New Musik – Warp

new musik warpI guess it would be fun to write about what influenced me as a producer or musician. So this is a set of more articles around specific albums and/or artists.

First I was thinking about New Musik’s album Warp. This one came out about 1982. It was the third and last album by New Musik. This was a band, led by the producer Tony Mansfield (he has a famous actress mother) that was pushing all kinds of boundaries with synthesizer based productions in the age when there was no MIDI or polyphonic synths.

There were many reasons this album hit me. To start with, the bare minimum drums, mostly no hihats, simple Simmons electronic drum kit with a strong kick and snare, gave it a very hard attack sound. Especially as the drums and most of the rest were hyper-compressed, one of the tricks Tony Mansfield likes to use in the studio.

Secondly the combination of electronic instruments and acoustic guitars was a good one.

Not to speak of the songs, they were strong. It shows that if you have strong melodies and chord structures, you could arrange just anything around it to make the final sound of the album. As a homage this album has Beatles’ All You Need is Love, as well as one of their own compositions with the same name (!).

Tony Mansfield later produced most of Aha’s debut album and has some other work but sadly he’s mostly working in the background. Some of this production techniques are so fun to listen to.

This album is hard to find, the best is a Japanese import that you could find at Amazon. Last.fm has it as streamed album. I would also recommend the earlier two New Musik albums.

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