Two records on which I worked were released for Record Store Day 2019!  Polaris Prize-nominated and Twin Peaks-appearing musician Alex Zhang Hungtai (fka Dirty Beaches) stars in and performed the score for the film August At Akiko’s.  The film, which Variety called “a charming, haunting Hawaiian reverie”, features a number of scenes where Alex performs in an old music hall, the performances of which form the basis of the “textured, head-filling score”.  Each of the compositions were recorded live by Tom Visser, and I mixed/mastered the collection this past winter at Studio Windows.  August at Akiko’s OST is available now on LP and digitally through Factory25.

RSD 2019 also saw the long-overdue release of Brett Smiley’s Sunset Tower.  From the press release: “In 1974 Brett Smiley was given $200,000 to record a Glam Rock Epic with Andrew Loog Oldham, based on a demo reel and a polaroid. Sunset Tower is your first chance to hear the Del Shannon-produced demos recorded at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles CA, coupled with demos and acetate recordings”  I restored and remastered these recordings years ago, but the release of the album was delayed by Brett’s death in 2016.  It’s a treat to have this collection out in the world via What’s Your Rupture – pick your copy up while you can!

Heavy Metal ChristmasHo Ho Ho Everybody!  The holidaze are upon us, and Cole Haan put together this heavy rendition of Jingle Bells by Unlocking the Truth to celebrate!  I recorded the band at Seaside Lounge and mixed it at home… gotta love that double kick.  Shout out to director Ben Hughes for all the Coil albums he gave me.

I’ve been doing a bit of mastering over the last few weeks.  I mixed and mastered an epic collaborative “transnational blues” jam with Alex from Dirty Beaches and Josh and Simon from Hot & Cold.  I blended a field recorded and iphone recording, which turned out really cool, and mastered it at my home studio.

Tyvek - Blunt Instrumental 2

I transferred and remastered the out-of-print Blunt Instrumental 2 tape by Tyvek for re-release on Dull Tools.  Wild shit!  She Speaks in Tongues from Chicago also had me master their record recently, which should see release in early 2014.

Light Up Gold Cover

As the year wraps up, out come the year-end lists.  I’m beyond thrilled to see my boys Parquet Courts up there already… Light Up Gold has so far made it onto lists by Rolling Stone (#11) and Paste Magazine (#23), and the cover made it to Pitchfork’s best album art (#15).  I’m psyched to see what else is in store for the record, and can barely wait to head up to Outlier Inn in the new year to finish the next record!

I’m wrapping the year with a couple film projects (with my good friend from Chicago Chris Hefner, and loveable weirdos Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate of Catherine and Marcel the Shell renown/infamy), and continuing to prep for Eaters to come out next year.  Thanks for checking things out… holler at me if you wanna talk sound: jonathan[dot]schenke [at] gmail[dot]com

I had a busy last couple of weeks, between visiting my family in DC, setting up a new studio and rearranging my personal one, and a buttload of cool work.  As soon as I got back to town, I started mixing a Reggie Watts special from his performance at Central Park last year.  The program cuts between his live show and a series of alternate reality sketches, which are hilarious and add a nice dimension to the whole thing.  Duncan Skiles – who edited the awesome documentary Still Life that I worked on last year – directed this for Comedy Central, which should be airing it sometime later this year.

I’ve also been working on setting up a new studio in Williamsburg with Yale Yng-Wong (who’s worked on records by Dom and Emil & Friends) and Jake Aron (of Fort Lean and Jamie Lidell’s band, working on their records, Yeasayer and Twin Shadow).  We just installed a 32-channel Rupert Neve Designs 5088 board – it’s beautiful!  The preamps (Neve, API, Great River, Germanium, et al), outboard (Distressors, LA-2As, 1176s, Neve & API EQs, et al), and effects (Eventide H3000, Lexcion Prime Time, AMS Delay….) are just as amazing.  I’ve been testing everything out with my good friend Bob Jones (Frankie Rose’s guitarist and ex-Eternal Tapestry bassist), recording his Bob Jones & the Golden Tones EP.  The studio’s coming together, with some acoustic treatment and build-out happening over the next couple of weeks, name and website should be figured out shortly.  Get in touch if you want to check it out!

