news UNITED KINGDOM Another starry night for the MPG
Ethan Johns, Butch Vig, Martin Rushent, Martin Mills, Jamie XX and Eastcote Studios honoured at 2012 Awards By Dave Robinson
THE MUST-ATTEND Music Producers Guild Awards 2012 took place at Café De Paris, London last month – where special guests including Mark Ronson, Hazel O’Connor and Laura Marling honoured the best in the field. Marling presented the
Producer of the Year Award to Ethan Johns, calling him “a master of his craft”. Johns became the automatic recipient of the Brit Award too – and the first person to receive the new Sir Peter Blake-decorated statuette. MPG Award winners receive
a fully working, gold-painted Shure 55SH microphone. Mix Engineer of the Year was
awarded to Tom Elmhirst. Mark Ronson, presenting the gong, remarked how much he enjoyed “sitting on [Tom’s] black leather couch and him telling me to piss off while he’s mixing”.
A touching moment came with the Special Recognition Award, which went to the late Martin Rushent (Stranglers, Buzzcocks, Human League). A video of his work was shown as a special tribute was paid on stage by Hazel O’Connor, who said he encouraged “work and fun in equal measure”. Rushent’s family collected the award. Composer and collaborator
Jon Hopkins gave the Re-mixer of the Year prize to Jamie XX, while the International Producer of the Year gong went to Butch
Vig. In a hilarious video message sent from the Foo Fighters’ studio in Los Angeles, Vig humbly accepted the award but was abruptly interrupted by an ‘angry’ Dave Grohl who told him to “get back in the f*cking studio”. DJ and musician Huey Morgan was on-hand to accept the award on Vig’s behalf. Beggars Group founder Martin Mills collected the Outstanding contribution prize from PPL’s Fran Nevrkla and producer Mick Glossop. He praised the work of the producer in the recording process, but gave a speech lambasting the potential sale of EMI to Universal, warning that the deal could bring to an end the “kind of world that the producers of my youth could flourish in”.
The Unsung Hero Award, co-sponsored by Alchemea and Pro Sound News Europe, was presented to Metropolis mastering mainstay Crispin Murray (see interview, p82). The evening was not without its surprises: although the Single of the Year went to Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, the Album of the Year went to Mercury prize winner Let England Shake by PJ Harvey (production credits include Flood and Harvey). Studio of the Year went to Eastcote in west London, beating more familiar names such as Rak and Air. Philip Bagenal of Eastcote told PSNEurope: “We love you, MPG! A glorious, shiny gold award now sits proudly atop the
MCI, glistening in the control room of Eastcote Studio One. ‘Studio of the Year’! And what an enjoyable, well-oiled event the presentation was; to be sure. I saw many old friends, and met some of the great and the good of the industry, some of whom were quite well-oiled too. “For 32 years we’ve been
stickin’ mics in front of muso’s hoping for a result that, even if the earth didn’t move, did the job. Now that the mouse has taken over from the razor blade it’s a bit tougher finding the rent, but hey! We’re still doing what we love, and it’s still (mostly!) good fun.” A full list of winners is