Back in January 2020 (that’s BC – before Covid) I discovered the Hungarian band Djabe and was hugely excited to learn that they were (a) working with ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, and (b) releasing albums on tape (if you missed that blog, it’s here: Discovering Djabe). Since then I’ve become a confirmed fan so here … More Djabe & Steve Hackett: The Journey Continues Tour on tape
Of the five tapes I recently bought from Analogue Productions (see A ramble around the tape catalogue of Analogue Productions), I figured the best place to start review-wise would be Hugh Masekela’s Hope, since I already had the phenomenal Analogue Productions 45rpm vinyl version as a basis for comparison. So, before we get going, let’s … More Hugh Masekela’s ‘Hope’ from Analogue Productions: how much better can it sound on tape than the already superb vinyl?
Many of you, whether you’re a tape head or a general audiophile, will already be familiar with Analogue Productions. Formed in 1992 by Chad Kassem, Analogue Productions is the record label division of Acoustic Sounds, the mail-order hifi and music retail business Kassem founded in 1986. It has since become one of the industry’s major … More A ramble around the tape catalogue of Analogue Productions
If you read Ken Kessler’s ‘Off the leash’ column in the May issue of Hi-Fi News, you’ll know that he recently added another 200 open-reel tapes to his collection, along with a dozen used LPs. Sorting through his haul to separate the gems from the dross, the near-pristine from the unplayable, he noticed something interesting … More “Through the past, darkly”: Ken Kessler ponders the condition of pre-owned tapes and what it can tell us about their history
It’s always a treat to discover a new (to me) recording label that’s issuing music on open reel tape, so I was pleased to hear from Mikhail Mamonov, the founder of Smart Audio Recording Lab. Based in Kirov city, Russia, Smart Audio is a custom-designed recording studio that also operates as a tape label, releasing its … More Another tape label to add to the listings: Smart Audio Recording Lab
In part 1 of of this piece I introduced and reviewed The George Fludas Organ Quartet on copy master tape from Chicago-based International Phonograph Inc. Here, we venture behind the scenes at IPI to discover more about how the tape was made. I’m grateful to IPI’s Jonathan Horwich for sending me some notes and photographs … More The George Fludas Organ Quartet from International Phonograph: behind the scenes (part 2 of 2)
According to jazz critic John Corbett, “George Fludas is one of the greatest drummers ever to come out of Chicago, an impeccable swinger with imagination, class, moxie, and a clear sense of the full span of jazz tradition.” So, while there are several titles in International Phonograph Inc’s (IPI) collection that I’d been coveting, this … More “One of the greatest drummers to come out of Chicago”: The George Fludas Organ Quartet from International Phonograph (part 1 of 2)
Alena Baeva is fast emerging as one of the finest violinists of her generation. A protégée of the late, great Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, and of multi-award wininng Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa, she’s been described as a ‘magnetic presence’ and a ‘constantly fascinating sound technician’. I’ve been hooked ever since I first saw … More Discovering Alena Baeva with UltraAnalogue Recordings: part 3 – Schumann’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op 121
I’m delighted to report that I recently heard from Volker Lange, one of the reel-to-reel revival’s earlier pioneers. Volker was the main man behind the Austrian tape label Horch House, which he set up in 2014. Right from the start, Volker had some rather impressive successes in negotiating with the big labels to acquire the … More A warm welcome back to…. Horch House!
The audiophile recording label Yarlung Records is all about helping young musicians. Once such musician – Yuko Mabuchi – has just released another album for jazz aficionados; this time, as a homage to Miles Davis. Yarlung offer their recordings in a variety of formats, including superb quality copy-master tapes. The album ‘Yuko Mabuchi plays Miles … More Neville Roberts reviews ‘Yuko Mabuchi plays Miles Davis’ from Yarlung Records