You know that feeling when you discover a new musician, band, singer or orchestra… or, even better, a long-standing one that’s new to you but since they’re not actually new, there’s already a back-catalogue of treats to look forward to? Oh boy, is that a good feeling!
Here’s what makes it even better: when the recordings in question are on reel-to-reel tape. The ultimate double whammy – brilliant musicians, superlatively captured.
So allow me to introduce you to Italian cellist Enrico Dindo and his chamber orchestra, I Solisti di Pavia. But before we get down to proper introductions, let me just say that this is the second time that the Italian music label Open Reel Records has introduced me to a significant musical talent of which I was previously unaware. Consider my hat tipped and cap doffed in true gratitude.
Do you live, breathe, eat, sleep and dream music and sound? Then, dear reader, I’m delighted to report that I’ve discovered something that can help: The Audiophile’s Clinic. Don’t worry, this isn’t a rehab clinic. Nobody’s going to try to cure you of your addiction. On the contrary, the aim of The Audiophile’s Clinic is to help ensure that you can indulge freely in your obsession (sorry, hobby), delve yet further into your passion for music and feed your need for audio nirvana unimpeded. To put it another way, The Audiophile’s Clinic is here to ensure your musical wellbeing. Continue reading Got an audio ailment? Need some hi-fi healing or reel-to-reel rehab? Allow me to introduce you to The Audiophile’s Clinic→
In my previous ramble I introduced you to Mike Valentine. Then again, chances are you knew of him already. To some, he’s a renowned underwater film cameraman credited on an enviable list of A-list movies. To others, he’s the owner of the excellent UK audiophile record label, Chasing the Dragon, with quite a reputation for his stunning quality direct-cut vinyl albums. To me, however, he will always be the man who is to blame. Or, to put it another way, the man to whom I shall be eternally grateful. For what? For my near-religious conversion to open reel tape and the enormous amount of listening pleasure I’ve enjoyed since. Can I tell you the story? Go on, indulge me….
Don’t let the name of Dutch high-end recording label STS Digital confuse you. Yes, they’re called ‘Digital’ but even so, they produce vinyl records and reel-to-reel tapes as well as CDs.
While we’re in clarification mode, let’s start with a brief explanation of the name of this particular album, which is also a tad unusual. The Analog Forum is a real event, an annual get-together of the Analogue Audio Association (AAA) held in Krefeld, north-west Germany. (And yes, it’s ‘Analogue Association’ but ‘Analog Forum’, apparently).
I hadn’t had the pleasure of hearing a full album from Erica Opizzi before sitting down to review this recording on 15-ips two-track reel-to-reel tape. But since hearing a couple of her sample tracks on an anthology some months back, I was keen to discover more.
As an audiophile, your love of music is almost matched by your passion for great sound and so sometimes you come across a recording that leaves you cold musically, but involves such hi-fidelity recording wizardry and a sound so divine, you just have to have it. More often, you discover a piece of music that lights up your soul but on a technical level the recording’s a tad lacking. It’s pretty rare to lay your hands on something that scores a full ten out of ten on both counts but when you do, you get a bit excited. I did and I am.