Steely Dan UHQR Series

Music Reviews: Vinyl

February 21st, 2023

Music of Dread and Vengeance

RE-IMAGINING FILM MUSIC NOIR: Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack for The Batman Comes to Vinyl on Mondo Records

By: Mark Ward

It has become customary for many film music old-schoolers like myself to lament the current propensity for the “Zimmerization” of movie scores: ie., the devolving of a film’s soundtrack into endless drum-circles and synthesized loops, harmonic stasis, motivic repetition, all of which have become the hallmarks of Hans Zimmer’s work of the last 20 years or so.Obviously this is a vast over-simplification, and not entirely fair to Zimmer himself, but his protégés and... Read More

February 13th, 2023

The Cure's "Wish" finally back on vinyl after 30 years

It's Friday, but I'm not in love.

By: Michael Johnson

"Wish", by English gothic rock band The Cure, was released just three months before I was born in 1992, and while this album might coincide with the beginning of my time on this earth, for The Cure, "Wish" was the bookend on a fruitful period of pop dominance in the late 80s. The band that once assembled barren, bleak post-punk landscapes on albums like "Faith" and "Pornography" had, by 1985, with the release of "Head on... Read More

February 11th, 2023

Gabe Gurnsey: Diablo

An Electronic Epic Of Dancing And Lust

By: Mark Dawes

Gabe Gurnsey is the former drummer of “post-industrial” band Factory Floor, but on the late 2022 LP “Diablo” he has teamed up with vocalist and girlfriend Tilly Morris to produce an electronic opus to dancing and lust. This release comes from Phantasy Records, run by English DJ Erol Alkan. Phantasy is also home to electronic producer and DJ Daniel Avery, and house and techno artists such as Fort Romeau and Red Axes. There is a strong flavour of 1980s electronic pop to... Read More

genre Electronic format Vinyl

February 7th, 2023

"Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus" Gets the Craft "Small Batch" One-Step Treatment

Vince Guaraldi's other classic album

By: Michael Fremer

The Brazilian Bossa Nova flower had not yet bloomed in America when in 1959 the movie "Black Orpheus" became the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize Winner. The movie is a re-telling of the Orpheus legend set in Rio de Janeiro with the Mardis Gras as backdrop. The music was by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa, one of whom, Jobim, would become a household name if not in 1963 when Stan Getz released Jazz Samba, then a year later when Getz/Gilberto exploded... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

February 4th, 2023

Dean Blunt’s Casual 'ZUSHI' Encapsulates His Artistry

The elusive underground legend’s 2019 mixtape receives a limited edition vinyl release

By: Malachi Lui

Every so often, the artist usually known as Dean Blunt emerges from his residence in Hackney, London to appear at an event—to prove his existence, to reassert his status as art music’s most shadowy figure of current importance. The latest appearance was a DJ set at Miami Art Basel in December, for a party hosted by NTS Radio and NFT conmen Bored Ape Yacht Club. What did the rich NFT bros’ money get them? A fogged up stage and a bored Dean Blunt blasting Sleep’s... Read More

February 4th, 2023

Do Not Judge This Blossom By Its Cover

Vinyl Me Please's reissue of Blossom Dearie's debut has crappy enlarged compact disc cover, but sounds great

By: Joshua Smith

Vinyl Me Please could have had a home run with this beautiful-sounding and essential reissue, but fails miserably with an ugly cover sourced from a late '80s-era compact disc.

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genre Jazz Vocal Jazz format Vinyl