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Monday, January 15, 2018

King Crimson on tape




This very tape is the property of a famous italian audio reviewer who unfortunately and proudly called it "an inalienable Crimsonian heirloom" ...



For me it's something to search for, a sort-of collector's goal... no, not to copy-cat Marco, the gentleman owning this relic, but to preserve such an heritage... and who cares if it's only a 9,5 cm/s version.

Pre-recorded open-reels are forever!

A love for life.




Sunday, January 14, 2018

Half-Assed?




I know full-assed dudes, as well.


Thanking Anil Prasad for the above weirdo.


Disc of the Month - Saft/Swallow/Previte - Loneliness Road



... with Iggy Pop's vocal on three nice songs...



The double records-set is a pure analog recording, quite dark, but very lively and the music, well: it's a truly great disc, indeed.

Something to listen and re-listen to and cherish.

Iggy Pop's vocals are so... different: he's quite Tom Waits-like and very, very empathic.

Go and buy this great 2-lps on 180 grams vinyl... you won0't regret.



Silver-disk facts...




Is Furtwangler guilty for our CDs maximum length?

When Philips and Sony began collaborating on the development of the compact disc, Philips produced an 11.5cm, 14-bit prototype that held 
CD
60 minutes’ worth of music Sony president Norio Ohga, however, felt that this format was too limited and insisted on a 12cm, 16-bit format that offered 74 minutes’ worth of music. Various reasons have been offered to explain why the 74-minute length was chosen, all of them involving Beethoven’s 9th Symphony: that length was chosen because Beethoven’s 9th was Ohga’s favorite piece of music, because it was Sony chairman Akio Morita’s wife’s favorite piece of music, or because conductor Herbert von Karajan (who recorded for the PolyGram label, a subsidiary of Philips Electronics) “demanded” it. (Herbert von Karajan lent tremendous prestige to the CD by participating in the 1981 Vienna press conference held by Sony to announce the company’s prototype, and his recording of the 9th with the Berlin Philharmonic is often claimed to be the reference recording that was used to determine what the CD’s maximum length should be.) 
The multiplicity of reasons given for the 74-minute choice should in itself be cause for skepticism. Ohga has indicated only that he felt Philips’ original format was not ideal, and that a 74-minute CD “would be able to encompass an entire opera or all of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.”
Since this accommodation could be accomplished by expanding the disc’s size from 11.5cm to 12cm and still maintain Ohga’s standard of “portability” (i.e., able to fit into a suit pocket), the change was made. There is no evidence to indicate what Ohga or Sony would have done had this expanded size still not been able to hold all of Beethoven’s 9th. (Would they have gone with a 12cm, 14-bit disc instead, for example?)
The fact remains that nearly all modern-day recordings of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (including the von Karajan recording with the Berlin Philharmonic often cited as the reference recording) are several minutes shorter than the initial 74-minute maximum length of a CD. Whether Sony simply chose the longer of two discrete lengths (which, fortunately, was long enough to accommodate Beethoven’s 9th) or whether they chose a specific length from a range of possibilities is unknown.



Weirdest Impulse, ever?



This truly one-of-a-kind disc came to me for nothing...

It's truly a strange one: imagine a jazz combo, with B3 Hammond organ, vibes, guitar, drums and a thundering voice scatting and telling some tales...



The sound is truly astounding like on many orange label original Impulses'... the programs, ahem... just for die-hard Impulse lovers...



... yet, quite enjoyable!


Church's Ryder Chukka boots



After 18 years of faithful use, I had to give up to my old beloved Chukka boots...




So, here they are, the new ones...





Love these shoes.



Monday, January 8, 2018

Duck Baker plays Monk



From the artist himself:



“Duck Baker Plays Monk” has finally been pressed, and will be available to order in the next couple of weeks. New Yorkers should be able to find it at Downtown Music Gallery in a matter of days, but those of us living further from the center of the universe will have to be patient for a little while longer. 
This HAS been a long time coming, I have had the idea to release a record of my solo arrangements of tunes by Thelonious Monk practically since the day my CD of Herbie Nichols tunes, “Spinning Song”, was released, over 20 years ago, but for a long time I couldn’t find a label that was interested. I did get most of the recording done when Doug MacKenzie kindly offered me the use of his studio in Cary, North Carolina for a couple of days in late 2010, but still didn’t have a label until Ben Young and Joe Lizzi at Triple Point got interested about five years after that. I recorded two more tracks to fill out the program in late 2015, and over the course of the last two years things have slowly come together. 





