Mobile Fidelity - UDSACD 2066 - SACD Hybrid Stereo - 821797206662
Numbered Limited Edition - Plays On All CD Players
Half-Speed Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich from the Original Master tape
Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc UHR SACD
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 Pixieswouldn’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 numbered limited edition 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
- Trompe le Monde
- Planet of Sound
- Alec Eiffel
- The Sad Punk
- Head On
- Palace of the Brine
- Letter to Memphis
- Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons
- Space (I Believe In)
- Distance Equals Rate Times Time
- Lovely Day
- Motorway to Roswell
- The Navajo Know
Mobile Fidelity believes that mastering systems should be neutral and transparent. The essential idea is to unveil all the detailed musical information on the original master recording without adding deterioration, coloration or other sonic artifacts.
It is worth noting that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab stands out as one of few record labels that independently invests in research and development of audio technology. With proprietary innovations such as GAIN 2™, general music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike have reaped the benefit of a higher consumer audio standard without investing in costly new hardware. Mobile Fidelity is pleased to work with a variety of engineering legends and companies including Tim de Paravicini, Ed Meitner, Pass Labs, Theta Digital and Sony Electronics.
Our joint efforts to seek out the ultimate audio experience, has resulted in significant advances for the technology of music reproduction.
GAIN 2™ Mastering Technology for Ultradisc UHR™ Hybrid SACD and Ultradisc II™ 24kt Gold CDs
For over twenty years, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has continually searched for the ultimate audio experience. During this search MFSL engineers and associates created The GAIN™ System, a proprietary mastering technology which brought warmth and ambience to the compact disc format. A few years ago - with higher resolution formats on the horizon - the vision of GAIN 2™ began. As it stands today, GAIN 2™ is one of the greatest technical advancements in analogue and digital technology in the last ten years. It consists of a series of critical modifications and new components to Mobile Fidelity's proprietary mastering chain.
We feel that GAIN 2™ has come extremely close to meeting this goal. The key accomplishments of GAIN 2™ System are 1) the ability to extract all the musical information as possible through the Ultra High bandwidth analogue tape playback system with proprietary custom tape playback heads, reproducer electronics and 2) transparently capturing and storing that information with the Direct Stream Digital recording system.