Saturday, 26 November 2016

Peter Baumann - ROMANCE 76 & TRANS HARMONIC NIGHTS reissues

An approximate comparison between the recent Peter Baumann re-issues by ESOTERIC REACTIVE and BUREAU B:

Sound quality wise - very little in it. Perhaps the Bureau B discs sound slightly more 'rounded'/musical and with a tad less hiss? I listened to these on headphones (AKG K451) using my old Technics portable CD player - so nothing high end by any stretch of the imagination. By its nature 'Romance 76' is more hissy and both issues reveal the limitations of the equipment available to Peter at that time. Both BB discs also run 4 seconds longer (but frankly who cares?). No big issues with either of the issues I think. (Esoteric Reactive or Bureau B).

Artwork wise BB have ruined the sleeve of TTN, way too blue, contrast blown out . The ER version is nearer to the look of the LP but looks cropped on the right hand side (comparing it against the BB version). 

Sleeve notes are all solid (ER by Andy G, BB by Jan Casagrande - who's notes are also repeated in German). The ER versions have 16 page inserts with some scans I sent them (not always reproduced that well, but they're in nevertheless and ALL relevant to the release), BB are 8 page (well 4 with 2 sides). BB drop the ball with some of the photo labels - one of which is pure nonsense, plus some aren't relevant to the release - why add photos of PB in 1976 in a release from 1979? Sorry can't comment on the artwork on R76 as I never bought the original LP. BB looks too RED to me, ER more yellow. BB have buggered about with the rear text font on THN, which rubs me up the wrong way. Depends what you want from a re-issue really. One last thing, ESOTERIC are Jewel cases whereas Bureau B are card digi-paks with sleeve notes that slot into a flap on the inside of the gatefold design - you decide which will last longer.

ps. BB has a typo on the rear cover of R76 track one is shown as BICENTENNIAL PRESENTATION, whereas ER show it as BICENTENNIAL PRESENT - I can't even remember which one is right, but ViTN says BB is wrong.

pps. Will also have to check RM76 or THN against the original Virgin issues as Alan Freeman said that the new (ER) version (and therefore also possibly the BB version) has a remix on it rather than the original

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