A couple of things I’ve worked on recently are online now to stream and purchase.  Two songs from my session with Dirty Beaches – the heavy/heady drone of “Dune Walker” and mutant funk “Rhythm Ace Dub” – appeared on a German 7″, which you can check out here: http://dirtybeaches.bandcamp.com/album/dune-walker-7

And my Chicago homeboys Unmanned Ship put their new record For Whom the Bowl Tolls online.  I mastered the LP, which was recorded at the awe-inspiring Electrical Audio.  Check it out:  http://unmannedship.bandcamp.com/album/for-whom-the-bowl-tolls

I also had a few mastering gigs in the past couple of weeks.  Portugese rock transcendentalists Signs of the Silhouette had me master a single, mash-up party dudes White Panda had me master their new record, and I tested things out at the new studio mastering NT‘s new EP.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this!  Please get in touch if you want to chat or come check out the new studio – jonathan[dot]schenke[at]gmail[dot]com

The tour with Frankie Rose and Dirty Beaches was totally awesome!  Everyone in both bands was a blast to be on the road with, and the sets by both bands were uniformly excellent.  Thanks so much to Frankie for having me along, and to all my new friends from the road – you guys rule.

I ended up returning to Montreal with Alex & the Dirty Beaches gang after the tour to do some recording for an upcoming EP.  If you saw any of these dates recently, then you probably have an idea of what to expect – dark, loop-based mutant funk, accented with poly-rhythmic percussion and effected sax skronk & drones.  If you didn’t get a chance to check out the set, think of the new Lone Runner single, but wilder.  We banged out 6+ songs in one marathon all-nigher session, and we’re all excited to see what comes of them.

The debut album by Natural Harbors, called The Most Vernal of Equinoxes, is available now for download on his Bandcamp page (that’s the album art above).  I mastered this album earlier this year, and am thrilled to see that it’s out in the world.  It’s a really engaging collection of electro/acoustic pop songs with wildly inventive arrangements and production.  A limited-edition lathe-cut LP will be available via Positive Beat Recordings later this year.

In other news, I’m mastering a couple records some of my favorite Chicago bands (Cacaw and Unmanned Ship), finishing a compilation for my SOUNGS Label, and scouting out studio spaces with Ben Greenberg (who operated Python Patrol Studios).  Exciting shit!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hit me up if you want to chat: jonathan[dot]schenke[at]gmail[dot]com

I’m heading out on tour with Frankie Rose & the Outs and Dirty Beaches, doing sound over the next couple of weeks.  Everyone in both bands is supremely sweet, and the trip includes some stops in both Chicago and Cleveland, my old stompin’ grounds.  Check out these rad dates:

09/20/2011: New York, NY / Mercury Lounge 

09/21/2011: Boston, MA / Brighton Music Hall

09/23/2011: Montreal, QC / Il Motore / Pop Montreal

09/24/2011: Toronto, ON / Phoenix
with Peter Hook

09/26/2011: Indianapolis, IN / White Rabbit Cabaret

09/27/2011: Chicago, IL / Empty Bottle

09/28/2011: Chicago, IL / Empty Bottle / Adventures in Modern Music Festival
with John Maus, Liturgy, Chandeliers

09/29/2011: Cleveland, OH / Happy Dog

I recently mixed a few songs with my friends in NO FUN, which were recorded quick and dirty in their practice space last month.  They sound good and rowdy, as they should!  The songs should be online soon.

Also, check out this really nice review of Jim Elkington & Nathan Salsburg’s album Avos by Peter Margasak: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/music-selva-oscura-elkington-salsburg-cso/Content?oid=4456882

There’s lots of other stuff coming up this Fall that I’m totally psyched about, but I have to get my laundry done before soundcheck, so hang tight!!

xo, twoeyes