From the Basement

2 06 2010

I was recently turned on to a pretty cool project dedicated to creating, fostering and recording great live music. Created by acclaimed producer Nigel Godrich (and friends), the concept behind From the Basement is to create an environment that allows artists to relax and feel comfortable. The idea is to coerce the most authentic performance from them in a small intimate setting free of distractions. In a world where TV production is often done on the cheap and can be very chaotic, it’s a place where artists can perform without feeling the stifling effects of the process or program structure. The resulting footage was initially intended to be a television series in the vain of The Old Grey Whistle Tests. Unfortunately, it could not be sustained in that form so it now lives on as an online destination. In explaining the overarching mission of the project, Nigel has said,  “My own personal goal is that in the future some of these performances might be seen as the truest representation of the state of their artists work, captured in a way that lets their talents speak without the interference of presenters, or audiences.”

The site features forty or so artists,  including Beck, Iggy & The Stooges, The White Stripes, Radiohead, Band of Horses, Sonic Youth, The Shins, Dead Weather, My Morning Jacket, Andrew Bird and many more. It’s a nice blend of big icons and bright young act who are just having their moment. All the performances are shot in HD, and are well produced utilizing various camera angles. All the music is produced by Godrich. For those not familiar with his resumé, Nigel has worked with quite a few major acts. He has worked extensively with Radiohead, even be referred to as the “sixth member” of the band. He produced most of the band’s catalog, including OK Computer and Kid A, and won a Grammy for the latter. He also produced Beck’s Mutations and Sea Change, as well as Paul McCartney’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard… and that’s just a small portion of his discography. Nigel is not just a producer but a musician and a composer. He has written for many of the artists he has worked with and is currently a member of Thom Yorke’s recent solo band Atoms of Peace. With credentials like that, it should be no surprise that he is working on something so cool. Be sure to visit the site and poke around. You will find A LOT of really great footage of some of today’s best artists doing what they do best and because of the recording techniques it all translates on a very personal level. You will not be disappointed…

Link: From the Basement


More info on Nigel Godrich

More info on From the Basement

Nigel Godrick’s site

Nigel Godrich’s Discography

More on Atoms of Peace

More info on Radiohead

More info on The Old Grey Whistle Tests


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