Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Zodiac timewarp

Stebbings have been working on an extensive reissue program, the latest being one called the 'Archive Series'. It marks the digital reissue of nearly every single Zodiac and Stebbings released between 1945 and 1956, and runs to 12 digital albums.

"House engineer at Stebbing Recording Centre, Steve McGough, has led the project and has just finished a long grueling process decrackling, restoring and remastering the singles of artists under the Stebbing and Zodiac labels from 1945 to 1956.

Many of the singles in the ‘Archives series’ have not been available since they were originally pressed on 78-rpm records. Steve says, "It is like you’re listening to the old Shellac 78 rpm records for the first time.” He has got the sound of the albums as close as possible to the analogue sound of the original records.

Legendary Kiwi artists featured in the Archives series include greats such as Esme Stephens, Johny Grainger, Julian Lee, The Duplicats, Edwin Duff, Mavis Rivers, Jack Rigger, Del Harris, and Bill Wolfgramm’s Hawaiians.

It was a difficult, time-consuming process trying to locate the records. About two thirds were found in the Stebbing Recording Centre vault, and the rest were discovered amongst private collections. With the invaluable help of avid enthusiast, Mark Matheson, all but 4 of the singles made by Zodiac and Stebbing from 1945-1956 were located.

The albums have been grouped in genres as apposed to chronological release dates. This enables customers to buy a unique and historical album filled with the greatest local singles spanning the decade in a musical style of their choice.

Currently Steve is working on the ‘Heritage Series’. This is along the same lines as the ‘Archives Series’ but is compiled from singles from 1957 onwards." Source: NZ Musician

Volume one and two of the ‘Heritage Series’ has just recently been released on iTunes and on Amplifier- Vol 1 is titled ‘Then Rock ‘n Roll Hit New Zealand’. Vol 2 is called 'In polite company.' Here on iTunes.

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