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Joseph W. Washek  |  Oct 30, 2021  |  2 comments
Michael Chapman died on September 10. He was 80 years old. Pitchfork, NME, and The Guardian published obituaries all of which referred to him as a folk singer-songwriter, best known for the 1970 album Fully Qualified Survivor. Chapman did not like being called a “folk singer” for the excellent reason that the term was inaccurate when applied to him. After fifty-four years as a professional musician, with an unlikely career resurgence beginning when he was fifty-seven, that produced thirty albums including 50, which many regard as his best work, it probably also would have rankled him that that he was mainly remembered for FQS his second album.

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 30, 2021  |  15 comments
(Review Explosion is a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don't have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, Review Explosion focuses on the previous couple months' new releases and reissues.)

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 28, 2021  |  40 comments
(photo: Jeremy Neech)
The blank white The Beatles double LP gatefold jacket intended to show the world that the group was finished with busy, production heavy studio creations that relied for completion upon production tricks and gimmickry. Instead, the group wanted to emphasize musicianship and “live play”.

Never mind that the songs sometimes ended up being more individual than group efforts and that squabbling and disagreement led to acrimony as well as long time engineer Geoff Emerick exiting, producer George Martin going on holiday and even Ringo Starr walking out for a few weeks.

Mark Dawes  |  Oct 24, 2021  |  7 comments
DJ Format (aka Matt Ford) is a hiphop DJ and producer from Brighton, England. DJ Shadow (aka Josh Davis) is a hiphop DJ and producer from Sacramento, California. Brighton and Sacramento; not the first urban centers you think of in relation to groundbreaking hiphop production. Format and Shadow, however, are at either end of a 25 year continuum of atmospheric instrumental beats. DJ Shadow’s 1996 debut Endtroducing….. which got a half-speed remastered 25th anniversary edition last month, was composed completely from samples, a methodology shared with DJ Format’s latest LP from 2021 Devil’s Workshop.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 15, 2021  |  54 comments
The electrical service in my house has been problematic since I moved in 22 years ago. I’ve had ground hum issues, amplifiers that mysteriously buzz here but not elsewhere and general noise on the line problems too.

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 03, 2021  |  27 comments
(Review Explosion is a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don't have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, Review Explosion focuses on the previous few months' new releases. This particular Review Explosion discusses four Vinyl Me, Please releases from June-September 2021.)

Malachi Lui  |  Sep 30, 2021  |  15 comments
Two years ago, I wrote a feature about the worst music ever, saying, “Some [bad music] is so awful that we can’t help but listen and laugh.” Our readers agreed. Of course, I left the initial list incomplete; there’s too much (mostly) hilariously awful music to consume it all at once. Now, I’ll torture myself (inviting you to join in) with more sonic excrement, excluding material I’ve previously reviewed. Let the fun resume!

Joseph W. Washek  |  Sep 14, 2021  |  5 comments
In December 1965, Sam Charters (1929-2015) went to Chicago to record Blues musicians who were playing in the clubs of the Black neighborhoods on the south and west sides. Charters, a white man, had written "The Country Blues" published in 1959. It was the first book about rural blues and while it contained many factual inaccuracies, it was entertaining romantic storytelling and helped foster the interest of young White folk fans in acoustic Blues. The glaring failing of "The Country Blues" was Charters’ insistence that “real blues” was dead, that Lightnin’ Hopkins was the last living blues singer (!), that postwar electric Blues was diluted, crude, loud, monotonous and that, “The blues have almost been pushed out of the picture and the singers who have survived at all have had to change their style until they sound enough like rock and roll performers to pass with the teenage audience.” Opinionated, though he may have been, Charters remained open minded and observant and within a few years, realized that the music being played in the small bars in the Black neighborhoods of Chicago was an urban, modernized version of the rural southern blues he admired so much and served the same social purpose for its audience. 

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 02, 2021  |  33 comments
Joni Mitchell first came to the attention of some folk music enthusiasts from the three songs heard on Tom Rush’s 1968 release The Circle Game (Elektra 74018). Rush covers “Tin Angel”, “Urge For Going” and of course “The Circle Game.” Rush also covers on the album songs from Jackson Browne and James Taylor before they too became well known.

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 27, 2021  |  8 comments
(Review Explosion is a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don't have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, Review Explosion focuses on the previous few months' new releases and reissues.)

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 24, 2021  |  9 comments
(Vinyl Reports is an AnalogPlanet feature aiming to create a definitive vinyl LP guide. Here, we talk about sound quality, LP packaging, music, and the overarching vinyl experience.)

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 20, 2021  |  0 comments
Concluding our multi-part exploration into pioneering Japanese synthpop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), this week we’ll analyze the trio’s work from 1983’s Naughty Boys to the present day. We’ll only focus on the core catalog albums; as good as non-album tracks like “Chaos Panic” and “M-16” are, coverage of those would interest only maniacal completists. Those who aren’t yet caught up can view the series’ previous features below:

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 13, 2021  |  6 comments
Continuing our multi-part exploration of Japanese synthpop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), this week we’ll analyze Yukihiro Takahashi, Haruomi Hosono, and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s solo LPs and side projects from 1980-1982. For brevity’s sake, we’ll exclude the artists’ production work for other acts, focusing only on Takahashi, Hosono, Sakamoto, and Hideki Matsutake-led projects (apologies to fans of Kenji Omura’s Spring Is Nearly Here). In addition, releases only reviewed digitally here won’t feature sound scores. Below are links to this series’ previous features:

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 06, 2021  |  4 comments
Introduction

This is the part one of a multi-part exploration of Japanese synthpop pioneer Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) previewed in the recent “Yellow Magic Orchestra: Prologue”. This week, I’m dissecting the group’s albums from the 1978 self-titled debut through November 1981’s Technodelic. While I did as much research as possible, in the English-speaking world little verifiable information about YMO exists. Earlier this year, Ryuichi Sakamoto associate Eiichi Yoshimura published YMO 1978-2043: Definitive Story Of Yellow Magic Orchestra, but no English translation exists (and I’ve not yet learned Japanese). Much of what’s on Wikipedia has no traceable citation; to avoid inaccuracies any info from there will be mentioned as “supposed” or “presumed”.

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