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Matt Forger

Producer l Mixing and Mastering Engineer

Watch Matt Forger take us inside the studio in this exclusive sneak peak from the XSCAPE album documentary which is available only on XSCAPE Deluxe Edition released in 2014

Read Matt Forger Interview with GMan For Music Industry Newswire & enews channel

Read Matt Forger article - studioexpresso Presents A Production Panel: Mixing With Masters at Hot Zone NAMM, Aneheim, 2013

History: 
Matt at-a-glance: Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, Paul McCartney, Patti Austin, Missing Persons, Michael McDonald, James Ingram, Siedah Garrett, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg, John Landis, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Giorgio Moroder, Larry John McNally, George Duke, Patrick O'Hearn, Gilberto Gil, Simon Lynge, Rod Temperton, Bruce Swedien.



Matt Forger started in music by mixing live sound for rock bands in the Northeast. Not satisfied with the functionality, quality or cost of commercially available gear, he designed and built his own. Through this he discovered another outlet for his creativity: devising and building sound systems. "This not only made the difference in how each band or artist was able to reach out to an audience, it also led to my being able to move up to designing and constructing studios."
Moving to Los Angeles, he joined the staff at Westlake Studios where he worked with producers Giorgio Moroder, Keith Forsey, Harold Faltermeyer, and George Duke. This was followed by the opportunity to work with Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton, and Bruce Swedien, and become part of "The A Team."

Michael Jackson
His work with Michael Jackson began on Thriller and continued with Bad, Dangerous, HIStory, and Blood on the Dancefloor. Matt also worked on the E.T. Storybook Album with Quincy Jones and Steven Spielberg producing. Following the remarkable success of the Thriller album, Matt worked on the groundbreaking Thriller video with director John Landis. He then recorded and mixed the Captain EO Film and then-revolutionary "4-D" attraction for Disney, produced by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and oversaw its installation at Disney theme parks worldwide.

The nature of Matt's involvement with Michael Jackson is wide-ranging. He not only provided a technical foundation, but also a relaxed studio environment in which the creativity of the artist could flourish -- something that was crucial because of the way Michael would write and develop songs and arrangements. "This process of experimentation, exploration of sound, and application of new technologies is always challenging, but can also be most rewarding," says Forger. When it came time to add bonus tracks and re-master the Michael Jackson catalog, Matt got the call. He was heavily involved in the "Special Edition" album versions of Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad and Dangerous, as well as "The Ultimate Collection" 5-disk boxed set.

International Success
Matt has worked extensively with Japanese superstar Yuming. Already a top-selling artist in Japan, with numerous hit albums, Yuming and her producer, Masataka Matsutoya, were looking for a new sound. Matt not only brought about a new sound, but new production techniques as well. Their first collaboration doubled the sales figures of any previous Yuming album, and was the first of 15 albums on which Matt was recording engineer, mixer, and co-producer. Thirteen of these albums entered the Billboard chart at #1. Matt has also received 2 "Gold Disc Awards" (Grammy Equivalent) for his work.

Indie Artists
The Los Angeles singer/songwriter community, with its many new and promising artists, is an area of strong interest for Matt, where he is a consultant for the creative recording arts. The basis for his work is the emotional content of the recording. "Remembering that music is a form of emotional communication is important" Matt says, "Too many people view recording as a technical experience. It is important to understand technology and be able to control and it, but it's the music at center stage. It's the song people remember, not the recording system."
One indie artist, Simon Lynge, actually held off recording his album, "Beautiful Way To Drown," until he was able to put the team together that made him comfortable. The team: Matt Forger and Jon Mattox (The Young Dubliners) who joined with Simon to co-produce his CD which was recently picked up by London's Lo-Max Records, home of Australian legends The Go-Betweens (and front-man Robert Forster's brilliant "The Evangelist"), New York rockers The Wrens and British psychedelic pioneer Kevin Ayers.

Capturing the Moment
Adept at recording many styles and genres, he enjoys recording in a classic format with exciting new results. Matt calls it 'reality recording,' a live to 2-track recording style that uses a carefully placed single stereo microphone and a high quality signal path. It is capturing the moment of a great performance, and putting the listener there in the environment to share the experience. "It is especially well suited to acoustic performances," Forger states, "and it is elegant in its simplicity."
Matt is very familiar with what some people call "the process" -- generating singles, videos, dance remixes, international versions and promotional materials, approval of mastering and test pressings, versions for film and television appearances, and cataloging and maintaining an archive of all materials. These are just some of the responsibilities that Matt has overseen.

An Artist's Unique Sound
Nowhere does the Matt Forger approach come into such clear focus as in his work with Larry John McNally. Within the music business, McNally is best known as the writer of songs for the Eagles, Rod Stewart, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Joe Cocker, Aaron Neville, Staples Singers, The Temptations, Jennifer Warnes, and many others. What some listeners have also discovered is that McNally is a recording artist with a dedication to exploring multiple facets of rock, folk, blues, new age, and instrumental compositions. "Working with Larry John on these recordings has been both challenging and exciting," notes Matt, "and it is fulfilling to work with an artist whose goal is to capture a unique sound every single time he enters the studio."


Photo: by The C

It has been pointed out that there is no "Matt Forger sound" because his skill lies in letting the artist's true nature emerge through the recording process. Therefore, artists can count on Matt to let their vision burst forth without the coloration of extraneous points of view. "I am here to bring out the greatness in you," he states.

Matt Forger is frequently quoted in "Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson" by Joseph Vogel, published by Sterling Press.


l-r: Jolene Pellant (manager), Mike Gormley (manager), Allison McGourty (Lo-Max Records), Simon Lynge, Matt Forger (producer), Bernard McMahon (Lo- Max Records).

Current Credits: This year Michael Jackson "performed" at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, in holographic form, and just like when Tupac was resurrected for Coachella a few years ago, not everyone is happy about it. Is this the beginning of the end for flesh and blood entertainers? Let us hear your view.
The selection of "Slave to the Rhythm" for the hologram performance was made late last year; Jackson associates the Talauega brothers and Jamie King were brought in to choreograph and direct the video, which was produced by Pulse Evolution and Tricycle LogicSimon Lynge held off recording “Beautiful Way To Drown” until he was able to put the team together that made him comfortable. The team: Matt Forger and Jon Mattox (The Young Dubliners) who joined with Simon to co-produce his CD which was recently picked up by London's Lo-Max Records, home of Australian legends The Go-Betweens (and front-man Robert Forster's brilliant "The Evangelist"), New York rockers The Wrens and British psychedelic pioneer Kevin Ayers. "The new album features eight brand new recordings. A Deluxe Edition of XSCAPE will include a selection of the recordings in their original form.
The title of this album honors Michael's album naming process," says Matt Forger who takes us inside the studio in this exclusive sneak peak from the XSCAPE album documentary which is available only on XSCAPE Deluxe Edition


Read studioexpresso March review here


Matt Forger with Detroit Mutant Radio and Rafa Sardina at After Hours Studios.

Contact: Claris Dodge
818-990-3031
e-mail: claris@studioexpresso.com

 


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