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Friday, November 30, 2012

Ivan's Choice - Bark Psychosis

Hex (2012 Reissue)
LP //

Brand new vinyl reissue of this long unavailable classic, originally released in 1994 and a must for fans of Talk Talk's 'Laughing Stock' and 'Spirit of Eden' albums* Wow this is a bit of a treat - a vinyl edition of an album that has been unavailable on the format for well over a decade and which is considered by some to be one of the definitive documents of the British post rock movement. In fact, the very term 'Post Rock' was more or less conied by Simon Reynolds when reviewing the album back in the day, although its appeal has a much wider range then the term implies. Making use of a whole plethora of instruments as well as innovative sampling and recording techniques, the album is pinned down by an unusual, intimate sound and earth-moving bass notes that echo the experimental template set by Talk Talk's seminal 'Spirit of Eden' and 'Laughing Stock' albums (in fact Talk Talk's drummer Lee Harris would go on to join Bark Psychosis). Much of the feel of the album comes from the way it was recorded, using the natural acoustics of a church to drench the album in a natural reverb that's hugely evocative, and alongside the majestic 'Scum' EP that preceded it the two records really are must-own documents of an almost forgotten era that continues to shape much experimental music today.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Rust and Bone" (2012)

Loved this movie... it's raw and poetic, violent and tender, shiny and dark, heavy and fresh-air-like...

Marion Cotillard is so intense... you cannot say where acting and (true) life merges and vice-versa... the massive CGI (computer-generated imagery) support on then-leg-less Stephanie character would have been nothing without Marion's great acting, indeed.

I liked it.

Holy Grail Dept. - Neumann DST-62 Tondosen

Yes, folks... I'm VERY partial toward this Holy Grail of a Cartridge...

I ONLY listened to it once, in a audio friend system, used with an EMT 997 Banana arm and a Thorens TD-124... my old, previously owned Quad ESL (57) bronze were also part of the magic.

It was a butter white bakelite early sampler, reading flawlessly at 5 grams.

I still swear it was THE best cartridge I ever listened to,  period.

... forgettin' to say:  my friend paid it EUR 300 or so, back in early '90s... boxed, brand new, unused, with paper guarantee... previous owner who bought from an italian collector in his 70+... he was worried about the 6 grams VTF needed... and, more, didn't had an EMT-mount arm suitable for it!

So goes the world...

Few weeks ago my friend Roberto (tresaino) and his pal and audio truffle-dog:-) Pierre and, I guess, other friends I do not know personally, found and tried a pristine Neumann "black" DST-62...

This nugget proved to be silent, not-working, at all... a sad, SAD evenience... the shiny as-new bakelite head-shell looks almost offensive!

Same cart was then sold on Ebay for... a staggering USD 4.720, after 61 (yes...) bids...

Coils troubles... maybe.

Here are - thanking always GREAT LencoHeaven pals, and Roberto, Jean and Pierre - some nice quality pixes of the gem.

I trust and hope the wealthy buyer of this very cart will be able to solve and settle the issue which caused the embarassing, painful silence of this otherwise superb DST-62 sampler!

I'm also re-sharing some U. S. Neumann's agent, Gotham Audio Corp. literature scans

and an old post concerning the Neumann/Beyer SUT I acquired, years ago... and which I still enjoy.

Anyway, back to DST-62... I wish everyone - myself included, of course - lucky enough to find such a Neumann's cartridge for 50 bucks:-)...

Happy hunting!

Thanking Golliver's audio-toons:-)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

F**k Planet Earth Dept. - Uranium waste leaking in Finland's Talvivaara mine


That's not "simply" killing the planet... it's torturing it and its inhabitants...

Waiting for an asteroid or aliens coming... apparently, less harmful than Man-hood itself.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cantsilena - Lungu Sonnu (Helikonia Factory Records, 2010)

Following the recent concert of Cantsilena, only a few days ago, I'm grooving on their first disk since then...

It's s very nice string of songs, sung by Alberto in both Southern and Northern Italy's dialects, thanking his heritage bridging these sooo different, almost colliding "worlds".

His so powerful, dry, throaty, "strange" voice is, REALLY is, so "right"... when I played first time in my system, I had goose-bumps, as the recording so beautifully captured the energy of the group: low drums, soundstage, nice imaging and timbres... and music, not over-produced, sincere, honest... simply beautiful.

It's (old & new) Italy at its best... as we're NOT Berlusconi's bunga-bunga, mafia & Banana Republic's politicians and the like...

I'm honoured to be and feel part-of "this" very, truest Italy. 

