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Orlando music studio problems plagued Eminem, other artists, lawsuit says

Article originally sourced from Orlando Sentinel

"Central Florida’s most storied music studio, KDS Music, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, citing complaints about mold and lack of air conditioning in a dispute with its landlord in South Orlando.

The studio says deteriorating conditions over the past year forced artists like Eminem to buy a supplemental AC unit to finish some work there. KDS also says in a lawsuit that a sound board used to record Madonna’s 1984 hit “Like a Virgin” — “a piece of music history” — was destroyed by mold and mildew.

KDS said it had to reroute some customers to other locations — such as producer and engineer Trace Thomas of MasterLab, and studio segments for La Voz Kids, a Spanish-language talent show on Telemundo — which represented $250,000 in lost business.

The studio, 7566 Southland Blvd, Suite 107, is a successor to Trans Continental Studios, which became famous in the 1990s under late boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman. He died in 2016, in prison while serving a sentence for running a $300 million fraud.

The music studio he built in Orlando lists former clients, including the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Alicia Keys and Britney Spears, on its website.

The studio continued under different management and owners, changing its name to KDS — short for KidSational Inc.

“KDS will not be closing, we are in a dispute with the landlord and management company due to lack of maintenance and overpayment of rents,” said Andrew Hautzenroeder, studio manager, in an email about the bankruptcy.

The landlord, Surterre LLC of Miami, claims the studio owes $157,000 under terms of a 2007 lease, modified in 2009 for monthly rent around $7,300.

But KDS countersued the landlord for $500,000 and possible punitive damages, citing the failing air conditioning system, mold and mildew.

“Plaintiff’s actions have risen to level of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. Plaintiff is well aware of the condition of the HVAC system in the Premises and has willfully refused to conduct repairs. The leased Premises is located in Orlando, Florida, a locale in which air conditioning is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” an attorney for KDS wrote.

KDS calls itself “Central Florida's premiere recording facility,” with more than 250 million records sold and three fully equipped recording suites and a “world-class” recording suite.

Pearlman, a cousin to music legend Art Garfunkel, started connecting with celebrities around 1990 via his charter jet company Trans Continental Airlines.

Time magazine profiled him in 1999, calling his music empire “Big Poppa’s Bubble Gum Machine”: “Over the course of seven months in 1993, Pearlman found the five members of Backstreet Boys through a series of auditions, chance meetings and familial connections. All told, Pearlman pumped $1 million into the group and $2 million more into an entertainment-company infrastructure to support its members before they signed with Jive Records.”

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