Two brothers in Brooklyn are bringing back the days of mail-order record clubs, building on the concept, and having fun in the process of doing so. Albert and Philip Di Fiore run a studio in Brooklyn called The Rumpus Room where Caveman, Sinkane, Eleanor Friedberger, and Rumors have all recorded. The space is now also home to monthly recording parties curated by the ambitious siblings, as well as musician Jon Wiley.
“The idea with these parties is to host a bunch of musicians at the studio who are creative and interesting people,” Philip told B+B over pizza and beer at the most recent recording party. “We eat, have a few drinks, socialize and then make crazy music. One of my favorite parts of the parties is that musicians who haven’t met get to know each other in a very loose and fun situation.”
Each session is recorded live, with Albert as the producer, to a 24-track tape machine. From there the album gets mixed, also live with the hands of multiple people on the mixers, to a 2-track tape machine. The music then makes its way to the studio of Josh Bonati, who masters it directly from the tape before cutting and sending it to the pressing plant to be turned into vinyl. Not once does the music touch any digital program. “It’s an old jazz concept: Work quickly, and have a high quality about it where it’s not sterile,” explained Philip.
On the first of each month, club members will receive a limited edition, monochromatic vinyl with a white cover sporting only the name of the band. Aesthetics are key to Philip, whose main gig is as a director (his work includes countless music videos, and the rockumentary Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth). The albums will also be sold in various record stores. Details—such as which record stores will carry the albums, and the price of membership—are still being discussed.
“I think people are going to be impressed. Musicians they may know are making wild music, without worrying about their own bands’ style, record labels, critics, or popular opinion. They can just be completely free and when creative people are free, special things can happen. We just try to create a fun atmosphere and document it,” said Philip. “It’s a bigger project than just music. It’s a real representation of New York City art.”
Slideshow: Rumpus Room Session (Photos: Chris J Lytwn)