Brooklyn's South Sound Studio Completely Destroyed By Sandy
Hurricane Sandy has completely destroyed Brooklyn recording studio The South Sound.
Located at the mouth of the Gowanus Canal, the 7000 square foot music and arts building
which records bands like Beach Fossils, The Melvins, and Wild Arrows stood no
chance against the flood waters that rushed in Monday night. The four co-owners -- John
Lamacchia, Mike Law, Andrew Schneider and Jeremy Scott -- estimate the damage
totals over a half a million dollars and over 50 people's creative spaces are gone.
At the site itself the destruction is absolute. Apple computers and irreplaceable vintage recording equipment lay piled like refuse. Walls are caved in; soundboards gutted; practice rooms reduced to debris. A security door bent in half like a piece of foil. A foul chemical mildew smell permeates -- the Gowanus Canal, known colloquially as Lavender Lake, is a heavily polluted waterway, declared a hazardous Superfund site by the EPA. If you run your finger along any surface in the studio it picks up dark silt. There are watermarks on the walls indicating that the flood was over six feet high. And of course there is still no power so a gloomy daytime darkness hangs over everything.
The South Sound is a collective space comprised of two recording studios, Translator Audio and The Civil Defense, and 13 practice spaces. The co-owners sit outside smoking cigarettes, venturing inside with flashlights sporadically because of the fumes. They are surprisingly upbeat, a mix of total shock and stubborn resilience. Their ordeal began Monday morning as they tried to secure the doors with over 210 sandbags, which now lay in heaps around the lot, many of them split open at the seams.
At around 5:30 that night they were forced to flee in cinematic fashion. They were up on the roof trying to sandbag a tarp when they saw water start to rise out of the canal. "Mike ran through the building yelling 'everyone has to be out right now," says Schneider. "We got in a van and drove away as the water was coming towards us."
"The parking lot was a body of water," Lamacchia adds, "It was like a movie."