The Lab Studios, in the vibrant, fashionable area of Clapham, South London, is situated in one of the most sought after studio spaces in the area – Clapham North Art Centre. Home to producer Drew Horley (Ty, Dozeguyz, Psychic Phenomena, Estelle, Jay Sean, Natalie Williams), the studio was originally designed in 2001 as a creative space for Drew and his partners to make their own music. However, they soon realised they were on to something great when artists and bands from all over London started to book the studio purely through word of mouth and personal recommendations.
Drew explained, “On entering The Lab there’s an instantly welcoming feel that every client comments on when they first walk in. The vibe is warm and creative and we are proud to be able to offer an affordable alternative to some of the more expensive London recording studios that may be out of budget for independent artists/bands who self-fund their recordings or indie labels with tight budgets.
“Although we originally started the The Lab as a Hip Hop and Urban Music recording studio we quickly realised the potential we had here and started encouraging all genres and types of clients to use the studio. I’m a friendly, easy-going guy and I love helping bands achieve their full potential whilst they’re working with us. I think this has encouraged a number of clients to keep coming back to work here with us on a regular basis.”
Drew is a highly sought-after music producer, sound engineer and gifted musician who plays drums, keyboards and bass and also has over 20 years’ experience in the music industry. He started out as a bedroom DJ and beat-maker but, in 2004, only two years after launching The Lab, he was nominated for a Mercury Music Award for his work with UK Hip Hop artist Ty. Such a high profile accolade has undoubtedly played a huge role in the studio’s success and growth.
Drew told us, “The Lab provides a wide range of services: from recording, tracking, production, mixing and mastering through to voiceover services and audio post production including sound design and music composition.
“The studio comprises a large control room (16′ x 12.5′) and a spacious, solid oak-floored live room (14′ x 11′) with enough space to comfortably track a 4-piece band. There is a lovely Schwander upright piano, and a collection of vintage drum kits and snares. Central to the control room is a TOFT ATB 24 mixing console designed by Malcolm Toft and based on his original Trident Series 80 which was used on countless hits during the ‘70s and ‘80s. An impressive collection of modern and vintage recording equipment is available too and The Lab houses some of the industry’s most prized audio possessions (Pro Tools, Logic, API, Roland, TL Audio, AKG and Technics) giving the client a palate of sounds and colours via pre-amps, instruments, gadgets and microphones to shape their sound for a standout and distinctive character.
Also available are a selection of vintage keyboards that would make most keyboard players weak at the knees. Drew told us “I grew up listening to soul, funk and rare groove from the ‘70s and ‘80s and wanted to house a number of vintage keyboards that even Stevie Wonder would be proud to use. We currently have a classic Rhodes stage 73, Hohner Clavinet E7, Korg Poly 800 and some of the industry’s most sought-after analogue classic keyboards, courtesy of my long time production partner Ty, including a Mini Moog, Korg MS20 and VCO Vocoda, Roland Jupiter 4, Oberheim OBXa, Arp Odyssey, and Arp Axe, not to mention the classic Roland Space Echo and Binson Echorec. Full spec here.
The Lab offers a one-stop-shop solution to artists, bands, rappers, singer/songwriters and media clients. They have worked with a number of established and independent artists such as De La Soul, Raekwon and Ghost Face from Wu-Tang-Clan, DJ Premier, Master Ace, Rizzle Kicks, Estelle, Jay Sean, Ty, Natalie Williams, Andrew Roachford.
Drew told us “Our clients have always been extremely happy with the service we provide for them and our aim is to make sure that, right from the first point of contact, their needs are first understood and listened to so that we can best advise on the most cost effective and efficient way to achieve the results they are after. We will always go the extra mile to help our clients get the very best results possible within their deadlines and budget.”
The Lab is easily accessible within 15 minutes from the centre of London and is a five minute walk from Clapham North tube station on the Northern Line or two minutes from Clapham High Street overground. There are many great eating places nearby as the area is littered with restaurants of every description. The studio also has plenty of parking. To find out more about The Lab or to enquire about booking the studio please see our listing here.