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OT: My partly looping related newsletter

I am posting my annual newsletter to loopers delight here since it has some news about me, other loopers, and a new label that will feature looping.

This annual newsletter is a bit different, as a lot of my recent activities have been outside of my normal producing and mixing work, although I still managed to have my hands in about 20 or so different records last year.

Despite being a producer, mixer and/or engineer on hundreds of records, and playing on well over 50 for other artists, I have never released a proper album of my own as an artist. Some of my previous projects have been released on compilations or cassette only labels, but I have never done a proper full album on vinyl or CD. That is about to change. I have put together the coolest band on the planet: Tony Levin on bass, Pat Mastelotto and Terry Bozzio on drums and Mike Keneally on Keys. I am playing guitar, keys and singing. We start tracking next week!! There is an online blog/discussion about the making of the album on the web site Studio Forums. http://studioforums.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/1526095781/m/4941031151

Although its tough to fit in to my production and mixing schedule, I have been gigging more lately including a couple trips to Italy for some festival shows including a 45 hour non stop improvised music festival, of which I played about twenty hours.

January 06 marks the official launch of Veneto West Records. Our first release will be a compilation called “Destroying Silence: An Introduction to Veneto West Records” distributed exclusively through DGM/Inner Knot featuring Willie Oteri, Anthony Curtis, Lives of the Saints (Ronan Chris Murphy & Bill Forth), Jay Terrien, and Hypnoise with support performances by Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Lewis Pragasam, Mike Keneally Jeff Gauthier and others. It should be available by the end of January on the DGM/Innerknot web site. http://www.disciplineglobalmobile.com/shop/

The label will focus on cutting edge music featuring great hard jazz, ambient and prog from around the world. High brow music with a punk rock spirit. We currently have 3 to 4 future releases in production. http://www.venetowest.com/label/

My recording education workshops are still growing and are attracting students from around the world. We have students traveling from places as far away as Italy, Samoa, Iceland, Canada and even Oshkosh. We have been doing mostly two day programs or 5-6 day programs but we keep toying with the idea of doing a really serious 3 week program later this year. The courses keep getting better and more interesting with lots of cool guests. At the end of this month we are doing a very special 5 day program that ends with a full day drum recording workshop in the studio with drumming legend Terry Bozzio. http://www.homerecordingbootcamp.com/bozzio/

We made Home Recording Boot Camp “Stop Making Lame Records” T-shirts this past year which have become a bit of a hit and people have been buying them from all over the world. I just sent two to Finland last week. http://www.homerecordingbootcamp.com/store/

My studio in Los Angeles is continuing to take shape and improve. We put in a new large analog console which we affectionately call the “The Ice T” console since rapper ‘Ice T’ did his 7 Deadly Sins album on this board. There have also been big improvements to the Pro Tools system, the mic collection and the outboard gear, and we even installed new doors to make load in easier (thanks Jon Leahy!!!). Recording Terry Bozzio at the studio later this month should be a good test of the upgrades http://www.venetowest.com/studio/

Bill Forth and I have been doing a lot of work together. I have been producing and performing on his new solo album, which also features Pat Mastelotto on electronic percussion. We should be finished in the next couple of months. Bill and I have also been working on our ambient duo project “Lives of the Saints”. We have been recording material some of which can be heard on the new Veneto West compilation and we hope to release a new Lives of the Saints album later this year, and have been doing a bit of gigging including a concert performing in a swimming pool on the cliffs of Malibu. http://www.livesofthesaints.net/

After almost 7 years of talking about making a record together I finally got to fly to Texas and produce an album for The Killdares and it was well worth the wait. The Dallas based Celtic Rock band went through some personnel changes over the last couple years and now has a great line up including Roberta Rast, the latest Grand Master Nation Fiddle Champion! We also brought in the great percussionist Victor Bisetti, from Los Lobos for some overdubs. The first pressing of the album we did together sold out in two weeks. http://www.killdares.com/

I spent much of May and June producing and mixing an album for bassist Jay Terrien. We threw a number of band ideas around but finally decided that it would be cool to have an album of just drums and bass. That may sounds simple and sparse, but not this record! Jay plays multi-layered 5 and 6 string bass parts, and I brought in Pat Mastelotto to play drums, who also did some amazing electronic drum programming. The end result is a full and complex album. Word of warning about the following link: Jay is a great bass player with a really sick and twisted sense of humor, this site is not idea for kids or people that get offended easily (or even people that are hard to offend!!). Why do I have a feeling this will be the most visited link on the newsletter? http://www.jayterrien.com

Jon Leahy and The Broken Remotes were back in the studio to record a new single, “Lose the Swagger” for Room 206 records. The song has been getting quite a bit of airplay on the LA station Indie 103.1 http://www.thebrokenremotes.com/

