East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Sounds from another age

selection_554Back then long time ago when grass was green1, back when the internet was very different from what it is today, I started developing an interest for the first half of the 20th century – the gilded age, the roaring twenties, the sophisticated thirties.
I started watching movies, reading books and listening to music.
And back then I discovered a thing called Past Perfect – a record company specialising in remastering, through a complex resampling method, the original records of those ages past. The guys “simply” acquire as many good copies as possible of records from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, and then resample each track, using redundancy to repair damage to the tracks: the idea being that hardly two old records will be scratched in the same spot, and therefore, if you get enough copies, you can patch together a single clean, undamaged record.
And it works!
I was able to track them down through that early internet, and I ordered a few records – and these are still among my favourites.

And only a few days ago I found out that Past Perfect has now a YouTube channel, where you can listen to their collections, and then order them through various online shops.

Here’s one of their records, just to give you an idea – but check out their channel, and their online catalogue – you’ll find lots of great music, remastered from the original 78 RPMs

  1. Yes, today is also George Harrison’s birthday. 

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The Age of Style

ageofstylemdBut there’s not just soundtracks, of course.
I’m listening, as I’m writing this*, to The Age of Style, a compilation of 1930s original songs published by Past Perfect in 1999.
Past Perfect is a small independent label that markets remasters of original recordings from the past (roughly 1920s-1950s).

I found out about Past Perfect in the early 2000s, while I was looking for musical references for – of all things – my Call of Cthulhu games. I have a few recordings from their catalog – and they have proved over the years to be both good listening material and highly useful sound references. Continue reading