Doctor Wu's

I had no idea I was a producer you don’t even know you know until I came across this article by Brooklyn Magazine last week.  I’m listed along with such fantastic engineers as Jarvis Taveniere (great guy and fellow MX-5050 enthusiast), Chris Coady, and Shane Stoneback.  Thanks guys – you made my week!

I just finished a new record by NYC punks/goons Nuclear Santa Claust called Je Ne Sais Claust (yes, really).  We tracked it live to the Otari MX-5050 at Seaside Lounge one weekend and mixed and mastered it the next at Doctor Wu’s.  It was a total blast to work on, and a total blast out of the speakers – we harnessed a great Black Flag/Dead Kennedys vibe in sound and intensity, and cracked each other up constantly.  I can’t wait for this to come out on Don Giovanni Records.

 

I’ve also been working on a heart-felt documentary/portrait of Gil Scott Heron.  Told from the perspective of candid interviews with his closest friends and associates, it’s less of a biography and more of a tribute to a departed friend.  It was directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, whose excellent current film 20,000 Days on Earth (a pseudo-doc starring/about Nick Cave) premiered at Sundance and will in theaters nation-wide next month.  I feel very honored to be mixing this film.

I was back in Chicago a couple weeks ago to work again at Pitchfork Music Festival.  I realized it was my eighth year working for the festival, and fifth running sound on the Blue Stage – whoa.  It’s always good to be back with the old crew and see a bunch of old buddies in the Midwest, and it’s the only front-of-house system I’ve ever seen with a Crane Song limiter – I love mixing on that system!  Bonus: in the airport, I came across this two-page article on Parquet Courts in the July issue of Rolling Stone!

PC Worship - Social Rust

I am thrilled to be able to share some music from the new PC Worship record Social Rust.  Pitchfork (and Stereogum and Impose) posted the semi-title track ‘Rust’ last week, to pretty unanimous excitement.  I mixed and mastered this record earlier in the year with lead-Worshipper Justin Frye (who recorded it at Roulette), and we blew each other away with what we came up with.  It’s honestly one of my favorite records I’ve worked on recently, by one of my favorite bands playing, so hold on to your butts.  Social Rust comes out September 9th on Northern Spy / Dull Tools.

 

Another skronk-tastic record I have to share is Jungle Green Meets the Blood Sisters.  Andrew/Jungle Green has worked with me to master his last few releases at Doctor Wu’s, and it’s been really fascinating to hear the growth and diversity of his music.  He’s released two singles of lo-fi doo-wop crooner jams with Kingfisher Bluez, but this new EP is a concentrated burst of no-wave-y freakouts focused around food and girls, featuring The Books‘ Paul de Jong on cello tantrums.  It’s a free download, and worth every penny!

 

And while we’re talking about guys upset about food and girls, I’d like to point out that The Last of the Great Romantics is now available online!  I mixed this film with director Duncan Skiles last fall, and it made the festival circuit earlier this year.  I’m a big fan of this rom-com – it’s clever and funny in an endearingly humble way, and as they point out on their site, cheaper than a cup of coffee!  Check it out!

 

Eaters is playing next week (August 13th) at Nothing Changes (formerly Weird Wednesdays) at Home Sweet Home in Manhattan.  We’ve got a new song in the reportoire, so come hang if you’ve got nothing better to do on a Wednesday night!  We play first, Future Blondes headline.

Thanks for reading this!  I’ve got a lot of great projects on deck, will post more when I can… feel free to reach out at jonathan[dot]schenke [at] gmail[dot]com

Parquet Courts at Outlier Inn

The new Parquet Courts LP is nearly done!!  I spent a week upstate with the guys and my Otari MX-5050 earlier this month, recording at the wonderful Outlier Inn. Massive thanks to our gracious hosts Josh and Ambika – they made our stay there so comfortable and productive, I can’t recommend it highly enough.  We then went to Doctor Wu’s to mix those sessions along with tracks from our previous sessions at Seaside Lounge.  Everything is sounding wild – it’s a real step up sonically from Tally All the Things That You Broke, even though it’s still on the same 8-track tape machine.  We’re still working on a final track order, but it’s a total trip of a record!

For Austin’s birthday, they played Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which still kinda blows my mind.  And on Friday, I’m flying to meet them in New Zealand for a tour with Laneway Festival and Total Control.  HUZZAH!!

In the meantime, I sound designed and mixed a couple shorts for Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate (while they were at Sundance Film Festival for the showing of Catherine).  They’re really great shorts called Childs’ Playhouse, which were written by and starring small children.  Plus, they’re for Disney, so I can scratch “make something for Disney” off my bucket list!

Last fall, I mixed a film with my friend and film maker Duncan Skiles (director of Why Shit So Crazy by Reggie Watts and The Fuzz) called Last of the Great Romantics.  I’m particularly fond of this charming and funny little rom-com!  There’s a new trailer online, with screenings coming later this year.

