Mann records on a late 1960s Ampex 2-inch eight-track reel-to-reel machine, and edits the old fashioned way--with a razor blade--slicing and dicing the analog tapes to perfect the label's music. Daptone's "crunchy," in-your-face sound also comes from Mann's prized Radio Shack microphones. It's minimalist to the max, but its got the magic.
He must be doing something right, Amy Winehouse cut her smash "Back to Black" CD at Daptone. In the midst of the MTV tour Sugermann points to the studio couch and proudly announces, "Amy Winehouse farted in that cushion after eating a burrito." Well, alright!
Daptone's analog allegiance isn't merely aesthetic--the label has sold more than 30,000 7-inch singles to date--that's more than most of their better selling CDs. In a world where almost all music is synthetic and colorless, I'm glad Daptone is here, keeping it real.
My favorite Daptone band, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, sound like a great soul outfit from the bygone era, but they're here now. They're set to release "100 Days, 100 nights" on September 25.