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Michael Blake fokussiert in dem folgenden Gespräch mit Morgan Enos scharf Aspekte des Aufnehmens und Mixens von Musik:

I did this record [on co-founded label P&M Records] with my brother [Paul], and he and I have shared similar musical tastes for years. And also, argued and completely disagreed about music at times. But we were listening to a bunch of records – some by my friends, some just other things he was interested in – and there was this one album he chose. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it had this very generic jazz production. The way the drums were recorded – it was just flat. He was like, “I don’t like this; turn this off!” I was like, “OK, settle down. It’s not bad; you’re just responding to the presentation – the aural experience.”


I think in the case of jazz, technology has evolved: there are certain ways people record now, and they get really good, clean records. But how do you explain the rawness of a Mingus recording? That’s also recorded beautifully. It’s not just the mic placement or anything. There’s something else happening that’s fearless. Ellington stuff – a lot of that as well. In the music that I like, anyway, there’s a certain mystery. Music itself is more powerful than the technology documenting it. The music, as an aggregate, is so good and so strong and so powerful that no matter how you capture it, it’s going to be what it is.


LJN: How would you connect that to „Dance of the Mystic Bliss“?


MB: The mixes are done by Scott Harding, a.k.a. Scotty Hard, who just produced this new Sexmob record [2023’s The Hard Way] that’s completely his thing. It’s like they went into the studio and [trumpeter and bandleader Steven] Bernstein was like, “Just do whatever you want with this.” They call it The Hard Way because it really is his interpretation. When he did my album, Champa, in ‘95, he had been working with Teo Macero. When Teo did my record, he asked for Scott, which is funny, because Scott and I were college buddies in Canada. He came to New York after me and became this hip-hop engineer, doing Wu-Tang Clan and Prince Paul’s stuff.


So, when I asked him to do my record, I was like, I hope he knows how to record jazz instruments, because we hadn’t really worked together since we were in Vancouver. And oh my god, he got great sounds, but when he started mixing it, he created this whole other aural experience. Sort of a three-dimensional concept.


LJN: From a mixing standpoint, this album sounds different from other stuff I hear.


MB: Scotty Hard has a sound, and that’s part of the sound of this, too. It’s produced by Scott in the sense that the mixes are the final say. I produced it in the sense that I arranged it and organised it and made all the musical decisions.


On the intro of this tune, “Sagra,” you hear a lot of reverb. But when we all play this last phrase together, he takes the violin and the sax and the guitar and creates one blend. And then you can hear that he’s tweaking it, so when it fades, that’s an engineering fade; it’s not natural, musicians all ending at slightly different times, where someone drops the pitch a bit.


veröffentlicht auf LONDON JAZZ NEWS

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