Album Reviews

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Malachi Lui  |  Oct 02, 2020  |  29 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.)

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 31, 2020  |  19 comments
This year for Record Store Day, I joined the Music Millennium line at 5:40 AM. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, they let 10 customers inside the store at once, and enforced social distancing in line. When the sun rose around 6:00, owner Terry Currier handed out tickets corresponding to our spots in line, with specific time slots to arrive back later and shop. I left and arrived back at 8:15, ultimately going over my expected budget and buying 10 records. I’m still processing the Bowie, Tyler, Clipping, and Ron Carter releases (another RSD-themed Review Explosion of those coming soon), but below are reviews of my other pickups (I also bought a copy of Angel Olsen’s latest album Whole New Mess for a general Vinyl Review Explosion).

Malachi Lui  |  Apr 09, 2020  |  117 comments
(“Hype: to promote or publicize something intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits.” We all succumb to hype, either from others’ high recommendations or our own excitement and anticipation. Once something falls short of those expectations, we rush to denounce it as “overhyped;” not necessarily bad, but underwhelming for however much we expect. Today’s Vinyl Reports feature centers around such overhyped records.)

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 27, 2019  |  0 comments
Newvelle’s Season Five Box is ready, but sorry, we’re behind so here’s coverage of Season Four’s box just in time for the subscription-based label’s Black Friday Record Store Day “open box” specials.

First the specials: eleven individual albums from the label’s first four years, including two from Season Four’s box, will be available exclusively from Wednesday, November 27th to Monday December 2nd, on the Newvelle website. There are albums from familiar names like the late Don Friedman and Ben Allison and others as well including from season four, Billy Lester’s From Scratch and Kenny Werner’s Church on Mars.

In addition, the label is offering during this Wednesday-Monday Black Friday RSD promotion, free shipping when you purchase the full Season Four box set.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 23, 2019  |  21 comments
Memphis based "garage rocker" Jack (Yarber) Oblivian, formerly with Johnny Vomit & the Dry Heaves among other groups, recently released this adrenalin charge on Black&Wyatt Records and someone (I don't know who) sent it my way thinking I might like it even though the sound is, let's say "primitive" (no top, not much bottom, just some stuff in the middle) in a good way (some recorded to 4 track M.C.I.) but all of it purposefully squashed in a way that sort of reminded me of Don Van Vliet ("Sweet Thang"), but maybe that's because in some ways the performances did too, though it's far more punk-rocky and less bluesy.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 13, 2019  |  54 comments
AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer is not a classical music authority. If you didn't know that before watching this frantic, somewhat shallow video, you will after!

Michael Fremer  |  Feb 10, 2018  |  43 comments
Beginning in the late ‘70s, continuing throughout the 1980s and once in 1994 Wilson Audio Specialties founder Dave Wilson released a series of records that he co-produced with wife Sheryl Lee, many of which he also engineered. They were minimally miked—often a spaced pair of Schoeps was all—and mastered by an all-star lineup of disc cutters including Bruce Leek (who also shared engineering credit on some), Stan Ricker and Doug Sax (Google if any of the names are unfamiliar). The tape machine for all but the very early organ record Recital (Wilson W-278) was an Ultramaster™ by John Curl, a highly modified Studer 1/2" deck running at 30 IPS.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 26, 2017  |  11 comments
Don Was, community organizer. Who would have thought? There's long been a Blue Note "community" but it's a loose knit, worldwide group of like-minded label enthusiasts that have kept the Blue Note flame glowing. The fans remained true even as the company changed hands, lost artistic focus, engaged in self-exploitation and occasionally tried to re-invent itself into something it was not.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 26, 2017  |  44 comments
Pictured are three percussion records you should own—especially if you feel like banging your head against the wall. One is an "oldie" Living Stereo novelty that's back in print, one was originally released in 1984 thanks to a grant from The National Endowment For the Arts (today an endangered species) reissued in the 1990s and one is a current release.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 30, 2016  |  18 comments
The second David Bowie box set covers but two years—1974-1976—but for David Bowie that timespan leaped across a few musical universes.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 27, 2016  |  12 comments
The subscription-based, vinyl-only record label Newvelle Records is an audacious project on many levels—a “closed loop” system wherein jazz enthusiasts pay an annual “membership fee” of $425 (includes shipping) and receive six Newvelle-produced records—all performed by mostly familiar “world class” artists— over the course of the year.
Michael Fremer  |  Oct 28, 2016  |  74 comments
You don’t have to be Phil Spector or Brian Wilson to appreciate mono sound, as anyone who’s purchased the recent mono Beatles box can attest. When these records were originally produced, they were meant to be heard in mono both because they were played on the AM radio, which was mono and because the young people buying the music mostly had monophonic record players. Plus that is how The Rolling Stones wanted to be heard, which is the most important reason of all.

Michael Fremer  |  Sep 09, 2016  |  24 comments
Analogue Productions recently completed one of the major reissue projects in modern vinyl playback history with the release of the final eight Beach Boys albums in both mono and stereo.

Michael Fremer  |  Mar 02, 2016  |  27 comments
There's something deeply offensive to me about picking apart the sound on the David Bowie [Five Years 1969-1973] box set. The guy is gone, the sadness lingers and maybe it's time to just enjoy and celebrate the music.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 19, 2015  |  58 comments
A recent sales blurb from UMe's "The Sound of Vinyl" website reads: "Using the original analog master tapes this artisan process results in cuts that have superior high frequency response (treble) and very solid and stable stereo images. In short, a very high quality master that helps to create a very high quality record."

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