Cypress Hill Debut Released 22 Years Ago Today

Cypress Hill album cover

“Cypress Hill” (mastered at Masterdisk) was critically and commercially successful, getting certified double Platinum by the RIAA.

Steve Huey of Allmusic calls Cypress Hill’s debut “a sonic blueprint that would become one of the most widely copied in hip-hop.”

In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source’s 100 Best Rap Albums. The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Rolling Stone called it “an album that is innovative and engaging in spite of its hard-core messages.”

Included in Rolling Stone’s “Essential Recordings of the 90’s”.
Ranked #57 in Spin Magazine’s “90 Greatest Albums of the ’90s”.
Included in Q Magazine’s “90 Best Albums Of The 1990s”.

Data from Wikipedia.

Exciting News: Matt Agoglia Is Promoted to Senior Engineer at Masterdisk

It’s only a few days into 2011 but it’s already shaping up to be an eventful year at Masterdisk HQ in New York City. Scott Hull, mastering engineer and the owner of Masterdisk, announced this week that mastering engineer Howie Weinberg has left his longtime post at the studio to strike out on his own in California, “where the climate suits his clothes” (as the old blues tune says). Scott, and the rest of the Masterdisk staff, wishes Howie the best of luck in the future.

In his place, Scott has promoted engineer Matt Agoglia to the position of Senior Engineer. Matt served as Howie’s right-hand man for three years at Masterdisk while building his own mastering clientele. Matt is taking over Howie’s mastering suite, and will continue mastering records using the same gear that he and Howie have been using for years. This classic mastering suite has been used for mastering iconic albums by The White Stripes, The Clash, Wilco, Nirvana, U2, Public Enemy, Pixies, Sonic Youth and many more.

Matt Agoglia in His Studio
Matt Agoglia in his mastering suite.

About the departure, and the promotion, Scott said, “Of course we’re sorry to see Howie go, but this is part of how the mastering business has always worked. No one stays at any one place forever. Young engineers work with senior guys, and learn the finer points of the craft. When spots open up, the younger engineers step up to move the torch forward. I started my career as Bob Ludwig’s assistant. And when Bob left Masterdisk for Maine I was promoted to Chief Engineer in his old room. Matt’s a very good engineer, and his clients have been very happy with his projects over the past few years. I have total faith that as more people get to know his mastering style, he’ll be very successful here.”

Recent records Matt has worked on include Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach, Spoon’s Transference, Wavves’ King of the Beach, and Rogue Wave’s Permalight.

Congratulations to the Grammy Nominees!

The nominees for the 53rd Grammy Awards were announced last night in Los Angeles, and we’re thrilled to see our clients up for honors!

Jay-Z’s album The Blueprint 3, which was mastered by Tony Dawsey, is up for Best Rap Album, and two of its songs have been singled out for honors too. “Empire State of Mind” is up for Record of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Best Rap Song. Another album track, “On to the Next One,” is up for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group and Best Rap Song. We did a brief podcast about Tony’s work on The Blueprint 3 back in June, you can listen to that here.

Laurie Anderson’s track “Flow,” from her album Homeland (mastered by Scott Hull) was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Competing with Ms. Anderson for that award is “Orchestral Intro” from Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach album, mastered by Howie Weinberg. Can they both win, please?

Finally, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society is up for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album award for Infernal Machines, (mastered by Randy Merrill) which was released on the non-profit-model record label New Amsterdam. We’re thrilled about all of the nominations, but this one is especially satisfying because New Amsterdam is a relatively small operation and it’s great to see independent work recognized. And because it’s a darn good record! We took an in-depth look at the making of “Infernal Machines” back in April. Check it out here.


Read the full list of Grammy Award nominees: http://www.grammy.com/nominees

Masterdisk’s 18 in SPIN’s 125

SPINDid you see SPIN magazine’s feature this week (in the mag and on the web) about the “125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years“? There was a lot of tweeting going on about it, as will happen whenever anything as contentious as a “best of the past 25 years” list appears in a major publication. I enjoy a good list myself, so I was all over it. And I thought it would be neat to figure out how many of them were mastered at Masterdisk. Just ’cause. So here’s a list of 18 albums from the 125 that were mastered at Masterdisk. There’s probably more, but some credits proved difficult to track down. If you spot one that I missed, please let me know!

125. Moby – Play (1999)
99. PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)
92. Jay-Z – The Black Album (2003)
88. Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)
79. The Breeders – Last Splash (1993)
70. Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)
67. Tom Waits – Rain Dogs (1985)
61. The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)
44. Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill (1986)
39. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
38. Run-DMC – Raising Hell (1986)
25. Nas – Illmatic (1994)
19. Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001)
17. De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)
14. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
13. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation (1988)
6. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
4. Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)