So as you’ve hopefully seen, we took the extremely talented twin duo, The Ocelots, to record their first EP. And like all good ideas that seem to come, it started out as a drunken pipe dream, that slowly came to fruition.
Before I go into the many details of the trip, I would like to say our thanks first of all. First and foremost, to our dear friend Sini, for letting us use his beautiful farm house and land in the first place and for being a grade A translator on site. Next I would like to say thank you to the guests that arrived over the course of the 10-day trip, your company was more than welcome and the endless stream of meals that you guys made for us was the proverbial cherry on the cake. I won’t put everyone’s name down but you know who you are and we love you.
So least start at the beginning shall we, the initial idea was, like I said, an alcohol based conversation between Jackson and the Twins after a Munich Sessions event towards the end of last year. Although The Ocelots have been touring and writing for a few years now, they had no solid recordings to show around. And as we’re always up for new experiences and adventures, the idea of helping the lads out seemed obvious. To take influence from some of the best recordings we’ve ever heard, we considered where would be possible to record such a project, and the live-in studio idea came about. Taking note from The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Led Zeppelin, we figured that a secluded location with no interference from the outside world would be the perfect place to hole up and get some solid studio time down. Which leads us perfectly to Sini’s farm house in Croatia. A picturesque location based around two hours from the capital city, it fulfilled every criterion that we needed. So that was that, we had the plan, we had the band and we had the location, now all that was needed was seemingly never ending checklist of equipment and division of labour.
The studio had to be mobile, we weren’t going to fly with it but it still had to fit in the back of a car alongside the instruments and team going. Thankfully, we owned a vast majority of kit before we even started planning, I won’t go into too much tech nerd details but even my basic set up took up enough space that the twins had to cuddle with the cello and guitars in the back seats of a 7-seater. The only addition we really had to make to the kit list, was a new microphone and for that we bought the Neumann TLM, although the cheapest in the Neumann range, it’s recording quality far out did anything we had access to before, and it was worth every penny spent. With the studio and standard living needs (tent, sleeping bag, clothes, etc.) we took every instrument we could get our hands on, because you know, you can never have enough strings knocking around a studio.
When we eventually arrive in Blatusa, there was few words to describe how much of a perfect choice it was. Quite possible one of the most beautiful landscapes I had seen, and not a neighbour for miles, we were alone and free to be as loud and creative as one would want. Except for one night, we barely left the farmhouse, the peaceful house became quickly a home and comfortable space to do as we pleased. We recorded all day and drank and ate all night, it couldn’t have been a better working holiday. In fact, it was maybe too good, as now I’m left unhappy back in the daily grind. The twins were outstanding when it came to recording, they came prepared and ready. Also perfectly willing to take on comments and criticisms, looking for outside opinion.
So before I sit here and spend more hours blowing smoke up everyone’s arse, check out the video below for a sneaky peek at what it was like and one of the fine live recordings from The Ocelots that was captured on the first day of our visit.
Stay tuned for the final product of the trip and more information on The Ocelots because they are surely a band to keep an eye on for future listening.