Remarkably well produced music thread
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discotexx

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This thread is about music productions that show extraordinary excellence from technical point of view. Please cite one recording/album per post and add some information why it qualifies for this list.

To make a start:

Ólafur Arnalds - Broadchurch
Icelandic composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds is known to be meticulous about his recordings, often spending hours working on just a single sound to get it exactly the way he wants it. This album is the score of the famous British tv show Broadchurch. Besides the tracks So Close and So Far it is instrumental and limited to just piano, strings and some electronics. Arnalds records at a church in Reykjavik to get an ethereal, reverberating sound from the strings.
“People do use sound libraries and fake things on computers but I need live musicians to do the things I want,” he says. “No matter how much technology you have – and fake strings do sound incredible – and no matter how much you tweak the sound, you miss the humanity.”
This album is kind of a reference to me demoing new hifi gear. The sound is constantly moving, shifting between low and high tones, between smooth strings and processed sounds. Especially Main Theme and The Journey are sweeping and will get me goose bumps (and sometimes even more, thanks to CA Solaris 2020).
 
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CAJames

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Excellent thread, as this is something I've been thinking about a lot since I got seriously into "personal listening." I guess you could say I've been an audiophile for decades and have a large collection of approved demonstration discs: Dark Side of the Moon, Jazz at the Pawnshop, Winds of War and Peace etc. etc. But the recording I've found to be most impressive, and most useful for e.g. listening with headphone or to different tubes in my WA22 is:

Getz and Gilberto



There is a huge amount of detail in the vocals by both Joao and Asturd Gilberto and getting the Getz sax sound (breathy but not sibilant) just right is both a challenge and a thrill.
 
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kinkling

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Betty Davis - Nasty Gal [1975]

Funk diva Betty Davis was supposed to break big upon the release of her third album, Nasty Gal. After all, her Just Sunshine Records contract had been bought up by Chris Blackwell and Island Records, and they were prepared to invest not only big money in the recording, but in the promotion of the 1975 release. Davis and her well-seasoned road band, Funk House, entered the studio with total artistic control in the making of the album.

It also features the beautiful, moving, uncharacteristic ballad "You and I," co-written with her ex-husband, Miles Davis, and orchestrated by none other than Gil Evans.

Heard through headphones, its spaced out psychedelic effects, combined with the nastiest funk rock on the block, is simply shocking.
 
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