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PhantomFocus System Studio Monitors Review

PhantomFocus PFM UHD-1000 monitor
PhantomFocus PFM UHD-1000 monitor

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone more passionate about audio than Carl Tatz. Not only is he serious about it, he knows it inside out. I got to know him before Recording Arts, his legendary Nashville studio, wound up in the hands of Sheryl Crow nearly two decades ago. Even in those days, more than anything else, Recording Arts was known for its exceptional monitoring. The fundamentals of the PhantomFocus System (PFS) were developed during Tatz’s Recording Arts tenure. That system has evolved into a portfolio of both physical studio designs and products that hold their ground against anything in the world today. The number of top engineers around the world who use Tatz’s talents to ensure their mixes accurately translate anywhere—be it streaming, on television or in movie theaters—continues to grow every year.

While Tatz often designs recording studios from the ground up, the PFS branding includes various pieces of hardware that are configured and “tuned” by his process, which combines physical properties, hardware design and system settings. Tatz can be hired to build a PFS studio from the ground up, but an existing studio can also bring him in to transform the facility into a PFS space through the integration of specific hardware that he configures via a combination of physics, software and his golden ears.

While the PFS process can be applied to any high-performance studio loudspeakers, Tatz had historically gravitated his clients toward the now-discontinued Dynaudio M1s because of their sound quality and their adaptability to the PFS process. The M1s were never perfect, but Tatz was convinced that they were the closest thing to perfection available on the market at the time.

Never one to settle for the status quo, Tatz began developing his own monitors. After finessing his dream over the years, the PFM UHD-1000 and PFM HD-1000 Professional Reference Monitors and PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer are finally ready for public consumption. Tatz boasts that the monitors’ accelerated response times, phase linearity and tightly controlled mid-bass response result in high confidence, better and faster mixes, and increased enjoyment. My own extensive listening supports my assertion that this isn’t hype.

The Carl Tatz Interview, by Russ Long, Feb. 11, 2015

Carl Tatz Design PhantomFocus Monitor Optimization System (PFS), by Russ Long, Oct. 21, 2011

PhantomFocus PFM HD-1000 monitor
PhantomFocus PFM HD-1000 monitor

Both monitor models are passive and share nearly identical 8.2 x 17.8 x 12.2-inch cabinets with a built-in custom integrated IsoAcoustics pistonic decoupling system with a studio black luster finish. The UHD version, which is designed to be biamplified and features upgraded low-frequency drivers, weighs 24.1 pounds. The HD version is offered in two configurations: the PFM HD-1000A is actively biamped, requiring two channels of amplification per monitor, and the PFM HD-1000P features an internal Straight Wire passive crossover, requiring one channel of amplification per monitor.

The PFM ICE Cube-12 subwoofer is a 15.75-inch cube weighing 55 pounds. It incorporates a 700-watt amp that provides 120 dB maximum continuous SPL. It includes typical subwoofer functions including 40–140 Hz LPF with LFE Bypass and 0–180 Phase Switch. It’s important to note that both the PFM HD-1000 and UHD-1000 monitors are part of the PFS turnkey precision monitoring instrument ensemble and can only be purchased with the installation of a PhantomFocus System using the proprietary PFS tuning process.

I’ve spent a lot of time in PhantomFocus rooms around Nashville and my only complaint had been the rapid degradation of sound quality as you move away from the sweet spot. When you’re in the sweet spot, you’ll likely be experiencing the best monitoring situation of your career, but once you begin sliding one direction or another, the sound quickly deteriorates. I had always attributed this to PFS processing, but after spending time listening at The Upper Deck, one of the first studios to install PFM HD-1000 monitors, my tune has changed. The sweet spot of that room is still precise, but as you move in and out of the sweet spot, the transition is smooth, natural and subtle—an entirely different experience than listening in other PFS rooms with other monitor models.

The Ultimate Home Studio? Upper Deck Hits It Out of the Park, by Steve Harvey, Nov. 29, 2018

PhantomFocus PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer
PhantomFocus PFM ICE Cube-12 Subwoofer

This was confirmed when I spent time listening at Doug Sarrett’s Uno Mas studio. Sarrett was an early adopter of the PhantomFocus System, and he updated the Tannoy Super Gold monitors that he’d been using for over two decades to the premium PFM UHD-1000 monitors; the results were stunning. The complete system has excellent imaging, pristine depth of field and accurate, extended low-frequency response regardless of monitoring volume. As is always the case with a PFS implementation, the speakers magically disappear, leaving a detailed sonic landscape. While the difference was subtle, the upgrade to the UHD version of the PFM monitor that I auditioned at Uno Mas in comparison to the HD version that I listened to at The Upper Deck was a definite improvement in both depth and clarity.

