5 Favourite Records:

Danny T

by May Robson
23 May 2022

For those that don't already know, Danny Trachtenberg (Aka Danny T) is a seasoned recording Engineer and producer with almost a decade in the game. Danny's work spans across music, film and TV, and includes credits with the likes of A$AP Rocky, Jorja Smith and WizKid.

A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to get an insight into the fine details of the tools and techniques used within his production process. Danny has been a pillar of the Ten87 community for almost 4 years, and In that time he has built up an incredible space filled with sonic rarities and all the modern tools required to execute his sonic vision.

We asked Danny to talk us through some of his favourite credits and the stories behind creating them.

Kojaque - Town's Dead

Album

Beyond the fact that Kevin (Kojaque) is a beautiful and hilarious man, this was a massive pleasure to work with him on. We ended up taking a bit more time to work on this, as we found it worth revisiting some of the production ideas and sounds to make everything tie together. Plus Kev wrote a whole new song in the middle of it all. 

The album tells a story, so it was really important for us to make sure the narrative thread worked. The challenging part was making all of his stylistic influences from 90s rap, to punk, the LA Beat scene, soul, to jazz all feel cohesive. This was also the first time I put my custom Neumann summing mixer to the test. I use it on everything now.

George Ezra - Shotgun

Single

I recorded the Horns Section and Drums for producer Fred Again in Mark Ronson's old studio at Tileyard. Fred and I go way back and whenever I've gotten to work with him, it's always such a brilliant lesson in trusting your gut. Tracking wise, Fred wanted really simple stems to work from so I recorded the drums with 3 mics (Kick, Snare, OH) and sub-mixed it before bouncing it. The Horns had some close dynamic mics on each of them but then had a stereo pair and a mono at a distance. The mono ribbon ended up sounding the best, so Fred just took that.

Zebra Katz - Zad Drumz

Single

Ojay and I had known each other since the IMA READ days, so when he played me the demos of the album (LESS IS MOOR), he mentioned one that had some Amen style breaks which he wasn't too sure about. I kind of took a shot and said I'd give it a go re-producing it. I had never worked with Amen breaks before but grew up with Jungle and DnB, so it felt natural finding a direction. And being a Zebra Katz record I knew going as hard as I could was right. I get a little bit of joy freaking people out when I play them this record now. Unless they're Squarepusher fans, then they're like.... "cool".

Dance System - In Your System

Album

I mean, this record was wild to work on. James has a real punk mentality to his production so we mixed it with that in mind too. We ran everything through my summing mixer, an SSL Fusion, and a dusty old RNLA compressor which has this awesome logarithmic setting for super pumpy release settings. The vibe was essentially there, so really it was about not going too far. Club records have such a delicate balance groove-wise, and the original intention of a seasoned producer like James is usually the right one. So my job was to just not mess that up, while making it feel bigger and deeper.

Sarathy Korwar - My East is Your West

Album

This was originally a live show concept that Sarathy had happened to record at Church of Sound, and it went so well he had to get it mixed. The record itself is this wonderful idea of re-imagining old Jazz records that had incorporated some kind of South Asian instrumentation or musicality to it. From Sarathy's perspective, not all these records were done with the right players, or the right performances - a white, inexperienced Sitar player for example. So his mission was to "retake ownership" of these pieces, with a band of at least half South Asian players and play everything better and with more authenticity. So to mix this with him was a real honour. I think we mixed it in two days at the old Red Bull Studio in London Bridge (R.I.P).

From our time together it's obvious that Danny’s practice is truly helping artists to grow sonically, expanding their horizons through a genre hopping adaptability, and vision not seen in many Engineers.

If you haven’t already heard the work of Danny T then go ahead and check out his website, and socials; Instagram, Vimeo and Discogs. We’re all looking forward to hearing more from the prolific engineer very soon.