The Magic of Dave Fridmann
Dave Fridmann seems like a rather unassuming, mild mannered guy. I don’t know much about him as a person, but a Google image search for his name reveals, what appears to be, a dude with an ”unassuming, mild mannered guy” haircut. I don’t mean that in an offensive way. He just seems like a normal guy.
Much More Than Normal
He’s much more than normal though. He has magical ears. Not magical in the sense that he can hear through walls without the aide of a drinking glass, but magical in the sense that he really knows how to mix rock records. He’s produced for a long list of groups, including MGMT, The Flaming Lips, and more recently Tame Impala.
The Drums, It’s the Drums!
The thing that really stands out about his production is how he records and mixes drums. The drums are always so punchy, blown out, and sound just right. The first time I really made note of him as a producer was on the Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots album. I had only previously known of the Flaming Lips as the band with that “Jelly” song and hadn’t really paid much attention, but this album blew me away.
Check out “Fight Test” and “Are You a Hypnotist” to see what I’m talking about.
The Flaming Lips – “Fight Test”
The Flaming Lips – “Are You a Hypnotist”
Catchy Pop and More Drums!
The first time I heard MGMT I was kind of distracted by the visuals in the video for “Time To Pretend.” They kind of seemed like some dorky hipsters and that tainted my impression of them. A few months went by and I heard that song again, without the video, and I thought it was awesome. It was so catchy and the production was great.
I did a little research on the album and, guess what, it was produced by Dave Fridmann! That explains why everything sounds so good and the drums are so punchy. Check out “Time To Pretend” and “Kids.” Although the album does not live up to the pure catchy goodness of these two songs, it’s actually a really solid album.
MGMT – “Time To Pretend”
One Man Band
The most recent Dave Fridmann production that caught my ear is Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker. Tame Impala is a group from Australia, but this album was almost entirely played and recorded by frontman Kevin Parker. In the tradition of Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson (who recorded songs where they played every single instrument), Parker played and recorded almost everything on this album.
I’m not sure how much of an influence Fridmann played in the final sound of the album, but this record sounds great. It’s kind of got a Beatles-esque psych-pop feeling in parts.
Check out “It Is Not Meant To Be” and “Lucidity.”
Tame Impala – “It Is Not Meant To Be”
Tame Impala – “Lucidity”
Tommy M. likes these albums and thinks you should listen to them. Do it!