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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Deutsche Gramophone's other side of the music




Deutsche Gramophone Gesellshaft was and still is a German major label devoted to classical music... 

... or not?

Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, Elvis Costello and Ravi Shankar also recorded for the yellow label company...











Here is a small selection of the above weirdos... all these discs shows same stellar quality as the orchestral productions... 






Give music a chance...







When I play music I like in my tiny studietto I feel me like I connect to something non-terrestrial, mysterious, beyond beauty.

 

Being there is like going to the temple and the audio system isn’t gears, anymore, but a shrine and a connection to this alternate world of beauty where no priests and masses are necessary to connect to the God of Music.

 

Why am I writing above lapalissianities?

 

Because something really happen to my mind and whole being: my heartbeat and breathing changes, when I enter my music room, tired or annoyed or angry from my daily job amenities, everything better focus and is scaled down to its real weight and importance vs. my very own life.

 

I feel that only a few miles above our heads there are stars and planets and zero Kelvin temperatures and silence… maybe it’s why I so much love music and silence among notes…



 

It’s a cosmic bond to where we all live and come from, the universe and its fractal rules, where an orchestral fortissimo with tympany and thundering drums are like a storm or an asteroid falling on the Moon surface… where a strings pianissimo or a theremin or an e-bowed guitar sounds like the soundtrack to a satellite orbiting around our planet Earth… or the whooshing of our most inner, secret mind-chatting.

 

Everything’s beauty?

 

Nope!

 

Some free-jazz sounds to my romantic, flawed ears like a samsara – i.e. men fighting for nothing, wars, suffering, screaming hungry kids in Sudan, violence and  assorted nasty human habits of sort…

 

Music can really be much MORE than entertaining, dancing stuff!

 

Titles, both in rock, popular and classical music are a suggestion coming from the composer/artist… they sometime hint to what the musician saw when writing/playing the score.

 

Colors, moods, emotions can only be barely suggested… everything is very personal and private.    

 

I still fondly remember a maybe 12 years old me playing the fantasy-game with my younger brothers – i.e. a tune was played on the stereo and we were inventing short stories or images or characters behind the notes…

 

… and as my mom was saying: “If someone loves music, flowers and animals cannot be bad at all.”

 

I fondly agree…

 

Forever.





Monday, August 14, 2017

Nasotec VEM ceramic ball-bearings feet for Garrardzilla




The Garrardzilla wears a new set of upmarket red-shoes, folks;-)



I got them and immediately installed under the silver slate plinth.

I immediately noticed an improved mid- and high-end, something which made me to lower half a db on high and mid knob on the Mayer crossover...

Sure the industrial rubber feet I used previously sounded natural and right, yet... all rigid mounting 301 - i.e. no rubber washers between chassis and plinth, arm and arm pod and now, under the plinth - all brought me to a tighter, extremely dynamic overall sound, natural and even more right, if possible.


I'm short of words... unfortunately my writing skills are not up to par to my listening skill, apparently;-)





I listened two times to my new reference disc, Gilliam Welch and David Rawlings, as the guitars were so beautiful and the voices were so natural.

Some of my friends who were in my studietto will think I'm going nut, but... what can I say?

These feet added an immeasurable something to the Garrardzilla magic... I could dare affirming now it's perfect and not perfectible!

... but, who knows?

Why limiting the future improvements and surprises this amazing passion is able to give?

If you own an idler-wheel turntable, my advice or suggestion is: try these feet...

You could remain jaw-dropped, like I was...


Thanking Chan-Dong Son of Nasotec for his support and care for details... and...  yes, folks: I bought and paid for these accessories and I'd do again and again.




My Music Machine!





Saturday, August 12, 2017

My next job...




It will be randomly full-time...




... one of the noblest "jobs" on Earth.


Check for a Guild and an aluminium seat around... not looking for a tip, but a smile.




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Per aspera ad astra!





Yes, folks... here you'll find something different, indeed.


Forty years ago this month, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and beyond, into the mysteries of interstellar space. Mounted to each spacecraft is a golden phonograph record, a message to introduce our civilization to extraterrestrials, perhaps billions of years from now. The Voyager Golden Record tells a story of our planet expressed in sounds, images, and science. The Voyager Golden Record is a gift from humanity to the cosmos, but it’s also a gift to humanity. It lies at the intersection of science and art to spark the imagination, and delivers a dose of hope that so many of us are jonesing for these days. Two years ago, my friends Timothy Daly, Lawrence Azerrad, and I embarked on a long journey to release the Voyager Golden Record as a box set of vinyl LPs so those on Earth can hear it as it was meant to be played. We were humbled by the incredible support our project received. (You can read about our experience in the project updates here.)


Ten months after our Kickstarter ended, the enthusiasm and excitement around the Voyager anniversary and the golden record continues to increase. We feel very fortunate that the story of this historical artifact resonates with so many people! As promised, we will never reproduce the Kickstarter "40th Anniversary Edition" box set again. Our Kickstarter backers took the journey with us and we are deeply grateful. However, for those who were not able to participate in the Kickstarter, we have decided to repress the Voyager Golden Record in a different edition than the one our Kickstarter backers will receive. This elegant second edition will include a full-color softcover book, three 140 gram vinyl LPs, metallic gold-printed sleeves, and the Voyager Trajectories turntable slipmat housed in a deluxe metallic gold-printed box. (And based on a surprising number of requests, we're also offering a hardcover book/2xCD version of the Voyager Golden Record.) You can pre-order the vinyl box set and CD/book for delivery before Christmas. Pre-orders of the vinyl box set directly from our label, Ozma Records, will include a free Voyager Diagram Pin. Ad astra! Pre-order the Voyager Golden Record (Ozma Records)


Thanking Tom for suggesting this seldom seen stuff... history & music at its best.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Studietto, a love affaire...




I feel so happy after downsizing my system, folks... too much gears is so... distracting.






Happy...




... some Oregon and Ralph Towner seldom seen discs...




... as an Oregon and Ralph Towner scholar, I collected something seldom seen stuffs in the years...


The disc signed by all Oregon's members on Nov. 2nd, 1984, after a concert in Padua (Italy)



Ralph Towner's Solo Concert (ECM 1173) - test pressing...





... two Oregon's promo discs... 





Popol Vuh - "For You and Me" OST reissue








Out of print since 1991.


Experimental pioneers Popol Vuh will receive a long overdue reissue of their 1991 album For You and Me on Light In The Attic.


Originally released on Milan Records in 1991, the album has never been available on vinyl outside of Europe. Aside from a CD reissue in 2006, this marks the album’s first time on vinyl since the original release.






Coming after their ’70s heyday pioneering kosmiche and soundtracking Werner Herzog’s best films, For You and Me is considered a late-era gem from Florian Fricke’s legendary project and captures Popol Vuh as a trio featuring guitarist Daniel Fichelscher and vocalist Renate Knaup.


Listen to a track from the album here and look for the reissue August 31 via One Way Static.





Sunday, August 6, 2017

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ralph Towner's rarest-of-rare disk







Superb disk, Japanese "pressing"...



Neil Young - Hitchhiker (1976/2017)




On August 11th, 1976, Neil Young walked into Indigo Studios in Malibu and recorded 10 songs with his acoustic guitar. The results of that session are collected on Hitchhiker, a new Young LP due out on September 8th. 


Many of the songs have surfaced on previous Young albums, albeit in different forms: "Human Highway" appeared two years later on 1978's Comes a Time, while "Powderfinger," "Ride My Llama" and "Pocahontas" showed up on Rust Never Sleeps(1979), and "Captain Kennedy" came out on 1980's Hawks & DovesHitchhiker will also contain a pair of never-before-released songs – "Hawaii," "a soaring ballad," and "Give Me Strength," which Young has occasionally performed live. 
Young recorded Hitchhiker with David Briggs, who helped produce many of Young's most famous albums, including Everybody Knows This Is NowhereAfter the Gold Rush and On the Beach. John Hanlon, another long-time collaborator, contributed some post-production to the original Malibu recordings. 




Even as Young unearths old material from 1976, he's been busily creating new music as well. In 2016, he released a live LP (Earth) and a studio album (Peace Trail). "I've got a lot to do without touring," he told Rolling Stone last year. "I'm actually just focusing now on recordings for awhile." One of his in-progress projects is the first record with his backing band Promise of the Real.
"Where I live now, I have a studio nearby; I can just go down there and work in it when I feel like it," Young added. "I feel free to do whatever I want to do."
Hitchhiker Track List
1. "Pocahontas"
2. "Powderfinger"
3. "Captain Kennedy"
4. "Hawaii"
5. "Give Me Strength"
6. "Ride My Llama"
7. "Hitchhiker"
8. "Campaigner"
9. "Human Highway"
10. "The Old Country Waltz"

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lumiere DST # 157







When such a fine cartridge, the property of my friend Tom, wasn't singing up to par it was a truly sad evenience.


The cartridge was purchased second-hand and she never sounded awesome... maybe just average, as per Tom's impressions sharing.


Trashing it?


Naaaah!


