Octave Records Releases Its Latest in The Art of Hi-Fi Series With Volume 03: Percussion

Octave Records Releases Its Latest in The Art of Hi-Fi Series With <em>Volume 03: Percussion</em>

Written by Frank Doris

Octave Records has released The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 03: Percussion, created to test and showcase the ability of an audio system to reproduce the dynamic impact of percussion-based music in all of its power and depth. The album features a wide variety of music, instruments, and sounds, played by world-class musicians including composer Christian Teele, dueling drummers Michael Wooten and Billy Hoke, and more.

Paul McGowan, Octave Records CEO noted: “percussion is in many ways the most difficult type of instrument for an audio system to get right. The initial transients have to be cleanly reproduced, without smearing, and the electronics have to have enough headroom to deliver clean power without dynamic compression. Equally important, the ‘bloom’ and decay of instruments like bass drums and cymbals need to breathe and taper off naturally. The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 03: Percussion is designed to give your system a real workout – and showcase it to its fullest potential.”

Percussion instruments span the entire frequency range from deep bass to highs that go beyond the limits of human hearing, and Volume 03: Percussion captures instruments as varied as tympani to gongs with startling texture and presence. The album was recorded at Octave Records’ studio using the Pyramix-based Pure DSD 256 recording system. Volume 03: Percussion was recorded, mixed and produced by Paul McGowan, with Terri McGowan and Jessica Carson assisting in the recording and production duties, and mastered by Gus Skinas.

The Art of Hi-Fi Volume 03: Percussion encompasses a range of styles including Latin, world music, jazz, and much more. “Emergence” begins the album with a flourish, with Christian Teele striking an udu that rings on into space, before being joined by a Tibetan drum, shakers, chimes, talking drums, and other instruments. He reappears later in the album with “The Depth,” an aptly-named track with subterranean low-frequency drum strikes. Banda Guilha’s “Maracangalha” features guitar, vocals by Guilha Kroneberger, cowbell, and other instruments, in an upbeat toe-tapping track.

The Braxton Kahn Trio takes on the Thelonious Monk standard “Well You Needn’t” with a drum set intro that brings it right into the room, before being joined by acoustic bass and electric guitar. Two tracks, “Entre Tierra Y Mar” and “Selva,” feature instrumentalists Nico Owen, Daniel Lopez, Aaron Reedy, William Trask, and Mario Moreno playing a host of instruments in a pair of pure percussion workouts – see if you can name all the instruments!

“Drum Battle” is a centerpiece of Volume 03: Percussion, with Michael Wooten and Billy Hoke having a good-old-fashioned drum off. It’s easy to pick out each drummer occupying his own sonic space. Other highlights include Jessica Carson’s “Gongs” – they’re everywhere! – Alfredo Muro showcasing the acoustic guitar’s percussive as well as melodic capabilities on “Legen of Berimbau,” Mike Tetreault’s phalanx of tuned tympani in “Orchestra Tympani Shorts,” and an additional selection by Banda Guilha.

Volume 03: Percussion features Octave’s premium gold disc formulation, and the disc is playable on any SACD, CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player. It also has a high-resolution DSD layer that is accessible by using any SACD player or a PS Audio SACD transport. In addition, the master DSD and PCM files are available for purchase and download, including DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64, and DSDDirect Mastered 352.8 kHz/24-bit, 176.2 kHz/24-bit, 88.2 kHz/24-bit, and 44.1 kHz/24-bit PCM. (SRP: $19 – $39, depending on format.)

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