I rarely revisit my complete reviews, but the RSX top-of-the-line Beyond phono cable with DIN connector has revealed state-of-the-art attributes that are stunning to this reviewer. In its RCA-terminated form, the cable from the legendary Roger Skoff was musically natural and neutral with a bullet. I was never able to truly discover what it did... Read More »
Denon's entry-level X-series AV receiver is indisputably brilliant, says a smitten Steve May
'It's called driving, Marcus!' proclaims Will Smith during the opening road race sequence of Bad Boys for Life. You could also call it a perfect demonstration of this Denon receiver's ability to lift and separate high and low. After only a few seconds with this AVR, I was hooked.
From the Goldmund press release: Goldmund has released its latest Stereo Power Amplifier, a new product that can trace its lineage all the way back to the classic and compact Mimesis 3 amp from 1985. The new model brings together all of Goldmund’s latest evolutionary advances to its proprietary Telos amplification technology in a compact and stylish package. Delivering 225 watts of Class AB power per channel, the stereo amplifier follows in the Goldmund tradition of delivering its output over an extremely high 3Mhz bandwidth, to ensure the audio signal exhibits no unnatural group delays and phase irregularities within the ...
Apple Music issued a press release on May 17, 2021 announcing that the "next generation of sound" would arrive for subscribers in June — without any additional cost. Apple Music subscribers can listen to any track, anywhere, in CD fidelity for only $9.95 month. What Apple Music defines as the "next generation" of sound includes support for Spatial Audio in the form of Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio.
As the first film to launch the MonsterVerse, a "cinematic universe" featuring enduring monster movie icons, this 2014 reboot of the Godzilla franchise set the template for several movies to come, including Kong: Skull Island and the late-pandemic sensation, Godzilla vs. Kong. Here's the deal: After escaping a nuclear weapons assault (cloaked by authorities as a "nuclear test") in the 1950s, Godzilla went deep underground.
It’s always great to see a new female-run record label; this time it’s from illustrious selector Mafalda Daniel. Named after her radio show, Tropic Of Love flies out the gate with its debut release, a 4-track EP of trippy, spiritual jazz from trio Wildflower. Each track invokes a different “colour” or mood, with elements of broken beat and Ethio-jazz woven through. The spacious and reverberated instruments are skilfully played with an organised chaos and openness that make this release a constantly evolving delight. – AW
While London-based DJ and producer Anna Wall’s new label Dream Theory was established to showcase ambient and experimental music, it also has a rather more lofty goal: to release music that “connects to our conscious and subconscious mind.” With the release of its first, self-titled compilation, the label has achieved this. Bringing together six artists from across the globe, Dream Theory encompasses a serene selection of sound art, field recordings, synthesizer experiments, and even an ode to the sea. – LR
Originally released on DJ Yoda’s 2019 album, Homecoming, catchy single ‘Roxbury’ deservedly gets its own 7” offering. Featuring London saxophonist Nubya Garcia and Boston emcee Edo G, the live instrumentation is a step in a new direction for the cut-and-paste DJ. It’s a delicious slice of smooth, jazzy hip-hop with a clear nod to ’90s pioneers such as Guru and Souls Of Mischief. The release also comes complete with a nice little instrumental version on the flipside too, for the turntablists. – AW
London-based instrumentalist Pytko debuts on Phantasy Sound featuring a luscious remix from producer extrordinare, DJ Python. An interdisciplinary artist working with sound and light, Pytko creates a compelling story on ‘Wife’ as experimental electronics mesh with the fantasy of dream pop, demonstrating a compositional approach based upon the abstract. ‘Save My Day’ is stripped back, the heavy presence of guitar chords strum against the resolutely tender vocals. The remix by Python holds the same intrigue but adding his signature dubby warmth, it oozes mediative contentment. – EH
With open musical borders and a host of sound objects at their disposal, the noisy ebb and flow of Spacecraft welcomes in the sounds of contact mic’d plate glass and olive oil tins as readily as it does a Moog synthesizer. Performed by Musica Elettronica Viva across Europe in 1967, this recording of Spacecraft comes from the Academy of Arts in Berlin and captures the group at the start of their electroacoustic explorations. Even 50 odd years down the line, this performance still sounds genuinely adventurous and provocative. – JH
