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Friday, June 29, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zen and the art of guitar-making


Superb... thanking Matt.

Leica M9


Maybe I'll use again my beloved Leitz Super-Angulon, Summilux, Elmar and Summicron lenses, after 6 years, as I left them and Leica M4P stored since then!!!

You could look at MUCH better quality pixes, soon;-)

Yeahhhh!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

End of the World Music System




Franz Hinterlehner and his pal Emanuel came from Austria, last weekend... puffing and sweating, but also laughing and having good time, we worked for several hours... thanking Franz's skill and knowledge and friendship and Emanuel's patience and skill, Gotorama is finally completed, folks... a fully bloom reality.

I'm in tears (of joy)... using the someway user unfriendly, yet supremely effective, transparent and... why not, perfect, I dare, TacT RCS 2.2 XP... well, now Gotorama uses Thomas Mayer crossover for Goto's three upper ways and TacT's 2.2 crossovering feature: Franz and myself choose the cool 10th order (yes, it's 60 db/octave) slope between GOTO SG 570 and S-150 horn and Elodis' TGE bass horn and THE RESULT IS SIMPLY, PLAINLY SAID STUNNING... the Mayer's crossover uses as a (not so cheap:-)) "buffer" the Mayer's 801A line-stage preamp, while the WE 437/Tango EQ 600 LCR phono stage goes straight to one of TacT's analog inputs.

TacT is also used as a 192Khz DAC... maybe I could also squeeze a nice coffee from it:-)))!

The sound is, on the best of the nine pre-sets saved and stored in the RCS, superb, right, airy and extremely dynamic, speedy as the light, low-end is clean and natural, unboomy as it can be... and I'm lacking words to describe how such a system is able to sound virtually everything, from a solo acoustic guitar harmonics to Taiko japanese BIG drums and large orchestra or organ at 120 db SPL.

I reached Hakata!

My goal...

My vision...

...

N.O.S. - New Old Stock Dept. - Hector Zazou's Quadri+Cromie


Using time machine backward to 2002... this nice disk - a collective effort with David Sylvian, Ryiuchi Sakamoto, Brian Eno and video/visual art by Bernard Caillaud - is a low-end dream... it's sound more than music (...) and the attached DVD makes music and visual matching even stronger, a deeper experience.

As Ivan the Pusher told me this morning... yes, you'll probably enjoy it as you like (musically) wound and bruise yourself...

Indeed...

BTW, Reinhard... this is also for yours or Klauscope music systems... a very, VERY nice digital recording.

Friday, June 22, 2012

No Jokes!!!


Stop kidding, folks... here is how's going...

Reagan's hedonism is over... and crisis countdown globalized, as well!

Whole humankind thanks Harvard University, McKinsey, PWC, Bocconi University, Standard & Poor's, Fitch's, Moody's and everything and everyone which made - under "profit first" flagship - beloved planet Earth... Flat Earth, again!

Thanks!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

ALT - Van Der Graaf Generator's last disc


THE NEW PROJECT FROM VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the latest release on their frontline label, ESOTERIC ANTENNA, dedicated to new releases by both new acts and established artists. ALT is a new studio project by the legendary VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and follows on from the release of A GROUNDING IN NUMBERS in 2011. ALT is no ordinary Van Der Graaf Generator album (if the term ordinary could ever be applied to this visionary group). PETER HAMMILL explains; Instrumental Improvs & Experiments - Most of the music on ALT was made while we weren't really looking, or perhaps only while the left side of our collective brain was engaged. The album is a mixture of improvisations recorded at sound checks and in the studio and more considered sonic creations which often verge on Musique Concrete. The fourteen pieces here offer a fascinating glimpse into an alternative Van der Graaf Generator sound world. Perhaps the closest comparison would be with the second CD of "Present", but even the link with those recordings is tenuous. Even by Van der Graaf Generator standards, this stuff's at the wacky end of the scale! This instrumental album is another side of Van Der Graaf Generator, a truly unique listening experience.

Summertime palindrome


21/06/12... well, NOT really a palindrome, yet... hey, it's Summer...


Thanking Escher.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Little Red Speedy Riding Hood


... the wheel, first, but better thinking about it, everything is spinning at a given speed...

Earth spins, stars and nebulaes, too: speed rules, we can - sometimes - choose our living speed, our pace... but for a music lover, "speed" is the R.P.M. a disc spins, period.

The above was as mysterious as an aechidna for yours truly; when I was a kid, mom bought a nice Dansette-like italian made gizmo, with a small platter good for 45 r.p.m. discs, but also good for my dad's 33 r.p.m. of vocal music.

Mom was very fond of music, she was always singing when fixing meals, caring for my small brothers or simply walking with me in the then cars-free streets.

... being fond of music wasn't being an electronic engineer;-) - so mom, when she first bought some records for her and us, the kids, she bought tales, Little Red Riding Hood, for example... and some for her pleasure - i.e. The Moody Blues, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Adamo, Wilson Pickett... these were the discs I inherited when growing up...

