ECM’s Manfred Eicher Talks About The Labels Famous Sound

ecm_manfred_eicher_2Since 1969 ECM founder Manfred Eicher has meticulously build a sound that can be recognized through the interpretations of different legendary Jazz artists like Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Steve Reich and Dave Holland. Though unique in their own styles there is a piece of Eicher in all of them, his recipe for mic positioning, the room and the mix etc. Many have written about that ECM sound. So does Eicher get angry with journalists always asking the same question? “I’m not getting frustrated. I just think it’s kind of superficial,” he told Cormac Larkin of the Irish Times. “If people think that we ask musicians to record for us because we want to sculpt their sound in a certain kind of way, that’s nonsense. We chose musicians for their music.”

ECM is proud of the fact that there is never any artificial reverb, no EQ, no compression on their records. It’s just the musician.

The Producer says, “We have a lot of records in our catalogue that became history, because they set a certain direction before a trend was set. From the very beginning I was paying a lot of attention not only to what musicians I will record but how it will be recorded. I didn’t want it to sound like Blue Note or Impulse. I wanted to be more specific on chamber musical details, because that’s what I learned. I was a recording assistant for Deutsche Grammophon before I started ECM, so I wanted to record things a little different. I was lucky to find good engineers from the very beginning, who I trusted and who trusted me.”

Check out the wonderful article on ECM HERE