Monday, July 14, 2008

Dead Can Dance ~ SACD Remasters Released

Ok they are out now, so what’s the consensus. Well, I don’t have a SACD player, so I can only comment on the CD portion of these discs. On that I must say the sound I very good indeed. The original CD’s sounded pretty good, but these are definitely a step up on those. Very full, detailed sound.

The question I have who remastered them? Now that may on the surface be a silly question as much has been made about the involvement of audiophile outfit Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL). But it seems to me that they only were involved in mastering the SACD layer of the disc. On the albums “Spleen and Ideal” and “Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun”, they booklets state the CD’ were remastered by John A. Rivers in 2007, who was the original engineer/producer on those recordings. Nothing is stated in the booklets for the other albums on who mastered the CD layers. Maybe it was MFSL, but its not clear. I emailed both 4AD and MFSL for an answer to that but haven’t received an answer.

As these have been only released in the mini-LP format, what’s the packaging like? On the whole very nice. The outer sleeves are manufactured in hard cardboard with the discs housed in protective plastic sleeves placed inside reproductions of the original inner sleeves. The booklets also reproduce the original LP labels and include credits and lyrics, though not complete. For some reason the lyrics to “Indoctrination (A Design For living)” from “Spleen and Ideal” and “Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book” from “Aion” are not reproduced.

No bonus tracks included, though “Bird” and “Spirit” are included in “Toward The Within” and it’s nice to have the EP “Garden of Arcane Delights” available separately so that you get the original artwork.

4AD have done a really excellent job in giving the Dead Can Dance back catalogue the quality re-release it truly deserves.
addendum 16th July 2008: Just had an email from MFSL. Apart from the two titles mastered by John Rivers they mastered the CD portion of all the other titles.


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