Bob Dylan has re-recorded a series of his classic songs with T Bone Burnett, which will be released on a new ultra-high definition recording medium developed and patented by the multi-Grammy producer.
Representing “the first breakthrough in analog sound reproduction in over 70 years”, the technology – dubbed Ionic Originals – delivers the “peak of recorded sound”, says Burnett.
“It’s archival quality,” he says. “It’s permanent. It’s one of the ones. Not only is an Ionic original the equivalent of a painting, but it is a painting.”
The technology, Burnett explains, consists of lacquer painted onto an aluminum disc, with a spiral engraved on it by the music, much in the same way as vinyl. He continues: “This painting, however, has the added quality of containing this music, which can be heard by putting a stylus in the spiral and spinning it.
“When describing the quality that elevates analog sound above digital sound, the word ‘warmth’ is often used,” adds Burnett. “Analog sound has more depth, more harmonic complexity, more resonance, better imaging. Analog has more feel, more character, more touch. Digital sound is frozen. Analog sound is alive.
The records, Burnett promises, “advance the art of recorded sound and mark the first breakthrough in analog sound reproduction in over 70 years”, and “possess a depth, resonance and sonic fidelity that surpasses that of vinyl, CD, streaming or any other means of experiencing recorded music”.
It’s unclear at this point which songs Bob Dylan has re-recorded to coincide with the media’s launch, when they’ll be released, or even what hardware will be needed to play them, but Burnett has formed a new company, NeoFidelity, Inc., with intend to record a range of artists using the technology, so we’ll likely have more information soon.
T Bone Burnett got his start as a guitarist in Bob Dylan’s band on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975 and 1976, and went on to a long and illustrious career as a producer, working with artists like Elton John, BB King , Robert Plant and more.