By Tijana Tamburic
Lots of ‘creatives’ jobs seem to be melding into one with people adopting hyphenated descriptions of what they do in their bios on Instagram. The ‘model-actress-blogger’, the ‘director-writer-photographer’ or the ‘musician-artist-designer’ are all on the rise. Perhaps it’s only right that spaces start doing the same thing?
“Dallas Austin himself was ‘in the zone’ in the soundproofed studio, with the curtains open for everyone to see. It’s a very open atmosphere of creativity and productivity.”
The member’s only recording studio-come-nightclub seems so logical it comes as a surprise that it’s a totally new concept in London and TAPE is the first of its kind. The new addition to London’s nightlife scene opened in Hanover square only recently and has already entertained the industry’s elite. Boasting some of the world’s best DJs and live performances it aims to be the ‘home’ of London’s music industry, always putting music first and foremost.
The 250-capacity nightclub is connected to ‘Little Tape’, a 150-capacity private members club and recording studio, complete with a full-service restaurant, late night licensed bar, musical instruments and priceless musical memorabilia. The fully equipped recording studio is designed by Munro Acoustics ( think Abbey Road, AIR Studios and The Yard). The whole concept is inspired by multi-Grammy winning producer Dallas Austin who has worked with just about everyone from TLC to Rihanna.
I was invited to attend one of Little Tape’s bi-weekly live music nights for new, young talent called Undercovers. Michael Harris, the charming curator and host of the evenings, explains the double meaning: ‘they each play two covers and two original songs, so the audience gets to hear someone new along with something they know.’
The talent was great, as expected, but I’ve been to a number of live music nights like this across London. What made the experience extraordinary was that while the club was raging next door, intimate live music went on here, Dallas Austin himself was ‘in the zone’ in the soundproofed studio, with the curtains open for everyone to see. It’s a very open atmosphere of creativity and productivity.
I had a catch up with Chani Jagdev, the studio manager, after the show and got a real idea of how knowledgeable and serious they are about music there. The studio isn’t just some novelty meant for aesthetic purposes only, nor is it a commercial enterprise where anyone can come and hire the studio. Everything in the studio is the best of the best and designed to Dallas’ specifications. ‘It’s a place where when Justin Beiber gets an instrumental in the middle of the night he can come to and lay his vocal on, in an atmosphere where he feels comfortable. It’s a place where a Dj can make a track and then test it out straight away by playing it in the club next door – you can’t do that anywhere else’ says Chani, a family man and music tech whose passion and belief in the project is tangible.
Chani is excited, and as I watch Dallas collaborating with a teenage producer in the studio while young artists mingle by the bar after their show, some making their way to the club next door, I feel the excitement for the future of music is contagious.
With the secrecy of a speakeasy and the modernity of its clientele and streamlined ideas, TAPE is altering the sound of the party scene in London and setting a precedent for the world. With the next generation clearly on board, the future is bright for TAPE.
June 8, 2016