It’s rare that an artist releases an album that's intended to fade into the background. Yet German-born composer Richter’s seventh solo album is designed to be slept through; its eight-hour run time and lulling pace mirror the tides of the human sleep cycle. What starts dreamy and slow (“Dream 1”) deepens to darker timbres (“Space 2”), before cracks of light break through (“Sublunar”). It's a generous album that demands repeat listens—not least because it’s so beautiful, you’ll want to hear it while you’re awake at least once.
In reply to JtMtLD’s review: “Mastered for iTunes” is a strict process and standard to avoid digital clipping from downsampling/poor compression, etc. while retaining very specific headroom/dynamic range requirements. I only know this because I am also a composer who has worked with a “Mastered for iTunes” mastering engineer.
That aside, from interviews and what I’ve heard so far, this music has an emphasis on certain frequencies for stimulating a desired neurological effect. I’ve heard the vibrations and light rattles you mentioned (mostly on the left channel) but it doesn’t sound like clipping to me. Maybe it was something vibrating sympathetically during the recording? Now I’m curious… Either way, it’s most likely not your gear or the mastering, but part of the recording.
From Max Richter's website~~For the unlucky few who found encoding distortion on SLEEP bought at US iTunes (covers Canada and Mexico also) they have now fixed it - simply redownload for a clean copy. Sorry this happened, it has been incredibly frustrating for us also, seems to have happened in transit to them from a central distributor. Thank you everyone for all the kind words about the project - it's incredibly moving to have received all the generous feedback. What a week! -m
P.S. If anyone would like to comment in the reviews section that the problem has been fixed I would be most grateful and relieved.
Low Frequency Distortion - Please Consider Remastering
Was so excited for this release but experienced the same distortion issue with rattling low frequencies to the point where it is not enjoyable. Thought at first someone had mucked around with the amp settings but no such luck. So sad… I love going to sleep with music but the distortion is so distracting it would keep me up. I have always considered Deutsche Grammophon the standard in quality production so presume something went wrong. Please consider remastering.
Born: March 22, 1966 in Germany
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s