Tag Archives: Music

James Blake, Covers

James Blake, Covers Standing out from the noise in popular music is no easy feat. It takes more than a strong voice to stick out from the crowd these days, with so many choices at our fingertips. From the genre blurring and warbly bass bending "Limit to Your Love," to the hauntingly ethereal landscapes of The... Read More »

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Qobuz, UMe and Zappa Records to Offer Iconic Frank Zappa Albums in Hi-Res for the First Time

Qobuz, the music lovers’ Hi-Res streaming and download provider, has partnered with UMe and Zappa Records to provide dozens of Frank Zappa albums for the first time in Hi-Res Audio.

UMe, the global catalog company of Universal Music Group, and Zappa Records are launching today a Hi-Res reissue campaign on Qobuz totaling 29 albums spanning all phases of Zappa’s groundbreaking career. The five-week campaign will span a series of drops between now and May 7th, with classic and influential albums released for download and streaming in Hi-Res audio quality for the first time.

Ahmet Zappa, representing Zappa Records, said, “Qobuz’s awesome combo platter of Hi-Res Audio and the ability for fans to immerse themselves into the album art of their favorite musicians is an incredible listening experience and a perfect fit for Zappa Records. As far as I’m concerned, the ‘z’ in Qobuz stands for Zappa and we know fans of the ‘World’s Finest Optional Entertainment’ are going to love the Zappa Qobuz experience. As FZ said: ‘Music is the Best!’”

“Frank Zappa was passionate about making his music sound as good as possible and we are excited to continue that legacy by releasing several of his albums in Hi-Res Audio with Qobuz,” said Bruce Resnikoff, President & CEO of UMe. “Fans on Qobuz canexperience Frank’s genius in the way he would have wanted his music to sound.”

Beginning April 2, fans will be able to stream and download nine albums exclusively on Qobuz. The albums will be available in native 24-bit Hi-Res FLAC format. Each will include an extensive PDF digital booklet, a feature only available on Qobuz’s streaming apps. The assortment includes the second album from the original Mothers of Invention, Absolutely Free, first released in 1967, and Halloween 81, documenting Zappa’s famed holiday residency at New York City’s Palladium, in both full box set and edited ‘highlights’ versions. 

On April 1, Ahmet Zappa and Joe Travers, the Zappa “Vaultmeister,” will join Qobuz Chief Hi-Res Evangelist, David Solomon, and the Qobuz team for a livestream discussion. This upcoming event is part of Qobuz’s weekly Qobuz Live series that features hot topics, brands and personalities in the music-lover and audiophile worlds. The livestream will cover the story of Zappa Hi-Res archives, the importance of audio quality, and the upcoming Zappa Hi-Res catalog releases. Additionally, Travers is curating an exclusive annotated Zappa playlist for Qobuz, which will be released later in April.

According to Qobuz USA Managing Director Dan Mackta, “Presenting the work of iconic artists in the best possible quality is our reason for existence. Frank Zappa’s music continues to inspire listeners all over the world and Qobuz is honored to be able to promote his artistic vision.” 

See the list of Hi-Res Frank Zappa albums to be released exclusively on Qobuz April 2, and listen to Frank Zappa on Qobuz HERE.

Absolutely Free 

Burnt Weeny Sandwich  

Bongo Fury  

Chicago ’78

Zappa In New York (40th Anniversary Deluxe)

Orchestral Favorites (40th Anniversary)

Halloween 81

Halloween 81 Highlights

The Mothers 1970 Box Set

About Qobuz

Founded in Paris in 2007, Qobuz is the world’s first Hi-Res music streaming service and a pioneer in high-quality sound. Launched in the US market in 2019, and available in 11 other countries worldwide, Qobuz is designed to meet the needs of music connoisseurs and audiophiles. Offering an exceptional range of exclusive editorial content written by a team of experts, in addition to liner notes and a catalog of more than 70 million titles, Qobuz is the undisputed choice for the most discerning music lovers. For more information: qobuz.com

The post Qobuz, UMe and Zappa Records to Offer Iconic Frank Zappa Albums in Hi-Res for the First Time appeared first on Headphone Guru.