The new PhantomFocus monitors and subwoofer elevate monitoring accuracy to yet another level. Regardless of whether you are upgrading a current room or planning to build a space from the ground up, PFS along with PFM monitors and subwoofers should receive top consideration.

Carl Tatz Design •

Original Resource is

Lockdown: Day 15

As somewhat of a self-imposed hermit anyway, I’m keeping my head down, staying out of the traffic pattern, and staying busy.

There’s plenty of work to do here, and we will continue to produce content at TONE as if things were back to what we used to consider normal. Our hope is to produce a bit more, in the hope that we can at least provide a minute of distraction here and there.

For those that are interested, we’ll be posting weekly to let you know what’s up and what we’re working on. I truly hope that you are all safe, sound, and out of harms way. Here’s to all the strength that you can muster right now. If we provide a little bit of distraction, that’s great. If you need to be alone and not think of music or hifi right now, we understand.

The new APL-10 preamplifier and AFM-25 monoblocks from Rivera Audio Labs continue to amaze. The ultimate in simplicity, this all tube preamp and hybrid (tube input stage, solid state, Class-A output stage) monoblocks are an excellent match with the 94db/1 watt Focal Stella Utopia Ems. Rounding out the system is the PSAudio Perfect Wave DAC, a Torus TOT line conditioner, and all cable from Cardas Audio.

The overall sound is very natural and open. As a big fan of Class-A amplifiers from Pass, Luxman (along with vintage Krell and Levinson) the Rivera amps have all of that in spades, yet the tube/hybrid design offers a bit more magic. 25 watts per channel won’t be enough for everyone, the other two Rivera amplifiers offer 50 wpc and 100, effectively. We’ll have a full review soon, but these are a true joy.

You can find out a little more here at Rivera Audio Labs…

And, their North American importer, TONE Imports (not affiliated with us, but it has a nice ring to it, eh?)

PS:  I understand that most of you probably have way bigger fish to fry right now, than worry about what your next hifi purchase is going to be, and that to just tell you to “Just take it easy and listen to music for the next few weeks” may not be much solace. So you won’t be getting that one from me.

So, take good care, and stay safe my friends.

Original article: Lockdown: Day 15

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Original Resource is TONEAudio MAGAZINE » TONEAudio MAGAZINE

Red Axes call upon fans to create the music video for their upcoming album single, ‘Break The Limit’

Following the news of their forthcoming self-titled album via Dark Entries Records this May, Red Axes today reveal the first details for new single ‘Break The Limit’. Set for release on April 9th, today’s announcement arrives in the midst of a global pandemic with Red Axes inviting fans who are currently in lockdown to create the music video from their own homes.

“In these crazy times when most of us around the world are locked up, we believe that it is more important than ever to continue creating and connecting with each other. We have uploaded a clip from a new track called ‘Break The Limit’ taken from our upcoming album and in that spirit we would love for all of you to break your own limit and film yourself while doing it. Play it as loud as possible in your speakers and do whatever the music inspires you to do. Dance, break things, scream, laugh, cry, make out… Let it all out!! Anything goes!!! Send a 15-30 second clip and we will then edit together into a video. Can’t wait to see you guys go crazy!! Love Red Axes”

For those who would like to take part, please submit a 15-30 second video clip to [email protected] Any format of video file can be submitted but please note to shoot horizontally and not vertically if using a smartphone.

Red Axes eponymous 11-track album will be released via Dark Entries Records on May 8th. All pre-order here.

Red Axes ‘Break The Limit’ will be released on April 9th.

The post Red Axes call upon fans to create the music video for their upcoming album single, ‘Break The Limit’ appeared first on Decoded Magazine.

Original Resource is Decoded Magazine

fabric presents Maribou State

ARTIST: Various
LABEL: fabric Records
OUT:27th March 2020

Having cut their electronic music teeth at the club as teenagers, Maribou State return to Farringdon for a sublime contribution to the ‘fabric presents’ series. Since first playing at the club almost a decade ago, Chris Davids and Liam Ivory of Maribou State have ascended as one of electronica’s most vital acts, with two critically acclaimed albums, alongside recent sell-out tours across UK, USA and Europe on the back of 2018’s full-length ‘Kingdoms In Colour’.But they never forgot their roots. Since their teenage years they frequented fabric, taking the train down from their homes in Hertfordshire to attend DJ Hype’s legendary ‘True Playaz’ night, experiences that would lay the musical foundations for years to follow.

