We’re so excited to welcome PHILIPPE ZDAR (Phoenix, Franz Ferdinand, The Rapture, Pharrell Williams) for his first MWTM production seminar at STUDIOS LA FABRIQUE, in France, from JUNE 27 TO JULY 3, 2018 !
Philippe Zdar is one of a handful of French mixers and producers who has become famous outside of his home country. He was born Philippe Cerboneschi in eastern France, and in the late 1980s, when he just turned 17, he moved to Paris. He began his studio career there as a tea‑boy at Marcadet Studios, and gradually worked his way up to become a fully-fledged engineer. Around the time of his move to Paris, Zdar also met Hubert ‘Boom Bass’ Blanc‑Francard, with whom he worked on the first album by one of France’s leading rappers, MC Solaar, called Qui Seme le Vent Recolte le Tempo (1991). Zdar and Blanc-Francard went on to work with Solaar on several subsequent albums.
Zdar also had ambitions to be successful as a musician, and he achieved this in the late ’90s, with Étienne de Crécy in the band Motorbass, and with Blanc‑Francard in Le Funk Mob and later in a duo called Cassius. The latter’s 1999 hit, appropriately called “1999,” charted internationally. Zdar continued to be active as a musician, DJ, engineer and producer and his international breakthrough as a mixer and producer occurred in 2009 with Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, the fourth studio album by French alternative rock band Phoenix. It earned both the band and Zdar a Grammy Award.
Since then Zdar has worked as a mixer and producer with the likes of Chromeo, The Rapture, Kindness, OneRepublic, The Beastie Boys and, most recently, Franz Ferdinand. Zdar’s musician career continued in 2016, which saw the release of the well-received 7th studio album by Cassius. Its press release described the album as containing a hybrid of funk, house, soul, afrobeat, synthpop, psychedelia, hip-hop, gospel and disco. For Zdar music clearly has no boundaries, something that’s also strongly in evidence when he performs as a DJ.
Despite his stellar reputation as a musician and producer, Zdar’s production credit list is relatively short. “I’m not a mixer,” he explains from his Motorbass studio in Paris. “I am an artist who produces and mixes. I have plenty of people calling me to mix or to produce, and most of the time I say no, because I don’t want it to become a job. For me mixing is a passion, and I will never mix something that I don’t like. My DJ and producer careers are very important to me and intricately connected, and mixing is something that takes a lot of time and energy, so for me it really has to be something that I love.”
Zdar also feels very passionate about the need for artists to take risks and not to let a desire for commercial success stifle artistic freedom and development. “I believe that comfort is the cancer of every artistic expression,” Zdar explains. “If there’s an artist whose work you love, and suddenly you don’t care for what they do so much anymore, you’ll find that they most likely had become too comfortable. Digital technology provides a safety net and tends to make people risk-averse. So I say to the record company and artist: ‘if you work with me, you have to make decisions while I’m working, and you have to take a risk in the moment.’ I love that!”
Zdar’s unique, multi-faceted background and his desire to take risks and break boundaries are undoubtedly perfect ingredients for especially exciting and illuminating masterclasses.
See you there!