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Paul Epworth takes top producer prize at MPG Awards

test 16 February 2010

UK: The second edition of the Music Producers Guild Awards took place at the Caf_ de Paris in London last week, writes Dave Robinson. Established to recognise the skills and talents of music recording professionals, the MPG Awards this year saw Paul Epworth receive the Producer of the Year award – and, as a result, the coveted BRIT Award for Best Producer.

Epworth – who won last year’s Breakthrough Producer of the Year Award – said he was "really touched" as he received the award from Florence Welch (pictured here with Epworth) of Florence and the Machine. His victory is attributed to his production skills on Florence’s acclaimed Lungs album, as well as for work with Friendly Fires, Bloc Party and Plan B.

Other award recipients included Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who won the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award. The award was introduced by music licensing body PPL’s Jonathan Morrish, and received on behalf of Blackwell by veteran producer Joe Boyd. Of Blackwell, Boyd remarked: "I can’t think of anybody better deserving of this award."

Now in its second year, the Music Producers Guild Awards has quickly established itself as a ‘must-attend’ event on the music industry calendar. Hosted again by BBC 6 Music’s Nemone Metaxas, the ceremony attracted over 300 music industry VIPs to the central London venue.

Steve Levine, chairman of the Music Producers Guild, says: "These awards mean a great deal to the UK’s professional recording community because they know they are being judged by their peers. Audio professionals are positioned at the very heart of the music industry – we make the content that is the industry’s product. As an organisation, the Music Producers Guild is delighted to lead the way in recognising the wealth of production and engineering creativity we have in this country and bringing about greater awareness, both within the music industry and among the wider public, of the talent and skills involved in making great records."

Mick Glossop picked up two awards at the event, one for Recording Engineer of The Year (sponsored by headline sponsor Prism Sound) and another for the Shure-sponsored Live Album of the Year (Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks – Live at the Hollywood Bowl). Cenzo Townshend held on to his Mix Engineer of the Year accolade from 2009, while Tony Cousins of Metropolis Mastering won Mastering Engineer of the Year.

Kore Studios took Best Studio gong; Breakthrough Engineer of The Year was awarded to Mark Rankin (who worked with Epworth on Lungs); and Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos dropped in to deliver Breakthrough Producer of The Year to Paul Savage.

The Joe Meek Award for Innovation In Production (sponsored by Joemeek by PMI Audio) was given posthumously to the legend Les Paul, who died last August. As trailed in last month’s PSNE, Alchemea’s Gary Bromham presented Chris Jenkins of SSL with his Unsung Hero award.

Larger than life manager/producer Nick ‘Cage’ Detnon joined a delighted Dizzee Rascal on stage to receive the UK Album of the Year (09) award for Tongue N Cheek. Denton pointed out that, despite there being numerous production credits on the album, a great deal of the work – particularly the vocals – was recorded and produced in Dizzee’s south London studio.

The three members of Muse – who have just been revealed as a headline act at Glastonbury Festival this summer – were at the event to pick up the UK Single of the Year (09) award for Uprisin’. The band’s Matt Bellamy joked that Rick Rubin had shown them "how not to produce"; ironic, then, that Rubin should go on to win International Producer of the Year later in the evening.

Photographer credit: Tom Bunning



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