Acoustic Sounds

February 13th, 2023

The Cure's "Wish" finally back on vinyl after 30 years

It's Friday, but I'm not in love.

By: Michael Johnson

"Wish", by English gothic rock band The Cure, was released just three months before I was born in 1992, and while this album might coincide with the beginning of my time on this earth, for The Cure, "Wish" was the bookend on a fruitful period of pop dominance in the late 80s. The band that once assembled barren, bleak post-punk landscapes on albums like "Faith" and "Pornography" had, by 1985, with the release of "Head on... Read More

Comments: 5

February 11th, 2023

Gabe Gurnsey: Diablo

An Electronic Epic Of Dancing And Lust

By: Mark Dawes

Gabe Gurnsey is the former drummer of “post-industrial” band Factory Floor, but on the late 2022 LP “Diablo” he has teamed up with vocalist and girlfriend Tilly Morris to produce an electronic opus to dancing and lust. This release comes from Phantasy Records, run by English DJ Erol Alkan. Phantasy is also home to electronic producer and DJ Daniel Avery, and house and techno artists such as Fort Romeau and Red Axes. There is a strong flavour of 1980s electronic pop to... Read More

Comments: 4

February 10th, 2023

Backert Labs - Rhythm 1.3 line stage

Adventures with a vacuum tube preamp

By: Dave McNair

I have yet to give up on solid-state components for HiFi systems entirely; however, my love affair with vacuum tube circuitry is stronger than ever. While auditioning the latest iteration to the top-line Rhythm 1.3 linestage from Delaware-based Backert Labs, I got a sense of the same unmistakable mojo I feel when listening to recordings played on other well-designed and constructed tube gear.In my years as a professional listener in music production and as an... Read More

Comments: 10

February 9th, 2023

Burt Bacharach, Dead at 94 But His Songs Will Live On

songs with lyrics by Hal David created a decade's mainstream soundtrack

By: Michael Fremer

Beck, Crosby, Verlaine and today Burt Bacharach. He was 94. No one reading this needs a list of his memorable, hummable tunes sung by The Shirelles, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, The Beatles, Burt and Elvis Costello. Burt and Hal David channeled through their songs a woman's world as few if any male songwriters managed.This is a sad but appropriate time to re-publish this interview that first appeared in The Absolute Sound that I conducted by phone with Burt... Read More

Comments: 6

February 9th, 2023

"THE HOBBIT" - Read by Nicol Williamson


By: Mark Ward

Forget the bloated “prequel” film trilogy by Peter Jackson. If you want to experience the real magic of J.R.R. Tolkien’s first novel, seek out a copy of this beautiful recording by the quirky Scottish actor, Nicol Williamson.Whenever I pop into a record store, I always make a point of checking out the Spoken Word section. There are many unusual treasures to be found here, usually at rock bottom prices. And if you’re lucky, you might score a copy of this 4-LP set... Read More

Comments: 6

February 9th, 2023

In Your Mind: The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

An interview with the author

By: Evan Toth

Oh, Yoko! A more polarizing figure in music history is hard to find, but soldiering on in the face of criticism is part of what Yoko Ono has always done and continues to do - without apology or excuse - even as she enters her 90th year. Not only has Yoko persevered after witnessing the death of her husband at the hands of a madman over 40 years ago, but since that fateful day she has lived a second life and continued to create meaningful art while cultivating a... Read More

Comments: 0

February 7th, 2023

"Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus" Gets the Craft "Small Batch" One-Step Treatment

Vince Guaraldi's other classic album

By: Michael Fremer

The Brazilian Bossa Nova flower had not yet bloomed in America when in 1959 the movie "Black Orpheus" became the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize Winner. The movie is a re-telling of the Orpheus legend set in Rio de Janeiro with the Mardis Gras as backdrop. The music was by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa, one of whom, Jobim, would become a household name if not in 1963 when Stan Getz released Jazz Samba, then a year later when Getz/Gilberto exploded... Read More

Comments: 11