Miloco recording studios has partnered with legendary producer Youth (Killing Joke, The Orb, The Verve, Paul McCartney) to open his residential recording studio, El Mirador, to the public.
Located a half hour’s drive from Granada, Spain, and featuring spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, El Mirador is the result of Youth’s years of work in pursuing his vision. “I was looking to build a studio. I started looking in the UK but it’s always raining, you’re never more than five miles from a road and the planning permissions to build or develop something that was immersed in nature was hard. So I started looking in Spain,” said the producer (pictured).
“I found this valley in Andalusia, the Lecrin Valley and I thought, ‘This is it. This is a magical little valley’.”
“It took me two years of going back there six or seven times a year to find the right location. It’s not easy to find land that’s near a village so I could get mains power and water, but was isolated and had big, natural vistas. “
Designed and built by the famous Olympic Studios’ Terry Ottley, El Mirador is greatly influenced by the legendary Toyoshima-designed Olympic Studio 2, as well as a number of Youth’s other favourite rooms from around the world.
The control room features a 32-channel TL Audio VTC valve console, Genelec 1039A, Mackie HR624 and HR824, and Yamaha NS-10M Studio monitors. The studio itself boasts plenty of luxury features including an outdoor swimming pool, newly built sauna and artist’s studio, as well as a fully stocked library of books and Youth’s vast personal collection of vinyl.
The first sessions at El Mirador were for British pop band Embrace’s 2004 album Out of Nothing, and proved to be a good lift-off for the studio: “There was one track we really loved and we recorded it again in London at Britannia Row and again at Olympic studios. We did three versions of it. We ended up with the version we cut in Spain because we thought the drums sounded better there,” said Youth.
Over the years Youth, a father, found parental responsibilities keeping him from getting to El Mirador as often as he liked. Not wanting the studio to sit empty, he approached Miloco about opening it up to the public.
“I already knew Siobhan (Paine) because she’d been studio manager at Olympic and I literally spent six months of the year there during the ’90s and I had a very close relationship with them,” he said.
“It was a very sad thing when Olympic shut, and the demise of the big studios overall has been a sad thing. What’s cheered me with Mirador is that I’ve managed to take the spirit of Olympic and move it to Granada; Terry Ottley built it, it’s the same kind of design as Studio 2 and Studio 1 were; we’ve definitely been conscious of creating an authentic equivalent room to that. That’s gone now, and we’ve managed to hold on to a bit of it.”