This man had his funky fingers in many productions that have stood the test of time: From the Beastie Boys to Tone-Loc, Beck to Jack Johnson, producer and studio don Mario Caldato Jr. knows which sound to catch for his clients.
Born in Sao Paolo, raised in Los Angeles, Mario Caldato Jr. came of age musically in the 70s when, after seeing Duke Ellington in concert as a pre-teen, he joined at least three neighborhood bands during high school, purchased a tape deck and recorded his friend Mark Nishita (a.k.a. Money Mark)’s band while at college, and built his first home studio. All this self-schooled wisdom would eventually lead to regular engineering gigs for seminal West Coast hip-hop outpost Delicious Vinyl, bustin’ moves with production svengalis the Dust Brothers on smash LPs for Tone-Loc and Young MC.
But it was after recording the Beastie Boys’ Dust Brothers-produced sophomore opus, Paul’s Boutique, the album which uses probably the most samples in recording history, that Mario would reach the proverbial next level. Lending his inventive production hand to subsequent BB classics like Check Your Head and Ill Communication, Caldato helped craft a sweet sticky fusion of live band spontaneity and sampled hardcore high jinks that perfectly captured the creative freedom of those LA times.
He’s since applied his expertise to about as diverse a clientele – Beck, John Lee Hooker, Los Lobos, Björk, Ozomatli, Jack Johnson – as is imaginable.
Not surprisingly this also includes a gang of artists – Seu Jorge, Bebel Gilberto, Planet Hemp et al. – from Brasil, the place where he now once again dwells. Check out a lecture by Mario for Red Bull Music Academy here and listen to his set for Catalunya Calling at Red Bull Music Academy Radio: