Local producer, engineer and Zoos of Berlin drummer Collin Dupuis’ back catalog is extensive and inspiring. He began recording 13 years ago with an 8-track reel-to-reel and has since left his mark on more than fifty releases. “My favorites are Erase Errata’s Other Animals, Pharoahe Monch’s Desire, Carl Craig & Moritz Von Oswald’s ReComposed, Matthew Dear’s Asa Breed and of course Zoos of Berlin’s Taxis.” Recently he traveled to Akron, Ohio to outfit Dan Auerbach’s (of the Black Keys) home studio with signature vintage technology and to record the band’s World Cafe performance for NPR. “I spend all of my money on acquiring old equipment that has vacuum tubes in it,” he says.
Last summer’s Taxis, one of the most innovative records to come out of Detroit in recent times, took two years to produce and largely came together in a rented warehouse space. Dupuis cites his years of experimental studio work as influential in discovering the natural, hollowed-out ambiance the songs required. “Doing it in a makeshift DIY studio allowed us to really experiment with microphone placement and re-amping of sounds through all kinds of different speakers and rooms,” says Dupuis. “I tend to experiment a lot trying to find those happy accidents, so songs will evolve as we work.”
“I have always liked to work in non-studio spaces… I really like the sonic impression that different spaces can have on the sound of a recording and I try and take full advantage of this fact. I really love that the technology has allowed me to move around and record in spaces that are unique.”
When producing his band’s work, Dupuis doesn’t let his experience stand in the way of skillful collaboration. “I have a tendency to be really opinionated which can lead to some tension,” he claims, “but my ultimate goal is to make something really special and something that I want to listen to. So I try to be diplomatic about the process.”
His proficiency—and likely plenty of depth—can be heard on upcoming releases by Sisters Lucas and Zoos of Berlin side-project South South Million.
Zoos of Berlin may be the Fucking Awesomest band playing this weekend’s festival at the Majestic. Catch them at the Stick Friday at 10pm. To recruit Collin Dupuis’ diplomacy contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
8.18.10 / Real Detroit Weekly