Focus – Moving Waves

30 Jun

Focus - Moving Waves DS398 front

Album info

Release: DS398

Source: Q8

Format: DVD-A/V  MLP/DTS/DD

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55 Responses to “Focus – Moving Waves”

  1. John February 18, 2016 at 23:31 #

    Oh very nice indeed! Really love the spread on this one. Sometimes the field can feel a bit too disparate – and the music loses it center. Not here – felt really tight to me AND very discrete too. Hocus Pocus – is both hilarious and full of stunning playing, all enhanced by being shared across the four speakers. So happy to have this in quad. That yodel right in the middle of my room! And the rest is just great too. The mix is a bit weird at times, and none the worse for it!

  2. atq August 31, 2015 at 11:07 #

    Good sound on this – I believe 8 tracks can be a bit lo-fi but this is good. Mix is a bit weird at times – occasionally felt like everything was coming from one speaker. Also, I thought it had the front and rear swapped at first – I would have mixed Hocus Pocus the other way round. But the infamous yodelling sounds great – floating around the room.

  3. K August 8, 2015 at 19:45 #

    I listened to this one last night. I don’t know whether it is because of the source material or not, but even though hearing this album in quad isn’t particularly revelatory in terms of details (which is to be expected), the ‘rock’ moments on the album sound *much* more aggressive and compressed in this mix, which I like. I also like the fact that this version indexes “Eruption” into separate tracks — the version of this CD that I have (the Red Bullet release, which appears to use the same digital master as its source as most of the other CD editions) just features it as one long track, so even though the booklet lists track times for each ‘movement’, it is nice to be able to know exactly when one movement ends and the next begins.

    This reminds me that I need to dig further into Focus’ catalog…the only two albums I have of theirs (on CD) are this one and Focus III.

  4. cawum August 2, 2014 at 13:52 #

    “Hocus Pokus” beams me back to the seventies – with a big smile. For 30 years I didn’t listen to this recording. Now a very good Quad recording brings back memories. Thank you so much!

    By this occasion, OD, let me point your attention to the DTS tracks on the DVD-Video. Many among the latest releases carry the DTS on the second audio stream, not on the first one. Is there a reason for that? Couldn’t you give the preference back to the DTS track on authoring? For sound quality reasons DTS should be the first choice offered.

    Maybe there are not many of you playing the DVD-Video part? So no one ever mentioned this before: in all the years the DTS and Dolby track marks (numbers) are more and more deferred. That means: the music starts before the track mark appears, and by jumping to the next track you will miss its beginning.
    This happens while the track marks of the DVD-Audio part are placed all as they should. Can you do something about it?
    Thank you.

    • oxforddickie August 2, 2014 at 15:22 #

      There are two issues here, which are totally different and really belong in the chat section.

      I’m sure everyone would agree that sound quality should be given preference, but unfortunately the spec for DVD-V states that the first audio track should/must be Dolby Digital. The change was made in an effort to make the disc’s conform with that. I have altered the menu structure so that DTS is still the default track when first played.

      The second issue is a problem that would only affect a few, and i’m not sure it is disc related. When the problem first came to my attention, i dug into what was happening and found that the audio buffer was being told to empty at every chapter point. That was caused by a bug/bad programing in the software used to create the DVD-V folder. I now use an additional piece of software to correct that issue once the Video_ts folder has been created, so it ‘should’ not happen.

      The chapter points do not appear to be positioned as accurately as they are on the Audio-ts folder, a problem i suspect is possibly magnified because there is no video?

      The problem your having when playing back DTS ‘may’ be caused by other reasons. I can’t be 100% sure about it because everyone’s system is different.

      This is a complex issue, i’ve spent a lot of time looking it and i don’t have an answer that would please everybody, i’m afraid.

      If you wish to continue this as a thread, move it to ‘CHAT’ please.

