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Frank Zappa: Zappa in New York: 40th Anniversary Deluxe

By | August 22nd, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Frank Zappa: Zappa in New York: 40th Anniversary Deluxe

Housed in a circular tin shaped like a NYC manhole cover, the expanded edition of Zappa in New York commemorates the 40th (technically 41st) anniversary of the original live double album released in March 1978 on Zappa’s DiscReet label. This deluxe 5-CD boxed set (and 3-LP 180-gram vinyl set) documents four sold-out shows held at The Palladium between Christmas and New Year’s of 1976. The 15-month gap between the live recordings and the album release had to do with Warner’s fear of a lawsuit by Punky Meadows, the subject of the song “Punky’s Whips.” The lineup for the performances includes …… Read the full article

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Evosound

By | August 20th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

Evosound

Since its first release in 2004, the Evosound music label has experienced considerable success in the Asian market, but it hasn’t had as much of an impact elsewhere. That should change, however. An effort by the Hong Kong-based record company to gain a wider audience will bear fruit due to its commitment to making excellent-sounding recordings in genres that appeal to audiophiles—or so my introduction to the label leads me to suspect. As the Music Editor of TAS, I receive a lot of music in my mailbox.… Read the full article

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Definitive Audio and Linn Products Host “The Playlist with Vinyl Me, Please”

By | August 7th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , , , |

Definitive Audio and Linn Products Host “The Playlist with Vinyl Me, Please”

One of the oldest and most successful high end audio retail stores in Seattle, Definitive Audio, hosted a music listening event on July 25 along with Linn Products LTD and a new vinyl subscription company (remember the Columbia Record Club or the RCA Victor Record Club?) called Vinyl Me, Please. The focus of The Playlist event was decidedly on music—the artists, the musical context, and the contrasts or connections among the songs—and not on the playback gear. This was a welcome change from most trade shows and even some other retail store events.… Read the full article

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Over the Rhine: Love & Revelation

By | July 24th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Over the Rhine: Love & Revelation

For their 13th LP, the Ohio-based husband-and-wife team of bassist Linford Detweiler and vocalist Karin Bergquist offer 11 meditations on love and loss. The sparse arrangements—marked by Bergquist’s aching vocals, chiming acoustic guitar, and Greg Leisz’s yearning pedal steel, with occasional string accompaniment—fit in with the group’s motto to leave the edges rough, and their literary pop is consistently melodious and haunting. “Los Lunas,” a striking contemplation on grief, is reminiscent of a snowbound afternoon—warm on the inside, but with the icy glare of melancholia just a breath away.… Read the full article

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The Music Industry Responds

By | July 23rd, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

The Music Industry Responds

The recorded music industry has seen a steep decline in profits over the last 20 years, and we all know why. It’s not that people stopped listening to music—no, but they found a way to stop paying for it. Sales figures are less than half of what they were in 1999, and for musicians and record labels the scenario is much worse, as streaming is, for both, an inefficient way to make a dollar. As Peter Frampton pointed out in a tweet, for 55 million streams of “Baby, I Love Your Way,” he received $1700.… Read the full article

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Ranagri: Playing for Luck

By | July 19th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Ranagri: Playing for Luck

This is soulful music played by gifted artists who bring vision and virtuoso chops to their work. The contemporary-folk group Ranagri enchants while living up to the promise of the SACD stereo format, putting the listener virtually in the studio with a chilling level of intimacy. The players are conservatory-level musicians who augment the core instrumentation of six- and four-string acoustic guitars, piano, bass, and percussion with such exotic fare as bansuri, whistles, shakuhachi, harmonium, chlarsach, and memotron (a digitized mellotron).… Read the full article

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Harry Potter: The John Williams Soundtrack Collection

By | July 16th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

Harry Potter: The John Williams Soundtrack Collection

John Williams composed the music for the first three Harry Potter films (The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, and The Prisoner of Azkaban), and now the complete scores have been released for the first time by La-La Land in Harry Potter: The John Williams Soundtrack Collection, a deluxe seven-CD box set containing nearly eight hours of original music. The scores are so good that they established the musical identity and overall style of the whole series, including the scores that Williams did not write.… Read the full article

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Alibaba Group’s Xiami Music is the First Music Streaming Service in China to Add MQA Studio Quality Audio

By | July 16th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , , |

Alibaba Group's Xiami Music is the First Music Streaming Service in China to Add MQA Studio Quality Audio

LONDON/HANGZHOU | JULY 16th, 2019 – Xiami Music, a wholly-owned entity of the Alibaba Group, will be the first music streaming service in China to adopt MQA. With the implementation of MQA, Xiami Music will become the audio quality leader in China, sending a clear signal to artists and creators that Xiami’s service is the best way to connect with their fans. MQA, the pioneering technology delivering authenticated master-quality music in a file small enough to stream, will be introduced into the SVIP tier of Xiami Music iOS and Android apps.… Read the full article

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2019 TAS Super LP List

By | July 10th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

2019 TAS Super LP List

Of the many articles and reviews that Harry Pearson wrote for The Absolute Sound, his annual Super LP List (aka SuperDisc List) may have been the most eagerly anticipated. The issue in which it was published was the one that everyone had to buy, borrow, or copy. Why? Because whether you were rich or poor, active in the high-end audio market or just kicking tires, it was the one issue of TAS you could make daily practical use of—it was your road map to the absolute sound.… Read the full article

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The Rebirth of Quad

By | July 8th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , , |

The Rebirth of Quad

I have fallen in love—again—with quadraphonic sound. In 1972, I purchased a state-of-the-art Sylvania CR2743W stereo amp with built-in Phase Q4 Matrix four-channel circuitry. In stereo quadraphonic systems (SQ), four sound channels were converted down to two channels and then back to four through an SQ decoder. To experience the immersive effects, I placed the quartet of three-way AS105W speakers around the living room of my WWII-era four-plex. My significant other inherited the system after our split and quad faded from my sound world.… Read the full article

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