Sunday, November 21, 2010
Hamza El Din -- Lily of the Nile
"This is a pure analog recording done exclusively with custom-built vacuum-tube electronics with the exception of the microphones. The microphones were set up in the ORTF configuration. No noise reduction, equalization, compression, or limiting of any sort was used in the making of this record."
Other than the legendary Egyptian/Nubian oud and tar musician who delivers this extraordinary music, three men well-known and respected in the audio and music industry pooled their talents to create this unique recording. Kavi Alexander of Water Lily Acoustics produced and recorded Lily of the Nile, and he is well-known for producing some of the best-sounding recordings of all times such as one of my personal favorites, Meeting by the River with Ry Cooder and V.M. Bhatt. Tim de Paravicini, who heads one of my favorite audio companies (EAR, makers of one of the great classic phono preamplifiers), was the technical consultant, co-mastering engineer and designer/builder of the custom recording pre-amplifier. Finally, George Cardas of Cardas Audio (designer, of course, of my favorite cables) of was co-producer and funded the entire recording.
I probably shouldn't be teasing you by telling you about something that may be difficult to impossible to find. I have found the 1995 CD reissue on a few international record websites (for around $40 or so), but I'll wager it doesn't sound anywhere as good as this limited LP. But if you do come across a copy somewhere, buy it. I'm going to file my copy next to my handful of reference LPs, the ones I use to really evaluate a piece of audio equipment.