“Around that time, I’d taken on distribution of Dynaudio Acoustics,” he says. “The Hit Factory called me because they had a pair of M1s but when they moved locations the rooms were really different and they weren’t getting any low frequency, so they asked me to fix them. I called Andy Munro (Dynaudio Acoustics founder) and said The Hit Factory has a problem, can you come over and help me? He came over and it was an experience because Ed Germano (Hit Factory owner) was an intense guy. I walked in the lobby and there were plaques for all these amazing artists, and I was so excited I was coming to help them. But they weren’t happy with the fact the speakers weren’t living up to what they had when they bought them, so there was a moment where it was like, ‘you fix these or else…’ That was a family you didn't want to mess with.
“We found it was a positioning issue, so we moved the speakers and solved the problem. From this initially tense moment they asked us to outfit another studio. And it was nerve-racking, but it worked out and we built a lifelong relationship. Those experiences form who you are and tested me in what I would do for my clients, and the answer is anything.”
That willingness to go the proverbial – and often literal – extra mile for his clients opened the door to some truly unique opportunities.
“We’ve done some interesting jobs,” he smiles. “We did a job for Rockstar Games when they were making Grand Theft Auto 5, the Dr Dre version. I got a call from DJ Pooh who I knew through doing Snoop’s studio, and he’s partly behind GTA. He called me and said they were filming at a motion capture studio with Dre and Anderson .Paak. Originally they were going to just have tables where the consoles would have been, but he asked if I could get an SSL over there, a pair of Augspurgers, Pro Tools, and make it run so that when Dre comes in it feels like he’s in the studio. So, we had a working studio within 24 hours to film the animation of Dre. When you see him at the console his movements are real. Anderson .Paak was at a drum set; they were in those motion capture suits… Dre was shocked. He has a pair of our speakers in his studio and it made those moments in the game feel real.
“Another interesting project,” he continues, “is one we just finished for Roc Nation where Jay-Z’s career is being highlighted at the Brooklyn Public Library. We recreated Baseline, the studio we created for him in 1998. I got the original Augspurger® Monitors speakers and refurbished them and the original SSL G+ console. We got those pieces back and restored them and my guys went in and installed it. I’ve seen some footage of Jay-Z walking around being blown away - he was right back in the place where it all started for him.”
They may not have known it at the time, but Malekpour and his team were about to, as he puts it, “change the game for hip-hop music”. The build of Baseline back in 1998, with its Augspurger® Monitors and SSL G+ console, would lay the foundations for the sound of a hip-hop and R&B movement that was about to dominate the mainstream.