This week my Topic choice is the Producer called Joey Sturgis. Joey never attended school for music, but instead decided it was best for him to learn to solve his problems in his own way. His style of production has given him much deserved success and is credited as one of the most well known and respected Metalcore Producers. Joey has always been very involved with his projects and is credited with writing, arranging, mixing, and mastering. The fact that he is such a dynamic producer has attracted the attention of thousands of musicians and has inspired thousands more. Joey’s Musical and early production skills stem back from when he was a drummer for a grindcore band and kind of haphazardly began teaching himself the ways of recording through necessity. A friend of Joey and his band allowed them to go into an insulated room at night to learn how to record, which was certainly a blessing for they were struggling to find a way to make a demo on the cheap. Using Myspace, they put up their recordings and before long they were being flooded with the questions about where and who recorded them. The band would tell them that their drummer did it! Bands all around began to ask to record with him and from there out of a garage he began his career. Anybody who loves metalcore knows Joey as a house hold name today. Today Joey is flooded with business and hires other engineers to help him complete is work on time and runs four computer systems to allow for simultaneous production of different aspects of each album he works on. Joey has recorded artists ranging from “Emarosa”, “Emmure”, to even “Borgore”. If there is one thing that I know about Joey, it’s that his music always hits with a harder impact than an astroid!
Kraftwerk is an amazing group indeed. I love the idea that they were not afraid to be proud of their heritage and wore it with pride. I can’t help to feel like the fact that they parted ways with their producer Conny Plank following the success of their album to be most strange. It is also impressive that they are still active and touring to this very day. That’s not bad at all. Kraftwerk should credit themselves for their unwavering attention to detail regarding the implications of the latest technological trends and proves Infinite. They are a true Marvel of Germany
Kraftwerk is an incredibly innovative electronic group from Dusseldorf, Germany. It’s leaders were Ralf and Florian while all other collaborators were employed as studio session musicians to the dismay of some. Kraftwerk’s studio now called Kling Klang was continually developed by the two by adding new instruments and equipment that they designed to achieve the sound they were after. They also always had friends that were experts in new technology and would build equipment for their collection. The album “Autobahn” was released in Germany and the UK near the end of 1974 and would be the last time they worked with producer Conny Plank. This album threw them into the limelight of an international stage. This prompted them to throw out their 3 previous albums and dubbed this album “Kraftwerk year zero”. This albums concept is wrapped around the musical subject matter of the road and Germany’s Autobahn in particular. Ralf had mentioned that the beach boys sounded like america and they wanted to make something that was distinctly German, but payed homage to the beach boys. This is evident on Autobahn with the lyrics ” Wir Fahr’n Fahr’n Fahr’n” which sounds like “Fun Fun Fun”, this is a German twist on it because they pride themselves with their achievement with automobiles and road construction. One of Kraftwerks major goals was to make a statement in the pop realm and embrace their German identity. They would take the cliché’s associated with the hallmarks of German Schlager music which was the formulaic themes of love and homeland and preform them in a cold and rigid fashion. As a listener it’s easy to tell just how influential they have been in the music world. They paved the way for all forms of EDM. Without Kraftwerks influence Deadmou5, Skrillex, DaftPunk, Gary Numan, Neu and all artists we associate with modern EDM, rave, techno, industrial music would have never been!
Robert Moog is someone that is extraordinarily outstanding! Though he was not the actual inventor of the first synthesizer, his work can be credited as the precursor to modern day synthesizers. The composer Herbert Deutsch met Robert (Bob) Moog at the end of 1963 and “inspired Moog to combine a voltage-controlled oscillator and amplifier module with a keyboard in 1964—the first prototype of a voltage-controlled synthesizer”. Moog’s work made it finally possible for musicians and the like to transport synthesizers with the advent of the transistor in 1947 and 1948. The portability, reliability, price, and ease of use of Moog’s invention of the MiniMoog Model D was a breakthrough for musicians. Bob opened the door to the world of synthetic music and forever changed our worlds perspective of music. His breakthrough success is widely credited to Wendy Carlos for LP “Switched-On Bach” in 1968. After this, Moog was flooded with orders from studios and producers who were interested in capitalizing on these new sounds. Roberts inventions inspired artists such as Sun Ra and would engineer synths to the desires and experimental forethought of his clients. Bobs inventions paved the way for thousands of industry professionals to experiment and create sounds that have never even been fathomed before. This capability to manipulate and combine signals helped to revolutionize an entire industry for music and sound design. His technology has greatly effected just about every outlet of the entertainment business. Nearly every Horror and Syfy film have elements only made possible through his innovations. Bob has gone on to estimate that 150+ Films featured Moog sounds for either enhancing music or adding sound effects between 1967 and 1974. His equipment was enormously common for adding incidental music entice particular moods and feeling of the movie goer. Some examples of movies that you can clearly hear the Moog are “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, “A Clockwork Orange”, and “Doctor Zhivago”.
