Cutting Emika with Simon Davey

Simon Davey Cutting Emika LP

As all the coolest cats already know, Emika has very recently flown from the Ninja nest and started her own music label.
Here at Binary Feedback we’re of course absolutely stoked to stay involved with this diverse artist as she continues her musical voyages. But equally happy to suggest and hook up with the one and only lathe LEGEND Mr Simon Davey (The Exchange) to handle the lacquer cutting from our digital premasters.

Simon is both a very humble and a very humbling guy, and it’s been great to hang out and ‘talk shop’. Even in a few sessions I feel I’ve gleaned a lot of insight into the world of vinyl translation especially on LPs where I have a lot less experience.   However a bit of a bombshell was dropped on our last session.  The Exchange was to shut its doors after nearly three decades of cutting excellence in Camden, London.

Here’s some words from the man himself.

It doesn’t happen often, but if I’m lucky, every now and again I have the privilege to work on music that not only has on board a great artist, but an amazing writer, producer, mix engineer and mastering engineer all in one neat, tight sounding package.

Every time I press ‘play’ at the start of a new Emika vinyl mastering session I think ‘Hey she’s done it again, she’s flipped it and come up with something new!’.

I have been lucky enough now to work on a few of Emika’s vinyl releases and along side me during every session has been Rich from Binary Feedback. I realised straight away that he has an extremely important role to play as mastering engineer to Emika’s music, and is a master of post production, capable of achieving both dramatic and fine subtleties during the mastering.
Like I said, it doesn’t happen often but when you hear a perfect pairing of talents, it’s beautiful. Emika’s music and Rich’s mastering skills go together like hand in glove.

Before the original Exchange mastering studios moved location, which incidentally may I say, has now expanded into three, separately run studios, I was lucky enough to cut the vinyl of Emika’s ‘Klavirni’.
This is a perfect example of a ‘vinyl friendly’ sound. Klavirni just goes to prove that if you get the recording, mixing and digital mastering right, and master it to vinyl properly you should have yourself a great sounding piece of vinyl.

Check the album out!

As we speak ‘The Exchange Vinyl’ studio is being lovingly put together with all the original Exchange analogue, valve equipment which is being overhauled and reinstated in its new home. Hopefully I will be ready to cut some great sounding records by March. If you would like to have your vinyl cut in the UK’s only professional ‘vinyl only’ mastering studio, I would love to do it for you.

After nearly thirty years of being a slave to the lathe I still get goosebumps putting the needle in the groove and listening to how my clients music changes for the better on wax. It’s like listening to the music for the very first time!

Simon Davey
The Exchange Vinyl

Cutting Emika with Simon DaveySo I guess we were pretty fortunate to be able to have cut one of the very last LPs at The Exchange in Camden.  You can listen and download one preview track from the LP here courtesy of DJMAG.

The Klavirni LP will be available – on vinyl with an accompanying printed score book, from Emika Records on 26th January 2015.



Ten Years of Combat

Combat Recordings label boss Stormfield assembles this monstrous horde to commemorate a decade of pure dirt.
Pulling in surprise submissions by LEGENDARY artists such as Milanese, Scorn and the Frankenstein-like reanimation of King Cannibal, as well as Combat regulars ScanOne, TheWeeDJs, Cursor Minor and Anodyne.
2 hours of dark, brutal punishment and bleak-bient mastered here for digital release.

Here’s a quick highlight reel.

You can order the compilation from all the usual digital stores, as well as direct from the label via

Behind the Planets…

Beyond Planets CoverIf you were born at the tail end of the 70s or later, you would be excused if you’d never heard about the band Naked Lunch. In their first active years between 79-85, you could count their single releases on the fingers of one hand. However the band had substantial and loyal underground following with a lot of press, radio and TV attention, stemming from their electrifying live shows but also for their encyclopedic knowledge of the burgeoning electronic dance music scene they were a key component of.

Singer/writer Tony Mayo was instrumental in working with fellow DJ Stevo to A&R and assemble a compilation that defined the electronic sound of the eighties. Released in 1981, the Some Bizzare Album saw Naked Lunch’s dark arpeggio-driven ‘La Femme’ alongside other artists from the scene including Depeché Mode, Soft Cell, The The and Blancmange. While Naked Lunch did not quite reach the “household name” status that some of their contemporaries would go on to enjoy, it’s clear from their history that they were an innovative, powerful force in the development of a growing and important music scene in the UK.

Fast-forward a couple of decades and Tony Mayo and Paul Davies decide to reform the band to play at the BAS II festival. The show is a great success with many of their original fans excitedly attending, prompting a veritable army of followers on Facebook clambering for new dates and new material. It’s time finally, after 30 years, to make the debut album. Beyond Planets.

I was introduced to Tony through Naked Lunch guitarist Paul Davies and collaborator Jay Payne, who I have worked closely with in the past with their Sunkings project. We had a brief meeting at Paul’s to listen to some new material, and I knew it was going to be an interesting project to work on.

This would be the first time that Naked Lunch would work on mixes remotely, so a lot of trust was involved as well as lot of liaisons between myself and the band. Recorded material would come in one song at a time, along with Tony’s notes regarding creative development and direction. Despite some explicit instructions for each piece, I was allowed an unusual amount of creative freedom in producing the final mixes. Far from being a straightforward level, EQ and compression job, I would also at points program new layers of sound to add depth and texture, even inserting entirely new parts and tweaking arrangements. At times dehumanising the natural performances, pushing the songs further into a deep dancefloor groove and at other times teasing out the raw punk elements and adding a touch more organic life to the sequenced electronics. With a number of songs that their old-school fans have been living with for 30 years, we were obviously treading a very thin line between keeping the underlying spirit of the originals and also keeping the new versions fresh and relevant to a brand new generation of fans. Here, the input of new band recruit Jet Noir, synth player and backing vocalist extraordinaire proved invaluable. Jet knew the original songs well but was also stepping up with her own contemporary objectivity.

As new versions of their songs were released as singles, they prompted swathes of very positive comments from both fans old and new, as well as the underground radio and music press. In fact as the project progressed, I think the great feedback encouraged us to steer the songs even further into uncharted waters rather than stick religiously to the roots.

This is the first time that Binary Feedback have been so deeply involved in an album project, proving additional programming and edits, mixing and also mastering the CD and download release for the album. It’s been intense but highly rewarding experience, being relied upon as a technical professional but also being welcomed as part of the creative team.

The lloonnngg awaited album Beyond Planets is available right now to stream in full for free, or to purchase as CD or download directly from Naked Lunch here >, also available from mainstream stores such as iTunes, Amazon and 7digital.

Mastering ‘Dva’ for Emika and Ninja Tune

Emika - DvaI’m absolutely thrilled to announce our involvement in Emika’s second long player for Ninja Tune.

Emika was very keen to distance herself from the typical bright / forced ‘upfront’ sound that has been dominating the majority of electronic releases for many years. Instead, the songs lend themselves to much darker, deeper presentation with a thick, warm bass and mid-range decorated with a delicate, yet clear top-end detail. With such a broad range of influences and instrumentation involved, we agreed it was imperative to maintain an immense sense of scale across the LP, bringing the various works together as a single piece of art without homogenising their individuality.

In a marketplace dominated by band-wagon mimicry, it’s certainly refreshing to work with an artist that’s not afraid to stand alone on her own terms.

I have been working very closely with Emika to master projects across her whole campaign. The CD and download release versions of course, but also an entirely unique set of pre-masters for the vinyl version, instrumentals ready for tv/movie sync, various bonus materials including the Klavirni EP of intimate piano performances, some exclusive dubs, singles, radio edits, video mixes and also as a sonic adviser for her live show.

I feel truly blessed to work with both Emika and Ninja, look forward to working together in the future and raise a glass to toast the arrival of this superb LP.

Emika – Dva is out now, directly from Ninja and from ‘all good’ record shops.

Electronic Explorations

We are thrilled to bits to have been involved in mastering a monumental compilation curated by Rob Booth, podcast champion of the electronic underground.

Rob has been running the Electronic Explorations podcast since 2007 and was the first on the scene for providing a constant stream of great new music from both established and up-and-coming acts.  Many of the scene’s key players have appeared offering up-front, original mixes exclusively for the show.

The podcast has become SO popular (reaching as many as 80,000 downloads each show) that Rob’s server costs have gone through the roof.  So this 60 track extravaganza has been put together to raise donations for the continued success of EE.

The compilation features a myriad of amazing talent, some established acts including Emika, Ital Tek, House of Black Lanterns (aka King Cannibal), Machinedrum, Milanese, Radioactiveman and Trevino (aka Marcus Intalex), as well as a plethora of rising stars who have all contributed their work in mutual support of the show that has helped bring their music to a wider audience.  There is also an exclusive track from our very own ‘The Whispering Minority’ who are busy preparing a release for us later this year.

