Mirror Mirror “Oddfellows” 2011

Here’s an interesting project from a few years back, release number five of the FRKWYS project from Brooklyn label RVNG Intl. FRKWYS is a series dedicated to the idea of intergenerational collaboration; on this record the four “old hands” were Stuart Moxham, Alig Fodder, Stuart Argabright and myself, and the “youngsters” were this very cool and unique band. Thanks again to Dan Selzer for putting my name up for this.

Stereo Action Unlimited “Hi-Fi Trumpet (Rico C Mix)” 1999

Here’s a nice summer vibe from 1999, a mix I did for the excellent Belgian label ¡Ya Basta! which I’m happy to say is still going strong.

Technical note: this was my first Pro Tools mix.

In other news, music fans worldwide are celebrating the reissue of Arnold Turboust’s classic debut album Let’s Go à Goa. You can read my write-up of the album here.

Madonna “Ray of Light” 1997

Believe it or not, today marks the 40th anniversary of the recording of White Night, the debut single from my band The Lines, which I have written about a couple of times. I don’t know where all that time went, and so very quickly…I just looked around, and it was gone! A lesson for my younger readers.

Here’s another significant anniversary: although I have dated this entry according to the session date, as is my custom, we have just passed the 20th anniversary of the release of Madonna’s finest and best-selling album.

Back in early 1997 I was in London, during the last days of the Crouch End version of Guerilla Studio.  It was a creative time. Some excellent Blur mixes were done, later included on the compilation Bustin’ and Dronin’. Mainly though, William Orbit was trying to finish an album called Strange Cargo 5. I thought the album sounded fantastic, but Warner Brothers somehow didn’t share the enthusiasm and a release date was not set.

When William heard that Madonna was looking for songs he sent the album to her. She loved it, used pretty much all of it…and so Strange Cargo 5 became Ray of Light.

Madonna was in superb voice at the time, having recently completed the quasi-operatic Evita. I’ll never forget first hearing her singing on Substitute For Love: the blend of her vocal and William’s instrumental style was truly a match made in heaven. Never that much of a fan (apart from Holiday obviously), Madonna really impressed me with the strength and depth of emotion she brought to these tracks.

I personally didn’t have much to do with the album, apart from cheerleading William and trying to help him keep his aging equipment operational. I seem to recall doing a glockenspiel part on To Have And Not To Hold. It didn’t earn me an album credit, but I got a platinum disc, and here it is.


 

Andreas Scholl “Dido’s Lament” 2010

I’m dedicating this post to the great Johnny Hallyday, who left us last week. We were lucky enough to catch him live here in Los Angeles a few years ago…an electrifying performance. He was truly one of the greats.

The track is an arrangement I did of the Purcell song for William Orbit. I think I like this best of all of his classical adaptations.