Acoustic Sounds

For many pioneers of electronic pop music, the 1990s presented an identity struggle beyond the usual midlife crisis. Synths and drum machines were now widely accessible and ubiquitous: your $4000 synth isn’t so special anymore, your $5000 sequencer that constantly broke down on stage is a relic of the distant past, and any Detroit techno producer, Manchester acid house enthusiast, or some smiling dude from Cornwall could render your entire career obsolete. Past... Read More

Comments: 5

And so it starts again with a ballad. One that Damon Albarn started 20 years ago as, literally, “Half A Song,” finished at the urge of bodyguard Darren ‘Smoggy’ Evans and now the opening track on The Ballad Of Darren, Blur’s first album in eight years. Albarn has written many ballads, probably a few too many: about love, about sadness, about England. Yet “The Ballad” stands out in how defeated it is, especially as the opener for such an anticipated record. It signals... Read More

Comments: 1

I know more about Klaus Barbie the war criminal than I do about Barbie the doll—or Barbie the movie—but having spent a few months pondering the meaning of the songs on Amy Ray's recent, politically tinged, geographically existential, lushly arranged solo album I was fascinated to find that Greta Gerwig's new "Barbie" movie uses in a crucial scene The Indigo Girls' classic "Closer to Fine" from their eponymous 1989 debut album. The... Read More

Comments: 4

Imitation is - as you may have heard - the sincerest form of flattery. In the music world, however, it’s a slippery slope: the listener crosses his or her finger when a composer or performer attempts to pay homage to another style or genre hoping that the final result is a well-done and tasteful tribute. It’s not as though Andrew Gold needed to imitate anyone, but out of his love of 1960s psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll he devised a fictitious band (The Fraternal Order of... Read More

Comments: 0

In March 1957, Sonny Rollins was 26 and one of the hot young tenor saxophone players (matched only by his friend John Coltrane) when he went out to L.A. with the Max Roach quartet and, one night, in his off hours, stepped into a warehouse that doubled as a studio for Contemporary Records and laid down the tracks of Way Out West. (I mean “off hours” literally; the only time he and his bandmates could get together, in between club gigs and other recording sessions, was... Read More

Comments: 4

Blue Note Records announces the next run of titles in the Classic Vinyl Reissue Series, presenting 180g all-analog vinyl reissues of some of the most iconic masterpieces of the Blue Note catalog by jazz legends including Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and others. Don Was and Cem Kurosman curate, Kevin Gray masters directly from the original analog master tapes Optimal presses and the price is right! Newly announced... Read More

Comments: 3

In our occasional series of unusual but noteworthy records, this 1975 collection of works specially written for the brilliant vocal sextet of the King's Singers - still going strong after over 50 years - remains one of their most adventurous outings. Captured in vintage EMI analogue sound, the works recorded cover a multitude of both traditional and more experimental vocal techniques by top composers of the era, all performed at the highest level. If you think "a cappella" singing begins with the Barden Bellas, prepare to be surprised by this time capsule of vocal virtuosity.

Read More

Comments: 1

Many classic albums are lauded as “singular” and “groundbreaking,” but after a while don’t really sound like it, because everyone afterwards did it, or we realize that someone lesser-known did it six months earlier. Yet 52 years later, Sly & The Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On remains as singular and confounding as ever; nothing remotely like it existed before, and nothing since has done exactly what it does. It remains impenetrable and unique: while its elements have scattered throughout popular and underground music since, Sly Stone's early 1970s work operates in a manner that’s impossible to plagiarize because exactly what makes it work is much harder to pinpoint.

Read More

Comments: 4

July 28th, 2023

UHQR Perspective Please! what makes a great reissue?

By: Michael Fremer

The less than enthusiastic review I gave to the UHQR reissue of Steely Dan's "Pretzel Logic" produced some nasty and totally unfair comments aimed not at me, but at Analogue Productions and Acoustic Sounds that I think need addressing now, not later. All of the UHQRs shown in the photo got great reviews on this site from me or from Fred Kaplan. Why? Because they elevated the sound of those recordings to above what either of us heard on any other... Read More

Comments: 30

The last time I checked in on a Michell turntable was back in 2000 with a review of the GyroDec SE. It's time for another review don't you think? This time it's the Gyro SE. The basic design strategy remains the same (though the original's Pabst A.C. motor has been replaced with a D.C. motor), so the big questions are: has the company maintained the high quality of the one reviewed twenty three years ago? And does the performance still hold up when... Read More

Comments: 10

LOS ANGELES – To celebrate Rhino’s 45th Anniversary, the label iaunches Rhino Reds, a new series of limited-edition reissues pressed on custom “Rhino Red” vinyl. Over the next few months, Rhino will release classic albums and rarities from its vast music archive, showcasing records by key artists from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Each complete reissue will feature a bonus 7-inch, both pressed on translucent “Rhino Red” vinyl, based on the PMS color used in Rhino’s logo.To... Read More

Comments: 4