January 26, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-01-24

* Marais: Alcione: Suites des Airs à joüer, 1706 (Concert des Nations/Savall) (Alia Vox SACD)
* Vivaldi: La Stravaganza: Concertos, Op.4 (Arte Dei Suonatori/Podger) (Channel Classics SACD)
* Vivaldi: The Four Seasons: Recomposed by Max Richter (DG CD/DVD)
* John Coltrane: The Olatunji Concert (Impulse! CD)
* Charles Lloyd Quartet: Mirror (ECM CD)
* Art Ensemble of Chicago: Live in Paris (BYG/Actuel/Fuel2000 2CD)
* David Liebman: Sweet Hands (A&M Horizon LP)
* Open Sky: Spirit in the Sky (P.M. LP)
* Dorothy Ashby: Afro-Harping (Cadet/Verve CD)
* John Abercrombie: Class Trip (ECM CD)
* John Abercrombie: The Third Quartet (ECM CD)
* John Abercrombie Quartet: Wait Till You See Her (ECM CD)
* Marilyn Crispell/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian: Amaryllis (ECM CD)
* Stefano Bollani: Joy In Spite of Everything (ECM CD)
* La Planete Sauvage OST (Sugar/Superior Viaduct LP)
* Friedmann: Indian Summer (Narada Equinox LP)
* I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America 1950-1990 (Light In The Attic 3LP)
* Laraaji: Essence/Universe (Audion LP)
* Steven Halpern & Suru: Afro-Desia (Open Channel Sound/Inner Peace CD)
* Andreas Vollenweider: Down To The Moon (CBS LP)
* Peter Davison: Winds of Space (Higher Octave CD)
* Steve Roach: Dreamtime Return (d.1) (Fortuna 2CD)
* Kevin Braheny: The Way Home (Hearts of Space CD)
* Kevin Braheny & Time Clark: The Spell (Hearts of Space CD)
* Latitude: Latitude (Lifestyle LP)
* Brian Keane: Snowfalls (Flying Fish LP)
* Nas: Illmatic (Columbia/Legacy LP)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol.36: Philadelphia 9/21/72 (selections) (GDP 4HDCD)
* Edgar Froese: Macula Transfer (Brain LP)
* Anthony Phillips: 1984 (Passport LP)
* Daryl Hall: Sacred Songs (RCA LP)
* Ricked Wicky: I Sell The Circus (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Ricked Wicky: “Death Metal Kid” (side B) (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Ricked Wicky: “Mobility” (side B) (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Ricked Wicky: “Piss Face” (side B) (GBV, Inc. 7”)
* Astra: The Black Chord (Rise Above/Metal Blade CD)
* Liturgy: Aesthetica (Thrill Jockey 2LP)
* Dusted: Total Dust (Polyvinyl CD)



The analog renaissance continues apace, not only with the resurgence of vinyl LPs but also the return of analog synthesizers in a big way. Moog has just recently announced the resurrection of the legendary Moog Modular, albeit only available in strictly limited editions. Hand crafted to the original specifications, the semi-portable System 15 ($10,000), wood-cladded System 35 ($22,000) or the monstrous System 55 ($35,000) will take you right back to the '70s! Additionally, you can get the Sequencer Complement B Expansion Cabinet ($8,500) for added authenticity.

Way too rich for me, of course. I'll have to settle for my software emulation from Arturia, which gives me all the virtual knobs and switches with which to twiddle and tweak the sound -- but without all the hassle (and expense) of the real thing. Plus, it stays in tune and I can save patches as presets, impossibilities in the analog domain. Does it sound the same as the real thing? No. But it's pretty darn close. I still crave a genuine analog synthesizer -- and Arturia's five-hundred-dollar MiniBrute is mighty tempting -- but, in the meantime, these digital facsimiles will have to do.


Speaking of synthesizers, Edgar Froese, a true pioneer of electronic music, passed away on January 20 at the age of 70. A founding member of Tangerine Dream, Froese also recorded dozens of albums as a solo artist over the years. His music has been inspirational to me ever since I was a kid, a especially in recent years as I rekindled my love for electronic space music and discovered its evolution into what became known (for better or worse) as "New Age," a genre I had previously dismissed out of hand.  Rest in peace, Herr Froese.

