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13/04/2018

Paul Parker Re-Creates The Productions In His Dad's Vinyl Collection

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Six months back, one of my publishers asked me to do some tracks for a retro album, featuring music from the 50s, 60s & 70s. I thought to myself, great, my era. How hard could that be!

But I soon found that pastiche is quite an art and takes every bit of creative energy, if not more so, than writing current sounding music. The three main challenges are: plagiarism, authenticity and to make the recordings sound sonically as if they were cut in their respective era.

I researched by listening to songs from each decade, capturing the essence of the greats but without copying them and distressing the final mix according to the technology of the decade. It was a big undertaking but hugely satisfying. 

For the 50s I either used my Gibson G5 for that Scotty Moore vibe or my Strat for that Hank Marvin feel, both guitars being commonly used at that time. Most of the tracks feature live snare & hi hat which I play with brushes.

The 60s involved a similar approach where I employed instruments such as the 60s Mellotron on a psychedelic inspired track, or a vintage Farfisa organ which gives that iconic Doors feel. Another track features kind of French cinematic "do bee do" singing where I roped in my dear wife to add a Jane Birkin flavour to maximum effect.

The 70s required perhaps the most diversity of sound featuring Glam, Punk, Country rock, Funk and not forgetting a nod to Spinal Tap. All tracks were made sonically lo fi with the use of various spring reverbs, vintage analogue tape and valve plugins, and the background crackle of vinyl static, just to name a few effects. 

Since doing the album, I have noticed that there's a huge increased trend in the use of retro music in the media. So if you're thinking 50s, 60s or 70s for your production, check out this album.

www.thefunkyjunkies.co.uk/album/vintage-fashions/
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