Elektrobank – Leroy Street’s Underrated Gem?

Miloco’s HQ is home to plenty of spaces that have made a big name for themselves in one way or another, whether it’s the luxury of The Bridge, the vastness of The Pool or the enviable spec of the Red Room. But there’s one space at Leroy Street that has developed a far more understated reputation, a quiet favourite for many big names over the years for almost intangible reasons, that often flies under the radar.

Previously known as The Toyshop, Elektrobank was home to The Chemical Brothers for an extended period during the 90s, during which they recorded their first record, Exit Planet Dust. In the years that followed, the space was consistently used as a private, long-term let by a number of sought after and successful producers including Steve Dub, Mike Spencer and Jewels & Stone.

In 2019, the room underwent an extensive refurbishment that saw the Miloco team with producer Richard X pack it with great gear including a state of the art Pro Tools HDX rig fully loaded with soft synths and plugins, Neve 1073 mic pres, distressors and monitoring from Genelec and Adam. 

The studio was then opened as a commercial space once more and was named after a track on the Chemical Brothers’ classic album Dig Your Own Hole, in recognition of the A-list duo that put it on the map. Elektrobank maintained its status as a go to space for those looking for a versatile and capable production and demo room that is ready to go at a moments notice. 

Then, in late 2022, it got a further refit to install a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos rig using Neumann monitoring, alongside some small but effective acoustic changes which really elevated the space into an incredibly versatile room for all kinds of projects. 

We spoke to Miloco’s Operations Manager Pete Hofmann and, one of Elektrobank’s most regular clients, Grammy-winning engineer and mixer Sam Harper, about what makes the space so special. 


What is it about Elektrobank that makes it so popular?

Pete Hofmann: Elektrobank is one of those unexpectedly great rooms. Certainly back in the day it might have seemed like quite a small, pokey place, but it has a nice vibe. It’s been surprisingly well treated. When it was built in the 80s, they put quite a lot of work into getting the bass trapping right, in particular. I think that’s why a number of producers have fallen in love with it and rented it out for long periods of time on an exclusive basis.

Sam Harper: To be completely honest, the reason I started using Elektrobank was actually because it was often the last studio to be booked at Leroy Street. But the more I used it, the more I fell in love with it. About a year and a half ago, I was transitioning to more mixing work, and I just needed a space. I was used to working in large studios with big desks, but I grew to appreciate the coziness and intimacy of Elektrobank. It’s like having a small, personal space with just my computer and speakers. It became my personal sanctuary. I love the size, the sound, and the location. It has a small booth for reamping or tracking, and I like that it doesn’t have a large mixing desk.


Pete, what triggered that refurbishment?

PH: It needed refreshing after being privately let to producers for several years. In 2019, we relaunched it as a commercial studio, going all white with colored lighting, allowing users to customize the space. The refurbishment was done to make it more plug-and-play. Then, in late 2022 we did another refurbishment which consisted of an Atmos install and some changes to the acoustics of the room to complement that, which has had a really positive impact on the sound of the room overall.

SH: The sound feels direct, which I attribute to the size but also, as Pete says, when it was refurbished about two years ago, the acoustic treatment and decoration make it a lovely and peaceful place to work in.


Take us back through the history of the place and some of the artists that have worked at Elektrobank, because it’s got a history of big names…

PH: It used to be called the Toyshop, and it was where The Chemical Brothers transitioned from The Dust Brothers and recorded their debut album Exit Planet Dust. They later built their own studio upstairs. When they left, we named the upstairs studio the Toyshop and needed a new name for the original room. We found an old DAT tape with ‘Elektrobank’ on it, a single from the second Chemical Brothers album, and thought it was a fitting name. 

Steve Dub, who worked a lot with Chemical Brothers, was the first person to rent Elektrobank for an extended period; Mike Spencer also rented it for two to three years and worked on significant projects like Newton Faulkner, Alphabeat and Uncle Jam there. More recently we’ve had producers Jewels & Stone rent it for about a year, working on the Steps album What The Future Holds around 2020. They’ve also done remixes in there for Jess Glynn recently – but they’ve used the space for decades now. 

It seems to suit those who want something for a long time. It’s a professional spec but at an affordable rate. It’s a small, manageable space that you can just walk into with a laptop and get started. It’s all set up ready, and you can do everything in one go.

SH: There are some A-listers who want huge rooms with private lounges and massive speakers, but I think most artists nowadays use smaller rooms. Many up-and-coming artists start their careers making music in their bedrooms, and the transition to a huge studio doesn’t always yield the results they want. So they return to smaller rooms, which tend to be better for their creative process.


Tell us about some of the records you’ve worked on recently at Elektrobank…

SH: I mixed J Hus’ album, which went to number one and was nominated for multiple awards. I’ve also just finished some songs for WizKid and have been mixing for Tion Wayne. So, again, these are really big artists being mixed in a room that’s smaller than my bedroom. It works for huge artists and small artists. It doesn’t matter, the end result is the same.

There’s one artist that books it as much as me and that’s Skrillex. I think, like me, he just loves the sound. He books multiple rooms – he’ll have the Red Room as well as Elektrobank, for example. We often have to coordinate our bookings, which has become more challenging since he bought a house here. 

PH: He booked it for three months last year and loved it. I think because it looks really good for all the stuff he does on social media, and I think he likes being part of the community here as well.


Sounds like you two should work together, Sam…

SH: We’re trying to. At some point we’ll work together and it will be a nice little Elektrobank reunion.


For more info on Elektrobank, click here.

For enquiries email bookings@miloco.co.uk

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