I could have wished that the record could have come out during 2017 to coincide with Monk’s centennial celebration, and even more that Roswell Rudd, who contributed liner notes as well as informing my approach to both Monk and Nichols so deeply, were still around to see the final product. We just missed by a few weeks on both counts, there. But apart from that, my only complaints are with the clams that the guitarist insisted on making all the time, and even those are things I can live with. This is one of my most ambitious records, and I’m not sure how many more as demanding as this I have left in the tank.

“Duck Baker Plays Monk” is only available on LP, and it is a high-end production with a high price-tag. I make no apology for this; it’s kind of nice to have a Duck Baker record come out that, for once, is not being done on a shoestring budget, and that I will actually be PAID for. The last time that happened was when “Spinning Song” was released. And the last time I made a solo LP was 32 years ago! 

Stay tuned for information about ordering, or check at <duckbaker.com>


Duck is a true original, a superb musician, composer and arranger and an acoustic guitar wizard... I look forward in spinning the wax on my turntable.






Saturday, January 6, 2018

X-ray beauty




Throughout the 1930s Dr. Dain L. Tasker, a radiologist, used fine-focus X-ray tubes to produce floral studies on X-ray film. 











Published in "U. S. Camera" and "Popular Photography" magazines, and tutored by the photographer Will Connell, Tasker''s work was hailed for its beauty.

Dr. Tasker was the chief radiologist at Wilshire Hospital in Los Angeles when radiology was in its formative phase. In the late 1920’s inspired by his knowledge of the x-ray image process, and through his developing involvement with Pictorial photography, Dr. Tasker began to record numerous varieties of flowers with the x-ray process.

His results are among the most striking and unique floral images in the history of photography, delicate in their rendering of subtle tones and descriptive in the tracing of the flower’s fragile structure; fulfilling with out sentimentality, Tasker’s statement, “Flowers are the expression of the love life of plants”.

Tasker’s floral x-ray photographs, created in the 1930’s are timeless representations of their subject drawn by a distinct process that marries science and art, situating themselves as forerunners within certain experimental modes of contemporary photographic practice. 


Dr. Tasker’s modest, yet fully realized radiographs of flowers include a range of species and a wealth of structural beauty that is both inherent to their subject and an effect of the artist’s arrangement within the rectangular field that holds their form.





Acapella ION TW-1S - Do I need a plasma super-tweeter?


Acapella ION TW 1S plasma super-tweeter

                               



 Technical data

Sensitivity (aktive Tweeter): 1,5Volt / 0 dB
Impedance: 600 Ohm
Sound pressure level: max. 110 dB – 1 m / 1ms
Slope Input filter: approx. 12dB/octave
Frequency response: 5kHz – >50kHz (variable crossover frequencies )
Mains voltage: 234 Volt / 50 Hz Standard
Optional 110 -, 117 -, 227 Volt / 50 – 60 Hz
Dimensions H x W x D: 150 x 300 x 260 mm
Weight: 15 kg

$10,775/pair




Cogent Audio




A personal fave of mine, Cogent Audio and their superb quality field-coils drivers inspired by RCA 1428 and 1448, are here presented in their newest form and wooden horns beauty.

The aluminium diaphragm... 


The coil... 



The crossover... 


Nitrocellulose finishing... like an acoustic guitar. 




A rendering and the real thing...


The drivers...

The RCA tangerine-inspired phase-plug

A Cogent-based audio system in Malibu, California.



Truly beautiful and sought after gears.



Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Mighty Studer C 37





Impressive, indeed...




The C 37 with lid open... look at the capstan motor...



Telefunken M 15-A and Studer C 37 



Studer C 37, B 67 and B 62 (in the dark)...

Old school technology?!?



Naaaah... they represent one of highest achievement in audio, class in spades, not dinosaurs: the best sound available, cost-no-object... beside the real thing.

... and please: don't annoy me talking about the merits of some crappy digital downloads;-)

Thanking my pal Arnaldo.



Sunday, December 24, 2017

Nihongo







Arichikulukatomo?

... sounds like an Hawaiian indigenous to my ears...








Studer C37



The boy will be back, soon...






Merry Christmas!




Ho, hooo, hooooo...


... and music and peace on earth.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

My friend George's EMT 927st is for sale...