Planet Love Vol. 1 – Early Transmissions 1991-95
Safe Trip release their first in a series of deep transmissions from the the early 90s, proving melodic trance and progressive house are back. The double LP comprises of 13 electronic experiments from across the globe unearthing some deep rare grooves. Building a narrative of trances’ formation, Safe Trip shines a light on the popular genres various strands taking the listener on a journey, glimpsing its rich soundscapes along the way. All of the tracks have their own power, ‘Epilson Nines’ euphoric ‘Life Formation’ takes me to the moment the sun rises across a festival site, whilst ‘Spookys’ ‘Orange Liquid’ has me immersed in a dream that i’m not quite ready to wake up from. – EH
Having set up base in Sweden, Don Cherry’s improvisation workshops in the spring of 1968 created the backdrop for the diverse approaches of The Summer House Sessions. Recorded in the summer house of saxophonist Göran Freese, the impromptu octet assembled here readily find a shared language that does away with solos and the obvious introduction of “tunes”. As a step in the process of Cherry’s pan-international ideas, this free-flowing session is an intriguing document, and one that naturally leads onto 1969’s Eternal Rhythm LP. – JH
Not content to release just one face melting album in the past month (see: Scotch Rolex’s immense self-titled LP), Slikback’s Nyege Nyege Tapes sub-label Hakuna Kulala unveils the debut full-length album by Don Zilla. If you like your electronics, freaky, fast, and loose – spanning from theremin-esque freakouts to intergalactic breakbeat rhythm wars – this record is for thee. Its title translates to What A Waste Of Time, but trust: in typical Hakuna Kulala fashion the album is anything but. – GH
Ever adept at the art of transformation, White Chalk saw PJ Harvey leaving the rock and guitar-orientated sounds of previous releases in favour of haunting piano-led pieces. Harnessing her rare emotional tonality to its fullest extent, White Chalk is an album that easily lodges itself in the psyche. The new reissue also includes an albums worth of previously unreleased demos. – LR
Mixing Afro-Latin rhythmic influences with jazz and soulful house, multi-instrumentalist Concalve aka Cesar Toribido unveils his self-titled LP. Marking the first full-length album release on NYC imprint Love Injection, its 11-tracks take inspiration from “the continuum of everlasting rhythm and spirit” via dance, equal parts Theo Parrish bubblers and brass and synthesizer-fuelled Afro-Carribean shimmy. As Love Injection aptly puts it, Conclave is a “celebration of community, heritage, and life.” – GH
Designed to be played “when the sun is bidding farewell to the sky.”
Arushi Jain is releasing a new album, titled Under The Lilac Sky, via Leaving Records this July.
Focusing on reinterpreting traditional Indian classical music through the lens of electronic music, Under The Lilac Sky is described as 48 minutes of ambient synthesizer ragas.
The album is intended to be listened to specifically as the sun falls during the twilight hours. As Jain explains:
“You know that moment when the sun is bidding farewell to the sky, and the colours turn into beautiful hues of purple and pink and everything in between? That is the moment that this album will shine the most.”
It follows the label’s release of Nailah Hunter’s Quietude EP.
Pre-order Under The Lilac Skyhere in advance of its 9th July release, check out the artwork and tracklist below.
1. Richer Than Blood
2. Look How Far We Have Come
3. The Sun Swirls Within You
4. My People Have Deep Roots
5. Cultivating Self Love
6. Under The Lilac Sky
Summer-ready dub, reggae, jazz, and funk records from her London abode.
In VF Live, DJs take you inside their HQs, record stores, and studios for intimate sets and mixes.
From working at Honest Jon’s during the ‘90s to holding down a monthly residency on Worldwide FM, Leanne Wright continues to leave her mark across UK music scenes.
In her latest VF Live set, Wright plays a selection of dub, reggae, jazz, and funk:
“I love pulling records like this at home. It’s an opportunity to play a much more relaxed session and select favourites I might not necessarily play on a dance floor. Door and windows OPEN – bring on the summer!”
1. Sons of Negus & Churchical Host – Run Come Rally
2. Al Chem – No Hopper
3. Meditations – Justice Version
4. Gregory Isaacs – Oh What a Feeling
5. Hugh Mundell – Time Has Come
6. King Tubby – King Tubby’s Special feat U Roy
7. Alogte Oho & His Sounds of Joy – Mam Yinne Wa
8. Mighty Ryeders – Evil Vibrations
9. Black Disco – Night Express
10. Longineu Parsons – Funkin’ Around
11. Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band – The Healer
12. Pete Rock – Pete’s Jazz
13. Disco Four – Throwdown
14. Jonzun Crew – Pack Jam
15. Sandra Reid – Don’t Tell Me Tell Her
16. Wendy Walker – We’ve Got One