Ahmed Gallab is perhaps best known for his work in Caribou, Of Montreal, and, most recently, Yeasayer, all bands which combine electronic elements with more organic sounds to get listeners thinking and moving on the dance floor. But Gallab is also keeping busy with his own project, Sinkane.
In our December issue, I write about the Emotiva ERC-2 CD player, which, at $449, brought me many hours of listening pleasure. Stereophile editor John Atkinson will describe the player’s measured performance in an upcoming issue. In January, I’ll write more about the Emotiva, and, in February, I’ll discuss NAD’s affordable ($300) C 515BEE CD player.
Obviously, I’ve been listening to a lot of CDs lately; and, while I have started to long for my LPs, I haven’t really gone crazy or anything. Listening to CDs can be fun, tooespecially when the discs hold music by Alva Noto and Ryuchi Sakamoto, David Sylvian, and Matthew Shipp.
Meanwhile, Natalie and Nicole have mentioned a rumor that’s spreading all over the Internet:
I’ve quickly and deeply fallen in love with Sharon Van Etten’s album, Tramp, to be released by Jagjaguwar on February 7th. My review is scheduled to appear in our March issue, but I’ll tell you now that this is an album worth owning and playing again and again.
SoundCloud, the neat “social sound platform” that allows users to create and share sounds with anyone who has an internet connection, turned to design company, The Wilderness, to help answer the question, “What is sound?”
See what the expertsMoby, Imogen Heap, Julian Treasure, Martyn Ware, and othershave to say.
Friday, December 2, 69pm: Whetstone Audio (2401 East 6th Street, #1001, Austin, Texas) will host an evening of music with Bob Clarke of Profundo (Heed, Transfiguration, VivA, Trenner & Freidl, Silent Source) and Colleen Cardas of Colleen Cardas Imports (Unison Research, Opera Loudspeakers).
Brian Di Frank of Whetstone Audio says this is just “the first of many hootenannies” and he offers a warm invitation:
Last Friday night, my old band, the Multi-Purpose Solution, played a show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. We hadn’t performed since 2006, and, because we had only managed to get together for three full rehearsals prior to the show, each member of the band felt a certain amount of anxiety. But when we saw the room quickly fill with fans, family, and friends, we knew nothing could go wrong.
Tomorrow night, from 7 to 8pm, in the Rare Book Room of Manhattan’s wonderful Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway), author Kevin Avery will sign copies of his new book, Everything is An Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson.
Lately, I’ve been listening almost exclusively to CDs and CD players. It hasn’t been bad at all. In our December issue, I’ll talk about the Emotiva ERC-2 CD player ($449); in January, I’ll compare the Emotiva to Michael Lavorgna’s longtime digital reference, the original Sony Playstation 1 (typically $15$75, used); and, in February, I’ll listen to NAD’s C 515BEE ($300), the disc-spinning counterpart to that company’s awesome C 316BEE integrated amplifier.
It’s been the perfect time for me to listen to CD players because my old band, The Multi-Purpose Solution, is reuniting to play a show this Friday, November 4, at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ.
In our December issue, I review Emotiva’s ERC-2 CD player and use Mark Hollis’s eponymous solo album as a reference. It’s a gorgeous disc, both sonically and musicallyfull of emotion, power, urgency, and lifelike detail. It was only earlier this year that I discovered Mark Hollis and his band, Talk Talk, through the kindness of Steve Cohen, salesman at In Living Stereo and friend of Other Music.
On the surface, Sandro Perri’s Impossible Spaces is an ordinary pop album: We hear pleasant guitar, intelligent percussion, and a voice that, while lovely, is easily appreciated, palatable, unchallenging. But there’s a depth and darkness to this music that begs to be uncovered.
It’s the sweetness of the voice and the liquid tone of the guitar that draw me in, but the subtle shifts in key, the clever instrumentation, the aching cello and odd flute, the broken lines and strangely abbreviated melodies that make me listen again, confuse and enchant, charm and intoxicate.
Here’s the video for “Love and Light,” the second track from Impossible Spaces: