Download of the Week

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 14, 2012
A big thank you to my friend and colleague Stephen Mejias for the heads up on this O-so-fascinating collection of field recordings from Lawrence English.
Field recordings hold a special place in my heart - part active listening, part hunting, part happy accident, part polaroid, part archive - though wholly personal. No two recordings made in the same place at the same time will be identical and therein lies the beauty of the work. Similar to photography or portraiture, the artist selects the frame and what to prioritize, within that frame (either in pre or post production). These choices ultimately help shape the ways in which the listener can come to and understand the sounds.
Songs of the Living and And the Lived In are two records-worth of found sounds from around Lawrence English's and our (disappearing) world and he's made them available for free. Yes, for free.
Steven Plaskin  |  Sep 27, 2012
The Hoff Ensemble Quiet Winter Night 2L (192/24)

This wonderful recording is a blend of jazz and folk with Norwegian songs sung by Norway’s top vocalists including Helene Boksle, Sondre Bratland, Unni Wilhelmsen, Tomine Harket and Cecilia Vennersten. Now I have never heard of any of these singers, but the album fits together beautifully. As the title suggests, this is quiet reflective music with a touch of melancholy that is very well recorded. A large acoustic space with deep bass. And yes, this recording has dynamics; an overall DR13. Another 2L showpiece.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 23, 2016
Our reviewing team (I really enjoy typing that), Steve Plaskin, Ola Björling, John Darko, Jana Dagdagan, Alex Halberstadt, and moi, Pick 3 from 2016. Enjoy!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 09, 2015
RMAF Reporting Intermission*: I brought two tracks from the Jimi Hendrix Experience's third release Electric Ladyland to RMAF 2015; "Voodoo Chile" and "Rainy Day, Dream Away". The rip is from the Japanese import CD [UICY-93142] with the original UK cover art (pictured above in Jimi's teeth). I've been listening to Electric Ladyland since the 1970's and this import CD is the best sounding digital version I've heard. In general, I've found the UK Trax Records LPs (especially the mono releases) and the first run tri-color label Reprise LP's to be the ones to look out for on vinyl. I think everyone should own Electric Ladyland and love it which tells you something about me ;-)
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 22, 2013
Miles Davis' In A Silent Way is near the top of any list I'd make. When I first listened to it decades ago my heart raced (literally) after the opening notes and things got more intense from there on in. The same still holds after countless listens. In A Silent Way, along with Bitches Brew and A Tribute to Jack Johnson helped me get over the passing of Jimi Hendrix and pointed toward a very bright future. I don't really care all that much as to whether or not In A Silent Way was the first 'fusion' album because the music speaks to matters beyond category. You simply need to sit and do nothing other than listen.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 26, 2014
Will Oldham, aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy, is always a safe bet. A singer songwriter extraordinaire, his latest, Singer's Grave a Sea of Tongues does not disappoint with its gentle rhythms and swaying southern-tinged songs. Featuring the McCrary sisters and Chris Scruggs on mandolin and ukulele, these are slow, somewhat sad stories but they're filled with enough light to keep things luminous.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 10, 2014
"It's like a modern Bitches Brew." is what I said to Stephen and John in an email about You're Dead! (Wrap Records) the new Flying Lotus album. But there's more, like touches of ethereal Alice Coltrane, Steven Ellison's (aka Flying Lotus) great-aunt, sax solos and Snoop Dogg. Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Captain Murphy, Angel Deradoorian, Thundercat, and Niki Randa also join in for a lovely swirling mid-bending trip-o-delic delight.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 31, 2015
It has been a while since we heard from Syria's soulful singer Omar Souleyman who is joined on his new record Bahdeni Nami (Monkeytown Records) by saz player Khaled Youssef and Rizan Said on keyboards. The saz, or bağlama, is a stringed instrument resembling a lute that Youssef uses here to tell the his own version of the story and Said's keyboard playing is incessant and raw as is this music. I love this music.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 23, 2018
It begins with a blast of Isaac Hayes.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 17, 2014
Cover songs. I have a soft spot for cover songs as they tell us about artist's influences while giving voice to difference. Ideally. Northampton Mass's Winterpills new album Echolalia is filled with lovely covers from Sharon Van Etten, Nick Drake, Buddy Holly, XTC, Beck, the Beatles and more.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 30, 2016
Sometimes music comes wrapped up as tiny treats. Here's a collection of mostly new Singles that fill me up just fine. Enjoy!
Steven Plaskin  |  Feb 01, 2013
Aaron Neville’s latest release, My True Story, is available as a hi res download from HDtracks (96/24, 192/24). Aaron is returning to his “roots” performing doo-wop rock ballads in this album. The recording also features Keith Richards on guitar with a great band. There are no lush strings behind Aaron’s smooth vocals; just a tight band with excellent backup singers including Eugene Pitt, Booby Jay, Dickie Harmon, and Joel Katz.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 07, 2013
In honor of the sometimes outrageous prices asked for downloads, this week we have a free and legal live show sourced from the truly awesome courtesy of the truly crazed and prophetically prolific Acid Mothers Temple. If you like hard core speed metal, acid jazz, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and extended mind bendingly heavy jams, download yee one of AMT's 93! live shows from the Archive. Hell, download 'em all! We're talking CD-quality FLAC downloads, the kind of thing that others try to get you pay nearly twenty bucks a pop for, for free! Damn!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 05, 2016
"He is also an entertainment law professor and edits and scores films". So reads part of composer, arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge's bio and that bit about film scores is relevant to our Download of the Week: Something About April II, released on Linear Labs January of this year, reads like a soundtrack from one of the most fascinating films you've never seen.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 29, 2016
Holes. I've got holes in my musical knowledge all over the place; if my body was a pitcher and you poured water into my head, you'd see thousands of tiny spouts spitting water through those holes. African Head Charge was one until I plugged it up thanks to Tidal HiFi. African Head Charge was formed in the early 1980s by percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noa and developed over time into a varying cast of musical characters. The band's music, dubbed "psychedelic dub", has hit my head and heart hard.