GP's music picks

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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:12 am

Gaijin Punch wrote:
24-bit WAV is a great choice,

ORLY?
http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

I meant as in having the option to get the 24-bit WAVs, as choice in audio formats is good, and if a store is offering 24-bit they're probably likely to have more sane and usable options like FLAC or Vorbis. 192khz is bugshit insane, but 24-bit 96khz (which I think is what most digital shops that sell 24-bit WAV use) is a little less nutty in certain situations (e.g. recording in the studio, but then why would you be buying music for the studio anyway?). I'm not sure that I buy that the studio is the ONLY situation in which 24-bit is useful or desirable, but 192khz is, as the link makes clear, wasted on human hearing (and hard drives or media players). If anyone wants to dick around with 24/96 just to see on their own if it offers any difference, Nine Inch Nails' most recent album was released for free in a huge variety of formats. If I remember right, on the download page it actually cautions you that the 24/96 is going to be useless without the right equipment.

citcelaid, thanks for those links. I've been hearing a lot ABOUT Disclosure lately, but haven't once listened to any of their tracks. That was a good one. I'm slowly trying to get more into the shoegaze genre--I love My Bloody Valentine, but I feel like I need to educate myself more on acts like Slowdive and proto-shoegaze bands like Cocteau Twins, Jesus & Mary Chain, etc. That Girls Names has a good sound, though, and I'll definitely keep my eyes out for it.
Have you heard Dykehouse's Midrange? He's an early release on Ghostly (sorry to keep on about that label) and has a sort of shoegaze-meets-bedroom-production vibe and sound. I find it a really enjoyable album which may be worth checking out. It got a hilariously bad review on Pitchfork when it was released, the sort of thing where you can definitely tell the reviewer was just completely wrong for the album and spent most of the time ranting against the whole indie-electronica genre that came on the heels of IDM, which he states, "was fucking over sometime in 2001." Pretty amusing.
Dykehouse hasn't done anything of note since, but before Midrange was released he contributed a great cover of My Bloody Valentine's cover of Wire's Map Ref. 41°N 93°W on a Ghostly compilation.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:13 am

The digital pics are coming, but here's a few of the film ones from the show.

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College 03 (BW) by gaijin_punch, on Flickr

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College 04 (BW) by gaijin_punch, on Flickr

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College 06 (BW) by gaijin_punch, on Flickr

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College 08 (BW) by gaijin_punch, on Flickr

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College 01 (BW) by gaijin_punch, on Flickr
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:28 pm

I'm always jealous when I see new pictures you've taken. Did you get to talk to him after the show?

Still waiting on the Geogaddi pics, btw, unless you haven't got it yet.

So here's a recommendation that's really far outside of my normal musical tastes. This dude Justin Broadrick is pretty well known if you're a metal fan, having been part of what is apparently a fairly influential duo Godflesh until he had a self-described "Brian Wilson moment" and bailed on a US tour following some sort of nervous breakdown. He returned a few years later under the band name Jesu, and the formula was pretty much layers of downtuned, slow as hell guitar + drummer + laptop + sung vocals low in the mix. It's really appealing to me for some reason, and in particular the album Pale Sketches, which was sort of an odds-and-ends collection of tracks that were veering too much into electronica to be included on a regular Jesu album. The guy is nothing but prolific, and formed the Pale Sketcher alias to indulge his more electronic inclinations; the first and only full-length under that name is Jesu: Pale Sketches Demixed on Ghostly, which is where I was first exposed to the guy's work and then followed the thread backwards. In any case, Pale Sketches was originally released only on a limited Japanese CD; you could get a digital download from places like eMusic in some shitty variety of VBR. I just found out, however, that he uploaded the original masters to Bandcamp, so you can get a much better-sounding FLAC or whatever if this is your sort of thing.
Release page is here: http://jesu.bandcamp.com/album/pale-sketches
Possibly my favorite song on the album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WHQcCEnPXE

I have had about a half a bottle of wine, so I'm sorry if this post makes less sense than usual?
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:12 am

Greatsaintlouis wrote:I'm always jealous when I see new pictures you've taken. Did you get to talk to him after the show?


