Tears of the soul over lame re-release labels…


92fe26a161188a5c2518f688b3fdc08d61e21db9Lágrimas Del Alma (Bolero)

by Magdalena Castro – on the album “Vintage México Nº 96 – EPs Collectors “Padre Nuestro””

The good news: fine late 50s or early 60s Latin pop.

The bad news: obviously taken from a scratchy LP, almost certainly by a fly-by-night ‘re-release’ label (likely in an East European country with extremely lax copyright laws that put material out of copyright after 25 years). It’s a practice that’s lead to the cottage industry of such re-release labels simply going down to the used record shop, buying an old copy and releasing it themselves, without paying any licensing or royalties to the artist or original label.

With the rise of so-called aggregators (services that package and release material to a wide variety of online stores and stream operations), we’ve seen these sleazy copyright scofflaws flooding the online stores and stream services with sometimes incredibly awful re-releases. Sometimes the source records are so scratchy the labels apply heavy-handed ‘noise reduction’ that makes once-stellar sounding records sound like crappy low bitrate mp3s from 1996. Underwater, in this case, is precisely the right term for the sonics of many of these releases.

Happily, this is far from the worst of these shadowy re-releases. Still, it’s clear from the continual waver of pitch that the grooved disk these tracks were recorded from had an off-center hole… even if we’re not under water here, the sea is rocky.

Too bad, too, because it’s pretty great music. Castro’s voice gets a little pinched and chipmonky in the high, loud parts, but it’s got a lot of very Latin soul. Fine music. Crummy vessel for it.