UK: Metropolis celebrated 20 years at the forefront of studio recording with a party for its industry friends on May 13, writes Dave Robinson. Sex Pistol Glen Matlock was the headline act as guests from pro-audio, the recording industry, music distribution and the media packed out the atrium mezzanine in the Power House building in Chiswick.
It was back in May 1989 when Metropolis – the brainchild of Karin Clayton, Gary Langan, Carey Taylor and Alexander Skeaping – first opened its doors as one of the most luxurious and comprehensively equipped recording facilities in London. Over the years, the complex has recorded and mixed many classic albums, including The Verve’s Urban Hymns, Queen’s Innuendo, U.N.K.L.E’s Psyence Fiction, Scott Walker’s Tilt, Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Two decades on and Metropolis is still top of the pile. In this anniversary year, the engineers and producers have worked with the likes of U2, Pussycat Dolls, Lily Allen, Franz Ferdinand and Stevie Wonder. Metropolis boasts Europe’s largest mastering house and an award-winning digital media team to boot.
Managing director Ian Brenchley, appointed in 2008, says: “Metropolis has always been one of the top studios in the world, featuring cutting-edge technology, a wealth of expertise and a creative hub location for the music industry and iconic artists alike. In our 20th year, we plan to take things one step further by starting a label, adding multiple new services and in short, put the rock ‘n’ roll back into the music industry… not a moment too soon, I might add.”
As well as Matlock – who finished his set with a spectacular solo performance of the Pistols’ Pretty Vacant – other turns during the Wednesday evening event included Irish singer/musician Eleanor McEvoy, who has all her albums mastered at Metropolis by Ian Cooper, and Australian jazz star Nina Ferro. (Sound was supplied by Paul Nicholson’s MIDAS ProSound using the new Tannoy VQ Live system and an RSS by Roland M-400 digital mixer.)
An auction of a selection of desirable items, including a signed limited edition Eddie Kramer print and a guitar signed by Sir Elton John, raised over _1,000 for the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy charity.