Hi-Res Audio

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 25, 2013
I think that should be spelled Soul[ey]man. Syrian-born Souleyman's latest album, Wenu Wenu is his first to be produced by Kieran Hebden (of Four Tet) in Brooklyn for Domino's Ribbon label. While some have commented that Hebden cleaned up Souleyman's typical lo-fi/over-driven sound too much, I sure don't think so. There's more flavor here than you can swallow in one gulp and if you dig incessant, intense, and soul[ey]ful music, get this.
Steven Plaskin  |  Oct 11, 2013
I have always enjoyed the music of Jimmy Webb. Going back to Richard Harris performing "MacArthur Park" and Glenn Campbell singing "Galveston" brings back many good memories.

Jimmy Webb’s new release Still Within The Sound Of My Voice, offered in 24/44.1 on HDtracks, presents new versions of these classic songs. As in his previous release, Just Across The River, Jimmy teams up with a stellar group of performers. Carly Simon, Lyle Lovett, The Jordanaires, Keith Urban, David Crosby and Graham Nash, Joe Cocker, Art Garfunkel, Amy Grant, Kriss Kristofferson, Marc Cohn, Rumer, and America. The song "MacArthur Park", sometimes ridiculed by reviewers, teamed up Brian Wilson singing in the background with Jimmy Webb. The song has withstood the test of time and is probably considered a classic Jimmy Webb tune.

Jon Iverson  |  Oct 07, 2013
The HDTracks.com heavens opened this fall and out poured all 13 Grateful Dead studio albums. Your choice: 24/96 or 24/192 PCM in WAV, AIFF, ALAC or FLAC, fresh from the original master tapes.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 04, 2013
PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish lends his producing and guitar playing skills to this, Rokia Traoré's fifth album. Beautiful Africa released on the Nonesuch label rocks but thankfully still within the framework of African music and Traoré's Malian home in part due to the presence of Mamah Diabaté’s n’goni lute and the music's shifting and swirling rhythms. There are a total of three guitarists on this record including Traoré, Parish, and Stefano Pilia, and English drummer Sebastian "Seb" Rochford provides the foundation along with bassist Nicolaï Munch-Hansen over which Traoré's vocals swing, dance, mourn, and ultimately delight.
Steven Plaskin  |  Sep 20, 2013
Howard Hanson (1896-1981) was a conductor, composer, and director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He was one of the most prominent American composers of musical Romanticism who believed that music should strive to preserve beauty, clarity and simplicity. You won’t find dissonance in Howard Hansen’s music.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 30, 2013
What can you say about A Love Supreme that hasn't already been said? I know, personal stuff! I came across John Coltran's A Love Supreme at a very challenging time in my then young life. Let's leave the particulars out and simply say that we're talking about emotionally charged growing pains related to finding a place to fit in. I came to A Love Supreme by way of Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis so kinda backwards and the thing that struck me then, during my initial listens to the LP, and the thing that still smacks me right in the skull while listening today is the damn spirituality of it all. Now let me just say that I was of the opinion that Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov reaching for that bible at the end of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment was not an act of religion rather an act of faith. Color me irascible.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 29, 2013
From the NIN website:
Hesitation Marks was mastered in two different ways - the standard, “loud” mastering (which is what you’ll find on the CD, on iTunes, and everywhere else), and also an alternate “audiophile” mastering, which we’re offering as a free download option for anyone who purchases the album through nin.com. For the majority of people, the standard version will be preferable and differences will be difficult to detect. Audiophiles with high-end equipment and an understanding of the mastering process might prefer the alternate version.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 28, 2013
Online music and gear retailer Acoustic Sounds will begin offering DSD downloads...today! Wednesday, August 28th! That's right, here's the first source for popular titles from artists like John Coltrane, Muddy Waters, and Cat Stevens in lovely resplendent DSD. Kinda makes you glad you have that DSD-ready DAC. You do have one, right?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 05, 2013
I know, obviously. I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey, near Paterson, and I can still recall the dull ache of boredom that infested most of my waking teenage hours. There were few true salves but music was always a sure bet breaking through the unfulfilled longing (most days feeling as if you had an impossibly mad crush on someone you had yet to meet). The music of The Doors played prominently during these formative years and Waiting for the Sun contained plenty of sunshine, white heat, and melancholy that seemed to match my very own. Ah, music.
Steven Plaskin  |  Jun 28, 2013
This 4 selection album is Blue Coast Records’ first double DSD recording. Keith Greeninger is a folk-style singer that accompanies himself on guitar in this excellent minimalist recording that utilized two channels / 2 mics, and a Korg M2 2000. While the DSD64 download is quite good, you must listen to the DSD128 version as this is outrageously revealing and natural sounding.

Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast Records sent me the following:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 28, 2013
I know, obviously. But Getz/Gilberto holds a very special place in my heart, body, mind, and soul. When I was a kid, we'd spend a lot of our summertime at my grandparents house at the shore. My father and his younger brother would mix a thermos full of gin and tonic (which they'd let me sip), and pack it up along with the Coppertone, fishing poles, and fins for our days at the beach. Back at my grandparents' house, being fitfully sunned and swumed, we'd BBQ and eat at the picnic table out back. Life was simple. The last ingredient that filled these long, hot, happy days was music and Getz/Gilberto remains the accompanying soundtrack that plays through my head on infinitely pleasurable repeat.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 17, 2013
High Definition Tape Transfers (HDTT), purveyors of "rare classical recordings in audiophile sound" mainly sourced from analog tape will begin releasing DSD64 and DSD128 downloads from their catalog starting this week. Expect between 4 and 6 titles for the initial release and more to follow. If you're not familiar with HDTT, I would recommend a trip to their website but their name provides a nice summary.
Michael Lavorgna  |  May 31, 2013
French composer Cécile Schott, aka Colleen, plays and sings a nuevo-medieval sounding suite on viola da gamba, clarinet, cello, guitar, organ, piano, and percussion with overdubs and repetitions, weaving exquisitely tender and fragile texts that float away like smoke as you take them in. There are touches of Washington Phillips' stunning What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?, rural sacred minimal timeless folk sounds rooted in more than music and sounding at times like their origin is some ancient musical machine. The Weighing Of The Heart is Colleen's first record in six years since her lovely Les Ondes Silencieuses and its a personal and deeply introspective record for life's stiller moments.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 18, 2013
A day after posting, "Now we need more content providers to step up to the plate giving us access to a wider selection of DSD downloads. I'd say it's only a matter of time.", this message greeted me in my Inbox:
We would like to welcome Fidelio Recordings to DSDFile.

First release is the classical master piece From The New World.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 12, 2013
Anne Queffélec takes us on a tour of early 20th Century France, striking her piano's keys according to the direction of Charles Koechlin, Claude Debussy, Déodat De Séverac, Erik Satie, Florent Schmitt, Francis Poulenc, Gabriel Dupont, Hahn Reynaldo, Maurice Ravel, and Pierre-Octave Ferroud. And oh what a trip it is. The early 20th Century is one place in time I'd travel to if I had a time machine (as long as Owen Wilson wasn't there). Teaming with creative energy, the oughts and teens of the 1900s saw all kinds of new possibilities being explored by all kinds of people in all fields of endeavor. Picasso and Braque shattering the picture plane, Joyce fracturing the narrative, Wittgenstein's parsed propositions, Schoenberg's serial meanderings, and we all know about that crazy cat Einstein and what he did to time...