Some surgery was needed and only a man, to my experience and after trying several famous, yet sometimes overrated, so-called cartridge mavens' cares, was able to perform a complete rebuild.






Leonid Sinitsin was able to dismantle and carefully make the miracle: new steel cantilever, new hand-wound triangle-shaped coils, new conical diamond, alignment, also a magnet air-gap re-adjusted, previously too wide, resulting in a very poor overall sound and dynamics and detailing and far too low sensitivity and lacking of WOW! factor... not a good sampler, indeed...


From the once a black duckling into a majestic swan.


Chiaki Kikuchi's workmanship was sadly getting worst at any sampler, after the 2005-2006 vintage cartirdges which - someway - created the myth and sure my loyal fellowship... such a pity he wasn't able to keep the quality standards high, but that's all gone, now!


Now, after only some weeks wait, the Lumiere DST # 157 is singing again in The Peak arm, mounted on a Thomas Schick headshell and Tom's Garrardzilla.


Thanking Leonid for his kindness, care for details and great support and wishing Tom many years of musical bliss.




Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sabade Tapes from... somewhere?



Just found this...


We are an old recording studio and LP production factory in Italy and we have just started to clean up all our production tape archive (we have worldwide pop/rock/prog/jazz, etc. ; no classical).
All our tapes are ¼”.
...
This italian recording studio had official label's license to print LPs, CDs, MCs.


History of "production-tape masters": In the days of analog tape, when an artist is in post-production and mixes an album for release, it is mixed towards a final “master tape”.


It is this “master tape” that becomes the source for a domestic pressing (i.e. the label in the home country of the artist) and all pressings around the world. However, the story doesn’t end there. When a “master tape” is made, that was generally preserved by the record company.


From this master tape, a number of “safety masters” or “production masters” were produced. In some instances, it is this “safety master” that is sent to various record affiliates around the world.












We still don't have a list of this enormous archive (as it has been moved a few years ago and filed in a very chaotic order, unfortunately).




So the easiest way to order is to send us a list for example of 25-30 titles each time (album + artist), then we can look for in the archive and report you if they're available or not.









Tapes heaven or an hoax or a scam, maybe a fraud?


As I don't know them directly, yet - curiously - after some searches...


They briefly had a FB page


https://www.facebook.com/sabade.tapes.98
(or maybe it was for half an hour!!!)

Now disappeared... no surprise!

Such a pity the here below quoted disc was never, ever issued in Italy...

https://www.discogs.com/it/Rush-Caress-Of-Steel/master/7427

This is the site where some master-tapes pixies were taken:

http://www.2112.net/.../tran.../20111123masterdiskrecord.htm

Also the warehouse tapes shelving were already published... about two years ago...



Game-over!

Thanking for the above infos and links a pro and friend of mine - who will remain anonymous for privacy reasons - whose memory is truly impressive.


Please be always careful, folks... wolves, out there, so beware!








Tandberg of Norway







My looong love-affaire with Tandberg began several decades ago, when I swapped ESS' (dr. Heil tweeter) speakers for a Tandberg TL 5020 three ways speakers.


The Norway-made enclosures where so vastly superior in sound quality, I was using a HK Citation 12 and 11 combo, at the time, and also the finish was truly hitting my strings.


After some years, I sold them to a friend and bought, always pre-owned, a Studio Monitor model... incredibly nice and dynamic...


I used them for several years and sold them - now regretfully - when I got a Quad ESL bronze grille electrostatics...


Then, after some years, Stax F 81 and Futtermann H3AAA and Convergent Audio Technology SL-1 followed, but that's another story;-)


I recently got a nice pair of coaxial, Alnico speakers - i.e. - Tandberg 114-116-8 which was really gorgeous in appearance and sound... I sold them to a friend because I was in love for my Cabasse Dinghy 221... but when I purchased for cheap one pair of Tandberg System 11, still in use on the Foundation Designer stands, well... I kept them, dearly!

I realized that Tandberg of Norway is among the few manufacturer where the quality was paramount from bottom to top of the line models... and that, summing it up, I owned more gears from this very brand than other makers...


Yes: I owned Stax F 81 and Stax electrostatic earspekers, Quad ESL and ESL 63 and Quad 33, 303, FM3, 405, Quad II, and Studer B62, B67, A730... but...


I still own Tandberg 11 and Tandberg TD20A 2-tracks 19/38 cm/s open reel (at home, it's so elegant and homely vs. Studer's studio look...) and Tandberg 9200 XD 4-tracks, 3 speeds and also owned a 3500 open reel 4-tracks (fantastic sound quality in a cheap, unassuming package), now the property of a friend... and someway, I'm in love with these gears... they seem to own a their own relaxed, timeless class, reminding to early hi-fi days, when purchising one of these fine electronics was an heavy expense, always well pondered and considered.










