Bonzai (center) with Si*Sé’s composer Cliff Cristofaro and Carol C (right).
After recording demos in a Manhattan apartment and touring with former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, New York City-based Si*Sé settled down in Manhattan Center Productions to produce their second album.
“After meeting Dax Anderson, the studio manager here at Manhattan Center and touring the facility, it was clear that this was the place for us,” states Si*Sé composer Cliff Cristofaro. “When you’ve been producing demos in your apartment, and the band is used to a relaxed, creative atmosphere, the idea of moving into a professional studio can be intimidating. We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t want a bunch of industry professionals watching over us and eyeing our every move. We can’t be creative that way. But all the people here are wonderful; it’s more like a family than a stuffy recording facility.”
Anderson realized that Si*Sé’s original blend of melodies and eclectic, diverse backgrounds would require a top-notch engineer, so he summoned 20-year industry veteran Jim Caruso (Bonzai) to engineer the project. Bonzai was immediately impressed with Si*Sé, whose sound melds aspects of Latin, hip hop, metal, classical, reggae, drum ‘n’ bass and electronic music.
“Si*Sé has a wonderful vibe and a relaxed approach, so I was really excited to work with them, especially here at Manhattan Center,” says Bonzai, who has also worked with Madonna, Mary J. Blige and Nas, among others. “I love the Neve VR console, it really augments the great sound in Studio 4 very well. This band is immensely talented and, with the great audio quality that they will get out of this facility, are ready to make some serious waves in the music industry.”
“I’m really blown away by the comfortable environment and the incredible sonic accuracy and clarity,” states Si*Sé’s lead singer Carol C., who has been recording in professional-quality studios in New York City for many years. “You feel more like you are around friends and family here, which is pertinent when you are trying to create an open, creative vibe. If a band feels self-conscious and uptight, they simply won’t be putting out their best work. This was a big step up for us, as far as the equipment and the room go. When it comes to audio recording, you really don’t know what you didn’t have until you hear it.”