Mobile Fidelity - MFSL 1-465 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
3,000 Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master Tape at MFSL
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
Give Yourself Goosebumps: Ry Cooder's Cross-Cultural Chicken Skin Music Mixes Hawaiian, Gospel, Conjunto, Folk, and Blues Styles into a Visionary Roots Music Tapestry
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes and Strictly Limited to 3000 Numbered Copies: Natural-Sounding Features Defined Textures, Intricate Details, and Ample Airiness
The title of Ry Cooder's Chicken Skin Music – Hawaiian slang for goosebumps – serves as a direct, simple description of the album's emotional appeal. But it barely scratches the surface of a 1976 effort that triggered an interest in "world music" a decade before the term became commonplace and a genre into and of itself. Part of a series of inimitable mid-1970s records on which Cooder ignored traditional boundaries and instigated lasting cross-cultural communication, Chicken Skin Music blends gospel, Hawaiian, folk, blues, and Tex-Mex styles into a brilliant roots stew distinguished with virtuosic playing and inspired contextual surprises.
Mastered from the original master tapes and strictly limited Chicken Skin Music brings the brilliant instrumental textures and lively tonalities to the fore like no prior digital edition. Graced with silent, black backgrounds and generous soundstages, this reissue particularly underscores the depth of Flaco Jimenez's accordion contributions. You'll hear the air flowing through the reeds, pressure resonating from the bellows, and the wide-spanning timbres emanating from the register stops.
Equally transfixing are the lifelike manners in which the rich assortment of guitars come alive, with each note occupying its own space and portraying a character unique to the individual instrument, be it a slack-key, steel, or acoustic guitar. The result is a multi-detailed, organic-sounding musical tapestry that dazzles by way of beautiful interplay, unexpected dialogue, and connective eclecticism that proves music is indeed a common language when executed with a collaborative mindset, innovative exploration, and respectful authenticity – no easy feats, but achievements fully on display on Chicken Skin Music.
Jimenez, now a legend that's performed with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Dr. John, remains one of the keys to Cooder being able to successfully carry out what the latter deemed a "mutuality in music" vision. Cooder first heard conjunto accordion fare on a Mexican radio station in his car and proceeded to teach himself the instrument while committing himself to embracing the then-local, regionalized style for the set that became Chicken Skin Music. Jimenez graces three tracks, including a ravishing interpretation of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" transformed into a spiritual grounded by a norteno structure and a romantic take on Jim Reeves' "He'll Have to Go" recast with a bolero rhythm and saxophone-accordion duet.
Chicken Skin Music isn't limited to South of the Border geography and tradition. Steel-guitarist and vocalist Gabby Pahinui and slack-key guitar great Atta Isaacs represent the 50th state on stripped-down renditions of Hank Snow's smash "Yellow Roses" and the wordless "Chloe." Elsewhere, gospel singers team with Cooder on the Appalachian-tinted "Always Lift Them Up," the midsection of which features the Hawaiian standard "Kanaka Wai Wai."
Cooder bookends everything with a pair of Leadbelly numbers – "The Bourgeois Blues" and "Goodnight Irene" – chosen after Cooder witnessed Jimenez and his band perform at a local dance. Given their ordering on the album, techniques they employ, and themes, the songs also further tighten the thematic connection the headliner makes with the standout guests. In many ways, Chicken Skin Music is the equivalent of Buena Vista Social Club more than 20 years before the latter emerged. Experience it the way Cooder and company meant it to be heard – in unparalleled fidelity. Secure your limited copy today!
Ry Cooder has always believed in the "mutuality in music," and this may be no more evident in his career than with his fifth album, Chicken Skin Music (a Hawaiian colloquialism, synonymous with goosebumps). Even more than usual, Cooder refuses to recognize borders -- geographical or musical -- presenting "Stand By Me" as a gospel song with a norteño arrangement, or giving the Jim Reeves country-pop classic, "He'll Have to Go," a bolero rhythm, featuring the interplay of Flaco Jimenez's accordion and Pat Rizzo's alto sax. Elsewhere, he teams with a pair of Hawaiian greats -- steel guitarist and singer Gabby Pahinui and slack key guitar master Atta Isaacs -- on the Hank Snow hit "Yellow Roses" and the beautiful instrumental "Chloe." If Cooder's approach to the music is stylistically diverse, his choice of material certainly follows suit. Bookended by a couple of Leadbelly compositions, Chicken Skin Music sports a collection of songs ranging from the aforementioned tracks to the charming old minstrel/medicine show number "I Got Mine" and the syncopated R&B of "Smack Dab in the Middle." Also included is Appalachian songwriter Blind Alfred Reed's "Always Lift Him Up," complete with a Hawaiian gospel tune, "Kanaka Wai Wai," woven into the instrumental section. As he explains in the album's liner notes, Cooder understands the connection between these seemingly disparate styles. This is not merely eclecticism for its own sake. Chicken Skin Music is probably Ry Cooder's most eccentric record since his first, but it's also one of his most entertaining.
• Numbered, Limited Edition • 33rpm Speed Edition
• Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab • Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve • Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes • Pressed at RTI
1. The Bourgeois Blues
2. I Got Mine
3. Always Lift Him Up/Kanaka Wai Wai
4. He'll Have To Go
5. Smack Dab In the Middle
6. Stand By Me
7. Yellow Roses
9. Goodnight Irene
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.
Record Technology is a world class record pressing plant located in Camarillo, California. We have been operating since 1974, pressing for most audiophile record labels and for many quality minded independent and major record labels from around the world.