Just got the new remix of Emerson Lake & Palmer's "Trilogy", which is one of my favorite albums of all time, and what I consider to me ELP's best work.
I have just been dying to hear the new remix by Jakko Jaksysk. Contrary to the usual complainers, I thought he did a fabulous job of remixing Brain Salad Surgery last year.
First up - the remix of Trilogy is fantastic. The purpose of a remix in my opinion is to clarify and update sonically, to perhaps do what could not be done first time around, to bring new life and to allow the listener to revisit a work with new perspective. Jakko nailed that.
The first thing I hear, aside from a tremendous increase in clarity, it how much texture is revealed. Going back to the original mix at 24/96, it sounds louder, muddier for lack of a less used word, almost smashed together - the new mix has layers upon layers, and reveals the shifts between keyboards and the layering of keys with both tremendous clarity and a beautiful, shifting sense of texture and color. This is the greatest improvement.
There are many moments where beautiful subtle details emerge. Very often they are previously buried keyboard figures, in other places percussion details ring out. Palmer's kick drum has much more impact, Lake's bass lines are tighter and more powerful - as is his guitar, frequently 'fuzzed'. On 'In The Beginning', there is a faint pre-echo of the vocal in the left channel that emerges with great clarity that I never really was able to pick out with such effect before.
On key tracks like "The Endless Enigma', the piano section has dramatic dynamics, and sounds like a true concert grand. The electric keyboards enter forcefully, a dramatic yet seamless shift that comes across with great impact. The keyboard articulation is remarkable. The original mix - and the new 24/96 remaster I find far from a good one - just doesn't have the transient speed, particularly on Emerson. Jakko's mix has those keyboard parts flowing with great speed while also having a tremendous percussive quality, that feel of fingers hitting the keys. The Hammond in particular feels like it is almost burning, and not to spoil it, but there is a one note keyboard beat in the final section that I never really heard before.
I figured I would get this up before thhe internet complaints forums start picking it apart. It isn't the original mix cleaned up. It is a new mix, and it does exactly what a new mix should do - bring new life, making the familiar sound new again. fantastic job by Jakko.
A lot of the usual complainers assassinated Jakko for his mix of Brain Salad Surgery which was not only unfair but dead wrong. He made choices to make the familiar fresh. It sounds fantastic. A good part of that criticism I suspect is because Jakko is not Steven Wilson, who is the new internet darling - all those folks who typically bought in to the idea that old masters should never be tampered with via a remix suddenly became converts because of Wilson, and that is fair enough. But the limited thinking often displayed doesn't seem to extend beyond Wilson, to appreciate that there are others out there just as good - any maybe better for some projects. Wilson brings a fair bit of Porcupine Tree into his remixes, while Jakko brings a fair bit of late era King Crimson into his. Wilson screwed up Tarkus badly and thankfully isn't doing more ELP, Jakko seems to get the music much more deeply and is the right guy for this. Trilogy proves it. Fantastic job, I hope Jakko not only gets to "Works" next, but gets a crack at redoing Tarkus and - if the multitracks can be located - doing the first ELP album right.