Today’s installment of the series features albums that influenced and shaped mid-Michigan producer and musician Jake Rye, who’s spun the dials on some impressive projects. Listen to tracks from his picks.
EDITOR’S NOTE: All musicians and producers can trace their inspiration to key recordings that captivated them and influenced their careers. Writer Ross Boissoneau today showcases recordings that changed the world for mid-Michigan producer Jake Rye of Social Recording Co. Scroll down for a Spotify playlist of his picks.
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Perhaps best known for his production work with the likes of Michigander, Leland Blue, Brother Elsey and many others at his Adrian studio, Jake Rye started out like so many others: In a band. As a bassist he played any number of gigs, most notably with the Grammy-nominated rock band Sanctus Real. Rye got off the tour bus in 2016, deciding he’d had enough of life on the road, and set up his own studio, Social Recording Co.
He says the choice to record in a studio rather than at home comes down to what an artist wants to get out of a recording. “If your value system is just about playing local shows, it makes sense to tackle it on your own, especially with earnings being what they are. If you’re a band that travels and sells tickets (to shows), then you may want mentorship with a producer and engineer” that a studio can provide.
1. The Beatles, “Abbey Road” (1969), “The White Album” (1968) “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967) – When I was first learning the bass and guitar, my dad and I had a little tape studio. I would go listen to the Beatles and listen to Paul McCartney. Paul is a brilliant bass player. He knows how to play the melody and leave space around it. It’s like someone having a conversation, it’s effortless. It’s always tied to the melody, easy to pick out and also clever. With “Sgt. Pepper,” they were really being experimental. My dad’s vinyl sounded pretty awful, but there was something about it that was so fun. They gave in to their whimsy. They were competing with the Beach Boys and “Pet Sounds.” I started hearing things spatially.
Listen: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
2. Radiohead, “OK Computer” (1997) – I was in my teens. That is where I discovered people getting darker and more serious in a way that was super interesting. Thom Yorke goes places no one else can go. It draws you in as a listener. In my teens I was trying to figure out where I was. The drums still sound big, the bass lines are creepy with fuzz and distortion.
3. Coldplay, “Parachutes” (2000) – This was when I was starting to record and doing mixing. I was in high school. It was like Dave Matthews with power chords and shades of the Beatles. The vocals were brilliant. I was a big grunge kid, but this is when I was getting really into the field I’m in. I grew up listening to a lot of rock radio. My dad and uncles listened to rock. I didn’t get exposed to pop. Then it was grunge: Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Rage Against the Machine.
Listen: “Don’t Panic”
Currently Loving: The War On Drugs, “A Deeper Understanding” – I’ve been a fan of the band The War On Drugs. I’ve listened to “A Deeper Understanding” on a loop. It came out in 2017. It’s one of the most complete Americana alt-rock albums of all time. It’s bright, smooth and warm. “Thinking of a Place” calms me right down. The vocals are super forward. It’s Dylanesque, but sometimes sounds like Phil Collins.
Listen: “Up All Night”
ALBUMS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: Jake Rye’s Playlist on Spotify
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