Audiophile: Digital, June 2023

hfnalbum.pngKim André Arnesen
Tuvay Hun – Beatitudes For A Wounded World
2L 2L-171-SABD (SACD + Blu-Ray; downloads to DXD resolution)

Like 'Scandi noir' thrillers, 2L's 'Nordic Sound' is a distinct genre. It embraces a number of styles, with a fresh sonic signature like a 21st century Mercury or RCA, and no, the analogy is not hyperbole: the sound is exceptional. What 2L also offers is a comparison 'buffet' as does Octave (see above), in this case a range of sampling rates, various stereo or 5.1 types, and much more thanks to the inclusion of an SACD and a Blu-Ray. This time the music has an environmental message expressed through forms ranging from liturgical chant to folk dance, ultra-quiet moments to orchestral segments. As the world's religions influenced the content, this is not easy to absorb, so pour a drink and read the thick booklet first. KK


Durham County Poets
Out Of The Woods
Durham County Poets DCP005 (downloads to 44.1kHz/FLAC/WAV)

Like fellow Canadians, The Band, Durham County Poets deliver Americana as expressed by its northern neighbours. Their fifth album is a classy mix of R&B, folk and gospel, with the feel of an uplifting post-Covid tonic, yet the vibe is so soulful in places, eg, 'Together In The Groove' with its Memphis Horns-like backing, that it could be a lost album from circa-1966 Stax. Then you get a reverential, more acoustic cover of Bob Dylan's 'Not Dark Yet' from Time Out Of Mind and you could be in Big Pink. This CD may be hard to find, but the download is offered in various formats with two bonus tracks, and you can preview it at KK


Jeremy Mohney
Dreams Of You
Octave OCT-0024 (SACD+DVD; downloads to 352.8kHz/DSD256)

Pure kismet: one minute I'm revelling in an Instagram of the late, lamented, underappreciated Leon Redbone, then I slip this into the player and hear his spiritual descendant. Saxophonist Mohney, backed by a quartet of guitar/banjo, upright bass, drums, and trombone, clearly venerates the hipper element of the swing era, leaning more toward Cab Calloway or Slim Gaillard than Big Band. This set of originals is so true to the '40s that you'd swear you know the tracks. The sound is sensational, this being an Octave release, while those who have abandoned physical media can download it from the website in 'hi-res' LPCM and DSD guise [HFN Oct '22]. KK


R.E.O. Speedwagon
Lost In A Dream/This Time We Mean It
Vocalion CDSML8575 (SACD stereo/quadraphonic)

No-one can say SACD stalwarts aren't enjoying variety. Vocalion continues to exhibit wide-ranging tastes like Mobile Fidelity, but as they focus mainly on the late-'60s and '70s, it means the welcomed return of long-neglected quadraphonic mixes. This pair from R.E.O. Speedwagon, their fourth and fifth from 1974/5, is still a case of the band on its ascent, before losing the full stops in their name, joining the stadium-filling power ballad genre, and earning a permanent place on those CD sets advertised on the selling channels alongside Boston, Kansas, Journey, Styx, etc. Though they had zero presence here, it's an ace buy if you love soft rock. KK