The point of this book was NOT to provide wanna-be producers with a grocery list of production gear to buy...it was not to reduce people's studio setups to a common checklist of items for others to buy.
The point of this book was to capture these producers' LIVES through pictuers. It does this by photographing their studios beautifully. The mess of vinyl records, the stacks of equipment on top of each other, and the general chaos of alot of these pictures shows you what producing is like. While you may not see the gear listed out for you (that would take a long time for each studio), you get a great insight into what these producers use to make their music. You see a selected discography (about 5 cuts) and a small description of each producer and their studio. The photos, again, are incredible to look at. Some in color, some in black and white, all of them very "real," and vintage-looking (just like the equipment).
Don't buy this book as a study or how-to of producing. Buy it because you LOVE making music and can appreciate the beauty of the equipment used to do so.
This is a great "coffee table" book for fans of hip hop production and hip hop in general. Producers, especially, will appreciate a project like this, as we are granted access to the home studios of producers whose names we see lining the notes of CDs and vinyl releases. Most of the producers featured in the book are what you could call "underground" producers. There are also a handful of bigger names, like DJ Premier, J-Dilla and DJ Shadow, who also open their home studios to the camera.
The pictures of these studio setups are very "artsy". The book is nicely laid out - with a few pictures of each studio. There is very little text - basically a brief introduction to each producer and a shoirt list of their selected works.
This was a great idea and I'm happy I found the book.
If your like me and love vinyl, read liner notes front to back, spend hours in dusty un-nameable places looking for that perfect record (preferably in the dollar bin) and produce your own music then this book is a worthy addition to your stuido. Even if you don't have a studio it's still worth pickin up if you are a fan of "underground" hip hop. Raph takes you to many of the most prestigous producers "bedroom" studio's (not all of them are bedrooms) showing you their working enviroment and their gear. I can sit and flip through this book for hours on end disecting each picture finding the key elements to the studio's (and trying to pick up some new titles to go diggin for). If you are at all interested in how the sonic landscapes were crafted for some of the greatest albums in the last 10-20 years pick this up! Not to mention the fact that the DJ Ransom's Mix CD is worth the price alone as it includes rare and classic tracks!
I spent a long time waiting for this to be published especially it was virtually impossible to find this in Australia. Such a fantastic photo documentary of hip-hop luminaries. Pictures tell a thousand words and photos are events captured in time, and this is an excellent example.
I recently purchased this book about a month ago, and I was very pleased with the quality of the photographs this book had. I was also surprised that some of the producers featured in the book had a lot smaller set ups than I imagined. So, it's actually good for the up and comers, that are on a budget to see that, just because you don't have million dollar equipment, doesn't mean you can't make million dollar records.
I saw this book at Urban Outfitters but it was like $30. I loved the images and since I'm a bedroom producer, I loved the content. I hopped onto Amazon later and found it for almost half that price! The only downside is that it doesn't go in-depth enough about each producer's studios. I would've liked to learn more about their gear and environment.