“fabric was a hugely influential milestone for us, being the first nightclub we used to attend regularly. It gave us an early insight into club culture and played a massive part in shaping our relationship with electronic music today.”

Their contribution to the fabric cannon sees them re-trace this trip in sonic form, quite literally re-enacting the journey to the club and imagining a night out raving and all the stages it entails.

“In this mix we wanted to create a world of music that in its entirety you wouldn’t expect to hear within the walls of fabric, but would reflect the hours spent before heading to the club; drinks at a friend’s house, the journey into London, travelling on the underground and the anticipation in the build-up beforehand. We captured and used a bunch of field recordings of us re-taking the journey to and from the club to help this narrative”

The finished work is vibrant, thoughtful and unforgettable. It traverses soul, disco, jazz and funk, before the duo up-the-tempo to bumpier house grooves, tinges of jungle, and their own sublimely crafted electronica.

“The mix culminates in some original pieces of music that represent our interpretation of fabric’s sound within its walls, peppered with samples from old DJ sets from fabric’s ‘True Playaz’ nights to give the mix a nostalgic feel and reconnect our roots to the club.”

The highlight-heavy compilation includes two brand new Maribou State productions, ‘Mother’ and ‘Strange Habits’, alongside a delicate and uplifting re-work of Radiohead’s ‘Reckoner’, all of which are exclusive to ‘fabric presents’. A beautiful collaboration with Pedestrian un der the North Downs moniker is also weaved into the final work.

Maribou State will launch the compilation at fabric on Sunday, 29th March. To buy tickets and check full listings visit fabric website:
The first single from the compilation is Oriyin ‘Roll The Dice’, due out 11 February.

1. Intro
2. Stelvio Cipriani – Mary’s Theme*
3. Nick Hakim – Cuffed
4. North Downs – Settle Down*
5. Art Feynman – Slow Down*
6. Kutiman – Line 5*
7. Risco Connection – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now
8. Supersempfft – I See Stars*
9. Kiki Gyan – Disco Dancer
10. Nu Guinea – Je Vulesse*
11. Oriyin – Roll The Dice
12. Botany – Wednesday Night Oct 28 2015
13. Ekkehard Ehlers – Play John Cassavetes 2
14. jitwam – desires*
15. Julien Dyne – Hours feat. Ladi6*
16. Long Island Sound – I Still Love You*
17. Shire Tea – Hackney Birdwatch
18. Maribou State – Mother*
19. Radiohead – Reckoner (Maribou State Remix)*
20. Maribou State – Strange Habits feat. Yussef Dayes*
21. Shire Tea – Gentlemen’s Whistle Club*
22. Hailu Mergia – Yefikir Engurguro*

‘fabric presents Maribou State’ is out on CD and digital platforms with 14 of the full – length tracks selected for a double vinyl product*

The post fabric presents Maribou State appeared first on Decoded Magazine.

Original Resource is Decoded Magazine

Bicep release Atlas

Having been teased in numerous DJ sets over recent months—and predictably leading to much excited anticipation among their fans online—Bicep announce their new single ‘Atlas’, available today digitally and on 12” from 3rd April on Ninja Tune. Their first new music since 2018’s ‘Rain’ EP, the track was originally set to be released in the same week as their sold-out back-to-back shows at O2 Academy Brixton—with those now taking place on 7th & 8th of August 2020.

“It would’ve been unthinkable to foresee the circumstances this track would be released in when we were making it. Our frame of mind was so positive then, fresh off the back of our live tour, full of excitement for the next phase. ‘Atlas’ was our attempt at summing up some of the euphoric moments we experienced on that tour across those two years. It feels like those moments are very far away for all of us right now, but we hope this serves as some form of distraction amidst all this chaos.” – Matt & Andy (Bicep)

Recorded in their new studio space, ‘Atlas’ is 6 minutes of unmistakable Bicep. With synth lines that ebb and flow across broken percussion and ethereal vocal snatches, the track was conceived as they toured their immense live-show across the globe. Learning and experimenting—often on-the-fly—with how the elements of each track work in a live setting has given them a new way of approaching their workflow back in the studio. “What we enjoyed most from playing tracks live is how flexible it was,” they explain. “For instance how an element from a track could be interpreted in many different ways and not be reliant on the rest of the original tune. Having the songs broken down in this way means we can really perform them in a drastically different way, based on the setting”.

