Last Saturday marked the grand opening of a new, sweet-ass recording space in South Philly, Racetrack Sound Studios. Located at 1418 Darien Street just off Reed between Eighth and Ninth, the place is mammoth, and features a live room the size of the Spectrum. We can totally see some Abbey Road or Black Crowe’s Amorica-type shit going down in there. Local artist and engineer Lance Davis gave PW the deluxe tour of the studio’s different suites on opening night, and told us a bit of the impressive history of the space and what they’re working on currently.
History of the building: In the 1980s, it was a film studio called Metropolis. David Dye's World Cafe was recorded here before XPN moved to 33rd and Walnut streets.
History of Racetrack: Started as a partnership in 1995 by Paul Chiacchierini and Sal Chandon. After working in several top recording studios on the East Coast, they opened a mix and mastering facility in the D.C. metro area. They then moved to Gettysburg, Pa., into a two room facility in 2000. They expanded to Philadelphia last year to close a gap in the recording market and expand the recording studio school, Pennsylvania Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Not just another studio: The school for recording started in 2007 to fill a need for job placement in the recording and entertainment industry in Pennsylvania. The school exists in a working recording studio, and the staff is made up of recording engineers with actual credits to their name, which is unique. The studio and school is multi-faceted, multi-functional production space that can be used for tour rehearsals, CD release parties, photo shoots or even as a live venue for shows or CD release parties. As Metropolis, the space was used primarily as a film studio, and as Racetrack it can be used for video shoots and TV and film production too.
On tap at Racetrack: They’re currently teaming up with Davis’ ROKBOX productions on a number of projects including a Bob Dylan Tribute record, which will honor the troubadour’s 70th birthday. It features many Philly local singer/songwriters including Andrew Lipke, Chris Kasper, Nicole Reynolds, and LATEBLOOM. Philly artist Theotis Joe will be shooting a music video in the live room for his upcoming release “After Hours,” also produced by Lance Davis and ROKBOX Productions.
PW's Music Issue 2014