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Open letter to Kompakt Records regarding GusGus album Mexico on vinyl

Thanks for releasing such a brilliant album. It’s quite rare when all tracks on an album are good, usually we like 2-3, and call other fillers. But this is not the case here.

I was ready to take risk buying the album as 1 x 12″, I knew it gonna be to low in volume to play in a club on big sound system, and I was right. Imidiately I got feedback from the speakers, had to lover the gain on the mixer, overal volume dropped in the middle of a party, it was disaster, everybody was waiting when the loudness will be back. Quality of vinyl is also not so good – only after playing the record for a few times it started to sound as it is 10 years old, with audible cklisks/scratches.

I don’t know what reasons you had not to press it as 3xLP or 2xLP, maybe market today are more for home listeners, but still there’s DJs who play vinyl.

Having free CD version is nice bonus, but I’m sure if you press two singles, Airwaves/Not The First Time and Crossfade/Obnoxiously Sexual as two separate 12″, with one track on each side, without remixes, it will be selling fast and will be what DJ are waiting.

The reason for this? The album is timeless, and this four tracks will be popular on dance-floor for many years, I know it because I still play Moss (original), Over (original), Add This Song (original) and people love those songs. Having a big gap between grooves is good bonus for a record you gonna play for many years, because scratches then don’t affect music that much. I still remember the good times, when drum+bass albums were released as 5×12″ with one tracks each side, why not now?

Although there’s ugly trend to release 4 tracks on a 12″, there’s still opposite examples this year, for example Paul Kalkbrenner’s only 3-minute-long Sky and Sand was released as one track on a side in June, and it is out of stock now. Cocoon Records still stick to this rule too, because Sven know what DJs want.

Don’t be afraid to issue a single after album. Daft Punk did it with Lucky last year, and the single was success. I bought it even I had an album already.

I hope you understand me, I’m not offending you guys, I have many vinyl from Kompakt and I respect and regard you as one of the best labels on Earth, but mistakes must be fixed. I wish you all the best in the future.

Juri Konradi,

DJ, Riga, Latvia.

Keys analysis in my house and techno collection

I was wondering if really G key appears more frequently than another keys. After calculation it became clear. I think answer may be that low G is the lowest frequency a soundsystem may reproduce (after Hi-pass filter, which is installed in many clubs). I’m curios what’s you favorite key?
Minimal-keys-2014.07
PDF version

Vinyl vs. Digital: how it looks

Sometimes I buy a release in both digital and vinyl form. Then I record vinyl to digital (ripped). Let’s compare how waveforms look. It really surprised me how much different they are. Digital picture had to be minimized two times vertically (i.e. loudness, max = 200%) in order to looks more similar. But waves look so much different, even aligned precisely. On Bass Drum (first loud sound on picture) bass frequencies are delayed in vinyl compared to difgital, but when next sound appears (hi-hat) they are aligned again. Maybe this is how the needdle works. Vinyl record shows slightly different BPM, 125.76 vs. 126.0, analyzed in Rapid Evolution software, but I think this is not the reason for delayed waveforms.

Of cause digital is much stronger compressed, so difference between 6th and 8th peaks is much smaller compared to vinyl.

Track: ‘After The After’ Moby Vs Joris Voorn.
Needle: Ortofon Concorde Pro S, mixer: Vestax PMC-07Pro, turntable: Technics 1210 MK2, A/D interface:  Digidesign 882, host: ProTools III.

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Full-tracks

2014 March chart

Tech-House —————-

Fabrizio Maurizi – A Pray For You (Memento Records)
Absolutely fantastic, groovy and techy, hardfloor filler, clean-sounding monster.

James Curd & Centrone – I’m Not Sorry I Woke You (G-Swing)
James Curd & Centrone – Bird Change (G-Swing)
Swing! What else to tell. Tracks like this are rare like diamonds. Everybody loves this sound.

