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Artists on Recording Techniques by Jeff Touzeau

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6. Grant-Lee Phillips’ Strange Magic in the Studio

The term “strangelet” refers to pieces of “strange matter” that, according to some scientists, pass through the Earth’s ecosystem virtually undetected from time to time. Grant-Lee Phillips’ Strangelet is anything but alien in nature—its songs are firmly rooted in Phillips’ familiar folk roots style, and the album evokes a home-grown feel, making it intimate territory for the listener.

Phillips achieved this intimacy on the record by doing the vast majority of the tracks at his home studio in Los Angeles, which gave him the opportunity to turn on a mic at 2 a.m.—or, for that matter, whenever inspiration happened to strike around the clock. This enabled him to capture that original spark that ...

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