Bowers&Wilkins lead the web as you pick muzak

Четверг, 29 Август 2013, 15:31
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 0 комментариев.

Has the world’s development been blueprinted by a bad Hollywood script writer? In Russia it is manifested by the current omnipresent and costly “Navalny for mayor” drive. As well as low calorie music diet. Russian streets lead the world in terms of ear-stuck noise-zombified loners. Russian music media thrives on rehashing indie outcast reviewers’ stuff. Each entity lives own life well shut on the rest.

 

Foreign westerners can be easily told as easier going, open eared and beam faced. They have been taking positions of cut hours and high pay in number of music and hi-fi related enterprises – also well guarded for desperate seeking Russian locals. Pro’s have been particularly ditched, filtered away by local HR’s, denied foreign work permits, shut of new connections and opportunities.

 

In  this unholy setup free inferior music and movie downloads take root. These are as ubiquitous as Navalny for mayor. In that light, nothing is more welcome than archiving one’s LP and CD collection.

 

Bowers&Wilkins of Britain jumped on the wagon with own Society of Sound to market exclusive online music to complement their renown BW gadgetry and speakers. Here, before turning to the techno noise Pinkunoizu album release in Apple Lossless 24-bit FLAC format – is the brief user’s guide.

 

If we are to embrace digital music at better-than-CD quality, you’ll need a Mac fit with internal DAC ready for sample rates up to 192 KHz and 64 bit. See also to FLAC files option to  download  the said BW SS fodder (Audirvana/iTunes services for the world, a host of semi-official operators for Russia). BW speakers, PV1d subwoofer primarily, will do for outputting the works. Do get a bunch of quality cables in USB, Coaxial, Optical and HDMI format to allow no worse than 96/24 audio. CD dedicated transport with less jitter and Audacity software for PCM-archiving LPs are preferred. To rip your CDs you require memory of some 2 TB drives capable of 2000 albums in uncompressed quality. AIFF files (48/16) will do for accurate transfer of information from your CDs, the 48 KHz sample rate being easy for your overshooting DAC. For home listening use Apple Lossless or FLAC, while for your street gadget AIFF is the most transportable format, and WMA least transportable. Upsampling to 96/24 you produce copies of smoother and presumably analogue sound. Remember that a 192 KHz/32 bit audio file will sound same as a 320 Kbs MP3 on mediocre system. So do get hold of BW speakers and matching amps for full flavor – while quite a number of audiophiles go to include a vintage equalizer of discrete construction into the chain.

 

New from BW: no messages but dramatic improvement on downloads

New from BW: no messages but dramatic improvement on downloads

About Pinkunoizu «The Drop» (Denmark) album available from Bowers&Wilkins’ Society of Sound as Apple Lossless and 16/24-bit FLAC file for downloads.  The program took one week of recording and three weeks of dubbing and mixing in a range of locations like a remote cottage in deserted land and Livingston Studios in London. The patterns are  strict and automatic, employing arabesque ornaments of mystical and otherworldly nature. Apart from immediate meter and beat, the message comes from between the notes, inbetween the lines. The program is all about the debris of the world doing wrong. The music ranges from a tone generator dropping in pitch to darker murky substances. Different laws of orientation are induced by bass and drums lines keeping a horizontal beat whereas the surrounding elements produce an elastic wasteland. The trip packs more energy with wall-of-sound soundscape, where pounding drums and pulsing synth drones settle with cheerleader bit-crushed piano chords. These often sustain and at least once call for mammoth strings. On another number, vocals kick-start the feeling of being 18 year old and driving through the countryside. On yet another count,  tension is encouraged  by repeated and evolving sequences. Infrequently guitar poses like percussion or moves in circles, as if caught in the cyclical/linear controversy. The album is like a  wasteland, filled with improvising and fitting odd patterns into a rigid framework. The band used digital and sampling techniques pioneered by Bowers&Wilkins to liven up and make stand out the  peculiar string arrangements as a nod to cinematic epical mythology or, sometimes, to the subconscious with horror logic of nightmares. With this recording, downloads graduate to  studio quality. Available online from Society of Sound, Bowers&Wilkins.

 

The review

 

New CD arrivals await your grab at Purpurny Legion Store, Novokuznetskaya ul, 1 in Moscow. All the reviewer copies are local presses of properly licensed expensive major label releases, partners of Soyuz Music Organization, Russia. All artwork and booklets are fully original and  clean printed. The products are on sale in Russia only and therefore collectable when taken out to the world. Be guided by YelbTrib own  E / Oh Yeah scale gradings before you buy.

 

STATUS QUO "Bula Quo! It Started with Guitars...and Ended with Guns!” 4th Chord, Edel/Soyuz  2С

EEE

Over-rated as “this era’s Blues Brothers” the soundtrack (dunno ‘bout the movie) on disk 2 is nothing to write home, with live rework of “Pictures of Matchstick Men”, “Whatever You Want” and “Down Down” being as run-of-the-mill as you expect from “the beloved band”.  The title disk does better in that it awakes you with sparse attempts at diverse bold guitar riffing and tempo. But the overall pattern won’t trip far from sleep inducing one-note rocks. Fiji and shootout references help none. Strictly for die hard fans.

 

dEUS “Following Sea” PIAS (Play It Again Sam) 2012/Soyuz 

EEE

The acid Belgian band’s 7th is largely remarkable as their first no-nonsense zapp of Prog antics. Debuting circa ’91, they have dug teeth into every other pop esthetic, and were conspicuous for noisy sludge synth background set to morose lead vocals and themes. Well, cleverly applied pauses go to attenuate bursting dynamics and clockwork rhythm making ever more on this album’s wide-ranging tracks. True, like many bands of the day, this one has to lean on void gimmickry (their name, one sign) but then dEUS got plenty of attitude. Highly listenable and fresh if not quite pleasing. Not to forget: ultra thick picture booklet and a taste of French lyric.

 

NEW ORDER “Live at Bestival 2012” Sunday Best/Soyuz 

Oh Yeah!

“Blue Monday” a recent fave and “586” and “Elegia” semi-forgotten 80s’ dugouts unwind  equally well wild and zany helped along by dame Gillian’s uncouth overdrive on her keys. Who would suspect that much verve and gizmo from a disco alternative, today! From word go the event grows on you, proving rich market in Russia for Kraftwerk-ish recordings, on and on. Luckily, there’s none – or a touch – of angst that plagued the ill-fated predator. Due to distant mike pick, the sound is fuzzy ambient (hence, the cheap CD license!) but superior to a bootleg and indeed befitting. Show closer is magnificent upbeat despite its title “Love Will Tear Us Apart”.  

 

SCORPION CHILD Nuclear Blast / Soyuz

Oh Yeah!

Terrific debute of Texan rockers proves that good stuff does not necessarily call for prowess and experience. These guys, totally new, started in 2010 and have cut the stunning professional set to honor Uriah Heep. There’s a hysteric note to vocals and stormy quality to the drums needlessly now and then, but on the whole this works. Conversely, very last song credits J.Lawton. To hear it, one has to cross the 10 minute desert of light snore for music – the producer figured the oddity will hold a listener. Nope. The album’s music does it. The full booklet boasts lyrics and pics.

 

FOREIGNER “Classics” Trigger 2012/ Soyuz

E

Alongside Mick Jones there is one Kelly Hansen backed with no name keyboardist Bluestein and more. The newly re-recorded (at hotels and such unlikely locations) versions present even “I Want To Know…” with sort of curt lightweight mood and dreamy synths. Teenybopper stuff.

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