The Hof? Not David Hasselhof, Knight Rider, but the German word for ‘yard’. Put Hinter on the front – Hinterhof – and we have ourselves a backyard. Berlin’s most talked about record store, Hard Wax, asks its visitors to journey through one back yard, then another and then up six […]
French streaming service Qobuz will soon launch in the USA. On sound quality, their standard tier is similar to Apple Music or Spotify: lossy compressed that’s called lossy for a reason. Of greater interest/import to those who care for greater audio nourishment is Qobuz’s Hifi tiers that offers CD-quality streaming – […]
Electronic music doesn’t enjoy a great deal of playtime in audiophile circles. Why? Maybe it’s snobbery? Maybe it’s a lack of exposure. Maybe it’s preconceptions of mindlessness? That so-called mindlessness is a feature, not a bug. Fresh converts might be made if only the properly curious were pointed in the direction […]
Over a pork knuckle in January, I enthused to a friend about DJ Hell’s collaborative work with P. Diddy (“The DJ”) and Bryan Ferry (“U Can Dance”) – two standout tracks from the veteran German producer’s 2009 album, Teufelswerk. English translation: Devil’s work. Eight years on, the remainder of that […]
The reasons to dig Bandcamp are numerous – here are five for starters: 1. Bandcamp is a platform that enables artists to sell their music to fans directly. The company takes 15% on digital sales (which drops to 10% once total artist revenue hits US$5000) and 10% on merchandise. That’s a long […]
Pop quiz. What connects the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Scotland’s ‘80s indie popsters Orange Juice to German techno outfit Hardfloor? A clue lies with today’s date, March 3rd. 3.03. A reminder of the Roland Corporation’s TB-303. Released in 1982, the ‘303’ was a hardback-book-sized box aimed at musicians unable to afford or find […]
I have a sneaking suspicion that lossless audio downloads are slowly but surely becoming less expensive. Around $10-15 per album now seems to be the norm with the likes of Boomkat and Bleep now on par with the artist-direct content sold via Bandcamp. Got a great two-channel system or killer […]
The trouble with websites peddling free electronic music is you have to wade through a lot of chaff to get to the wheat. I have an aversion to anything that brushes up against new-age (you can keep your crystals and dolphins) and 145 bpm psy-trance (oonce-oonce-oonce) dumbness. Best to stick […]
I don’t think that Diana Krall or Melody Gardot are necessarily bad. Not strictly my cuppa tea, they sound pleasant enough. Perhaps all that Pleasantville is a turn-off in itself? All that candy-sweet-talking rots teeth. No, the problem with such artists is that they hold an almost irreversible sway in many (most?) audiophile circles. Go to any audiophile society meet and you’ll see the same demographic (male, 40+) invariably listening to the same light programming. Perhaps the inoffensiveness (read: lack of challenge) is what rubs me the wrong way? They’ll often be found busting out Jazz At The Pawnshop for the 485876th time. What happened to these baby boomers’ (supposed) love of kick ass rock n roll?
And still (until now) I hold my tongue. Each and every time I hear a chick-with-guitar, I don’t enjoy it but I tolerate it. And yet – most likely because of the aforementioned demographic – collective tolerance of different (read: electronic) music appears low. Not that I’m trying to stir the pot, it’s just that I want to hear SOMETHING DIFFERENT. I doubt any of what follows would be permitted at my local audiophile meet. I imagine most attendees would exit the room muttering something like “That’s not music” or “It’s just noise”. I cannot be alone in feeling this way. Heck, even some Bowie or Zeppelin (and not the f-ing Eagles’ acoustic live take on “Hotel California””) now and again would be exciting.
It’s not just audiophile societies that suffer this acoustic affliction. Go to any hifi show and you’ll hear the same insipid stuff. That shit sounds great on anything. And vendors know it.
In an attempt to play King Canute, here’s my second selection of electronica for audiophiles. The first five are easier listening than the metallic industry of the second five. Dig it.
- SCSI-9 – The Line Of Nine (2006) [PREVIEW/BUY]
- Robag Wruhme – Thora Vukk (2010) [PREVIEW/BUY]
- Slam – Groovelock Remix EP (2012) [PREVIEW/BUY]
- Burial – Kindred EP (2012) [PREVIEW/BUY]
- Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972 (2011) [PREVIEW]
- Monolake – Ghosts (2012) [PREVIEW/BUY]
- Forward Strategy Group – Applied Generics EP (2012) [PREVIEW/BUY]
- Squarepusher – Ufabulum (2012) [PREVIEW/BUY]
- Perc – Wicker & Steel (2011) [PREVIEW/BUY]
- Speedy J – A Shocking Hobby (2000) [PREVIEW/BUY]
If your local audiophile society plays this kind of electronic music, please get in touch: [email protected]
Electronica for audiophiles. Electronica that’s been immaculately pieced together and mastered to perfection. There’s not as much of it knocking about as you might think. Anyone can rattle off artist after classic artist from the last thirty or so years, but too much choice isn’t helpful to the newcomer – it’s […]
Why don’t we hear more electronic music at audio shows, audiophile club meets or in hifi stores? The short answer is: generational gap. First hand experience and show reports tell us that the majority of UK/US/Euro show attendees, club members and store owners now live on the other side of […]
If variety be the spice of life, many an audiophile would prefer it if you just held back on the cayenne. Difference is often met with bemusement. The Zu Audio guys nearly always cop a handful of quizzical looks each time they unleash a Nick Lowe or Four Tet record. Last year I detailed how […]