      • cawum August 2, 2014 at 16:43 #

        No, thanks, I’m fine with your answers. But if you think this threat should be there, please move it to CHAT. Sorry for having themes mixed up.

        • oxforddickie August 2, 2014 at 17:34 #

          It’s not a problem, i just saw this as possibly becoming a bit of a thread. Would you believe i don’t seem to be able to move posts. very limited control really.

  5. wogden July 29, 2014 at 14:57 #

    Loved me some Focus back in the day. He’ll always be ‘thighs’ Van Leer to me. Saw them in the ’70s when they played at my college in Pennsylvania, later that same year in Columbia, MD. I seem to recall Akkerman put his guitar through what looked like a wall of leslie speakers- likewise Thijs van Leer’s Hammond. At the time I didn’t envy their roadies hauling that much furniture around, but all those spinning speakers sure did fill the room. Hope I’ll get to hear this someday.

    • Owen Smith July 29, 2014 at 17:55 #

      Did they do the yodelling live? Enquiring minds want to know.

      • wogden August 4, 2014 at 03:24 #

        Yes there was yodelling, in abundance.

  6. Owen Smith July 19, 2014 at 13:02 #

    This is great. I can barely believe I’m listening to a Q8 conversion here the sound quality is so good. It just goes to show that some Q8s could be very good, and well done on preserving that to the anonymous person that did the transfer.

    The bass guitar is fantastic on track 1 and beyond, it’s lovely to hear it contributing musically and being heard to do so. It reminds me of some of John Deacon’s bass guitar work on Queen albums and live.

    The quad mix is wonderful and inspired all through this album. The musicians are well captured, whether drums or lead guitar, vocals or piano etc. Track 4 for example just piano and voice is revealing a lot of detail. It’s a great recording and mastering job.

    I was late listening to this one due to it arriving just before my holiday. But it was well worth the wait.

    And yes, the blog needs more yodelling. Now I’ve heard yodelling in quad I simply cannot go back to any yodelling in stereo only, it just isn’t the same :-).

    • Owen Smith July 19, 2014 at 13:22 #

      I just had to say: awesome drum solo in track 18, with great quad use.

  7. ultimatetrouble July 13, 2014 at 23:27 #

    The first time I ever heard of these guys was on a K-Tel LP of select various artists. The famous Hocus Pocus track was on the album, in stereo of course but it was a wild experience to endure for sure mostly in QUAD! lol All I can say is WOW! oh I even played it backwards back then, There was a time when backward masking was a thing. LOL If anyone remembers that.

  8. joeerand July 7, 2014 at 04:37 #

    I would like to repeated what others have said about this: surprisingly fat bass, nice soundscape, and a lot of catchy melodies. A lot of progressive rock bands did these album-side-length medleys, but this one is one of the best. The instrumental solos don’t outlast their welcome, the different sections/moods work well together without seeming schizophrenic, and the returns to previous material are satisfying. Thanks for indexing the individual sections as well! It’s a really nice tape transfer, much nicer than I would’ve thought possible, so thanks also to your anonymous source.

  9. bigheadrascal July 6, 2014 at 01:50 #

    After listening to a mediocre at best Q8 to DTS-CD rendering of John Lennon’s “Walls and Bridges”, I decided to finally give this a spin. Admittedly I wasn’t expecting much artistically and only decided to give it a chance based on comments by other blog members. In the US “Hocus Pocus” seemed to fare very well on the American top 40 charts, probably the yodeling and gibberish serving as a novelty. It gave us a good giggle. However the AOR stations (at least in this area) wouldn’t touch this LP with a ten foot pole. That stated, this is my very first listen. I was immediately taken in by the brilliant sound field that presented itself. Absolutely amazing! Whoever engineered/mixed this recording should be put in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Artistically, I’m feeling a melding of ELP and Jethro Tull. Indeed another fine release. I’m glad I gave it a chance. Perhaps some things are best left experienced until later in life. Many thanks, OD for yet another very pleasant surprise!

