Sound on Sound Magazine recently published this inside story about creating the Memento Mori album by Depeche Mode. Marta Salogni tells Paul Tingen how she created the mix. Below you’ll find an excerpt, you can read the full article at Sound on Sound. Please note that all (c) are with the magazine and the author.
Analogue tape played a key role in the production of Depeche Mode’s Memento Mori album — even though it was recorded to Pro Tools.
Marta Salogni’s unique approach to music production has seen her recognised three times by the Music Producers Guild, with the 2018 Breakthrough Engineer of the Year Award, the 2020 Breakthrough Producer of the Year Award, and last year with the UK Music Producer of the Year Award. As well as a wide range of leftfield electronic, alt‑pop, art and punk rock acts, Salogni has made her mark on the mainstream with credits like Björk, Bon Iver, Black Midi, Sampha and Animal Collective. Prior to going it alone, she also worked with David Wrench on mixes for Frank Ocean, the xx, Goldfrapp, FKA Twigs and David Byrne.
This Spring, Salogni achieved her most significant mainstream success to date when Depeche Mode’s 15th studio album, Memento Mori, went to the top of the charts in a dozen countries. Salogni recorded the entire album, and mixed it at her Studio Zona facility in East London.
The studio is a hybrid of the traditional and modern, with a prototype 22‑channel Studer console from 1974. Its most striking feature is Salogni’s collection of a whopping 12 quarter‑inch tape recorders (see box), the result of a slightly unorthodox career trajectory. Growing up in Italy, close to Milan, with a keen interest in art and music, she moved to London in 2010 to attend a course at the Alchemea Music Production College. Around that time she became interested in synths and tape machines as ways of expressing herself musically.
“I love the fact that on a synth you can create sounds that didn’t exist before. I love traditional instruments as well, but it takes a lot of time and patience to learn how to play one. Whereas, with synths you can switch them on and immediately experiment with sound in a way that’s instantly personal. Plus they are intuitive and creative. It’s the same with tape recorders. I became fascinated by them, and all the different things you can do with them, even though they’re originally built to record.”
After Alchemea, Salogni spent several years in several different studios in London, including at Dean Street, RAK, Strongroom and Mute, and assisted producer Danton Supple and mixer David Wrench. For a while she had a studio at Mute, but since the beginning of 2018 she’s been working at her first completely independent facility, Studio Zona. While most of her work now consists of mixing and/or producing, Salogni also uses tape recorders on the live stage, performing alongside other musicians or alone.