Nope, and it's probably a good thing as I was drunk as shit. It's a miracle I made it out w/ all my cameras. I set my phone down, walked away for 30 minutes, and luckily picked it up when I walked back. Japan++.

Still waiting on the Geogaddi pics, btw, unless you haven't got it yet.


Got it. Just busy. Will take some soon.

Busy at work now, but will check that Ghostly album out soon. I like the label a lot, and hey, slow as shit guitar is the main type of guitar I dig!
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:00 pm

Pretty sure everyone who's interested would have already heard by now, but in the event that you haven't I'll just leave this here:

Boards of Canada vinyl represses.

Trying to decide if I should spring for the bundle of the three albums or just pick them up individually--I'm not as gonzo for Campfire Headphase as the first two, and the EPs/mini albums I don't mind just getting on CD whenever. Looks like Disk Union plans to stock all of them as well in late November.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby CTN » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:43 pm

Thanks for the heads-up.

But don't you guys think it's a bit cheap of them to go for 140g instead of 180g which feels so much smother and isn't a suspected to warp (pun intended)?

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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:15 pm

I'm not really sure. The originals were standard weight as well, so maybe they just went with that. I wonder what the difference is in cost for pressing 140g vs. 180g; I'm also curious as to whether or not that requires any significant changes in the pressing process (e.g. the ways the masters are etched, the pressure used to make the records, etc.). If that's the case, I could understand for the albums they're pressing from the original masters, but since they've recut Geogaddi and In a Beautiful Place, I wonder why they didn't go 180g on those? Consistency, maybe.

Though I will argue: 180g can definitely warp a bit, though it's much more resistant than standard weight records. Some freak warehouse/shipping accident did a number on the cover and the records for my copy of The Sight Below's Glider. It's not bad, but it's definitely a little warped. And I'm not a big fan of 180g reissues, to be honest, because a lot of the time the companies don't take into account the increased thickness of the records when they're assembling the sleeves (especially in the case of gatefolds), and sometimes you start getting splits along the edges because the clearance is just too tight--and this goes double if you try to switch out the usual shitty paper inner sleeves with any sort of anti-static ones (which is why I hate printed inner sleeves).

So I guess I'm a little torn on the 140g decision, overall. I do like how 180g records feel heftier and more durable, but the decision often comes at the expense of the sleeves.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby CTN » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:05 pm

Greatsaintlouis wrote:and sometimes you start getting splits along the edges because the clearance is just too tight--and this goes double if you try to switch out the usual shitty paper inner sleeves with any sort of anti-static ones (which is why I hate printed inner sleeves).


I've had this problem with splitted jacket-edges only with rather thin and therefore razor-sharp vinyl which had too much play in the jacket and cut through sleeve as well as the jacket :x
As I'm getting my vinyl mostly through mailorder I rather have it fitting the jacket tight also 140g feels rather flimsy which I can't stand at this pricepoint.

Do you use those anti-static sleeves from Nagaoka? As I haven't made the change jet with my collection I'm curious what's a good sleeve on the market.


Also: What System do you guys use for vinyl playback?

I have a Technics 1210 Mk 5 with currently a Shure White-Label System installed.

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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:19 pm

I meant to post this, but was on the road and forgot. I think I did at Shmups, actually. I'm pretty happy w/ my vinyls purchases thus far: Music has the Right, Geogaddi,and a Lonely Place. Will be nice to add Twoism and The Campfire Headphase. Daravan Cowoby is a weird one, but I'm a big Odd Nosdam fan, and he's done a remix, so I'll have to get it.

