Octave Records Announces Audiophile Masters, Volume IV

Octave Records Announces <em>Audiophile Masters, Volume IV</em>

Written by Frank Doris

PS Audio’s Octave Records will expand its catalog of reference-quality sampler discs with the upcoming release of Audiophile Masters, Volume IV on Thursday, February 17, 2022. The new disc offers a varied range of musical styles, and features favorite Octave Records artists like country-folk duo Bonnie and Taylor Sims, percussionist Michelle Pietrafitta, pianist Deborah Schmit-Lobis, the Briana Harris Quintet, and others. The tracks were recorded in pure DSD using Octave Records’ Sonoma DSD recording system at Animal Lane Studios in Lyons, Colorado. Paul McGowan, PS Audio CEO, noted, “Audiophile Masters, Volume IV showcases our artists in musical and sonic settings where their talents can be heard at their absolute best. The clarity, natural vocal and instrumental timbres, superb resolution, and the way the pure DSD format captures the intimacy and depth of the recordings also makes Audiophile Masters, Volume IV an ideal reference disc for audio system setup and evaluation.”
Michelle Pietrafitta. Michelle Pietrafitta.

Audiophile Masters Volume IV (SRP: $29) is playable on any SACD, CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player. It also has a high-resolution DSD layer that is accessible only using a PS Audio SACD transport, or by copying the DSD tracks on the included DVD data discs. In addition, the master DSD and PCM files are available for purchase and download from psaudio.com at this link. Audiophile Masters Vol. IV was recorded, mixed and produced by Steven Vidaic, and mastered by Gus Skinas. Octave Records’ Jessica Carson was the executive producer.

“Midwinter” by the Briana Harris Quintet kicks off the album with a blast of straight-ahead jazz that exudes classic cool and a lush ensemble sound. Fans of acoustic-based folk, country and Americana will find much to enjoy in Taylor Sims and Kyle Donovan’s acoustic guitar duo “Coming Home,” the dazzling guitar and mandolin flatpicking of Eric Wiggs on “Lickskillet” (with Dylan McCarthy on mandolin and Bradley Morse on upright bass), Tyler Thompson’s earthy “Stone Tree,” and Bonnie and Taylor Sims’ “Caught Between” with its propulsive bluegrass feel and plaintive vocal harmonies.

Eric Wiggs.
Eric Wiggs.

The Magee String Quartet offers a nuanced and impassioned performance of Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor in an intimate acoustic environment. Other highlights include Michelle Pietrafitta’s drum solo, “Thunder,” guitarist Bill Kopper’s bossa nova-flavored jazz track, “Santa Amaro,” the solo piano of Deborah Schmit-Lobis’ “Wapiti,” and Alicia Jo Straka’s “Au Printemps,” a beautifully-sung piece with accordion and piano that is evocative of a tranquil stroll down the streets of Paris.


Alicia Jo Straka. Alicia Jo Straka.
The track listing for Audiophile Masters Volume IV is as follows:
  1. “Midwinter” – Briana Harris Quintet
  2. “Stone Tree” – Tyler Thompson
  3. “Wapiti” – Deborah Schmit-Lobis
  4. “Thunder” – Michelle Pietrafitta
  5. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor (Smetana) – Magee String Quartet
  6. “Caught Between” – Bonnie and Taylor Sims
  7. “Lickskillet” – Eric Wiggs
  8. “Santa Amaro” – Bill Kopper
  9. “Au Printemps” – Alicia Jo Straka
  10. “Coming Home” – Taylor Sims and Kyle Donovan
Bill Kopper. Bill Kopper.
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