Stadium Red Breathes New Life Into New York Hip-Hop Scene[VIDEO]

JLBarrow • October 02, 2010 • 4 Comments

The Recording studio is dead, long live the recording studio.

There is a new renaissance brewing in Harlem. On the corner of 125th Street and Park Avenue the studio space originally opened by Jazz great Ornette Coleman is making a bold leap into the future.

On this night musicians, songwriters and producers are gathered at Stadium Red to celebrate the studio’s expansion and to formally welcome it’s newest occupant, Just Blaze.

“10 hours ago this was a construction war zone,” says a sleepy Just Blaze in the midst of a celebration at Stadium Red. “There was dust and tools and parts. These walls were all taken down so we could install the monitoring system. I’m running on 90 minutes of sleep.”

Over the years advances in recording technology have made large recording studios less necessary and cost effective causing many to close down. Late last year Just Blaze officially shut down the studio Roc-A-Fella Records made famous, Baseline, leaving a gaping hole in the creative community that gave birth to hip-hop. But looking to the future Just moved his entire operation uptown to Stadium Red.

“The interesting thing about closing Baseline…a lot of studios were closing because they couldn’t pay their rent and the changes in the music industry. We weren’t at that point but I had to look ahead,” says Just. “Where are we going to be in five or ten years? These answers you really don’t know so it came to a point where I said I might shut this down but what we do has to go on.”

As providence would have it his old friend and fellow engineer Ariel Borujow (Resident Ask The Pro Specialist) put Just in touch with Claude Zdanow, owner of Stadium Red who was looking to expand. The result is a fully expanded facility with some modern touches that still pays homage to the past.

Innovations like actual monitors in the recording booths instead of two-way glass will allow the studio to be completely networked.

“We don’t have to worry about sound bouncing off of glass while they’re recording their vocals. You can be in any room and have a direct line of site to the engineer. If you want to do drums in the live room and record them in my room, no problem.”

While Just was concerned that folks wouldn’t make the hike all the way uptown so they added personal touches like a full service kitchen with a chef to make it the ultimate “destination spot.”

“I just come and getaway from the girlfriend,” jokes Double-O. “This is what I call the Superman cave. It’s one of the best studios in the city. Plus everyone in Harlem wants to be an MC so you know it’ll stay open!”

While Double is having some fun there is a hope that what he says is true. Already artists like Donnie Goines have made the studio their home and Omen has been part of the Stadium Red in-house team for years.

“We’ll be making some more enhancements,” says Omen, who has just added the Native Instruments Maschine to his production arsenal. “So look out for an enhancement party soon.”

Watch’s exclusive video from the Stadium Red expansion party:

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