James looks off into the aether at the mixing desk
James looks off into the aether at the mixing desk

James Gasson is a musician and sound engineer from West Sussex, now based in Brighton. After years playing in noisy rock bands, hitting drums too hard and generally harbouring inadequate concern for personal safety, James began to migrate from stage to studio via a burgeoning interest in recording and its associated principles, with a particular focus on how to properly transduce the power of a chest-thumping, realistic drum sound. A notable influence in this endeavour was legendary studio grump, Mr. Steve Albini, famed for his naturalistic recording aesthetic, powerful drum sound and contempt for mainstream orthodoxy. Not un-coincidentally, Albini also recorded Nirvana’s final album, In Utero, an album which may well be singularly responsible for everything James decided to do with his life from that moment on. In 2009 James completed an internship at Steve’s Chicago studio, Electrical Audio, and was subsequently inspired to build his own recording facility in Brighton in order to develop a similarly naturalistic recording practice, implementing sophisticated mic techniques to capture real room ambience, and thereby harness the natural character of the band, rather than relying on textbook tricks involving SM57s, compression and artificial reverb.

Third Circle Recordings is the result of James’s work. Over the years James has never stopped learning, testing, developing and generally seeking to provide bands and artists with a studio in which they can feel like their true style is being faithfully represented in the end result. Such an aesthetic is fantastic for anyone who feels that modern recording techniques can often feel like trying to fit square pegs into round holes; jazz and blues ensembles, for example, rarely want to sit behind a computer individually recording their parts to a click track (don’t worry, metal fans — the click can be deployed if you need it).

James has a 1st in Music Production from the University of Brighton, and has worked actively as a Sound Engineer in various capacities for many years. This has included making BBC Radio 4 programs, working in Film & TV post-production, and installing studios at the University of Sussex as their chief Music Technician. James also likes to make documentaries, write blogs, and releases music of his own under the name Cat Fire Radio. He believes that organisation and preparation are key to meeting any challenge and that honesty is the highest virtue.