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Monday, September 26, 2016

The sound – and business – of music is booming in a former Echo Park factory

Thursday night usually finds Echo Park’s newest music hot spot – Bedrock – busy with musicians and bands – but no fans. That’s because Bedrock is a private recording and rehearsal facility that has been carved out of a former jewelry manufacturing plant off Glendale Boulevard. While the music business struggles to make money in a digital age, the owners of the Echo Park complex have watched as their sound proof rooms – ranging from garage-sized recording studios to cubbyhole like rehearsal rooms – are quickly rented out by the hour or by the month to professional musicians, sound mixers and other music lovers. “They are totally booked,” said Bedrock partner Kaz Murphy.

Kaz and his wife, Jacqueline Grad, used to operate a recording studio in Seattle, where grunge rock greats like Nirvana and Pearl Jam worked. In Echo Park, the couple and their partners are seeking to operate more than just a rehearsal and recording studio. Murphy said he wants to create a community where musicians can come to find inspiration as well as a gig.

“We are trying to create something different,” Murphy said. “They are coming here to network and to find work.”

Musicians can rent simple rehearsals rooms for as little as $15 an hour or up to $650 day for a fully-equipped and staff recording studio. In addition to renting out recording and rehearsal space, Bedrock also rents out equipment and plans to eventually rent out living spaces within the nearly 40,000-square-foot Allesandro Street building.

Musicians can be found working in the brick-covered complex, which began renting out spaces earlier this year, late into the evening, with Thursday night being the busiest, said Murphy. Why Thursday? That’s when many bands book the place to prepare for weekend performances. But aspiring rock bands are not the only tenants. Some of the patrons include sound engineers, mixers, and writers working on commercials and movie scores. And, notes Bedrock partner Michael Caldwell, there are some non-professionals as well who come in on their lunch breaks to practice in the drum rooms.

Last Sunday, during Bedrock’s coming out party, producer and songwriter Michael Hateley came from Mt. Washington to see if it was worth giving up his home studio. Hateley said he was interested in working in a place specially designed for his line of work and being near others involved in the industry.

“It’s also nice to have a room where you can make as much noise as you want.”

Related stories:
* Bedrock rehersal studio celebrate grand opening. LAist
* Bedrock marks grand opening with big party Sunday. Buzz Bands



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