PS Audio’s Octave Records has two new releases: Audiophile Masters, Volume II, the follow-up disc to the label’s Audiophile Masters, Volume I, and a limited-edition vinyl LP release of Temporary Circumstances by pop-rock band Clandestine Amigo. Both releases are recorded in Pure DSD to deliver exceptional musical realism and fidelity.
Audiophile Masters, Volume II is available as a stereo SACD and download bundle and features 10 all-new tracks, ranging from a string quartet by composer Michael McLean to the soulful funk of saxophonist Briana Harris, the acoustic guitar duo of Taylor Sims and Kyle Donovan, and even an audiophile solo accordion performance.
The selections were recorded in pure DSD using Octave Records’ Sonoma DSD recording system at Animal Lane Studios in Lyons, Colorado, and the First United Methodist Church in Boulder, CO, to capture the varied performances, vocal and instrumental sounds, and the sound spaces of the recording venues with the intent of offering the best-possible fidelity and musical realism.
Paul McGowan, PS Audio CEO notes, “As with all Octave Records releases, our goal in releasing Audiophile Masters Volume II is to provide listeners with state-of-the-art audio quality, especially in a sampler disc like this one that shows the full range of what we can do – but more importantly, we want the sound to communicate every nuance of our artists’ musical expressiveness.”
Audiophile Masters Volume II is playable on any 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 download from psaudio.com at this link.
The album showcases an eclectic variety of musical styles and sounds. To name just a few: Michael McLean’s “Tango” is a string quartet piece that combines the ensemble’s lively playing with the warm acoustics of Boulder’s United Methodist Church, with every instrument clearly defined yet with a smooth ensemble blend. “Amethyst” by Briana Harris captures the power and groove of her quintet, a sound that hearkens back to the classic jazz of the 1950s and 1960s. “Me and My Baby,” an acoustic guitar duet by Taylor Sims and Kyle Donovan, conveys the harmonic richness, depth and sparkle of their instruments with stunning presence and clarity.
And…an audiophile reference track featuring accordion? Check out Alicia Jo Straka’s “Musette au Paris,” where the instrument is recorded with depth, complexity and ambience.
Clandestine Amigo’s Temporary Circumstances features singer/songwriter/pianist Jessica Carson’s reflective songs about lost love and resilience, and combines state of the art sound with inviting and compelling music. The vinyl LP release is available in a limited, numbered edition of 500 copies.
The discs are pressed on 180-gram virgin vinyl using world-class pressing equipment, using the highest-quality Neotech vinyl compound, NiPro Optics electroplating, GrooveCoated stampers from Gotta Groove Records, state-of-the-art temperature control during the manufacturing process, and other refinements. Each record is scrupulously hand-inspected to ensure the ultimate in pressing quality. The album is also available as a hybrid SACD disc with a master DSD layer and a CD layer, and as a download bundle including DSD64, 192kHz/24-bit, 96kHz/24-bit and 44.1kHz/24-bit PCM formats.
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’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 vocal performances.