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Paul Kosky

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Paul David Kosky (born 1967) is an Australian music industry professional who has worked as a record producer, audio engineer, manager, and label owner. Kosky has been nominated for an ARIA award four times during his career, each in a separate category: Engineer of the Year for Crowded House's "Chocolate Cake" and Woodface (1992), Best Cover Art for Killing Heidi's Reflector (2000), Producer of the Year for the same group's single, "Superman Supergirl" (2001), and Best Video.[Citation needed]

Kosky is the co-founder-owner and A&R Director of Peak Music with his business partner, Eden Altman. It is a contemporary music label and artist management company. Kosky is also the owner, operator of the related Peak Music Recording Studios – a private, large format, 58 Channel SSL 6000 E/G+ recording and mixing studio.

Music careerEdit

1970s to 1980s: Early years Edit

Paul Kosky was born in 1967 and grew up in Melbourne. He started his career in music at the age of 14 working on local radio station, 3RRR FM. He received a government grant to produce a weekly youth radio program in Albury on 2REM FM. A year later he returned to Melbourne, where he briefly worked at Crawford Productions as a music editor before working as an assistant engineer at Platinum Studios, a music recording facility. Over the next two years he worked on releases for The Models, Kids in the Kitchen, The Machinations, Real Life, Pseudo Echo, Mondo Rock, Michael Hutchence, I'm Talking, Little River Band, Do Re Mi, Crowded House,[1] Noiseworks, Weddings Parties Anything, and Blue Ruin. At 19-years-old Kosky became an in-house engineer at Platinum Studios and recorded B-sides and demos for Crowded House, Boom Crash Opera, Nick Barker & the Reptiles, Cattletruck, James Reyne, Uncanny X-Men, Kylie Minogue, Tim Finn, Men at Work and Ross Wilson.

Kosky was one of six engineers for the soundtrack of feature film, Rikky and Pete (1988).[2][3] He co-engineered Schnell Fenster's debut album The Sound of Trees (1988),[3] and Japan’s Dual Dream. One of his earliest works as a producer was Keith Glass' album, Going Over Old Ground (1988).[4] He mixed releases for TISM and New Zealand’s The Fan Club. Kosky co-produced, recorded and mixed Claim (1988) and Tabaran (1989) for Not Drowning, Waving.[4] He also worked for David Hosking,[5] Chain and Crashland.

1990s: From Periscope to Kiss Music studios Edit

In the early 1990s Paul Kosky designed and supervised the construction of Periscope Studio to record a proposed Finn Brothers album.[6] Meanwhile, Kosky co-produced and mixed a film soundtrack for Proof (1991); again working with Not Drowning, Waving which were the primary artists.[3][7] He recorded two tracks, "Sunday" and "Sultry", for Proof at Periscope.[7] The studio was owned by Tim Finn (ex-Split Enz, Finn Brothers).[8] Working on the Finn Brother's project led Kosky to co-engineer Crowded House's third studio album, Woodface (June 1991), including its lead single, "Chocolate Cake".[3][6] At the ARIA Music Awards of 1992 Kosky was nominated for Engineer of the Year for his work with Woodface.[9]

He recorded Real Life's Lifetime (1990); produced Not Drowning, Waving's film soundtrack for Hammers Over the Anvil (1991), co-produced Girl Monstar's debut album, Monstereo Delicio (June 1992), engineered Things of Stone and Wood's Junk Theatre (1994);[3][4] and worked on Big Pig, and Split Enz material. Kosky then went on to co-produce and record releases for Weddings Parties Anything (King Tide, 1993), Tim Finn ("In Your Sway" on Before & After, 1993), and My Friend the Chocolate Cake (Brood, 1994).[3][4] He co-produced, recorded and mixed releases for Killing Time (extended plays, Ruby's Mind and The Mandlebroth Set, both in 1991), Andrew Pendlebury ("Calling You" featuring Kate Ceberano, 1992), The Clouds (Octopus, 1992; Bower of Bliss, 1993; Thunderhead, 1993);[3][4][10] Deborah Conway,[8] The Sharp, Hosking and Chris Wilson. He produced, recorded and mixed releases for Overnight Jones and recorded and remixed for Crowded House, Real Life and Jenny Morris.

In 1996 Kosky transferred to Metropolis Audio as their producer-engineer, where he recorded and mixed releases for Boyz II Men, Dave Graney & The Coral Snakes, and The Electric Hippies (see Noiseworks). He co-produced, recorded and mixed releases for Neil Murray with backing vocals by Tiddas ("This Bliss" and "Peace of Mind" on Dust, 1996),[11] and Def FX. Kosky designed and supervise the re-construction of Kiss Music Recording Studios (formerly Platinum Studios) where he worked as general manager and producer-engineer. At that studio he recorded for United States bands Rage Against the Machine (Evil Empire, 1996),[3][12] and The Fugees & Wyclef Jean. He also produced, recorded and mixed releases for local artists, Effigy (self-titled album, 1997)[13] and Non-Intentional Lifeform (N.I.L.) for their 1997 album, Uisce.

