2009 has been busy so far with lots of exciting projects – a quick update to let you know what we have been up to..

South by Southwest. March 2009.

- SXSW was a great experience this year! The Temper Trap and Danish singer songwriter Tina Dico were both great performances! The Aussie BBQ with Red Riders, The Grates and The Fumes was brilliant and the Atlantic Party with Janelle Monae & Little Boots was good fun too.

It was great to see our good friends My Dear Disco making their first SXSW appearance. MDD are a fantastic 7 piece band from Ann Arbor Michigan whose style and influences span from Michael Jackson to Tom Waits via Justice. We worked on three of the tracks from their Debut album ‘Dancethink’ in 2008. A completely independent outfit, these guys are a shining beacon of light at the forefront of the new music industry.

- The peer to peer business panel with Walter McDonough was very insightful and thought provoking. 5 distinguished executives from various parts of the industry discussed the future of the music industry in relation to file sharing from the right to anonymity on the net through to the proposal of an ISP monthly fee as a solution to the deficit that declining physical CD sales has created. Grammy winning engineer Marc Urselli posted a thorough analysis of what was discussed here.

– There were so many great things to see that we skipped the Kanye West party sponsored by Autotune, and didn’t get a chance to see Metallica perform at their ‘not so secret’ show, however we did sit next to them while having dinner at Roys restaurant & watched a table of music execs turn into excited little schoolboys at being in the mere presence of such rock gods. You always end up bumping into colleagues & acquaintances at SXSW but the flight home was extra synchronistic. Two rows in front of us was Tim Palmer who mixed The Sounds album and next to us was Dot Bustelo who we worked on a 5.1 project with for Apple a couple of years back involving The Shiny Toy Guns.

A-Ha! – 4 tracks from new album produced at BEAT360

Late last year Mark worked on A-Ha’s eagerly anticipated next record ‘ Foot of the mountain’ at both Water Music studios in Hoboken, Jersey as well as our own BEAT360 facility in Manhattan. This last week it has been confirmed that Mark is credited producer on four of the album tracks. ‘Riding the crest’ ‘Real Meaning’ ‘What there is’ and ‘Sunny Mystery’ The record is to be released sometime in June and the guys play a number of arena tours throughout Europe later in the year.

The Sounds – new Album ‘Crossing the Rubicon’

The Sounds new album ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ is being released June 2nd with three tracks engineered & produced here at Beat360. The Sounds are currently on tour with No Doubt and we reckon this could be the album that blows it wide open for these guys. The record is brilliant from start to finish and if the response to the new material at their album release party was anything to go by, this is going to be huge! A truly great band and thoroughly nice people.Click here to get the new single off Itunes. The Sounds

Boy Crisis – debut album co-produced by Mark Saunders

We recently finished working with Brooklyn band Boy Crisis on their debut album. They are signed to B-Unique (home of Kaiser chiefs) in the UK, and managed by Todd Interland (Lilly Allen/ James Blunt).They filmed their debut music video for the first single ‘Dressed to Digress’ at the end of April and are currently in the UK touring and finishing mixing the record in London with Spike Stent & Lexxx.

Velvet Code – debut album produced at BEAT360

Velvet Code an independent act that Beat360 have been developing over the last year & whose debut album was co-produced by Mark & Ollie are making some great strides forwards. Initially they got in touch through RE•EQ Mixing & Mastering, which is branch of BEAT360 that provides affordable mixing/mastering solutions for independent artists, producers & labels.

They executed a management agreement with Damn Management (MSI) and went out on their first North American tour as a support act for MSI in March.Judging by the number of fan comments on their website & the video footage from some of the 17-date tour it was a huge success. To top it off, on their return to New York, ‘Say You Love me’ was featured on Season 5 episode 2 of the MTV’s The Hills. Result!

Sandi Thom – Fiercely independent UK artist Sandi Thom, who was number 1 in numerous countries back in 2006 came to visit us at the start of May to do some co-writing with Mark after we met her at the BMI brunch at SXSW. The work so far is sounding awesome!! A gorgeous voice and a genuine talent, we hope to have her back again soon.

Von Iva – in the studio

San Francisco based electro soul-punk group Von Iva are currently in the studio working with Mark on the pre-production of their next album.

That’s all for now, if you took the time to look us up thanks! – we appreciate your interest.