Fleeing from Pigeons Records

A record label and blog from the same idiot that gave you Bearded Magazine

Productive variables?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting John Leckie – he of producing Stone Roses, Radiohead and, err, Kula Shaker fame. I was writing a release based around his comments at a talk at the University of Westminster and, following the recent (modest) success of the Andy Price record (which has almost double the downloads of any other FFP-R release) it was interesting to get an insight into the world of ‘proper’ record production.

Andy’s record has galvanised me and a couple of other artists FFP-R are going to be working with in the coming months that ‘live’ writing and recording of records in the public eye is an interesting concept, and it is certainly something we’ll be exploring. But Leckie’s talk really introduced me to the romanticism of recording a record – coming into the recording “80% ready” and going to a £1,000/day record studio (such as the secluded, accessible only by boat Sawmill Studios) and working full time on a record for a number of weeks or months.

It was certainly something that would appeal to me to put a band that I really believe in through, but there is a huge disconnect between what major labels can afford for their artists and what a DIY or small label artist is provided. It strikes me as stunning that you can spend thousands of pounds on a record or you can spend literally tens of pounds on a record and the result, aside for the love of purest audiophiles, is negligibly different. Take the Holton’s Opulent Oog record The Problem of Knowledge recorded for £100 or Antarctica Takes It!‘s record The Penguin League, recorded through the built-in mic on a laptop for epically amazing records as examples.

It reminds me of the second Electric Soft Parade record The American Adventure, which, following a £1,000 recording in a Brighton studio, was rejected by SonyBMG who quickly frogmarched the brothers White into Abbey Road and spent around £100,000 recording four tracks. Listen to that record now and tell me which tracks were in Abbey Road and which were in a studio in Brighton – tell me the difference, because I’ve forgotten which track was recorded where…

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