December 2018
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Newvelle Records | The Deep End

By | December 14th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Newvelle Records covers

If you’re a music lover who is older than 35 or 40, you’ve probably joined the Columbia House Record Club at some point in your life. I joined for the first time back in 1976, when I was barely a teen and had just purchased my very first turntable—a Soundesign all-in-one with a BSR changer that cost me a whopping $49.95. I know it was ’76 because my first “Selection of the Month” was Bowie’s Station to Station, and that’s when it was released.… Read the full article

Somesh Mathur's Time Stood Still

By | December 13th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Somesh Mathur Time Stood Still

Sweetbeats Productions, Digital download available at Apple Music and Google Music $8.99

I know I’ve raved about recordings in reviews, even in the last year, where I remarked that I put it in my CD player or an LP on my turntable and I didn’t take it out/off for a very long time. That’s a nice way of saying I really enjoyed it, a sentiment that goes back to my youth where I’d stick a cassette in my car and drive around playing it for months at a time, or at least until one of my friends asked, “Do you have anything else you can play, dude?”

Does it really happen?… Read the full article

Monthly Spins: December 2018

By | December 8th, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

File Under: Athens Indie rock reissues

Released a couple of weeks ago this self-titled album is originally from 2000 and finds a fully-formed Athens, Georgia band that should have had a wider following given the fact that they pretty much define everything that is good about indie rock. A little Modern Lovers, a little American Analog Set. The leader and singer for The Glands is one Ross Shapiro, who passed away in 2016 from lung cancer. The surviving bandmates and fans decided a good tribute to the life of Shapiro would be to sift through the many years of Glands material and to rerelease this self-titled original offering as well as an album of 23 related songs released as Double Coda.… Read the full article

Christmas Music (Part 4), ORA Singers: “The Mystery of Christmas”

By | December 6th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

ORA Singers: The Mystery of Christmas. Music of Allain, Anonymous, Byrd, Hall, Hyde, Lauridsen, Macmillan, McDowall, Peacock, Rowarth, Rutter, Samitz, Sixten, Tallis, Williams, and Weir. CD Harmonia Mundi HMM 905303.

Downloads (24-bit/96kHz stereo AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, and WAV) available from HDTracks. Streaming available from Tidal.

Recorded at St. Augustine’s Church, Kilburn, London, January 23-28 and August 7-12, 2017. Nicholas Parker (all tracks except track 5) and Tim Handley (track 5 only), producers; Mike Hatch, engineer. Support for the arts from the Pureland Foundation.… Read the full article

25 Music Releases That Ended Up Making Me Smile

By | December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.

LOUDSPEAKERS

Vandersteen Quatro Wood Carbon. Reimer Speaker Systems Tetons (with the Hi-Vi Isodynamic Planar tweeters and series crossovers) heavily treated with Marigo VTS Dots. 

ELECTRONICS

PS Audio BHK 250 amplifier, PS Audio BHK Signature preamplifier. Channel D Lino phono stage, and the Heed Thesis phono stage. DEQX PreMate + (preamp) Marantz 2230 receiver, and the Kora integrated.

SOURCES

Digital: PS Audio DirectStream DAC and DirectStream Memory Player, DEQX PreMate +, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, and an Oppo BD-105.… Read the full article

Notes of an Amateur: Saariaho, Dusapin, Sierra, Finckel and Wu Han

By | December 2nd, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Saariaho and Koh. Jennifer Koh, violin. Nicolas Hodges, piano. Hsin-Yun Huang, viola. Wilhelmena Smith, cello. Anssi Kaarttunen, cello, Curtis 20/21 Ensemble, Conner Gray Covington, conductor. Çedille CDR 90000183.

There is some contemporary music we listen to because we just want to know what’s going on. This is not the same as keeping up with fashion, though I expect it’s more different in degree than kind. We find ourselves willing, even eager, to attend to things we’re not really ready for, yet.… Read the full article

The Beatles “White Album” Super Deluxe Edition 6CD + Blu-ray

By | December 2nd, 2018|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , |

by Paul Ashby

It’s okay to feel nostalgia for the period that produced the Beatles’ White Album.

(isn’t it?)

Or maybe I’m searching for a word other than “nostalgia” — it connotes positive memories. But I may not be the best person to ask, having let my subscription to the concept lapse somewhere along the way … because I finally realized even nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. Marketing bastards co-opted it a decade or three ago. 2018-era nostalgia sucks almost as much as post-Graydon Carter Vanity Fair.… Read the full article

The Beginner's Guide to Vinyl

By | December 1st, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , , |

The Beginner's Guide to Vinyl

The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl: How to Build, Maintain, and Experience a Music Collection in Analog, by Jenna Miles. ISBN-10: 1440598967. ISBN-13: 978-1440598968. Published by Adams Media (2017)

Rating

Global Appreciation: 8.5.

Presentation: straightforward, non-deluxe.

Category: music, vinyl record guide.

Format: paperback book. 5.5 x 8.5 inches approx. 256 pages all B&W except for 8 semi-gloss colored pages located half-way plus a few basic diagrams.

Written and researched by Jenna Hanes. Cover Design by Colleen Cunningham.

It’s that time of the year once again and if you are wondering like many I’m sure, what could I possibly give to a friend, spouse or audiophile buddy without breaking the bank?… Read the full article

Dream of An Opera 1 – Rhymoi, Music of China

By | November 30th, 2018|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , , |

Dream of An Opera 1

2018-11-Dream-of-an-Opera

Tracks:
Side A:
1. Dream of the Red Mansion
2. Mulan
3. Peony Pavilion
4. Madame Butterfly
5. The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl
Side B:
1. The Bramble Hairpin
2. Flowers as the Keepsake
3. The Great Award
4. Buddhist Arhat Coin
5. Drunken Beauty / Miss Su San Goes to Trial

2018 Rhymoi Catalog

At the 2018 California Audio Show, the Los Angeles-based Enmusic, Inc. took up a booth and displayed vinyl albums and compact discs of ancient Chinese music from the label, Rhymoi.

Read the full article

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ORG Music's Reissue of Shirley Horn's Softly

By | November 29th, 2018|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Shirley Horn Softly

ORGM-1030, LP $24, available at https://orgmusic.merchnow.com/products/v2/276626/softly-black-vinyl

This one threw me for a loop, as my mom likes to say when she’s thrown for a loop. I took one look at the cover and thought, “Oh, here’s another wonderful ORG reissue from the Golden Age of Jazz.” I know of Shirley Horn, but I’m not that knowledgeable about her. When I played Softly for the first time, I loved it—not only is it one of the softest recording of jazz standards I’ve heard in a while, but I admired the easy and delicate sound quality of this reissue.… Read the full article

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