Chris Hanzsek and Tina Casale opened Reciprocal Recording in Seattle in 1984. It was originally located in an office suite next to a railroad switching yard in Seattle's Interbay neighborhood, and in 1985, the business moved to the "basement in Madrona" location. Later that year, Chris and Tina launched C/Z Records while both producing at Ironwood Studios Recording, and in March 1986 they released the "Deep Six" compilation.
In June 1986, Chris partnered with Jack Endino to reopen Reciprocal Recording at 4230 Leary Way N.W. in the Ballard neighborhood. The small triangular building had formerly been home to Triangle Studios, and before then had been the site of a small neighborhood grocery, called Triangle Foods.
Chris Hanzsek was the original studio owner, and Jack Endino and Rich Hinklin worked closely under Hanzsek, both often filling the role of house producer. The studio was commissioned by indie rock bands from all over the United States, some of which were associated with C/Z Records, Sub Pop, Amphetamine Reptile, Twin Tone, and other independent labels. The studio specialized in grunge music, and recorded bands such as Soundgarden, Mudhoney, TAD, and Green River.
The studio was also the site of the first Nirvana demo session on January 23, 1988. Jack Endino recorded ten new songs with the band, and afterwards sent a copy of the demo tape to Sub Pop. Nirvana re-entered the studio a few months later to record Bleach. Of the original demo session, 3 songs are on Bleach, five are included (one a repeat) on Incesticide, and two were released on "With the Lights Out". Only one track, a version of Spank Thru, remains unreleased.
Since Reciprocal closed in 1991, the Ballard building has housed a string of other recording studios. Rich Hinklin took over the building lease and managed a studio called Word of Mouth Production until mid-1993, while Chris Hanzsek opened Hanzsek Audio in another location in 1994. After Word of Mouth, the building was used from mid-1993 to late 2000 by John Goodmanson and Stu Hallerman for John and Stu's Place. Sleater Kinney recorded their seminal album Dig Me Out at John and Stu's in the winter of 1996–97. In 2000, Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie renamed the studio as Hall Of Justice Recording, and recorded both his own and other bands there until 2004. Afterward, Death Cab For Cutie used the building as their rehearsal space, and in 2008 the Fleet Foxes took over the lease, renamed it back to Reciprocal, and recorded part of their album Helplessness Blues there. In 2010, Walla once again took over the lease, renovated the building and studio, and re-opened Hall Of Justice in 2011, under which it operates today.
Recordings from Reciprocal
- Dry as a Bone - Green River
- Screaming Life - Soundgarden
- Touch Me I'm Sick - Mudhoney
- Superfuzz Bigmuff - Mudhoney
- Primal Rock Therapy - Blood Circus
- Hallowed Ground - Skin Yard
- God's Balls - Tad
- Buzz Factory - Screaming Trees
- Bleach - Nirvana
- Journey to the Center Of - Cat Butt
- Mudhoney - Mudhoney
- Fist Sized Chunks - Skin Yard
- The Winding Sheet - Mark Lanegan
- Inside Yours - Gruntruck
- 1000 Smiling Knuckles - Skin Yard
- "Live Nirvana | Sessions History | Studio Sessions | January 23, 1988 - Reciprocal Recording, Seattle, WA, US". LiveNIRVANA Sessions History. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
- Walla., Design by Sarah Wilkes (websilks.com). Content by Christopher. "History – Hall of Justice Recording Studio". hallofjusticerecording.com. Retrieved 2018-03-19.