Making Jean Leloup Le Dôme
Updated: Apr 18, 2022
In 1994, I met Jean Leloup in a coffee shop on the Plateau Mont-Royal. I told him that I just received all this new equipment for my remote recording studio. Excited Jean said to me ''let's record some basic tracks for 2 or 3 songs... this week''. I said ok. Jean was my favorite artist I couldn't say no after hard selling him my studio concept of recording anywhere.
Just the beginning
Johnny Go and Bran Van
This first session did not bring the expected basic track. This was the third attempt to record a basic track on some of these tracks. Not easy to layer real drums and bass over a pre-recorded drum machine, vocals, skank guitars and a crazy spoon guitar track. To be continued . No news for a year. But on December 20th, I got a phone call from a friend (E.P. Bergen) saying "I'm with Jean Leloup and we need a studio tomorrow morning". I said cool, come on. That was the session for Johnny Go. It was James Di Salvio's first recorded rap and the birth of Bran Van 3000. Later that year E.P. and James went to NY recording tracks for the future Glee album. We finished Johnny Go in time for Christmas eve. What an adventure.
I didn't sleep much for 3 days.
Let's dub Pigeon with Moise...
A year has gone by and still no album from Jean. I received an unexpected phone call from Audiogram. Jean Leloup's label. They need two days to transfer all of Jean's songs for his album Le Dôme. Transferring about 40 tracks from ADAT to RADAR through our AMEK analog console to match the gains. I was so excited to hear all the new Jean Leloup songs before the album was released.
Still one more
...Dub MTL Man!
Because of the failure of the previous attempt to record the Pigeon beat. I ask Jean. ''Aren't you doing Pigeon? It's a great song/ lyric''. Jean replied ''Nah, it doesn't groove''. I replied. ''You should give this to Pat Moise, he could make dub with it''. It is then that the eyes of Leloup lit up while shouting ''Yes Dub Montreal.... Dub Montreal'' while jumping around. The next day, I sent 7 tracks of music and a time code on an ADAT tape to Moise so that he could compose for the remix.
The final touch
We spent three more days recording and mixing. Starting with Mark Lamb guitars, then Pat Moise's live synth bass and melodica and finally Jean's vocals. We opted for a mix of Dub/Reggae and Trip Hop, mixing screaming TB-303s and splashy dub-style delays with Michel Belanger (Audiogram's big boss) at our side. When the album came out, I was surprised to hear what Jean did with the song. He took parts of the early mixes from the ruff mix session and edited them with later parts from the real mix session and re-sung the whole song. It doesn't matter. The lyrics are the most important part of this song. That's why I wanted to finish this song in the first place.