Peppe's oud and robab playing are oustanding: his skill coming from a great passion and the long workshops years with Ross Daly in Crete are so naturally showed,  like great, GREAT Paolo's tar and daf drums and assorted percussions - i.e. wooden blocks and tibetan bowls.

... but, like it seldom happens these homogenized, globalized days... hey, it's new and old music... it's pleasant, provoking... folk, pop, ethnic... classic and popular, and never boring or academic... weird, yet, you could end whistling while taking a shower:-)

Music is Love... you know... and when it makes you happier, hooray!

It's Rene Clemencic, Incredible String Band, Anouar Brahem, Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare... and more, and all is digested, milk-shaked...

... and re-born, brand-new... like only best music is.

The tracklist, folks:

Din Don Campanòn ****
Cuperici E Cuperice ****
Rast Pesrev ****
Fonte De Paese**
Sole Santu ***
Discesa De Amore *****
Sea Sea Setaccio ***
Sol E Caigo *****
Ilahi *****
Lungu Sonnu ****

The *** are my own... a very personal opinion and choice, fitting my tastes.

Please notice the five stars... it's a very full-bodied disk and the (slightly) lesser (IMO) songs better prepare listener to the next superb one... I'm sincerely, pleasantly impressed as these musicians, the recording and production and cover-art and pixes are... well, simply perfect.

A very, VERY nice find... 

Cantsilena are: 

Peppe Frana (oud turco, robab afgano, bodhran, lira cretese)
Paolo Rossetti Murittu (daf, bodhran, bendir, marranzano, calimbe, campane tibetane, canto armonico, bicchieri e altri oggetti, voce)
Alberto Ferraro : canto e filastrocche

I respectfully invite everyone brave-hearted enough to buy this disk... also non-Italian  speaking people out there, as Cantsilena's music is truly universal...

It's music which makes trees dancing!

You won't regret.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Thing

I saw something similar handled by the late Bo Hansson (of Rauna of Sweden and Opus 3 records fame)... he used these (plastic) adapters with his Telefunken M15A open-reel tape recorder... look at right spool here below.

Apparently not simply an higher, oversized NAB adapter... but - maybe - someway looking like a 2 inches tape-reel adapter, cannot say 100% from the pix.

Almost impossible to find - at least I never found it anywhere on the WEB - I finally had one pair bespoke made for my personal use: hand made/machined in solid aluminium, which I'll have anodized in the very next hours.

A labour of love.

This way, I'll be both able to use my NAB-cores tapes in pancake or the classic, complete tape reels, always using the superb Telefunken's DIN reels holders.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hemiolia Records... aehm: Master Tapes!

Here are more official, better pixes of the new tapes production facility...

A reel-to-reel lover dream made true!

Looking forward to next-to-come grand-opening... and to listen to first commercially available Hemiolia's master-dubs, of course!

Thanks to Giorgio for sharing the above shots... and best wishes to Marco Tajo, Giorgio Foschi and Claudio Valeri for their new project.

Musings - Vodka driving...


Treasure Dept. - Olivier Messiaen's "Turangalila Symphonie" on VEGA (1961)

Fifty-one years and it's doesn't seem so... a time-capsule like disc!

First world recording, first French pressing (1961), numbered copy, De Luxe edition (# 456) on Vega label... box/cover is "silkerette" covered with gold inscriptions; TWO pristine conditions discs,  a GORGEOUS booklet and a 10" DISC WITH AN INTERVIEW with OLIVIER MESSIAEN HIMSELF!!!

Messiaen was supervising recording, with Yvonne Loriod on piano and R.F.T. National Orchestra directed by Maurice Le Roux...

Onde Martinot is played by Jeanne Loriod, sister of above mentioned Yvonne, formerly Messiaen's wife.

Sounds U-N-B-E-L-I-V-A-B-L-E!!!

Simply perfect: dymanics, soundstage, timbre, performance... everything!!!

This put to shame T.A.S.'  Super Disc "Messiaen: Turangalila Symphony EMI SLS-5117" (I also own...)!


Olivier Messiaen in 1961 - notice the pixes - booklet and my own - twin-flares... chance rules:-)... 

I'm - unshamedly - the proud, lucky owner of this masterpiece since yesterday.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Brand-new Harold Budd's - "Bandits of Stature"

**Deeply sombre, heavy-hearted and cinematic works for string quartet composed by the peerless Harold Budd** 

Harold Budd is a one-of-a-kind, modern neo-classical artist with a career spanning 40 years. Bandits of Stature has the characteristic Budd minimalism one may expect, yet in new, or classical, form. On Bandits of Stature, he has created 14 elegantly simple, avant-garde string quartets, each with his own unique and subtle tension and abstraction and sometimes-pastoral but as-often otherworldly mood shining through. This is also Budd's most melancholic work ever.