With the live music & touring industry in a state of flux, Bicep are currently scheduled to perform at a run of festivals, including headlining London’s Field Day—where they will play the festival’s huge 10k capacity Drumsheds venue—Primavera, Parklife and more, and their Brixton shows which saw all 10,000 tickets going in a matter of minutes—will now take place later in the year along with additional headline dates across the UK, EU and US. The shows will present a fresh chapter for Bicep and are set to contain a wealth of new, previously unheard material as well as immersive new visuals from studio Degrau (previously The Royal Studio) and Zak Norman of Black Box Echo, who were the creative teams behind their previous album artwork and live show production. Please see below for up to date rescheduled tour dates.

Bicep’s eponymous 2017 debut—which reached top-20 in the UK album charts—was lauded by the likes of Pitchfork, The Guardian, NPR and Mixmag, who picked it as Album of the Year and put them on their front cover. It achieved that rare balance, working as well at home as it does on the dancefloor. A series of well-received singles, including ‘Glue’—a track and video that would become certified touchpoints in electronic music that year—‘Rain’ and ‘Vale’ reinforced their ascendance and a remix of ‘Opal’ by iconic producer and DJ Four Tet made for one of the year’s big dance 12”s. A subsequent live-tour took them around the world, across revered festival stages such as Glastonbury, Coachella, Sonar, Pitchfork Festival and Primavera, as well as sold-out headline shows across the UK, Europe, North America and beyond. Culminating in a triumphant three-night sold-out run of shows at Printworks in London, the finale of which was recorded by Resident Advisor for their ‘RA Live’ series, with over 1 million views to date.

Bicep Live Shows 2020:
(March / April tour dates have been postponed / cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, latest dates below)

May-29 – Mayan Theatre, Los Angeles
May-30 – Knockdown Center, New York
Aug-05 – SWG3, Glasgow, UK
Aug-07 – O2 Brixton Academy, London, UK
Aug-08 – O2 Brixton Academy, London, UK
Dec-04 – Mayfield Depot, Manchester, UK

The post Bicep release Atlas appeared first on Decoded Magazine.

Original Resource is Decoded Magazine

Watch Radiohead’s live performance at Best Kept Secret festival 2017

Everything In Its Right Place.

Radiohead’s headline performance at the 2017 edition of Dutch festival Best Kept Secret has been made available to stream online by Dutch broadcaster 3VOOR12, for the day – Tuesday 24th March.

Read more: Radiohead artist Stanley Donwood on record sleeves, doodling and sleeping in the forest

Clocking in at just over two hours, the career-spanning set includes iconic tunes ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘Everything In Its Right Place’, ‘Exit Music (For A Film) and ‘Daydreaming’.

The headline show was part of Radiohead’s 2017 tour supporting the release of their 2016 album A Moon Shaped Pool, as well as the 2017 reissue of OK Computer.

3VOOR12 will host the full performance until 9:30pm (GMT) today.

Watch the show above, and check out the set list below.

Set list:

1. Daydreaming
2. Desert Island Disk
3. Ful Stop
4. 15 Step
5. Myxomatosis
6. Climbing Up The Walls
7. All I Need
8. Pyramid Song
9. Everything In It’s Right Place
10. Bloom
11. Identikit
12. Idioteque
13. The Gloaming
14. The Numbers
15. Exit Music (for a film)
16. Bodysnatchers
17. Street Spirit (fade out)
18. Nude
19. Let Down
20. Separator
21. Paranoid Android
22. Reckoner
23. Lotus Flower
24. There, There

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Pharoah Sanders performs ‘Kazuko’ live in an abandoned tunnel during 1982

Celestial jazz meditations.

Following the release of Pharoah Sanders’ Journey To The One LP in 1980, he performed a special live session in Northern California two years later.

Listen next: A cosmic journey with legendary sax originator Pharoah Sanders

Featuring Paul Arslanian joining Sanders on the harmonium, ‘Kazuko’ was recorded in an abandoned tunnel in Marin Headlands, north of San Francisco.

The footage is taken from Mark B. Allen’s 2007 film Pharoah Sanders Live In San Francisco!, which compiles concerts recorded in 1981 and 1982, alongside an interview with jazz journalist Herb Wong.

Journey To The One followed follows Sanders’ departure from Impulse! records, which lead him to settle with Theresa Records until 1987, where he went on to release albums including Rejoice (1981), and Africa (1987).

Watch the performance above. 

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Lawrence Lek conjures “soundtrack to an unreal nightclub” in new Temple OST

“Ethereal dance anthems, haunting Vocaloid refrains, and soundscapes of the near future.”