... but "that" Little Red Riding Hood little disc remained carved in my memory: I still remember, in mid sixties, in those warm, home-cocooning, long winter evening with no TV to pollute our life, we - me and little bros - were enjoying mom reading some paper fairy-tales... then came the turntable... and MORE fun;-)))!

... enters The Little Red Riding Hood's disc... when sapphire cartridge tip landed on the little, 45 r.p.m.-like disc, we immediately began to laugh and laugh and laugh... the first word were read at a supersonic speed... like "onceuponatime..." (transl. -c'eraunavolta...) and the reader with a childish, high pitched voice continued to read the classic tale of the girl and the BIG wolf and grandma and the biiig eyes to better see you and all...

The voice was strange, funny... also if so speedy, the words were still intellegible and everytime we played "that" disc in "that" way we enjoyed... also if mom was someway doubtful;-)

She later explained to me she was thinking something was wrong with this supersonic reading... yet wasn't aware of something she discovered some couple weeks later... the disc was 45 r.p.m. sized, BUT, being speech and not music, it was cutted at 33 r.p.m.... the result, when mom left on 45 r.p.m. like her pop music discs was the above;-)))

A kind, yet bemused and amused salesman - I imagine, now - explained to mom how to change turntable speed... and she laughed and laughed, at the shop and, later, at home...

Also dad smiled... that evening, we were all - mom, me and my bros - around the Lesa (The Dansette-like gizmo...) on the kitchen table, I remember...

She played some pop records, can't remember... THEN, drums & fifes, we asked for Little Red Hood disc... mom gently moved a little lever on the turntable and the record label changed its colours from a melange of pink to being able to see there was also some yellow and writings...

Then... the magic;-) - a beautiful, round, deep baritone voice began to read the tale... C'eeraaa unaaa vooolta, Cappuccettoooo Rooosssoooo... (transl. Oooonce upoooon aaaa tiiiimmeee was a girl naaamed Liittle Reeeed Riiiidiiing Hoooood....)...

The impression was soooo strong, folks... we listened to the whole side, in silence, without laughing...

You'd bet it, pals?!?!

The next days, mom, with a smile, moved again that little lever on the turntable... and we laughed, and laughed and laughed again and again... for mom, me and my bros, "our" very Little Red Riding Hood was a 33 r.p.m. disc played at 45 r.p.m. wrong speed... thus "Little Red Speedy Riding Hood";-)

... and we enjoyed this a lot when we were all younger and foolish and world was, maybe, a better place.

Getting older, we never enjoyed so much and dad was playing his BIG records at right speed... BUT never laughing as we used to;-)))

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

High definition tracks...


... aehm... not as sexy as (best) analog playback or cool and enriching and deeply satisfying at more levels as vinyl collecting:-)))... nonetheless... after recent liquid music experience in Koln, well... why not?!?! It's music, anyway.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ingenting Kollektiva - Fragments of Night


From July 2012 MOJO magazine:

"Inspired by Bitches Brew, In a Silent Way and the brooding cinematography of Sven Nykvist, this debut collaboration of sound artists Diane Granahan, Matthew Swiezynski and Kirston & Tarry Lightowler, was recorded in latter couple's barn in 2009, with bell, Tibetan prayer bowls, guitar, harmonium, psaltery, shakuhachi, tenor sax, cello and old 78 samples all fashioned into the kind of hovering, meditative drone suite that suggests a bereft Teo Macero scoring the soundtrack for Ingmar Bergman's Hour of the Wolf."

'nuff and well said... aehm, written.

Worth a listen in vinyl format... on Invisible Bird label.

Imre Peemot


Imre Peemot is a well kept secret in music... my friend Luca Nardon, percussionist extraordinaire, played with him and he's guilty he introduced Peemot's harmonic singing to me...

Browse his name on the WEB, and you'll discover beautiful, BEAUTIFUL soundscapes of seldom heard deepness and amazing beauty.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

... more Garrardzilla...







... last 301's incarnation?!?!

Dunno:-)))

... sure 'til the next tweak... aehm, week:-)))

Seriously, listening to, say, Markevich's "Histoire du Soldat" on Philips with young Peter Ustinov's superb voice proved to be a TRULY stellar experience, as every parameter resulted unbelievably better than ever.

Sound is always relaxed and surprising at same time and controlled, easy and limitless. Dynamics are incredibly various... and silence... SILENCE among notes, folks... is now not only black, but sometimes purple, brown, dark grey, beige, dark green, maroon... so various and so rich of shades and nuances.

It's so beautiful, pure music to my ears.

Searching for merits?

It's an holistic cooperation, where single parts are melted and made into a brand new creature, yet classic looking enough to do not offend also most die-hard vintage lover... thanking the new embedded bronze bearing, 13,5 kilos platter, Ray's chassis and - hidden, underside - the bronze "Foucault's Pendulum" bearing gravity weight:-)))

Results? Lysergic, period!

Sceptics are welcome...

Anyone?!?!

