrible: deadline time, meaning lots of marking. Even when it’s cleared it totally zaps the energy needed to do anything creative. Another couple of weeks then it starts dying down and creative juices go up.
I’ve been carrying on with the Shortwave Fade sessions: just vocals to go and a bit of piano for me to edit, but the singer’s off to Egypt til mid June so that’s that for a bit.
Mastered some Peter Wyeth stuff.. as ever, lovely to hear what he’s been up to and how he’s doing it. More to come soon.
Next week in the day job I’ve got Paul Tipler doing a talk and he’ll be mixing some stuff and explaining what he’s doing. Really looking forwards to this…. we did the same thing with Gareth Jones a couple of years back, and it was excellent. I contacted Paul after reading a great interview with him in Tape Op magazine (if you don’t subscribe, do it now.. it’s free for god’s sake). The interview was full of the sort of ‘get on with it’ common sense I love. So, on Tuesday, he’ll be taking a mix of a track a student recorded, and taking it through to the final stages and thinking out loud his decisions and processes….. lucky students, lucky me. He engineered and mixed one of my favourite ever albums...
… musically, we started the EP sessions with SWF last week: got drums, bass and started guitar tracking too. Files came back with me, and I knocked them around a bit, tightened the drums up …not that the drummer’s bad.. he’s ace, but the loops are unforgiving. Tried a few different drum samples to work with the live drums. Can be hard melding live drums with electronic loops.. so that’ll need some playing about with.
Tracking the rest of the guitars in a week, vocals to follow, then mix.
Spent some time tweaking the Kafkadiva backing tracks they use for live shows. Got another three to do.
The Shortwave Fade track Im mixing was supplied with loads of effects on the synths.. Ben emailed me dry versions plus I’d asked for a MIDI file of the main piano so I could try different samples and also so I could manipulate the part. They arrived today, so I dropped those in.
FInally the WAA album’s uploaded to CD Baby. Release date TBC.. around the physical release: that went to the duplicators on saturday, so should be there today. SOme card samples arrived today too… not sue about it.. may be too clean. Despite it being white, I think it needs to be more textured. Some more should arrive any day now. John R is testing out the stickers we’re going to use, too. All in all, bust behind the scenes.
Had a coupe of hours marking, too. Whilst in Munich my level 3 students did a presentation of their business plans: usually I could’ve marked them as they were doing it, and saved lots of time.. as such, it’s eaten lots of time. Enjoyable, tho. Some clever ones.