Tape Notes
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 an 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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You can learn more about our partner Focusrite here. Together we share the goal of inspiring people to make more music - they're an awesome company so go check them out. 

 

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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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You can learn more about our partner Focusrite here. Together we share the goal of inspiring people to make more music - they're an awesome company so go check them out. 

 

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TN:34 Mura Masa

TN:34 Mura Masa

February 19, 2020

Returning for another season, John is joined by electronic music producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Alex Crossan A.K.A Mura Masa.

Catching up at Iguana Studios, Alex invites us behind the curtain and reveals how his latest album R.Y.C was recorded and produced. We get to hear intimate track breakdowns - including a brilliant dive into the early takes of the Slowthai collaboration ‘Deal Wiv It’ - plus copious amounts of philosophical musings on what it takes to write a Mura Masa track and music production in general.

Listen to find out why a Patrick Fitzgerald sample worked it’s way into ‘Deal Wiv It’, when you really know a track is finished, and why Alex’s girlfriend is a wise lady.

 

Tracks discussed: Deal Wiv It, Live Like We’re Dancing, Teenage Headache Dreams.

 

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You can learn more about our partner Focusrite here. Together we share the goal of inspiring people to make more music - they're an awesome company so go check them out. 

 

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Best of Season 3

Best of Season 3

February 18, 2020

In this episode we take a look back at some of the best bits from season 3. 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:

Ibeyi & Richard Russel (Live from Miloco Studios)

Kate Tempest & Dan Carey

Nitin Sawhney

Floating Points

Tune-Yards

Jamie Lidell

Cold War Kids & Lars Stalfors

The Lumineers & Simone Felice

Easy Life & Rob Milton (Live at Latitude Festival)

 

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Bonus Episode - Easy Life & Rob Milton (live at Latitude)

Bonus Episode - Easy Life & Rob Milton (live at Latitude)

December 19, 2019

Back in July we were invited to Latitude Festival to take part in their podcast stage. In this live recording, we caught up with Murray from Easy Life and Rob Milton to talk about how they write and record music together.

After a late entrance from Murray (waylaid somewhere on site!) the boys discuss their working relationship and what it takes to create an Easy Life tune.

We learn how the boys ended up working together from unlikely beginnings, why it’s crucial to ‘get it down’ when melodies are flowing, and why Murray maybe isn’t as good at the trumpet as he once thought.

Tracks Discussed: Pockets, Earth

 

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TN:33 The Lumineers & Simone Felice

TN:33 The Lumineers & Simone Felice

December 11, 2019

In this episode John ventures up to Spitfire Audio studios to catch up with Wes and Jeremiah from The Lumineers and producer Simone Felice to talk about how they recorded and produced the album III. 

The guys offer up an epic dissection of their music covering every aspect of the creative process. We’re treated to intimate phone recordings that captured the lightning strike moments when songs were born, copious demo versions detailing their subsequent honing and development, and track breakdowns of the finished songs. It’s a veritable masterclass in songwriting and music production. 

Listen to find out why the boys are ‘perfectionists for imperfection’, hear the moment Gloria was conceived when nature called during a bike ride in the mountains, and how sometimes the demo version is all you need. 

Tracks discussed: Gloria, Leader Of The Landslide, Salt And The Sea 

 

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