Atlantic changes focus without missing a beat
By JEFF WEISS
The history is inescapable inside Atlantic Records’ new Los Angeles studio — you merely have to examine the walls. Blown-up sepia stills of Jerry Wexler and Solomon Burke beaming over a piano. Eric Clapton and Cream pose with volcanic perms and bubbling guitars. Dusty Springfield. Led Zeppelin. Ray Charles. They’re all there — spirits stalking the new creative nerve center of the imprint that Ahmet Ertegun founded.
Atlantic’s official West Coast headquarters remains in Burbank, where a 25- to 30-person staff handles A&R and other tasks. Its other 200 employees report to work in Midtown Manhattan. But since January, its artistic pulse throbs on Cahuenga Boulevard, within a few offices, four studios and a modest cafeteria/lounge filled with intern-types hunched over Macbooks.
The studios are currently empty, but the aroma of marijuana lingers from last night’s session. The lounge crackles with the intensity of a start-up flush with its first infusion of capital. In one corner, a businesslike brunette trawls the rap blogs. Conspicuously, she cranks up one would-be anthem; a chant of “We gettin’ money!!” emanates Read More