Motown got its start in a humble Detroit duplex, so Williamson Magnetic Recording’s surprising location in the basement of Nature’s Bakery Cooperative on Madison’s eclectic Willy Street should be no impediment to its success.
The location is perfect for co-owners Mark Haines and Tessa Reina de Eccheveria who met at the bakery where Tessa is still a baker and marketing coordinator. Haines, a long time recording engineer who once mixed at Madison’s famous Smart Studios, and Reina de Eccheveria bonded over music while baking together.
They’ve baked up Madison’s only place to record in analog, the same way it was done in Motown’s heyday.
“For a lot of musicians who really want the essence of their music to be their performance, analog is a great option,” Haines explains. He got out of recording when digital became the standard and the work was done on a computer screen and a mouse.
Haines has played drums in a number of band over the years. He feels that the many manipulations digital offers takes a little bit out of the musicianship required to play well. With digital, “you can take just about anything and just turn it into a song,” he notes.
Reina de Eccheveria grew up in the digital age, but was also drawn to the more raw and real feeling she gets with the analog style. She is also a big fan of live performance and envisions Williamson Magnetic Recording as helping form a musical community.
“Not only am I excited to have this space as a recording studio to do analog recording, and to keep that art alive, that style of recording alive,” Reina de Eccheveria says, “but to have shows and create that community around just supporting local musicians.”
And local musicians have started supporting the business by booking recording time. They are paying some r-e-s-p-e-c-t to a new, old school venture that may take off.