By Christina Roden

The role of the producer has become utterly crucial to modern music-making, for better or worse. Music and technology are now completely intertwined, and what goes on in the studio can make or break a performer's career. Some of the world’s greatest talents have periodically had their work distorted by lackluster production or crushed beneath layers of electronic detritus, due to the misguided efforts of overzealous technicians.

However, an empathetic and skilled producer can encourage fresh personal insights, inspire heated experimentation, and grant renewed courage. Many of the best are musicians themselves and are thus able to be full-fledged collaborators in the creative process.

This ongoing series of interviews with important producers on the world music scene will attempt to assess their impact on the music we hear and how we hear it. - CR

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