Malachi Lui

Malachi Lui  |  Jan 07, 2020  |  First Published: Jan 07, 2020  |  34 comments
I honestly suck at keeping up on new music. Sure, I’m shoving out another mostly negative Review Explosion every three weeks when some artist past their prime pushes out another hour of dreck (or when Earl releases a stupidly annoying, half-baked 15 minute “album”) but I still don’t feel that I spend enough time covering what actually matters. As in, what’s actually good and worth talking about. Unfortunately, one music critic with their own taste and near-daily spins of IGOR can only do so much; no matter how hard I work, there are always a dozen supposedly great albums that I’ve fallen behind on even hearing.

Malachi Lui  |  Dec 30, 2019  |  First Published: Dec 30, 2019  |  21 comments
(This year, contributing editor Malachi Lui launches an annual segment covering the year’s 10 worst albums. And boy, are there some bad ones this year. Now let’s dive into The Year-End Garbage Can…)

Malachi Lui  |  Dec 23, 2019  |  First Published: Dec 23, 2019  |  6 comments
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an AnalogPlanet playlist, mostly since I’ve busied myself with many other projects. But because it’s the holiday season, it’s only appropriate to bring, with a selection of my Christmas favorites, some holiday fun on here. There’s a mix of the normal picks (Nat “King” Cole’s “The Christmas Song” and the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas) and some seasonal tracks from a couple of my favorite artists (Tyler’s “Lights On,” the White Stripes’ “Candy Cane Children,” and the David Bowie/Bing Crosby collab) as well as some “how did anybody let this happen?!?!?!” Christmas songs (Dylan’s “Must Be Santa” and Eilert Pilarm’s rendition of “Blue Christmas”). Below are Tidal, Spotify, and YouTube playlists (sorry, Apple Music users) followed by commentary on each song. (Note: David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy” isn’t on the Tidal playlist. The record label made every effort to delete the song’s original version from streaming services in favor of the far inferior “modernized” London Symphony Orchestra-overdubbed version.)

Malachi Lui  |  Dec 17, 2019  |  First Published: Dec 17, 2019  |  41 comments
On her latest proper album Charli, British pop star Charli XCX creates a work that epitomizes, with an artsy bend, all of 2010’s pop music’s hallmarks. Blown out, hyper-compressed production, glistening synths, giant drum machines, and digitally-stressed vocals are in abundance on Charli, yet the choices that she and executive producer A.G. Cook (known for running the PC Music label) make often surprise the listener. Following the relatively normal and upbeat Troye Sivan-featuring “1999” (no relation to the iconic Prince song, but Charli’s track holds its own) comes “Click,” which thanks to Dylan Brady’s production, in the last third takes a noisy, abrasive left turn. Similarly, Cook and Lotus IV anchor “Cross You Out” with a warped synth bass that oscillates in and out of tune, with other electronic sounds unexpectedly popping out
Malachi Lui  |  Dec 04, 2019  |  First Published: Dec 04, 2019  |  13 comments
During my initial two years of record collecting, my dumb self rarely bothered to clean my records, and as an 8-year-old, I didn’t think grabbing records by the grooves it affected anything. Three years into the hobby, I began, with a MoFi brush and ONE solution, obsessively hand cleaning my LPs (as well as handling them properly). However, I never owned a vacuum record cleaning machine (RCM) until AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer gifted me one this summer and requested this review.

Malachi Lui  |  Nov 27, 2019  |  17 comments
Before I get further into this follow-up review, a short disclaimer: other than the US Apple/Capitol singles of “We Can Work It Out”/“Day Tripper” and “Hey Jude”/“Revolution” (which, as expected, sound lousy), I don’t have any Beatles 7” singles other than this new The Singles Collection box. All my Beatles listening is on LP (the 2014 mono series, the Giles Martin remix LPs, and a few mono and stereo UK and European pressings) and the occasional lossless digital format, therefore from these recordings I’m used to great sound quality. My expectations for The Singles Collection (generously gifted to me by AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer) were likely different from most others’: sure, I expected the all-analog lacquer cuts to sound good, but sound quality on 7” singles isn’t the first thing I think about. With the 7” format, it’s primarily about the musical content, collectibility, packaging (when applicable), and finally, sound quality.

Malachi Lui  |  Nov 20, 2019  |  First Published: Nov 20, 2019  |  9 comments
(Review Explosion is a new 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 will focus on the previous few weeks' new releases as well as archival titles and reissues.)

Malachi Lui  |  Nov 15, 2019  |  5 comments
In 1964 while working for Canada’s National Film Board (NFB), filmmaker Gilles Groulx set out to make a documentary about winter, but instead used his then $75,000 budget to create Le chat dans le sac (English: The Cat In The Bag), an art house film about two lovers in early-mid ‘60s Montreal. An avid jazz fan as well, Groulx (through Jimmy Garrison) contacted John Coltrane to soundtrack the film. Coltrane agreed, and Groulx supervised the session at Rudy Van Gelder’s Englewood Cliffs, NJ studio. Instead of composing new material for the film (which he hadn’t seen), Coltrane, at Groulx’s request, re-recorded some of his older compositions such as “Naima” and “Village Blues,” after which Groulx, master tape in hand, drove back up to Montreal.

Malachi Lui  |  Nov 05, 2019  |  45 comments
Kanye West's devotion to Jesus is nothing new; it's a recurring subject throughout his discography. On his 2004 single “Jesus Walks,” he raps, “Now I ain’t here to argue ‘bout His facial features/Or here to convert atheists into believers.” In recent traveling-church-service performances with the Sunday Service choir, however, he changes the second aforementioned line to “we here to convert atheists into believers.”

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 21, 2019  |  First Published: Oct 21, 2019  |  77 comments
For as long as I’ve reviewed high-performance audio equipment, I’ve repeatedly iterated that to bring young people into the hobby, audio manufacturers need to make excellent, affordable, and convenient products. If a product fails any one of those criteria, hundreds of potential audio enthusiasts are turned away and save for a few outliers, hi-fi continues to be a hobby for old, mostly white men.

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