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Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie (2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Artist: Rival Sons
Title: Great Western Valkyrie
Genre: Rock, Blues Rock, Acid Rock, American Trad Rock, Hard Rock, Psychedelic/Garage
Label: © Earache Records Ltd
Release Date: 2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:47:40
Recorded: LCS Studios, Nashville, TN


Robin Everhart, the Rival Sons' founding bassist, left in late October of 2013, deciding that the grueling rigors of touring weren't for him. The band replaced him with Dave Beste in time to record the band's fourth full-length. Once more they enlisted producer Dave Cobb (who helmed the Head Down sessions) and recorded at his Nashville studio. Rival Sons have doubled down on their worship of late-'60s psych, blues-rock, and hard rock because of the lockdown groove in drummer Michael Miley's interplay with Beste, a much more straight-ahead rock bassist. What's different is how the band combines these sounds, Led Zeppelin's pervasive guitar and vocal influence still a primary inspiration, but this is colored also by a love the Jimmy Page-era Yardbirds, the Nazz, the Doors, and the boogie of classic Status Quo. The group has manifested most of these before, but not in this way. In their songwriting and arrangements, they recombine these influences in sometimes startling new ways. Even the most sprawling, psych-oriented tracks have excellent riffs, while most of the hard rockers and boogies contain hooks and multiple textures. Force is never sacrificed. Opening single "Electric Man" is unabashed in its Led Zeppelin IV proclivities, but "Good Things" evokes the Zombies of Odessey and Oracle with harder-edged guitars and fatter drums. "Secret," led by Beste's bass throb and Scott Holiday's thundering guitar vamp, makes room for guest keyboardist Ikey Owens (Mars Volta) on organ. "Open My Eyes" opens with a vamp worthy of Black Sabbath, but it becomes a gritty, near country-rocker with phased drum kit. The transcendent Pete Townshend-esque guitar chords that serve as the intro to "Belle Starr" give way to a crunchy slide riff, then an open, spacious psychedelia. It changes shape several times before the close with a woolly, dirty-assed bassline and Zep-style rhythmic syncopations. The proggy blues in the intro to "Destination on Course" is a fine showcase for Jay Buchanan's croon atop brooding guitars and a swelling menace in the rhythm section. This holds sway until a female backing chorus (Kristen Rogers) enters, and things come completely off the rails in Wagnerian mind-melting psych. Great Western Valkyrie continues to revel in retro-rock, but it does so with fine songwriting, arrangements, and -- above all -- taste added to the instrumental firepower. Combined, these strengths make this a full step up from Head Down. --AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
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Ray Price - Another Bridge to Burn (1966/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Ray Price
Title: Another Bridge to Burn
Genre: Country, Honky Tonk, Traditional Country, Country Gospel
Label: © Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1966/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: HDTracks
Duration: 31:12
Recorded: 1966

Ray Price covered -- and kicked up -- as much musical turf as any country singer of the postwar era. He was lionized as the man who saved hard country when Nashville went pop, and vilified as the man who went pop when hard country was starting to call its own name with pride. Actually, he was no more than a musically ambitious singer, always looking for the next challenge for a voice that could bring down roadhouse walls.
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Einojuhani Rautavaara - Modificata, Towards the Horizon & Incantations - Colin Currie, Truls Mork, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgards (2012) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928)
Artist: Colin Currie, Truls Mørk, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds
Title: Rautavaara: Modificata, Towards the Horizon & Incantations
Genre: Classical
Label: © Ondine Oy, Helsinki
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 01:02:16
Recordings: Helsinki, Finlandia Hall, 15.1.2011 (Incantations), Music Centre, 10.–12.8.2011
A 24-bit recording in dXd (digital eXtreme definition)

This new recording couples Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara’s latest concerto works with an orchestral piece from his early Modernist period (Modificata; 1957/2003)
The virtuoso Percussion Concerto Incantations (2008) features the Scottish percussion soloist Colin Currie, who is the dedicatee and première performer of this work. Currie wrote himself the virtuoso cadenza to the final movement.
Rautavaara’s Second Cello Concerto Towards the Horizon (2009) was written for cellist Truls Mørk and plays continuously in one 20-minute movement. Reviewing the premiere the Star Tribune noted that the composer “acknowledges a ‘taste for eternity’ and a vain of mysticsm runs through his work.”
Einojuhani Rautavaara is recognized as one of the most notable Finnish composers after Jean Sibelius. His recordings on Ondine have been bestsellers and garnered numerous awards (including a recent GRAMMY nomination for his opera Kaivos).
Under their chief conductor John Storgårds, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra builds on long-time pedigrees of performing their compatriot’s music.
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Pearl Jam - Yield (1998/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Pearl Jam
Title: Yield
Genre: Rock, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Grunge
Label: © Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1998/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 48:29
Recorded: February–September 1997 at Studio Litho and Studio X, Seattle, Washington; Southern Tracks Recording and Doppler Studios, Atlanta, Georgia

