Atlantic Sound Studios
I had every reason to expect a good view when I walked in to Atlantic Sound Studios.
It’s in a highrise commercial building at the end of Jay Street in DUMBO, only footsteps away from the water. I had seen pictures of the studio online, gathered that its windows overlooked the river, and when I interviewed producer/engineer Damian Taylor about the making of Björk’s Biophilia, he had mentioned that the sights were a major factor in their choosing of the studio.
Still, none of that prepared me for how much of a spectacle Atlantic’s panorama of the East River would be. The sight stretches from the Manhattan Bridge two blocks to the west, and sweeps up the river into the distance. Straight out from the windows, Manhattan island sits in profile like a private, life-sized diorama.
When I visited, the effect was calming and invigorating at once, even in the grey light of a damp February afternoon. Thanks to a brilliant layout dreamed up by musician/engineer Diko Shoturma and his draftsman father, the angles of the studio allow this sight to permeate the entire studio, through the live room, into the control room, lounge, and even Studio B.
Despite his exotic sounding name, Shoturma strikes you as wholly American, and shows few surface traces of his Ukranian heritage. As a teenager, he was the kind of kid who recorded his high school band on a cassette deck, and today he’s a friendly, handsome 30-something with the professionally unkempt look of a DUMBO creative type.
Shoturma moved into this space ten years ago, building out the studio in a single flurry of construction, and bringing in an original Trident 80 console and a Studer multi-track tape machine. “It was a totally different neighborhood back then,” he told me, “I think there may have been one bar back then, and maybe one restaurant too.”
Since then, the neighborhood has rapidly reinvigorated. Abandoned factories have filled up with trendy eateries…