Acoustic Sounds

November 28th, 2023

Sonic Life: A Memoir by Thurston Moore Book Review

By: JoE Silva

One of Alt Rock's premier guitarists delves into his 40-plus year career

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Comments: 2

Record Store Day - Black Friday Edition - is here and this year ORG Music has two interesting releases in store for listeners. The first release finds David Grisman & Jerry Garcia taking an interlude into jazzy territory on the reissue of So What on a two-disc vinyl set. The album - recorded in the early 90s, but released in 1998 - has never seen a vinyl release until now. The second release ORG offers is Creative Improvisation Ensemble by Marion Brown & Leo... Read More

Comments: 0
2023 holiday gift guide

The holiday season is here, though finding gifts for picky vinyl obsessives can be difficult. To help, we’ve compiled a list of records, gear, and accessories that demonstrate why yes, you do carefully listen to your loved one’s rants about fancy reissues and record cleaning supplies. Without further ado, here’s the 2023 Tracking Angle Holiday Gift Guide, independently selected by Michael Fremer and Malachi Lui based on personal opinions and experiences with each... Read More

Comments: 16

Can you name an audio product that for more than fifty years has been manufactured and sold unchanged? Technics iconic SL-1200 isn’t one of them. Yes, today’s SL-1200 turntable series looks like the original SL-1200 introduced back in 1972 but looks can be deceiving. Nonetheless, YouTube comments confirm that many SL-1200 enthusiasts continue to believe that what they bought in 1972 is equal to or better than what Technics produces today, partly because most current... Read More

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Many a western themed orchestral work ("western" as in cowboys), as well as probably some "eat beef" television commercial music keyed off of Antonín Dvořák's bold Symphony No. 9 (originally called Symphony No. 5 but not getting into that here). The Czech composer began writing it shortly after arriving in New York City on September 26th, 1892, but the set's annotator Alexander Moore makes clear that while the symphony is from the new... Read More

Comments: 27

You now have a choice of two AAA reissues of The Yes Album, which happens to be my favorite Yes album. Yes, I'm making this one personal. The Yes Album lineup with Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, and Bill Bruford plus the then newly added Steve Howe was an epic assemblage of great musicians and that album still packs a sonic and musical punch. It's going to be released as part of the Analogue Productions Atlantic 75th anniversary series as a single... Read More

Comments: 6

Manufactured in Ann Arbor, Michigan in "small batches" to assure "the very highest level of quality control" the new Allen Perkins designed MoFi MasterDeck turntable packs high tech construction concepts and a rich feature set sure to attract vinyl fans desiring more than just a basic platter spinner but who don't want to invest five figures in new turntable.Design features include a three-phase brushless DC motor housed in an isolated... Read More

Comments: 18

Don't mean to be a buzz kill but "Greatest Hits" compilations, though seemingly extremely attractive, always promise more than they actually deliver. Almost like assembled favorite scenes from a movie that can't begin to satisfy as does the actual movie, songs taken out of the historical context of the albums on which they originally appeared add up to less, not more, no matter how skillfully they are assembled—even if the recording artist is The... Read More

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Matt Walker, our man in Tokyo (as opposed to Jonti Davies, our man in Kyoto) reports from the recent Tokyo Audio Show: "We just had the Tokyo International Audio Show this past long weekend over three days at the Tokyo International Forum - a wonderful piece of Rafael Vinoly architecture designed to reflect the sweeping curves of a boat in the centre of Tokyo. There were around 34 rooms across 7 floors  - up slightly on previous years. As previously, attendance is free but online registration gets you a personalised QR entry code for each day as they strictly control numbers and mask wearing is still considered ‘good manners’.

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Comments: 10
Atlantic Records 75th Anniversary Celebration

Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman and Tracking Angle editor Michael Fremer discuss Atlantic Records' 75th anniversary celebration, the storied label's history, the vinyl records resurgence, Kallman's rise to become Chairman and more in this exclusive half-hour interview conducted in Kallman's Manhattan listening room November 17th, 2023. Read More

Comments: 2
$150K Freewheelin'

As we all know, some (by which I mean, an infinitesimally small percentage of the format’s total production) used LPs (or, some claimed-to-be unopened “New Old Stock” LPs), sell for crazy money. Which, of course, incentivizes much flipping through the used-LP bargain bins.Here’s one example: What I call a “record-store LP” (meaning, not an acetate, test pressing, or promo) of Led Zeppelin II sold, not too long ago, for $4,500.00.Of course, it was not just any old used... Read More

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Grunge was the leading musical movement by the turn of the 1990s; its successor emerged from the Bay Area punk scene. Green Day became a household name around 1991 with a sound merging the intensity of hardcore punk with melodic power pop twists. Local label Lookout Records released their first two albums 39/Smooth and Kerplunk, the latter becoming the label’s best-selling release. Independent, limited distribution labels didn't typically sell out of initial 10,000 copy pressings in one day. Green Day started to outgrow its reach; a bidding war arose amongst major labels wanting to sign the band. Free meals, trips to Disneyland, and A&R reps tattooing the band’s name on their ass wasn’t enough to entice them. Producer Rob Cavallo devoured the band's demo and understood the group better than anyone; Green Day signed with Warner/Reprise in 1993. Frowned upon in the eyes of the punk establishment is the idea of "selling out." In Green Day’s eyes, it was merely an exercise in seeing how far they could take their artistry to a larger demographic. Signing with a major label helped the band bridge the gap between the DIY aesthetics of punk and the mainstream.

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Comments: 8
Toronto Audio Show 2023

Should I stay or should I go? No, I wasn’t listening to The Clash. I was mentally weighing whether or not to attend the 2023 Toronto Audiofest. I almost decided that I didn’t have the time or money, but in the end, I went. And boy, am I glad I did!On my first visit to Toronto Audiofest in 2022, I was struck by how different an audio show can be in a location other than the good ole US of A. Maybe it’s simply the friendly, chill Candian vibes. Perhaps it’s the personal warmth and excellent organizational skill of the show organizers, Michel Plant and Sarah Tremblay. It’s both these things and more.

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Blue Note Records has announced the 2024 line-up for the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series. The acclaimed series is produced by the “Tone Poet” Joe Harley and features definitive all-analog, 180g audiophile vinyl reissues that are mastered from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio. Tone Poet vinyl is manufactured at RTI and packaged in deluxe gatefold tip-on jackets. The titles were once again handpicked by Harley and include acknowledged... Read More

Comments: 8