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Top 500 SuperSonic List – Part 26

This is an ongoing project by Claude Lemaire of Soundevaluations 166. The Doors, Strange Days. Elektra – EKS-74014 (1967), DCC Compact Classics – LPZ-2045 (1992), 33 1/3 rpm. Genre: acid rock, psychedelia, psychedelic rock, blues rock, musique concrète (in small doses). The last track on The Doors debut album is titled "The End" but nothing could be... Read More »

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Experiments in Living: Spektral Quartet

Performers have long sprinkled contemporary pieces in classical programs like raisins in a pudding. Proposed affinities provide an often tenuous rationale for inclusion. This project by the Chicago-based Spektrals explodes that formula. Everything about it is anatomized, theorized, and curated to provoke listeners into forming their own connections among musical units. That there are connections is assumed. 

Schoenberg, in his essay “Brahms the Progressive,” lauds not only Brahms’ late harmonic daring but also the asymmetry of his phrasing: a composer should be “afraid to offend by repeating over and over what can be understood at one single hearing, even if it is new.” (Such “elitist” mid-century orthodoxy drove Philip Glass to additive rebellion.) The first example Schoenberg cites is Brahms’ C Minor Quartet op. 51, no. 1—which opens the Spektrals’ album. It’s followed by Schoenberg’s Third Quartet, which introduced his 12-tone method (even notes should not be repeated too soon!). I don’t expect to hear more meticulous or penetrating readings of either piece. Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Quartet 1931 fully holds its own in this company, with equally dedicated playing.

Part Two of the album features works by living composers, many of which pose technical challenges that are easy to underestimate. Sam Pluta’s binary/momentary logics: flow state/joy state asks the quartet to enact the timbres and parallel pitch fluidity of electronic instruments. Anthony Cheung’s Real Book of Fake Tunes adds Claire Chase on flutes to spoof the conventions of jazz fakebooks. Charmaine Lee’s Spinals calls for group improvisation around Lee’s vocalized effects. The whole project takes its name from performer, scholar, and MacArthur “genius” George Lewis’ wide-ranging String Quartet 1.5: Experiments in Living—a title that quotes in turn from a John Stuart Mill passage proposing that “individuality should assert itself.”

That’s the playlist—if you begin and just keep going. But the Spektrals want you to choose your own adventure. University of Chicago professor Patrick Jagoda helped them “gamify” the experience for the era of Spotify and sampling. In the spirit of Fluxus, and of Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies, they commissioned Natalie Bontumasi to design a striking deck of 20 cards backed with collages by øjeRum. Each card identifies a track; shuffling and drawing determines playback order. From a pack of 60 smaller “bridge” cards, bearing a wild assortment of words, the listener chooses one that suggests a conceptual link between each musical unit and the one last heard. (For those forgoing the card set and hi-res files, Romanian firm Critique Gaming has produced a free online emulator with mp3-quality audio at eil.spektralquartet.com.) While this tarot-tracking can be whimsical, its serious purpose is to prompt close listening and new discoveries with each hearing.

Since the pieces couldn’t all be recorded in the same venue, Grammy-winning engineer Dan Nichols, a self-confessed “maximalist,” built a multi-armed “Lovecraft array” for four pairs of spot mikes so the players could see each other—and so a single virtual space could be conjured independently of physical location. The perfectionist Spektrals chose the best phrases from many takes to assemble Nichols’ “ransom note that doesn’t sound like one.” Even at 176.4kHz/24-bits, the seamless result is the most intimate, musically adventurous simulacrum imaginable. Baudrillard would be proud.

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Violent Femmes to Reissue Greatest Hits Compilation Add It Up (1981-1993) on Vinyl

Violent Femmes have announced a new vinyl reissue of their greatest hits compilation Add It Up (1981-1993), marking the first time it’s been available in the format since its initial pressing in 1993. The vinyl reissue is out May 21 via Craft, while the album has been returned to digital storefronts …

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Kevin Shields on My Bloody Valentine’s Return: Time Is ‘More Precious’

For nearly four decades, Kevin Shields, the leader of the very loud, very fuzzy rock band My Bloody Valentine, has been described using synonyms for “eccentric” and “reclusive.” But the truth is more … what’s another word for mundane? He cooks with his wife, Anna, and they have two dogs. He listens …

Original Resource is Vinyl Records