Maher Daniel & Jon Charnis – Lonely Stars In Open Skies (Luca Bacchetti Endless remix) (All Day I Dream)
Fantasy techno symphony. Tribal and dreamy, but groovy too. Can listen to it endlessly.

Fanatico – Tessio (original + spacedub) (Ware)
Superb vocal track.

Studio 1 – Lila (Assemble Music)
Dub techno, but very catchy and dance-floor-oriented one.

Theophilus London – Wine & Chocolates (Andhim remix) (Bitclap)
Well, just a year-old hit, was very hard to get, but tracks like this are timeless.

Pizeta – Klezmer (original remastered) (Gold Records)
Re-mastered classic swingy jazzy uplifter.

Pedro Mercado & Karada – You Take Me There (Rodriguez Jr altern rmx) (Gold Records)
A-side of above track, deep and beautiful. Respect to Gold Records Nice for such a package.

Joris Voorn vs Moby ‎– After The After (Joris Voorn remix) (Rejected) 12″
Finally I got it on vinyl. Joris’ sound is so unique and works perfect on the dance floor.

Ed Sheeran & Passenger – No Diggity / Thrift Shop (Kygo Remix) (free download, unreleased)
It’s hard to mix it into house set due to 100 bpm tempo, but if you find right time to slow down, everybody will go nuts – checked!

 

Jazz-funk-reggae-soul —

Taggy Matcher – Jump Around (Stix) 7″
Very nice reggae re-make of hip-hop classic. Sounds awesome! I’m ordering more Stix records, how could I miss them in 2007?

John Newman – Love Me Again (Island) LP
It is just a brilliant super-catchy song, rare case when 10 million views on UTube does not mean anything bad. I wish it to be on 7″ single – DJs would appreciate it, together with “Cheating” on B-side.

James Brown & The Famous Flames – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (live version)  (King DJ) 7″
Very fast and bass-strong, 200% energetic, it sounds like its made in drum’n’bass era. Unbelievable.

Pharrell Williams – Happy (Sony BMG) 12″
Everybody loves it, sings it, me too. Swing was almost dominating funk dance-floors for last 8 years or so, so stars need some of it too. It is beautifully produced, Pharrell learned a lot from collaboration with french disco-duo. Only problem for me is not so many records to mix it with – 160 bpm is quite rare. I’m ordering another copy to play instrumental version just after the vocal one – they work best together.

2014 February chart

nu’jazz/latin —–

Mario Biondi & The High Five Quintet – Handful Of Soul (Schema) 2xLP
Timo Lassy – Teddy The Sweeper (Schema) 7″
The Paolo Achenza Trio – Chameleon Parts 1 & 2 (Schema) 7″
Andrea Balducci – The Letter (Schema) 7″
Alex Puddu – Black Orgasm (Schema) 7″
Helen Reddy – Hit The Road Jack (Jazz Classics) 7″
The Haggis Horns – Traveller (Part 2) (First Word) digital

minimal/tech-house —-
Wally Lopez – African (Material Series)
Aldo Cadiz & Oscar Barila – Fractal (Alex Costa remix) (Deep Circus)
Bryan Ferry – Don’t Stop The Dance (Todd Terje remix) (Vinyl Factory)
Bryan Ferry – Don’t Stop The Dance (Idjut Boys remix) (Vinyl Factory)
Ian Pooley – 1983 (feat Hogni Egiltsson) (Pooled Music) digital
Daniel Steinberg – Step By Step (Arms & Legs) digital
Alessio Mereu & James Venturi – Bingo 1 (Religio Audio)
Holger Flinsch – Cherubic (Rotary Cocktail Recordings)

Compact Flash as hard disk in Pro Tools III

Stratos AztecMonster

I recommend Stratos AztecMonster Compact Flash (CF) to SCSI adapter, works perfectly. It allows me to read 5 and write 2 channels simultaneously in Pro Tools III under Logic 4.5 running on Power Macintosh Beige G3. CF card used: PhotoFast Extreme Pro 8GB (Ultra High Data Transfer Rate).

