TLDR

Bitten ...

By Chris Sommovigo

Bitten ...

Back in the late 1980's and early 1990's, before I had started Illuminati and was just a young hobbyist of around 22 or 23, I would make the rounds of the various HiFi stores and get "educated" (indoctrinated?) about matters pertaining to this niche enthusiasm of ours. One of those shops was in Boca Raton, Florida and it was called Vern's.

It was there that I heard the B&W 801 speakers for the first time, but the standout from that demo wasn't the speakers per se ... it was Stan Ridgway's album, Mosquitos. Not only wasn't the typical audiophile fare dripping from HP's Super Disc List, it was from an artist I really liked for his absurdity as he edged along the border of a special kind of darkness. 

I immediately bought the CD (some years later I found the LP), and luxuriated in the sound of his special breed of noir in endlessly repeating listening sessions. I don't think it ever wore out its welcome ...

Recently I remembered how much I enjoyed it, and went looking for it on Qobuz - and I was rewarded, tout-de-suit, with a bounty: 

http://open.qobuz.com/album/afxf4gceu6hsa

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Quieter Than Silence

By Chris Sommovigo

Quieter Than Silence

 

QUIETER THAN SILENCE (click for YouTube)

My good friend Todd Garfinkle of MA Recordings sent this to me. Just gorgeous music, but for some reason I can't find the embed code on YouTube so I'm relegated to posting a simple link.

Click it and enjoy!

 

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What Do You Get When ...

By Chris Sommovigo

What Do You Get When ...

What do you get when Ben Gibbard and Elizabeth Fraser have a baby at a Mazzy Star concert?

That's the impression I get after listening to Madeline Kenney's album, "Sucker's Lunch", on Qobuz (available there in HiRes).

https://open.qobuz.com/album/qt7szga5hbggc

What do you think?

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Dystopia : A Soundtrack

By Chris Sommovigo

Dystopia : A Soundtrack

Here we are, the day after Election-Day here in the USA, still uncertain as to who has won the presidency as of 7:36am EST. To some, any result will be a disaster - just two different styles of catastrophe await us. There's an anxiousness that pervades, but also a dullness that lingers in the knowledge that - regardless of who wins - half of our country will be convinced that the other half schemed to cheat at an historically monumental election. A dark cloud obscures the sky.

As I flipped through some random albums on Qobuz I found something that gave voice to the flavor of this moment, so much so that I am compelled to share it. This delivers some lovely audiophile goods, for sure, especially in the near-infrasonic band, but it is the permeating and dark uneasiness that truly makes this music understandably of the moment.

In true TLDR fashion, I'll cease explaining and offer you a link to listen for yourself.

Gramatik : Cyberpunk 2020 OST

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The Tao of Jazz

By Chris Sommovigo

The Tao of Jazz

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao

Likewise, the Jazz that can be named is not the eternal Jazz.

You may say BeBop, Swing, Dixieland, Cool, Hard Bop, Free, Latin, Ragtime, Modal, Third Stream, et alia ... and they are simultaneously "Jazz" and not Jazz. They are Jazz in that they evolved within the unfolding universe of Jazz, but they are not - each alone - Jazz exclusively.

The universe of Jazz continues to expand and defy borderlines, even in these modern and dystopian times, perhaps especially because of modernity and dystopia. Jazz can offer a deep reflection of our world, but simultaneously offers a portal out of it ... or, perhaps, next to it. A mirror-world where we can abstractly explore our cosmic connections to this strangely unfolding story we carelessly label Reality (as if "Reality" is concretely the same for everyone experiencing "it").

As such, Jazz is not the music itself, but a conduit through which music flows, and through which we can travel to dimensions of awareness that connect us to ourselves, to each other, and to the Cosmos.

Some artists are very intentionally creating music with this mysticism in mind, and so I thought it would be interesting to offer a small playlist for you to explore a very few of the artists I have come to enjoy for the way in which their music can lift the veils of mundane reality to reveal dimensions and depths of magical, musical experiences.

These are not my Top Ten, even though there are ten titles. Rather, these are ten from among thousands and thousands. I'm skipping over a few obvious choices (John Coltrane, for instance) because you're likely already familiar. Here I'm offering a double-handful of names and albums that you might not have explored, each of them a different entrance into The Grand Mystical Forest ...

Happy travels! 

 

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