LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 20, 2013 3 comments
Ali Akbar Kahn is a master of Indian classical music. His main mojo making machine is the sarod which you can see pictured in the album cover's art. Indian Architexture is a stunning recording of Ali Akbar Khan playing his sarod with tabla accompaniment by Swapan Chaudhuri. Together they present four ragas each nearly a half hour in duration. Originally released and recorded by Waterlily Acoustics, you can think of Indian Architexture as a spiritual journey in sound, a meditation, spritely ambient drone, minimalist music maximized, background music for practical flights of fancy, foreground music for awakening, or simply L'invitation au voyage.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 17, 2013 47 comments
I think its fair to say that Charlie Hansen, Ayre's Founder and Designer, is not exactly a fan of DSD. Thankfully, that didn't stop him from offering DSD-capable versions of Ayre's QB-9, DX-5-DSD, and now the QA-9 thanks to AlpineSoft's VinylStudio DoP vinyl ripping software. What the guys at Ayre have gone and done is ripped parts of three tracks to single-rate DSD and 24/192 using the QA-9 so we can compare DSD to PCM. But there's more...
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 17, 2013 10 comments
ilLUMINate
The Lumin Network Player is the first and currently the only product from Lumin which is a trademark of Pixel Magic Systems Ltd. The latter's core business "...is to develop innovative technologies for the home theater video processing/scaling products and high definition TV related products with advanced software programming and design." I learned from an interview with Lumin on Positive Feedback Online (see interview) that the Lumin player essentially came about because the guys at Pixel Magic Systems are audiophiles and they couldn't find a DSD-capable network player. So they built their own.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 13, 2013 1 comments
It's the time of year for lists and if I were to make one for music, The Knife's Shaking the Habitual released in April of this year on Rabid Records would be on it. Sonically expansive, musically sprawling, emotionally charged, and intellectually challenging, Shaking the Habitual is chock full of sound and fury (have a visit to their website for a more complete picture including a comic strip decrying "extreme wealth"). The Knife is sister and brother duo Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer and this is their 4th album, the first since Silent Shout 7 years ago, and its about as in your face as they come.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 12, 2013 5 comments
One of my rules of used record shopping goes like this—if I see a record from FMP and I can afford it, buy it. So I don't know how this post escaped me for so long. The German label Free Music Production (FMP) was founded in 1969 by Jost Gebers, Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, and Alexander von Schlippenbach as a home for free jazz mainly of European origin but a number of American players appear in their catalog including Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, and Bill Dixon. If you know anything about FMP's LPs, you're probably as excited as I am to learn about the availability of these recordings as FLAC downloads especially seeing as many of these records go for silly-money on the used market making the $11.49/album price tag a real steal.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 11, 2013 0 comments
'Tis the season. Here's AudioStream's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide and its chock full of fun music-loving toys. Happy Holidays!
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Ariel Bitran Posted: Dec 11, 2013 0 comments
Woah!
These dudes won headphones!
Steven Plaskin Posted: Dec 10, 2013 4 comments
Why the Need for a Specialized AC Cord?
The Digital AC-X cord is JPS Labs’ specialized cable for digital components designed to provide a “smoother, more analog environment for audio and video” components. JPS Labs is a manufacturer of a complete line of AC cords, interconnects, speaker cables and digital audio cables. They also manufacture the Abyss headphone, a state-of-the art design that is priced to match. JPS Labs has been in business since 1990 and manufactures their products in East Aurora, New York.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 06, 2013 14 comments
“Comparison is the death of joy.” ~ Mark Twain

“Audiophiles care too much about sound.” ~ Stephen Mejias

Preamble
The sure sign of an addict is the recursive "I'm never going to...again". I'm never going to buy another version of Kind of Blue but I did. The most interesting question here is exactly what are we addicted to? Is it the music? Or is it the sound? If we go by the strict definition according to Merriam-Webster, an audiophile is "a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction". Sound reproduction? Really? Not "music reproduction"? According to the Urban Dictionary, an audiophile is also a bunch of other things including, "One who enjoys sex acts involving the ear.", "Someone who usually looks at young audio equipment. And rapes it through various input and often output sockets.", and "This is a person that makes you break out in a cold sweat and shudder when he says 'So something interesting happened today...'"

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 06, 2013 0 comments
Tal National hail from Niamey, Niger where they enjoy rock star status and their sound is infectious, joyous, incessant, transcendant, intense, and funkin' fun. Kaani is their third album but the first to get an international release on FatCat Records. Hamadal "Almeida" Moumine the lead guitarist is also the band's leader, a teacher at SOS Children's Village, and a judge by day. Noted for their hours and hours-long live shows which occur most nights of the week and help account for the band's ultra-tight interplay, Tal National may very well be the hardest working band in Niger.

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