It has already attracted attention from Resident Advisor, Fact Mag, Sonic Router and many other key music blogs, as well as having tracks plucked by Mary Anne Hobbs and played on her XFM show.

Quite simply, it’s the most exciting and comprehensive compilation we’ve ever seen, clocking up nearly 6 hours of playing time with a dizzying array of deep dubstep, techno, IDM and soundscape pieces – there’s something here for anyone with even a passing interest in electronic music today.  Warp Records referred to it as “Artificial Intelligence fast forwarded 20 years”.  Could you get a better endorsement?

With a minimum donation of just £5, you’d really be a complete moron to miss out on this opportunity to get 60 top quality exclusive tracks and support Rob’s show into the bargain.

To see the full line-up and make a donation to secure your copy for July 1st, please follow this link.

and please do bookmark the Electronic Explorations website where you can download a brand new & exclusive mix of all the freshest electronica each and every week, and browse their archive of over 200 shows.


Solid new release from Yellow Machines

Binary Feedback are delighted to have been involved mastering the digital version of this superb quality release ‘Andromeda’ from Scanone and friends.

AndromedaScanone’s title track is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown. He skilfully combines a rolling and slightly understated electro beat with epic synth pads and evocative sci-fi samples to create a piece that is both eminently danceable as well as vast and cinematic in nature.  Full of detail without becoming overwhelming or losing its stride, this is a very well conceived track that continues to reward the listener on repeated listens and I have faith that it will stand the test of time.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Radioactive Man delivers a more traditional floor-focussed mix which seems to tick all the right boxes for ‘electro banger’ without falling into clichés. Despite being generally dryer than the original, there are opportunities to float into the distance with the spacious pads for a brief moment, adding an additional sensation of depth without making the mix at all ambient.

ADJ runs with one of the many synth themes from Andromeda, blending many of the more atmospheric elements with somewhat skittish robozaps, before dropping into a sparser kick-heavy section half way through.  Somewhat more difficult to place in terms of set-time, but none the less an enjoyable version which I think would work better for long blends in the mix rather than as a straight listening experience.

Delivering my favourite of the remix versions, Sync24’s version is essentially very minimal at its core. Tight, dry drums and a menacing bass drone keeping a largely inflexible, hypnotic groove with just the right amount of movement to keep you on board the craft as it drifts through the void.  However, the overall effect of the track is far from minimal, with the choice effects and pads opening the remix right out, and the vocal snippets adding a distinctly creepy, almost stalker like unnerving edge which stir in a subtle dash of paranoia to the journey.  Superb.

Thematically the most detached from the original, Synapse keeps us within the realms of the story by the use of vocal samples. Uneasy melodies and acid lines combine with a slightly more broken beat which remind me favourably of T-Power’s ‘Chocolate Weasel’ project, and adds diversity to the set.  Despite carrying the element of mystery and wonder from the original, there is a definite sense of resolve to Synapse’s mix which provides a welcome epilogue to the EP.

A highly recommended release which serves to push the already high standard of Yellow Machines up a few more notches.

Free glitched-up dub remix from Dj Deadlock

On a cold winters night inside a gomper located somewhere inland of the vast expanse of Australian countryside two minds combined to infuse their magic into a recording by a Victorian cabaret ska band know as Spyndrift.

The advanced apes trusted with the raw materials were Deadlock from London and Chenjesu from Melbourne respectively. This international collaboration is a fusion of traditional laid-back dub style beats and bass driven experimentalism laced with the sultry vocals of Spyndrift’s own Elle.

Final mastering done here at Binary Feedback… enjoy!

Freebies from Frijsfo, Combat & Section8

Here we see a very generous start to the new year thanks to some free tracks from some of our favourite labels.  All of course, mastered here at Binary Feedback.

First off, a sneaky peak at the excellent new album from Point B on the Frijsfo Beats imprint.


Also, to mark the release of the incredibly diverse Anodyne – Empires Remixes Part 1, this dark and foreboding soundscape from twisted wrong-doers Fausten, courtesy of Combat.


And finally, this awesome display of twisted-reese trickery and sub-bass sorcery from Shadow Conspiracy & Bison on the prolific Section 8.