I formatted CF with standard Drive Setup 1.7.3 Patched under Mac OS 8.6. Patch is needed to remove restriction on certain hard disk brands, to my knowledge.

Stratos also recommend A-DATA x266 CF card, it should allow speeds 10-20Mbps.

Stratos AztecMonster produced in Japan and only available through ebay directly from producer. Total price for me including shipping (5 days) and customs fee was €146.

CF formated on Mac OS 8.6 is easy to backup/exchange on newer Mac (10.4) through CF reader. Tested CF reader: Defender Ultra Multi Card Reader (€6). Tested and not worked CF reader: No brand All in 1 (bought from China ebay for few bucks).

Be careful while inserting CF card into AztecMonster: I have broken one pin on the adapter, but luckily everything woks without the pin (see photo). My advice would be not to change CF cards too often.

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Stratos AztecMonster

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Stratos AztecMonster’ broken pin

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Defender Ultra Multi Card Reader

No brand All in 1 (not worked CF reader)
No brand All in 1 (not working)

Tested and not working

I also tried two other solutions as SSD/flash hard disk for Pro Tools III but none of them worked:

1. Bit-Micro E-Disk SCSI solid state disk. Pro Tools just allways showed error that hard disk is too slow (error -9973). Formatted with LaCie Utilities 6.5.8 Silverlining Pro, 14 partitions x 2GB. LaCie Utilities Time Drive 3.03 showed average Read Test 3,380KB/sec, Write Test 3,339 KB/sec, which should be enough, as ProTools III require “sustained transfer rate 2.5 Mb/sec or faster”. SCSI 80-50 adapter is needed.

I now use it as backup disk inside Macintosh G3.

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2. Spyrus RD400 SCSI PCMCIA Reader (also sold as MPL mcdisk-e-1 under another brand) or SCSI-CF adapter to be simple. It just too slow for Pro Tools. Producer claim  “transfer rate 2.5 MByte/sec”. Inserting CF card into this device is done through PCMCIA-CF adapter.

I use it with Akai S2000 – works perfect for 2+ years now. Not too fast (few minutes to load/save Akai bank), but I can’t compare it with another devices, maybe speed is slow due to Akai. E-Mu samplers (EIIIxp and ESI-32) won’t format the CF in this device – they just don’t recognize it.

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2013 December chart

funk/bossa/nu’jazz—

Smoove – Summertime (Wack) 7″

Such a good unpredictable cover version! I’ve seen non-dancers, security guy to be more precise, danced mad to it. Hot tune!

The Getup – Get Lucky/B-Boy Edit (Breakin’ Bread) 7″

Everybody is tired from over-played original, this it a great boost for every house party! I want second copy to play both sides together. B-boy edit makes people scream.

Smoove & Suonho – A Little Soul (Wack) 7″

Aldo Vanucci feat Kylie Auldist – Get A Hold On This (Good Living) 12″

Aldo Vanucci – So Good (Good Living) 12″

Tape Five feat Henrik Wager – Dixie Biscuits (Smarty Mart) digital

 

 

house/tech-hose/nu’disco—–

Alexander Robotnick – Undicidisco (Justin Vandervolgen edit) (Hell Yeah) 12″
Ry & Frank Wiedemann – Howling (Innervisions) digital
Purple Disco Machine – Move Or Not (Off Recordings) 12″
Funky Fat & Digitaria – Masochist (Hot Creations) 12″
The Rapture – Sail Away (Aeroplane vocal rmx) (DFA Records) 12″
The Reflex – Rock The Casbah (The Reflex revision) (Lumberjacks) 10″
Moplen – Let No Man Put Us Under (Moplen remix) (Lumberjacks) 10″
Marvin Gaye – Whats Going On (Purple Disco Machine re-work) (unreleased) digital

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