High Res Audio

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 24, 2014 1 comments
Just a few weeks ago we had Flying Lotus' album You're Dead! (see review) with his ruminations on, well, death so I thought I'd balance that out with this week's pic Caribou's Our Love (City Slang) a collection of songs about...love. Dan Snaith is Caribou and this is his forth album as such and Our Love is a smoky, luscious, dance floor infested electronic soul machine of love.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 07, 2014 7 comments
In honor of John Lennon's 74th birthday on October 9, eight studio albums, two compilations, and the John Lennon Signature Box are making their high resolution debuts. All titles have been digitally remastered in 24-bit for the first time from John Lennon's original mixes.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 17, 2014 5 comments
From the press release:
The announcement of the first live concert recording in DSD follows an agreement between Acoustic Sounds and Warner Music Group (WMG) to provide the company’s digital download music service with more than 1,200 high-resolution, mainstream albums by some of the most dynamic names in music.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 09, 2014 4 comments
From the press release:
September 09, 2014 —HDtracks.com, the world leader and pioneer in high resolution audio digital downloads, is pleased to announce the launch of its popular online store, http://www.HDtracks.com, in Germany and http://www.HDtracks.co.uk in the United Kingdom. With today’s announcement, German and UK music fans who want to experience music the way it was meant to be heard will now be able to enjoy the most extensive catalog of their favorite music in unprecedented audio quality, via HDtracks.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 05, 2014 5 comments
Test tracks. I kind of dislike the term, reducing music to a tool for audio, but playing the same music on different equipment can be a very helpful way to determine difference. One of my favorite albums, and therefore one of my test tracks, comes from Jimmy Scott; All The Way available as a 24/192 download from HDtracks. If you don't know Jimmy Scott, he recently passed away at the age of 88 and his solo recording career began with his first album Very Truly Yours back in 1955 on Savoy but his carrer spanned all the way back to the late 1940's when he sang with the Lionel Hampton Band (Scott's vocal was uncredited on the album). Scott suffered from Kallmann's Syndrome which among other things left him with a distinctive contralto voice. Scott sang ballads, the classics, yet his way with them was truly unique and to my ears, and many others, quite extraordinary; haunting, sensual, sublime.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 02, 2014 18 comments
Pedram Abrari, Pono’s EVP of Technology, responded to, he actually pretty much bitch-slapped, Roger Friedman for Friedman's faulty post, "Neil Young’s Super MP3 Player, Pono: Won’t Be Coming in 2014". First off, we all know that the Pono Player is not an MP3 player, d'oh!, but Roger also got his facts wrong in terms of what's being delivered when. The first batch of Pono players scheduled to ship in October are on schedule according to Abrari, "We are in fact on schedule and will be meeting our Kickstarter commitments."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 25, 2014 13 comments
Three people from the Guardian, Tim Jonze, the Guardian’s music editor, Jason Phipps, the Guardian’s head of audio, and Samuel Gibbs the article's author, sat down in Graham’s Hi-Fi in London’s Islington with a Linn hi-fi and listened to a few tracks in MP3, CD-quality, and high res.

Here's what Jonze had to say:

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 21, 2014 7 comments
From the Press Release:
New York, NY, August 20, 2014 — The 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention (October 9-12, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles) will feature a High Resolution Audio (HRA) program Friday, October 10, 2014. The direct result of a collaborative effort between the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, the HRA program will include a number of panels and sessions that address the current and future direction of HRA from various perspectives, including content creation, digital distribution, licensing of hi-res music files, archiving, subscription models, marketing/promotion of hi-res music, compatibility of playback devices and more. These panels and sessions will feature some of the brightest minds in the business as they discuss some of the most current and controversial issues concerning the rapid adoption of high-resolution audio across the industry.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 08, 2014 2 comments
O my. Talk about a dynamic duo...Two of Norway's finest singer/songwriters, Jenny Hval (we loved and still love her Innocence is Kinky) and Susanna have teamed up for what sounds to me like a concept album of extreme proportions. Intimate, jarring, noisy, lovely and challenging filled with fluids (milk, blood, honey, spit...), body parts, and enigmas (e.g. where do I end and the world begin? Or so I imagine). Jo Berger Myhre joins in on double bass and zither, and Anita Kaasbøll is the third voice you hear while everyone is credited with the effects and noise that scar these songs. Lovely.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 11, 2014 21 comments
You could write a book about The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan but I find it much more enjoyable to just listen to the album. When I saw that Acoustic Sounds had it in DSD, I jumped and boy oh boy am I happy I did. The DSD version of Freewheelin' sounds simply spectacular through the Auralic Vega DAC. It is at once immediate, present, rich, full, and vibrant. It makes the CD sound pale in comparison. If you're a fan of early Dylan, I am, and you have the ability to play DSD files, you'll want to add this to your library.
Steven Plaskin Posted: May 23, 2014 3 comments
I have always enjoyed the Linn Records’ recordings of the Dunedin Consort. The JS Bach Matthew Passion has been a particular favorite of mine.

This latest release from Linn features the Dunedin Consort, John Butt conductor and director, performing a reconstruction of the Mozart Requiem as it was performed in 1793. This recording also provides separate reconstruction of the first two movements of the Requiem as performed at Mozart’s funeral in 1791.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 04, 2014 9 comments
I looked up badass in the dictionary:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 03, 2014 21 comments
Thanks to reader Juergen R. for alerting me to what appears to be the fact that two of the tracks from Beck's wonderful Morning Phase included in the 24/96 download from HDtracks are sourced from MP3. Juergen commented in the original DotW post:
"Besides the high compression for this kind of music, where the bass drum kicks extremely often into hard limiting and the bass notes most times also, I have recognized, that for example the Track 10 and also Track 11 of the 24 Bit 96 kHz HighRes versions are 100 % for sure from 44k1 MP3. They show all the typical 44k1 MP3 artifacts of modulating a 16 kHz low pass filter with level. So we have 2 MP3 tracks sold as 24/96 HighRes. This 2 MP3 tracks are also valid in the other releases, not just the HighRes release, All other HighRes Tracks are based on 44k1 sources with the same DR and Bandwidth, as with the CD release."
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 28, 2014 14 comments
Popular music and the album. Two concepts that may have seen better days, at least if we try to connect to popular music that isn't from our youth. Perpetually renewed while we go about getting older, popular music can be hard to keep hold of over time. Beck's new album Morning Phase (Capitol) is a true album's worth of pop tunes that flow seamlessly from one to the next. At once emblematic and earthy, Morning Phase unfolds to reveal a slow growing intensity while remaining so easy to love it feels as if we've known each other for years.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 21, 2014 4 comments
"Stately, plump Buck Mulligan..." Some things are easier than others which makes some things more difficult than others. That's in no way a value judgement, it just is the way it is. Conquistador!, Cecily Taylor's second classic record on Blue Note, Unit Structures being the first, recorded in October 1966 (19 freakin' sixty six) may initially sound like music that's not very easy especially if we look at the top of the charts from that same year which included "Last Train to Clarksville" by The Monkees and "Born Free" by Roger Williams. I first listened to Conquistador! many years after its initial release, coming to it from trumpeter Bill Dixon's music who is part of Cecil Taylor's sextet here. In this context, Conquistador! is positively generous, with plenty of repeated themes to hold onto amid all of the beautiful clatter.

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