I have a Technics 1210 Mk 5 with currently a Shure White-Label System installed


I've got currently just one 1210 MK3. Will get another soon enough. I'm using an Ortofon needle.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:15 pm

CTN wrote:Do you use those anti-static sleeves from Nagaoka? As I haven't made the change jet with my collection I'm curious what's a good sleeve on the market.

Are the Nagaoka ones the U-shaped ones? I'm not a huge fan of that style, to be honest--the place I ordered the sleeves I use threw one (in the same style, at least) in with my order as a sample, but I find that it doesn't really fit in any of the paper art sleeves I'd love to replace, which is disappointing.

These are the ones I've been using, and I've been very happy with them. Only downside is that you have to make a choice: keep the record in its original art sleeve (if it had one) or in one of these.

Also: What System do you guys use for vinyl playback?

My setup is back in the States in boxes right now; it is also, unfortunately, strictly entry-level. The options were either 1) get cheap stuff now and actually listen to records, or 2) save your pennies for some higher quality kit and then be unable to actually AFFORD records for some time. I have an audio technica AT-PL50 which I got about four or five years ago on an Amazon sale, along with an inexpensive Sherwood stereo receiver/phono amp I got at a Radio Shack and a pair of hand-me-down speakers from the father-in-law. It's not fantastic, but for what it is it's really not bad at all. Since I don't actually DJ or anything, I'd be happy replacing the turntable with an entry-level Rega or Pro-Ject and getting a dedicated amp for it, and the speakers seem to do such a good job now that I'd like to invest in some nice open-back headphones rather than replace them. On the whole it probably seems like a fairly lame setup, but I haven't yet been aware that anything is particularly missing, which is probably the best you can hope for in a hobby like this where there's no limit to how deep the rabbit hole goes.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:47 pm

Damian Lazarus on the Robot Heart Bus: Burning Man 2013. This was a spiritual evening... if you can't handle the whole 2:39, then at least listen to the magical moments between about 53:00:00 and 1:05:00.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:50 am

Going to try to keep this thread updated.

Mark McGuire's latest effort, Along the Way, is now available on Bleep. I am waiting for the vinyl to arrive, but I have loaded the MP3s in my phone and sampled it a bit. It's him experimenting (more or less) on many different kinds of guitars. Something new, but definitely has his touch. In other words, usual awesome shit.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:31 am

Had a couple of really lucky hauls at some of the nearby Disk Unions & Book Offs over the past few weeks.

Image
L-R, top to bottom: Global Communication, 76:14 (obviously); Biosphere, Substrata2; Arctic Hospital Citystream; YMO, Technodon; Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto, revep; and Sawako, Bitter Sweet. I'd given up on stumbling across the Arctic Hospital or Sawako releases in the wild; the Arctic Hospital album is one of four CDs released on a more dub techno-oriented sublabel of the defunct Merck Records which (I think) was limited to 1,000, and Bitter Sweet is one of two albums of ambient drone/found sound goodness by the artist on 12k, which also limits releases to 1,000. Some really wonderful stuff.

And my god, BoC vinyls are popping out of the woodwork now. I had to walk away from a 3,500 yen copy of Music has the Right to Children (1st repress) at my local Disk Union because I didn't have enough cash on me, and the Ochanomizu location last week had three(!) copies of Hi Scores, a copy of Twoism (latest reissue), a Trans-Canada Highway (reissue) and three older pressings of Music, all a little rough around the edges and hovering in the 5-6,000 yen range. Seems like a lot of people are selling their old copies & ordering the reissues, maybe.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:11 am

Nice score!

I like that Warp marked the reprints as such, but I'm not a huge record collector. Having it on vinyl is enough for me, and in many cases I'd rather have the latest release anyway assuming they cleaned up the recording. Sometimes tracks go missing though.

In other news, Tycho's new album is out tomorrow in the US.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:56 pm

Yup. And the FLACs were sitting in my inbox ready to download this morning. :)

Just waiting on my shipping confirmation notice for the vinyl (along with Kiln's latest album). It's going to be like Christmas when I move back to the states and get to tear into all the mail order boxes filled with records that I've had sent to family for safe keeping.

