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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Terry Manning => Topic started by: RMoore on March 22, 2005, 04:24:45 am

Title: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: RMoore on March 22, 2005, 04:24:45 am
Didn't want to hijack the Flickenger thread but the Blackwell / Compass Point / Grace Jones connection was mentioned...
I just saw news of this new project with Mr Blackwell back in the studio after who knows how many eons / starting a luxury hotel chain:

 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/html/20050319T20000  0-0500_77155_OBS_RIDDIM_TWINS__BLACKWELL_BACK_IN_STUDIO_.asp
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: punkest on March 22, 2005, 01:07:51 pm
   Wow, Interesting! What a great team. but I wonder how will Chris Blackwell will adapt from so many years in the business side and back to the studio. Smile
  I heard that in No Doubt's Rock Steady the songs that sold more where the ones that Sly and Robbie produced against the other songs produced from guys like Prince, William Orbit, Ric Ocasek...

 I guess they'll record in Tuff Gong?
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: RMoore on March 22, 2005, 05:35:01 pm
For recording acoustic drums I hear Tuff Gong is the best choice in town due to the room size / acoustics etc..it used to be Federal Studios..
Quite a few other studios can handle a full drum kit tho'..
If Sly is on the MPC then there's no limits..
Some of the other top flight studios in K-town are Anchor, Mixing Lab, Steven Stanley Recording..
And there's a TON of other small & medium size studios..
Things move at such a fast pace in the recording scene there, its 'beyond'
!
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: punkest on March 25, 2005, 01:14:36 am
Hey Ryan, it sounds as if you have recorded in Jamaica, have you? How is it? What you did over there? I would love to go and record some stuff at Tuff gong or any place there for that matter!!!
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: lord on March 25, 2005, 08:42:09 am
Was Blackwell ever actually "in the studio" with anybody? I assumed he was kind of a "I'll stop by when you've got masters and fly back to England" kind of guy..

Yea, Ryan.. share some JA studio stories.
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: RMoore on March 25, 2005, 12:42:28 pm
punkest wrote on Fri, 25 March 2005 07:14

Hey Ryan, it sounds as if you have recorded in Jamaica, have you? How is it? What you did over there? I would love to go and record some stuff at Tuff gong or any place there for that matter!!!


I've actually been in Tuff Gong before (but wasn't present when some work for me was getting done -!)..
You can easily just call up Tuff Gong or any other studio & book time, it seems a very competitive scene there with minimal block bookings eg: people are booking short 3 hr sessions mainly.. so you can often book sessions with 2 or even 1 week notice...its about $30/35 US per hour for top studios like Tuff Gong (!)..
I plan to go do some stuff in JA next month actually,
 Analog still rules the main studios but PT is rapidly taking over big time (surprise!)..
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: compasspnt on March 25, 2005, 09:48:14 pm
I was with Chris just a couple of days ago.  He has indeed been back in the studio, and yes,  with Sly and Robbie.  He told me that he did have some "butterflies" before going back in, but it immediately felt right, just like never forgetting how to ride that bicycle.

My only regret is that he was actually unable to do the sessions here at Compass Point!  CPS was his first choice, and we did discuss it, and try to work it all out, but our booking schedule was full during the exact time he needed to work, so he had to record somewhere else.  And that after his having CPS now for over 27 years.  But he is going to do lots more production work, and plans to definitely come back home.

lord wrote on Fri, 25 March 2005 08:42

Was Blackwell ever actually "in the studio" with anybody? I assumed he was kind of a "I'll stop by when you've got masters and fly back to England" kind of guy...


No, not true!  Although Chris is not an engineer, musician or singer himself, he most definitely is a true producer who has been directly involved inside the studio.
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 26, 2005, 08:31:37 am
compasspnt wrote on Fri, 25 March 2005 20:48

...Although Chris is not an engineer, musician or singer himself, he most definitely is a true producer who has been directy involved inside the studio.
Something many people today don't realize is that many of the greatest producers were never an engineer, musician or singer. They KNOW what a great performance is in each of those areas but motivating others to come up with the goods is what I think producing is really all about.

