Inside ATA Records

The Lewis Express - Jazz for the people.

The Lewis Express - Jazz for the people.

The Lewis Express had a life way before our label, ATA Records, was printing discs. I think the first rumblings of the band were around 2004 when drummer Sam Hobbs and I, accompanied a very young pianist, Bill Laurence, in one of his degree examinations. My memory is slightly hazy for the material. I think we improvised some swinging jazz and possibly some reggae-influenced stuff, but I do remember that we kicked the doors off the sucker! Bill's examiners did not know what hit them as he was on a classical music degree.  It was a few years after this...

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Abstract Orchestra - Can you record a big band in a garage?

Abstract Orchestra - Can you record a big band in a garage?

Can you record a big band in a garage? Yes. All live? Yes. Is that not a lot of people in quite a small space? Yes, 3 trumpets/flugels, 4 trombones, 4 saxophones/flutes, bass, drums and keyboards.  What about separation? F*%k separation.  Ok, I am not being strictly truthful about the garage bit, it is actually three single car garages. Am I being truthful about the separation bit? Kind of, but I will get to that bit a little later on.  ATA Records has its own studio for the production of our music. After many years of looking for the right...

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Abstract Orchestra - Making Madvillain Vol. 2

Abstract Orchestra - Making Madvillain Vol. 2

Abstract Orchestra have been playing their particular brand of instrumental live hip-hop since 2011, but it was their 2017 debut 'Dilla' that helped to catapult them into the consciousness of music fans across the world. Initially taking their lead from Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s orchestral interpretations of J Dilla, they quickly found their own sound: a heady brew of the big band arrangements of Gil Evans & Bob Brookmeyer, the film scores and large scale production work of Quincy Jones & David Axelrod and the rhythms of Madlib & Dilla.  It’s within this musical landscape that Bandleader and Arranger Rob Mitchell firmly...

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Inside The Mandatory Eight - Making a 45: Part 2

Inside The Mandatory Eight - Making a 45: Part 2

Wherever possible we try to record live, but as long as you get some of the elements done together it’s pretty easy to make it pass. This 45 wasn't recorded as a band “live in the room”, however I think it does a pretty good job at not sounding like it was done separately through overdubs.  One of the main reasons that this wasn't recorded live is that it was initially intended to be a demo. However, it turned out so good that we didn’t see the point of re recording it in the end. Most of our writing sessions...

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Inside The Mandatory Eight - Making a 45

Inside The Mandatory Eight - Making a 45

Today’s technology, with the ability to endlessly edit, tweak, cut and paste has removed those honest human moments from the table. Is there the same intense commitment to a recording if you know that you can just fix it after? And where do you draw the line of what you fix? Modern production has become like Photoshop for the music industry. I prefer polaroids.

 

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