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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Ear

Has been an incredibly troublesome and awesomely wonderful year... like life is, with its ups & downs and assorted niceties and nastyness...

Most important for us should be persuing the right mix of the above, standing up, always, in good shape after life-storms or whatever.

I wish you all to find the recipe for that mix...

... in a few words: a healthy, wealthy and prosperous 2016 everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Robbie Basho as a Young Dragoon

Thanking Kyle and Grass Tops Rec. - that's truly something in Robbie's spirit.

A gift to the the world... a better one.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

NAT Audio Magnetostat

Magnetostat is a new reference point line stage made by NAT standards – transformer coupled pure triode class A with absolute zero feedback circuit configuration. Military grade type 6S31B-R output tube is used - represent high technology in vacuum tube manufacturing.

Cool piece of gear, worth knowing more about it... and all other NAT's products.

Thanking Gideon...

The Battle of the Century - Tzar DST vs. Neumann DST vs. Lumiere DST - the tondose challenge!

The Tondose Ultimate Battle!

The Battle of the Century will take over, soon... 

The Lumiere DST Type G built-in headshell (to my knowledge, possibly one of the few unflawed, well cared-for and properly, flawlessly, SUPERBLY, heavenly sounding samplers on the whole planet!) 


the N.O.S. Neumann DST white bakelite body 


the Tzar DST...


Thanking Robin Wyatt, Art Dudley, Frank Schroder... and - humbly said - yours truly.

Stay tuned, folks...

Ho, hooo, hooooooo!!!

Sounds Treasure

A treasure trove of British history is destined to be lost within the next 15 years.            
The British Library has warned that its unique archive of sound recordings dating back to the 1870s need to be digitised urgently or many will crumble to dust.

The library holds a collection of millions of recordings including the call of now-extinct birds, 40 years-worth of plays and even foghorn sounds.

A foghorn

... optimistic guessing about digital storage, uhh?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

... and now, something different... Massimo Ranieri's Canzone Napoletana Piccola Enciclopedia - Sony Music (2015)

... paraphrasing and lovingly quoting great Monty Pythons, I must share the following, as I got a musical thrill a few hours ago.

My wife musical tastes couldn't differ more from mine... yet, sometimes... when nice orchestral music, mostly adagios or vocal or vintage folk or pop is involved, our tastes collide and coincide.

As I often play the snobbish, critical, anti-pop music expert role, when she brought home a six disks deluxe set by one of her most beloved italian singers, Massimo Ranieri, I was ready grining about her choice... ha, that fried and refried muzak... blah!

I handled the fold-out, long bandoneon-like black and white cover... mmmmhhh, nice cover, I told myself...

I turned on her audio system and put in the Bang & Olufsen CD 5500 the first disk and...


Massimo Ranieri's last effort "Canzone Napoletana Piccola Enciclopedia" is a masterpiece, folks!

To many of you out there the name of Massimo Ranieri won't say that much, unless you are of Italian descent, yet now living somewhere else on the planet than your parents native Italy...

He's singing since he was a young, gifted kid... imagine he sailed to NYC with Sergio Bruni back in 1964.

An actor, both movie and theatre, a composer, a dancer, Massimo Ranieri also was one of my kate mom singers of choice and I grew with his music playing in the house... a pure, popular - in the very best extent of the term - voice... beautiful, easy, sing-a-long tunes which had the plus to be sang in the shower or around a campfire, with an accompanying guitar.

... but... but... BUT...

I wasn't prepared to "this" disk by mr. Ranieri... no!

Unfair, dear Massimo;-)

Must honestly add that arranger of the whole production has been Mauro Pagani, the musical elf whose Premiata Forneria Marconi and several other projects in a career spanning almost half a century made a better world and happier people.

His superb collaboration with the late, deeply missed Fabrizio De Andrè and his "Creuza de Ma", where the Genoa's beautiful dialect... ahem, language and Mauro Pagani's bouzouki and assorted percussions and beautiful Mediterranean/Eastern flavors enriched and made another timeless masterpiece.

Masterpiece... Mauro Pagani is a King Midas... everything he touches with his good taste and musical skills shines.

No exception: Ranieri's "Canzone Napoletana Piccola Enciclopedia" actually is a masterpiece, indeed!

Top class musicians were hired and collaborated on this project... the very best of the crop: Mauro Pagani, Ares Tavolazzi, Ellade Bandini, Paolo Jannacci, Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani, Morgan, Npa, Antonella Ruggiero... enough, pals?

The recording is also gorgeous in quality: recorded at Officine Meccaniche in Milan and mastered at Nautilus it's a true pleasure to the ears...