Lawrence Lek’s Temple score for an imagined nightclub has been released via The Vinyl Factory.

Lek originally composed the music as the soundtrack to his installation of the same name, for group show Transformer: A Rebirth of Wonder, presented by The Store X at 180 The Strand.

For the exhibition, Lek made a physical version of Temple – the karaoke club originally featured in his feature-length CGI film ‘AIDOL’ (exhibited at Sadie Coles HQ, 2019), where the fading pop star Diva plans her comeback with an AI ghostwriter.

Lek’s Temple installation acted as a physical simulation of the fictional digital space. Its soundtrack filled the neon-lit room, while screens displayed video game walkthroughs of a new subterranean tunnel that leads virtual ravers from Temple Tube Station to Diva’s club, through the burning rubbish bins of a future-wracked London.

Mirroring the journey through denial, nostalgia and acceptance that characterise the seven stages of grief, Temple OST is an elegy to nocturnal euphoria and to the memories that linger when the lights go on and the dance floor empties.

Limited to 500 copies, the vinyl artwork features an original CGI rendering of a bouquet of lilies.

Order a copy of Temple here, check out the cover art and tracklist below.


Side A

A1. Dead Souls 亡灵 05:11
A2. Hermitage 隐居 05:06
A3. Equinox 秋分 05:48
A4. Freeport 自由港 04:36

Side B

B1. Drifter 漂流者 05:36
B2. Dirge 挽歌 03:11
B3. Prospekt 道路 06:53

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Beatport Presents: ReConnect, A Global Music Event – Beatport will host 24-hour music marathon stream

Beginning on Friday, March 27th at 8pm GMT, Beatport will broadcast a live, 24-hour global DJ marathon in partnership with Twitch. 24 artists including Carl Cox, Bonobo, Nina Kraviz, Griz, RÜFÜS DU SOL (DJ set), A-Trak, Nicole Moudaber, Chris Liebing and Nora En Pure, will be performing from their homes or studios around the globe. This streaming event will provide a platform to unite our global community during these unprecedented times, while also supporting charities to help those most in need.

“Over the past few weeks, we have seen so much of humanity come together as one to battle the escalation of the Covid-19 virus in an effort to protect the most vulnerable. With so many of us sheltered in our homes, wanting to stay connected to the people and music that plays such a positive role in our lives, Beatport and the passionate DJ community we work with on a daily basis feel compelled to deliver a unique music experience directly into homes across the world”, commented Beatport’s CEO, Robb McDaniels.

During the live stream on Twitch, viewers can make donations, with the money going directly to benefit COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO looking after frontline health concerns. Beatport will also be working with key industry partners to give away gear and merchandise to randomly selected donors during the live event.

Lastly, Beatport will be providing track IDs as songs are played on Twitch so fans can purchase any of the music they hear and support the independent artist and label community directly. For over 16 years, Beatport has stood at the center of the electronic music community, uniting both music creators and performers. At the core of our brand, we believe in the eternal power of music to unite the world even in difficult times. This event is designed to bring our global family together to celebrate the performances with generations of electronic music lovers.

Full Line Up (A-Z) A-Trak / Agoria / ANNA / Axel Boman / Blond:ish / Bonobo / Carl Cox / Chris Liebing / Destructo / Duke Dumont / Eats Everything / Griz / La Fleur / Nastia / Nicole Moudaber / Nina Kraviz / Nora En Pure / RÜFÜS DU SOL / Sebastien Leger / Themba / Todd Terry / Tokimonsta / UMEK / Wax Motif / Waze & Odyseey and Gorgon City

The post Beatport Presents: ReConnect, A Global Music Event – Beatport will host 24-hour music marathon stream appeared first on Decoded Magazine.

Original Resource is Decoded Magazine

Sax maestro Manu Dibango has died from Covid-19, aged 86

RIP to an afrojazz legend.

Cameroonian saxophone legend Manu Dibango has died in Paris at the age of 86, from Covid-19.

Dibango first came to fame mixing traditional Cameroonian instrumentals with jazz, funk, afrobeat, and highlife influences.

Alongside over 60 solo LPs, and Dibango’s work as a member of Congolese rumba group African Jazz, he also collaborated with musicians including Fela Kuti, Herbie Hancock, King Sunny Adé and Don Cherry.

He is perhaps best known for his shimmering 1972 single ‘Soul Makossa’ – makossa is the word for dance in his first language, Duala.

His family shared the news via social media:

“It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to Covid-19.”

His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible.

If you wish to express your condolences, please write to the following email: [email protected].”

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory