No, not the Chesky records compilation released in conjunction with Steve Guttenberg in 2014 but something far more future-facing musically speaking. And it’s not a disc.
CJ Mirra of Colour 8 records hasn’t only curated a compilation of ambient/tech tracks from the some of the world’s finest electronic producers; he has remixed them using 3D and binaural techniques for a more immersive audio experience, thus separating Space Trix Vol. 1 from the slew of electronica compilations coming to market.
Traditionally, a binaural recording is one where a mannequin dummy has a microphone fitted to each ear to better capture the three-dimensional nature of the musical performance – that’s how Chesky and Guttenberg played it with many of the cuts on their own release.
In the Chesky records promo video, Guttenberg introduces his binaural microphone headed buddy (Lars) to better explain binaural recording techniques.
Similarly on Space Trix Vol. 1, Mirra mixed Matthew Dear’s “Around A Fountain” out in the forest with speakers reportedly located between the trees and a microphone attached to each of his own ears. The result is an otherworldly soundscape of electronic swirls, Dear’s vocal that cut through and across the forest’s own soundtrack of birds and insects. Put on a nice pair of headphones and listen for yourself:
Pretty cool, huh?
Elsewhere, Mirra deployed virtual (read: software) 3D/binaural mixing techniques to furnish the listener with the feeling of being inside the mix. Check out the YouTube-hosted sampler:
I’m sure you’ll agree that the results are seriously impressive even if the music style isn’t particularly your usual bag.
Bleep.com calls it “A modern compilation of perfectly primed headphone escapism electronica that falls neatly into the lineage of futuristic sci-fi from classic B12 & Global Communication to early Eno airport ambience.”
That triangular name-check will be enough to see 90s IDM heads (like yours truly) reaching for their credit card. The compilation’s 12 tracks will set you back US$12 for the 16-bit version, US$15 for the 24-bit. That’s from Bleep.com.
Qobuz’s download page confirms that the 24-bit download’s (£14.40!) sample rate is pegged at 44.1kHz. Good for you if your system audibly rewards those additional 8 bits of depth. Mine does not.
Those wanting to get physical with this release are advised that there’s no vinyl, only a limited edition box set that features a Cosmonaut-shaped USB drive holder designed by Swedish artist Andreas Olsson. The USB device adds bonus video content to the download’s FLAC/.wav files and digital booklet. No word yet on pricing or availability – it’s possible that all copies will have been snatched up by the time you read this. Click to Bleep.com or Colour 8 using the link below for more info.
This is a release for those wanting to get closer to the upper limits of their headphone’s capabilities. A must for anyone conducting headphone demonstrations, attending Head-fi meets, store owners and show exhibitors, as well ordinary folk who simply dig the music contained herein.
Space Trix Vol. 1 is set for a July 31st release.