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Soundkeeper Recordings

The sonic story in two sentences:

In our experience, once the signals are leaving the microphones, 90-95% or more of the recording's ultimate quality ceiling has already been determined.

Everything after the microphones (i.e., mic cables, AC mains power, AC mains cables, mic preamps, recording format, recording device, mix, if any, mastering, playback format, playback device, interconnecting cables, amplification, speaker cables, speakers, speaker positioning, vibration isolation, room acoustics, etc., etc.) merely determines how much of what was captured the listener gets to hear.


Kay Sa

The latest album from Markus Schwartz & Lakou Brooklyn

Kay Sa


A new video of the band performing "Minis Azaka" at the release party.

Listen to samples from the album

From Andy Norman at TNT-Audio
Markus Schwartz and Lakou Brooklyn - "Kay Sa"

"The recording of the album is a very complete exposition of the Soundkeeper philosophy.  It is so well recorded that the tangible feeling of being in the room with the musicians carries across different systems.  I listened to the album in two different rooms, on both speakers and headphones and the live quality shone through on each of them."

From Nelson Brill's Boston Concert Reviews
Music of Global Reach and Openness

"Kay Sa is filled with music of verve, spirit and flow.  At its core is the creative Schwartz, playing in a percussive landscape that is as varied and spirited as the music.  He fills the airy soundstage with resonant cascades of drums; the crackle of wood sticks; the bleat from a bamboo horn; the shimmer of his (endless delaying) ride cymbal and his twinkling chimes.  Schwartz is joined by the inventive saxophonist, the young Godwin Louis, who fills Kay Sa with his sax verve and passion at every opportunity.  For instance, on Thelonious Monk’s 'Bye-Ya (Bolero)' (with two variations presented here), Louis lifts to the sky with blossoming surges on his sax, always ready for the next creative tumble or breathy run.  On the softy swinging 'Wongol' (with lead vocalist and guitarist Monvelyno Alexis singing with dignified light banter), Louis’ alto is potent and poignant, filling the air with hot swing, bracing fluid runs and brawny honks.  Rounding out this stellar band is bassist Bobby Raymond, whose contrabass is pungent and resonant.  His solos on both versions of 'Bye-Ya' are warm pools of isolated notes, rubbery plucks and elastic holds.  Guitarist and lead vocalist Alexis is another virtuoso: his electric guitar delicately sprite as he fires off fast rhythm guitar chords (such as on the flying title cut, racing on Schwartz’s wood rims) or brims with soft, fleshy colors.  Diament’s production lets all this soulful music breathe: the music projects without any artificial hindrances to dynamics and flowing textures, making for a genre-busting feast of delights."


Another video from the Kay Sa release party




New Story About Soundkeeper Recordings

Read Richard Varey's article about Soundkeeper on the witchdoctor website.

Kay Sa Winds of Change Americas
Kay Sa Winds of Change Americas

Confluence Equinox Lift
Confluence Equinox Lift

What they're saying

"Diament’s skillful techniques consistently produce recordings that are unequalled in their capture of the natural breathe of instruments and vocals and how they light up the airy confines of their acoustic spaces."
- Read Nelson Brill's Music of Global Reach and Openness at Boston Concert Reviews

"The protection of recorded art that draws you in and holds your spirit – that’s what I’ve found listening to Barry Diament’s series of recordings...  Artisan recorded art for music fan and audiophile, captured by an audiophile master masterer!...  There’s an immediate sense of the space, with natural dynamics...  All of Barry’s principles and technique are plainly discernable in the intimacy and naturalness of the sound...  Add the careful attention to the provenance of each performance, and here we have a growing collection of select curated art."
- Read Richard Varey's Soundkeeper Recordings: A Completely Different Way Of Capturing Music at witchdoctor.

"Mr. Diament is a master at producing true real stereo recordings, with no dynamic compression while keeping everything as close as possible to the real live event."
- From Lucio Cadeddu's review of Winds of Change at TNT-Audio.

"Soundkeeper is that special record label where every performance is captured with a feeling of vitality and natural energy; every recording feels as if it is lit from within with a natural illumination that shines into every nook and cranny of the music to reveal its every texture, detail and the artistry of the musicians involved."
- Read Nelson Brill's Soundkeeper Recordings: Wonderment in the Music at Boston Concert Reviews

"These are among the finest recordings I have..."
- Soundkeeper Recordings was selected in the 9th Annual Positive Feedback Writers' Choice Awards for 2012 - The Best of the Best!

"I've been playing nothing but Soundkeeper Recordings disks today.  East coast engineering maven Barry Diament captures the illusion of life on each and every disk.  It's a small catalog (4 so far) but each one unique.  The best thing is that your system doesn't have to be world-class for the illusion to work.  Even on my desktop system (vintage tubed Fisher 500C and small Rogers LS3/5a monitors), it's like YOU ARE THERE.  I know Barry likes to record in a pure way, nothing close-miked and NO limiting, compression or outboard EQ to get in the way of the natural dynamics of the sound.  Too bad all the records of the world aren't recorded this way!  Start with the fab Equinox by Markus Schwartz & Lakou Brooklyn and move on to Paul Beaudry & Pathways Americas.  Then try Jason Vitelli's Confluence and Work Of Art Lift.  Try 'em, trust Steve, you'll really be in music heaven."
- Steve Hoffman, Mastering Engineer

"Critical point...you have to let this sound reset your ears because you have never heard it recorded and reality will sound foreign.  In a famous experiment a group of people wore prismatic glasses which turned the world upside down.  After a few weeks this became normal and when they took the glasses off the world seemed inverted.  This is what listening to Soundkeeper Recordings is like - it will turn your world back right side up."
- Lawrence de Martin

In the hearing there is only the heard.

This site last updated 8/4/2020.