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The history of Studio 11 and Kompute Records dates back a decade – easy. Our cumulative group of friends met at classic venues like Karma on Grand and underground rave parties throughout the city. Some of the earliest memorable Kompute recordings featured artists such as Hidden Variable, Soultek (Steve Hitchell of Echospace), and Billy Dalessandro. The sounds at the time were of a pioneering direction with almost no constant. From hard beating techno soundscapes to trippy minimal cuts, there was a broad scope of ideas. As time swept forward, so did the direction. Some of Kompute’s establishing artists went on to pioneer sounds of their own and in that time the new Kompute sound emerged. While giving a steady nod to the Chicago legacy of the past, the new Kompute is a culmination of great things that have come before and what is yet to be.
Chicago has always been the hub for balance within dance music, best known for House and Industrial styles. While House music was the disco of the streets, Industrial followed and brought rock n’ roll to the dancefloor. The new era of Kompute kicks Chicago’s legacy up a notch with a strong regard for both.
“Disco Fresco” features dance music pioneers Alexander Robotnick and Scott “Smokin” Silz (Hot Mix 5) alongside Kompute visionary Matt Nee in a spicy blend of nouveau electro. Alexander Robotnick, heralded as the grandfather of italo disco lends his disco antics with his snaky voice and winding keyboard leads. To bring the whole track together we had some work cut out for us in the studio mixdown….
Here’s a few session notes:
For the wild and untamed voice of Mr. Robotnick, the Waves De-Esser was just the ticket. The vocal part, while deliberately slathered with sibilance warranted the objective of maintaining said sibilant EFFECT, without the associated ear-splitting sibilance. Our de-esser, Waves RCompressor, API 550 EQ, and the Oram-Trident (Console) EQ proved the perfect combination to tame unwanted dynamics while retaining desirable breath and air on the vocal.
Our big pow wow on mixdown landed on the keyboard break through the solo. Scott and Matt wanted the solo to stand tall in the mix. For sonics, I started with a DIGI delay to get a nice tail of ambience going. The solo has nice spacing between the notes thereby making delay an excellent choice. From there I cut to my trusty Fatso compressor for leveling. At the board I sprinkled a little aux out to the Sony R7 plate for a nice distant long tail. After some battling with the equalizer at the board we determined that something just wasn’t working. The track was too busy at the break. After pulling a few instruments, desired space was achieved and solo restored to towering stature.
All in all, the track sums up a classic 2011 Chi-Town Sound with a nod toward the classics that made Chicago great.
Stay Warm Chi-Town!