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Nik Bartsch's Ronin - Live (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Artist: Nik Bärtsch's Ronin
Title: Live
Genre: Jazz, New Age, Avant-Garde, Modern Creative, Progressive Jazz, Mystical Minimalism
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player | ECM Reviews
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:44:55
Recorded live 2009-2011; Mixed at Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-les-Fontaines

Ronin around the world: a powerful and atmospheric concert recording with music captured in Germany, Austria, Holland, England, and Japan, a double-album which transmits the live impact of Nik Bärtsch’s band and its enveloping modular groove music of interlocking rhythms. It’s also a set that marks the end of an era and the transition into a new one. These are the last recordings of Ronin with Björn Meyer’s elegantly-leaping bass guitar as one of the lead voices, and Bärtsch views the album as partly a tribute to Meyer’s long tenure with the band. New bassist Thomy Jordi, meanwhile, makes an impressive entrance on “Modul 55”, but it’s most often the whole band, as a unified field of force, that commands the listener’s attention.
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Nik Bartsch's Mobile - Continuum (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Artist: Nik Bärtsch's Mobile
Title: Continuum
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Modern Creative, Progressive Jazz, Post-Minimalism, Modern Composition
Label: © ECM Records GmbH
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:08:19
Recorded: March 2015, Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI, Lugano


After three studio albums – Stoa (2006), Holon (2008), and Lyria (2010) plus one live-double-CD (2012) – with his electric band RONIN Swiss keyboardist/composer Nik Bärtsch now presents a new album with his original group MOBILE (whose line-up overlaps with the current RONIN cast).
MOBILE, originally founded in 1997 (and on the new album augmented on three tracks by a string quintet), is at the source of Bärtsch’s ritualistic approach to music making. This approach has been formed by his work with concepts of reduction and repetition as well as his fascination with Japanese culture. Here textures from jazz, funk, new music, minimal as well as ritual and sacral music are organically interwoven in the service of an energetic group sound. Continuum was recorded at Lugano’s RSI studio in March 2015 and produced by Manfred Eicher.
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Neil Young and Promise of the Real - Earth (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Neil Young and Promise of the Real
Title: Earth
Genre: Rock, Hard Rock
Label: © Reprise Records
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: Pono
Duration: 01:37:16
Recorded live on Rebel Content Tour in 2015. Studio vocals recorded at The Village, West Los Angeles, CA. Additional recording 8th Day Sound.

Neil Young used his union with the Promise of the Real -- the gangly crew fronted by Willie Nelson's kids Lukas and Micah -- to tackle weighty social problems on The Monsanto Years, a record supported by a relatively expansive tour. Earth, a double album culled from 2015 performances, goes one further, mining ecologically minded Young tunes and then addressing them to mother earth herself. According to Young, the catch is, "our animal kingdom is well represented in the audience as well, and the animals, insects, birds, and mammals actually take over the performances of the songs at times." This is an understatement. Animal sounds infect Earth, sometimes swallowing the guitars, sometimes chirping along in rhythm, an affect that is precisely the opposite of natural. Earth is aggressively artificial, the nature noises grafted upon performances that are indifferent to their presence. Perhaps this tension could be construed as a commentary -- man plows through the world without care for his animal brethren -- but as executed on Earth, the tension is entirely accidental. Young and the Promise of the Real lumber along in their own world, turning out perfectly respectable versions of songs old and new -- they have some of the unwieldy sprawl of Crazy Horse but none of the charmingly leaden lurch -- and, just when everything seems normal, the chirps, crows, and moos all arrive on a downbeat, sending things into a realm where the psychedelic and the silly coexist. Anybody looking for a straight-up document of Young & the Promise of the Real may very well be disappointed -- all those pesky critters keep getting in the way -- but Earth is better because of its inspired madness: the weirdness isn't merely a reason to listen, but it elevates the album to the status of one of Young's genuinely inspired nutso albums. --AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Nat King Cole - St. Louis Blues (1958/2010) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Nat 'King' Cole
Title: St. Louis Blues
Genre: Jazz, Blues, Vocal Jazz, Vocal Pop, Traditional Pop, Swing
Label: © Capitol Records/Analogue Productions XAPP993D64
Release Date: 1958/2010
Quality: DSF Stereo/Mono DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 01:06:44
Recorded: January 29–31, 1958

