Art + Culture
The Music Industry is Here.
DUMBO has an undercover community of record producers and musical taste makers. In honor of the Grammy’s this past weekend, we took a look at those in the music industry who call DUMBO home.
Below, our rundown of the recording studios, licensing firms, distributors and of course, our favorite place to buy an LP, halcyon on Pearl Street. Of the musical hotbed that is DUMBO, halcyon founder Shawn Schwartz says it’s a tight knit community: “By now everyone knows that DUMBO’s office buildings are teaming with creative professionals but the extent to which music plays a role here is still one of the neighborhood’s best kept secrets. As the only walk in music entity on street level, halcyon has become an unofficial hub for the community. On any given day we’re face to face with the staff of wax poetics magazine, k7 records, fat beats, Brooklyn Bodega, Tummy Touch and many more long standing and well respected independent music brands we are proud to call neighbors.”
Also, check out Sonic Scoop’s tour of two of DUMBO’s recording studios here.
- Saltlands Studio: This 68 Jay Street recording facility is an independent music production and recording studio that has played host to musicians such as The National, Josh Ritter, Justin Townes Earle, Wilco and The Bandana Splits. They’ve also had sessions with artists better known for their acting chops such as Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) and Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order). The Wall Street Journal highlighted their community-based studio approach. In addition to records, Saltlands also produces music for film, commercial and TV.
- halcyon: In 2004, halcyon the shop opened in DUMBO: an expanded music retail operation with a gallery and design boutique. In 2008 halcyon became one of the first independent retailers to launch it’s own online download shop with halcyondigi.com, and since have developed their home page into an e-commerce and digital publishing platform. You can stop by their shop and dig through their record crates at 57 Pearl Street.
- !K7 Records: Based out of Berlin, but with their stateside presence here in DUMBO at 55 Washington Street, !K7 Records is renowned as one of the most diverse labels for electronic music. They have seen international success with artists like Kruder and Dorfmeister, Herbert, Ursula Rucker, and A Guy Called Gerald. !K7 has been an influential force since their beginnings in 1985 with the X-Mix series and later with the popular DJ-Kicks series.
- Agoraphone: Located at 68 Jay Street, Agoraphone specializes in music supervision, licensing and original music production for commercials, television and film. Check out some of the work they’ve done with Heineken, Toyota, Intel and Nike.
- New World Records/ Anthology of Recorded Music, Inc.: 20 Jay Street’s New World Records was founded in 1975 with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation with a mandate to produce a 100-disc anthology of American music encompassing the broadest possible spectrum of musical genres, New World Records preserves neglected treasures of the past and nurtures the creative future of American music. Through the production of over 400 recordings some 700 American composers have been represented. In an industry obsessed with million-unit sales and immediate profits, New World chooses artistic merit as its indicator of success. A number of titles on New World have received Grammy Award nominations and three of them have won— Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra in 1984, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in 1986, and Ned Rorem’s String Symphony, Sunday Morning, Eagles in 1989.
- Atlantic Sound Studios: Opened in 2003 at 10 Jay Street by engineer Diko Shoturma and musician Matt O’Neill, Atlantic Sound Studios is a modern recording and mixing studio that caters to both analog and digital recording, mixing and mastering projects and are well set up for both music and voice over work. Clients have included Bjork, Sufjan Stevens, Nada Surf and Cat Power to name a few.
- Tunecore: Headquartered at 45 Main Street, Tunecore serves as an online distribution service for music that offers musicians and other rights-holders the opportunity to distribute their music through online retailers such as Amazon, iTunes, and Rhapsody. They have distributed music for a broad spectrum of musicians from Trent Reznor to Aretha Franklin.
- Flash Forward Music: Flash Forward is a full service music production company based at 45 Main Street that provides soundtrack composition, music editing and music supervision. Their work has been heard in the main title for NBC’s live broadcast of “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectactular,” and has been heard in America’s Most Wanted, PGA Golf, and Animal Planet and a host of feature films and TV shows.
- Domino Recording Company: Based out of the UK, Domino, who’s mission is, “to sign the most innovative of artists and break down those musical boundaries” has their US offices at 55 Washington Street in DUMBO. The label has seen worldwide success with # 1 albums from Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. Other artists on their label that pump up their musical credibility include: Animal Collective, Dan Deacon, Four Tet, Junior Boys, Panda Bear and Real Estate.
- Sacred Noise: In 1995 Michael Montes opened his own commercial music company, Sacred Noise – based out of 10 Jay Street, which is a commercial music company specializing in compositions for commercial, tv and film sounds. Check out the great commercial they did for Canon. You can see more from their reel here and here.
- Tummy Touch Records: Part of the the Tummy Touch Music Group, Tummy Touch Records is another member of the 68 Jay Street music scene and was founded in 1994 by A&R maverick Tim “Love” Lee. They describe their eclectic collection of artists as bohemian disco rock, sci-fi electro soul, unruly latin mash ups and oddball urban exotica. Some of those artists include: Groove Armada, Tom Vek and Phenomenal Handclap Band.
- Wax Poetics Magazine: Operating out of 45 Main Street, Wax Poetics Magazine is a publication completely devoted to rare finds, old school and contemporary music. From Jazz, to Blues, to Latin, Funk and Soul. Wax Poetics provides its readers with a unique experience of enjoying some of music’s greats while preserving the history of each genre for generations to come. Since its first publishing in 2000, Wax Poetics has grown to become two anthologies, 6 albums, a digital community and much more.
- Turntable Lab: Created by djs, musicians and producers, Turntable Lab was created to supply vinyl enthusiasts with fairly priced and well researched dj equipment, production tools, clothing, books and even music recording services. Headquartered in DUMBO at 20 Jay Street, Turntable Lab also has retail stores in Manhattan, LA and Seoul.
- Fat Beats: Established in 1994 by Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab), Fat Beats is a vinyl distributor and record label based in 68 Jay Street. Starting out as a basement record shop in the Lower East Side, Fat Beats now has stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. People look to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more.
- Brooklyn Bodega: Organizers of New York City’s largest Hip Hop cultural event, the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, Brooklyn Bodega has been putting on the Brooklyn Bridge Park staple since 2006.
- AM Only: AM Only began as a booking agency committed to a single purpose: to provide electronic music’s brightest talent a springboard for presenting their sound to audiences and fans across the world. Today, AM Only boasts a dynamic roster of the most talented and influential DJ/producers and live acts in the music industry, including Tiësto, David Guetta, and Skrillex. From its headquarters in DUMBO, AM Only has organized tours that have reached nearly every corner of the globe.
Image via halcyon.