Matson on Music
The man who mastered Shabazz Palaces' 'Black Up'
Mastering is an obscure part of recording music: the final adjustment of the volume and equalization, the last step before the tracks are finished. It comes after the chords and notes. It's about the velocity of the sound, the hardness of the impact. Seattle's Shabazz Palaces does some freaky things in that arena. If you've listened to their hip-hop masterpiece "Black Up," you know the bass is crazy. It's not that smooth boom you expect from rap music. It's tightly controlled sub bass, in violent punches. Some frequencies on that album make speakers seem like they're falling apart. It is a space-creating measure. With the bass so low and hard, the mid-range and treble open up. Truly, I cry when I think about people listening to the album on weak laptop speakers. That would be like snorkeling and never looking down, when there are coral reefs below. Anyway, I appreciate that aspect of the record, and I just want to say "big up" to Charlie Pilzner, who mastered it. BIG UP.
Photo via charliepilzner.com