That’s really all that can be said about this one. In fact, this release is so inspired; it will be my first 5-star review. This is essential music.
“Quaudiophiliac” is a compilation of recordings, some previously unreleased, that were created in “Quad” or 4-way sound. “Quadraphonic audio” never garnered the sort of attention that modern day 5.1 surround has but Frank Zappa, always the trailblazer, began recording in the medium as early as 1970.
It is amazing to listen to the breath and scope of these pieces, from the symphonic grandeur of “Naval Aviation In Art?” to the basement jam (literally) of “Chunga Basement”. In the case of the latter, it was recorded in the basement of Zappa’s legendary studio, the Utility Muffin Resource Kitchen live to 4 tracks. Yes, live. Fans of jam bands take note; this is the real deal.
If you are a dedicated Zappa guitar freak, this album is most certainly for you as you can bathe yourself in the light of Frank’s intoxicating solos. What a thrill it is to hear Frank go for the throat on “Rollo” while sitting in the middle of it! In the case of “Chunga Basement”, it is almost like listening in on a band rehearsal. “Venusian Time Bandits” features outlandish lead guitar sounds that sound like they are coming from…well, Venus! Check out Zappa playing some jazzy sounding rhythm guitar on Waka/ Jawaka before launching into an ultra hip solo.
The sound quality of this album, while coming from differing sources is remarkable. Considering that the recording dates span the years of 1970 to 1978, the overall consistency of the album is notable. While Frank Zappa himself mixed the original ‘quad’ recording, Dweezil Zappa is to be commended for selecting, sequencing and mixing this material to 5.1; it is a job well done! And I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with his liner notes the track “Rollo” IS bitchin’!
I cannot praise this album enough; it truly is an example of pure genius at work. Let’s hope the Zappa Family Trust and DTS, keep pulling things out of THAT vault!