In the late 1980s, aged just 16, Julie McLarnon was a student on the Audio Engineering course at University College Salford run by famed producer/engineer of the 1960s/70s folk revival Bill Leader (Pentangle, Bright Phoebus, The Dubliners etc). 2 years into the course Julie was offered the job of tape-op at the now legendary Strawberry Studios in Stockport, Greater Manchester. At not quite 18 she was thrown in at the deep end of studio recording - days were spent micing up the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, nights spent assisting Martin Hannett & Chris Nagle.
Following her time at Strawberry, Julie went on to work at Mirage (Pennine Sound Studios) and subsequently The Windings, in addition to freelancing at other studios including Suite 16 (formerly Cargo). These years saw her working with Happy Mondays, New Order, Lisa Stansfield, The Charlatans, 808 State, James, Sub Sub, A Guy Called Gerald, Inspiral Carpets, Monaco, Napalm Death, the Vienna Philharmonic, Intastella, The High, World of Twist, Revenge, Marion and Therapy? amongst others.
In 1995 Julie set up a 16 track analogue studio in an old Methodist hall where almost everything recorded there became a fave of John Peel including Mazey Fade (Domino), Prolapse (Cherry Red), Done Lying Down (Abstract Sounds) and her own riot grrrl pop combo Thrush Puppies who signed to short-lived 4AD offshoot Detox Artefacts. In 1997, disenchanted with the music industry, Julie split the Thrush Puppies, closed her studio and went looking to do something else.
Music though, has a habit of never letting go. A year later she met Neutral Milk Hotel and fell in love with it all over again. NMH affiliates and Elephant 6 stalwarts The Music Tapes stayed at her house using bits of her dismembered studio to finish their 'First Imaginary Symphony For Nomad' album, and she was off again. An old Allen and Heath desk coupled with a 16 track Fostex 1/2" tape machine, augmented by various bits of outboard, mics and effects saw the birth of Analogue Catalogue mk1 in an old Victorian house in South Manchester. Recordings from here include Frances McKee's 'Sunny Moon', Songwriter Circle (feat. Steve Wynn and members of Lambchop) the debut Bridget Storm album and the 'lost' follow up to the Lone Pigeon classic 'Concubine Rice'.
In 2003 whilst on tour with Smog, Julie got a call from Funky Junk to say that the Trident Series 80B desk which had been on her wishlist for years had just been pulled out of Utopia Studios in Camden. One call to the bank and a maxed out credit card later the desk was hers. Work then began on what has since become the Analogue Catalogue we have today.
In recent years Julie has produced and/or engineered The Vaselines, The Aliens, The Shivers, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Barbarossa, Alasdair Roberts, Yorkston/Thorne/Khan, Aidan Smith, Jeffrey Lewis, The Music Tapes, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Supreme Vagabond Craftsman, Player Piano, unpoc, James Yorkston, Robin James, Elaine Palmer, King Creosote, Graham Massey, Nine Black Alps, Frances McKee, Lone Pigeon and more.
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