Tape Notes
TN:43 Jack Garratt

TN:43 Jack Garratt

July 7, 2020

In this episode, John catches up with Jack Garratt to talk about how he wrote, recorded and produced his latest album Love, Death & Dancing. 

Jack digs up the original demo sessions recorded in his garden shed, unravelling the multitude of ideas he packed in to each track. Illustrated through a bounty of unheard demos and track breakdowns, Jack charts the emotional journey he undertook writing the album, revealing how he subtly controls rhythm and harmony to tell a story. 

Listen to find out how a core guitar riff was saved by a lucky phone recording, how his childhood trombone skills are now coming in handy, and how a few pearls of wisdom from producer Jacknife Lee have impacted his song writing. 

 

Tracks discussed: Time, Anyone, Only The Bravest 

 

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TN:42 Caribou

TN:42 Caribou

July 1, 2020

In this episode John links up with Caribou a.k.a. Dan Snaith, to breakdown how Suddenly -  his first release in five years - was written, recorded and produced. 

Diving deep into his hard drive Dan treats us to a plethora of demo versions, track breakdowns and even plays us a few nuggets live. We get to hear the philosophy and stories behind creating his most personal album yet and discover how he reduced a monumental 900 ideas down to a single record. 

Listen to hear the results of when Dan was let loose in Floating Points' Studio, how leaving his internet browser open while recording provided a moment of compositional serendipity, and why the title of this podcast could well have been 'Things I learned from Timberland'. 

 

Songs Discussed: Magpie, Like I Love You, Sister 

 

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TN:41 Foals

TN:41 Foals

June 24, 2020

Kicking off a brand new season, John is joined by Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis to talk about how the band’s mammoth two-part project Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost was written, recorded and produced. 

As their first self-produced albums, Yannis gives us a fascinating insight into their biggest project yet, breaking down his writing process from the loops and drones he crafted at home to the final versions of lyrics written almost entirely at the pub.  

Listen to find out how some NS10 cones were hacked to create a makeshift microphone, what Yannis projects on to the wall when recording vocals, and how the band managed to tie songs together with trips to Paris and cycling adventures in Annecy. 

 

Tracks Discussed: Syrups, Exits & Neptune  

 

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Best of Season 4

Best of Season 4

June 18, 2020

In this episode we take a look back at some of the best bits from season 4. If you haven't heard every episode from the last season, this is a good way to introduce yourself to some of the artists and producers we've had on, hearing their stories, tips and general philosophy on writing and recording. Have a listen, you never know what you might learn!

 

You'll hear highlights from:

Mura Masa

Friendly Fires & Mark Ralph

These New Puritans

Elbow

Ezra Collective

Mystery Jets

DJ Shadow

 

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TN:40 DJ Shadow

TN:40 DJ Shadow

March 31, 2020

In this episode, John ventures over to Wendy House Studios to catch up with hip-hip royalty Josh Davis AKA DJ Shadow, to talk through how he recorded and produced his latest album ‘Our Pathetic Age’ and his chart-topping album ‘The Mountain Will Fall’.   

Josh gives us a full insight in to his largest most diverse project yet, breaking down his writing process from the moment he randomly dips in to his vast record collection for inspiration, to discovering unlikely source material such as an abandoned record collection rescued from a friend of his father's. We get to hear the original samples that form the basis of some of his biggest hits as well as the raw vocal stems of Nas and Pharoahe Monch rapping at each other from different studios.   

Listen to find out about Josh’s meticulous sample editing process, what mixing mistake meant he had to sneakily rerelease a track, and why he had to gatecrash a Run the Jewels gig. 

Tracks discussed: Nobody Speak, Rocket Fuel, Drone Warfare

 

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TN:39 Mystery Jets & Matt Twaites

TN:39 Mystery Jets & Matt Twaites

March 26, 2020

In this episode John makes multiple trips to Brain Yard Studios to catch up with Mystery Jets frontman Blaine Harrison and producer Matt Twaites to talk about how they recorded and produced the album A Billion Heartbeats. 

