Analogue Foundation co-founder and Grammy award-winning engineer/producer Russell Elevado is renowned and celebrated for his continued use of analogue recording techniques to create and capture fresh, contemporary music that is rich with references to classic soul, funk and rock records from decades past.
Each time, exclusively for the Analogue Foundation, Russell will be delving into his musical inspirations to curate a new installment in his Vinyl Selection series. Here’s the first installment, bringing you a unique perspective on 8 classic tracks from Zappa to Miles Davis.
Bluebird of Delhi (Mynah)
from the album : The Far East Suite, 1966
One of my favorite Ellington compositions from the album "The Far East Suite". listen to the ambience of the room and how they captured the massive sound at RCA Studios. You can just imagine the whole ensemble spread out in front of you, through the speakers. The double bass sounds so deep, and the brass sound so warm and raw. It's hard to believe this recording is from 1966 probably using no more than a 4 track recorder.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Rainy Day, Dream Away
from the album : Electric Ladyland, 1968
I love Jimi's playing on this song. He plays the blues so naturally and this is one of the songs where you hear his blues influence clearly. But there's also a bit of jazz and soul and psychedelic in there as well. Hats off to Eddie Kramer who had a key role on the Hendrix albums and a major influence on me.
Since I've Been Lovin' You
from the album : Led Zeppelin III, 1970
This is a huge sounding blues/rock ballad. I just love the rawness of this track. No studio gimmicks, no overdubs (aside from 1 or 2 extra guitars) just the band playing hard and recorded really well. And so much emotion in Jimmy Page's guitar solo.
from the album : Apostrophe ('), 1974
This song (and the entire album) has such a fat sound and just one of the things i love about this song. The bottom feels so round and natural. Zappa uses an "envelope filter" effect on his guitar solo and splits the signal whereby the "clean" guitar signal is on the left channel and the envelope filtered signal is on the right channel creating a cool stereo effect. The comical and sarcastic lyrics sung over this blues/funk groove is just so uniquely Frank Zappa and very contagious. And there are the additional flurries of riffs from the band as the song moves, then Zappa's incredible solo and the vamp builds to an incredible harmonic and chordal layering and Zappa's guitar solo on top if it. Just incredible.
Go Ahead John
from the album : Big Fun, 1974
This song is from the album "Big Fun" and is 28:28 long, taking up the entire album side. The song starts with a funky groove but slowly builds to fuse slow blues, soul, jazz and experimental. There was a lot of editing and studio manipulation used to effect the instruments, check out the drums switching from left and right speakers as well as the guitar appearing and disappearing during the solo which adds to the tension of the song. and Miles' double intertwining solos in the middle of the song. Prepare yourself for a sonic and musical journey.
from the album : Aja, 1977
This is one of those feel good, makes you want to bop your head type of songs. I wanted to include a lighter song in this list as most of the selections are quite deep and intense. The bass line is so funky and really stands out on this track. There is also an amazing guitar solo in which every note played seems to be the right one. The album Aja which this song is from was one of my early references for sound. It has a natural sound and a sort of high fidelity quality.
from the album : Sign "O" The Times, 1987
How could i resist including a Prince song after his tragic and sudden death this year. This track is like a showcase for Prince's vocals. he does a lot of layering of harmonies and overlapping vocal parts as the song builds. He really shows his vocal range throughout the song and sings the lead in his falsetto. This is a real favorite among Prince fans including myself.
from the album : Mama's Gun, 2000
I am very fond of the mix i did for this song. It has three movements and each movement is sonically different from each. Erykah and James Poyser, who produced this song, wanted to mimic the sounds from different eras of music. First movement was to sound like an old jazz recording from the '30's or 40's, the second one to sound like a jazz record from the '60's and the last section to have a "contemporary" hip hop/R&B sound, big drums and bass and more fidelity. So the last section should feel like the sound gets more open and fuller sounding.