Studiotalk with Tevo Howard

Studiotalk with Tevo Howard
Growing up in Chicago and its musical input, Tevo Howard started collecting records at the age of 14. Meantime he released on Permanent Vacation, Rebirth and RushHour. He became a guy with wide influence in the deephouse/chicago music scene and beside his activities as a label owner for Beautiful Granville Records his new label "Tevo Howard Recordings" comes up with releases of classic house artist Robert Owens or Kate Simko. He honours us with an elaborate and lovely written report of his development for "The Age Of Compassion": The studio story of this track is a very particular story, unique to itself. As the three day writing process goes, Ben Watt had asked me for something for his label and I sat down to address his request. I had just bought a used Roland keyboard that I was excited to use, the jx1 which is a preset only keyboard (that particular keyboard does not allow one to sculp particular sounds, the sounds are already preset in and are not adjustable). As Ben was looking for a full ep, I set out to write at least 2 tracks with, maybe, 2 different versions per track. The first track I wrote and recorded for Ben was called Anastasia, a dreamlike track that I felt sounded like it was missing something. The Age of Compassion was the second track I wrote and recorded early the next morning. Nonetheless, I still felt like both tracks were missing something, but I thought the second track was a good attempt. Frustrated but determined, I worked on a rerecording of the second track later that second night. Here is what I changed in the second recording: *the electric piano jx1 became more elaborate. *the bassline got refined, more articulate and staccato as opposed to legato. *I replaced one of the tenor voices with a three note progression deep  bassline. By the time what I had written was ready to be recorded, I was extremely exhausted. Nevertheless, I knew that if I waited until the next morning to record it, the quality of the recording might suffer in various ways. So, I laid it down with the little bit of energy that I had. When I was done recording, I mixed the recording down and put an mp3 of the recording on my iPod for preview. And walking over to the couch, half asleep, I listen to the recording several times before falling asleep. The next morning, after a cup of coffee, I decided to record the track without a beat, as I was very happy with it's tonal composition. These were the changes I then made: *Brighter low frequency bassline. *tenor arpegiated riff inserted one octave below the alto arpegiated riff. *some arrangement changes. Then I did a third recording without the beat, which became known as the original mix. The second recording became known as the house mix. The first recording was then scrapped as an outtake. The title came later that third day while daydreaming about an era of future understanding of the human spirit, an era where the human spirit of individuals is valued more than organizational institutions worldwide. However, I note, that this daydream was the iteration and fruition of the thoughts that I had while half asleep and walking toward the couch, during the first several listens before I fell asleep after the second recording. Somewhere, I knew that the wild world we live in would reach this age of comprehension in an era of compassion. Last, I submitted the track to Ben Watt shotly after the title was thought of, and after I put a master on the track. the jx1 was sold the next day, so no other recordings that I've done will have the same sound. When I submitted the tracks to Ben, I asked if it were okay to submit two versions of one track as opposed to a full ep, or multiple tracks. After some discussion about the composition of the track, Ben accepted the House and the original mixes, and began to discuss remixer possibilities. I recorded the track at my friend Lionel's home, as I borrowed his couch due to some difficulties at my apartment in Chicago. Odd is that Lionel is the very person who introduced me to Everything But The Girl's music some time long ago. He sat in the next room as I recorded this track.

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