Today marks the release of London soul singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka’s second studio album, Love & Hate, on Polydor Records.
An album that has been in the works for over a year, Michael and his producer Inflo, have been in and out of various studios of ours around London, writing and recording the superb album, which has already received high praise from critics prior to release, with comparisons being made to legendary soul singers Marvin Gaye and Otis Reading.
Dan Moyler worked with Michael and Inflo in The Square when writing the lead single from the album, ‘Black Man In A White World’, while Tom Archer assisted Inflo and engineer Dec Gaffney on the same track for a day in our Livingston 1 studio recording gospel choir vocals for the single, and an additional 5-6 tracks. Kristian Donaldson and Darren Jones also assisted in a few writing sessions in other studios, including The Red Room.
Miloco engineer Eddie Serafica largely worked with artist/producer duo over the course of close to a month’s worth of sessions in The Square across 2015. Those sessions varied from writing, to recording, and overdubs on the vocals, horns, guitars, and more.
“I also assisted the mix sessions with Inflo and Richard Woodcraft at The Square,” says Eddie. “The tracks that were mixed on those sessions are a big part of the album, including ‘Father’s Child’, ‘Rule The World’ and one of the singles, ‘Love & Hate’.”
Being the music geeks that we are, we picked Eddie’s brain about the recording and mixing process, and he gave us the lowdown on all the gear used during the sessions for our music-tech enjoyment.
– When recording Michael’s vocals they used a Neumann U67 going into a Neve 1066 preamp
– For drums (which were used mainly for writing) they used a md421 for kick, going into an api 3124 then into a dbx 160, a fet47 for the kick out going into another api 3124 going into a dbx 160 and a cartec eq, sm57 for snare top going into an api 3124 and into a distressor & bottom into an api 3124 and 1176, Coles for overheads into a neve prism preamp, MD421s for toms into SSL preamp, a U87 as a room mic into SSL preamp, and a Lomo 19a19 as a crunch mic into Neve Prism and 1176. The kit used was a Hayman Vibrasonic Dalls Arbiter
– Bass was DI’ed into a Calrec preamp and an Altec compressor, using the P Bass from The Bridge
– For guitar amp they used an md421 and a reslo going into an api 3124. The amp in question was Michael’s Fender Vibrolux Combo
– Piano was supplied by two KM84s going into the GML preamps, as well as the Feurich Upright that was in The Square, which is now in Livingston 1
– The strings used were a Coles 4038 on Violin 1 & 2, a DPA 4011 on Viola, a Fet 47 for the Cello and a pair of U87 for the room all going into SSL preamps.
– The hammond organ was mic’ed the Leslie with a pair of U87 and an RE20 all going into the SSL preamps.
– In terms of the mixing it was a hybrid set up, everything was mainly mixed in the box but using the SSL G series for summing with the SSL Quad Compressor and GML 8200 on the stereo buss.