A Day At United


A Day At United, the name practically says it all. An album recorded in a single day, no rehearsals, no second takes. Just Mocky with friends, instruments, and some songs sketched in the week previous. Oh yeah, and a recording studio. United Recording, in fact. The legendary independent studio, financed by Sinatra among others is a refuge for artists seeking more control, or maybe "less interference". A Day At United is not an album about control, it's about putting certain conditions in place, then letting go, letting the magic happen. In an age of computer-led precision, this is an album about the struggle for imperfection. "I've always been inspired by the story of Miles Davis recording Kind Of Blue (1959)," says Mocky, "going into the studio with John Coltrane and Bill Evans, and making an album in real-time." Not that Mocky, who led the session from his drum kit, compares himself to the jazz greats; he doesn't even call himself a jazz musician. If this is his "jazz" album, it's because of the process that yielded it. The process began with a recording date, and to ensure a "classic" quality on the record, Mocky got together with producer Justin Stanley (Prince, Leonhard Cohen) who ended up recording and co-producing the album. "When everyone was in position, the charts in front them, the sticks in my hand, it was the first time I actually considered what I was about to do on drums. It was free-styling. Hearing the songs as they were being recorded, in complete real-time." Looking back on the origin of the album, Mocky sees it as an extension of his free-flowing Mocky and Friends nights. Picture a revolving cast of collaborators and co-creators, convening on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel in downtown LA, making music in the moment. "I wanted to attain a level of intention that was different from anything I had done on an album before," Mocky says. "Rather than playing all the instruments, I just drummed and let the ideas filter through this group of artists in real-time. If you multi-track or edit, the intention becomes a conceptual thing, considered and refined. At United, it was about this creative urgency. For me, it was waking up one day and, at the end of it, having an album done."