This has been a totally no-expenses-spared project. Using the original 3-track work tapes from Capitol's vaults, mastering engineers Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman along with DSD specialist Gus Skinas bring you an entirely incomparable experience. In addition to the stereo mixes, this SACD includes a 3-track transfer for multichannel playback and the original mono mix taken from separate microphone feeds, mixing consoles and tape machines at the original sessions. In order to master from the three-track masters, AcousTech had to be outfitted for 3-channel playback. That meant Kevin Gray had to find a third identical monitoring channel chain (including mixing board, amplifier and speaker) as well as a 3-track playback headstack and also a 3-track preview head for the vinyl cutting system. It was a massive assignment. We've spent a fortune to include these extra bells and whistles and to make this a truly historic reissue.
An influential figure in the early 20th century development of blues and popular music as a music scholar and the composer of numerous popular songs, William Christopher Handy has often been called "the Father of the Blues." When two of the finest and most popular of mid-20th century musical figures, jazz and popular music icon Nat "King" Cole and style setting arranger extraordinare Nelson Riddle, undertook an album dedicated to the music of W.C. Handy, the results were at once a worthy tribute and transformative. Particularly smooth vocals by Nat King Cole were aptly backed by resourceful orchestrations from Nelson Riddle. From the landmark laments of "St. Louis Blues" and the loving appreciation of "Morning Star" on through to the colloquial rag of "Joe Turner's Blues," the varied facets of Handy's songs were given a lastingly freshened interpretation. Along with the contemporary Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy (also available here at Acoustic Sounds), this album is considered by many to be the best anthology of the music of W.C. Handy.
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Nat King Cole - Just One of Those Things (1957/2011) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Nat 'King' Cole
Title: Just One of Those Things
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Vocal Pop, Traditional Pop, Torch Songs, Big Band, Swing
Label: © Capitol Records/Analogue Productions XAPP903D64
Release Date: 1957/2011
Quality: DSF Stereo/Mono DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 01:16:24
Recorded: July 10, 19, 31, August 7, 1957


This has been a totally no-expenses-spared project. Using the original 3-track work tapes from Capitol's vaults, mastering engineers Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman along with DSD specialist Gus Skinas bring you an entirely incomparable experience. In order to master from the 3-track masters, AcousTech had to be outfitted for three-channel playback. That meant Kevin Gray had to find a third identical monitoring channel chain (including mixing board, amplifier and speaker) as well as a 3-track playback headstack and also a 3-track preview head for the vinyl cutting system. It was a massive assignment. We've spent a fortune to include these extra bells and whistles and to make this a truly historic reissue.
Contrasting downbeat ballads with an ironic brassy, upbeat big band attitude, the ironic Cole Porter standard Just One Of Those Things sets the tone for a distinctive, pungent experience of love and disillusionment with a swing. Brilliantly backing the intimately expressive and supremely musical voice of the incomparable Nat "King" Cole, a big band with no "strings" smolders, swings, saunters, storms, sighs and sizzles with the arrangements of the distinctive Billy May. Featuring top shelf interpretations of "These Foolish Things," "Who's Sorry Now?" "The Party's Over" and more, this album is among its era's finest recordings of popular music and its quality, style and spirit remains unexcelled.
Just One Of Those Things was recorded in finely polished monaural and more minimalistic 3-channel stereophonic versions, each with dedicated microphones, console, mix and recorders. Each offers a different sonic perspective. The monaural recording was heard on the original hit records while the stereophonic recording offers the potential for a stunning wide-range realism. The bonus track, an alternative take of "Just For The Fun Of It," is mono only.
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