Two unexpected beauties arrived in the mail today–the latest releases from Riverside and Karmakanic. Well, I write unexpected because 1) I had completely forgotten that I’d pre-ordered the Riverside; and 2) I wasn’t expecting it to show up with Karmakanic, which I’d also forgotten was a two-disk affair. Truly serendipity.
The Riverside release is really a re-release of last year’s LOVE FEAR AND THE TIME MACHINE. This special edition includes a second disk, a DVD, with the album presented in hi-res stereo as well as 5.1 surround (mixed by Bruce Soord). It also includes a hi-res version of five tracks from the recording sessions, and the videos made to accompany the album. From what I can tell, the booklet that comes with it contains no new information from last year’s release except for an update on who mixed the DVD.
Not surprisingly in the least, everything here is outstanding–from the packaging to the re-released music. If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out Erik Heter’s review as well as his interview with the band last year.
I’m especially taken with the five additional tracks labeled as “day sessions.” These add up to nearly 28 minutes of extra music. If you remember how The Pineapple Thief often released bonus material of their jam sessions a decade or so ago, you know exactly what to expect from these “day sessions.” Frankly, they’re stunning, sounding as much like Lunatic Soul as Riverside. The atmosphere created and presented by these tracks is really exceptional. It’s worth ordering this new package just for these five songs alone. I’m sure I will be spending many hours listening to these songs.
When I pre-ordered the new Karmakanic (already reviewed–several days ago), I didn’t remember having ordered the special edition. While the artwork–provided by Rush’s Hugh Syme–is simply stunning, I can’t say the same about the packaging. Mostly plastic, my new case came pre-crushed! The booklet is in good shape, but the innards that hold the two disks are just lots and lots of flaky pieces. Ugh. Thankfully, the disks are ok, but the packaging is weak and poor. Too bad, as this release deserves the highest treatment possible. The extra disk is also a DVD. It has five songs recorded at RosFest 2012, a “making of” documentary, and several interviews.
Both albums come from Insideout.