And I'm generally with you on preferring represses, mostly because I'm just really paranoid about how I treat my records, and buying used means the uncertainty of getting something from an owner who wasn't nearly as anal retentive. I don't even mind so much sometimes if tracks go missing (within reason), but there have been some recent represses or re-releases that weren't worth touching because some asshole decided it would be best just to use an ultra-compressed CD master with the new pressing, etc. Names fail me at the moment.

My frequent Book-Off on the way to school has been kind to me lately; found an immaculate drukqs and a two-disc version of Slowdive's Souvlaki in the 500 yen section on my last visit. :D Going to miss that chain when I leave.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:31 am

Shit -- Kiln came out w/ a new one. Link please?

If you go to Disk Union and check out all the pricey Beatles (etc) albums from the 60's, they're mono! I'm not that hardcore.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:18 pm

Here you go. It's really good--very dubby, which is a big departure that makes it a little less immediately accessible than Dusker or Ampday, but the core is still very Kiln.

I'm not really a Beatles fan, but I've heard the mono vs. stereo thing is a pretty contentious debate among the faithful, and if I remember right there was massive celebration a few years back when it was announced that some big box set of the band's albums would be getting both a mono and a stereo version. Apparently a really good mono mix is sometimes better than a stereo one, or something?

The Smashing Pumpkins have been slowly releasing newly remastered versions of all their albums over the past few years with all sorts of fantastic goodies like demos, outtakes, live DVDs, etc. Next up on the list is their 1998 album Adore, which was in stereo for the CD release and mono for the vinyl. Apparently the mono version is the superior one, and there was much rejoicing when it was announced that the remaster release will be the mono version (or that the mono version would be on one of the 5[!] bonus discs of the deluxe edition). I only have the album on vinyl and have no idea what the nuances are, exactly.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Magic Knight » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:55 pm

Greatsaintlouis wrote:
I'm not really a Beatles fan, but I've heard the mono vs. stereo thing is a pretty contentious debate among the faithful, and if I remember right there was massive celebration a few years back when it was announced that some big box set of the band's albums would be getting both a mono and a stereo version. Apparently a really good mono mix is sometimes better than a stereo one, or something?


The mono versions have slightly different versions of the songs. I bought the White Album on ebay about ten years ago and the seller hadn't noticed it was mono so I got it cheaper than usual. I was missing the photographs but I got them separately.

There's not that much difference really, but fans would like to have both versions I assume. I don't really mind, my Revolver is stereo.

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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:02 am

How much did you pay for the White Album? A few of my dad's records I inherited are listed as coming out originally as stereo & mono. My dad always opted for stereo.

Cheers for the Kiln link. It's as good as ordered.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:11 am

Is is that there are different versions of the songs themselves on the mono and stereo releases, or just that they're mastered differently to take better advantage of one channel vs. two? I always thought it was the latter, and that most fans very vocally preferred one or the other. Everything else being equal, I have a hard time thinking of a reason to choose a mono mix over stereo, but maybe I'm just lacking in imagination.

Let me know what you think when you listen to the Kiln album, GP. I think I remember that when the release was first announced, there was also mention of the re-release of some of their older works as well, which would be exciting--I'd love for Dusker to get a vinyl pressing.
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Magic Knight » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:52 am

Had a look to see the differences here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatle ... no_version

So the mono version wasn't released in the US, that's one big reason it would be sought after I guess.

It cost me £67 for the record, the photos were £23, I think I got them from Canada. I listened to it again after posting here about it, still sounds marvellous despite the age of the vinyl.


In completely unrelated news, I handed in my resignation notice as I couldn't take working in the company any more. In a whole year we had NO CUSTOMERS. It's quite a thing when unemployment is preferable, but this job was just so bad... I'll probably end up starting my own company, since I can't find anything in this region (i.e. the whole of northern Japan).

