I crept into The Wood Room at Real World Studios in December 2010 to document Urusen at work. They were working with renown producer Steve Osborne (Elbow, PJ Harvey, KT Tunstall and famously the Happy Mondays), ultimately creating ‘From Winter’ for release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound and ‘This Is Where We Meet’ - a beautiful release on their own label.
It was fascinating to see Steve Osborne and the band at work in a room transformed into a series of little den like spaces. Some great moments such as Jay Darwish realising the bass Steve had handed him was used in the recording of The Happy Monday’s ‘Pils n’ Thrills and Bellyaches’. A little Rock n’ Roll history, a group of lovely people and some finely crafted music made it a real pleasure.
Urusen’s release on the Society of Sound marks the culmination of a journey that began with cousins Peter Beatty and Ben Please (pictured) recording songs at their old secondary school in Somerset. Completing the line up in 2008 with cellist Nick Stryder bassist Jay Darwish(pictured with the Pils ‘n’ Thrills bass) and drummer Kieran Houston, their unique brand of intrinsically English indie folk, combined with their love of contemporary Americana, has seen them emerge as one of the most exciting new bands in the UK, labelled as ‘British breakthrough talent’ by British Music Week.
Urusen made a film documenting the session that gives a good insight into their time in the studio.
I first met Samuel Yirga whilst he was at Real World Studios recording with Dub Colossus in 2008 - it seemed like he never stopped playing the piano and taking him for an impromptu meeting with the Imperial concert grand Bösendorfer that was then hiding at the back of Peter Gabriel’s Writing Room sticks in the mind as one of those amazing Real World experiences and resulted in a track on the first Dub Colosuss EP. In November of 2010 he was back at the studios recording his debut solo album. Some of the photographs from the recording sessions and the mixing in February this year have been on my screen of late as promotion and design of the finished album begins to ramp up.
Filming his performance of ‘Ambassel in Box Revisited (Live)’ in The Wood Room at Real World was a stand out moment - with the unfazable Scott Barnett (at Real World Studios on a placement from the Tonmeister course at University of Surry’s Institute of Sound Recording) providing us with lovely sound.
Real World Records are giving away a track Habasha Diaspora (Addis Piano Mix) on Samuel Yirga’s Facebook page.
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