The sleepy, south coast backwater of Bosham, seems a strange place to want to set up a new mastering house, but delve a little deeper and it is easy to see why it all makes sound business sense.For Cut & Groove, is ideally located to mine a rich seam of work, the South Coast Club Scene - the phenomenon that has spawned such mega artists as Artful Dodger, Craig David and Fat Boy Slim.
The duo behind this £200,000 venture are Duncan Davis and Adam Twine who have been immersed in the club scene since their teens. Duncan broke into it at 16 when armed with a couple of cases of albums, he bluffed his way into a DJ residency in Ibiza for the summer with no experience apart from in front of his bedroom mirror, while Adam ran a club on the Isle of Wight.
Though Cut & Groove only opened its doors just seven months ago, it's already pretty busy. The facility's offer of a competitively priced service, handling all aspects of dubplating, mastering, pressing and print has been well received. Among the regulars is Eddy Craig of the Wideboys, who has remixed tracks from many top artists including Artful Dodger, Geri Halliwell to the All Saints (Black Coffee). Other remixes have been brought in by Pat Ward of KRD who has brought in work from artists like Bush, Boo, Joey Beltram and Ocean Colour Scene.
Behind the desk is chief engineer is George 'Murder' who has 16 years mastering experience in the West End under his belt. George has worked for companies like EMI, Universal, Mushroom, Polydor, Jive, Telstar, Perfecto, BMG and King-size and artists like Garbage, Ash, P Diddy, Will Smith, TLC, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Dido, Wild Harts and many more. Along with trainee engineer Andy Gould, all four live above the 'shop'.
The foursome did most of the construction work themselves to cut costs, and they have used HHB to supply most of the gear, which was installed by Sean Davies. Says Duncan: 'HHB were fantastic because they let us try everything out first.' They managed to buy a revered Neumann VMS70 cutting lathe, and upgraded this to pitch 98.
Despite Duncan's initial prejudice, Cut & Groove has opted for Genelec monitoring. 'We compared Genelec to leading brands.' says Duncan 'I had never heard them and for some odd reason I'd decided I didn't like them, but I'd never actually heard them. But when I did, they sounded so amazing and precise, that we ordered a pair of 1038 and a 7071 sub.'
Other gear in their £200,000 spend includes a Pro Tools with Pro-Control, Tascam DA 45 DAT player/recorder, Chiswick Reach Compressor, GML Parametric equalizer, SPL De-Esser, an Apogee CD Mastering Track 22 Unit with unique UV 20 bit encoding process and AD converter.