Audiophile: Digital, July 2023

hfnalbum.pngCarmen Sandim
Mini Brazilian Beasts
Octave 0026 (SACD + DVD Data Disc; downloads to 352.8kHz/DSD256)

Jazz-plus-world music has always been a favourite audiophile combination, this time with Brazilian pianist Carmen Sandim producing her first album to be recorded in 'Pure DSD' [HFN Oct '22]. With notable precedents in the genre such as the legendary Getz/Gilberto collaboration to inform you of the mood, this will be welcomed as well by listeners who judge piano reproduction to be as big a challenge as any. Here Sandim is accompanied by electric and acoustic guitar, bass and drums, the intimate sessions ideal for exploiting the myriad formats afforded by the two discs. There's added poignancy: this set also features a track with Blue Note Records' Ron Miles on trumpet in his final recording. KK


2L 2L-170-SABD (SACD and Blu-ray)

In contrast to the Album of the Month [below] and the challenge that presents with its main instrument – piano – this contains a cappella choral music to show how that genre is just as difficult to record. Most audiophiles will find them equally demanding, so it's your call as to the toughest. Yggdrasil, however, tests listeners because it's all Nordic chanting, begging to serve as the soundtrack to a Viking movie. The themes are mythological, as the title reveals, Yggdrasil being the 'world tree' in Norse folklore, as expressed by various composers. Like all 2L releases, the discs enable you to hear the album in a plethora of stereo and multichannel formats. KK


Mac Davis
Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me
Vocalion 2CDLK 4637 (two SACDs)

If I tell you that this genius singer-songwriter, who passed away in 2020, wrote 'In The Ghetto', 'Memories', 'Don't Cry Daddy' and 'A Little Less Conversation' for Elvis Presley, that should be all the impetus you need to grab this bargain double SACD. It contains five albums from 1972-77, in stereo on the CD layer, and stereo/four-channel on the SACD layer: Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me, Stop And Smell The Roses, All The Love In The World, Burnin' Thing and Thunder In The Afternoon. All standard fare for the genre and era, but the quality is top level, and – like Octave and 2L discs – ideal if you wish to compare stereo and surround sound. KK


Various Artists
Girls With Guitars Gonna Shake!
Ace CDTOP1608

Love it: a package to stymie those who claim The Go-Go's (and their misplaced apostrophe) – though the first to top the US album charts – were the first-ever girl group to play their own instruments and write songs, ad nauseam. Here we have 25 tracks by 15 UK and US '60s bands, from Blackpool to Milwaukee, the best-known being Goldie & The Gingerbreads, which will ring bells with fans of Ten Wheel Drive, plus The Liverbirds and others. Covers and originals; surprises include a wild take of The Animals' 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place' by The Debutantes and The Belles' hilarious response to Them's 'Gloria', retitled 'Melvin'. Melvin? At least it scans. KK