Recorded in the room where the album was conceived, Blaine and Matt give us full access to the Mystery Jets creative process, from tales of protests, marches and relief work, to their quest not sound too much like the Backstreet Boys. We get to hear an array of demos and phone recordings including the sound of Matt’s unborn son’s heartbeat which was crafted into a drum loop. 

Listen to find out what how Blaine ended up in an Icelandic Spa with Bjork, what images he looks at to get the best vocal take and who he turns to when struggling with lyrics.  

Songs discussed: Screwdriver, Wrong Side of the Tracks, A Billion Heartbeats

 

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TN:38 Ezra Collective

TN:38 Ezra Collective

March 18, 2020

This week John is joined by Ezra Collective’s Femi, TJ and James to talk about how they wrote and recorded their debut album You Can’t Steal My Joy. 

Hot off the heels winning 'Jazz Album of the Year' at the World Wide Awards, the boys reflect upon how the album took shape, from the early rehearsals in a dodgy studio in Croatia to spending two days on a boat recording the whole thing. The boys play us previously unheard demos capturing the moments lightning struck, from a very rough voice memo to a more elaborate Garage Band creation knocked together on the top deck of a bus. 

Listen to find out how the band learns songs from street beat boxing, the challenge of writing an album for the ‘shuffle generation’, and which seat on the bus James sits in when writing on Garage Band. 

Tracks discussed: You Can't Steal My Joy, Quest For Coin, Why You Mad?

 

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TN:37 Elbow

TN:37 Elbow

March 11, 2020

In this episode, John is joined by Guy Garvey and Craig Potter from Elbow, to talk about how ‘Giants of All Sizes’ was written and recorded. 

Craig and Guy look back at some of the sessions tracked over a two year period, reflecting on what was an emotionally challenging time for Guy and how this influenced the writing and mood of the record - something grittier and more contemplative than previous Elbow albums. We get to hear early demos and track break breakdowns, plus bags of wisdom from the big man. 

Listen to find out how the band channelled their feminine energy, how a monorail journey ended up as a drumbeat, and what happens if you drunkenly text Elvis Costello in the middle of the night. 

Songs: Seven Veils, Dexter and Sinister, On Deronda Road 

 

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TN:36 These New Puritans

TN:36 These New Puritans

March 4, 2020

In this episode John is joined by twin brothers Jack and George Barnett, AKA experimental art-rock music duo These New Puritans, to talk about how they wrote, recorded and produced the album ‘Inside The Rose’. 

The boys look back on making music together in their attic as children and uncover some of the many sketches and demos versions created whilst recording the album. We get to hear the moment Jack woke from a dream with a fresh melody composed within his slumber in addition to their general philosophy on writing and recording as TNP. 

Listen to find out why jack had to avoid barking attack dogs whilst recording in Berlin, what Harmonic Re-synthesis is, and why some sessions were hospital inducing experiences. 

Tracks discussed: Infinity Vibraphones, Where the Trees are on Fire, A-R-P

 

TN:35 Friendly Fires & Mark Ralph

TN:35 Friendly Fires & Mark Ralph

February 26, 2020

Friendly Fires’ Inflorescent is packed with tightly woven beats and hard-hitting nostalgia. In a city spanning episode, John catches up with the band along with super star producer Mark Ralph (Tom Walker, Clean Bandit, Years & Years) at Iguana Studios and Mark’s Studio, Club Ralph, to talk about how they recorded and produced the album. 

The boys explore everything from what survived in the demos recorded in Ed’s mum’s house, to how blending recording techniques with synths and drum machines helped them create their joyful blend of house and funk. 

Hear how tracking each individual drum and ‘talent boosting’ your own performances is never a bad thing, and how Rick Astley and Barry White left their mark the record. 

 

Tracks discussed: Love Like Waves, Can’t Wait Forever, Almost Midnight 

 

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