The last time I mentioned this it apparently really jammed a bunch of people's buttons but it is an important distinction to understand.
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: cgc on March 26, 2005, 06:21:03 pm
Ryan Moore wrote on Fri, 25 March 2005 11:42


You can easily just call up Tuff Gong or any other studio & book time, it seems a very competitive scene there with minimal block bookings eg: people are booking short 3 hr sessions mainly.. so you can often book sessions with 2 or even 1 week notice...its about $30/35 US per hour for top studios like Tuff Gong (!)..



Too bad the greatest Jamaican studio was destroyed over two decades ago.  The Black Ark must be (re)built!!

Quote:

Something many people today don't realize is that many of the greatest producers were never an engineer, musician or singer. They KNOW what a great performance is in each of those areas but motivating others to come up with the goods is what I think producing is really all about.



It should not matter what you call someone or what their 'qualifications' are as long as they make worthwhile contributions to a project.  People who get past terms like 'producer' don't strike me as the most flexible thinkers around.
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: RMoore on March 28, 2005, 01:55:22 am
cgc wrote on Sun, 27 March 2005 00:21

Ryan Moore wrote on Fri, 25 March 2005 11:42


You can easily just call up Tuff Gong or any other studio & book time, it seems a very competitive scene there with minimal block bookings eg: people are booking short 3 hr sessions mainly.. so you can often book sessions with 2 or even 1 week notice...its about $30/35 US per hour for top studios like Tuff Gong (!)..



Too bad the greatest Jamaican studio was destroyed over two decades ago.  The Black Ark must be (re)built!!


Apparently there was some kind of plan to rebuild the burned out shell of the Ark and even a $ allocation a few years ago by Lee Perry but not much was heard since then..
LP has lived in Geneva for years with his wife, a wealthy Swiss businesswoman and does live tours occasionally, ad libbing a stream of consciousness over whatever backing band he's with..
Someone once described LP's situation in Jamaica when his studio & productions were at their peak as being like an 'orange seller in Gaza'..
Quite an apt description!
His current situation must be far more comfortable..
I doubt we will see a return for him to producing or a revived Black Ark unf...

The fate of another legendary  studio: Channel One,
The studio fizzled out after one of the owners was shot to death & the rest of his family moved to NYC...
Anyway, I heard its basically now a storage place for bicycle parts or something, as the area is just too dangerous to run a studio in (it was dangerous back in the day, but apparently back then they had protection from local gangsters who liked what was going on the studio and / or were clients !)..supposedly the great API desk is in storage, awaiting a possible new facility eleewhere in Kingston.
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: RMoore on March 28, 2005, 05:53:15 am
FWIW - by many accounts, when LP's Black Ark was in full swing, Mr Perry was the kind of guy who would turn off the studio clock and work extra hours for free, if he liked an outside project , just to get it as good as can be..

The knockout punch for LP appeared to be a combo of:

12 hr rum & ganja fuelled work days 24-7
The orange seller in Gaza factor
The local mob coming around for weekly collection / 'protection' money.
Annoying studio hangerson
Wife running away with one of his artists
Island records turning down his masterworks 'Heart of the Congos' & "Super Ape' as being technically deficient..

Apparently 1st his behavior became totally surreal, chasing away all his clients / musicians / mafia / hangerson...then pieces of gear started getting tossed in the cesspool....then out came the lighter & flammable liquid..
Then up went the studio in smoke thus ending that chapter of LP's life(!)..

Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: lord on March 28, 2005, 04:08:54 pm
Bob Olhsson wrote on Sat, 26 March 2005 08:31

Something many people today don't realize is that many of the greatest producers were never an engineer, musician or singer.


