‘Elle Sait Ou Elle Va’ YouTube video

‘Elle Sait Ou Elle Va’ by BJ Cole and Laura B
From the BJ Cole LP ‘Trouble in Paradise’

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Vue du studio ce matin

Vue du studio ce matin

It’s a lovey day here in Montpellier and I’m loving the sunshine in the studio so I’m taking a quick picture while listening to Neil Conti’s super cool sample CD :-) If only every work day was like this! The 808 and the rest have never seen the sun before ;) and except for a quick stint in Greece working on Pete Lawrence’s LP a few years ago, I’ve never felt the heat of the sun in the studio!

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Magic moments nr2: the graffiti :-)

While having a cigarette outside the Red Loft today I noticed the graffiti on the door! Steve says that it has been there for a few weeks now. What a coincidence!! :-)

Graffiti on the Red Loft's door

Graffiti on the Red Loft’s door

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Magic moments nr1: the fortune cookie!

Preparations are underway at the Red Loft, and while we’re setting up the stage I casually chew on a fortune cookie, here is what it says:

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When I woke up this morninnnng…

I saw Mount Washington under LA’s blue ska-ee-y! (this was 2 days ago actually I only just got the hang of this camera). I was staying at my wunderbar friends Pierre and Kirsty in Glassell Park in North East LA and in the morning, this was the view from the breakfast table. How lucky are they from a scale of 1 to 10 millions?

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Laura B live on ‘In a Dream’ with Mystic Pete KXLU 88.9FM LA Nov 2013

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I flew to LA last friday and on saturday I was playing live on KXLU 88.9 FM (one of Los Angeles’ most music friendly college radio) on a midnight to 2am show called ‘In a Dream’ as guest of the wonderful, super funny and totally entertaining character that is Mystic Pete. Now I have done interviews and/or played live on the radio before (Resonnance FM, BBC Radio 3, Big Chill FM etc.) but this ‘session’ was definitely one to remember for its buzzing, slightly chaotic and totally fun vibe! I played about one and a half hours of old and new material including a couple of remixes and everything felt right.

There were 3 photographers in the studio with us so for once I have pictures!

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A big thank you to Mystic Pete for everything Mystic Pete does, including inviting me on his show, telling the future and holding the sunshine in Los Angeles for me, it worked!!

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The Fantastic Laura B live at the Red Loft 605 East 4th Street Los Angeles – Sat 30 Nov 2013 – 9pm

The Fantastic Laura B live at the Red Loft 605 East 4th Street Los Angeles - Sat 30 Nov 2013 - 9pm

The Fantastic Laura B, solo female electronica artist from London is coming to LA for one exclusive performance at The Red Loft. This is her first appearance in the US so don’t miss this unique opportunity to discover and experience the latest and best of UK’s chilled electronica.

“Luscious and lovely, dreamy and creamy chillout, like Zero 7 minus the bits that make you go “zzzz…’” The Guardian

‘A unique talent in the ascendant. Fly By Night’ – The Big Chill

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“ULTRA | VIOLET” the best film scores by Gary Marlowe feat. Laura B is out now

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featuring Laura B

now available on iTunes, Amazon and everywhere: gary marlowe´s new “best of” album, with a fine selection of his most interesting works for movies.

mastered at Abbey Road Studios.

http://www.amazon.de/Ultra-Violet-Marlowe-Gary/dp/B009TKBLNM/

https://itunes.apple.com/album/ultra-i-violet-best-film-scores/id574417608

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Little Japan

Today I was looking around the studio, mentally logging every piece of equipment, its value to me and the use I make of it, when I realised that while I’m very familiar with it (as if I was born with it) most of it actually comes from Japan.

Brand names like Akai, Korg, Casio, Yamaha, Atari, Roland are common in my studio. Other names like DBX, Tannoy, Drawmer and Ursa Major conjure up the USA or UK as country of origin and manufacture while my microphones and their stands are made in Germany.

I liked the thought that all these machines have been designed, built and assembled by fellow japanese people and I kind of imagined them in white shirts with rulers and papers, discussing the design of the TR808 or the memory allocation on the S1000 etc.. so this morning I thought of my studio as ‘Little Japan’.

This gave the whole place a new dimension and I felt a lot less lonely as a result!

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Robin Guthrie: no synths, just guitars, smoke and mirrors…

Robin Guthrie = Elvis the King in the Laura B Hall Of Fame. Best known for his unbelievably beautiful signature guitar sound in Cocteau Twins, one of my favorite bands of all time and one great influence over my music too!

Robin talks about sound production: ‘The pulsating stuff was my green Paul Reed Smith guitar (’cause I did most of Heaven Or Las Vegas with it and my ’59 Jazzmaster) played through a Gallien Kruger pre-amp straight into the board. This was then treated with a Lexicon 480L (pitch shifted +10 cents and -10 cents to make it stereo) and delayed with a Yamaha D1500 in sync with the bpm of the track. Next the fun bit: I inserted a Drawmer DS201 dual noise gate over the stereo guitar and triggered it externally from click track playing 16th notes. Then I re-recorded the track back from tape through a Cry Baby wah-wah which I moved manually (ie. with my hands).’

In another interview Robin also talks about processing their drum machine through a guitar amp…

Reading this, I recall many studio sessions spent doing exactly that: plumbing (connecting) stuff together either in the 1- way it’s supposed to be or 2- way it’s not supposed to be or 3- a combination of the two, in order to create a unique brilliant and exciting new sound for the record!!! You have to know the rules in order to break them and we didn’t have much time either as the clock was ticking (studio time was expensive).

Where does that leave us today? What happened to that pioneering spirit? Computers have made recording music the-way-it’s-supposed-to-be-done so easy that there is no experimenting anymore. And I have been struggling with this for a while.

These last few months, I have bought some unusual pieces of kit: some guitar processors like a big Digitech pedalboard, some other odd outboard processors and a Kawai Q-80 which is a MIDI analog sequencer, with a 2 line display and start, stop and record buttons. I have started to make music using just these (non-computer) electronics.

I will post some music here soon to get your feedback. Meanwhile thanks for listening ;)

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