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Lost Theory Festival: Ambient DJ set preview

I’m playing two sets at the Lost Theory Festival in Croatia August 17-22 (that’s soon!). My ambient set will be Sunday morning 6.30-11, so it’s a looong one. Before I knew I’d be playing in daylight I made a shorter promo mix – I might play slightly sunnier stuff at the festival, but this mix turned out pretty nice so here you go, enjoy! My goa trance DJ set is saturday morning 07-09, after Derango and before Dimension 5.  Read More

New music: Sitaar-Tah! — “Semimimimimin”

Aquarius Records of San Fransisco run a web shop that’s looking quite distinctly 1990’s, which is not a high mark in 2011. But what they lack in web savvy, they make up in spades when it comes to dedication. Their newsletters, which are now running double pace and are sent out weekly, have reviews written by the staff themselves, unlike pretty much every other record shop on the planet who just copy the distributor mumbo jumbo verbatim. This is practically a full... Read More

New music: Harsh acid techno

If you’re reading this blog thanks to my audiophile posts, you’re likely—although not entirely guaranteed—to find the following music overwhelmingly noisy. That warning aside, I do love brutally distorted Roland TB-303 mayhem. Two such records that have spent many, many years in my wantlist finally arrived in the mail today: DATacide – The Extasy Of Communication   Woody McBride – Rattlesnake It feels surreal that these are now 18 and 17 years old,... Read More

New music: Spectrum Spools

Seeing as this has turned into a hifi blog, I thought it’d be appropriate to remedy something I find missing in a lot of audio writing, namely new music. And not more Diana Krall albums or reissues of relics from 40 years ago; I mean truly new and adventurous music on the outer brinks of the artform. I might not manage to write about everything I buy, but by setting the bar reasonably low I should hopefully have enough writing stamina to give a bit of insight and inspiration... Read More

DJ report: Belgium round III

I played a DJ set in Belgium this weekend, where Psykovsky and Cosmosis played live. So it was kind of big, but my morning set (I got on at 8am) got a slightly smaller crowd than last year. Nevertheless, the Belgians know how to stir up a dancefloor riot, and here’s a short glimpse of when I played my favourite track off of Filteria‘s “Heliopolis” album: I arrived just 40 minutes before I started playing, since I had to get up at 6am on Saturday to catch... Read More

Hunt for hifi VIII: It’s over, yet only just begun

So, the time had come to decide. MBL? Focal? Neither? What impressed me the most with the MBL 121 speakers was their stunning ability to illustrate the space of a recording. This makes them nearly unbeatable for classical, jazz, singer-songwriter and live recordings. Since I don’t listen to those types of music much, instead often drawn to “produced” sounds, this argument loses some of its weight in my case. Instead, their ability to provide an accurate and deeply... Read More

Hunt for hifi VI: The final showdown – before the bell

Later today I will sit down and compare the Focal Diablo Utopia with the MBL 121 speakers side by side. I won’t purchase the winner today, and if I didn’t have such a rich history of financial recklessness I’d say I may never buy them. But having bought into my own justification pitch, I realize I might pull the trigger eventually. Age has at least taught me to take a few deep breaths before I take the plunge. This will probably be the final comparison between... Read More

Hunt for hifi V: Justification

I stole this image somewhere in an attempt to illustrate what is generally an accepted costly hobby. This really is over the top though. While it’s easy to point out when audiophile excess has entered the land of absurdity, it’s a bit more interesting to look at the conditions where purchasing high-end components makes sense. Since all of my recent hifi posts are basically just flow-of-consciousness ramblings, here’s a list off the top of my head: If you can... Read More

Hunt for hifi IV: Attack ov ze Germans

Having exhausted the options of speakers cheaper than Focal Diablo Utopia that has my preferred dry, tight and precise sound, I was beginning to think that I might have to either buy the damned things, buy something cheaper I wasn’t fully happy with, or just keep what I have and take up knitting instead. But in a last attempt to make sure there were no options, I asked what else there was in the same price class as the Diablo’s. After all, if I’m going to spend... Read More

Hunt for Hifi III: Trap doors and mirages

Audiophiles are often ridiculed for spending time and substantial amounts of money on snake-oil products. These can vary from little wooden blocks to place speaker cables on like a monorail so that it never touches the ground (presumably to prevent static electricity, or something) to all manners of vibration dampening hocus pocus. The criticism spans from entirely valid, as I would say is the case for the examples I just gave, to dubious, which is the case for things like analogue... Read More