Recording

Hargo's Radical Sounds

Hargo’s eclectic new disc Out of Mankind is alt-rock with a gamut of found sounds, “ethnic” instruments and horns. But as engineer/producer Joel Hamilton points out, “It’s not an ‘experim 3/01/2012 4:00 AM Eastern

Hargo’s eclectic new disc Out of Mankind is alt-rock with a gamut of found sounds, “ethnic” instruments and horns. But as engineer/producer Joel Hamilton points out, “It’s not an ‘experimental’ record by any means,” as strong original songs take the front seat. Tracking to a Studer A827 2-inch machine in Studio G in Brooklyn, N.Y., the facility he co-owns with bassist/engineer/producer Tony Maimone, Hamilton says creative inspiration often came from using the “quote-unquote wrong thing to get a unique sound. I have a ton of crazy old compressors, so we’d track the vocals through a 47 with, say, a Maxon Department of Commerce piece—a really obscure tube compressor—and then EQ it. We deliberately set out using something inherently lacking in fidelity, but treated it as if we wanted fidelity; to me that’s more endearing than taking a clean weather-channel approach to recording and then saying, ‘We distorted it.’”