Sound-wise, all Tandbergs' plays AMAZING and are very, very nice building quality... being sort-of prehistoric hi-fi and quite out of the BIG vintage deal, prices are still right and spares are quite common on Ebay.


I compared some master-dubs played on my pristine, serviced and aligned Telefunken M15A (78 db s/n!!!) with my Tandberg TD20A at 15 IPS and... you cannot believe it!!!


Nuances are so well treated... a true audiophile machine, deserving the VERY best audio system!


I invite everyone serious about audio and, most of all, open reel and tapes collecting, to give a try to Tandberg's... you'll be maybe out of high prices collecting hypes, but you'll get premium quality music.


Ha!






Friday, July 28, 2017

Thomas Dolby - I Scare Myself (Long Version)







One of my best sounding discs and such a nice song...






Get your copy... 12" 45 RPM... expect highest dynamics!!!




Thursday, July 27, 2017

You Tube to MP3







Love this little useful program...















Yeah!











Tony Conrad's Ten Years alive on the Infinite Plain (1972/2017)








Premiering to the world at large, Tony Conrad’s gobsmacking quintessential opus Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain is now available to hear for the first time, featuring Laurie Spiegel and Rhys Chatham and arriving via Superior Viaduct just over a year since the death of the iconoclastic avant-garde violinist and composer in 2016.



Conrad’s sprawling, innovative practice - binding film, sound and performance in peerless and unprecedented style has been a huge influence on his myriad collaborators and far-flung body of avowed admirers. Just like the amazing and revelatory documentary, Tony Conrad: Completely In The Present [2016], this steeply immersive 1hr, 30 minute recording should also attract a whole new wave of listeners to his truly sui generis music and cement his place in the 20th century avant-garde firmament, if it wasn’t already.







Recorded at the piece’s premiere at The Kitchen, NYC, in 1972, this release of Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain effectively forms some of the earliest documentation of Tony Conrad solo, one year before his legendary ..with Faust LP. Accompanied by Rhys Chatham playing the Long String Drone - a six-foot strip of wood with bass strings and electric pick up, prepared with tuning keys, tape and metal hardware - and Laurie Spiegel thrumming a crunching arrhythmic bass throughout, Conrad leads the 1hr 28 minute piece with the sustained caterwaul of his favoured violin (often the most battered model he could find), scraping back and forth in a pitching, phasing, mind-bending performance dating to just after his time spent developing this technique as part of The Theatre of Eternal Music with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and John Cale - whom cites Conrad’s sonic philosophy and contributions to early live Velvet Underground actions as a pivotal formative influence over the esteemed artrock pioneers.



Completely mesmerising, the instinctively fearless results are belied by a conceptual and mathematical rigour that boldly asserted Conrad’s convictions in a unity and transcendence of all things. And yet whilst divorced from the visual aspect of the performance - a row of quadruple projections arranged side-by-side, incremental overlapping to form a pulsating picture - which was surely a major part of the piece, the sonic results still carry a potent meaning through its durational reinforcement of purely dissonant tunings and insistently dragging yet forward motion - an inexorable drive intently focussing themselves, and the listener, in the eternal traction of the present.



In terms of that effect at least, we could compare the piece’s intensity and heightened hallucinogenic qualities with extended studies such as Éliane Radigue’s Transamorem - Transmortem, Alvin Lucier’s Music On A Long String Wire or Harley Gaber’s Wind Rises In The North, for example, yet there’s something utterly primal at play that bucks all those references, and appears closer to a prescient, overproof distillation of folk immediacy, rock’s lusting urge, and the hypnosis of tribal/trance/techno musics.



It’s a completely stunning piece of music that will repay the attentive, attuned listener with endless rewards.




After "Outside of Dream Syndicate" I loved so much eons ago, a Five Mojo's Stars...as for yours truly!


Got it!



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fausto Papetti 13





Fausto Papetti, italian alto sax player extraordinaire represented for a much younger me a master of life more than a musician: his records very often showed as cover art the most beautiful lightly dressed, sometimes almost naked ladies... these girls were, back in early '70s, blinking from records shop windows and you can imagine the emotion and the turbament;-)


My pal Frank recently had a present for yours truly, Fausto Papetti's 13, a disc I already listened to and appreciated at his place, some months ago...






In the disc, lounging songs and two GREAT tunes, Take Five and Ode to Billie Joe, impress the listener for great musicanship and SUPERB sound and recording, I suspect the merit of maestro Barigozzi's engineering at Durium studios in Milan.


