On a warm Sunday afternoon in August, I headed out to Lawrence KS and the Replay Lounge to listen to Maria the Mexican perform. A cold beer in my hands and enjoying the show I ran into Jared, who at this time was a friend of a friend. Nate or Astrales, and Jared were in a band called DJnotaDJ (DJ not a DJ) from 2005 to 2015. Jared ran a studio called (xxxxx) on Mass street, the Main Street into the entertainment district of Lawrence. Jared and I stepped off the patio and into the bar area of Replay Lounge that was eerily quiet and sat down to talk.
I asked Jared about the studio he’d run and how that all came about and his story while dissimilar to mine had the exact same drive I had developed an ear for audio. We talked about the loss of his mother and his life taking care of his aging father. In 2017 my mother was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis and I could really connect to what Jared had gone through. Before we knew it we had missed the past 45 minutes of Maria the Mexican but that 45 minutes planted deep roots in shallow ground.
Nate delivered the Deep Roots in Shallow Ground album to me and I started to work on it. I listened through the whole album without stopping making mental notes but I do not interrupt the experience on the first listen. I usually dim the lights and sit in the perfect spot of the room with no screens. The second time all the way through I start adding notes to my to-do list. This is where I bring their music into my world of Pro-Tools in the most meticulous way I can for the project. I convert everything into 32bit 96k files and line the record up as it plays on their original release. I start checking meters for every song and I keep a meter across the entire album so that I have an idea of how the record will be affected by the algorithms it will eventually be listened through. Jared did a fantastic job on this album and that gives me the time to make some creative decisions that allowed me to blend drum and bass together more and marry the melody to the bass line while creating a little more space. In 2005, when this record was mixed and mastered the Loudness Wars were still raging on the radio and this record was mixed to fit the medium. In 2021 I can deliver a more dynamic range and have it still compete sonically with the latest Nas record. I worked on remastering this album over a two-week period of time but I came in right around 14 hours of work before I sent it off for comments.