Aidan Baker’s Already Drowning is our “Recording of the Month” for June 2013. In preparation for our review, I asked Baker a few questions about the album. We discussed literary and musical influences, the songwriting and recording process, and the importance of sound.SM
T.H.E. Show Newport Beach will be held May 31 through June 2, at the Hilton and Atrium hotels, near Orange County Airport, in Irvine, California. John Atkinson and Jason Victor Serinus will cover the show for Stereophile.com, while Tyll Hertsens and Michael Fremer will represent for InnerFidelity and AnalogPlanet.
Jason asked if would send him a flash drive carrying a few demo tracks that he might use to audition systems at the showa fun idea, however one that I can’t successfully realize: At this time, I have no real library of high-resolution (or even CD-quality) digital files, nor do I have proper means of ripping CDs. Simply put, while I do plan on building a proper computer-audio system, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve been busy hanging out with girls and cats, decorating the new apartment, and admiring the Mets’ ability to find creative ways to lose close games. Give me a few more months.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t made much progress since the last Payday Albums post: I keep buying records, but the days don’t get any longer. What’s up with that? The number of LPs in my collection that have gone unplayed is growing dangerously large; soon enough, my collection will be made mostly of unplayed LPs. Meanwhile, I’m just plain running out of shelf space. What’s a guy to do? Buy a massive hard drive and convert to computer audio?
Hmm . . . I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
For now: Today’s payday. These are the albums I bought.
Julianna Barwick’s third full-length album, Nepenthe, is scheduled for release on August 20th, by Dead Oceans. Unlike Barwick’s previous work, largely self-produced in her Brooklyn bedroom, Nepenthe was produced and engineered in Reykjavík, Iceland, by Alex Somers. And while Barwick’s earlier work is made mostly of her own voice, Nepenthe features contributions from Icelandic band Amiina, guitarist Róbert Sturla Reynisson of múm, and a female choir.
I first became acquainted with Lindsay Dobbin’s work in 2010, when she released, under the name Broken Deer, a limited-edition cassette on Al Bjornaa’s Scotch Tapes label. The music sounded like it came from some other, remote time and placehushed, fragile, inspired by dreams and memories.
Julia Holter’s new album, Loud City Song, is scheduled to be released on August 20th, by Domino. This is Holter’s third album in as many years: Her limited-release debut, Tragedy (recently given proper and deserving reissue treatment by Domino), was met by almost universal critical acclaim, while her follow-up, Ekstasis, expanded her sound, solidified her standing as one of today’s most exciting young artists, and was one of my favorite records of 2012.
Beautiful listening in Munich. Photo: Michael Lavorgna
We have to ask ourselves: Can all hi-fi shows be as efficiently run, popular, successful, and downright fun as the Munich High End Show? Is it possible to cultivate, here in the United States, that combination of heartfelt enthusiasm, relaxed atmosphere, and healthy balance of substance and style?
Stereophile celebrated 50 years of continuous publication in November 2012 and released its milestone 400th issue in May. The magazine remains committed to providing all audiophilesyoung, old, enthusiastic newbies, and grumpy veterans alikethe tools necessary to get the very best from their systems and music libraries. To that end, we’ve bundled our hot-selling Recommended Components Collector’s Edition and our invaluable test discs into two neat and affordable Audiophile Essentials packages.
Conrad Standish and Tom Carlyon are formerly of the Australian noir-rock trio Devastations. While that band’s thoughtful, honest work could bring a listener to tears, Deleted Scenes, Standish and Carlyon’s debut as a duo, is much more interested in physical pleasures.
In today’s previous entry, I mentioned that Standish/Carlyon’s Deleted Scenes reminded me of Peter Gabriel’s early solo work. Fans of FX’s outstanding TV series, “The Americans,” will have noted that the season’s finale made fine use of Gabriel’s hit single “Games Without Frontiers.” That is, if those fans were already familiar with the song. I was not.
Whenever I post one of these entries, there are at least a couple of readers who ask for reviews of the albums I’ve listed. And while such requests are quite reasonable, they take for granted that I’ve actually listened to all of these albums. Sadly, I have not.
Even sadder, I still haven’t listened to the albums I bought last payday.
Electronic composer Markus Popp (Oval) may be best known for his terse, angular, and rhythmically complex micro-compositions, but he seems increasingly interested in making full-fledged songs.
With Calidostópia!, recently released as a download, he’s combined the glitchy pointillism of previous releases, such as 2010’s fascinating O (which I used as a test disc in my “Follow-Up” review of Simaudio’s versatile i3.3 integrated amplifier), with the voices of seven South American singers: Agustín Albrieu of Argentina; Andrés Gualdrón of Columbia; Maité Gadea of Uruguay; Hana Kobayashi of Venezuela; and Dandara Modesto, Aiace Felix, and Emilia Suto of Brazil.