After several sessions throughout the year at Soundhouse and Paradise Sound in Seattle and at Veneto West in LA, Kellee Bradley’s new album was completed, released and has been garnering very good reviews. It was the DIY pick of the month in Performing Songwriter magazine and one of the songs won the USA songwriting Competition in the lyrics category. http://www.kelleebradley.com/

Loveday, previously know as Printed in Slovenia, has been in and out of Veneto West over the last year and we finally recorded enough material for a full length album. Graphics are currently being put in order for a release later this year. http://www.lovedaymusic.com/

"It's Only Miles", the album I mixed for Hurricane Mason won the distinction of “The Urban Tulsa Weekly's "Best Local Independently Produced Album"". This was the first album recorded by engineer Les Moorman who also came out to LA to help me mix the album. A pretty cool first outing for a new engineer. Hurricane Mason is one of the hardest working bands I have ever worked with. They played 175 gigs this past year. http://www.hurricanemason.com

I think another King Crimson album came out this year that includes some of my mixing or recording work, but at 15 albums or so King Crimson projects I have had my hands in, I have sort of lost track. I am however working on editing some Robert Fripp Soundscapes material for an upcoming compilation. The few years I worked so much with King Crimson and Fripp, aside from being a ton of fun yielded an incredible amount of material and really helped make a lot of great things possible for me over the years.

I recently started working with a really cool singer/songwriter/model named Veme Anya. She had previously done more of a pop/R&B thing, but her new direction has unleashed her inner rock chick and she came to me to handle the job. We currently have one single done and are planning work on a few others. http://www.myspace.com/vemeanya

In the fall I mixed an EP for a great Los Angeles based rock/electronic band called number:Red, they are sort of like the later Nine Inch Nails stuff, but I have actually been enjoying their stuff more than the new Nine Inch Nails album. I will be surprised if this guys are not signed in the near future. http://www.myspace.com/numberred

Swedish pop singer Vanya Keen was back in LA this year to have me produce her new single “Freedom” for United Star Records. While she was here, she performed at the famous Cat Club on the Sunset Strip with Bill Forth and I backing her. http://www.vanyakeen.com/

I got to mix some tracks for a great singer and guitarist Russell Bartolotta from Orange County. http://www.russellbartolotta.com

I did some post production on the new album by the grindcore band “Sean” on Ladies Choice Records. They are an instrumental two piece band with the best album title of the year: “Singers Ruin Perfectly Good Bands” I am about to start mixing a new single for the band this week. http://www.ladieschoicerecords.com

I am doing this newsletter in an afternoon I have off and trying to recall all the things I have worked on in the last year, so my apologies to any of the artists I left out of the newsletter. Its certainly not intentional!!

My partner in crime, Liz Redwing has been developing her consulting business. In addition to her producer management work and helping me run my business she has been using her extensive background in music business (Interscope, Atlantic Records, Taxi, and several artist management companies) to help artists with a wide range of consulting services. http://www.lizredwing.com/

Since I was busy doing some performing over in Europe this Spring I did not get to speak at the SXSW conference this year as I have for about the last 5 years, but I did get a chance to speak at the TAXI Rally in Hollywood and lecture at several events in Italy and Los Angeles. I am in talks to do training programs for some large corporations and government programs next year.

Liz Redwing and I made our 3rd trip to MIDEM 2005, the big music industry conference in Cannes, France. In addition to promoting several Veneto West clients we also represented a few international clients including Marvin Marvin from France, Nemesis from Hungary, Michael Hayman from Texas and Mark Thomas from San Fransisco whom I also had the pleasure of mixing a single for later in the year.

Home Recording Boot Camp instructor John Rodd who spent seven years as the staff recordist for 20th Century Fox at the Newman Scoring Stage (where he worked on over 150 major films) is now fully freelance as a scoring mixer and orchestral recording engineer. http://www.johnrodd.com/

Lastly just want to say a huge thanks to all the artists that have given me the privilege of being a part of their music in the last year and to the companies that help me do my job better including:

Jule Amps http://www.juleamps.com/
A Designs Audio http://www.adesignsaudio.com/
Threshold Mastering http://www.thresholdsound.com/
Master Works Mastering http://www.master-works.com/
Shure Bros. http://www.shure.com/
Paradise Sound http://www.paradisesound.com/
Saint Claire Recording http://www.saint-claire.com/
Liz Redwing Management & Consulting http://www.lizredwing.com/
The Listening Sessions http://www.thelisteningsessions.com

Ronan Chris Murphy
www.venetowest.com (Production & mixing: King Crimson, Chucho Valdes, Steve Morse, Terry Bozzio, CGT...)
www.homerecordingbootcamp.com (Workshops around the world teaching the art and craft of recording )
www.livesofthesaints.net (The hottest ambient noise duo since Sonny & Cher)