I also mastered a couple projects over the last week: an album by Fennec called Let Your Heart Break (out February 11th), and an EP called Reach House by the Brooklyn band Railings.

EATERS - front cover ref

Maybe the thing I’m most psyched about though is unveiling Eaters to the world.  My friend Bob Jones and I started working on this project nearly two years ago, and I couldn’t be happier with how things have developed.  We’re playing our first show tonight (at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn), the first single drops in a couple weeks, and the album comes out in April on Driftless Recordings

Thanks for reading!  I’ll be in and out of the Internet for the next few weeks, but as always, feel free to send me a note if you’d like to talk about sound – jonathan.schenke[at]gmail.com

SCREENS Cover

Screens, the new album by Forest Fire, is out now on Fat Cat Records.  I love this record.  Even though I worked really intensely with the band for two months last fall – co-producing, engineering, and mixing the record – I’ve played it over and over leading up to the release, and it still feels new.  I’m seriously proud of this record, and am thrilled that it’s out for everyone to hear.

There’s been some really enthusiastic press for it so far: Bowlegs Music reviewed the album, saying “Both timeless and modern, Screens is a moving record that inspires critical thought and reflection,” and did a hilarious and informative interview with Mark.  7 Bit Arcade and Northern Transmissions both rave about it.  And The 405 writes “After promising so much with their initial releases, Forest Fire have delivered an album that is frequently beautiful, raw and poignant in equal measure. Let it deservedly rocket to the top of your end-year list and, believe me when I say, you’re about to have a new favourite band.”

I was particularly excited when I found out that famed electronic producer Andrew Weatherall debuted “Annie”, maybe my favorite song from the record, on his podcast.  It’s an 11-minute Sister Ray-style psychedelic synth trip, and totally kills.  You can download and stream the whole set – skip to 24:35 to check it out!

The Fuzz's Herbie

The other project-that-I-worked-on-a-while-ago-and-am-psyched-on-people-getting-to-experience debuting this week is The Fuzz!!  It’s a buddy-comedy/crime-drama web series the New York Times calls “clever and oddly exciting.”  My friend Duncan Skiles directed it, and stayed up for almost three days straight at the end of post-production to make it as excellent as it could be (I know this because he was sitting on my couch for a lot of that time!).  Check it out!

I just wrapped up the new single by my buddies Future Punx, which is essentially the last touring incarnation of Fergus & Geronimo minus Andrew, and picks up the agitated interplanetary dance punk of Funky Was the State of Affairs and runs with it.  They recorded it themselves on their Tascam 388, I transferred it to my computer and did overdubs, and mixed and mastered it at my home studio.  I’m suuuuuper psyched on how the songs turned out!  Expect the 7″ soon on Dull Tools.

Herein Wild Cover

I recently completed a remix for my friend Frankie Rose of the song “Sorrow” from her upcoming record Herein Wild.  It’s based around an alternate string arrangement by Grayson Sanders (Snowmine), and was mixed at Doctor Wu’s, with assistance from my boy Yale Yng-Wong (who also recorded the strings).  I don’t know how it’s being released, but I can’t wait for people to hear it!!

Also, I just mixed this “Born in 1928” ad campaign for Cole Haan.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the files and heard Maya Angelou sing!

Thanks for checking out the site!  Please get in touch if you wanna talk sound: jonathan[dot]schenke[at]gmail[dot]com

Tally All the Things That You BrokeI am sooooooo psyched that the new Parquet Courts EP Tally All the Things That You Broke is coming out soon!  October 8th, What’s Your Rupture.  Pitchfork broke the news and debuted the new single “You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now” recently.  I can’t wait for people to hear this EP, the sessions were incredible and the recordings turned out so well.  But even more so, I can’t wait to get back into the studio next month to finish the LP!  You guys are gonna flip.

Forest Fire continues to get some well-deserved attention around their upcoming record Screens.  Pitchfork praised the first single “Waiting in the Night” recently, even comparing the sound to Dave Fridmann, thank you very much.  Meanwhile, Stereogum debuted another song, “Alone with the Wires”.  Mark did a pretty cool interview with Ghettoblaster recently, which gave a good insight into the mindset and process of the record.  I really do love this record, and I am so excited for everyone to hear it – I think we made something truly special with this one.  Screens is out September 10th on Fat Cat.

Also coming out around then is The Fuzz!  The series airs September 9th on Yahoo Screen.  It’s about a buddy-comedy/crime-drama about a puppet’s rise through the criminal underworld, selling cocaine to humans and jellybeans to puppets, and the reject human/puppet cop partners who are working to bring him down.  We busted ass over to get this done, and I am thrilled it’s airing soon!  The director Duncan Skiles and I are working on his new film Last of the Great Romantics now… it’s so good.

