It’s about time I recommended something other than music, I think.  I liked this film when I first saw it, but better than that, it’s just stayed with me.  I keep thinking of lines from it.

If you’re like me then you may watch this trailer and think: this is going to be a bit tediously macho, isn’t it.  Lots of David Mamet posing and Aaron Sorkin speeches and ‘You don’t understand how hard it is for me to be such an unusually gifted actor!’ shite.  Actually, there’s none of that.

It is basically the story of the day that the 2008 credit crisis hit, told from the perspective of a fictional investment bank, in pretty much real time.  There’s comparatively little philosophising, and much more people rapidly alternating between (a) staring at computer screens and going “Oh shit… ohh shit… that can’t be… ?!!  oh shit…” and (b) wondering out loud how much money other people in the company make.

Hopefully this isn’t a spoiler, but it doesn’t exactly have a happy ending.

Current Favourite Thing: Stanley Tucci talking about how he used to make bridges.  In fact, just Stanley Tucci generally.  And not just in this film.

I’m not going to just keep recommending people I know, but I can’t let the passing of this month’s big album release pass by.  Science-fiction inflected, electronically induced and very occasionally chemically-inspired, Mass and Ossian have been making music of one form or another pretty much since I first knew them, which was pretty much an infinity ago.  Their latest, out on Body Control records, is a collection of 12 of the finest compositions of digital mischief and what-the-fuckery you are likely to encounter this side of that parallel universe where all the Star Trek crew are evil and have beards:

https://bodycontrolrecords.bandcamp.com/album/bc024-strangers-from-birth-there-is-no-return Continue reading

The second recommendation of this month is also from my week of mixing and mastering in SSR London.  This time from my classmate Micaela Hourbeigt: resident of Argentina who had flown in to London to brush up on her studio skills, see some friends, have a holiday, and shake her head in bewilderment as Brexit shit went off the chain all around her.

Together we managed to break teacher Johnny with our never-ending stream of questions (“Yeah, I’m coming to that part…” basically became his catchphrase.)  And then we did the traditional swapping of each other’s music.  And she hit me with a triple volume concept album, which is fairly hardcore.

The first one lulls you into hypnosis…

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Jonny-Neve-mastering
Jonathan Espinosa, pictured in front of his beloved Neve mixing console.

The first of this month’s recommendations: Jonathan Espinosa’s ‘Minology‘ project.

Johnny was the teacher for a week long mixing and mastering course I did last week (which was, as it happens, an awesome birthday present!)  And Minology is the name of his first solo album, and also his latest artist name.

We listened to this album a lot, usually broken down into little pieces.

Johnny cut his teeth in House music. And I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for House. (As Carl Cox once said, “Garage is where I put my car – House is where I live.”) But this album takes some of the principles of modern club-based dance music and applies them to acoustic music, particularly Flamenco. I’m not aware of anything quite like it. The closest comparison I can think of is the first Cafe Del Mar album, which I played so much in my twenties that I wore the record grooves away. Or I would have, if I hadn’t listened to it on CD.

So why not give it a listen. And keep an eye out for the new Minology album ‘Inner Sanctum’, out this year.

Oh, and one of Johnny’s top tips:

Avoid using multiband compression when mastering if you can, because the inevitably shallow frequency crossover curves mean that certain frequencies get compressed twice, and that can cause unnecessary phase distortion.  Far better to run a compression sidechain high-pass filter so the whole mix isn’t disrupted by those energetic low frequencies.

But you all knew that already, right?

Big sound. Impossibly unimaginably heartstoppingly colossally loud…

Thanks to Josh R-H for this recommendation.

It is simply impossible for me to describe Moulettes without swearing.  Sorry.

They have a fucking electric bassoon.  They might be the best band that ever lived.

Really can’t recommend this song enough – just been stuck in my head for weeks.

I also love this video.  Because although Nancy is clearly supposed to look winsome and romantic, you can see that she is visibly distracted by the psychological trauma of having to do a shot where she swims in a lake in the British Isles: where summer means nothing and hypothermia is a very real possibility.