Edmontone Studio looks back on a decade of local and international recordings
Around 10 years ago, local musician and recording engineer Doug Organ would drive around various industrial districts for months, looking for the perfect “concrete box” to house his prospective upstart recording studio.
At the time, Organ was operating out of a tiny studio that he had outgrown both professionally and physically. It was time for a change.
“Recording was part of my living and most of the recording budget was going towards the studio rentals. So, I decided that if I built my own studio that was half decent, I could hang onto some of that budget,” Organ says from his studio chair.
That decision created Edmontone Studio, the ubiquitous holy grail for local and international musicians to have their work recorded, mixed, and mastered.
The build took six months, with Organ reaching out to friends for help in exchange for future recording time.
“My old friend TJ is the contractor who actually built the place,” Organ says. “He and I designed the place. I knew what I wanted acoustically and he was the person who could tell me what was and wasn’t possible. We just ate a lot of shawarma and drew a lot of drawings.”
It was a big deal when Edmontone Studio opened in downtown Edmonton in 2007. Since his jump into music through various projects, Organ has always been a huge supporter of the local music scene.
“I had some kind of name back then, but being open to recording absolutely anything over the years has gone a long way for convincing people to come work with me,” Organ says. “I’m not there to pass judgment on the band or its sound.”
Since his initial exploration into the different facets of music recording, Organ has worked and interned with the likes of Steve Albini (who has recorded albums with Nirvana, The Pixies, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant), spent time in both Abbey Road Studios and France’s Studio La Fabrique, and mixed the newest album A Sting in the Tale for the classic blues/rock-gods Ten Years After.
“It turns out that I befriended one of their newer members awhile ago,” Organ says. “We were playing shows in England for like a pint or whatever, and we kept in touch over the years and he asked me if I’d be down to mix the new album. I messaged him back saying, ‘Yes, and under any circumstances.’”
Even though Organ has instances of international success, he chooses to remain in Edmonton for a number of reasons.
“Even if it was just a financial decision, that would be enough,” Organ says. “I’ve got 30 years of contacts here and it seems to be the key in this industry, at least for me.”
He has embedded himself within the music scene and the city’s many artistic outlets.
“People all seem to have this love/hate relationship with Edmonton, but I think the music scene is really good at getting its head cut off and growing it back,” he says.
The upcoming anniversary show is both a celebration and reflective look back on Organ’s work through Edmontone Studio. In 2017 he has worked with a number of prospering artists giving his year many highlights.
“More work with Ruth B was great. When she first came to the studio a couple years ago, it was her first time in a recording studio ever,” he says. “This year she came back a few times and she was in a very different place. But it was awesome working on the Tegan and Sara The Con X: Covers album that Ruth B was on.”
Edmontone Studio has become a friendly and welcoming staple for the music community in the past decade. Here’s to 10 more years.
Thu., Dec. 21 (7 pm)
Edmontone 10 Year Anniversary Show
Must RSVP online