What I’m Listening To is a series where we talk to exciting artists, musicians, and establishment owners and get a five-song slice of their current playlist.
“I don’t know why I thought those people on the radio had some special power but when I realized that I could make those sounds on the radio I decided that I wanted to play guitar.”
Eventually, his self-taught recording became Earth Tone Studios. The when of it, however, is hard for Hills to pinpoint. “I’ve always been recording and as long as I’ve been writing music but I guess my first official release was in 2008 with Tera Melos Idioms Vol. 1.” The studio came about gradually. “Friends of mine [heard] recordings I had done for my own bands. They would ask if I would do the same with for them. After I had done a number of recordings for bands around Sacramento I figured I should come up with a name. Everything I had come up with was taken including Earth Tone but I was over it. I hate naming things.” And so the one-man studio was born.
So what is the mind behind Earth Tone Studios listening to? “I don’t think I listen to music the same way a lot of other people listen to music. I don’t really listen to the lyrics and a lot of the time the musical compositions aren’t something I pay attention to. I don’t really focus on individual songs. The production of the actual album is what intrigues and stimulates me.”
Joy Division-Unknown Pleasures– “I know you can walk around any mall and find teenagers wearing the shirt but Martin Hannett’s productions always blow my mind and inspire me to be more creative.”
Muddy Waters-Folk Singer–“Willie Dixon recorded this one and it is the most three-dimensional recordings I have ever heard. If you turn it up loud you really feel like you are in the room with the musicians.”
Cornelius-Point–“Keigo Oyamada produced this himself and it is the definition of precise. It is so perfectly executed that at times I feel claustrophobic listening to it… It’s awesome.”
Pink Floyd-Dark Side of The Moon–“I mean, let’s be real, this record is a masterpiece.”
The Clash-Sandinista!–“This is not the popular choice as far as Clash records go but it still stands as my favorite. There are a million different sounds and each time I listen I notice something new. There are … weird moments and hit songs, it’s everything a record should be.”
Learn more about Earth Tone Studios here.
Words: Katta Hules.