The late 1970s; a time of denim, big hair, drainpipes and the explosion of New Wave music. Leaving behind the days of God Save The Queen–style anarchy, New Wave bands drew on influences such as the Velvet Underground and New York Dolls whilst throwing in synths and electronic production to turn music in a fresh 'post-punk' direction.
New Wave was pioneered by acts from both the US and UK, particularly Talking Heads, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Nick Lowe, Blondie and Joe Jackson. By the turn of the decade various sub genres were appearing, most significantly the New Romantic era, which included bands like Duran Duran, Japan, Ultravox and Adam & The Ants. Moving into the 90s, bands like Stereolab, Saint Etienne and Elastica were still influenced by the genre, later paving the way for the explosion of Brit Pop. More recently, the 2000’s saw a new sub-genre, the ‘New’ New Wave, (yes, really!) with The Strokes, Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Franz Ferdinand taking the limelight.
So, Introducing ‘70s New Wave Drops’; a perfectly condensed drum album featuring 70s Costello sounding New Wave drum tracks with a couple of country feels thrown in – That’s right, we’ve done the hard bit for you! The album features the drumming skills of Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ Pete Thomas, who’s performed on the majority of Costello albums and has been an integral part of the band from 1977 right up to the present day.
Another name synonymous with New Wave is Roger Bechirian. Having been responsible for producing, recording and mixing many of Costello’s albums (and other works by Nick Lowe, Squeeze and The Undertones), who better to add their expertise to the ‘70s New Wave Drops album than Roger himself?
With eleven classic New Wave drum tracks and two other country feels on the album, ranging from 80BPM to 167BPM, there’s swinging grooves and serious snare action – all you need if Costello-esque drum beats are what you’re looking for.
Now for the detail. The kit was provided by Drumhire (www.drumhire.com) who supplied both a Gretsch and a DW Collector Series kit. We combined the best of both kits using the DW kick drum with Gretsch toms, Pete brought in the same original Ludwig 400 snare that was used on many famous Costello recordings. We also used a 1970’s Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum on a couple of tracks.
‘70s New Wave Drops’ album was recorded at Miloco’s The Square, a quirky studio in the heart of Hoxton Square, Shoreditch, using an SSL G Series console with Telefunken and Calrec mic pre’s. The kit was mic’d up with 12 microphones including Coles Ribbons, Neumann U47 FETs and AKG C28 valve mics. All of the tracks were recorded on to a 16 track 2” analogue tape machine.
Based around an SSL G Series console and a fantastic collection of outboard, Miloco’s Engine Room was the obvious choice for mixing. EAR valve EQs, Manley Vari-Mu Compressors and Calrec PQ1161 EQs all feature prominently in the mix.
The loop packs contain live 4 bar loops in each component stem and a folder of grooves and fills which are 2 bar loops locked to the beat. We have included as many useful loops that we can get from each drum track. The loops come formatted as 24 bit WAVs, Apple Loops (24 bit and 16 bit) and Rex 2 Files.
Check out Pete Thomas and Roger Bechirian discussing recording and mixing these drum samples here.