My Bloody Valentine all-analog ‘Isn’t Anything’ & ‘Loveless’ vinyl reissues out in January
When we interviewed My Bloody Valentine‘s Kevin Shields back in 2013, he talked about reissuing the band’s two albums for Creation, 1988’s Isn’t Anything and 1991’s Loveless as pure analog remasters. Four years later, those are finally coming out on January 18, 2018. Details: “The 180 gram vinyl albums are mastered from analog tapes using Studer A80 VU PRE and Neumann VMS 80 cutting lathe for full analog signal path. They come in heavy weight tip-on style gatefold sleeves with poly lined printed inner sleeves.” Preorders are being taken now.
This marks the first time that either of those albums have been mastered in analog, as he explained in our interview:
The albums — the vinyl album — were never mastered in analogue, even back in the day. I only learned about this recently, but an increasing number of albums after 1979 went through digital processing before being cut to vinyl, even if they were recorded on analogue tape. By the mid-’80s it was standard practice to master it onto a thing called a 1630 — it was like a big videocassette but it was digital — and that was the production master that all the records were cut off of. So even though all of the records we made were recorded analogue, they went through a digital process at the very last step. When I was remastering back in 2006, the Loveless master came from this 24 bit, 96k production master, but Isn’t Anything came straight from analogue tape. During the cutting process I had a kind of remarkable experience listening to Isn’t Anything front-to-back without stopping, which is how you have to do it when the actual record’s being cut. A lot of memories came flooding back from the time of recording. A part of my brain, for lack of a better word, that made that record, there was a disconnect from the moment it was mastered and released. But hearing the true analogue, it was like when you smell something you haven’t smelled since a child, it brought back memories and feelings together. Memories I hadn’t thought about since I made the record. It was a time machine effect. My brain had stored these memories somewhere that could only be accessed by these analogue recordings. So I realized there really is a profound difference between analogue and digital. So I’ve become determined to let other people experience that too — not that you’re going to have my memories or anything like that. There’s something fundamentally different about music that hasn’t been digitized at any step along the way. We did that with the MBV album, the vinyl record is pure analogue, no digital processing. Unfortunately there’s only a few places in the UK that can do that. We could only find two. I asked the guys who worked there how many people still bring in tape and they said only a handful each year. Steve Albini does. David Bowie did it. It’s a tiny minority. I just think it’s cool, especially now with vinyl becoming more popular, that people can hear albums the way they sounded before everything got digitized.
With this project done, now Kevin can focus on the new MBV records.