Female recording and production talent was recognised and rewarded more than ever before at the Music Producers Guild Awards in London on Wednesday 4 February.
Olga Fitzroy (Air Studios) won the award for Recording Engineer of the Year (sponsored by AMS Neve) while Catherine Marks (pictured) carried off the Breakthrough Producer of the Year trophy, sponsored by Focusrite. FKA Twigs won the gongs for UK Single (Pendulum) and UK Album (LP1) of the Year, both of which she co-produced.
The MPG Inspiration Award (sponsored by Universal Audio) went to US producer, engineer and artist Sylvia Massy, who has over 20 gold and platinum albums to her name and has worked with Tool, Johnny Cash, Prince, REM and many others.
“The diversity of talent winning MPG Awards this year is truly outstanding and we are proud to be reflecting the ever rising number of women in the top tier of music-making,” says MPG Awards director Tony Platt. “It was yet another all-round great night for the UK music business.”
Over 350 guests saw Charlie Andrew take the night’s top award – MPG Producer of the Year – automatically making him the winner of the BRIT Award for Best Producer. Mercury Prize winners Alt-J stepped up to present Andrew with his trophies. A previous winner of the Breakthrough Producer gong in 2013, Andrew noted how he had been heavily influenced by the production of Clive Langer (Madness, Elvis Costello). Langer himself was on hand to present this year’s Breakthrough Engineer Award to Brett Cox.
The MPG honoured producer and artist Youth (Martin Glover) with the Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award, sponsored by PPL. The producer said he was “totally humbled” by the award. In a specially recorded video tribute, Paul McCartney, Youth’s collaborator in the Fireman project, told him fondly to “stick it up yer jumper”.
Youth later took to the stage to entertain guests with a live performance featuring a number of the artists he has produced over the years including Killing Joke (the punk band he co-founded) and The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft, with further appearances by Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, PiL’s Jah Wobble and Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook.
Introduced in 2009 to recognise the enormous contribution made by recording professionals to the success of the UK’s music industry, the MPG Awards regularly attracts a high turnout of music industry VIPs and celebrities. This year’s event, once again hosted by 6Music’s Tom Robinson, moved to Grosvenor House for the first time in order to “accommodate increasing demand for tickets”.
The 2016 event saw a total of 16 gongs presented. Other highlights of the evening included Jimmy Page presenting the Mastering Engineer of the Year Award to John Davis; and Air Studios, currently fighting to prevent a neighbouring resident from extending a basement to within feet its premises, bagging the Studio of the Year Award (Air’s Loz Anslow quipped, “I thought it would be a swimming pool by now”.)
On receiving his Mix Engineer of the Year Award for his work on the FKA Twigs album, David Wrench commented: “I always remember what Julian Cope said to me: ‘Look in the mirror, no one outside the music industry would employ you!’”
The MPG Award for Innovation (sponsored by Audio Note) went to Geoff Emerick who engineered all but a few of the Beatles’ recordings between 1966 and 1968.
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS
UK Producer of the Year, sponsored by The BRITS 2016:
Outstanding Contribution to UK Music, sponsored by PPL:
Youth (Martin Glover)
Recording Engineer of the Year, sponsored by AMS Neve:
Mix Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Solid State Logic:
Mastering Engineer of the Year, sponsored by SADiE and Transco Blanx:
UK Album of the Year, sponsored by G-tech and Jigsaw24:
FKA Twigs – LP1
UK Single Song Release of the Year, sponsored by Shure:
FKA Twigs – Pendulum
Re-mixer of the Year, sponsored by Prism Sound:
Breakthrough Producer of the Year, sponsored by Focusrite:
Breakthrough Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Musicguard Insurance:
International Producer of the Year, sponsored by Pro Tools Expert:
Studio of the Year, sponsored by Avid:
The A&R Award:
The MPG Award for Innovation sponsored by Audio Note:
The MPG Award for Inspiration sponsored by Universal Audio:
Special Recognition Award: