Mobile Fidelity - MFSL 1-364 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 821797136419
AAA 100% Analogue - Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Pure Analogue Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master tape
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 Ultra Analog System
The Pixies verged on commercial breakthrough when the now-iconic band released Trompe le Monde in September 1991. A sea change in popular music tastes that the band helped initiate began to sweep the world. And the Boston quartet seemed prepared to lead the way, with this, its eminently tuneful fourth record, jam-packed with crafty hooks, prickly tones, catchy elements, outer-space atmospherics, electrically charged energy, and delightfully quirky lyrics.
As it stands, Trompe le Monde takes its place as one of the finest swan songs ever recorded. If the Pixies wouldn’t have broken up right after its release, there’s no telling what would’ve happened. All that you need to know is that the 15-track effort is as hard rocking and brilliantly innovative as any of the group’s creations. That’s no small feat.
Mastered from the original analog tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered limited edition 180g LP presents the ensemble’s abrasively melodic landmark in a fidelity it’s never enjoyed in any prior version. Featuring lusher keyboards and moodier soundscapes than its predecessors, but also reclaiming the nasty guitar edginess and swooning distortion of the group’s earliest efforts, Trompe de la Monde finally comes across as the Pixies intended: A sonic bridge between college-rock’s influential cruder-textured albums and the polished professionalism that distinguished alt-rock classics.
In other words, Mobile Fidelity’s version presents it as the perfect-sounding album: Replete with grit, rawness, and character, but mixed in with radio-friendly smoothness and virtuosic professionalism. Awash with incredible timbres and tonalities, myriad new details rise to the surface. Listen to the counterpoint melodies and layered vocals on “Letter to Memphis”; the trash-compactor feedback and thumping bass during the whipsawing “Planet of Sound”; the “Spyhunter”-like pace and limitless depth now present on “Subbacultcha.” Dynamics, contrasts, low-end frequencies, and imaging are all significantly enhanced. Compared to the original CD, Trompe le Monde emerges as a new album—a sonic wonderland that’s not far removed from that of Nirvana’s celebrated blockbuster Nevermind.
Musically, the Pixies were never better. On par with the groundbreaking Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, Trompe le Monde explodes with hyper riffs, jerks to stop-start progressions, elates with cheerful emotions, and bangs on to giddy surf-fused arrangements. With Kim Deal absent from the songwriting process, vocalist/guitarist Frank Black takes the reigns and doesn’t disappoint. Tales about sea monkeys (“Palace of the Brine”), aliens (“Planet of Sound”), and love (“The Sad Punk”) bop alongside memorable jabs at hipster pretensions (“Subbacultcha”) and inflated egos (“U-Mass”). A contagious cover of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Head On” will have you hitting “repeat.” Power pop, wanderlust punk, theatrical glam rock, reconfigured reverb-laden country—all here, all encouraging repeat listens.
Nearly lost due amidst the alternative trend that it played such a key role in spawning, Trompe le Monde gets new life courtesy of this extremely punchy, greatly balanced Mobile Fidelity issue. If you missed it the first time, don’t make that mistake again. Essential with a capital “E,” and the perfect way to close Mobile Fidelity’s Pixies catalog restoration series.
Bass, Vocals – Kim Deal
Drums – David Lovering
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Eric Drew Feldman
Lead Guitar – Joey Santiago
Producer – Gil Norton
Vocals – Black Francis
1. Trompe le Monde
2. Planet of Sound
3. Alec Eiffel
4. The Sad Punk
5. Head On
7. Palace of the Brine
8. Letter to Memphis
9. Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons
10. Space (I Believe In)
12. Distance Equals Rate Times Time
13. Lovely Day
14. Motorway to Roswell
15. The Navajo Know
- 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.