HISTORY OF THE RECORDING LABEL
DISCOS MELOPEA (MELOPEA RECORDS) is a recording label created by Litto Nebbia with the purpose of promoting high-quality Argentine music.
Since 1989 it produces and releases a wide catalogue of recordings. It presently comprises more than 500 items in a wide variety of genres like tango, folklore, Argentine jazz, fusion, music from the Rio de la Plata region, flamenco and, among others, Nebbia`s own works.
Along the years artists like Roberto Goyeneche, Adriana Varela, Rubén Rada, Roberto “Fats” Fernández, "Cuchi" Leguizamón, Dúo Salteño, Andrés Calamaro, Hugo Fattoruso, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Enrique “Mono” Villegas, Leda Valladares, Susana Rinaldi, Antonio Agri, Nebbia himself and many others have recorded in Melopea and have created excellent music.
Melopea has its own recording studio: ESTUDIO DEL NUEVO MUNDO (NEW WORLD STUDIOS), where, during the latest 20 years, most of its productions have been recorded.
THE BIRTH OF MELOPEA
When I was a young boy, one of my greatest dreams was to MAKE RECORDS.
It seems not too easy to come true for a child living with his parents in a one-room rented flat and not even owning a record player.
Life went on and I became a musician, composer, arranger and producer.
I became aware of how it is to make records. I mean... to make MY OWN RECORDS.
That is, to commit to the grooves what I want to produce, what comes into my mind, what really moves me, what I value, respect and admire, what is creative.
During the development of my career I have had constant problems with the execs of the big record companies.
And I never got the reason why.
A couple of things I invented in my teens have generated them, up to now, sales of more than 2 million copies.
I developed a style and a shape for songs and a dynamic for singing that are being copied even nowadays. Why then should I not get on well with anyone?
Simply because I became independent. I decided for my freedom.
I did not let my brains be swallowed up by the idea of becoming a millonaire artist who shatters the market with astonishing record sales.
Nowadays art´s true mission has been replaced by talking about how the future “packaging” will be. Understanding marketing: rating, mainstream, catering, booking & fucking. Recording a good record will always be for me the most important thing.
This record must contain what I love, what I write, what I feel. No matter what journalists, critics or reviewers may think.
I became independent simply because I like what I am doing.
I love the records I am doing. Since many years ago I have an extremely organized plan of all the things I want to do, and I do not need anybody´s opinion to go on.
Nor do I need to be number One nor to receive prizes or praises.
It is as easy as waking up and finding out the day is all ours.
ESTUDIO DEL NUEVO MUNDO (NEW WORLD STUDIOS)
Mariano Acha 3037, Villa Urquiza, Buenos Aires.
This was Martha Nebbia’s (Litto´s mother) new address, formerly an old shoe shop. It was 1982, the year her granddaughter Miranda Nebbia was born. She felt she HAD to be near Miranda and this feeling forced her to move there.
She lived alone amid her cats and dogs, piano, guitars, books and records. She had led that kind of life since her husband Félix had passed away in 1968.
A tireless generator of new ideas, she began suggesting Litto to keep the instruments after the concerts in unused spaces of the old shoe shop.
Soon thereafter she suggested placing a small carpet and arranging the place a little in order to use it as a room for rehearsals .
She then advanced with the project of installing there a recording studio so that Litto could record there everything he wanted.
Due to financial reasons, it took around four years to have the recording studio ready. Every weekend Litto payed a couple of construction workers out from the earnings of his performances. They progressively demolished the structure of the shoe shop and, at the same time, built new walls. The idea was not merely to adapt the old but to build anew according to the new purpose.Alejandro Rodríguez, engineer and friend, supervised the works.
This happened when Nebbia had already terminated old contracts with recording labels. RCA, the company he had been recording with since his adolescence, was being dismantled and had passed to other hands. In that moment he took the chance to buy a NEVE recording console and some microphones.
But the studio was still under construction and a tape recorder was badly needed.
Litto was simultaneously having meetings with Salvador Barresi, the legendary recording technician that worked on most of the Los Gatos recordings and on the first Litto´s solo records. Litto showed Salvador the house and asked him an opinion on the adventure of building his own studio. The next meeting Salvador appeared with a drawing of a project of the recording studio. Something small but suitable for Litto´s expressive needs.
A control booth that was more or less the same size as the recording room, and a series of artistic details that made the drawing resemble a tiny, old English house.
Perhaps the nicest part of this little story is the fact that Salvador had written a name by the studio`s drawing: ”El Nuevo Mundo” ("the New World").
He even explained Litto that a new life would begin for him with the new recording studio. And thus this name was kept ever since.
Edgardo Rapetti and Mario Sobrino, both from former RCA`s staff were the recording engineers since the studio`s birth. After two years, Rapetti went away to work independently in his own studio. Sobrino remaind up to these days as recording technician and responsible for mastering all the music material produced in Melopea.
Estudio del Nuevo Mundo opened in November 9, 1988. The song “Tema de Petreca” was taped as the initial test recording, with Nebbia playing piano, Bernardo Baraj saxo tenor and Luis Borda (also composer) the guitar.
Hundreds of musicians have recorded here:
Roberto “Polaco” Goyeneche, Adriana Varela, Osvaldo Tarantino, Victor Biglione, Antonio Agri, Walter Rios, Roberto “Fats” Fernandez, Manolo Juarez, Hugo & Osvaldo Fattoruso, Eduardo Lagos, Rubén Rada, Fernando Suarez Paz, Néstor Marconi Zé Renato, Roberto Grela, Wynton Marsalis, Gustavo Bergalli, Walter Malosetti, Erling Kroner, Baby Lopez Furst, Andrés Calamaro, Suma Paz, Tito Reyes, Dúo Salteño, Leopoldo Federico, Osvaldo Berlingieri...
These are only examples from different music genres.
The whole list may be checked in the catalogue of Melopea Records; there are more than 400 albums in 20 years.
The room has an acoustic Wissner piano made in the USA. It also has a wide variety of electric pianos, synthesizers, guitars, basses and percussion elements. Of course, the glorious and legendary NEVE recording console. This is a prestigious tool created by Rupert Neve, which The Beatles and The Kinks used in their early albums. Frank Zappa, at his finest hour, bought himself one for his own studio.
The recordings being made nowadays at Estudio del Nuevo Mundo still require this console along with some of the new digital systems.
PENTIMENTO RECORDS is a division of Discos Melopea, created since the release of the Beatles SongBook collection.
The idea was for all of Melopea-produced music in the "Oldies" area to have its own space and to create a special image for classics collectors from all over the world and for the performing artists too.
PENTIMENTO MUSIC is an editorial of printed music , mostly comprising Nebbia`s compositions, currently including more than 500 registered works.
LUMINARIA FILMS: Melopea's visual arts division
LUMINARIA FILMS was a project born in the mid-nineties, when Melopea began to direct and to produce films with the aim of preserving memories of the great musicians that recorded at Estudio del Nuevo Mundo in a historical archive.
Beyond music, this idea produced a wide archive of good recorded moments that, in addition to their excellent musical quality, were also worthy of being watched. They include shows and recordings of great artists and also other documents of nowadays`s music world.
At the beginning several VHS Videos were released; they are nowadays converted to DVD.
Melopea`s audiovisual area grew steadily until it was decided to gather all works under Luminaria Films.