The Music Producers Guild raised the bar to a whole new level at the sixth edition of its annual Awards ceremony, held last night at the Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London. The now must-attend evening of trophy-giving in recognition of outstanding work in professional recording was trumped by a live performance by Trevor Horn and his band, plus a star turn by singer Seal.
This year’s top Producer of the Year accolade – and automatically the winner of the 2014 Brit Award for Best Producer – was clinched by partnership Flood (Mark Ellis, left) and Alan Moulder for their work on Foals album Holy Fire.
The UK Album of the Year gong, sponsored by Universal Audio, was also bagged by Holy Fire.
When PSNEurope suggested to Flood that it was "about time he won the award", he was quick to refute the idea. "No. No. It’s not about time we won it, it’s about time more people were recognised for the work that they do. There’s not a single black or R'n'B producer here, and I find that very difficult.
“This man [Alan Moulder] is my best friend, and I’ve worked with him for 30-odd years, and we sit there every day, and do our job, and are totally passionate about it. But there are so many people, in the same position, that don’t get recognised at these awards. I think more people should be.”
The MPG Innovation Award, sponsored by Genelec, was awarded to style maverick David Bowie, and accepted on his behalf by long-time collaborator Tony Visconti.
The Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Protape and Transco Blanx, was presented to vinyl-cutting veteran Sean Davies by Bill Wyman: the former Rolling Stone recalled how the first ever acetate of a Stones song had been cut by Davies in the ‘60s. Davies admitted to having kept a copy of the cut – which would now have an estimated worth of “£15,000” – but gave it away “to a girl I hardly knew”.
Rak Studios was victorious in the Studio of the Year stakes, with Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood presenting the trophy to Rak’s Trisha Wegg. “It’s an OMG moment!” said the elated studio manager.
Trevor Horn was honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to UK Music – and he brought his band The Producers along, as if to reinforce the point. After the ceremony, composer Anne Dudley joined Horn, Lol Crème, Ash Soan and co on stage for a joyous jaunt through the ex-Buggles’ pop portfolio, including Two Tribes (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) and Video Killed the Radio Star. The audience of 400 were thrilled as guest vocalist Seal stepped up to sing Grace Jones’ Slave to the Rhythm and his own Horn-produced hits, Kiss From A Rose and Crazy.
Now in its sixth year, the Music Producers Guild Awards recognises the contribution made by recording professionals to the success of the UK’s music industry. This year's event, sporting a new host (comedian Rich Hall) and a new venue after five years at the Café de Paris, once again highlighted the essential relationship between artist and recording professional, with many artists attending the ceremony to present their producer with an award.
Steve Levine, chairman of the Music Producers Guild, said: “Our winners highlight the creativity that is inherent in UK music production, and when you look at the amazing work these recording professionals have done in the past 12 months it is no surprise that Britain's recording talent remains the envy of the rest of the world."
The complete list of winners for the MPG 2014 Awards categories reads:
* UK Producer of the Year, sponsored by The BRITS 2014:
Flood (Mark Ellis) & Alan Moulder
* International Producer of the Year, sponsored by Beats by Dr Dre:
* Recording Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Røde:
* Mix Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Solid State Logic:
Mark ‘Spike’ Stent
* Mastering Engineer of the Year, sponsored by SADiE:
* Breakthrough Producer of the Year, sponsored by Focusrite/Novation:
Disclosure (Guy Lawrence, Howard Lawrence)
* Breakthrough Engineer of the Year, sponsored by Prism Sound:
* Re-mixer of the Year:
MJ Cole (Matthew Coleman)
* UK Album of the Year, sponsored by Universal Audio:
Foals – Holy Fire
* UK Single Song Release of the Year, sponsored by Shure:
Everything Everything – Kemosabe
* Studio of the Year, sponsored by KMR Audio:
* The A&R Award:
* The MPG Innovation Award, sponsored by Genelec, presented by the Music Producers Guild:
* The MPG Inspiration Award, sponsored by UK Music, presented by the Music Producers Guild:
* Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Protape and Transco Blanx:
* The Outstanding Contribution to UK Music, sponsored by PPL: