Uncanny Valley 015 Gets Groovin’ with (Eltron John Dub)

The masterminds at Uncanny Valley Dresden have done it again. On this compilation UV has brought together 4 house mixes by Brodka, Alex Ketzer, Cuthead, and Jacob Story. This first track chills out the groove (is that “Stayin’ Alive” in the background;), while other tracks that follow create pinpoint syncopation with hard edge house beats. Available on vinyl:)

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A Trio of USB DACs to Choose From:

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2012-2013 Trending Audiophile USB DACs. Photo By Vahan Baladouni

Small in size, big in sound. Audiophile USB DACs/headphone amps that made it through the Apartment Therapy Tech Test Lab:

Meridian Explorer

HRT microStreamer

Audioquest Dragonfly

The XX: Coexist album review

I’ve been listening to The XX’s new album titled Coexist on the Young Turks label. Coexist builds on the group’s vocal interplay, rolling bass, and reverb laden guitar with a richer musical sound. The production quality has noticeably improved, especially in the vocals.

While the first album brought these minimalist artists to light at a young age, the second album further strips the group’s layering of sound. You certainly get a more intimate sound and rendering of these artists as a band. I must applaud this since it really gets to the heart of their musical expression. While some musicians would feel naked with less backing instrumentation, The XX still maintain a soulful connection and expression. Just don’t expect varying beats and grooves reminiscent of the first album. The XX decided to strip their sound and work on a slower almost meandering album. New instrumentation like steel drums on the track  Reunion provide a light and floating effect that complement the gentle vocal parts. Reverb quality is stellar, and deep bass drums extend like never before. The track Tides incorporates a simple beat, but they lock in a groove with spaced vocals that beg for your attention. Although the first album is my favorite, I highly recommend checking out this album on CD and LP.

The XX perform “Sunset” Live on KEPX, and “Angels” on Conan

The XX have a new album out called  Coexist. They have been on tour for some time now…here is a live performance of Sunset from KEPX Seattle, WA. Looking forward to the upcoming live shows!

Members:

Romy Madley CroftOliver SimJamie xx,       Baria Qureshi (well she left the band, hmmm?)

Here is The XX performing Angels from Conan on TBS, did I mention real DRUMS!

Getz/Gilberto on 45 rpm

The Glossy Gatefold of Getz/Gilberto made by Analogue Productions/QRP

Getz/Gilberto* trulystands out as a timeless masterpiece of the Bossa Nova genre.

I’ve had CD re-issues of this famous album, even 24 bit digital remasters. Most recently, I even tried the HD Tracks Hi-Res version. From decent NAD CD players, to a separate Benchmark DAC-1 doing the conversion, my sonic impressions of this album changed with improved audio technologies through the years. While digital music files provided obvious conveniences, it wasn’t until I heard the 45 rpm vinyl that my audio senses were fully nourished. Playing back this record on a modified Rega P3 was breathtaking. Instruments and voices appeared from a black backdrop, and the low background noise seemed to only be the recording electronics of the time.

The piano playing of Antonio Carlos Jobim is gentle and impeccably timed. Joao Gilberto hand-picks the nylon string guitar and sings. Stan Getz plays on the song melodies with his trademark breathy/reedy sax, and Milton Banana fleshed out that quintessential bossa nova groove via drums.The glue holding this quintet together comes from the subtle but deep double bass of Sebastião Neto…And who can forget Astrud Gilberto’s soothing and sexy vocal gracing us on two famous tracks; The Girl from Impanema, and Corcovado.

Sure, I knew that this album contained those intimate recorded memories…but did I? That kind of musical cohesion and graceful bossa nova style sounded like it never had before! Not only could I hear all the intimacy of the recording session, but for the first time, the music was unforced. I heard these musicians playing together in a studio space that was until now merely a facsimile. That being said, Sonically, this 45 rpm vinyl record brings me closer to the live event than any earlier version (save for an original mint pressings).

-This is a must!

*This version was produced by Analogue Productions. Without any sonic strain, your ears will bend back with approval. No digital copies here, this was caringly transferred and mastered by George Marino.

Signal path:
Turntable: Rega P3 w/ groovetracer subplatter, carbon fiber mat, Benz Micro Silver MC

Phono Pre: Sim Audio Moon LP5.3 (hifituning fuse) (Shunyata Black Mamba>Hydra 2)

Pre Amp: Crane Song Avocet (hifituning) (Shunyata black mamba CX>Hydra 2)

Amp: Anthem MCA 2 285 watts per channel into 4 0hms (Power via Shunyata HC VTX>Hydra 2)

Speakers: Green Mountain Audio Eos HD

Power: Shunyata Hydra 2 x2 Black Mamba CX for Digital and Line Level, Hydra HC VTX for Amplifier.

Cables: Audio Magic Excallibur II Balanced XLR/Audio Magic Sorcerer speaker cable