In JA, whoever's paying is producer.
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: cgc on March 28, 2005, 07:00:33 pm
Ryan Moore wrote on Mon, 28 March 2005 00:55

cgc wrote on Sun, 27 March 2005 00:21

[
The Black Ark must be (re)built!!


Apparently there was some kind of plan to rebuild the burned out shell of the Ark and even a $ allocation a few years ago by Lee Perry but not much was heard since then..



It's good to see another Black Ark enthusiast.  

I was paraphrasing a line from an old Situationist manifesto about urban landscapes called FORMULARY FOR A NEW URBANISM by Ivan Chtcheglov (don't ask me how to pronounce that).  The original phrase is 'The Hacienda must be built!' and was the inspiration for a certain legendary Manchester club.  Like most manifestos the subject is couched in metaphor and allegory, and I think some of the playful language and approach to technology fits in with Scratch's methodology pretty well.  

You can read the essay here:
http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/Chtcheglov.htm
or in slightly more pleasant html here:
http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/1

I had an opportunity to meet Perry several years ago through a fellow that wanted me to interview him about his production techniques.  Given that it was a number of years since his last decent output I figured he probably didn't care about such things anymore.  Of course, this guy asked a bunch of questions anyway and Perry said that he hadn't touched a mixing desk since the destruction of the Black Ark and he would not talk about anything relating to that.  Personally, I think whatever drove him over the edge also sapped much of the desire and enthusiasm that drove his work.  

Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: RMoore on March 30, 2005, 04:40:04 pm
cgc wrote on Tue, 29 March 2005 02:00

Ryan Moore wrote on Mon, 28 March 2005 00:55

cgc wrote on Sun, 27 March 2005 00:21

[
The Black Ark must be (re)built!!


Apparently there was some kind of plan to rebuild the burned out shell of the Ark and even a $ allocation a few years ago by Lee Perry but not much was heard since then..



It's good to see another Black Ark enthusiast.  

I was paraphrasing a line from an old Situationist manifesto about urban landscapes called FORMULARY FOR A NEW URBANISM by Ivan Chtcheglov (don't ask me how to pronounce that).  The original phrase is 'The Hacienda must be built!' and was the inspiration for a certain legendary Manchester club.  Like most manifestos the subject is couched in metaphor and allegory, and I think some of the playful language and approach to technology fits in with Scratch's methodology pretty well.  

You can read the essay here:
http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/Chtcheglov.htm
or in slightly more pleasant html here:
http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/1

I had an opportunity to meet Perry several years ago through a fellow that wanted me to interview him about his production techniques.  Given that it was a number of years since his last decent output I figured he probably didn't care about such things anymore.  Of course, this guy asked a bunch of questions anyway and Perry said that he hadn't touched a mixing desk since the destruction of the Black Ark and he would not talk about anything relating to that.  Personally, I think whatever drove him over the edge also sapped much of the desire and enthusiasm that drove his work.  




Interesting!
Indeed LP's behavior & record producing methods could be seen as almost some kind of 'accidental' situationist method..
I am sure by the end it was no fun at the Black Ark & in LP's life..
Can't think of a more abrubt change than leaving Jamaica to live surrounded by ice & snow in Switzerland...apparently he loves it & seemed to just totally abandon his Ark life completely: master tapes, kids, house - everything..
If you haven't read it - I can suggest checking out David Katz's 'official' LP biography "People Funny Boy' ...lots of it covers LP's eccentric post Ark antics and lifestyle which is kinda boring but what I found interesting was his lengthy career in the biz (pre meltdown) and how he worked at some point with EVERYONE who was someone in the history of Jamaican music..
Title: Re: C Blackwell back in the studio with Sly & Robbie after 20 yrs
Post by: RMoore on March 30, 2005, 04:44:59 pm
A previous LP rant of mine:

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/23137/2606/?SQ= 2e3745aae067f3ac40f0e4d5503fb061#msg_23137