September 2005

Katjar - Migrations
Fidelio Audio FACD014
Format: CD
Released: 2005

by John Crossett

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ****
Overall Enjoyment ****

While last year’s Fidelio Audio releases were SACDs, Rene LaFlamme has returned to the compact disc this year -- using his new XtractHD process. Migrations is a world-music disc of astounding clarity. Right from the opening, "Paye O Paye," an African chant with percussion accompaniment, to the gentle swells and rolls of the title tune, on through the gypsy/Middle Eastern sounds of "La Route De La Soie" and "Karavane," to the Middle East-meets-West-filtered-through-Africa conflux of "Sawah Bali," this music will entrance you. The percussive scoring encoded herein will be a superb test of your system’s transient abilities.

That said, it is the XtractDH process that really makes Migrations a disc to consider seriously. As Fidelio states, "The XtractHD process relies mainly on the fact that a computer is not a musical instrument…. By getting rid of most computer processes and external hash, Fidelio gets one closer to the real recording session, restoring stereo spread, spatial positioning, preserving hall characteristics and the timbre of each instrument." It will take but a single listen to understand the success Fidelio has obtained in each area with XtractHD. I would love to hear an XtractHD SACD.