Earlier this year my friends in the band Dumb Waiter asked me to record an album for them. i had seen them a live a few times in the months previous and i knew a bunch of the guys from the other bands that they had played in, so i pretty much jumped at the opportunity since, for one they had been writing totally insane music (and i love insane music) and two that ideally their level of musicianship should make for a really solid and fun session, The other great thing about it was that we decided to record it in the upstairs space at Gallery 5, which i knew fairly well from recording Lobo Marino's Kite Festival last year. It's a large untreated room with ridiculous natural reverb, which lent itself well to Kite Festival with all of it's spaciousness, audience participation, and folky vibe, but i wondered if there would be too much reverb doing a full on loud experimental rock band. but within the first hour of moving mics around and getting drums sounds my slight fears were lifted because everything sounded brilliant, totally huge and with the kind of character you can't even get in a lot of "real" studios. Sure it's noisier, and you might catch a stray siren going by out on the street in the middle of a take, but i've always found the pros of recording in non-traditional spaces out weigh the cons. The space can leave a unique sonic imprint on the music, almost as if it's another member of the ensemble.
This session ended up being insanely fun, and we knocked out all the basic tracks for the 7 song album within about 8 hours here and there across 2 days, and sporadically did a small amount of overdubs, layering into the already dense mix or drums, sax, electric bass and guitar and even had some guest spots with violin, upright bass and vocals as schedules allowed over that week before sorting out all the takes and taking things back to the cave for mixing/mastering. My ballet schedule was insane at the time, and it took me a while to finish up the mix, but that was good as it allowed me to have quite a bit of perspective on the mix, which is invaluable when you're doing everything yourself. They just released the final product not too long ago and i am quite proud of the way it turned out, and most importantly i still love the songs, these guys managed to write some killer material that's all at once a facemelting, spazzy, jazzy, mathy, funky, dubby, experimental but super listenable auditory experience. AND even though i've heard it a million times, i'm still not sick of it. CHECK IT OUT BELOW: