Thursday, July 30, 2015

Noesis (2013)

Another essential dub techno compilation from the Energostatic label. Sixteen tracks of considerable length for maximum immersion, this one is no longer visible on their main site but it is available on archive.

PM me if you have issues embedding the cover art. It's one of those OCD things, can't stand files without cover art. Guess it's a throwback to the days of vinyl when the artwork was important. Somehow a file without cover art just seems less real and all the more disposable.

Along with this release you can find more of their back catalogue 

Hydrodubium (2014)

4th anniversary compilation from the Energostatic netlabel featuring Ocralab, Atabey, Aspect (aka Sage Taylor), label head Mar'yan. Kitsenko and more.

Currently up to 31 releases, all of them solid, this is a label to follow.

14 tracks of head candy at a 'Name Your Price' offering.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Zvenygora - WANAINC (2015)

New releases from one of my favorite netlabels. This is the label's third release over the past few weeks so be sure to do some digging. 

A multi-layered ambient story titled Zvenygora. This release was originally intended to serve as a soundtrack to accompany the same titled movie by Alexander Dovzhenko, which was planned to be screened on a contemporary arts exhibition in Ukraine. Due to political reasons, the exhibition was cancelled and the already completed release was decided to be put on tape. 

While making this release, the artist was inspired by the first albums of Oneohtrix Point Never, music of Ensemble Economique, as well as ethnical Ukranian and foreign music. 

The limited edition (of 13) cassette includes an exlusive B-side — only one track from it ("Forgotten Glory") was released in digital form. 

The cassette also includes the following tracks:
About Princess Pt. 3; Intro 3; Sullen Look.

From the label:

We recorded it with love in our studio and cut covers with our deadly scissors. 

Their other cassette offering, Sense​/​Net: Music for Outskirts, is also in my collection and is a great intro to the sounds of the label. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

UNKLE Sounds

Before the mash-up became a 'thing' there was James Lavelle with his UNKLE moniker slicing and dicing and mashing away. Brilliant mixes, these. There was some confusion surrounding the origins of these and many of the songs from one mix can be found in the others.

These stand, as the names imply, as essential to anyone's collection.

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Beats (2002)

Originally recorded for Radio Ape in Japan, this is the one that started it all. There are two versions of this one, the original and the bootleg that followed due to its popularity. The bootleg (indicated by a bar code on the side) is featured here. Spectrals from Audacity are here for both the original (top) and bootleg (bottom). As you can see, there is no difference between the two. 

When originally ripped lossless in EAC the Metadata read both Discs 2 and 3 as the 'Tai' Disc. Each of the three discs is one continuous track. The difference between the two is this:  

Gi (Disc 2) is 74:00.16 minutes long at 746.95 MB (464.91 MB compressed) 
Tai (Disc 3) is 74:00.72 minutes long at 747.05 (465.32 MB compressed) 

Shin (Disc 1) is 55:35 without confusion.

Even now when put back in EAC reads them both as the 'Tai' Disc. However, when played they do play correctly. 


BBC Essential Mix (6/1/2002)

A scaled down version of Do Androids Dream Of Electric Beats broadcast on BBC's legendary Essential Mix show in 2002.


Do Androids Dream of Essential Beats?/Big Brother Is Watching (2003) 

Big Brother Is Watching is a bootleg version of the original Do Androids Dream of Essential Beats (not to be confused with Do Androids Dream Of Electric Beats). The original is a single track mix, the bootleg (included here) is separated into individual tracks.


Where The Wild Things Are (2004)

This CD was offered as a prize for Japan Tobbaco's sales campaign. Includes 'UNKLE Sounds One Hour Def Mix' broadcast on BBC Radio 1. Limited to 1200 copies.


WWIII (2004)

The first disc is the UNKLE Throwdown Mix given away at the Never, Never Land launch party in 2003 and the second disc is the Scratch Perverts show from the BBC Essential Mix show with UNKLE in 1999.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hi-Fidelity Lounge

Hi-Fidelity Lounge - Volume One: Subterranean Soundtracks (1999)

Lounge music. Conjures up images of smoke filled rooms, velvet covered furniture, bad lighting and third rate singers in bad suits playing on an old organ, something I fondly have personally experienced (see Volume 3 below), irony before irony was cool.

In 1994 (I keep returning there so pivotal was it) I used to frequent a place called Sorry Charlies in Seattle. One side was the kitschy lounge featuring piano man Howard Burlson and any number of vocalists who braved the room to accompany him and I will always remember the Lynchian waitress, one of those things sizzled into my brain. The other side was a velvety bar, a haunt of the swinger set.

Lounge has a different meaning today than such a place, closed now over a decade, a last bastion of the real thing, Dean Martin giving way to Thievery Corporation. Not a bad thing, mind you, just inevitable.

Hi-Fidelity Lounge - Volume Two: Licensed To Chill (2000)

 Hi-Fidelity Lounge - Volume Three: Cosmopolitan Grooves (2001)
The first volume of the series I heard. Track 8 brought back pleasant memories of a visit to a local lounge/restaurant many years ago.

Everything was dimly lit, the imitation of candlelight, with a red, velvety glow. At the front of the room was a single organ player, slicked back hair and bad suit. Looking around the room there were several older couples, lost in the dust of routine. The waitress was older, her hairdo held together by Aqua Net.

It was a remnant of a dying era frozen in time, so genuine as to almost be cliche. The place then became a string of various restaurant attempts last of which was an Indian restaurant ultimately investigated for arson. Ah, local culture.

This entire CD takes that type of atmosphere and gives it a modern spin. Don't let the 'lounge' in the title fool you or dissuade you. This is neither too cool nor too lame, it's just right. 

According to my daughter, most everything I now listen to (drone and techno stuff notwithstanding) sounds like lounge music. Nirvana as Muzak, Ozzy Osbourne in Oldsmobile commercials, AC/DC promoting Wal Mart, such is the trajectory of music.

May as well just go to the source.


Hi-Fidelity Lounge - Volume Four: Res Ipsa Loquitur (2003)


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trim Silence - Highest Heights (EP, 2015)

Trim Silence, whose Walking On Thin Air is one of my favorite releases of the past few years, is back with another release, this time tackling vocals on the lead track with a heavier take on the diva house sound before returning to that sound that makes his stuff so engaging.

All downloads on the site are free as there seems to be an issue with making a donation but, according to the artist, the music is the main thing.

Show some support and follow him, you'll be well rewarded with his back catalogue.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


The origins of 'club' music go back, further and further each year it seems, as people, and the human ego, are always on the lookout for that one source from where it all began. Truth be told, it started in many different places by many different people with many different influences at many points in time and, it seems in hindsight, a collision of all these trajectories circa 1996 was inevitable.

I personally discovered the rave, the DJ, the club, the drugs, the party, that groove circa 1994. In hindsight, the forces in my life were converging on that moment and from then on my life would head on a totally different path I never could have otherwise envisioned. Seems I just entered the 'scene' at the beginning of its emergence into the ubiquity of its fruits we see evidenced today in every nook and cranny of our lives.

Perhaps the beginning of the end was this label who recognized and capitalized on the emergence of the DJ mix and the DJ superstar and started a label dedicated to releasing these to the mainstream in 1996. DJ mixes were not new but were not mainstream. I remember going to a rave and, days later, listening to the mix on cassette in someone's apartment and tripping out (quite literally) when I heard it again. 

Vague memories of the rave flyers, the warehouses and the up and coming cult of the DJ, most of whom would vanish into the memories of those who were there, float through my brain. Only years later and in hindsight did it become clear that during this time the origins of what was exploding into the public consciousness were taking root. When I moved back East it was several years later that this music, this scene, this culture, surfaced at home.

Electronic music as a whole was emergent enough that its presence was felt on the Grammys as early as 1998 when the Propellerheads were nominated for an award but the disconnect was apparent as the nomination was for Best Rock Instrumental. The confusion continued as the sound morphed and congealed and a category was finally created in 2005; 'EDM' was born and embraced by the mainstream. The party was not officially over it was just capitalized upon and marketed and deprived of its soul.

The label rode its success into the early to mid-2000s but change was in the air as the label sought to bring styles other than the prog house on which it built its success. Consider that there were only eleven different DJs for the first 31 releases. By the time it tried to reach out beyond this horizon by bringing in different, more current, styles it was too late, cast adrift into the ocean of EDM. 

Club kids have gotten old and this label became the retirement home for old DJs, masters of their craft but outpaced by a new generation taking over. To understand the present, however, the past must be understood and appreciated.

The underground isn't found on mainstream labels, it isn't found on awards shows, it isn't found in the public consciousness. It is found where there is no fame, no fortune, only expressions emanating from that relentless pursuit of what is Real.

My favorites, in no particular order (Top 5 in bold):
007, 010, 014, 017, 019, 024, 025, 028, 030


So my wife and I are in New York at a Golden Crust Bakery and a guy in a car is schlepping CDs from his car outside the store. Recognizing his Patois, my wife's Patois surfaces. He offer's my wife a dancehall CD compilation; seeing me he pulls out a different selection of CDs. 

"Ah, yes, offer the white guy some Bob Marley, eh?" I say in jest. Big smiles as everyone got the joke. 

This post is in honor of that moment in time because, well, he had a valid point.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Netlabel Day

A bit late getting this up here today unfortunately. As anyone who has been here for a while knows I am a huge fan of netlabels, truly one of the last bastions of independence for musicians and fans alike.

This is the first ever Netlabel Day, paralleling other days, but with an emphasis on independence, not the money making behemoth that certain other days have become.

Keep the spirit alive, support when you can, and keep the music alive.

For a list of labels and artists contributing, start

Hopefully this will gain some momentum as there are so many netlabels out there it is difficult to keep up with them all.

SD 30

Amazing compilation from a lesser known but nonetheless remarkable label on which is found one of my favorite releases of the past few years. 149 tracks but only a few are sampled here as a teaser to give you an idea for what's in store.

I am in the process of listening to every single one of the tracks at least once. Some truly pleasant surprises here so I'll definitely be doing a deeper dive into this and future releases.

There's a Volume II just released with another 63 tracks. Check out the full release at their BC site


Monday, July 13, 2015

Yes, He Inhaled

Speaking of MG's WGO at 192/24, this little tidbit jumped out in the spectrals as I got curious about the difference between 1.63 GB and 77 MB when comppressed to v0.

Notice where the v0 compression approximately maxes out around the 20k mark (solid black line). Can we hear the detritus above the line in a normal listening environemnt? I'm not sure, especially when there is a lot going on in the music.

The 192/24 file pushes beyond the 80k mark and the difference between the v0 and the 192/24 FLAC is visually quite striking. I would love to know how to isolate what's above the line to listen to it alone.

It was the curiosity from the last post that led me down this path and the striking visual cued me in to the little area circled in black (click on the photo to zoom in). I've heard the sound before as I've digested this album hundreds of time and I've always felt that this entire album radiates of a really good trip but the visual made it clear: someone inhaled on the recording.

Not convinced? Have a listen to the isolated section right at the 4 second mark and let it repeat a few times.


In the Detroit mix this is repeated one more time since the chatter does not fade out to make it single friendly and it blends seamlessly right into the next track.

Listen closely and you'll hear it twice (at 3 seconds and 48 seconds). Notice also the 20k cutoff indicating a v0 rip and compare to the broad spectrum of the lossless spectral image at the beginning of the post. Geeky good fun.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fiio X3 (2nd Gen) - Pros and Cons, Or, White Clouds Drift Never Sounded So Good

Summary/Conclusion: Ditch the iPod and iTunes, get one of these and Foobar and take control of your music to another level.

Two years in and the only drawback is that even a 256GB MicroSD card isn't enough. I've grown accustomed to the up front planning and work that goes in to using this and it's a paradigm shift that makes me think about how music is filed. I've changed the file structure to match the X3 for maximum efficiency and convenience as opposed to letting a canned system doing the work for me. Considering I work with data all day long, it's intuitive so this is a dream. 

This is just a periodic update on what I've learned so far if anyone is interested. 

Update: as noted above, I'm currently running a 256GB MiniSD card which holds over 21,000 songs of varying lengths. I run v0 without question though this has the capability of handling lossless files with ease. With multiple MiniSD cards you can carry your entire collection with you. No streaming and additional data usage required.

Updated as of 6/12/17

  • Sound - noticeably better than my previous mp3 player, especially with the Gain option switched to high
  • Lossless capability - FLAC files do sound better (even if it is just a placebo effect)
  • Slick appearance -  semi resembles a more well known portable music player but this has a more industrial appearance, even with the silicone protector (see photo)
  • No hard drive to die - this feeds off an SD Card limited only by the storage capacity of the card - currently at 256GB (over 21,000 tracks)
  • FREEDOM - this is the best part of all; you can organize your files to your liking (I am using Foobar2000 and my files are now clean, duplicate free and organized) and the playlists are editable on the SD Card 
  • Shuffle feature - shuffles both the files and the tracks within playlist(s)
  • Innovative company willing to listen to user opinions for improvements, constantly providing real firmware updates.
  • No ads or other intrusions into your personal music space
  • No account required to do stuff
  • Not bound to any one music playing/organizing software
  • Geeky - tagging files, bit rates, embedded artwork, file structure, m3u8 playlists (notice I said this is a Pro), you'll be hooked
  • Your music will not be stolen by a corporate behemoth
  • Search function has been added with the latest firmware update.
  • Not as 'user friendly' as some other more well known portable music players - it requires some adjusting to get used to it but once this barrier is crossed this is less of a negative and actually quite liberating
  • No 'Search' function that I have found - lots of scrolling is required and there is no search by album cover that I am aware of
  • Learning curve for both the Fiio and Foobar2000 but once this knowledge is acquired this becomes a tremendous pro rather than a con 
  • Playlists and file structure take up front planning, including properly tagging your files - however, once this is understood and the learning curve transcended this is no longer a negative and is where your freedom is found
  • Need to update the SD Card every time a file is added; this can take a while if the SD Card is pretty full. This has been noticeably sped up with the latest update. 
  • Playing through folders requires up front planning on how your files are tagged - it requires each disc of a multi-disc set to be named 'CD1', 'CD2', etc. (if there is a way to avoid this I haven't found it yet) - probably my biggest adjustment and where the up front planning is so critical
  • Minimal instruction in the manual - there is a user/company forum that you can go to where others with questions visit; while not open source it's an open community and the company appears to be quite responsive not only to questions but to improving their product from users' voices. Updates are quite frequent and are based on user feedback, not on corporate imposition. Once again, what is at first a negative turns out to be a pro.
As you can see in the photo it will play 44.1kHz/16 bit FLAC files and it will play up to 192/24. I have MG's WGO at this rate and it is a 1.63 GB file so you can easily see why the majority are in lossy mp3 - the compressed version of this is 77.1 MB. That is a lot of lost data so we'll see what my ears tell me.

By far the best move I've made in a long time in terms of having a high quality, portable music player. I know there are many other options out there but for the price (~$200) this one is well worth it.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Dave Seaman ‎– Renaissance: The Silk Mix (1996)

Digging back, back, back into the archives. Stumbled across this lesser known Renaissance mix by Dave Seaman from the prime of prog house mixes and the glory days of this label. As my daughter stated while listening to this earlier today while giving her that musical education only dads can give: this is 'boutique music'. In other words, it's one step removed from elevator music.

Sigh, such is the nature of music's evolution. If you lived through the days when underground still had some semblance of meaning, this will take you back there. Those memories cannot be stolen, no matter how many documentaries and books are written about what it was like.

Way out of print and on the pricier side in the aftermarket.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Not Björk

Discovered this one, among several others, while in Lille earlier this year while staying with a terrific host who had amazing music playing at all times of the day. 


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Phonosychographdisk* vs. Filthy Ape, The ‎– Mooch The Moose: Smack Dealer To The Stars (2001) [Need Some Help On This One]

While rummaging through the HD, I stumbled across a plethora of mp3s running the gamut of the heyday of the 'turntablist' explosion. Tempted to delete like mad as that was most certainly a phase in my life and not somewhere I currently reside I decided to hit play for the final decision.

Good move. Stumbled across this gem so won't be deleting any time soon. Was never an expert nor fully immersed so there is much to discover but this one put the fun back in it and I was at once transported into the past and the present.

However, only Side A and B1 are present. B2 registered as 0 kb in the file and I have been unable to find it anywhere.

Would really appreciate some help on this one if anyone comes across it out there!

A Madame Blavatski Overdrive 16:57
B1 Chinese Opium Addiction 1927 7:12
B2 You're The Only One Around Here Who Knows What Mommy Wants 13:07


Chemical Dust

Before there were The Chemical Brothers there were The Dust Brothers from Manchester, not to be confused with The Dust Brothers from LA, perhaps most famous for reinventing the Beastie Boys and, arguably, hip-hop/rap production with it.

Before their name change they had a series of EPs already floating around as the 'big beat' sound, like many other electronic based genres during that time, was on its way to mass popularity. With fame and a US tour came a conflict with the LA based crew of the same name and The Chemical Brothers were born.

Have a listen and you'll instantly recognize the roots of EPD.

Song To The Siren (1992)

Fourteenth Century Sky (1994)

Mercury Mouth (1994)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Brain Food Remixed

Teaser for one of my favorite albums of the past few years. With a celebratory DJ Kicks drop this year, this is an artist who is getting his due.



Friday, July 3, 2015

T ch rs S ndtr ck

The movie itself tried a bit too hard but the soundtrack is one of the better s  ndtr cks from the 80s. 

A couple of filler tracks but worth it if only for the only song that I know of that beats "Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2" in its cynical bite toward education.

Hard to find. This post has been removed (twice now) by the powers that be for © violation, even after the links were completely removed from the post.

Long out of print on disc (though I do have an original vinyl copy, still sealed) this is still not available via re-issue or digitally.

Brosound - Sundog Peacehouse (2009)

This one makes no sense and completely caught me off guard. The group name and the artwork led me to believe this should be some psychedelic inspired romp into pseudo mystical weirdness. The album title reminded me of some frat boy thing and so I sat on this for quite some time.

Turns out this is a blissed out ambient/drone wash that feels as if it will stray into post-rock territory but never crosses the line.

A recommended surprise.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Brock Van Wey - A Chance To Start Over (2009)

Having picked up the new Fiio, the album from which the lead track on this promo came from just had to be played lossless. It reinforced the fact that this little gadget was one of the best investments I've made of late and the switch to Foobar sealed the deal. Spent the last week working through my files and all the duplicates, junk files, low bit rates files and other crap that found its way onto my hard drive.

Oh, my. I swear it was like hearing the album for the first time.

Having discovered Deepchord/Echospace via The Coldest Season circa 2007 with a rekindled passion for music, I snapped up The Seduction Of Silence and this one immediately before they sold out rather quickly and escalated in price. For those who don't know the music of Brock van Wey (aka bvdub) and Intrusion (aka Stephen Hitchell et al), this is the gateway.

What we have here is a promo CDr for the full album release that will give you an idea of Brock's signature sound with the addition of a non-album track remixed by Intrusion that didn't see the light of day until the 4xLP reissue last year.

Essential, required listening.