180g Audiophile Double LP! Pressed at Optimal Records!
In creating this double album, producer Mike Valentine wanted to explore the sound differences between direct cut vinyl and a multi track analogue tape recording and mix down, of exactly the same event. Because the album had to be recorded live, he had to first choose a selection of music which would be of the perfect length. Next came the musicians and Valentine felt so lucky to have to opportunity in working with the UK's leading big band, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra.
Finally, he had to find a recording studio which not only had a superb sounding space, it also had to have an engineer versed in the black art of cutting live vinyl. Well, what did their adventure reveal? Please judge for yourself, for Valentine hopes that you have as much fun in listening, as they had in creating these discs.
"Listening to the feed going to the cutting head, and then listening to it coming back through the SME arm and cartridge used to track the recording lacquer, the sound quality just got better. If you can tell me why, I don't know! It must be something to do with a sort of distortion that the human being seems to love. It just sounds warmer, nicer, more real." - Mike Valentine, producer Read more!
"Both discs sound extraordinarily vibrant, alive, and real, and if the comparison between tape and D2D wasn't so instantly available you would be more than happy with the tape based version that was cut from 24 track, two-inch tape mixed down to half inch tape at 30 IPS. But putting on the D2D reveals just how incredibly natural, warm and effortless vinyl can sound at its best. This pressing has a depth and richness of tone that's irresistible, and even seems to 'time' better than its tape-mastered counterpart. Given big bands were all about precise timing, that's saying a lot!" - Hi-Fi+ Magazine Read more!
"This album of tunes by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw comes as close to being on the other side of the studio glass as I've heard from a recording in some time." - Michael Fremer, Stereophile Magazine Read more!
"The audiophile world involves a staggering amount of minutia. Everything leads, however, to an emotional payoff, as you're constantly reminded while rubbing shoulders with people devoted to good sound. So while, if you study the literature on, say, speaker placement or multichannel audio, you might expect everyone who cares about such matters to walk around with a pencil protector in his shirt pocket, instead you're much more likely to encounter someone whose passion for audio can hardly be contained and who has a lively sense of humor. Those points were underscored when I began correspoding with Mike Valentine, the owner of the UK audiophile label Chasing the Dragon...He isn't afraid to say something controversial (certainly his statement, "The sound quality here...is better than sex!" could spark a heated debate), and because he's filmed underwater sequences for over 90 films, including five James Bond movies, you quicky understand that he knows how to pursue lofty professional goals and have fun." - Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound Read more!
LP 1: Direct Cut to Vinyl
LP 2: Same session via 24-track mixdown to 1/2" tape @ 30ips
Pressed at Optimal Records
LP 1 & 2:
1. Sing Sing Sing
2. Moonlight Serenade
3. Begin the Beguine
4. American Patrol
1. In the Mood
2. String of Pearls
3. Little Brown Jug
4. Anvil Chorus