With the EMF building in flux, SUM Studios looks to fill a void


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With the EMF Building in flux, SUM Studios looks to fill a void

Earlier this month the tenants of the EMF rehearsal building complex in Cambridge received some damning news — they all needed to be out by April 30.

The EMF building, located at 120 Brookline St. in Central Square, was purchased in 2016 by corporate real estate company Ledgemoor LLC, who after two years of appraisals determined that the entire structure needed a massive overhaul. EMF was a longtime host of a mix of small businesses, rehearsal and artist spaces, and recording studios, and among the 60 rooms in the maze-like structure were the Sound Museum, New Alliance Audio Productions, and WEMF Radio.

While the future use of the facility is uncertain, one thing is clear: All of bands, artists, and musicians who utilized EMF are now looking for a new home.

Bob Logan, the former manager of the EMF building, is offering a solution. Logan, also known for his work in alt-rock band Vic Firecracker, is the director of the newly-minted SUM Studios, a music and arts space that is opening a new multi-faceted facility in Malden on May 1, the day after EMF closes for its needed repairs and upgrades.

“The word ‘collective’ definitely comes to mind,” says Logan when asked about SUM. He doesn’t want to give too much information away, but admits his original plan to open SUM later in 2018 was suddenly fast-tracked by EMF’s sudden closing. “We want to have a lot of cross-polination. When people go to make music, people cross-polinate and collaborate. But people might also want to hide out and work on a song. We want members to feel comfortable. I’m excited about the building.”

Logan says the new Malden space, which is “on the bike path” and “close” to the city’s center, is going to start modestly, a result of the accelerated time-line. But he feels new tenants, especially those coming over from EMF, which Logan has extended moving and storage options, will appreciate what’s in store.

And that includes a rehearsal space, but also a spot for live music, recording, and art.

Among the amenities at the 50,000-square-foot SUM are professionally designed studios, mechanically decoupled walls, acoustic treatments, event rooms, artist studios, and equipment rentals and sales capabilities. There’s parking, a single-floor layout, and the building is solar powered and equipped with wifi. The Malden location is just the first in a network of spaces planned for multiple states around New England.

And when Logan speaks of the collective, he’s referring to the team behind SUM, which are deep rooted in the city’s music scene and have backgrounds in everything from recording and performance to design, photography, consultation, and promotion. The team includes Logan’s longtime bandmate Ned Gallacher, as well as Deb Grant, Jared Marsh, Matt Tieuli, Sam Palazzo, Lauren Palazzo, and Elliot Page.

“We’ve got a great team, awesome support, and will be located 15 minutes from where you’re reading this,” Logan says in a press release that just hit. “We envision a collective of music, audio, video, and visual artists who have the opportunity to cross-pollinate in a cool space with ample amenities.”

For more on SUM, click here Featured image courtesy of SUM.