An humble me was, as I told you, expecting a Christmas' thick, heavy package... a listen-and-forget playlist of boring old Neapolitans songs, good for the elders, romantic, nostalgic...


My wife is still laughing at my face when the first and second and so on and on and on songs smoothly were played, last evening...

She also was surprised by the loving treatment these well known songs received...

As a true encyclopedia, as the title suggests, most of the most worldwide famous songs from Naples are covered... Torna a Surriento, Dicitencello Vuje, Malafemmena, Te Voglio bene Assaje, Reginella... all the above and more are sang and played with a care and a truly seldom heard loving approach and passion.

A labour of love... for this I must thanks my wife, Massimo Ranieri and Mauro Pagani.

I really enjoyed these disks immensely... and I suspect this box will age nicely in my - ahem - our discotheque;-)

I suggest to the most daredevils, yet romantic among you to take a chance on this... I bet you'll enjoy also if not speaking any Italian or Neapolitan, at all!

As we all know, music is the most universal of languages and at its best it transcends nationalities and cultures...

Check on Amazon or Ebay or at your local shop for Massimo Ranieri - Canzone Napoletana Piccola Enciclopedia - Sony Music/RCA 2015.

... ok, you owe me a beer.

... hooo... hoooooo... hoooooooooo!

P.S. - also exists a lighter 3 CDs version and an even slimmer 1 disk-only version...

Christmas' Disk Dept. - The Ritz - The Ritz - Denon PCM Digital 33CY-1839 (1987)

Just got this long awaited, sought-after gem in the mail... it's a swinging vocal/instrumental jazzy standards disk recorded live to 2 tracks with no overdubs or editing.

A true tour de force.

It's playing now and... well: it's among the most natural, beautiful vocal recordings in my stable.

Surf the web and try to locate a copy on this elusive disk... you won't regret... just beware of the hideously low recording-level... pay attention, as going on and on playing the disk, you could blow away your speakers with its dynamics!

Special lounging, even partying non-boring music for the upcoming festivities.

Ho, hoo, hoooo...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Breaking news... new Newbilt vinyl discs presses made... long life to black vinyl records.

Newbilt’s double system featuring two presses and an extruder, hydraulic power supply and a trimming machine costs $161,250 while a single-press system will set you back $100,000. The company added that it hopes to develop a method of automating the machines in the not too distant future.

Read here for more...

Good news, indeed... 

Thanking Herbert...

Dr. Victor Grauer's Sounding The Depths... a musical journey...

“Sounding the Depths” is an innovative inquiry into the origins and deep history of some of humankind's most venerable and highly valued traditions, suggesting “solutions to mysteries that, until recently, were thought to be completely beyond the reach of systematic investigation.” Building on his many years of research on world music, the author draws on a wide range of anthropological, archaeological and biological evidence, with special emphasis on the revolutionary genetic research behind the widely discussed “Out of Africa” model of early human history. A major objective is to demonstrate that evidence distilled from the music of contemporary indigenous peoples can function as a kind of cultural “genome,” roughly analogous to the biological genome currently being explored by geneticists. Indeed, it is the author’s hope that his research may some day do for cultural history what population genetics is currently doing for our biological history; going, in both cases, all the way back to our beginnings in Africa. Written in a straightforward, non-academic style, this book should appeal to a wide range of readers, from anyone with an interest in world music, cultural evolution or early human history, to students and professionals in fields such as anthropology, archaeology, population genetics, ethnomusicology and pre-history. 

This book triggered a response in me much like the first time I glimpsed the iconic “Blue Marble” photo of the whole earth, shot from space in 1972. Victor Grauer’s big picture is of our historical world; the twin engines of the craft that took him far enough to fit it to that global frame are ethnomusicological and population genetics research, fueled by rich shots of cultural studies and linguistics. The psychological impact of his results is both as deeply familiar and as wildly novel as that of the Blue Marble, and may well loom and seep into our collective psyche like the same kind of gravity-well for human identity that it is. . . 

Mike Heffley, in the Journal of Folklore Research, Jan. 2012. 

Grauer . . . speaks definitively on how, where, why and when the musical style of our ancestors has spread around the world, and how and why it has survived today in specific places and situations. Musicology, heretofore in decline, finally seizes the fruit of a universal aspiration: only by studying the historical evolution of music can we understand the deep universal interconnections among human cultures. . . 
Freely translated from Stefano Zenni’s preface to the Italian translation (published as Musica dal profondo. Viaggio all'origine della storia e della cultura, by Codice Edizione). 

A truly enriching and eyes-opening book.