Yield is the fifth studio album by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam, released on February 3, 1998. Following a short promotional tour for its previous album, No Code (1996), Pearl Jam recorded Yield throughout 1997 at Studio Litho and Studio X in Seattle, Washington. The album was proclaimed as a return to the band's early, straightforward rock sound, and marked a more collaborative effort from the band as opposed to relying heavily on frontman Eddie Vedder to compose the songs. The lyrics deal with contemplative themes, albeit seen in a more positive manner compared to the band's earlier work.
Yield received positive reviews and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. While like No Code the album soon began dropping down the charts, Yield eventually outsold its predecessor. The band did more promotion for the album compared to No Code, including a return to full-scale touring and the release of a music video for the song "Do the Evolution". The record has been certified platinum by the RIAA in the United States. The album is Pearl Jam's last release with drummer Jack Irons, who left the band during the album's promotional tour.
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Patricia Barber - Cafe Blue (1994/2013) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Artist: Patricia Barber
Title: Cafe Blue
Genre: Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Label: © Premonition Records
Release Date: 1994/2013 (2011 remixed)
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 01:02:52
Recorded: Chicago Recordings Company, Studio 5, Chicago IL. June 28-30, July 1, 1994.
Analog 2-track mixes transferred to 24/192 kHz by Doug Sax. Converted to DSD from the 24/192 by Gus Skinas


Cafe Blue was recorded at Chicago Recording Company in early 1994 by recording engineer Jim Anderson. It was the first release Barber recorded for Premonition Records. Recorded in 16/48 kHz on a 32-track Otari machine, the original multitracks were then transferred and remixed in 2011 at Capitol Studios in Holywood, California. The idea was to reimagine the album, which had become one of the most widely praised jazz recordings of the 1900s, at one of the legendary recording facilities of the golden era of jazz recording, the late 1950s. Utilizing Studio B's remarkably warm Neve 808 console, which was actually the first Neve console in the U.S., and Capitol's EMT plate reverbs and live chambers, Anderson delivered a stunning reinterpretation that has become the standard versiion of this recording. The album was mastered from the original analog mixes by David Glasser of Airshow Mastering.
Cafe Blue itself is so special that it outshines its peers. This recording of an outstanding female vocalist won more than 15 awards of best reviews from international major magazines of music institutions. But the most important aspect of this disc crystallizes in the two songs for which Barber herself has written the lyrics. The down-and-out sophistication of "What A Shame" and the self-effacing wonderment of "Too Rich For My Blood," show a serious jazz musician exploring the emotional domain normally occupied by pop and rock artists.
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Pearl Jam - No Code (1996/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz

Artist: Pearl Jam
Title: No Code
Genre: Rock, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Grunge
Label: © Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
Release Date: 1996/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 49:28
Recorded: July 12, 1995 – May 1996 at Chicago Recording Company, Chicago; Kingsway Studio, New Orleans; Studio Litho, Seattle

No Code is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Pearl Jam, released on August 27, 1996 through Epic Records. Following a troubled tour for its previous album, Vitalogy (1994), in which Pearl Jam engaged in a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster, the band went into the studio to record its follow-up. The music on the record was more diverse than what the band had done on previous releases, incorporating elements of garage rock, worldbeat, and psychedelia.
Although No Code debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, it left a large section of the band’s fanbase unsatisfied and quickly fell down the charts. Critical reviews were also mixed, with praise to the musical variety but the album being considered inconsistent. The album became the first Pearl Jam album to not reach multi-platinum status, receiving a single platinum certification by the RIAA in the United States.
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Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky - Piano Concertos - Beatrice Rana, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Sergei Sergeievitch Prokofiev (1891-1953), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Artist: Beatrice Rana, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano
Title: Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky - Piano Concertos
Genre: Classical
Label: © Warner Classics
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:06:58
Recorded: July 13-17, 2015


