Tucked away in a world class mix room at the legendary Paramount Recording Studios in Hollywood, and Bopnique 3.0 and 4.0 in Nashua and Sherman Oaks are the secret lairs of producer, engineer, omni-instrumentalist and holistic music creator Anthony J. Resta (a.k.a. Ajax Ray-O-Vaque) hides like a musical comic-book hero’s Beat Cave. Studio Bopnique (http://www.bopnique.com) like hipster L.A. clubs with no sign or outward evidence, is one of those places that doesn’t advertise. Seventy hour weeks are the norm in the studio’s newly expanded 3700 square foot rustic loft which houses an incredible array of instruments, particularly keyboards of which over 30 are evident. Anthony and his right arm engineer Karyadi Sutedja run a two-ring circus that is truly a wonder to behold.
While his first foray into international production was Anthony’s five year, thirty song relationship with Duran Duran. “Simon Lebon called me after hearing a mix… some strange cowboy lady with a conch shell backing... He said ‘You’re mad lad, we want you over here!’” The relationship and experience changed Anthony’s life.
He began as a session drummer, working into programming in the late 80’s through expertise with the Linn Drum. “I hung out with Prince in London in 1999 and we talked about how cool that machine was (featured in When Doves Cry)” Anthony laughs. A photo of Anthony and Karyadi with Elton John hides in a corner near the studio’s small kitchen. These guys get around.
Anthony first developed his skill as a producer in a studio south of Boston. “Courtlen Recording gave me an opportunity to basically live under the grand piano and be in-house producer, teaming me up with great engineers like Fred Danner, Bob St. John (multiple Grammy winner), Paul Hager, Tom Soares and Chris Lannon.”
Anthony and Karyadi maintain distinct workstations in Bopnique’s cavernous sprawl, Anthony surrounded by never-ending keyboards, string simulators, drum machines and other nick-nacks all wired by midi to the mix station Karyadi nomally pilots. When not orchestrating in his realm, Anthony paces excitedly behind Karyadi mumbling and humming in a fashion that agrees with Lebon’s first
impression… mad. Equally mad is Karyadi’s ability to understand every utterance and instantly translate it to technical expression seemingly by telepathy. This Spidey-sense allows them to accomplish otherwise daunting mix feats in short time.
Resta has grown past a distinct production style. “Once I learned that it was all about the song and knowing what to leave out, it became transparent... just getting the best out of people and making the right statement for the songs.” Likewise, Anthony has no particular favorite style of music. “I used to be
into electronica but I really like recording real instruments. I like mixing the most real sounds with one or two completely unreal sounds, then making them sound like they belong together.”
This juxtaposition of purely organic and wildly synthetic is evident in Anthony’s work as an artist, recording “performance art” under the name Ajax Ray-O-Vaque with one album “Demos Of Saturn” out on Intelligent Records and a follow up due in ’08. Scattered poetry collections from authors like Bukowski alongside his photography of beloved New England fishing excursions define the vibe in
Anthony’s home base where the artists and labels now come to him.
“After I tired of 8 months a year in a hotel, I started putting my money into the place (Bopnique). Now people come from London, Miami, L.A., N.YC., Portugal, etc to record here!”
Published in Skope Magazine, by Dan Bernal
‘05 Feature – Producer Anthony J. Resta