News October 27, 2015

Report: UK Music Producer Guild Awards

The Music Producers Guild Awards were created to celebrate the creative and technical achievements of those who work behind the scenes to produce the best in UK recorded music – the record producers, recording engineers, mixers and re-mixers – and to provide an annual platform by which to bring those talents to the attention of the UK music industry, and ensure that those very valuable contributions receive the recognition that they deserve.

Now in its sixth year, the MPG Awards took place in London on Thursday evening, where a total of 16 awards were presented.

The top award for UK Producer of the Year was presented to Flood (Mark Ellis) and Alan Moulder for their work on the Holy Fire album from Foals, which beat stiff competition from two previous winners, Ethan Johns and Paul Epworth.

“We’re fussy about who we work with together,” Moulder said at the event, “The great thing about picking a band like Foals is our sensibility is the same. You are only as good as the band you get to work with and their ideas and their ambition, where they came from, it was where we wanted to be – so it was a good choice.”

As recipients of this accolade, Flood and Moulder also automatically win the 2014 BRIT Award for Best Producer.

The Music Producers Guild’s arrangement with the BRIT Awards is a very special part of the event. Over 15 years ago, the BRIT Awards used to include a category: Best UK Record Producer. When they decided to discontinue this award it led in part the creation the MPG Awards where it was agreed that they would give a BRIT Award to the winner of the most prestigious MPG Award – UK Producer of the Year.

Recent Daft Punk collaborator Nile Rodgers was the recipient of The MPG Inspiration Award and International Producer of the Year was awarded to Rick Rubin.

Sean Davies – who was the first person to ever cut an acetate for the Rolling Stones – received from Bill Wyman the Special Recognition Award.

The Studio of the Year Award was presented to Rak Studios by Colin Greenwood from Radiohead where the band had recorded their album The Bends with producer John Leckie. Radiohead also credit Rak Studios with being the place where they met future producer Nigel Godrich.

This year’s MPG Awards again highlighted the close relationship between artist and recording professional with many artists attending the ceremony to present their producer with an award. Among them were Fyfe Dangerfield, Seal, Nigel Godrich, Tony Visconti, Bill Wyman and Colin Greenwood. Others who were not able to attend in person, such as Nile Rodgers sent video messages of support.

Trevor Horn received the award for Outstanding Contribution to UK Music, the producer who has worked with artists such as Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones and Seal said he was “very flattered” to be honoured by people in the same business as him.

The chairman of the Music Producers Guild, Steve Levine, said:

“Our winners highlight the creativity that is inherent in UK music production, and when you look at the amazing work these recording professionals have done in the past 12 months it is no surprise that Britain’s recording talent remains the envy of the rest of the world.”

He added that winning an MPG Awards represents the highest level of achievement because it is an endorsement by one’s peers.

“Only Full Members of the MPG can vote for the MPG’s shortlist and therefore the results are relevant to the creative value of our industry,” he says. “Winning an MPG Award shows that you are at the top of your game as a recording professional and an inspiration to many up and coming producers and engineers.”

The judging panel is made up of record producers, recording engineers, mixers, re-mixers, record company A&R people, publishers, broadcasters and journalists.

Their responsibility is to discuss the relative merits of the shortlisted candidates and ultimately vote for the winners of each MPG Award – the prestigious panel of judges for 2014 included:

Mastering engineers: Mandy Parnell, Matt Colton

Producers: Tommy D, Mick Glossop, Tony Platt, Andrew Hunt, Stephen Street, John Leckie, Charlie Andrew, Gil Norton

Engineer: Cameron Craig

Mixers: Simon Gogerly, Cenzo Townshend

Artist: Green Gartside

Broadcasters: Janice Long, Richard Allinson

Journalist: Sean Adams

Publisher: Ivan Chandler

A&R: Jim Chancellor, Lawrence Bell

Managers: Diane Wagg, Justin Pritchard, Sumit Bothra


The recipients of this year’s Music Producers Guild Awards encompassed a wide variety of musical genres and spanned generations.

The nominations and winners for each of the MPG 2014 Awards categories:

UK Producer of the Year:


Ethan Johns
Flood (Mark Ellis) & Alan Moulder
Paul Epworth

Winner: Flood (Mark Ellis) & Alan Moulder

International Producer of the Year:


Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo)
Rick Rubin
Tony Visconti

Winner: Rick Rubin

Breakthrough Producer of the Year:


Dan Smith & Mark Crew
Disclosure (Guy Lawrence, Howard Lawrence)
Duncan Mills

Winner: Disclosure (Guy Lawrence, Howard Lawrence)

Recording Engineer of the Year:


Catherine Marks
Guy Massey
Mark Rankin

Winner: Guy Massey

Breakthrough Engineer of the Year:


Catherine Marks
Matt Wiggins
Dan Cox

Winner: Dan Cox

Mix Engineer of the Year:


Flood (Mark Ellis) & Alan Moulder
Mark ‘Spike’ Stent
Tom Elmhirst

Winner: Mark ‘Spike’ Stent

Mastering Engineer of the Year:


Barry Grint
John Dent
Mandy Parnell

Winner: John Dent

Re-mixer of the Year:


Four Tet (Kieran Hebden)
Freemasons (Russell Small & James Wiltshire)
MJ Cole (Matthew Coleman)

Winner: MJ Cole (Matthew Coleman)

UK Album of the Year:


Foals – Holy Fire
James Blake – Overgrown
Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle 

Winner: Foals – Holy Fire

UK Single Song Release of the Year:


Adele –Skyfall
Everything Everything –Kemosabe
Foals – My Number

Winner: Everything Everything – Kemosabe 

Studio of the Year:


British Grove Studios
Rak Studios
Strongroom Studios

Winner: RAK Studios

The A&R Award:


Chris Briggs
Imran Ahmed
Jim Chancellor

Winner: Jim Chancellor

The MPG Innovation Award:

Presented by the Music Producers Guild:

David Bowie 

The MPG Inspiration Award:

Presented by the Music Producers Guild:

Nile Rodgers

Special Recognition Award:

Sean Davies

The Outstanding Contribution to UK Music:

Trevor Horn



Craig Kamber is based in London. His A&R credits include Powderfinger, Spiderbait, Tex Perkins and Shihad amongst others. Kamber is currently working on a number of international album projects for release throughout 2014.

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