by Craig Fenemor
So you've spent heaps of dollars trying to get
your system to sound like there's a live band playing in your
lounge. Here's a $20 suggestion that may well make more difference
than most anything else you've done. Mapleshade is a little
outfit in the states that produces very purist recordings
and this sampler disc lets you see the results. Purist in
this case means live to two track on analog tape (at 15ips
most of the time), no add-on EQ, reverb, overdubbing, compression
etc, etc, etc.
I'm picking you'll get a hang of a surprise
with the purity of the sound, the sheer impact of uncompressed
horns, drums and voices, and the live feeling that you can
only get by having the musicians in the same room at the some
time. From the 32 voice acapella gospel of The ARC Choir to
the simple but powerful guitar and vocals of Ben Andrews there's
some very good music presented exquisitely. The opening track
mixes trumpets, saxes, a trombone and a tuba along with congas,
bongos, and a lot more percussion to simply blow the roof
off the place.
What all this adds up to is a realisation that
to a very large extent we're at the mercy of the recordings.
This album will give you a good idea of what all the nasties
in the recording chain are as they're so obvious by their
absence. Go on and admit it, now and then you just want something
to stretch your hi-fi system. This disc will do that for you.