Ryan Bray, for Consequence of Sound:
Boston in the mid-to-late ’80s was a fertile, if underrated, hotbed of musical talent. The city boasted scores of bands that were poised for big things just a few years around the bend, among them the Pixies, The Lemonheads, Buffalo Tom, Juliana Hatfield, Morphine, Belly, and Throwing Muses. The talent was flowing over the proverbial brim, but it needed a hub, an outlet through which the various sounds coursing through the city’s veins could be heard.
Fort Apache Studios filled that void. When Sean Slade, Jim Fitting, Paul Kolderie, and Joe Harvard officially opened Fort Apache in the spring of 1986, it was a no-frills operation run out of an industrial space in Roxbury — hardly the stuff of legends. But what started as an effort to document the local scene quickly grew into an enterprise that would produce some of the biggest guitar rock records and acts of the ’90s. The Fort Apache story is one steeped in the DIY ethos that defined the American rock underground and helped pave the way for grunge and alternative to explode into the mainstream. More than the story of a studio, this is the story of a largely unsung underground movement that helped define a musical era.
It's a lengthy 'oral history' style article, well worth your time with quotes from Fort Apache staff and musicians such as Lou Barlow, Kim Deal and Bill Janovitz.