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Yo! Yo! Yo!

I’ve not posted round these parts for a while- all the action has been over at my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/GarethPartonProducer)- so follow me there if you want regular titbits.
It’s been a fine year so far…
Finished the Lowtide record which has now been mastered…coming soon.
Also getting close to finishing a new long player by former Candle records heartthrob, Anthony Atkinson & The Running Mates
I’ll be heading up to the hills of Sassafras again shortly to make a start on an album for a reincarnation of another Candle records band. I’m enjoying setting up to record in a house with portable gear as opposed to watching the clock in a recording studio…

My newish studio Los Bomberos (www.facebook.com/losbomberosmelbourne) is fantastic. It’s a collaborative space with some topnotch gear in a former Firestation. (Hence the name) It’s a mixing space that I’ve been craving after for a while.

The gear-minded amongst you will salivate at the equipment list which include- Neve/Api mic pres, Genelec/NS10 Monitoring/ 1176, Shadow Hills, Coles, Josephson etc…

Here’s a spooky 3D panorama.



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Baptism of Uzi

Nice to see that Stray Current by Baptism of Uzi is getting a good airing on Triple J (and Triple R)
It’s the lead track off an EP I mixed for them…out next month I think. The other tracks are fine specimens too.

What a lovely snare sound!

In other news…Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! are finally making Codebreaker available for download via iTunes. It’s on Spotify too.

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Those punctuation crazy Adeladians “Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire!” have let loose the wonderful new track “Codebreaker.” It’s already been picked up by a very keen Triple J- added to their full rotation playlist. Yay. We tracked it at Melbourne’s Soundpark studios with a few extra parpy bits added by Eagle and The Worm’s horn section.
Check it out here.

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New Releases…

Exciting stuff going down…

Big Scary released their debut album “Vacation” and the country’s gone nuts for it. Triple J made it their feature album and added the track ‘Gladiator’ to their playlist. Tom and Jo showcase their comedic acting talents in the video.

Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! released the single “Panther Shrine”- it’s grouse. I’m looking forward to recording the follow up very soon.

So that’s two of my babies in the current Triple J playlist…woohoo. (I’m more of a Triple R man myself, but don’t tell anyone)

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Big Sound 2011

I’m very excited to be on a few panels at this year’s Big Sound music conference at Brisbane. I was there last year as a punter and have to say it was a great few days.

The topics I’ve been asked to mouth off about are “The Song Is God” and “Making Records For The World”.

As a Militant Atheist I was slightly concerned when I first heard the title “The Song Is God”…

I guess the “Song” shares many qualities with this so-called God I’ve heard about. Both are mysterious, mean different things to different people. And many wise men have lost themselves searching for them. Though I’m not sure too many wars have been fought in the name of “Song” (Mods and Rockers, Brighton 1964 may disagree.)

What makes a great song? To be honest if there was a simple answer, life would be dull. I’m happy to admit there is NO formula. I’m a keen student of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty’s book “The Manual- How To Have A Number One Hit Single”, in which they propose a step-by-step formula of how to construct a sure-fire number one. It is an entertaining and humorous read though of course it’s flawed- there are no GOLDEN RULES. The rules are constantly being re-written and what works today, will not work tomorrow. And that’s what makes music continually exciting.

My job as a producer is to ensure the song is served to the best of its potential.

With a great song, this task is easy. You can give a great song a million different treatments and the song remains a winner. Equally with a dog of a song, you will never succeed. Polishing the proverbial…etc etc.

For me, it’s those songs that lie in the middle that deserve my time. Tweaking a song that starts out with limited potential by making arrangement changes, edits and other production ideas and ending up with an improved record.

“Making Records For The World” implies that one should tailor ones songs for international success. I may play the devils advocate on this one and suggest that aiming for overseas success is a mistake- in fact aiming for any success is a mistake. The effort should be make the band as good as possible. Success will follow. It’s a small world these days- good shit gets noticed. A huge amount of money is spunked on prematurely sending a band overseas.

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I’m heading back to London/Wales for a wee trip home very soon- I’m missing it quite a bit at the mo. I thought I should put together a list of  5 things I will miss about Melbourne.


I’ve taken to two-wheeled transport of late. I’d love to say it’s for green reasons- price of petrol, zero pollutant, fitness etc but lets be honest. It’s the best way to get back from the pub. I’ve absolutely never been one for driving under the influence but Melbourne’s cycle lanes, fairly empty streets and over-priced taxis all point to the modern penny farthing as the finest mode of transport.

2. Indie Schmindie Gigs.

This goes hand in hand with cycling. Jump on the bike and end up in a small venue somewhere in the near North (Northcote/Brunswick/Fitzroy etc) in a venue full of maybe 20 cross-legged indie kids. The entertainment is perhaps a touring international singer/songwriter who is sleeping on the promoter’s coach. Very Melbourne.

3.Fruity beer.

Fat Yak, Little Creatures, Mountain Goat etc.

4.Not having a TV.

I’ve lived for the last 6 months without a TV cos, lets face it, Australian TV is utter cunt. (Thankfully VPN means I can get BBC iPlayer and Spotify on my laptop…)


A terrible cliché but true. Melburnians make a decent beany brew. I’m looking forward to a proper cup of tea though (another cliché- well done me.)

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Possibly the strangest thing that as ever happened (or will ever happen) to me in the recording studio, happened last week. I was sitting at the console, when “water” started dripping from the ceiling onto the desk- I was in Brisbane recording a splendid band called Big Scary. We were enjoying the Queensland climate, though there had been some heavy Autumn showers that day, so I immediately thought- Jeepers, the roof is leaking…and the desk is getting wet- I should protect it by throwing myself between the torrent and this precious equipment…

Hmmm….it was soon pointed out that, in fact it was not raining outside, and the “rain” was indeed YELLOW.

A possum was pissing on me.

Yes…A POSSUM was PISSING on me…in the studio…at the mixing desk.

I am quite certain I will never say this sentence again, but I thought I should share it with you as a form of psychotherapy.

A family of friendly, if somewhat bladder-happy marsupials were living in the loft-space directly above the recording console and the inadequate ceiling tiles proved scant protection from their golden showers.

The Possum Patrol (a funny little chap like a cross between Saxondale and Steve Irwin) was called and within 12 hours of committing the crime, the culprit was banged up behind bars (lured by the scent of a Royal Gala.)

I feel quite bad that the poor little fellow had to spend a night in the cage but Australian law insists that seized possums are released within 30 meters of their capture- so perhaps the next engineer to work at Airlock studios will have a similar tale. *

(*Actually- all holes in the roof were fixed and made possum proof. It’s an excellent studio- don’t let this yarn deter you.)

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