For once, we’ve kept our promises. As prophecized in the previous update, we were to meet Mixmaster Q at an Aarhus studio today, and against all odds we actually did. We’re ON SCHEDULE! Despite not living in Aarhus Q has a studio/rehearsal space in an old warehouse here. Located at the heart of the industrial harbor, adjacent to an ancient abattoir, Q’s studio is stereotypically metal to a much higher degree than our own rehearsal space with its arbors and abundance of assorted independent businesses.
Immediately upon entering Q cranked up the speakers and played us “Night and the City”, the title track. For the first time since it’s inception, the song actually sounds like it was meant to/imagined when initially written. Despite how we’ve already praised the record ad nauseam in every post in this series, this seems like the first time the songs actually sound like they’re supposed to, or more precisely like what they were imagined to sound like when written long ago. Whether that colours our ealier self-aggrandizing disingenuous as we might not actually have had the neceessary information to judge the tracks, or simply means that they’re even better than we thought, we’ll let you be the judge of in due time. Regardless, they fucking rip now! Today’s meeting was, aside from the assorted adjustment of levels, chiefly aesthetically oriented; concerned with the overall feel and atmosphere of the record. While coherence and narrative is very much a compositional concern, dealt with when writing and rehearsing, production have a weighty mandate as well.
As well-written and intensely performed as records like “Jane Doe” and “Goat” are, they would be very hard to imagine in any way separate from the production of Kurt Ballou and Steve Albini respectively. Working with someone possesing a heightened level of production-chops, a frame of reference similar to ours and with the grit and willingness to discuss and explore every potential approach to production, simply for the sake of presenting the songs the right way is a huge blessing. At this point it almost feels like we’re obliged to pull a stunt similar to what the first incarnation of Rollins Band did and simply list the producer as a member of the band on par with instrumentalists and writers.
The main benefit of a producer with similar tastes to your own is that it allows someone like myself, who’s completely oblivious of the correct technical nomenclature in regards to production, to communicate intuitively and actually have som semblance of a clue of what’s going on. In That vernacular, what we’re looking at now is “Contemporary-Converge-Drum-Sound”, “Early-Converge-Guitars” and “Locust-Moog”. A language easily understandable for the technically impaired musician.
We’ll release the first snipped of sound very, very soon.