Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Soft Rock Explosion - Big Chill Bar 10th March

Monsters At Work present-
"We blew the whole budget on Recording...."

We salute the 'Big West Coast 70's Studio Sound.

Celebrating the bygone, golden age of recording studios, big budgets, smooth rock and the west cost sound of the mid 70's to the early 80's in all its overblown and ultra produced glory. Myself and Jon Tye are joined by our very special guest Leo Zero, producer, remixer, art director and designer extraordinaire.
Leo's homepage
...and his myspace

Big Chill Bar Wednesday 10th march 1974
7pm-12am free entry
The Big Chill Bar
Dray Walk (off Brick Lane)
London E1 6QL

In Leo's own words...
I've got this image of a pipe smoking guy in a cable knit sweater carefully adjusting a Fairchild compressor worth tens of thousands of dollars....or a shot from the back of a Steely Dan album where they've just recorded the 50th different guitar solo take for Peg and have finally struck gold.

It's like sonic perfection was finally accomplished sometime in 1974 in a gargantuan studio in California called something like "Sea Haze" and ever since we've been marvelling at how and why nothing has ever sounded quite so syrupy-rich and gorgeous ever again....

One part BBC stereophonic workshop, one part George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic, and one part country club (with cocaine instead of boiled sweats in a bowl on the reception) these places were the epicentre of all things Soft Rock, Yacht Rock, decadent and overblown.

The sonic elves & wizards who inhabited these realms where the cooler, hairier Californinan cousins of our chocolate brown clad open university type. With their original 'nerd chic' British 70's techies but with a technicolour LA / Frisco glow. Just like that Fast Show guy, but with valve amps instead of test tubes.

These Studios offered up A decades worth of incredibly lush headphone treats before slowly going a bit pear-shaped by the mid eighties. Just like Dirk Diggler's painful Boogie Nights recording session. It was all over by 1985 - all the drums had nasty gated tin can reverb and the haircuts we're more memorable than the music.

But for a while these places, and 'The Dan', 'The Mac', 'The Doobie's and all their contemporaries had hit musical perfection, with an audio mastering, and vinyl production zenith at the time to match.

To anyone with a decent pair of ears, these slabs of vinyl history make todays mp3s sound like a serious step backward... So tonight we'll be focusing on big, daft, 70's rock records that hit you like being tango'ed with a thick creamy wodge of Rhodes Piano and vocal harmony -
So tonight it's all about a "rich tapestry of sound / sonic landscapes / analogue warmth / dynamic range" - man.

Leo Zero.

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