Surfing psychedelic rock waves with “Hi Malaya” Jun 30 by J.I. Agnew in Producer's Notes, Recording Reports

Engineer’s note

A spooky guitar riff, slowly drowned in tape echo, then clearing up again, going quiet….BOOM! The huge sound of Hi Malaya makes its presence known, following a brief and polite introduction. The three-piece band from Volos, Greece take their audience along for a ride, through a mix of surf-rock, mediterranean and oriental melodies, unexpected rhythm pattern and at times, even running these influences through a heavy rock prism.

The debut album is a Direct-to-Master recording, originally captured on ATR Magnetics 1/4″ Master tape, using a short, fully analog signal path consisting of selected vacuum tube electronics. Instead of using equalisers for shaping the sound, I chose to simply rely on careful microphone selection and placement, to achieve the desired tonal balance. The controls were adjusted in real time while the band was performing at Magnetic Fidelity.
The master tape was transferred to DSD for this release, making the album available to the public in DSD prior to any other format.

Taking in the mediterranean spirit just in time for the summer holiday season, one is left to contemplate whether this should be best described as windsurf rock, given that due to the lack of respectable sized waves along the mediterranean coastline local surfers have to rely on sails fitted to their surfboard, calling their sport wind-surfing… I am unsure if the band members are actually able to ride a surfboard, but they are certainly able to rock!

Artist’s note

Hi Malaya is a Greek band based in Volos. It’s a power trio, consisting of Antonis Papadopoulos on the guitar, Christos Metaxas on the bass, and Vasilis Zigras on the drums, formed in 2015, that plays… their kind of music. Inspired by rock, surf, stoner and mediterranean music, they try to make people dance and reach the imaginary corners of their minds.






J.I. Agnew

J. I. Agnew is an Analog Mastering/Disk Cutting Engineer at Magnetic Fidelity. He also works as an Analog Audio Electronics Designer at Magnetovolt. He studied Audio Engineering and Music Technology, received an MA in Sonic Arts and Media Production, and went onto PhD-level research in Analog Synthesis Systems.
Jesus spent a decade as an internationally touring musician and also taught various Audio Engineering Subjects in academic environments and conferences. He has extensive work experience in recording, mastering and media production facilities and is a member of the Audio Engineering Society.

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