EMT 927st in Mint conditions, Ortofon 12" arm+TSD15 SFL+139st (by JPVan Vliet)+Glass Platter+Seismic Base+Power cable+ Interconnects
The beast is located in Athens, Greece... and...

€45,000 

... that's the steep price-tag for the Myth.

... and George is selling it! 

If interested contact him emailing at: 
vardisgeorge500-AT-gmail-DOT-com


Kostas Metaxas' Georges Quellet Tribute portable reel-to-reel




First glimpses from Downunder...

Metaxas & Sins GQT [Georges Quellet Tribute] 

The Portable Recording Device No.1  

Worldwide Premiere in Munich 2018, at M.O.C.









A beauty!

The Stellavox for Third Millennium!






Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cool speaker









No bull-shit!


Jokes apart... material and shape of the pipe could be - using a brand-new water-closet, of course and a Fostex wide-band - a very Dadaist choice for a seldom-seen back-loaded horn speaker...






BTW: sadly, only Italian-speaking pals/reader will get the title alliteration...


;-)



LOL!



Saturday, December 16, 2017

ECM - Sounds and Silence Travels With Manfred Eicher (2011)



"Some people have invented products and concepts that have revolutionized the world. Some have devoted their lives to helping others, while some have conquered mountains and have built business empires. Others have given us insight into how we should live. But some have dazzled us with their genius and art, with ideas that spark dialogue and dissent and sometimes revolution. A genuine visionary, Manfred Eicher has certainly revolutionized the world of music through his ECM label, which has aimed since its inception at capturing the most beautiful sound next to silence. For 40 years, ECM, guided by Eicher's vision and aesthetics, has released some of the most important jazz, experimental, world and modern classical recordings.
Sounds and Silence is an intimate musical portrait of this legendary label owner and producer, whose presence is the common factor in the careers of not a few musical giants. Swiss filmmakers Norbert Wiedmer and Peter Guyer followed Eicher over a period of five years and the result is a sonic journey that captures the artistry of one of the most distinctive and celebrated producers of our time. A modern day Odysseus, in the film Eicher travels to several countries, where the music was created in its original and natural surroundings.
The main story doesn't exclusively center on the main protagonist, but through him we get to see how he works with people such as composer Arvo Part on a recording session in an orthodox church in Talin, Estonia; pianist Eleni Karaindrou's concert in Athens ( Elegy of the Uprooting); a recording session with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and viola player Kim Kashkashian; oud player Anouar Brahem in Tunisia ( Voyage du Sahar 2006); pianist Nik Bartsch ( Holon 2007); cellist Anja Lechner; and bandoneon player Dino Saluzzi ( Ojos Negros, 2007); saxophonist Gianluigi Trovesi; and more. The film gives a rare glimpse of Eicher's creative process and his alchemical presence in the lives of the people he works with.
But the documentary isn't quite like any most other documentaries. Sounds and Silence is a composition of some of the ECM's most diverse and eclectic sounds, resulting in a musical canvas that stretches the imagination. It is less documentary than reverie, a series of elegiac episodes taken from the life and mind of a dedicated worker. Nothing in the movie is aggressively portrayed and nothing in it is intended to change lives forcefully. It uses slow cuts without showy montages or frantic edits, and the pictures move forward in long, serene takes with tight close-ups. Even the performances are shot differently. The result is a film that focuses completely on the playing. The musicians' empathic interaction is revelatory and both the documentary and the featured music are soothing, becalmed with that mellowness and ripeness that are ECM's trademarks.
At the heart of the film lies the art of listening. Eicher is a careful and detailed listener and always on the look out for special moments. He immerses himself in the music, he allows himself to be be moved and taken by the sheer power of it and—in the words of Nora Part, the wife of Arvo Part—he becomes the composer's companion in creation. Evidently, this restless nomad has a creative telepathy that evokes soulful performances from musicians, persuading them to rise to the challenge within. At the core of ECM's ethos are honesty, trust and human relationships. What has earned Eicher deep respect is the sincere musicality and spiritual depth in the recordings he has facilitated or produced. The effect is often mesmerizing and otherworldly but, as shown in the film, it can be fun and joyful too. Witness Eicher and Arvo Part dancing together on hearing the music, or Parts' blissful expression when he listens to the orchestra playing.
Sounds and Silence is a stirring, visually striking film. But by far the most powerful element is Eicher's clarity of vision and his sense of a high, pure beauty that results in heavenly music. When the music starts, this film becomes a vehicle of incantatory power."