Acoustic Sounds
Sim Moon 22

How Low Can You Go? I’m not talking about quality per se, but quality at a reasonably low price. At $3,200 a pair, the new speaker from Canadian audio electronics stalwart Simaudio is an exceptionally impressive listen at any price. I had a hint at this when I heard a pair at the 2022 Montreal Audio Fest. The Simaudio room was not a tiny hotel room but a medium to large-sized exhibit space on the lower level. It was paired with the Ace, a Simaudio integrated amp/streamer of about 50 high-current watts per side. This simple system, for around $7,000, played recordings in a way that made me want to sit down and listen—and I did just that. 

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Comments: 15
Making Rumors

Here are notes on a selection from my favorite books on the history of recording technology, the history of the record business, and the interactions between recording technology, the record business, and the art of music. One example of what I mean by all that is, in the late 1920s, piezoelectric “crystal” microphones supplanted carbon microphones for radio broadcasting. Crystal microphones had a better signal-to-noise ratio than carbon microphones. Therefore, the... Read More

Comments: 4
Technics SL-1200GR2

Technics just unveiled its "next gen" direct drive turntable, the SL-1200GR2 (silver) and the SL01210GR2 (black). According to the press release, the new turntable "...features a revolutionary new drive control technique for smooth, accurate rotational stability and a new power supply for an exceptionally low noise floor. "The newly upgraded turntable is equipped with standout audio and design features, including: · A new Delta-Sigma-Drive and a... Read More

Comments: 5
Darcy James Argue's Dynamic Maximum Tension

Darcy James Argue has evolved over the past 15 years, into one of our era’s great big-band composers and leaders, second only to Maria Schneider and, increasingly, a force worth taking on the same level of seriousness. His 4th and latest album, Dynamic Maximum Tension—his first in six years and his debut on the Nonesuch label—is his best to date: a work of stunning versatility and complexity, but thoroughly accessible, borderline passionate, for all its intricate maneuvers.

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Comments: 2

This press release lists prices in Euros only so not sure if this launch is simultaneously in Europe and the USA but it's newsworthy nonetheless. At Munich High End 2023 Pro-Ject Audio Systems launched an extensive "EVO" line of new tonearms in both standard and premium versions that occupied a rather large sized wall. This photo shows only some of the arms on that wall.Pro-Ject EVO arms at Munich High End 2023The lineup includes 9",10" and... Read More

Comments: 6
Craft "Small Batch" Monk "Brilliant Corners"

Los Angeles, CA (September 6, 2023) – Craft Recordings’ acclaimed Small Batch vinyl series returns with an audiophile pressing of Thelonious Monk’s Brilliant Corners. A landmark title in the pianist’s celebrated catalog, the 1957 album not only introduces several Monk originals, but also features an all-star line-up of talent, including Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, and Paul Chambers. Shipping September 8th and limited to just 4,000 copies worldwide, Brilliant Corners can... Read More

Comments: 21
Laraaji 'Segue To Infinity'

As listeners and reissue labels contextualize new age music in the broader history of ambient music, probably the biggest resurgence has been that of Laraaji, the zither master who’s worked with Brian Eno, Haruomi Hosono, and Bill Laswell, and who also leads laughter meditation workshops. Now, Numero Group presents Segue To Infinity, a recently released 4LP box set encompassing his first LP, 1978’s Celestial Vibration, and three discs of recently discovered recordings from the same time.

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Comments: 2
Nirvana In Utero Super Deluxe Edition

Originally released September 21, 1993 and recorded by Steve Albini, In Utero was Nirvana's first #1 debut on the Billboard 200 and went on to 6x platinum certification in the United States. The 30th anniversary release will be issued October, 27th, 2023 in a variety of formats including include a limited-edition 8LP Super Deluxe box set, 5CD Super Deluxe box set, 1 LP + 10” edition, 2CD Deluxe edition, and a Digital Super Deluxe edition. (Interestingly,... Read More

Comments: 4
Steve Albini

I conducted this interview with the great Steve Albini way back in 1993, before MP3, before the iPod, back when all but a few outspoken critics like Albini, Neil Young and a few others had anything negative to say about the digital recording revolution. It's fascinating to read Albini's thoughts from back then today. He was right on target then and now, but of course keep in mind this are his thoughts 30 years ago. This interview was conducted after... Read More

Comments: 4
Orange Crate Art

(This review originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96. A 25th Anniversary double vinyl LP issued by Omnivore with new liner notes and three previously unissued outtakes is currently available—see clickthrough at page bottom).When I was a child, I had a middle-aged second cousin Sophie who lived in far away California. She came to visit one cold New York winter in the late 1950s, bearing crates of tissue wrapped oranges, and jellies and jams from a place with a... Read More

Comments: 1

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)It is at once comforting and depressing to hear a band of (relative) youngsters writing and performing songs, most of which could easily be dropped into a cassette tape compilation from the early 70s and segue way so smoothly you’d never know they were new. Since I choose comfort over depression every time, I’m enjoying the hell out of this set of alternative shitkicker music which gracefully slips and slides... Read More

Comments: 1
Stop Making Sense Double Vinyl Reissue

(There are two reviews of this record published simultaneously, one by Michael Fremer and one by Malachi Lui, the two working independently, for a young and an "I was around then" perspective).Chris Frantz writes in the updated booklet packaged with this new double LP set of the difficulties involved in mounting the complicated, unique, never before (or since) seen stage show that the late Jonathan Demme so well captured in the film "Stop Making... Read More

Comments: 16
Talking Heads Stop Making Sense 2023

Immortalized in Jonathan Demme’s 1984 film Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads’ 1983 tour was the theatrical rock tour that ended all theatrical rock tours before it and raised the standard for those following. Choreographed but natural, theatrical but not outlandish, designed but also not, the newly reissued Stop Making Sense still resonates in its societal commentary and continuing influence.

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Comments: 2
Temples of Sound

Here are notes on a selection from my favorite books on the history of recording technology, the history of the record business, and the interactions between recording technology, the record business, and the art of music. One example of what I mean by all that is, in the late 1920s, piezoelectric “crystal” microphones supplanted carbon microphones for radio broadcasting. Crystal microphones had a better signal-to-noise ratio than carbon microphones. Therefore, the... Read More

Comments: 2

"Jazz Samba" wasn't the first Bossa Nova record released in The United States, and it wasn't called one, but it was, and upon its release in 1962 it broke open the Brazilian music floodgate. Within months of its release there was Bossa Nova everything. This record was also the first in a popular series of Creed Taylor produced Verve releases featuring on their covers Olga Albizu's abstract art. It was a winning formula.Recorded in a single day... Read More

Comments: 5

Last Spring, 2023 Clearaudio, a company best known for it's turntables, tonearms, phono cartridges and record cleaning machines celebrated its 45th anniversary. Rather than mounting its usual large High End Munich main floor exhibit, the company chose to throw a big party before the show for its distributors around the world and for others who would normally have met with them at the High End show to do business. The cozy restaurant attached to the Inn in which... Read More

Comments: 0