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Spotlight – Joe Mabbott

Atmosphere - When Life Gives You LemonsTwin Cities hip-hop group Atmosphere’s new release When Life Gives You Lemons . . .  debuted at the #5 spot in the Billboard 200 album charts in early May, and McNally Smith faculty member Joe Mabbott was intimately involved in crafting the hit CD. Mabbott, who teaches engineering and production at McNally Smith, served as engineer, mixer and percussionist for the project, which was recorded at Mabbott’s Hideaway Studio in the Twin Cities.
In addition to opening at the #5 position in the Billboard 200, When Life Gives You Lemons . . . made a strong impact on several of Billboard’s genre- and format- specific charts. The impressive chart positions included #1 Internet, #1 Tastemakers, #2 Indie, #2 Alternative, #6 Rap Core, #7 Digital and #13 R&B Core.  Selling 36,000 copies in its first week, the new release is Atmosphere’s first Top Ten hit and the highest-charting release to date from the influential, independent label Rhymesayers. Atmosphere also released their Sad Clown EPs (engineered and mixed by Mabbott at The Hideaway) at the same time as Lemons. Three of the EPs landed in Billboard’s Top Rap 100.

The Lemons CD was recorded over the course of 2007 at The Hideaway Studio. Joe Mabbott bought the studio, which was formerly known as Trail Mix Studios, in 2003. Mabbott has established The Hideaway as a studio of choice for national and international hip-hop and indie rock acts including Brother Ali, Cloud Cult, Heiruspecs, The Plastic Constellations, The Matches and many others. Prior to Lemons, Mabbott worked with Atmosphere on their God Loves Ugly, Seven’s Travels, and You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having releases.

Joe Mabbott joined the McNally Smith faculty in 2007.  He is a graduate of The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Phoenix. In 1995 he relocated to Minneapolis and took an assistant engineer position at Trail Mix. Mabbott left Trail Mix for a two-year stint as a freelance engineer around the Twin Cities. He returned to Trail Mix in 2001 as manager and head engineer before purchasing the studio and renaming it The Hideaway in 2003. Mabbott is also a noted drummer, and contributed percussion and vocals to Atmosphere’s When Life Gives You Lemons . . . .

Read his interview here.