Building off of his work at the legendary Coma Cave Studios, Matt Rendon’s Midtown Island Recording Studio in Tucson, AZ has rapidly become one of the Southwest’s most dependable breeding grounds for outstanding music. In much the same way that Lee Perry’s Black Ark Studios imparted a unique vibe to everything that was recorded there, from project to project the Midtown Island magic really seems to shine through.
Already celebrated in compilation form by the fine folks at Burger Records back in 2015, this unassuming brick and stucco building has played host to an impressive array of artists: Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, Thee Makeout Party, Burning Palms, the GayBoys, Free Machines, Nanami Ozone, Freezing Hands, Mario Cordova, Wide Streets, Sea Wren, Louise Le Hir, the Butterscotch Cathedral, the Pharmacy, the Cheap Shots, Shark Pants, Jaill, Noble Krell, Wyatt Blair, Harsh Mistress, the Rebel Set, Corners, Casey Golden, Tracy Bryant, the Okmoniks, Union Pacific, Mystic Braves, the Knockout Pills, Disruptions, the Resonars — they’ve all made brilliant music within the Midtown Island walls.
Now even though you’d think that all of this might be enough to keep him busy for a while, Rendon has actually decided to take things to the next level by creating Midtown Island Records; a label designed to give even more of these artists a home for their work. Obviously this is great news for the world, but it was even greater news for me because I was given the chance to do some label and logo design in advance of the Midtown Island Records launch later this year.
So how’s about a sneak peek, huh?
And hey! For an even deeper sense of the Midtown Island studio experience, be sure to check out the video for “Subterranean” by Tracy Bryant below. Shot on location in Tucson while recording the album of the same name, there’s an extra helping of that Sonoran desert texture on full display.