1998–2003: Wah Wah Music and Killing Heidi Edit

In 1998 Kosky and US-based investor, Chris Robinson, co-founded Wah Wah Music.[14] Kosky became A&R and creative director for the music label and artist management company.[15] His first signing was Killing Heidi, which had formed as a duo by 15-year-old Jesse on guitar and his 13-year-old sister, Ella Hooper on lead vocals from Violet Town in 1996.[16][17] Kosky later recalled first hearing "Kettle", their entry in a song competition for national radio station, Triple J in that year – he had assumed that the group were already signed with a label.[18] To record "Kettle" the Hoopers had used two school mates, Aaron on bass guitar and Rowan on drums.[8]

After signing the group, which relocated to Melbourne, Kosky spent almost two years developing their sound.[8] He organised for Warren Jenkins to join on bass guitar (ex-Deborah Conway backing band) and Adam Pedretti on drums (ex-Non Intentional Lifeform).[8][18] Kosky produced, recorded and mixed their debut album, Reflector (March 2000) and its related singles, "Weir" (October 1999), "Mascara" (November), "Live Without It" (April 2000) and "Superman Supergirl" (September).[8][16][19] Kosky also supplied guitar, keyboards, percussion, string arrangements and backing vocals for the releases.[3] In May 2001 Pedretti told Ink 19 how he was recruited for the group "[Kosky] had worked with NIL as producer, so he knew I could play a little bit off the wall ... [he] dropped off a Killing Heidi demo and I started learning the songs. It just took off from there, and I've been in the band almost three years".[20]

Jon Azpiri of AllMusic reviewed the album "[t]he real star of [Reflector] is producer Paul Kosky, who has worked with other Aussie artists such as Crowded House and the Clouds. He confidently navigates the young group through several different genres and produces an album that has great commercial appeal, but, ultimately, has nothing to say".[21] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described "Weir" as a "winning mix of quiet/loud acoustic/churning electric guitars, adolescent angst and sing-along pop with a funky mid-section".[8] He felt the album was a "mix of spirited pop, big rock riffs and adolescent energy".[8] According to rage Kosky had "[a] mighty grasp of guitar pop sounds" and was able to "turn their rough gems into blinding pearls".[22] Jake C Tyler of Sputnikmusic also noted that his "expertise is crucial to the commercial success of this album clearly. He and Heidi spent quite some time rehearsing and arranging before admitting themselves to the studio".[23]

Kosky and Robinson also co-managed the band, while Kosky directed and/or produced the majority of their early music videos and designed artwork for Reflector and its related singles.[16] He secured a production deal for Wah Wah Music with Roadshow Music (Village Roadshow), which was distributed by Warner Music Australia.[24][25] Killing Heidi's Reflector debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart,[19][26] it was certified 4× times platinum indicating 280,000 units shipped.[27] It and the related singles won four ARIA Music Awards from nine nominations in 2000 and 2001.[9] For his work with Killing Heidi, Kosky was nominated for Best Cover Art for Reflector and Producer of the Year for "Superman Supergirl".[9] The Hoopers also won the Songwriter of the Year at APRA Music Awards of 2001.[28]

By 2001 Kosky had signed Melbourne-based rock group, Space Like Alice, to the label, and they issued their debut single, "Compensate", which peaked into the ARIA Top 100 in December.[29][30] Kosky and the group started work on their debut album, Life Is Sci-Fi,[29] however Space Like Alice left the label without releasing it.[31] In August 2004 their drummer, Chris Wheatley, described the fallout "we left our previous record company, Wah Wah Records... That relationship got to the point where it wasn't going to work for either party so we decided to leave".[31]

Kosky also produced Killing Heidi's second album, Present (October 2002), and its related singles, "Heavensent" (December 2001) and "Outside of Me" (September 2002).[19][32] Although not as commercially successful as their debut album, Present reached No. 12 on the albums chart and both singles peaked in the top 30.[19] In 2003 Kosky was bought out by Robinson, resigned as a director of Wah Wah Music and as co-manager of Killing Heidi.[17] In July 2004 Andrew Murfett of The Age declared that Kosky's "reign ended with an acrimonious split" with the group which "almost spelt the end for a promising new band".[17] Whereas Kosky told Murfett, "I know there have been a few things said, but I don't really want to go there ... You can't deny the success that we had ... They needed a hell of a lot of work, a good two years of work before anybody heard them, and then they needed work all the way through. Then they grew up and this is what happens".[17]

2004–present Edit

Early in 2010 Kosky and Eden Altman, a singer-songwriter and guitarist, co-founded a music label and artist management company – Peak Music.[33] Kosky and Altman established an alternative rock group, Kill City Cartel, which issued their debut single, "In the Metro", on their own label.[34][35] With Altman on lead vocals and guitar, the group consists of Richard Armstrong on bass guitar, Nick Delaney on guitar, Zane Rosanoski on drums, and Hanna Silver on keyboards.[33] Kosky and Altman have co-written, recorded, and co-produced material for a proposed full length album.

Personal life Edit

In May 2001 Paul Kosky and his partner, Sarah Sanders, were living in St Kilda.[36] Sanders had supplied flute for Reflector.[37] By July 2006 the couple also owned a property in the Central Highlands near Newbury, where they lived in a houseboat on a small lake.[38]

ReferencesEdit

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