I had never heard the word ‘reverberant’ so many times in one sitting, until I visited Joel Plaskett and Thomas Stajcer’s analog studio. Here, sitting in front of Plaskett’s massive Rupert Neve Designs 5088 32-channel console I’ve started to hear it so much that the word sounds made up. It’s the centrepiece of New Scotland Yard, Plaskett’s one-room recording joint in an old storehouse in the middle of downtown Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
“This console used to belong to Usher, based on the serial number,” Plaskett says, his long legs and arms crossed, “Isn’t that funny? I know this could do some really amazing sounding hip-hop.”
Stajcer chimes in: “We also got this recently,” he says, showing off an SP1200 sampler circa 1987, “This is the sound of early New York hip-hop, like DJ Premier or Pete Rock. It’s like going back to DOS, though, it only takes floppy disks.” We make fun of old shit for a minute and I can’t believe I’m hanging out with Plaskett, one of the best living Canadian songwriters. He’s also an advocate for the preservation of cool buildings, so in accordance, he’s created his own. He reminds me of a high-school music teacher talking with his hands and weaving technical knowledge into something quirky but completely understandable.
Hey Everybody in Greater HRM – Fall River, Clayton Park, Sackville, Dartmouth, Cole Harbour and beyond!!
Your councillors are likely the ones who may need more encouragement and feedback from the community before supporting our initiative to keep the Khyber in public hands. This building means so much to the music, arts, theatre, LGBTQ and cultural communities of HRM and more and these councillors need to hear from you!
The Friends of the Khyber (myself included) would like to find a way to reach out to your communities to help connect the dots between The Khyber and the rest of HRM. City council will vote tomorrow (Tuesday) so if you have a moment PLEASE write your councillor TONIGHT or first thing tomorrow to express your support for the building. Both on a heritage level as well as a cultural incubator, the Khyber is crucial to the city. All the info you need to write your councillors directly is right here.
Thanks. Let’s save this amazing building and keep it in public hands.
To Whom it may concern,
I have been involved in projects based in the Khyber building for more than 20 years, starting with dance routine rehearsals for my Halifax West high school musical “Grease”, the building’s elegant workability impressed me as a 16 year-old doing cartwheels to “Greased Lightning”.
Over the following years I saw I made many recordings at a wonderful commercial studio in the attic of the Khyber. It was a great place to work in, the light, the wood, and the scale of the place is one that you just can’t make any more, a new steel and gyprock box cannot come close to the permanence of the 19th century building techniques, no longer financially possible to make new buildings like this, the tradesmen that made them are long gone and with it their skills and mastery.
We must preserve places like this for the following generations to experience and enjoy them as they are quickly being replaced by profit driven shoddy built, short sighted structures that will become the slums of the future. Money put into repairing and re-invigorating the Khyber is money in the bank, a place for the artists of the future to build their skills and add tangible value to the social fabric of the city.
We’re proud to have Joel Plaskett nominated for Producer of the Year and New Scotland Yard nominated for Recording Studio of the Year.
Nova Scotia Music Week is taking place from November 6-9 in Truro Colchester County. Congratulations to all the nominees!