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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Can’t seem to avoid PBTHAL at this point. Every time I fall for a classic album, he’s got the prime cut lossless vinyl rip of the best pressing there ever was, crushing whatever CD junk remaster is commercially available. This is another case where there’s some junky special edition that sounds like digital fucking death, and a thirty year old vinyl that sounds like diamonds. In fact, you couldn’t even get the real, original mix of this album for over twenty years. Wikipedia sez:

During the height of ZZ Tops’ success in the early 1980s an inferior “digitally remixed” version of the recording replaced the original 1973 analog mix. The remix version was used on all early CD copies and was the only version available for over 20 years. A remastered and expanded edition of the album was released on February 28, 2006, which contains three bonus live tracks. The 2006 edition is the first CD version to use the original 1973 mix.

I understand that said comment will probably be stripped of its biased language, but its point stands!

For the FLAC version of this, and two other early ZZ Top jamz, check with the master.

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Ripped from my CD, it’s an insanely quiet album so I added +13db via replaygain. Don’t worry, this does nothing to compress dynamic range or even distort. There was still 13db of headroom to spare. Yes, I know you film nerds will complain about the mashup below. Trust me, it was the least cheesy youtube I could find. -Ian!

“Fur Alina” (1976) was the first effort in tintinnabuli, a two-minute score launching an improvisation that could go on for hours, based on two voices related through triadic harmony and often compared to plainchant. Part selected two selections from it for this disc, and Alexander Malter performs here. There’s not much in the way of set rhythm here. Instead the notes of the piano similar come one after another, with the piano’s rich array of overtones exploited to the fullest. When the pianist stops, the reverberations of the strings continue to send forth such a strong sound, an effect Part was later to explore in his clever “Cantus” in memory of Benjamin Britten.

“Spiegel im Spiegel” (Mirror in Mirror, 1978) is present here in three different recordings. The first and third are of the arrangement for violin and piano, performed by the duo of Vladimir Spivakov and Sergei Bezrodny. The middle recording is for cello and piano with Dietmar Schwalke performing with Alexander Malter. In this extremely elegant piece, the piano keeps a constant cadence against which the string instrument sweeps. The result hints at something immensely spiritual, like seeing two lovers gaze into each other’s eyes. Part was later to shake up this joining of loving voices with the faster-moving “Fratres” piece, arranged for a number of different instruments over the years, but this contemplative early effort has a beautiful clarity.

-Christopher Culver,

Arvo Pärt-ALINA (1995)
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This post is basically a complete props-giving to Flabbergasted Vibes. There’s like maybe ten music blogs I go out of my way to check frequently, and that’s one of them. Human, charming, and honest from a depth of knowledge that usually begets arrogance. -Ian!

A classic. An essential. A staple that your home should no more be without than rice, beans, or OxiClean products. And in fact in many Brazilian homes this album is just as common as arroz or feijão and is kept on the same shelf. (OxiClean, on the other hand, stays under the sink).

This album, the third long-player he recorded, was his first record for RCA, and features material ranging from 1958 up to its release in 77. The majority of tunes are written by him, some with cowriters like his old friend Carlos Cachaça. One exception to that is “Pranto de Poeta” written by Guilherme de Brito and Nelson Cavaquinho, with Nelson sitting in on the performance.

The record was produced by music writer Sergio Cabral. My first impression of this album, after hearing the first two released on Discos Marcus Pereira, was that it was too slick and overproduced. On subsequent listens I found it to be….. still too slick and overproduced. But I have to admit that it actually does not distract from the merits of the incredible songwriting and strong performances throughout. However, you can take a wonderful song like “Autonomia” and orchestrate it, open it with an intro on a (very well-recorded) grand piano, and it sounds beautiful. But you can also take it to its bare knuckles, like on the posthumous EP-length album “Documento Inédito.”

It’s up to the individual preference I suppose, but I prefer the latter. As much as the album might be over-produced, nothing is *ruined* here. There’s no synthesizers, or rocked-out drums, or any number of other things that could have been done to mangle it. Sergio Cabral’s intention, as insinuated in the liner notes, was to give Cartola the magisterial, kingly treatment and carinho that so many felt he deserved. And the record successfully does that. I hesitate to make such a broad generalization, especially as an ‘outsider’ to a culture, but if there was ever an artist and songwriter in Brazil who seems to have left virtually nobody untouched in a deeply meaningful, emotional way with his music, that would be Cartola.


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I admit, I haven’t listened to this one. You tell me if it’s any good.