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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:01 pm

Interesting, thanks for that. It was that "The Beatles in Mono" box set that I remember everyone being so jazzed about five years ago. And I suppose that makes sense why the mono releases are preferred, if people think they comprise the band's original vision. I guess that makes the stereo releases like the Special Editions of the discography or something.

The title of that Wikipedia article threw me for a loop for a moment, though. I know it's the official title and all, but does anyone actually call that album The Beatles?

But congratulations on your newfound liberation. Unemployment is scary, but some jobs are just so soul-withering that even the uncertainty is better than the acute knowledge that your life is ending one minute at a time.
A few of my classmates are jumping through the shuushoku katsudou hoops right now, and it's incredibly depressing to watch them. One's from Bulgaria and has excellent Japanese--passed the N1 with flying colors--and the other is Filipino, with not as great but still nearly fluent command of the language. We'll all be graduating with master's degrees from a well-known university this fall. With their potential, it seems like such a waste to rush for a job shuffling papers at some huge corporation. I know the employment landscape is probably not entirely that bad and that there are real, fulfilling jobs to be had here whether you're foreign or native, but it seems like actually finding one is like winning the lottery. But I guess that doen't sound very encouraging.

If nothing else, I hear Tepco's hiring cleanup crews?
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:33 am

I ordered 5 LPs from Ghostly... Kiln's latest being the main one. One wasn't available so they cut it from the order (discogs to the rescue). Their shipping to Japan is attrocious though, so it's going to my mom, and I'll pick it up on my next trip over, or it'll come in the next package of Doritos my mom sends. I will DL the mp3s, but I will probably wait until I get the vinyl. If I go through the trouble of buying and shipping it, I want to listen to it.

One year: no customers. Only in Japan. Wow! Best of luck in your new endeavors. It's always liberating leaving a shit job. Did you do anything to destroy the bridge?
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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Magic Knight » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:00 am

Gaijin Punch wrote:One year: no customers. Only in Japan. Wow! Best of luck in your new endeavors. It's always liberating leaving a shit job. Did you do anything to destroy the bridge?


We all assumed the company was closing, but in the end it was only half the company. I was due to stay on but I had enough a long time ago. This morning we went to karaoke where everyone had to read a piece in English, translated by myself obviously. This is work, this is what we did. Last summer I had to teach them all Top of the World and Dancing Queen. I can't sing at all.

They will have problems now I'm gone though. I was the only one who could update the website, design the pamphlets, calendar and so on.

At least we can stay in this apartment for free until June of next year, as the city hasn't fully sorted out new homes and land for us yet. Also, a guy I know sent me an MSX2+ for free this weekend (he has about 20 of them...), since my Turbo-R got destroyed in the tsunami. Put a new belt in the drive but it doesn't work, I guess I'll have time to fiddle around to see if I can fix it.


On-topic, I bought some records recently, including Selected Ambient Works 85-92. If I get a chance to go to Tokyo I'll probably seek some more out. I might have to go see our friends in MAK, they have a significant number of my PCBs.

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Re: GP's music picks

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:23 pm

Ah crap, I forgot you lived up in the Tohoku area. Sorry if my Tepco jab was out of line.

I'm envious of your SAW acquisition, that was my first Aphex Twin and one of the first electronic albums I "bought" through eMusic when I finally discovered electronica could be more than crappy Eurotrance about five years ago. Would love to have it on vinyl. And I just popped in to MAK today, actually--wanted to see their selection of Seimitsu buttons and balltops because I'm thinking of giving my HRAP EX SE a makeover when I move back to the states this fall. :)

GP, the cost of international shipping is something Ghostly actually addressed in a blog post about a year or so ago. Unfortunately, the US Postal Service has jacked international shipping rates up to insane levels in the past few years, and there's not much they can do about it without losing money on the shipping. I would imagine other independent US labels are in a similar place.

What are the other releases you got?
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