Marvin Gaye’s life was remarkable indeed. I too knew very little about him until this assignment and can now appreciate who he was as a musician and as a person! Learning of his experiences is one of the best first hand accounts of what it was like in Detroit at the time and the state of the nation as a whole. The one thing I found incredibly shocking was how his deteriorated relationship with his father ultimately was Gaye’s demise. After witnessing, coping, and helping others deal with the tragedies of there time, He gets gunned down by his own father with a weapon that he himself gifted. It’s also rather interesting that he was determined to become a pro football player.
Marvin’s first experiences with music was singing in church congregations, but was introduced to secular music in high school and never went back. He was involved with various rhythm and blues groups where his vocal abilities and his piano playing got him signed to Motown Records! Originally a studio drummer, he began his rise to stardom as Marvin Gaye with “Let your conscious be your guide”; Mixing his interest in jazz with the record labels desire to produce R&B records. Marvin was later greatly affected by the death of his his co-singer Tammy Terrell. Living in Detroit, he was no stranger to the struggles of the civil rights movement. Being quite headstrong, Marvin was inspired to perform a song with the underlying tone of protest(Originally written by Renaldo Benson) to the dismay of the label and his powerful brother in law. The recording of “What’s Going On” was the product, but quality control at the label refused to release it. His brother in law even went on to say that it was “The worst thing i’ve ever heard”. This did not stop Marvin and thus Marvin refused to record anything else until it was released. During this time Marvin focused on becoming a professional football player for the Detroit Lions. This transformed Marvin from string-bean status to beast mode. Through a mistake in organization, a higher up in the studio heard this recording and fell in love with it. This lead to its eventual release. A couple other unintentional things happened during the production such as the now signature vocal layering that fans have to know and love. Another interesting thing is that he sang in the space that was traditionally used for the alto saxophone. It is also fun to mention that in place of a fade out, Marvin pushed the master fader back up just to say “F YOU” to the industry for not recognizing the artistry in this project.
An individual style is only powerful enough to warrant a new classification in the music awards if they challenge the perspective of what already exists and allow new opening for musical experimentation. If it were up to me I would say that Rock music and its sub genres have been increasingly misrepresented by the Grammys. This proves to me that the ones doing the research and holding the reins are not passionate about the taste, complexity, or variety of the music its self. We should be rewarding artists that are pushing to profoundly connect the human soul to music rather than Immortalizing the con artists who find themselves very comfortable pleasing the nitwits with mediocrity. I understand that the average listener can’t discern nor really care about the skill and thought involved in the creation of a musical arrangements, but the true professionals involved can surely take note and raise the standards. As a super fan of rock music I think about when people will do research on the subject 100 years from now and who they will think is the most outstanding artists of the times; unfortunately they will be mislead by the winners in the rock genre category. There hasn’t even been a category for best rock video which is a total shame because some of the most creative, fun, and well done music videos have been birthed by fans of the style.
Let’s compare the 1962 and 1966 Grammy winners. In 1962 the record of the year was Tony Bennett for “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”; Produced by Earnest Attachuler. The album of the year went to Vaughn meader for “The First Family”; a spoken word/comedy about President Kennedy and his administration. Earl Doud & Bob Booker were responsible for the production. Al Schmitt is also credited for best engineered recording for his work on the “Hatari” soundtrack by Henry Mancini.
Later in 1966, Record of the year is awarded to Frank Sinatra for “Strangers in the Night” which was produced by Jimmy Bowen. Frank also took home album of the year with “A Man and His Music” which was produced by Sonny Burke. Eddie Brackett & Lee Herschberg are credited for best engineered Recording for “Strangers in the Night” by no other than Frank Sinatra.
It’s easy to notice the major difference in production style and over all contrast of content between these years. 1962 had a wider variety in regard to each winners content and the technical skill applied to each. Al Schmitt later is credited for best engineered recording consistently between the years 1976 and 1978. Differently in 1966 Frank Sinatra and the Producers and Engineers affiliated swept up the awards! This goes to show that the World stood fascinated and shocked by electric performance of Frank and his team.