PETER GABRIEL – ” Panopticom ” The Mixes

Posted: February 4, 2023 in MUSIC

I really enjoying Peter Gabriel’s new song ‘Panopticom’, but I’m also loving his engagement with his fans and, in particular, his generosity and interest around alternate versions of his new music. For example, as some of you might be aware, PG has released two mixes of ‘Panopticom’ already, the standard Bright-Side Mix and an alternate Dark-Side Mix. The man himself explains:

“I’m lucky to have two of the world’s best mix engineers; Tchad Blake and Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, working with me on the music from i/o. Rather than choosing only one of their mixes to release I have decided that people should be able to hear all the great work that they are both doing. 

we don’t know which version Gabriel considers definitive and therefore which variant will end up on the forthcoming i/o album. Perhaps we’ll get a 2CD set with ‘Bright-Side’ and ‘Dark-Side’ versions of the entire album.

Peter has embraced spatial audio and a week ago issued what he is calling the In-Side Mix of ‘Panopticom’. This is a Dolby Atmos version, created by Hans-Martin Buff. Hans said some interesting things about the process:

“3D music, as presented in Dolby Atmos, is SO much more than moving sounds all over the place. It’s not just a new way of mixing, it’s a way of making music that’s bigger and more rewarding than anything that came before. Peter gets it. To him, stereo and 3D versions don’t have to match, they just “both have to be great.” and to me, that is a creative dream come true.I get to bring anything to the table I can possibly imagine in order to fill Real World Studios’ Red Room with music. I get to streamline, I get to focus, I get to embellish, and I get to rough up the sounds that make up Peter’s arrangements. I get to emphasise, to hide, and I even get to record specifically for the immersive Peter Gabriel, and in the end, Peter will be in the room to be the judge of what’s best for his new songs. “When people want to know what great Atmos can be, I want them to listen to this,” he says. I think we’re well on our way.“

The good news is that “all the tracks from i/o will get the In-Side treatment” so we can look forward to more Atmos Mixes of Gabriel’s new music. At the moment, the only way you can listen to these Atmos Mixes is via Apple Music and because there’s no stereo version of this unique In-Side Mix, PG’s team have linked it to the Dark-Side Mix, so that’s where to look if you want to hear this spatial audio version on the streaming service.

I’d recommend you check out Peter Gabriel’s Bandcamp page. He’s making all this music available (except the Atmos Mixes) and subscribers are also given exclusive audio. For example, the other day he offered up the “Original Band Tracking Sessions 24/9/21” version of ‘Panopticom’! .

In a world where pre-release campaigns tend to consists of the familiar lyric videos, ‘instant grats’ and no physical product, I’m loving this approach from Peter Gabriel. Short of issuing CD singles and vinyl 12-inches, this is about as good as it is going to get in the modern era. I suppose a you could argue we’ve had Bright-Side, Dark-Side and In-Side versions of ‘Panopticom’, so how about a B-Side?

I intend to ask them to mix each month’s song, with Spike’s mixes being called the Bright-Side and Tchad’s the Dark-Side. Whether you hear the Bright-Side or the Dark-Side first will vary each full moon, depending on the order we decide to release them”. 

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