By Elizabeth Eaton
EDMONTON – A decade ago, Doug Organ was driving around late at night, scouring the industrial areas for a site in which he could build a studio.
“I can’t believe it – I’ve checked the dates multiple times, thinking it couldn’t have possibly been a decade – but it really has been ten years,” exclaims Organ, in disbelief.
Since that late night drive, Organ has recorded some of Edmonton’s favourite bands, including Betrayers, Doug Hoyer and Sam Spades.
In December 2016, Organ and his wife Amelia Aspen returned from a sabbatical in Paris, where Doug studied analog recording techniques with the renowned Steve Albini. In November Organ was named one of the Top 40 under 40 by Avenue Edmonton – this accolade on the heels of mixing the 50th anniversary record for English rock band Ten Years After (“the classic rock OGs,” Aspen quipped). This list of achievements is hardly exhaustive and those close to Organ knows that he is not a braggart. It is awe-inspiring what this local studio owner and sound engineer has accomplished from his humble studio on 109 street.
“It took about six months to build. It was a concrete box when we started. We put up every wall and it was a total transformation.” Although six months may not seem drawn out, “It felt like a long time when we’re paying rent but unable to work yet. In many cases I had friends helping me out in exchange for future recording time.”
When asked about what he’s looking forward to most about the 10th anniversary party, Organ uses the opportunity to talk about his friends and many supporters.
“I have friends who have never actually been to the space,” he admits. “I hope there are people who come to the party and it’s their first time there. I’m also fascinated to see a mixture of up to ten years’ worth of recording clients who have never met and are from totally different worlds.” Aspen, excited to celebrate, has booked some of her favourite Edmonton acts.
“We have Wares, Whitey Houston, and Lyle and Kim from the Wet Secrets are playing a DJ set.”
Ever curious about words of wisdom, BeatRoute asked Organ if he had any advice for new bands who were thinking about recording.
“You can tell me if this sounds cynical or not, but you’ll end up paying one way or another for your recording – whether it’s labour, if you record it yourself; or through cash – and so, even the free option is not always free. I mean that with love, because I’ve had to rescue quite a few projects in my day.”
The 10th anniversary party at Edmontone Studio will have beer, snacks, discounts and good friends December 21st.Anniversary, Edmontone, Edmontone Studio, Edmontone Studio's