Music for headphones.
Premiering Wednesday night, January 11th, immediately following When The Sun Hits, the first in our irregular series, DKFM Broadcast Masters. What’s all this then? Funny you should ask. Some quality bands in our space suffer from a mastering job that sounds like your favorite musicians were recorded from the outside of a shoebox they’re playing in. To varying degrees, these lower-fi recordings are short on brightness and presence, by modern recording standards. Some radio stations will add a “universal compression” to all sound recordings they broadcast, which boosts loudness, but loses any semblance of nuance. We actually spent five months of this year with a broadcast pre-compression, normalizing loudness across tracks. A few liked this approach, but those with sharper hearing were nonplussed. While we’ve always tried to maintain volume consistency, this compression was a step backward.
Starting last year, we’d been working on “classic video remasters”, or more specifically, restoring audio from classic live performances from aged VHS source. This led us to an invitation to do the mastering for the forthcoming Fawns of Love album, due in March. As that was a smashing sonic success, we turned back inwards, wondering what our existing skill set could do for the songs we already play.
We’ve revisited our on-air catalogue, testing our skill set on rotation staples, with varying degrees of success. Gradually, we are replacing some of these classics with freshly-remastered tracks from our super-secret sound labs. This one-hour program showcases just a small sample of our ongoing work, from some of our favorite artists. In our debut episode, join us as we revisit (and reimagine) tracks from Lowtide, Wray, Be Forest, Surfing, Soft Wounds, Indoor Voices and much more.
Incredible hubris on our part? Probably. But busting sonic barriers has been a bit of a specialty of late. And this is the music that made us, that we made popular, and that we owe our very existence to. “Efforting” on our part is motivated by love, not hubris. And our efforts to polish and shine the sound of DKFM never ends. The artists deserve it, the audience deserves it.