Tolgahan Cogulu - Microtonal guitar and Maquam music


Thanking Pierre Bensusan's hinting... new frontiers, after fretless classical guitar a new, better way to imitate oud without loosing its noblest essence at all...

R.I.P. Dept. - Ray Bradbury passed away...




Fahrenheit 451... a sci-fi masterpiece both in paper format and Truffaut's movie rendition... this and other dreams and nightmares like "The Martian Chronicles", came from Ray Bradbury's pen...

Mr. Bradbury passed away... he was 91 and world is a poorer place, now...

R.I.P. and thanks for having been... better, being!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Circles and stars?


... no, earthquakes, folks... about 1500 shakings, between 2 and 6 Richter's scale in the last three weeks...

Maybe that's (also) why I feel this kind of brotherhood sentiment with Japanese friends?

Silly enough, I also changed my stupid audiophile habits... after every listening session, I secure my 12 inches arm better than I used to do only last month...

Same as possibly does my friend Kazumasa-san in Yokohama-shi, Japan...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finding "the" voice - Matteo Belli


Matteo Belli's surprising vocal skills... from Albertazzi to Carmelo Bene to Tuva and Mongolian harmonic singing, via Demetrio Stratos...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Class

His Majesty the Garrardzilla is ready and spinning





After a time consuming dismantling, re-working the slate plinth, buying the proprietary underside mounting stainless steel screws and washers and... definitely trying to digest the heavy diet of daily earthquake shakings and job and life mixed troubles... well, folks... I finished - at last - the Garrard 301 in Ray Clark's gorgeous solid aluminium chassis, with my own slate plinth, super bearing (+ hidden Foucault's tweaks:-)) and 13,5 kilos bronze platter - THE AMAZING THICKER TOP version only myself and another gentleman own - with original Shindo 800 grams mat, TTWeight 650 grams peripheral ring and 800 grams bronze clamp.

It's important - once again - I list all the parts involved in the making of Garrardzilla as every above mentioned part is paramount in creating the magic.

Shindo's mat is sought after and difficult to get part? OK, OK a leather mat also does:-)))

I took the pixes before gave first listening to the turntable, still on the floor/carpet, where I also placed the bronze armbase and Schick and Lumiere DST... the complete Garrardzilla is really bulky, weighting around 65 kilos, without armbase... I'm at my lifting limit... and placing at its place where stood the Lenco G 88 during last weeks will give to yours truly more backaches and puffing and sweating and... assorted blasphemies:-), BUT I wasn't able to resist and gave a spinning and a listen, baaad and dirty as it can be... on my kilim.

So what?

How do I compare vs. Shindo platter and bearing? ... or vs. my own previous incarnation, with stock Garrard chassis?

... (speechless mode)...

It's all and more I remembered and missed for the last weeks, despite the truly superb Lenco's sonic footprint... the original, stressed 301's chassis is doing well, BUT the full optional Garrardzilla, including Ray's part and elegant, 401-like underside screws is a completely different beast... still more dynamic, with a resolution which only a bunch of us on the Planet experienced, period. No hypes...

The notes decay with every instrument, solo or in a jazz quartet or trio is awesome... also if I only listened to three records, this morning... Sidsel Endresen's on ECM with those crazy shimmering cymbals and piano, Anthony Bailes' lute on EMI Reflexe for tiniest resolution and ambient retrival and Ludwig Streicher double bass and piano on Telefunken for explosive dynamics... all came soooo naturally and beatiful and quick and beefy and undistorted!

Shivers of joy... tears...

I'm in love, pals...

Tomorrow, possibly a supremely lazy, rainy Sunday as per weather forecasts - ideal for audio:-) - I'll move it again and finally to its place on the shelf, will re-align and fiddle around armbase and VTA and the like and will finally and fully enjoy... yes, His Majesty the Garrardzilla.

Thanking myself and my vision, yes, folks... I apologize for self incensing, just feel I humbly deserve it:-), my friends Francesco and Mario for great technical support, and Ray for his SUPERB solid chassis.

Thanks all, pals.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Touchless digital tachometer: new analog lover best friend?


How do you precisely measure the platter speed of your vintage turntable?

You do not care? Fine...

... but if you're wondering, from time to time, if your 50 years old turntable is still clever at it... well, for 25 bucks you can know it!

Try this... or any other digital gizmo with the vinyl spinning range - say 33 to 78 r.p.m. and a 0,1 r.p.m. resolution.

OK... you owe a beer to yours truly:-)))

Next time...

Heart and ears... truth, taboo or bullshit?!?



Earlobe crease (ELC), i.e., a line running diagonally from the bottom of the ear opening to the ear's lower tip. I first discussed this in 1997 (The Straight Dope: Why do older men have hair growing in their noses and ears?), observing that, based on research then available, if you had hairy ears with creased lobes, you were basically a heart attack waiting to happen. The jury's still out on the hairy part, but ELC's status as portent of doom has been abundantly confirmed... read the following... and other (ears related) weirdos, including hairy ears and earwax... weirdos?!?!