Stockfisch Records Sampler – Closer To The Music Volume 2 – Stockfisch Records

by | Jul 15, 2008 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Stockfisch Records Sampler – Closer To The Music Volume 2 – Stockfisch Records SFR 357.4006.2–Stereo SACD, 69 min. *****:

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hear the first Stockfisch Records sampler, and that review was an all-out, unabashed rave – well, you can consider this review “Rave, Part II!” I recently reviewed one of Gunther Pauler’s first multichannel SACD discs, and was frankly, underwhelmed – now, I’m not a huge fan of that disc’s artist, Eugene Ruffolo, but I just wasn’t anywhere nearly as gripped by the multichannel effort as any of the stereo-only recordings I’d previously heard. This excellent stereo-only disc is a return to form, and a word for Gunther Pauler – if it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it!

From the opening notes of Sara K.’s “Stars,” you’re greeted with an almost preternaturally wide and deep soundstage that just defies description. And the ambience of the captured acoustic of the recording venue seems to wrap around the listener; as with Closer To The Music Vol. 1, I had to get out of my chair repeatedly to confirm that no sound was coming from the surround channels! And the astonishingly good performances and equally great recordings continue to flow like good wine, with superb offerings from the likes of Steve Strauss, Ewen Carruthers, David Roth and Mike Silver.

My car stereo is MP3 capable, and I’ve loaded a couple of 4 gig flash drives with a lot of my favorite music, including 128K MP3s of many of the tracks from that first Stockfisch sampler. And even at that low level of resolution, they still absolutely blow away anything else – and by a wide margin – from the hundreds of recordings I’ve downsampled from my collection. These recordings are nothing short of amazing; I can’t imagine anyone not finding something to love here. Very highly recommended!

TrackList: Stars; Set You Free; Just Like Love; Old Crow; The Same Kind Words; When Time Turns Around; Paris; Streets Of London; Song For You Far Away; Caruso; Four Wild Horses; Lookin’ At The Rain; Heaven; Maybe It’s Just Love; Au Large Du Gueveur.

— Tom Gibbs

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