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Label Watch: Naim Records

Recordings on the British Naim label have several unique qualities, not the least of which is the company’s passion for capturing the essence of a performance on each release. According to Naim’s technical guru, Julian Vereker, who handles mastering, it’s the “human element” that is critical to him, which he defines as preserving the feel and ambiance of a live performance. Oftentimes, that means making a studio recording that even has an unintentional mistake or two¯as is sometimes heard on a live date.

“I’m inclined, quite often with the classical recordings, to actually leave in mistakes, provided the intention is good,” he said. “I want the people, the human beings. I want the smell of cigarette smoke in the atmosphere and I want the feel of hot bodies. The last thing I want is a perfectly made-up corpse. It’s a different philosophy, and I know it sometimes frustrates reviewers.”

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