Octave Records’ New Album, Temporary Circumstances

Octave Records’ New Album, Temporary Circumstances

Written by Frank Doris

Octave Records has just released its second album, Temporary Circumstances by singer/songwriter/pianist Jessica Carson and the band Clandestine Amigo. Featuring Jessica’s reflective songs about lost love, resilience and even defiance against the idea of being defined by one’s mistakes, Temporary Circumstances is recorded in pure high-resolution Direct Stream Digital (DSD) using the Sonoma multi-track recording system. It’s mastered by Octave Records’ Gus Skinas using Octave Records’ DSDDirect Mastering process, where the mastering occurs at the same time as the mixing, thereby eliminating a generation.

Temporary Circumstances is available in a limited-edition release of 1,300 gold-pressed hybrid SACD discs with the master DSD layer and a CD layer, as well as on a 2-disc 45 RPM virgin vinyl edition limited to 500 copies. In addition, the album is available as a download bundle including DSD64, DSDDirect Mastered 192kHz/24-bit, 96kHz/24-bit and 44.1kHz/16-bit PCM.

The musicians include songwriter Jessica Carson (vocals and piano), Michael Wooten (drums), Giselle Collazo (vocals), Chris Brunhaver (bass) and Kyle Donovan (guitar, vocals). The album was produced by Jessica and Giselle.

The foundation of the album began with Jessica recording her piano parts on a Yamaha 7-1/2-foot concert grand piano at Animal Lane Studios in Lyons, Colorado. Next, the vocals and other instruments were tracked at Octave Records’ recording facility at PS Audio. These included Chris Brunhaver’s upright bass, viola and violin played by Miguel Ramos, and “The Burroughs” horn section featuring Alec Bell (trumpet), Scott Flynn (trombone), Hayden Farr (baritone saxophone) and Briana Harris (trumpet, horn arrangement).

Jessica Carson.

Jessica’s lead vocals and Giselle’s harmony vocals were recorded simultaneously using a single Tim de Paravicini-modified AKG C24 stereo mic and a Bock Audio 507 mic. A few vocal overdubs were added later but what you mostly hear are live, unedited, honest vocal performances.

Everything was recorded and mixed and ready to go – then Paul McGowan heard it and asked if a full band could be added to a few of the songs. Clandestine Amigo went back into the studio to add electric bass, drums, and acoustic and electric guitars. The result: sparse but full-bodied arrangements that let the personality of each vocalist and player be heard with clarity.

Chris Brunhaver and Giselle Collazo.

Giselle noted, “the arrangements fit the songs, but without being distracting or having any overplaying. We kept going back to the question: ‘how does this serve the songs and get an emotional effect from the listener?’ You won’t hear any ‘multitrack congestion’ on this record!” The recording was done using a Sonoma digital audio workstation (DAW) in pure one-bit DSD. The C24, Bock 507, DPA 4006 and Sony C-100 microphones were fed into Forsell SMP-2 and Grace m108 mic preamps and an EMM Labs/Meitner ADC8 A/D converter, then to the Sonoma. Temporary Circumstances was mixed on a Studer 963 console. The album was monitored on ATC SCM50 and Infinity IRS V loudspeakers driven by PS Audio BHK Mono 300 power amplifiers. It was engineered by Gus Skinas, mixed by Gus Skinas, Giselle Collazo and Jessica Carson, and mastered by Gus Skinas.


Engineer Gus Skinas.

The goal of recording and producing Temporary Circumstances was to combine musically accurate, state of the art sound with inviting and compelling music. As Jessica Carson notes, “I know what the songs mean to me but I think they’ll mean something different to every listener.”

 Click here to order Temporary Circumstances by Clandestine Amigo.

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