HiRez Poll XTC - DRUMS & WIRES [DVD-A/BluRay Audio]

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Rate the DVD-A/BDA of XTC - DRUMS AND WIRES

  • 6 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 -

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 - Poor Surround, Poor Fidelity, Poor Contact

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    70

Failed Muso

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This is everything I hoped it would be, and more!

Another brilliant and sympathetic mix from Steven Wilson and the quality of the content is only matched by the sheer quantity of it!! Almost 40GB of sonic delights on the Blu Ray and Andy, Colin and the boys have never sounded so good!

Bravo to all involved!!

An easy and well deserved 10.
 

JonUrban

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Glad you guys are liking this so far. I'm still waiting for my retail copy to arrive from BS, but I have been listening to the beta-test disc of this one for quite some time, holding my bloody tongue. :phones

I actually had never heard the album or anything from it, so it was a first time listen for me, in surround! The first 3 tunes were easily accessable for a newbie, and I ended up playing them over quite a bit. It's a stellar SW mix, this guy gets it big time. He even allowed for a little bit of fun with the Helicopter at the end of that tune!

Too bad they could not clone Steven and lock the clone in a studio filled with multitracks of classic albums.
 

fredblue

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Glad you guys are liking this so far. I'm still waiting for my retail copy to arrive from BS, but I have been listening to the beta-test disc of this one for quite some time, holding my bloody tongue. :phones

I actually had never heard the album or anything from it, so it was a first time listen for me, in surround! The first 3 tunes were easily accessable for a newbie, and I ended up playing them over quite a bit. It's a stellar SW mix, this guy gets it big time. He even allowed for a little bit of fun with the Helicopter at the end of that tune!

Too bad they could not clone Steven and lock the clone in a studio filled with multitracks of classic albums.
The 5.1 army may be small but what talent.. we've got Scheiner, Clearmountain & Prent all still working away in the name of Surround Music, SW is not alone!
 

IanProudfoot

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I have owned a vinyl copy of the album since it came out. It always sounded a little thin and cold to me, with not much going on in the bass. So imagine my shock at the immense power and range that this new version presents. Tracks that were previously muddy and compressed are now shockingly dynamic. Complicated game is just awesome (although not appreciated by my wife who asked what that "awful racket" was...). There seems to be a lot more going on in the .1 channel on this disc. The only negative is that it's just not my favourite XTC album and I'm not sure if I could listen to it as many time as the wonderful Nonsuch BD. 8/10
 

rusinurbe

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I have owned a vinyl copy of the album since it came out. It always sounded a little thin and cold to me, with not much going on in the bass. So imagine my shock at the immense power and range that this new version presents. Tracks that were previously muddy and compressed are now shockingly dynamic. Complicated game is just awesome (although not appreciated by my wife who asked what that "awful racket" was...). There seems to be a lot more going on in the .1 channel on this disc. The only negative is that it's just not my favourite XTC album and I'm not sure if I could listen to it as many time as the wonderful Nonsuch BD. 8/10
This tops 'Nonsuch' for me both very good but this is better.

I could not see any notes from Mr Wilson in the booklet though that would have been nice.

Love the extras as well, i just ran out of time to listen in one session.
 

Plan9

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Great news, the "original master" seems to be a flat transfer of the master tape in 96/24! (unlike Nonsuch, which was the 2001 remaster in 48/24 -admittedly from a 44.1/16 master).

The "original master" is in 192/24 on the Blu-Ray.
 
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rtbluray

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This is review Part 1 of 2.
When I get my Blu-Ray disc in, I'll be able to listen to and review the bonus tracks, but for now, I'm reviewing the 5.1 mix of the album present on both the DVDA and Blu-Ray.
Before I get into specifics, let me just say that this could be the best surround release of the year! (Either that or "The Yes Album")

Well since the album's called "Drums & Wires", it's appropriate that is what it starts with, DRUMS! And in the surround channels of all places. "Making Plans for Nigel" has always been one of my favs on this album and it doesn't disappoint. "Helicopter" is also fun because of the moving hi-hat helicopter.
One of the surprise standout moments is "When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty" as the voice moves all around throughout the song to great effect, especially in the last chorus.
"Ten Feet Tall" sounds lovely with the acoustic in the surrounds, and the toms are very present on "Roads Girdle the Globe".
The next big standout track is "Millions" with some percussion hits that might surprise you and Dave Gregory's fantastic quick strumming patterns.
The setup of the lead and backing vocals for "That is the Way" is also very effective with the lead in the front and the BGVS in the back as opposed to the left right scenario on the original mix, not to mention the horns also sound amazing in the surrounds too.
There will also be some percussion hits that might surprise you in "Scissor Man" before the breathtaking finale of "Complicated Game".

Are there any gripes I have with this disc? Yes, one. At times, there's too much drums in the surround channels. Snares and toms don't bother me as much as the cymbals and particularly the hi-hat. It sounds like the drums are split too much between the front and rear channels with some sounds appearing more in one place than in the other and this something that has bothering me more and more about SW's mixes.

Other than that, I can't recommend this mix enough. It's just pure fun and energy going on all around you supported by great songs played with great attitude. A very big 10! :)
 
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blue.monk

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Great news, the "original master" seems to be a flat transfer of the master tape in 96/24! (unlike Nonsuch, which was the 2001 remaster in 48/24 -admittedly from a 44.1/16 master).

The "original master" is in 192/24 on the Blu-Ray.
The Blu-Ray credits the 2001 stereo re-master to Ian Cooper. Is this not the 'original master' or am I missing something?
 

Guy Robinson

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This is a 10. Excellent! I have never heard this album sound so good. It will never be listened to in stereo again. Songs like "Scissor Man" and "Complicated Game" have tons of detailing that I have never heard before. Love it! I also like the fact that there is almost another entire album of tracks under 5.1 additional mixes. SW has outdone himself!
 

blue.monk

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Having listened only to the 5.1 tracks thus far I'm more than prepared to give the disc a '10'. Perhaps it's due to Andy Partridge's input but this mix takes far more liberties than any other SW mix I've heard, creating a brilliant and fresh alternative to the original. The aim does not appear to merely expand the feel and soundstage of the LP. Rather, the whole album seems re-imagined to me. I'm hearing many elements that were either nonexistent or obscured in the original and the placement of secondary vocals and instruments is playful and surprising. Plus we get a longer fade on 'Complicated Game'!

I'm a massive XTC fan so this series has been a real treat. I'd be delighted to have any of their titles receive similar treatment. It looks like "Oranges & Lemons" is next but my fondest wish is that the multis may be found for "English Settlement" and "Black Sea".
 

quadsearcher

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"Complicated Game" is brilliant. Sounded like a thudding blur to me in the past, but this is clear like knocking the water out of my ears after swimming. A case where surround make seems to make it a better song, but clearly it was always stunning and I couldn't hear it well enough to know that. A real surprise even after hearing the good reviews.

I'm going to pick every song apart in my mind, and pester Andy to explain the chords if get a chance!
It will sound great at the next party as well.
 

Plan9

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The Blu-Ray credits the 2001 stereo re-master to Ian Cooper. Is this not the 'original master' or am I missing something?
Admittedly I haven't listened to it yet, but it doesn't look like the remaster: no limiting. Maybe it was a last minute swap so they didn't have time or forgot to change the credits?
 

IMachine

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What else to give but 10?
The mix is again outstanding and also is the content.
What a bonus flash disc.

Recommended for demo!
 

stormchaser

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Listening to this now. Other than Nigel, these songs were unfamiliar to me. The highlight for me thus far is Complicated Game as noted above. Just wow.
 

Plan9

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Here's something I wrote on the SH forum:


Finally found the time to listen to the "original mix". It is a flat transfer and sounds fantastic. It has a real organic, thick analog sound. It also has the most recessed treble I have heard on this album, but it doesn't make it sound dead or low-fi. Maybe the tapes have aged and some oxyde has gone off of them? or maybe it is simply how the masters sounds "flat". I don't know but this version sounds marvellous nonetheless.

You know I' am a big supporter of Steven Wilson's mixes -I can't say I'm totally objective having worked with him a few times... :)
But this time I feel the original mix is better than his stereo remix. He put the drums a lot more forward on his mix; apparently according to the liner notes on this edition that's the sound the band was looking for in the new studio they used, so the new mix might actually better reflect their intentions... But the remix makes the album sound much more experimental and edgy, a bit Talking Heads-like, while the original is more relaxed and organic.
The new balance is actually quite different and I don't feel it is a definite improvement. Sure, all instruments come clear as a bell but sometimes I feel assaulted because of it! This may be due to the limiting Andy insisted SW put on his mixes though...
 

blue.monk

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Finally found the time to listen to the "original mix". It is a flat transfer and sounds fantastic. It has a real organic, thick analog sound. It also has the most recessed treble I have heard on this album, but it doesn't make it sound dead or low-fi. Maybe the tapes have aged and some oxyde has gone off of them? or maybe it is simply how the masters sounds "flat". I don't know but this version sounds marvellous nonetheless.
I agree, it sounds terrific. It's warmer and better tonally balanced than my original UK LP which sounds thin and top heavy by comparison.

I tend to view the new stereo mixes in these sets as a nice bonus but rarely do I end up preferring them to the originals. After all it's an original mix that would first grab me and captivate me over countless plays. It's a tough bond to break. I'm most happy to get a great 5.1 mix with a solid transfer/mastering of the original mix. I'm also a big fan of instrumental mixes (which now seem to be a regular feature in SW work). Everything else is gravy. And this set delivers on every aspect - it's damn near perfect.
 

Perpendicular

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I voted a 10 but feel this is a better release overall than "Nonsuch". Though, I like the menu a bit better with the latter. "Drums and Wires" menu is colorful but not as good as "Nonsuch". What I notice different about this release over "Nonsuch" is that the 5.1 mixes have a more 'in the room' feel to them. With that said, this recording seems clearer than "Nonsuch" but I cannot figure out why. Also, the disc reverts to the DTS-Master 5.1 track where "Nonsuch" reverts to the LPCM tracks. I find "Drums and Wires" among my favorites of their earlier work. I always felt that their music got better as they matured overall the years but I do have my favorite releases and feel some are better than others. The additional tracks on "Drums & Wires" are so good, they could have released a double LP at the time of first release. Or, they could have made a 'better' LP upon it's initial release with some of the stronger additional tracks from that session. Of course, this is 'my' biased opinion. "Drums and Wires" is still a great LP in it's own right.

So far, I've listened to:

2014 5.1 Mix
Additional 2014 5.1 Mixes
Original Album Extra Tracks
DJM Stereo Mixes
Saucy Plate Session
Unknown Session
Swindon Town Hall 1
Swindon Town Hall 2
Toots Garage
Tudor Barn - Album Rehearsal
Videos

Overall, a very good mix that I would rate higher than 10 if I could and at the top of my surround releases to date. We should be so lucky that they include all the extras! Even if we listen to most of them only once. :)
 

Perpendicular

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The only negative is that it's just not my favourite XTC album and I'm not sure if I could listen to it as many time as the wonderful Nonsuch BD. 8/10
Did you give this release an 8 because you don't feel the songs are that great?

The Poll asks you to vote based on Excellent Surround, Excellent Fidelity, Excellent Content. Now, I would think the content part is asking how it's presented including extras. If I were to vote on the music alone, it would be a close 7. I voted on what the Poll was asking me. Or, what I thought it was asking me, regardless if I liked the songs. :)
 

IanProudfoot

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Did you give this release an 8 because you don't feel the songs are that great?

The Poll asks you to vote based on Excellent Surround, Excellent Fidelity, Excellent Content. Now, I would think the content part is asking how it's presented including extras. If I were to vote on the music alone, it would be a close 7. I voted on what the Poll was asking me. Or, what I thought it was asking me, regardless if I liked the songs. :)
OK that's not how I interpret the idea of content. The content for me is the music. So I stick by what I have voted, and as I gave it 8/10 that's not too shabby. Yes I do like the album, but not as much as some of their others.
 
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