Listen to samples of projects I’ve worked on. If you like the music, please head over to the artist website or Bandcamp page to support them!
“Sing Me A Reprise” is from the latest Hip Hatchet full length Joy And Better Days. We recorded the entire record at The Map Room in Portland and mixed it at Badlands. I think this is my favorite track on the album, mainly for the haunting melody in the chorus along with the lush bed of woodwinds. Philippe has an incredible ear for orchestration, and it really comes through on this track. It was a fun one to mix, as Philippe’s arrangement and performance help to create a clear dramatic arc over the course of the song.
Youth was one of the first bands to make a record at Badlands. They tracked their six-song EP over the course of three hot days in late summer 2011. I love this band for their infectious melodies and powerful sense of nostalgia. It was fun (and challenging) to work with them in striking a balance between creating full-sounding recordings and maintaining the tight live feel they captured during basic tracking. Sadly they’re no longer active, but three members are still playing together in Portland in a new band called Genders.
This track is from a collaborative record that my band, The Early, made with Ben Seretan, a songwriter and guitarist from Brooklyn. Over the course of two weeks in November 2011, Ben and our band (which is usually instrumental) arranged and recorded In Two. It was a surprisingly smooth process given how quickly it happened. My favorite part of this record is the raw nature of most of the basic tracks combined with contrasting textural elements added later, including trumpet, gang vocals, recordings of Ben telling a story, and intimate vocals recorded between dinner and dessert on Thanksgiving Day.
RAKE is a collaboration between Ryan Miller of U Sco and Jake Nussbaum of The Early and Port St. Willow. “My heart, the Culprit” was recorded in the studio at Badlands, though some of the other tracks on this record were recorded completely live using a field recorder. Listening to it now, I have to remind myself that there are only two people creating all that chaos. The biggest challenge for me on this session was capturing the frenetic energy while maintaing both clarity and density. This was an intense session, and I think that comes across in the finished recording quite well.
This was a unique project for me because it was one of the first entirely electronic compositions I’ve mixed. Matt Ellis of Purse Candy came by the studio with his final recordings, and when I brought them up in Pro Tools I was stunned by how tight the arrangement was. Everything fit together, and the song told a story in an exciting way. He could have called the mix finished right there. Instead, we worked together for a few hours to make pretty minor tweaks, getting everything just right. I think that speaks more to Matt’s high standards than it does my skill as a mixer. I think the track sounds amazing, and that’s because Matt wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here’s another track from my band, but this one’s just us. Instead of our usual tactic of tracking everything live, we approached “In Korea” as a collage of sounds. The final mix is a heavily edited piece forged from multiple improvisation sessions, field recordings, and loops. The disparate elements flow in and out of sync with each other over the course of the piece, which was initially just a result of trial and error during the editing process, but eventually led to a clear image of the song’s structure. I enjoyed taking raw sources like improvised jams and using them to create highly choreographed moments. It was a new way of working for me, and I’d like to take this approach on projects more often.
The sessions with Maxim Ludwig at Bedrock Studios were some of my last while living in Los Angeles. They had four days booked and wanted to capture upwards of 12 songs. The initial plan was that these would just be demos, but after listening back to their rock-solid performances and energetic live sound of the recordings, they decided to release some of them on the This Round Is On Me EP. These sessions were a blast for me, but also a challenge because I knew that I needed to be 100% ready to capture every second of sound they made. The band was very well-rehearsed, and was able to get solid basic tracks in record time. We spent a day on overdubs, including organ, sax, percussion, and a couple of guitar solos, but each decision to add another element was made carefully, and I believe all the additional layers were tasteful and appropriate. It’s awesome seeing this video and knowing that the performance scenes were all shot in the studio where they recorded the track! This was definitely one of my favorite LA sessions.
Here’s another recording of Hip Hatchet. This was a live acoustic session on a cold winter day in Portland, with Philippe and Alex laying down 4 songs in just a few takes. This is in stark contrast to previous Hip Hatchet sessions, which often involve quite a bit of layering. Just two acoustic guitars and vocals here. Philippe mixed the songs himself for the Coward’s Luck EP, and Jake Nussbaum put together the video for this track.