SO36 Club, Berlin, Germany. 7th November 1980.

“Just before we went on, [Tutti] said, ‘Discipline’ and we did it. Just made it up. And I liked the fact that there are actually records of us inventing something; you are actually there when it was actually happening.” [Genesis P-Orridge, Re/Search no. 4/5, 1982]

“A short high frequency ‘buzz like’ sound can sometimes be heard during these performances. This sound is present on the original tapes and was most likely caused by [the] presence of a nearby digital PCM machine during the recordings.” [Chris Carter, TG+ notes, August 2003]

Track titles from Funeral in Berlin. Some instrumentals on IRCD36/37 may have one of the following titles: Stained by Dead Horses / Zero’s Death / Nomon / Raudive Bunker Experiment / Denial of Death / Funeral in Berlin / Trade Deficit. Any help on this appreciated.

Track One (30’37”)

00’00” Introduction
00’52” Instrumental
10’29” Instrumental
16’37” An Old Man Smiled
25’06” Trained Condition of Obedience

Track Two (44’24”)

00’00” Trained Condition of Obedience (cont.)
01’43” Instrumental
10’36” Something Came Over Me “A song for people who wank.”
21’04” ‘Church Music’
26’42” Instrumental
33’20” Discipline
42’15” Wall of Sound
44’04” (Performance ends)


More info on TG Live:
Wikipedia: TG Live

Throbbing Gristle-TG+: IRCD36 SO36 CLUB, BERLIN (LIVE 7 NOVEMBER 1980)
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Stooges vinyl rips. First and third are rips of the 180g reissues of the original masters taken at 24/96 resolution. FUN HOUSE is from PBTHAL, who makes the best needledrops on the internet. This one isn’t offered on his site, though. No, I don’t have a special deal worked out. He was doing this for years before he started his blog and is only putting new rips up nowadays. FUN HOUSE is recorded at 192khz off a first pressing from Columbia. All are dithered to redbook standards and then converted to mp3 by me. Yes, they sound better than the CDs. Certainly better than the trash Iggy remaster of RAW POWER.

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FUN HOUSE (1970)
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RAW POWER (1973)
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Information pending. All I know is that he died in his sleep last night.

Heralded by many as one of the finest ambient works of all time, Steve Roach’s Structures From Silence is right up there with Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports,” and deservedly so. Originally released in 1984, Structures From Silence was deemed a classic almost immediately, but the contrast grew greater as Roach’s output did, and the sheer beauty and clarity of this recording became more clear with time; then the album became a bit of a legend after it went out of print. Projekt has done ambient, and music enthusiasts in general, a great service by putting this excellent and classic recording back into print. With this re-release at last Roach’s early work can be listened to, enjoyed and made available to the buying public at large, as well as a new audience and generation of listeners. Structures From Silence 2001 has also been re-mastered for better sound quality, thus creating an even more evocative atmospheric listening experience. This is an exciting recording from a wonderful era in electronic ambient/space music. The 1980s saw the advent of so much electronic and synthesized music, but finally one of the finest recordings of the decade has become available again for a new generation and a new time.

-Matt Borghi,

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This is a rip of a Verve first pressing vinyl of the third album, in case you wanted that regular mix! -Ian!

Upon first release, the Velvet Underground’s self-titled third album must have surprised their fans nearly as much as their first two albums shocked the few mainstream music fans who heard them. After testing the limits of how musically and thematically challenging rock could be on Velvet Underground & Nico and White Light/White Heat, this 1969 release sounded spare, quiet, and contemplative, as if the previous albums documented some manic, speed-fueled party and this was the subdued morning after. (The album’s relative calm has often been attributed to the departure of the band’s most committed avant-gardist, John Cale, in the fall of 1968; the arrival of new bassist Doug Yule; and the theft of the band’s amplifiers shortly before they began recording.) But Lou Reed’s lyrical exploration of the demimonde is as keen here as on any album he ever made, while displaying a warmth and compassion he sometimes denied his characters. “Candy Says,” “Pale Blue Eyes,” and “I’m Set Free” may be more muted in approach than what the band had done in the past, but “What Goes On” and “Beginning to See the Light” made it clear the VU still loved rock & roll, and “The Murder Mystery” (which mixes and matches four separate poetic narratives) is as brave and uncompromising as anything on White Light/White Heat. This album sounds less like the Velvet Underground than any of their studio albums, but it’s as personal, honest, and moving as anything Lou Reed ever committed to tape.

-Mark Deming,

The Velvet Underground-THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (1969)
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