Van der Graaf Generator
Rimini, L'Altro Mondo
9 August 1975 (early show = afternoon show)
lineage: Revox B77 (open reel) at 7.5ips, 2 Sennheiser microphones (sorry: no model specs)
digitizing: Revox --> dat --> Edirol UA3D --> G4 (Peak 4.13)
mastering: Peak 4.13 (normalization/track separation) --> Roxio Jam (index marking/finalizing) --> xAct 1.58 (level 8)
101 - The Undercover Man
102 - Scorched Earth
103 - Man-Erg
104 - Lemmings
105 - La Rossa
201 - Arrow
202 - A Louse Is Not A Home
203 - Faint-Heart And The Sermon
204 - The Sleepwalkers
The story of this tape is quite interesting, as it comes from a whole batch of open reels all taped within a less than 2 weeks long span at the same venue, L'Altro Mondo in Rimini, Italy, a kind of giant hangar, very innovative at the time, where hundreds of people were stuffed dancing (and doing other things). Amongst the recordings there were a few Italian artists (most prominently Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Fabrizio De Andrč) and some foreigners (Van der Graaf Generator, obviously, but also Suzi Quatro, Demis Roussous and more). That said, the two performances Van der Graaf Generator put on that same day (afternoon and evening shows were common in those days) were astounding.
The band had reformed only a few months before but was in fantastic shape. Listening to the energy coming out of that stage is indeed amazing even nowadays.
The setlist mixed a few "old" classics with the recently recorded material from Godbluff, but also added numbers from Peter Hammill solo side of the discography.
Since the evening show = late show surfaced years ago as a bootleg double cd (Wordly Men And Strangers, Reel Tapes Records), a copy of it ended up in Peter Hammill's own hands. Tracks from that show have since appeared in a few official releases (The Box 4cd set and various remastered editions of VdGG albums).
I've seen a tracklist for this same show that was quite different: but I can guarantee this is the real deal, as it is sourced directly from the original reels (as stated above).
Also, Rimini's tapes from this batch have often been defined as mixing desk sourced. They are not. The original taper did set up his Revox close to the mixing desk but then, rather than plugging into the board itself, ran his microphone wires all the way to the stage, bundled with the electricity wires for the lighting rig. From what he told me (a long long time ago, I must say), I seem to remember they were actually fixed to the lighting rigs with gaffa tape.
And that's the reason for what has elsewhere being described as "PA hum": the damned noise present in all of these recordings is not, unfortunately a simple hum, but keeps increasing (and decreasing) in volume and frequency, the more (or less) the lights were turned on (or off) to illuminate the stage...
That's basically the reason why no amount of "automatic" denoising or equalizing will go anywhere near getting rid of the nuisance.
Still, the dynamic of this recording - with quiet nearly solo passages which suddenly give space to loud and vibrant band ensambles - is absolutely superb! For your own sake: listen to this as loud as you can...
As always, I hope you'll enjoy it.
NB: the pictures accompanying this release (supposedly shot in Rimini) all come from the great VdGG/PH website at http://www.vandergraafgenerator.co.uk. I hope Phil doesn't mind that I bundled them here...