I recently finished working with Mannequin Pussy, mixing and mastering their new album Gypsy Pervert.  They recorded it at Oscilloscope Studio (the Beastie Boys’ studio!), so it sounded great coming to me, and I threw it through my new Universal Audio 1176s and Studer plugins to get it sounding that much bigger.  We’re all really excited about it – they’ll have cassettes on their tour this October.

I also recently worked with Christine Hoberg, mixing her upcoming record at Doctor Wu’s.  It was fun to get into a real David Lynch-y sonic headspace with these songs.. lots of weird delays and pitch shifting around “singer-songwriter” ballads.  Pretty cool stuff!

Jungle Green recently released an EP called Twelve-and-a-half Minitues of the Most Beautiful Love Songs Ever Written as a free download on his bandcamp page.  It’s a pretty wild ride through love and heartbreak, with some totally skronky outbursts and some tender falsetto.  It was mixed by Paul  de Jong (of the Books) and I mastered it with him at Doctor Wu’s.

Oh!  And I almost forgot – Bob and I finished the new Eaters EP.  It’s called Phantom Selves.  More on that later.

Thank you thank you thank you for taking time to read this, hope you dug some of it.  Feel free to get in touch to talk about sound: jonathan[dot]schenke[at]gmail[dot]com

South By Southwest was awesome this year!  March in Texas is still in my opinion the best weather in the world, and it was so nice to get to see so many friends all in one place.  Parquet Courts killed it, and Daniel Francis Doyle’s new band blew my mind… so much good stuff going on….

The Apocalypse won best in program at SXSW, following a strong showing at Sundance.  But maybe the coolest thing about this short is that while hanging in Austin, I caught up with my childhood babysitter and was telling her what I’d been up to.  When I told her the premise of The Apocalypse, her jaw dropped, and she told me that her son had come home one day and showed it to her on Youtube, and that it had sparked a long conversation about information overload in our lives…  SO COOL!!!

The Apocalypse is hitting a bunch of other festivals too, check it out:
Sundance London
Dallas International Film Festival (this weekend!)
Sarasota Film Festival (also this weekend!)
Florida Film Festival (ALSO this weekend!!)
Rincon International Film Festival
Bradfrod International Film Festival

The Fuzz Press Conference

The Fuzz debuted at SXSW, as part of the new Yahoo! Screen (along with a new show by Tenacious D).  There was a great sneak-preview event with the creators and stars (including Herbie and Rainbow) – with jellybeans!  The crowd reaction was great, and I’m really excited for everyone to get to see this.  The first episode will be premiering next month, but you can check out the trailer now.

Wind & Rain, the debut EP by Wild Leaves, is out now.  The limited-edition vinyl comes in a lovely hand-printed cover, which you can stream and purchase on their Bandcamp page.  They’ve also made a couple videos, check ’em out!

NAC_3-Panel_JcardTemplate_FRONT

The new Thin Hymns EP (which I mastered) is available for pre-order.  It’s called Black Water, and you can stream it and purchase a cassette copy at their Bandcamp page.

I’ve been keeping busy in the meantime – working on a master by slowcore shoegazers Vibrant Light, and doing sound design for a new Intel ad campaign.  I also started working on a new musical project with my buddy Bob Jones called Eaters… expect an EP in the next couple months!  So psyched about this…

Thanks for checking out the site – please drop me a line if you’d like to talk sound!  jonathan.schenke[at]gmail.com

coracaotexano

I’m heading down to my beloved Austin, TX this weekend for the South By Southwest film festival!  The Apocalypse, a short film by Andrew Zuchero (which I sound designed and mixed), will be showing a few times, and I’m very excited to see it on the big screen!

Another project of mine showing during the festival is the mini-series/feature The Fuzz, directed by Duncan Skiles.  I spent a big chunk of my winter months cranking away at this thing, and am so psyched to see it in action…. think the Muppets meet Goodfellas…  There’s a special screening of the first episode Monday March 11th at Brazos Hall @ 3PM, which you better believe I’ll be at!

In anticipation of all this, I’ve put together a new demo reel – CHECK IT OUT!!

Parquet Courts are playing some sick shows down there too (including the closing party with Kendrick Lamar and Black Lips?!).  They have a new single for “Borrowed Time” coming out March 18th on Rough Trade/What’s Your Rupture?, with two previously-unreleased b-sides from the Light Up Gold sessions.  One of ’em, “Smart Aleck Kid”, hit the web earlier this week:

I’ve been working on a variety of other projects since wrapping The Fuzz… I finished work restoring and remastering the Del Shannon-produced Brett Smiley tapes, and mixed a long-lost single by little-known glam-rock band Fa Bonx, both for What’s Your Rupture.  I’m mixing a couple short films when I get back, and working on a couple albums in April… very excited about spring!!

Thanks for checking this out…  and please get in touch if you wanna talk sound or hang in Austin: jonathan[dot]schenke[at]gmail[com]  Thanks again!!

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