Maestro Antonio Pappano insisted he wanted to record with Beatrice Rana, the 22-year-old Italian pianist championed by Martha Argerich who shot to stardom when she claimed the Silver Medal and the coveted Audience Award in the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. On that occasion, Huffington Post described the seasoned competition winner’s performance as ‘an endlessly fascinating piece of humanity that had the orchestra riveted on every note’. Warner Classics signed this young piano sensation in mid-2015; the Italian virtuoso now makes her label debut with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano. Recorded in Rome, the formidable programme pairs two Russian masterpieces: a thrillingly fresh take on the warhorse of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor – an indispensable repertoire benchmark and calling card for concert pianists all over the world – and Prokofiev’s stormy, emotionally charged Piano Concerto No.2. This coupling is a bold statement for a musician who ‘possesses an old soul that belies her twenty years, and more than a touch of genius’ (Gramophone), but the soloist believes she has ‘the right character’ for this kind of music: ‘People say that South Italians are very dramatic!’
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Norbert Ernst - Lebt kein Gott (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Сomposer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Artist: Norbert Ernst
Title: Lebt kein Gott
Genre: Classical
Label: © Decca Music Group Limited
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:12:01
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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/44,1kHz

Artist: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Title: Skeleton Tree
Genre: Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Label: © Bad Seed Ltd
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 44,1kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 00:39:42
Recorded at The Retreat by Kevin Paul and at La Frette by Nick Launay.

Nick Cave is an artist who has never shied away from exploring the darker side of the human experience, often in broadly gothic strokes on his early albums but with a growing degree of nuance and compassion as Cave and his work matured. But a very real and deeply painful tragedy was visited on Cave while he was working on his 16th solo album, Skeleton Tree. His 15-year-old son Arthur Cave died when he fell from a cliff in July 2015, and while the writing and recording was already underway when the youngster suffered his accident, the grief and pain of loss Cave felt is palpable throughout this album. Skeleton Tree is relatively modest in scale -- it runs just 40 minutes, the cover artwork is minimal, and the music lacks the dramatic, grand-scale arrangements of Cave's albums of the 21st century. Nearly all of these songs feature spare, minimal melodies and low-key soundscapes that hover over beds of atonal electronic noise and sculpted static. And while the estimable talents of the Bad Seeds are on display here, on many tracks the final effect feels more like an author reading over ambient backing tracks than the sort of evocative sounds one might expect from Cave and his collaborators. The lyrics appear to reference Cave's personal loss on occasion -- the very first words in the opening track, "Jesus Alone," are "You fell from the sky/Crash landed in a field," which could hardly be a mere coincidence -- yet Skeleton Tree doesn't feel like an album about the late Arthur Cave. Instead, Skeleton Tree plays like an act of mourning, a set of songs in which Cave makes his acquaintance with grief and struggles to make sense of the pain and emotional devastation that come with outliving your child. As always, Cave's songs are both literate and emotionally honest, and though this music is genuinely passionate, he avoids histrionics. Skeleton Tree isn't about exorcizing the agony of being robbed of a loved one. Instead, this music honors the dead by making sense of the pain of the survivors, and the harrowing and beautiful "Distant Sky" (a duet with Else Torp) finds a point where these two sides meet and find peace. Even by Cave's dour standards, Skeleton Tree is a tough listen, but it's also a powerful and revealing one, and a singular work from a one-of-a-kind artist. --AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
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Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition - New Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras (2004) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839-1881)
Artist: New Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras
Title: Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition
Genre: Classical
Label: © Vanguard Classics XVAN1504D64
Release Date: 2004
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: AcousticSounds
Duration: 00:37:14
Recorded: All Hallows' Church, Gospel Oak, London, July 1973


Most audiophiles, when they think of classical records, treasure the true classic labels: RCA, Mercury, Everest, Decca and Vanguard. Thinking in terms of the Mt. Rushmore of classical labels, Vanguard holds a place of preeminence on that peak. These are gorgeous recordings. And now, remastered from the original analog tapes (and when available, from the original 3-track masters!) in the stunning clarity and life-like vividness of DSD, these Vanguard Classics files will be a cornerstone of any classical collection.
Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Khovanshchina Prelude were recorded on eight tracks, placing the listener at the center of the orchestra, with strings (left), horns, flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons, trumpets and harps arrayed left to right on the front three channels and the timpani/percussion, strings (right), trombones, tuba, bass drum/percussion arrayed left to right on the rear channels.
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