Henry Crallan and Queen bass player John Deacon founded Milo Music at a music studio in Hoxton, east London, in 1984. It started life as a mid-range studio but quickly became a well-respected facility catering for the likes of Marc Almond, M People and The Brand New Heavies before growing in size with the building of a 16 track pre-production suite. It was known simply as The Square, and as the original Milo studio saw many equipment additions over the years but kept its original feel in what became one of the trendiest parts of London. In the period between 1997 and 2000 Milo became home to Howie B’s famous cult label Pussyfoot, run in partnership with Nick Young . The label recorded the majority of its output in The Square, along with many acts similarly attuned to the unique Pussyfoot ethos, as such many of the artists are still part of the Miloco family today. Sadly in early 2016 The Square succumbed to the rapid gentrification and rising prices of the Hoxton neighbourhood and was forced to close its doors after the building was sold to new owners. You can read more about The Square and its closure here.
A little further south from Hoxton on Shoreditch High Street is where the Miloco partner business model began. The Garden Studios, which originally opened in 1978 had impressive history all of its own. Founded by John Foxx of Ultravox fame the Garden quickly became a cult studio recording the likes of Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure and Depeche Mode. During the 1980s it became the home of Matt Johnson of The The. He liked it so much he bought the place, recording many of his albums there. Matt came to Miloco to help run the studio on a commercial basis and the Miloco model was born. Sadly The Garden closed for business in 2012 and has now become a trendy sandwich restaurant, although it maintains some of its musical legacy with photos and written history on its walls.
Orinoco Studios was built in the mid-1980s in a converted warehouse on Leroy Street off Tower Bridge Road. It quickly made its mark producing Enya’s groundbreaking album ‘Watermark’ that included the worldwide hit single ‘Orinoco Flow’, supposedly named after the studio. It was then at the forefront of the dance music explosion of the late 80s, the rise of the indie scene and the subsequent Britpop reign of the early to mid-1990s. ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory’ by Oasis was partly recorded and entirely mixed at Orinoco, and the band returned to SE1 to mix the follow up ‘Be Here Now’. In 1997 Orinoco produced more No 1 albums than any other studio in Britain besides Abbey Road.
In 2000 Orinoco was put up for sale and Milo saw this as a opportunity to join the premier league of studios and so sold the now trendy Hoxton site and moved into 36 Leroy Street, which remains the company’s main HQ to this day. It was this evolution that gave birth to the Miloco name and provided the group with a greater variety of facilities, none more so than the building’s top-end SSL mix room, The Engine Room (now known as The Red Room London). Leroy Street was also home to a large programming suite, The Toyshop, and an abundance of space that would be developed at a later date. Both The Red Room London and Toyshop have acted as a second home to The Chemical Brothers throughout their careers. They have combined both studios in the production of their successive platinum records.
2006 saw the addition of The Pool. With the aid of producer Ben Hillier’s great vision, this concept room was converted from a massive 1,800-square-foot storage area at Leroy Street into one of the best sounding recording spaces in London.
Miloco’s expansion continued strongly in 2007 when the company ventured into west London for the first time and became representatives of Sofa Sound, a beautiful SSL studio owned by the world-famous producer Hugh Padgham which like so many other great studios sadly closed in 2015.
2007 saw Miloco prevail in the charts once again, with no less than four No 1 albums made in its studios: ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ by Arctic Monkeys recorded in The Garden, ‘We Are the Night’ by The Chemical Brothers mixed in The Engine Room, Kate Nash’s ‘Made of Bricks’ tracked in The Pool and Newton Faulkner’s ‘Hand Built By Robots’ produced by long-term friend and client Mike Spencer at Miloco. Four Miloco clients were also nominated for the Mercury Prize: Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons, Jamie T and Fionn Regan.
In August 2008, Miloco collaborated with internationally acclaimed producers Flood and Alan Moulder to reopen the legendary Battery Studios as Battery Studio 2. Flood and Alan took over this spectacular tracking space to supplement their mix room, Battery Studio 1, which is located in the same building. Battery Studio 1 came under the Miloco umbrella the following year, so that the gaps in the diary when Alan was away could be filled!
2009 saw a different kind of partnership. Greek music industry figure Kostas Kalimeris came to Miloco to launch his stunning newly built residential based on the majestic island of Santorini. Black Rock was an addition that bolstered Miloco’s overseas residential contingent . Producer/engineer Mike Crossey also came on board the Miloco directory, and in partnership with the company ushered in a new era at legendary Liverpool studio The Motor Museum in Spring 2009.
By the summer of 2009 it was back to Leroy Street in London, when work on a major rebuild program on The Engine Room and Pool studios got underway. The Engine Room’s control room was given a complete aesthetic and acoustic refurb, while on the other side of a newly-built wall the live room (renamed The Bridge) was divided into three separate recording areas: two booths and a larger main live space. Creating a whole new versatile way of working, The Engine Room and Bridge can now be used as one large studio with control and live rooms or two separate facilities: a world class SSL mix room and standalone writing studio.
In The Pool, a brand new control room and drum booth were built, which rise above the expansive recording space. Engineers and producers who prefer a separate control room for recording can now take advantage of the Pool’s incredible tracking space from behind closed doors, however the studio has been designed so that it can still be reverted back to its former self: an extreme open recording space incorporating both live and control spaces.
The final launch of 2009 was an hour north of London in Northamptonshire. Here, former Jamiroquai keyboardist Toby Smith had built stunning residential recording studio Angelic Studios after converting two huge barn spaces: one for the recording studio and the other for the accommodation.
Continuing with its ethos to keep great studios alive, in 2012 Miloco came to the rescue of Livingston studios in Wood Green. Great albums from Buena Vista social club to Bjork’s Debut had been recorded here and an extensive refurbishment and re equipping programme by Miloco made the studio great again. More recently Mike Crossey decamped from The Motor Museum recording a new wave of artists from the 1975 to Tom Odell in Livingston 1. With legendary producer Bluey from Incognito taking on studio 2 for both his own projects as well as Miloco clients. In 2016 Livingston 2 underwent renovation, receiving cosmetic and technical upgrades to make it a really great looking and great sounding studio.
Today Miloco now runs many other studio services. Miloco Gear is a successful pro audio company specialising in buying and selling second hand gear but also offering brand new equipment both at very competitive prices and with the Miloco support team to advise and spec. Miloco has formed Miloco Builds a specialist studio building company building high spec studios for a multitude of clients, and finally a repairs service known simply as Miloco Repairs.
Miloco now stands as one of the most exciting studio groups in the world. We continue to grow year-on-year and represent facilities in the UK, France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany, Morocco, the U.S., Thailand, Australia and further afield.