Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Photo: Sonic Scoop/Jacob Blickenstaff

Found a couple of fascinating interviews with Gabe Roth of the Dapkings/Daptone Records. Well worth a read.

From Feb 2011, via The Afrobeat Blog. Roth talks about a lost project he started with Amayo from Antibalas ten years ago, which is finally seeing the light of day...

"When I had a studio in his basement at the Afro-Spot in Brooklyn where we recorded Dap-Dippin and Pure Cane Sugar and Talkatif and a lot of stuff I started recording with him the Fu Arkist-Ra record. We got through the rhythm section stuff, and we never really finished it and he got evicted and I got evicted and things went sour, not between us, but with the landlords.

"We always talked about getting back into it and re-recording, but I was always so busy with touring and he was trying to keep bands together ... he came to me and he wanted to record again, and I was out of town I didn't really have time, so I recommended him to Tommy Breneck to Dunham Studios to see if he was into it ... So Tommy said do you have some tape we can record on, so he said oh yea, we can record on this old blank tape, so the tape he brought on was the rhythm section tape we recorded ten years before. So Tommy put it on and was like wow, this shit is bangin, it's weird but it's been so long its been 10 years, but we forgot about that sound from that time. So Tommy brought in all the original guys, Stuart Bogie and Martin Perna, to do some overdubs, and I went in and mastered it the last time I was in New York ... Hopefully we'll put that out sometime soon."

The official Fu-Arkist-Ra site details upcoming live shows and info on classes for Amayo's own blend of Kung Fu, called Fu Rhythtm Fitness.
Fu-Arkist-Ra Myspace.

Other Gabe Roth IV, from November last year...
Daptone, Home grown: Gabe Roth’s cottage industry of soul, via Sonic Scoop

"... There’s a lot of hype about tube gear and tape machines and stuff, and even analog recording. As much as I tend to get lumped into that school I’m really not that dogmatic about it. If something sounds better or feels better on a computer, go ahead and use a computer!

We do a lot of blind A/B-ing in the studio. You need to do it blind in order to overcome so many biases that you have. If you spent $4,000 on some old microphone, then you really want it to sound good. But if you put it blind, up against an SM57, sometimes the SM57’s gonna win, but you’re never gonna know unless you do it blind. So, we do a lot of that, and we do end up using a lot of Radio Shack mics and common mics too.

It’s definitely interesting when you see a nerdy internet column about what kind of mics they were using on sessions for the Beatles or at Motown or something, because I think it’s really not all that useful. At the end of the day, if you wanna know how they made a John Lennon vocal sound amazing, the answer is that John Lennon was singing!"

No comments: