“The Spirit of Turtle Records®”was set free on a Summers eve in 1997. Although we had never met before, Harry van Dalen of “Rhapsody Sound Masters” and I were aware of each others work and in a sign of projects to follow, it was over the use of a dCS analogue to digital converter that I visited Harry’s store in Hilversum, Holland.
As Harry and I talked about music and recording it soon became clear that our ideas and visions about recording and reproducing music of all styles were so strikingly similar, that it felt like we had found our soulmate in sound and performance.
A new record label with a revolutionary scope
By the end of this chance encounter we were both convinced that we had to start something together in the music business and out of this positive energy a new record label was born with only one objective: “to capture the musical message of a real live performance, translating it into the frozen bits of a recording, and then translate it back such that the essence of this performance is communicated to the listener without any loss of detail and emotion.”
“Only the Music”
Like the dCS slogan: only the music…we wanted to create a gateway between the performer and the listener which, in the best case, appears not even to be there. Furthermore an approach of no compromise and unconditional effort to reach “the optimum” under all circumstances. This motto perfectly describes our shared vision for music recording and playback and we both realised it could only be achieved by combining great musical performers with state of the art equipment and revolutionary recording techniques. We knew from our own experience that the essence of a magic musical moment in a real world event is often lost in translation by porting it into the virtual world of loudspeakers, only firing pockets of pressurized air, but we were determined to get it right all the way through the electronic chain and during the creative process of working with the artists.
High End audio implemented at the source
Myself and my partners at Kompas CD Multimedia had great experience in professional recording tools and producing techniques and allied to the knowledge Harry and Martin Odijk from More Music had gained from many years in High End consumer audio. This gave us a unique opportunity to join forces and benefit from each other’s talents and connections. This synergy quickly led to a truly “High End” recording philosophy which still might be one of the best around and forms the basis for all recordings we do. They all are shaped after this first “blueprint” and carry the signature of “The Spirit of Turtle Records®”. It is due to the talent and combined effort of the people from the first hour that “The Spirit” became such a powerful guide for the path of the future.
A true Time Machine
Recent advances in mastering technology mean that the original “impulse responses” of halls and rooms can now be digitally sampled in high resolution and this along with the availability of digital techniques to shape the images and colours in a recording, have allowed us to breathe new life into Turtle tracks that originally were only available in stereo. Interestingly enough these tracks now give us the same emotional response as the stereo version did 20 years back, whilst the latter is more of a great memory. As if one steps into a time machine, the remasters and surround version somehow turn the sweet Memory into the actual feel of the Present we found!