Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs 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 artefacts.
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.
A1: Every Morning
A2: Tell Everybody I Know
A3: Love Blues
A4: Victims of Comfort
A6: Anybody Seen My Girl?
A7: She Just Wants to Dance
B1: Am I Wrong?
B2: Come on in My Kitchen
B3: Dirty, Low Down and Bad
B4: Don't Try to Explain
B5: Kindhearted Woman Blues
B6: City Boy
In an age where most contemporary bluesmen strive to mimic the past and pattern their music after the greats, Keb' Mo' is content to be himself. Original, charismatic, and immensely gifted, the guitarist/vocalist (born Kevin Moore) brings country blues in the late 20th century on his stunning self-titled Epic debut, which quickly climbed the charts and turned the former backing instrumentalist into a household name. Replete with gritty textures, close-up vocals, and resplendent acoustics, Mobile Fidelity's scintillating analogue version of this 1994 set finally possesses the fidelity that brings Mo's Delta strains out of the backwoods and onto a lively back porch.
Half-speed mastered from the original tapes, this numbered edition 180g LP represents the very first time that Mo's watershed album has been given a much-needed sonic facelift. Gone are the hazes that obscured his singing, artificial ceilings that blunted the highs, and digital fog that interfered with the multitude of illuminating tones, details, and notes. What's revealed is startling intimacy and soothing emotion, Mo's gorgeous vocal timbres and inflections given equal space with his guitar, harmonica, and pace. Finally, a great-sounding contemporary blues record that doesn't resort to derivative recycling and bland revivalism.
The son of Southern parents, Mo' channels his heritage via a batch of superb folksy songs that relax, refresh, and regale. While he's since travelled in a more commercialised pop-oriented direction, Mo's initial salvo is nothing but raw, pure blues played with unbridled passion, tremendous conviction, and what is best deemed the essence of heart and soul. Keb' Mo' engages with a compelling mix of tradition and modernity, the headliner refraining from any attempt at assuming an artificial personality and instead basing his reputation on quality songs. As such, Mo's material resonates with deep, mellow vibes and extraordinary National steel guitar work, which complements his fluid, acoustic finger-picking and soulful strumming.
Mo' occasionally teams with an ensemble. But this record is mostly all about the basics: guitar, voice, and harmonica. Tunes such as "Victims of Comfort" and "Angelina" testify on behalf of his phenomenal country-blues songwriting; his covers of Robert Johnson's "Come On In My Kitchen" and "Kindhearted Woman Blues" speak to his reverence for the past. Shuffles, ballads, dance songs - Mo nails them all.
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab'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 customised 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, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs only utilise first generation original master recordings as source material for their releases. MFSL then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master's sonic information. The lacquers are then plated in a specialised process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial playback, but as the disc is played more, a high-quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). MFSL 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.
Produced by John Porter
Engineered by John Strother, Rich Veltrop
Mastered from the Origial Master Tapes by Krieg Wunderlich, assisted by Rob LoVerde at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA on the GAIN 2 ULTRA ANALOG SYSTEM.
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, MFSL 1-357
Series: Gain 2™ Ultra Analog, 180g Series
Format: Vinyl LP, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Numbered, 180g