Audiophile: Digital, December 2023

hfnalbum.pngJ. Geils Band
Nightmares ...And Other Tales From The Vinyl Jungle
Quadio/Atlantic BA2-18107 (Blu-ray audio)

While not the first multichannel disc to contain true quadraphonic mixes, this release is one of a debut quartet of titles from Atlantic's new Quadio label restoring the original four-channel (4.0) array. Unlike remastering into 5.1, they're truer to the intended surround sound experience. There was so much centre fill that I had to put my ear to the middle speaker to make sure I'd set up my processor correctly. Aside from whether or not to use bass management, playback is automatic through any multichannel system. As for the music, hey, this is the criminally neglected J. Geils Band, R&B of the finest sort. Even sans subwoofer, it's massive and room-filling. The effects in the title track will simple dazzle you. KK


Trondheim SO Baroque Ensemble
The Trondheim Concertos
2L 2L-172-SABD (Blu-ray + SACD)

If J. Geils, below, inspired you to sample surround but you prefer the unplugged, this recording in a church of a nine-piece ensemble offers such a remarkable sense of space that you'll be rendered agoraphobic. As is 2L practice, the SACD offers stereo and 5.1 DSD and PCM MQA CD, while the Blu-ray provides seven options up to 7.1.4 Auro-3D at 96kHz. And the music? The Trondheim Concertos refer to 18th/19th century manuscripts preserved in the city, spirited and lush-sounding performances of compositions from Johan Henrich Berlin and Joseph Meck, the anonymous 'Sigr Opfermand' Violin Concerto, and Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in A. KK


The Fraternal Order Of The All
Greetings From Planet Love
Esoteric Recordings ECLEC2758

Andrew Gold – yes, the late singer-songwriter who gave us the Golden Girls theme 'Thank You For Being A Friend' – paid homage to the greats of the 1960s with this project from 1997, and it's an absolute knock-out. If you're old enough to remember that decade, you will be dazzled by note-perfect pastiches of The Doors, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Byrds and others. Further authenticity is added by the presence of Graham Gouldman, who was there writing for the likes of The Hollies and The Yardbirds. Gold's ear for nuance is peerless so this will delight those who dread the inevitable onslaught of musical fakes via AI. KK


Various Artists
Audiophile Masters Volume VII/VIII
Octave Records OCT0037/OCT0038 (downloads to DSD256 res.)

Wasting no time, Octave has released two more SACDs recorded in pure DSD in this series, perfect as samplers for the label and a wise way of try-before-you-buy assessment of its roster. Volume VII's ten tracks include Thom LaFond's adventure into seeing music as colours in 'Synthesia', Bonnie Sims' country tune 'Lorena', and more. Volume VIII provides classical and modern tracks: The Magee String Quartet, Alicia Straka's accordion composition 'Musette Souer', Russian soprano Ekaterina Kotcherguina with 'Three Early Songs' and others. Ideal for assessing depth and soundstage, these are fine adjuncts to Octave's 'how to' Art Of Hi-Fi discs. KK