Saturday Deluxe / 4 February 2023

Peter Gabriel + SDE Surround Series news

SO… things are looking UP as Peter Gabriel treats US to some great audio

Not only am I really enjoying Peter Gabriel’s new song ‘Panopticom’, but I’m loving his engagement with his fans and, in particular, his generosity and interest around alternate versions of his new music.

For example, as some of you might be aware, PG has released two mixes of ‘Panopticom’ already, the standard Bright-Side Mix and an alternate Dark-Side Mix. The man himself explains:

I’m lucky to have two of the world’s best mix engineers; Tchad Blake and Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, working with me on the music from i/o. Rather than choosing only one of their mixes to release I have decided that people should be able to hear all the great work that they are both doing. 

I intend to ask them to mix each month’s song, with Spike’s mixes being called the Bright-Side and Tchad’s the Dark-Side. Whether you hear the Bright-Side or the Dark-Side first will vary each full moon, depending on the order we decide to release them”. 

Tchad Blake’s Dark-Side Mix of ‘Panopticom’

Of course, we don’t know which version Gabriel considers definitive and therefore which variant will end up on the forthcoming i/o album. Perhaps we’ll get a 2CD set with ‘Bright-Side’ and ‘Dark-Side’ versions of the entire album. Who knows?

SDE readers will be pleased to hear Peter has embraced spatial audio and a week ago issued what he is calling the In-Side Mix of ‘Panopticom’. This is a Dolby Atmos version, created by Hans-Martin Buff. Hans said some interesting things about the process:

3D music, as presented in Dolby Atmos, is SO much more than moving sounds all over the place. It’s not just a new way of mixing, it’s a way of making music that’s bigger and more rewarding than anything that came before. Peter gets it. To him, stereo and 3D versions don’t have to match, they just “both have to be great.” and to me, that is a creative dream come true.I get to bring anything to the table I can possibly imagine in order to fill Real World Studios’ Red Room with music. I get to streamline, I get to focus, I get to embellish, and I get to rough up the sounds that make up Peter’s arrangements. I get to emphasise, to hide, and I even get to record specifically for the immersive Peter Gabriel, and in the end, Peter will be in the room to be the judge of what’s best for his new songs. “When people want to know what great Atmos can be, I want them to listen to this,” he says. I think we’re well on our way.

The good news is that “all the tracks from i/o will get the In-Side treatment” so we can look forward to more Atmos Mixes of Gabriel’s new music. At the moment, the only way you can listen to these Atmos Mixes is via Apple Music and because there’s no stereo version of this unique In-Side Mix, PG’s team have linked it to the Dark-Side Mix, so that’s where to look if you want to hear this spatial audio version on the streaming service.

Finally, I’d recommend you check out Peter Gabriel’s Bandcamp page. He’s making all this music available (except the Atmos Mixes) and subscribers are also given exclusive audio. For example, the other day he offered up the “Original Band Tracking Sessions 24/9/21” version of ‘Panopticom’! Nice.

In a world where pre-release campaigns tend to consists of the familiar lyric videos, ‘instant grats’ and no physical product, I’m loving this approach from Peter Gabriel. Short of issuing CD singles and vinyl 12-inches, this is about as good as it is going to get in the modern era. I suppose a you could argue we’ve had Bright-Side, Dark-Side and In-Side versions of ‘Panopticom’, so how about a B-Side?

Update 5/2/23: A Dark-Side Mix of the next song ‘The Court’ has just been made available. Listen to it below.

The blu-ray and slipcase for the SDE-Exclusive Blu-ray Audio of Orbital’s Optical Delusion (click to enlarge)

SDE Surround Series update

#6 – Orbital

The slipcases for the Blu-ray Audio of Orbital’s Optical Delusion arrived yesterday. They look great. All stock is now in hand and we will probably start international shipping around Friday 10 February in an attempt to get the product to our friends abroad as near to the release date (17 February) as possible. If you are not aware, there was recently a major issue with Royal Mail’s international delivery service where they were subjected to a ‘ransomware’ cyber attack. Royal Mail effectively halted all international shipping for a while but things are now up and running again although there are backlogs and delays.

#6.5 – Concert For George

Orbital is #6 in the ongoing series and has sold out. The product has now been taken down from the SDE shop. Unfortunately, I have to tell you that #6.5 – which is Concert For George – is going to be delayed for a few weeks. The authoring and testing of the disc (which is happening in the US) has taken longer than normal. There’s an outside chance you might get #7 (Ten Years After) before #6.5, but we’ll be emailing everyone with an update soon. Apologies.

#7 – Ten Years After

Talking of Ten Years After, there’s now a button on the SDE shop product listing which reads ‘Notify Me If You Get Some More’. If you click that button, you can add yourself to the waiting list. If we get cancellations (we always do) or some contingency stock becomes available you will be emailed to say that there is new availability. Bear in mind that the way the system works is that everyone on the waiting list gets emailed at the same time, so it’s a case of ‘first come first served’. These buttons will be on other products going forward and it saves you emailing us having to ask about availability.

What’s next?

All being well, #8 in the SDE Surround Series will be announced next week! Thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm for this initiative.

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