January 18, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-01-17

* Erasmus van Rotterdam: In Praise of Folly (Hespèrion XXI, et al./Savall) (d.4-6) (Alia Vox 6SACD)
* Drew Krause: Powder (Innova CD)
* Constance Demby: Sacred Space Music (Hearts of Space CD)
* Constance Demby: Sanctum Sanctuorum (First Light CD)
* Sound of the Crystal Energy (Wind Music 8CD)
* Wayne Shorter: High Life (Verve CD)
* Wayne Shorter Quintet: Circus, Copenhagen, Denmark 1996-07-13 (FM 2CDR)
* Wayne Shorter: Footprints Live! (Verve CD)
* Wayne Shorter: Alegria (Verve CD)
* Anthony Braxton: Quintet (London) 2004 (Leo CD)
* Anthony Braxton: Quartet (GTM) 2006 (Important 4CD)
* Dorothy Ashby: Afro-Harping (Cadet/Verve CD)
* John Abercrombie: Cat ‘n’ Mouse (ECM CD)
* Open Sky: Spirit in the Sky (P.M. LP)
* Billy Cobham: Shabazz: Recorded Live in Europe (Atlantic LP)
* Paul Horn: Inside (Epic LP)
* Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy: I Only Have Eyes for You (ECM LP)
* Jason Lindh: Cous Cous (Metronome/CTI LP)
* Volker Kriegel: Spectrum (MPS/Universal CD)
* Marc Johnson/Eliane Elias: Swept Away (ECM CD)
* Anouar Brahem: The Astounding Eyes of Rita (ECM CD)
* Marcin Wasilewski Trio w/Joakim Milder: Spark of Life (ECM CD)
* David Virelles: Mbókò (ECM CD)
* Charles Earland & Odyssey: The Great Pyramid (Mercury LP)
* Charles Earland: Perceptions (Mercury LP)
* Stefano Torassi: Feelings: Music By Jay Ritchford and Gary Stevan (Carosello LP)
* Thievery Corporation: Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi (ESL 2LP)
* Thievery Corporation: The Mirror Conspiracy (ESL 2LP)
* Flying Lotus: Until The Quiet Comes (Warp 2LP)
* Eddie Arnold: Wanderin’ (RCA-Victor LP)
* The Pentangle: Sweet Child (Reprise 2LP)
* John Renbourn: The Lady And The Unicorn (Reprise LP)
* Grateful Dead: Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR 1973-06-24 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* It’s A Beautiful Day: It’s A Beautiful Day (San Francisco Sound LP)
* Popol Vuh: The Werner Herzog Soundtracks (SPV 5CD)
* Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp 3LP)
* Opeth: Pale Communion (Roadrunner BD)
* Wilco: Alpha Mike Foxtrot (d.3-4) (Nonesuch 4CD)
* Panda Bear: Person Pitch (Paw Tracks 2LP)
* CIAM: Anonymous (ZYX LP)
* Agalloch: The Serpent & The Sphere (Profound Lore CD)




I had big plans for reviving the blog this year - but here we are well into January and...I got nothing.

I do, however, continue to make periodic Vinyl Community videos on YouTube. I don't regularly share them on the blog but maybe I'll do so from now on -- that would at least provide some content! Haha. Below is my latest opus, which focuses on Christmas gifts, SACDs and CDs I've picked up over the past month. If you are on Google+, please subscribe to my channel!

