Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer sessions about to start!

It's been way too long since my last update. With a full/awesome forthcoming summer, I thought I'd take this time to reflect on the past few months.

Life in and out of the studio has been busy as the seasons have changed and records start, finish, and get a release. It's the cycle, man!

Since my last update, I had just finished work on the most recent Parquet Courts LP, Human Performance. It's out now on Rough Trade and it's amazing. Two songs on the record were recorded at Wilco's Loft in Chicago, two from Sonelab, and the rest were the fruit of our two-week stay at Dreamland Studio. It's a fantastic record that I'm proud to have been a part of and very proud of the boys! They made a killer record!

The last workday at Dreamland ended and I left the studio as quickly as possible so I could get home, get a little rest, and get started on Dinosaur Jr's Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not. I think I had about 12 hours off between the two sessions! It's another amazing record. Out of the four (4??!!) Dino Jr records I've engineered, I have to say, there's something special about this one. I think it sounds great. The whole band is dialed in, and I think the engineering/mixing situation kicked ass this time around. The songs are great and it's a tight record that you'll probly want to listen to a couple of times in a row!

Between Dinosaur Jr sessions I spent my time at Sonelab doing some more awesome stuff.
Some of our amps after a good cleaning.

Here's a nice clean pic of some of Sonelab's amps. We have more, just ask and I'll send a list.

I finished the Winterpills' latest offering: Love Songs. It's a beautifully written and recorded album if I say so myself. From the lyrics to the thunderous drum sounds Dave dials in, it goes deep and is as fun to listen now, as it was when we started recording it in November 2014! It's absolutely worth the $15 for the LP here! It took us about a year to make and was exciting and almost easy to work on all the time because the performances and the arrangements were so right and well suited to the songs, I didn't really need to fuss around with sounds much. It all fits and feels great :)

Mal Devisa's Kiid was recorded, mixed, mastered, and released in a matter of weeks. The range on this record is as intense as Mal Devisa's performances. There are songs with nothing but a single bass guitar and vocal. Others have drums, doubled bass, and stacked vocals. Some songs are crammed with tiny edits, gridded beats, and a hooky chorus while others are one live performance captured at Sonelab. It's up on bandcamp for free for who knows how long so listen to it!

Crazy reamp: vocal through Stylophone speaker, through tele pickup, through bassman, through Holy Grail, into the live room, recorded with a room mic at the opposite end of the room. Deja (Mal Devisa) requested some far-out verb on vocals. This was my interpretation of it. 

I just finished up an EP with Lou Barlow. It's not far off from Brace the Wave in terms of arrangements: Baritone Ukulele, Korg Synthe-Bass (which has become one of my alltime favorite instruments), and Lou's beautiful and huge layered melodies. I'm not sure when it comes out but it's another continuation in Lou's bountiful and always-satisfying catalog. It presented some challenges in the mix stage that I wasn't able to put my finger on, but when all was done, with a bit of space, Lou and I were both impressed with the results. It definitely usues Brace the Wave as a starting point and launches from there..

This thing sounds CRAZY cool!

NYC's Wild Pink came up for a week of recording, and a few days of mixing. This record floored me in ways I wasn't expecting. I heard the demos and their previous recordings. I heavily dug them but wasn't expecting things to come together the way they did. The songwriting is amazing and really drew me in, the band's sense of dynamics and supportive playing strengthens the material. I'm ecstatic for this release! Awesome fact about this record: most of the vocals are six takes layered together. It sounds beautiful!

Philly's Left and Right are truly one of my favorites. They came up and recorded/mixed their forthcoming LP. It's a monster. They completely upped the anti on this recording.. I think we all did! It's a great progression from their last record musically and sonically. This band has been touring hard and writing as time allowed. This record shows that it's becoming more second nature to them. I believe it'll be out this fall! Definitely one of the best records I worked on so far for 2016.

Last week I finished the forthcoming Suitcase Junket record with Matt. Somehow Matt has managed to build off of his incredible setup even more and add more tools, amps, instruments, and abilities to his roster. On the previous record we made together: Make Time, we recorded everything in an iso room at Sonelab. The idea was if we recorded in a smaller room, we'd have more control over each aspect of his setup. This time we decided we wanted to capture the large live room in the studio so we put Matt where I'd put a drummer. I put his guitar amps in the iso rooms I'd normally put guitars. We approached this kind of like a more traditional rock recording and I think in some ways, it comes off that way. It's still all Matt, all live, being the Suitcase Junket. If you haven't checked out this stuff, I'd highly recommend it!
Here's Matt's setup. It's hard to capture this all in a photo so go see him!
There are so many more sessions I want to write about: Young Tricksters, Violet Clark, Sneeze, Death Black Birds, Emerald Comets, Deluxx Folk Implosion, Nace/Corsano/Flaherty, and many more... these are all projects I'm extremely excited for.. but I'll have to fill you in later.

If you're interested in booking some time with me, please feel free to write. August has a few spots and September and beyond are all 100% open.. so drop me a line.. thanks!