lauantai 25. helmikuuta 2012

A look at 2011... And next live session coming up!

Firstly, apologies for such a terribly long silence, there has been a lot of stuff going on and the blog has been sadly neglected! This will not be the case for long, as there's some cool stuff about to happen!

So the breaking news: Part two of our Kekkonen elää! - Live at Studio Kekkonen series is going to be recorded next week! And the artist performing will be the one and only SUVI ISOTALO! We're super excited about it!

As most end-of-year lists and similar have been released ages ago, we thought we'd join the party a little late and sum up the Year of the Rabbit by looking at what we've worked on in 2011. It's been a wild year with a lot of turbulence in the recording industry and life in general, but once again - a lot fantastic music has been made within these walls!

2011 - One hell of a year! 
(And one hell of a long blog entry)

So here's what we were up to last year, in roughly chronological order:

Julius finished work on Matti Johannes Koivu's highly acclaimed and successful album "Toisen Maailman Nimi". Most of the work had been completed in December 2010, but the finishing touches were given in January. That was a fun project! And intense!
(Matti of course visited us in October for an exclusive live session as you probably remember and if not, check it out here!)

Matti-Johannes Koivu - 80-luvun lapset

Mikko started recording the vocals and some instrumental overdubs for Leningrad Cowboys’ “Buena Vodka Social Club” which would continue on and off for the remainder of the spring with super talented vocalist Ville Tuomi and producer/multi-instrumentalist Marzi Nyman, as well as continuing work on recording the superb Mimmit album “Maailman ympäri”, a world tour of ethnic/fusion acoustic music aimed for kids. Mikko was also busy teaching a music recording course at the Theatre Academy Helsinki for sound design students, including a 2-day live recording session for the superb free exploration group Ma-A trio (Jone TakamäkiOtzir Godot and Tuomas Rounakari)

Mimmit - Panda

Janne was also working hard producing, recording and mixing the second Vesterinen Yhtyeineen album "Erikoismiehen jäähyväiset" (with Julius helping out engineering the band sessions) which was released in May. There's a slight case of déja vu here, as the calendar for January and February 2012 got filled with bookings for Vesterinen...

Janne was also asked to collaborate with Akukon Oy - the biggest acoustic consulting company in Finland. He was part of the design team (with Henrik Möller and Anssi Ruusuvuori) and an acoustical project manager, working on Logomo - a new multipurpose concert hall in Turku.

In February (cross-musical pun intended, even if you didn't think) Julius mixed Cykles' self-titled debut album, which was a blast. I hope the record didn't pass unnoticed, cause it's a great one. Read what NRGM thought of it in their review of the album. We did a rather unusual mastering road trip with Ilkka, the singer of the band to go see Jaakko Viitalähde and his Virtalähde Mastering at his new HQ in Kuhmoinen (yes, it's far away, but a lovely place).

Cykles - Car Crash Daydream

In March Mikko mixed the upcoming album for Reversion, good old hard hitting progressive metal! Svante Forsbäck from Chartmakers did a superb job on an agressive master, look forward to that one, slightly delayed but coming! Oh, and in March Svante also did a great job on mastering My First Band’s “Mercury & Glitter”, mixed by Mikko in late 2010. Mikko also continued work with LC & Mimmit, also doing music post work throughout the year for the kid’s TV series “Mimmikoto” hosted by Pauliina and Hansu from the band on MTV3 Juniori.

My First Band - Baby You're Too Young (I Wanna Make Love To Your Mama)

Later in the spring Anssi Kela set to record a song collaboratively with a group of people over the internet, a project called "Biisirinki" and Julius ended up recording both Anssi's and the duet's second half Yona's vocals and mixing the parts submitted by the participants. It was a fun little project to do! Anssi reported the project pretty well in his own blog where I (Julius) babbled a bit about my part too.

In early spring, Aves dropped by to mix "You, Lucid" (that was widely noticed by the music blogging community). The release of the track happened around the same time we started this very blog.

Somehow in the midst of all these things Julius managed to find time to mix Wiidakko's "comeback" album, simply titled "Wiidakko". The first single "Seis seis seis" was released in the spring and Fresh Tunes Finland put out the album in December with "Odessa" as the second single.

