Jonathan Rado — “Rado” to just about everyone — has grown from an improbable West Valley rock star into one of the most in-demand producers in indie rock. One half of Foxygen, whose tape saturated productions lovingly play with the tasteful palette of 1970s rock n roll, Rado’s recordings for Father John Misty, The Lemon Twigs, Whitney, and Weyes Blood all devour the canon and return something distinctly modern.
Mentored by the late Richard Swift, Rado plays the recording studio like an instrument. You can hear the 16-track in his Woodland Hills garage on Whitney’s Light Upon The Lake and The Lemon Twigs’ Do Hollywood, the studio shimmer of Hollywood’s Electro-Vox on Houndmouth’s Golden Age and Foxygen’s Hang, the riverside oddities of Sonora Recorders on Foxygen’s Seeing Other People and Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising. But don’t mistake his analogue approach for vintage fetishism — Rado’s as likely to reference a kick drum on The Life of Pablo as he is the piano tone on a Warren Zevon deep cut.
If you hear the sound of a 24-track firing up at the beginning of a recording, a collage of discarded takes churning into motion before the song begins, you know it’s a Rado.
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