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Messages - drone on

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Everything and Nothing / Remasters: To tweak or not to tweak?
« on: Yesterday at 01:02:23 AM »
I have to admit I've been suckered into the whole remaster craze where when a band or artist remasters their whole catalog, I immediately buy them and replace my originals.  I've since learned to be more cautious these days as some of these remastering jobs are really horrible and do more harm than good.  I have found myself going back to music stores and buying back all my originals because the remasters were so bad.  Below is a list of remaster series I have found extremely disappointing, with my reasons why:

RUSH ("The Rush Remasters")--these were issued in 1997 and whoever did them effectively took out the warm bass harmonics of the music.  It is sad that all these Rush fans buying the box sets think they have the definitive editions of these albums when in reality they have total garbage repackaged.  Apparently I'm not alone in this opinion based on the Rush forums I've perused.

COCTEAU TWINS (remastered by Robin Guthrie).  Very disappointing that Guthrie ruined his own music.  He cranked up the volume and sucked the warmth right out of the music.  Luckily the original 4AD UK cd's are easy to find because most fans sold their originals for the "upgrades." 

DEAD CAN DANCE (remastered by various).  Same as above, basically.  To me these were too loud and the bass harmonics were compromised.  Not nearly as bad as the Cocteau Twins hatchet job.  I only have the original 4AD UK discs now in my collection. 

OTHER 4AD LABEL BANDS LIKE CLAN OF XYMOX, THIS MORTAL COIL, ETC. --John Dent of Loud Mastering did a real hatchet job on the first Clan of Xymox CD and the followup Medusa.  One of the worst remastering jobs I ever heard.  This Mortal Coil I think didn't need an upgrade and I think the originals are still perfect.  I can't tell much difference with the recent remasters. 

DAVID SYLVIAN.  Again I found these too loud and the subtle bass harmonics missing.  Secrets of the Beehive was especially bad, way too loud for such an intimate vocal album.  The only ones that benefited from remasters were Brilliant Trees (which always sounded muffled) and Alchemy. 

Here are some series I thought were good:

BRIAN ENO. Really subtle and tasteful job on these.  An improvement over perfection, if that's possible.

THE CHURCH.  If you go back and play this band's original CD's from the 80's, boy did their music not transfer well to CD.  They sounded like total crap compared to the awesome remasters, which took away the tinny sound and muted volume. 

SLOWDIVE.  Although one of my favorite bands, I always thought their studio recordings were pretty lackluster compared to their live performances, and the CD's sounded, fidelity-wise, slightly better than awful.  Great remasters I thought on these.  So much more listenable.

They call it "loudness wars" these days.  I don't think the issue is just cranking up the volume, but robbing the original recordings of what made them special.  Also, I think it's interesting that Amazon advertises certain albums as "original recording remastered" when they WEREN'T remastered, just reissued.  Best example I can think of is the Klaus Schulze reissues.  On the KS website it states these were not remastered. 

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / Re: Ambient on youtube
« on: September 10, 2014, 02:58:47 PM »
Why would you post this on the Hypnos website, specifically about Mike's music?  Seems like you could've made your point a different way.  Just my opinion.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bad Ambient
« on: September 08, 2014, 01:04:30 AM »
After enduring the Shifts Recycling I started calling it the Shits Recycling

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Lisa Gerard's new one- Wow!
« on: September 04, 2014, 08:38:30 PM »
I wonder what happened to Brendan Perry third solo album.  He was working on it before the last DCD album came out in 2012.  Then they toured for what seemed like over a year. 

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 04, 2014, 11:55:11 AM »
Silence is one of those series on Fax that I just never got into.  It's good but not great.  I also think it got weaker over the progression of the releases.  IMO of course.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bad Ambient
« on: September 03, 2014, 11:44:09 PM »
Blasphemy!  Ah, well, to me the didge is the oldest, truly original acoustic ambient sound generator, but I suppose not everyone is going to "di(d)g" it. 

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bad Ambient
« on: September 03, 2014, 11:10:38 AM »
To clarify, I don't mean cheesy new age. I mean "serious ambient" that tries to be evocative and deep yet fails miserably.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Bad Ambient
« on: September 03, 2014, 10:32:18 AM »
Sometimes on paper ambient music can look good.  Until you actually hear it and it sounds like cat farts. 

How about the term "bad ambient" (proposed pronunciation: buh-DAM-beeyunt)?

Do you have any warnings about stuff that is just plain awful?

The one that inspired this topic is "Variations for Organ, Keyboard, and Processors" by Vidna Obmana + Willem Tanke.  I really do want to like this.  Great cover art.  But music sounds like a 5 year old playing the organ.  I will have to give another spin just to be sure.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Any Genesis fans?
« on: September 03, 2014, 10:18:51 AM »
Just bought this weekend:

Steve Hackett--Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith.  3 CD, 2 *DVD set that is incredible.  The band is killer.  The concert DVD perfect sound and visuals!  A++++++

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 03, 2014, 09:58:23 AM »
I think you meant Hanging MASSES.  Not to be confused with the Cure's Hanging GARDEN...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: September 02, 2014, 11:39:18 AM »
Seeing the Seren Ffordd thread tipped me off to explore the massive Umbra catalog again, so recently, all by Seren:

The Quiet Labyrinth
Realms beyond the stars and light
The Portals Dreaming
A Melancholy Light

Special music, special label...

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 30, 2014, 05:26:45 PM »
ELP--Brain Salad Surgery deluxe.  Great album.  Greg Lake, what a voice!

King Crimson--In the Wake of Poseidon. 

Urenga--Mu, the Lost Continent.  Ambient dub techno on the excellent gterma label.  Great stuff, even better than After Rain, his first one. 

Robert Plant--Pictures at Eleven.  Sublime first solo album.  Guitarist Robbie Blunt gives Jimmy Page a run for his money.  Phil Collins on drums.  An absolutely perfect band and great songwriting.  After the equally great Principle of Moments, he went downhill.

I would guess Steve receives a large batch of discs as payment so to speak and makes the full retail amount on each sold through his site, then gets a percentage of units sold elsewhere(?)

How much do the artists on Projekt make on each disc sold, roughly?

I'd buy it from whoever has it cheaper  ;D

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 25, 2014, 12:53:26 PM »
Otavan Veret-s/t.  Recent release on Cyclic Law.  Another slice of gloomy thick and atmospheric dark ambient from Cyclic Law.  I'd describe this as cosmic ritual space ambient.  Very nice album.

I haven't bought them.  I am waiting for more Hypnos releases and then I'll probably place one big order. 

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Slowdive reunion and tour 2014
« on: August 25, 2014, 10:51:57 AM »

Independent Music Reviews / Re: My review of "Airborne" CD by Erik Wllo
« on: August 25, 2014, 10:51:09 AM »

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Slowdive reunion and tour 2014
« on: August 24, 2014, 10:45:12 PM »
Been waiting 20 years for this and sadly found out over a month too late.  Their show in San Francisco on November 7  has already sold out.  Geez, I hope some greedy scalpers will take my big bucks, if I can find one by then.  There's some video footage on YouTube of the reunited group and while they don't sound quite as visceral as I remember when  they were all around 24 (back in '94 opening for Catherine Wheel), they sound pretty good.  Hope they make some new music.

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