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over-zealous noise reduction on this remaster
on 31 October 2012
I've owned a CD of Autobahn since the late 1980s, and I need hardly sing the praises of the actual music on here - this is one of the most seminal electronic albums ever recorded, and the title track is a joy!
But I have just acquired this 2009 remastered edition, and am decidedly ambivalent about it. On the plus side, they haven't compressed it to hell as part of the "loudness wars" - the dynamics are intact. But I feel they have been very over-zealous with noise reduction. On the original master, quiet tracks like Morgenspaziergang have audible broadband hiss and even a bit of mains hum in the background. I can see why they thought they need to "fix" this - but they've gone far too far, and instead of hiss, there are now quite noticeable digital gurgle-wurgle artefacts. It's a real schoolboy error and I'm very surprised to hear something as hamfisted as this on a band who pride themselves in sonic perfection.
Also, removing Wolfgang Flür's head from the back cover photo is rather meanspirited as well.