  10. donhochiminh July 2, 2014 at 13:48 #

    My old ears certainly aren’t what they once were, but I’m a sucker for a good yodel.

  11. gjwAudio July 1, 2014 at 18:20 #

    Hey OD… Are you set up for doing tape transfers now ? I must have missed the chatter on your expanded laboratory. What player(s) do you have at hand ?

    I’m curious as to what sort of processing do you apply when dealing with tape sources (as the matrix equations don’t come into play) ?

    ===========================================

    I love the Focus catalogue – Moving Waves spent many hours on my turntable when the band first came to my attention. Can’t wait to hear the quad realization of this wonderful music making.

    Thank you (again) for making these treasures available to the world at large !

    • oxforddickie July 1, 2014 at 18:22 #

      Unfortunately i don’t have any tape machines, the source for the Kraftwerk and Focus titles wishes to remain anonymous.

      Saying that though, there’s a nice Q4 machine on Ebay at a fair price down in Cornwall, problem is it’s collection only 😦

    • Owen Smith July 19, 2014 at 13:05 #

      Shame the Q4 machine is in Cornwall. That’s an awfully long drive from almost anywhere in the UK, and the roads down that end of the country get worse the further south you go. Having said that there’s some great Brunel civil engineering to gawp at on the way.

  12. rockyofpittsburgh July 1, 2014 at 17:47 #

    Behind the scenes, I had been nagging Odee to release this. I’m very grateful he did. It sounds great to me. There are a couple of haunting melodies.

  13. gregtanner July 1, 2014 at 08:29 #

    For a Q8 source the sound quality of this one is really good… instrument separation is not bad either, though there is guitar bleed on all channels… may be it’s because the guitarist wasn’t in an isolation booth when his parts were recorded… i also think the bass levels are fine… cheers OD…

    • rockyofpittsburgh July 1, 2014 at 17:24 #

      It seems to me that the quad mix has the instruments purposely spread around. There are only four musicians, and they did not use much overdubbing. The stereo mix has the guitar on one channel. Since this is a discreet source, I have to think it is the way it was intended.

  14. gulliverity July 1, 2014 at 02:08 #

    Excited to experience this one! Thanks!

  15. lonky53 June 30, 2014 at 20:19 #

    Thanks OD. One of my biggest complaints about this blog has always been that there just hasn’t been enough yodeling.That hole has ben filled,the blog is now perfect

    • rockyofpittsburgh July 1, 2014 at 17:25 #

      LOL

  16. octhardcore June 30, 2014 at 18:54 #

    This is a great album. It’s got the famous song Hocus Pocus that was used as the theme to Steve Coogan’s Saxondale and was, originally, a hit after appearing on the OGWT if I remember correctly. I’ve only got a DTS version so looking forward to hearing it in DVD-A. Some say the bass is too loud in the mix – I like it though – what do others think?

    • oxforddickie June 30, 2014 at 19:04 #

      I always find that if a bass player adds to the music, as it does here, it should be heard. Personally i find the bass level just right.

      • octhardcore June 30, 2014 at 19:13 #

        Absolutely agree

        • bigheadrascal July 6, 2014 at 01:26 #

          Also agree

      • jaypfunk July 1, 2014 at 17:44 #

        It sounds really great. You can definitely hear things that the bass player is playing that you can’t on the stereo version. Top notch OD. Thanks again.

    • forthosewithfourears June 30, 2014 at 21:39 #

      Seem to remember they played the OGWT on Friday as you say, and the UK allegedly sold out of the album by the Monday. Really looking forward to this!

      • rockyofpittsburgh July 1, 2014 at 17:28 #

        What does “OGWT” mean?
        The bass is louder on this than on the retail stereo CD. IT’s OK for me.

    • rockyofpittsburgh July 1, 2014 at 17:29 #

      Hocus Pocus was a radio hit in America.

  17. quadro2013 June 30, 2014 at 18:40 #

    I like Focus very much and have most of their albums. Have some of Jan Akkermans and Thijs Van Leer’s solo albums too.

    So I’m again very happy with this freebie.

    Never expected to see Focus here. It’s great!

    Thank You!!!

    • oxforddickie June 30, 2014 at 18:54 #

      If it was released in quad, there’s a good chance it could appear here

      • octhardcore June 30, 2014 at 22:23 #

        As far as I can tell there were 5 Focus related quad records/Q8: 2 of which were solos.. but maybe OD can correct me.

        • oxforddickie June 30, 2014 at 22:28 #

          There were two focus albums on Q8 and two solo albums by Thijs van Leer, Don’t think there any others.

          • octhardcore June 30, 2014 at 23:08 #

            I don’t know if you allow links, but as I assume you see this before it’s posted on your blog – , there was a BBC SQ disc:

            http://www.popsike.com/FOCUS-BBC-Transcription-Disc-Live-SQ-Quad-Quadraphonic/170618297674.html

            • oxforddickie June 30, 2014 at 23:20 #

              Thanks, i was just counting the official albums, but if we include concerts there was one in 1973 on the KBFH and that one you listed in 1976

              • octhardcore June 30, 2014 at 23:40 #

                Ah yes, I forgot about that one – as I expected, I stand corrected! Were the KBFH broadcasts distributed like the BBC quad tapes on Q4 and LP? Did I hear the masters of the KBFH quad tapes no longer exist?

                • oxforddickie June 30, 2014 at 23:49 #

                  Unfortunately true, they were destroyed in a warehouse fire i believe, so we are left with recording made by people at the time.

                  • octhardcore June 30, 2014 at 23:59 #

                    Of the ones I’ve heard the Rolling Stones’ seems to have the best separation. I hear the Who one was QS, but the others were SQ,…which I can almost believe is true because they were a big band at the time and I think their record label released QS , but I’m not sure

                    • oxforddickie July 1, 2014 at 00:39 #

                      The Who concert was in SQ, as were all KBFH quad broadcasts

                • sacdtodvda July 3, 2014 at 07:25 #

                  The masters are apparently gone, but occasionally, four track tapes that were sent to radio stations to run through their own encoder do turn up. They make a very nice alternative to the LPs as conversions.

  18. iaasheim June 30, 2014 at 15:10 #

    Thank you. Old favourite.
    ….and Focus is playing in my home town in September 🙂

    • rockyofpittsburgh June 30, 2014 at 17:00 #

      Is Jan Akkerman back with them?

      This is the only Dutch band we heard in America as far as I know..Except for Hocus Pocus, they didn’t get any airplay. They can’t be found on the jukeboxes either. They were a group of very intelligent and inspired musicians. That is Thijs van Leer on keyboards and flute, but don’t ask me how to pronounce that name. My other favorite is Hamburger Concerto..

      • oxforddickie June 30, 2014 at 17:21 #

        Did ‘Earth & Fire’ make any waves over there, i know the lead singer became something of a pin-up in the USA

      • jrdaniels June 30, 2014 at 18:41 #

        His name is pronounced Tice (as in Nice) van Leer. Seem them a few times recently and they’re still brilliant. And no, Jan Akkerman has not been with them for a very long time. The guitarist is now Menno Gootjes and he’s every bit as good.

        And thanks O.D for another freebie gem.

        • rockyofpittsburgh July 1, 2014 at 17:35 #

          Thank you. I thought it was pronounced like “thighs”, Thanks for correcting me.

  19. rockyofpittsburgh June 30, 2014 at 14:33 #

    Thank you very much, Sir Odee!

  20. joeerand June 30, 2014 at 10:57 #

    Thank you so much!

    • daveede June 30, 2014 at 17:58 #

      Thanks! Looking forward to this one.

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