Wiidakko - Odessa

In April, Mikko recorded and worked on the backing for the "live band rock” played by the actors for the upcoming feature film “Miss Farkku-Suomi”, based on the book by Kauko Röyhkä and featuring his classic songs. The session was supervised by the great Riku Mattila who had also played on the originals, a fun session! Mikko also mixed and recorded overdubs for Big Blue’s self titled debut, released worldwide on the prestigious Italian Cam Jazz label. Nordic jazz at it’s finest!

Big Blue - Mini-Male

Later in the spring, Mikko finalized the mixes on the Mimmit album and TV series and mixed a beautiful album he had recorded earlier, “Cathedral” by finnish Jazz Emma-award winners Oddarang, released in Finland and the UK by Texicalli & Edition Records.

Suvi Isotalo's second album "P.S. Maj'lle" already got a lenghty blog post of its own, but it was another great Julius project, so worth mentioning another time! And obviously, as mentioned, Suvi will do a session with us!

Early in the summer, Julius visited Mankku with Hope Comes in Many Forms, a great band who will release their debut album in the spring or summer of 2012!

Delay Trees released a new (fantastic!) self-released EP titled "Before I Go Go" as a free digital download and limited cassette edition (this would be a spot for another pun) in the summer. Julius mixed it, naturally!

The mixing of Black Twig's debut album "Paper Trees" was definitely another highlight of the year for Julius. The album was produced by our friend Nick Triani, recorded by Kia-Sofia Ryhänen and Nick and sees the light of day on Nick's fairly newly set up Soliti label, by far the most interesting record label in Finland at the moment. The record came out 11.1.2012! Go buy it, now! It's great!

In the fall, Mikko had one of his most enjoyable sessions ever with the recording and mixing of Verneri Pohjola Quartet’s “Ancient History”. Motto of the session: “Jazz-Narnia” - released worldwide on the German ACT music label. He also got to record and mix the Emma Salokoski Ensemble track “Kuiva Maa” that was featured in the TV song competition “Syksyn Sävel”, documented in the blog earlier.

Mikko also recorded and mixed a part improv soundtrack by the great Pekka Kuusisto for a video advert for the Finland Festivals organization and mixed Arja Koriseva’s classy christmas album “Rakkaudesta Jouluun”, as well as tracking a rendition of “La Cumparsita” with Olavi Uusivirta to serve as the theme song for the Canadian documentary “Under the Red Star” by Shebafilms. He also held a mixing workshop for the talented people at Nokia’s sound design team. B2B!

Our friend Kimmo Antikainen also visited Mikko's Control Room to mix the album "En vielä tahtoisi nöyrtyä" by the cabaret band Kitkerät Neitsyet.

Julius crammed in a small mixing project for a yet to be launched Japanese group with producer Yoshio Tamamura. Also, mixing for the upcoming Suvi Koivu album began late in the autumn! Mikko also started yet to be unreleased mixing projects with the very talented "Voice of Denmark" competitor Bjarne Langhoff and the amazing duo Eva & Manu.

The remainder of the year Julius has spent on producing and recording Olavi Uusivirta's fifth album, also documented here. Pre-production and recording happened between September and New year, mixing was completed in early February. It's definitely one of the best projects... Ever? Quite likely. The album will see the light of day in March, so be prepared for something very cool!

Oh, and although Janne was extremely busy most of the year with the Logomo project traveling between Turku and Helsinki, he also designed quite a few nice studios: Rähinä records’ studios, Atomic Spa, Das Båt, AV-studios for Jyväskylä University and Heltech, a radio studio for GBMM, a functional workroom/studio for Timo Kämäräinen, few home theatres, a film studio for Janne Jankeri, modifications for HIP studios and Promix recording studio in Azerbaitsan, Baku.

And of course, our assistant Kia-Sofia Ryhänen was helping out with Vesterinen Yhtyeineen, Hope Comes in Many Forms and Olavi Uusivirta band sessions as well as recording the forthcoming Kiki Pau release!

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