January 11, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-01-10


* Erasmus van Rotterdam: In Praise of Folly (Hespèrion XXI, et al./Savall) (Alia Vox 3SACD)
* Sun Ra: Sign of the Myth (Roaratorio LP)
* Don Cherry: Organic Music Society (Caprice 2LP)
* Art Ensemble of Chicago: The Paris Sessions (Arista/Freedom 2LP)
* Kilimanjaro: Kilimanjaro (Philo LP)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio 2014-12-29 (WAV)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio 2014-12-30 (WAV)
* William Onyeabor: Box Set 2 (d.1-2) (Luaka Bop 4LP+7”)
* D’Angelo & The Vanguard : Black Messiah (RCA CD)
* Grateful Dead: Amsterdam 5/10/72 (selections) (GDP/Rhino 4HDCD)
* The Moody Blues: In Search of the Lost Chord (Deram LP)
* Love: Love (Epic/Sundazed LP)
* Deep Purple: In Rock (Warner Bros. LP)
* Spirit: Twelve Dreams of Doctor Sardonicous (Epic LP)
* Curved Air: Airconditioning (Warner Bros. LP)
* Curved Air: Phantasmagoria (Warner Bros. LP)
* The Eurhythmics: Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This (RCA LP)
* Steven Wilson: Grace For Drowning (KScope BD)
* Mew: Frengers (Sony 2LP)
* Sleep: Vol.1 (Very Small/Tupelo LP)
* Sleep: The Clarity (Praise Iommi 12”)
* Electric Wizard Dopethrone (Rise Above 2LP)
* Electric Wizard: Let Us Prey (Rise Above 2LP)
* Electric Wizard: We Live (Rise Above 2LP)
* Ensemble Pearl: [ensemble pearl] (Thrill Jockey 2LP)
* Boris & Ian Astbury: BIX (Southern Lord EP)
* YOB: Catharsis (Relapse LP)
* Usnea: Usnea (Orca Wolf LP)
* Inter Arma: Sky Burial (Relapse 2LP)
* Myrkur: Myrkur (Relapse EP)



It's cold outside.

January 5, 2015

Playlist Week of 2015-01-03

* The Forgotten Kingdom: La Tragédie Cathare (Hespèrion XXI, et al./Savall) (Alia Vox 3SACD)
* La Sublime Porte: Voix d’Istanbul 1430-1750 (Hespèrion XXI, et al./Savall) (Alia Vox SACD)
* Mare Nostrum (Hesperion XXI, et al./Savall) (Alia Vox 2SACD)
* F. Couperin: Pièces de Violes – 1728 (Savall/Koopman/Maurette) (Alia Vox SACD)
* Charles Mingus: Passions of a Man: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (d.1-2) (Rhino 6CD)
* Donald Byrd: Step Into Tomorrow (Blue Note LP)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Linger Lane (Blue Note LP)
* Bobby Hutcherson: Highway One (Columbia LP)
* Ran Blake: Suffield Gothic (Soul Note LP)
* Toudie Heath: Kawaida (Obe LP)
* Joanne Brackeen: Tring-A-Ling (Choice LP)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio 2014-12-29 (WAV)
* Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Heeltop Home Studio 2014-12-30 (WAV)
* Jordan de la Sierra: Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose (Numero Group 2LP)
* Flying Lotus: Until The Quiet Comes (Warp 2LP)
* Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp 2LP)
* Herman’s Hermits: Blaze (MGM LP)
* Anthony Phillips: The Geese and the Ghost (Passport LP)
* Nektar: A Tab in the Ocean (Passport LP)
* David Sylvian: Secrets of the Beehive (Virgin LP)
* OOIOO: Taiga (Thrill Jockey CD)
* Mew: Frengers (Sony 2LP)
* The Black Keys: Turn Blue (Nonesuch LP)
* Fontanelle: Vitamin F (Southern Lord LP)
* Locrian: Return To Annihilation (Relapse CD) †



Two full days of recording on with Sam Byrd on Monday and Tuesday yielded almost four (4!) hours of music. I had a bit of a cold, but soldiered ahead anyway. It's always such a privilege to get to jam with Sam!

We  tried something totally different this time, with me playing electric guitar along with synthesizers and piano -- sometimes all at the same time! I must say that the results are pretty mind-blowing. I would honestly be proud to release (almost) all of it, as is.

But I'm not going to do that. Let's just say our double-record concept album is coming along nicely!

Happy New Year, everybody! I hope it is a great one.