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.

You might recognise the fresh face on the video snapshot above as Laura Theis, whose album I produced. Well, one of her many other bands, Robot Swans, is releasing a new album this month (for Facebookers the launch is here).

It’s called The Tyranny of Robot Swans, and it looks like this: Continue reading

I had the great pleasure to be MC-ing the main stage on Saturday night at this year’s Folk Weekend Oxford festival, and the first act were one of my favourite local acts: Small & Gold.

Which meant I got to say the same spiel that I’m about to write here. If you were at that gig, well, it improves with repetition. Probably. Continue reading