I suggest you to have a listen to the above mentioned pieces... the quality will blossom and impress also from an MP3 and shitty computer earphones.


Thanks to Franco for the gift and introducing me (again) to Papetti's music... a good companion to the so enjoyable lady on cover I always loved.


Grab your copy before this demo-quality disc goes sky-rocketing price-wise.






Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Roland Kayn - A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound (2017)




In October 2017, frozen reeds will present the première release of Roland Kayn’s fourteen-hour masterpiece, ‘A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound’, as a sixteen-CD boxed set.

Roland Kayn’s truly epic ‘A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound’ is both a major late opus and a summation of his vast contribution to the fields of electronic music and composition. Hearing the briefest passage of this piece, assembled in 2009 and totalling almost fourteen hours in length, is enough to date the material it is comprised of back to the era of his noteworthy LP boxed sets, released on the Colosseum label in the late 70s and early 80s.





Kayn’s so-called “cybernetic music”, to use the term he preferred, resolutely refuses to showcase the methods employed in its creation. The mass of logical interactions and correspondences underpinning the sounds we hear are submerged so deeply below the surface as to defy analysis. We are left only with the results, which grant the listener a profound and unique experience.

With ‘A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound’, Kayn provides both a vast sonic territory and the invitation to explore it. From glacial, drone-like vistas to violent staccato sequences, the piece’s twenty-two movements chart the length and breadth of electronic music in as comprehensive a manner as has ever been attempted.

The resurgence of the modular synthesizer as a popular musical tool in recent years belies the possibility that its boldest virtuosi may already lie in the instrument’s past. In his work in Europe’s electronic music studios alongside colleagues such as Leo Küpper and Jaap Vink, Kayn created sonic textures in such abundant variety as to make genre categorisation redundant. Photographs of the one-off, hand-built systems upon which they were realised have inspired the awe of electronic-music connoisseurs for years, but their output has been all too little heard and appreciated.

In 2017, Roland Kayn represents perhaps one of the last titanic figures of 20th-century music to receive their due recognition, and to have their vital music restored to availability. Fresh from its release of Julius Eastman’s ‘Femenine’, which spurred on its composer’s wider rediscovery and gave rise to performances, broadcasts and festivals devoted to his work around the world, frozen reeds is proud to initiate the first stage of a similar process for Roland Kayn, which his incredible music so richly deserves.

A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound (2009)
Sixteen-CD boxed set. Edition of 550.
Audio restoration by Jim O’Rourke.
All photographs copyright LRKA (Lydia and Roland Kayn Archive) Bussum.
Catalogue number: fr7/22
Barcode: 6419369992989
Release date: October 2017


Ordered my copy, today...



Monday, July 24, 2017

Gentle Giant





... I know: you'll call me an old, nostalgic fart...


This said, I kindly ask to both my age and younger music lovers and audiophiles to have a (re-) listen to Gentle Giant's albums.


The Prog albums between 1969 and 1974 were the azimuth of rock music... to my ears, sure considering the best examples and issues, the above is still valid and actual today.


Some records aged beautifully, others not so much...


Genesis' Foxtrot, King Crimson's 1st, In the wake of Poseidon, Lizard, Island and The Larks Tongue in Aspic and Gentle Giant's 1st, Acquiring the Taste, Three Friends, Octopus, Glass House and Free Hand are the true winners.








... other superb discs exist, of course, yet I'm just after highlightening Gentle Giant's masterpieces, someway overlooked and shadowed by Gabriel's and Fripp's group(s).
















 I listened in the last few days to the above mentioned Gentle Giant's discs, plus Interview and The Power and the Glory and... the hate also best Prog gets from music lovers is so sad!










Schulman and Minnears' bros' music sounds so refreshing and fresh, I dare saying brand-new, to my ears: please listen to "Nothing at all" on their first album on side two and you'll understand what I mean!!!








The group musical skills are HUGE and the music is hinting to the great English heritage: folk, ancient, renaissance and baroque suggestions are all here... plus jazz and rock, acoustic and electric, vocals blends a' la Beach Boys or Beatles or Steeleye Span or groovy, tight instrumentals... I so much enjoyed this special listening sessions...






Like when I have my week long or more Miles' listenings, it seems only getting the load of a musician on a daily, heavy diet you fully understand and appreciate it.


Everything considered, I suggest you to dig on this group production: my most beloved GG's disc is Three Friends, then 1st and Free Hand.


Music is truly majestic and sound is to die for... you'll be surprised and pleased!

... and I'll be happy.