It has been 6 years since we released our last title, House Shoes “Let It Go.” We are now preparing for a new release, my first instrumental album, Chikaramanga (of Giant Panda) “Doronko Beats.” It will be released on 12" vinyl and digital download worldwide on Friday, May 18th. For the initial run, we only pressed up 150 copies of vinyl. We are not sure if we will do another run.
The album contains 14 instrumental tracks I made recently. Everything you hear on this album was done on Akai MPC60, the first model of MPC series released in 1988. The album is 90s style Boom-Bap, throwback or whatever you call it. This is the style of beats I like to make as an artist and listen to as a fan. I recorded and mixed the whole album at Tres Studio in Mount Washington, Los Angeles. Mastering is done by Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering (Burbank, CA). It was my first time working with him and getting music mastered at Oasis. Thes One of People Under the Stairs told me about this studio. Their third album, “O.S.T.” was mastered there. Vinyl mastering was done by David Cheppa at Better Quality Sound. I have worked with David for many years. He is a great guy and of course, he is good at what he does. Vinyl pressing is done at Rainbo Records (Canoga Park, CA) as all of our titles have been. I like how the test pressing for this album came out. I think the process we took for this album will be our new formula for vinyl releases from now on. Vinyl production is quite a process and it is an art form itself. It takes time to find what works best for you. I will explain the process of vinyl production and history of Tres’s vinyl pressing in the blog some other time.
Artwork is done by Mookie Sato, an Illustrator / graphic designer based in Kyoto, Japan. The obi strip is designed by Taro Aikawa aka Sausen, Tres’s co-founder. Obi is a paper strip you see with many Japanese pressing records. We had fun coming up with text for the obi. We wanted to incorporate the feel of Obi text of 70s and 80s Japanese pops. I think we did a pretty good job.
The release of “Doronko Beats” is just a start. We will have more interesting releases coming out. Stay tuned!