Friday, May 21, 2010

Welcome Back Low End

Ever since my Klipsch 2.1 speakers died I've been using a pair of M-Audio monitors for computer speakers. While they are good speakers, especially for voice (i.e. movies), they lack severely in the low end department being a 2.0 system.

I listen to music quite a bit while sitting at the computer - more than I should - so I finally decided to get a proper 2.1 system for my new PC. I ended up with the Logitech Z-2300 system that seemed to be getting some great reviews for the price. So far so good with them and I'm still using the on-board sound. The sub seems to be pretty damn good for the size (no farting out yet). It's nice to finally get back those sub 100Hz frequencies that the M-Audio speakers couldn't reproduce.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Floor - Blow & Beyond Box Set

Long before Torche came into being, there was Floor, who were around a decade before getting an album widely released. Over those 10 years were plenty of recordings that are collected in the 'Below & Beyond' box set (along with their two studio albums). This box set documents the band's evolution in sound and line-up changes. Some of the material is very rough (not in a good way) and lacking in ideas but most of the set shows that they were ahead of their time. The earlier material reminds me a bit of a rougher, less polished Helmet before they merged into their Earth tribute era (even before Sunn O))) decided to do their version) and eventually into what got tagged as "doom pop" with their melodic vocals over a down-tuned, wall of sound (that has since been the inspiration for many of the newer metal bands).

I just wish I could afford to pick up the gorgeous LP set that Robotic Empire has put together.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rest of the 'Foogers

A shipment of two more Moog Moogerfoogers arrived at work yesterday - the Frequency Box and Ring Modulator. After getting them in the signal chain I only spent 10 minutes with them (and I haven't read the manuals yet), the sonic chaos has begun. I can't even accurately describe how they change the signal of my bass, but the results should lead to much fun and creativity. Now just one more Moogerfooger and I'm done with them.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Really enjoying the new album from Brant Bjork

As the weather starts to warm up it's always pleasing to the ears to have new material from Brant Bjork to spin. I'm certainly a big fan of the man's music so it's nice to hear him continue to improve as a musician. This time around with 'Gods & Goddesses' he has a new lineup of The Bros backing him up. Without having to be a one man band, it seems Brant has worked on his vocals. He really stretches out on this one, showing more range and variation than previous works - it's been a slow progression from the buried vocals on the legendary 'Jalamanta' album. Some wonderful playing by the new Bros as well, great tones and production.

Friday, April 2, 2010

First Of The Moogerfoogers

After selling a couple of bass amps and a speaker cabinet, I've been waiting for some used Moog Moogerfoogers to come onto the market on TalkBass. The plan was to get together a Moog and Eventide or EHX board together using the money form the sales or buy a more powerful tube amp. Eventually I will buy a new tube amp but in the meantime I've purchased three Moogerfoogers, the Bass MuRF, Ring Mod and Frequency Box.

Today the Bass MuRF was the first to arrive. With a 20+ page manual, I have some reading to do but my experiments with it have been good so far. It's quieter and has a better bypass than I anticipated. Hopefully I can get something dialed in that will shop up in a new song - it's been inspiring in the brief time I've had it.

New Arrivals

A massive order from All That Is Heavy arrived on Wednesday (with a nice hole in the shipping box thanks to the post office). Mostly new releases from Eagle Twin, Ararat, Yawning Sons, Brant Bjork, YOB, Causa Sui, Circle, and Fu Manchu. ATH included a couple of freebies, self-titled albums by Elder and Sardonis.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Blog Idea

Since I have now become terrible at updating this blog, I'm thinking of changing what I've written about in the past and going for more a long form "tweet" type of post. Hopefully that will eliminate these long, overdue updates and will shift the focus somewhat from recent music and gear purchases to comments about the music I'm listening to and creating.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Long Overdue Update From Archive

Likely due to slow sales and downturn of the economy, Archive CD has been relatively quiet this year for releases. But as long as Scott Slimm doesn't fold up shop, I don't mind the sparse release schedule.

The Goslings return with a collaboration effort. From the Archive website: "Originally released as a 5 track small run collaborative CD between the Goslings and Roxanne Jean Polise recorded in 2004-05. The current resurrection of this release features 4 of the original tracks with an actually proper mastering job from James Plotkin. The backend of the disc features 4 new traxs that were cultivated between the Goslings and Warmth (name change for the mid-west Steev Thompson) between 2007-08."

This release takes them back to their earlier days with more sparse instrumentals mixed in the crushingly dense riffs. Unlike similar groups (*cough* Nadja *cough*), The Goslings keep the quality high on every release.

Almost every batch of releases has an artist I've never heard before and this time it's from Purling Hiss, a project from Birds Of Maya's guitar player. A combination noise rock, garage rock and psych rock make this a joy of a listen. It the type of album that's different from the rest of the Archive catalog yet it fits perfectly. A nice surprise with this one.

From the Archive distro I picked up one of the new Suishou No Fune albums 'Phantom Of The Eternal Night'. It's a full band effort on this one and each of the four 15+ minute songs is a trip.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An Even Longer Overdue Update

Not too long after my last post the house market in San Diego County had tanked and I began a quest to find a house to buy. So not much happened during the period regarding music purchases. I'm still getting a monthly 7" from Sub Pop and started a second monthly series with Volcom Entertainment. Other than that, my music purchases are few and far between these days.

There have been some great albums released. The new one from Alice In Chains was a nice surprise. I had no expectations for it and think it's a well done album. They work in the new guy nicely over the course of the record.

The new Porcupine Tree album is a long concept piece that has excellent variation over the course of the 55 minutes. Looks like Deadwing was their only bump in the road.

Sunn O)))'s 'Monoliths & Dimensions' couldn't have a better titled as the album has both in spades. I'm really liking where they went with the collaborations and new instrumentation.

Clutch's new one hasn't quite clicked with me like their last two albums but it's a solid effort.

The Mars Volta have finally released something that is relatively accessible while still retaining their sound. A solid album but I think the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Band is the real new TMV album since it's pretty much the same band and is all over the map.

Big Business' first album as a trio is good but I dislike one of the tracks and it's a short album so I'm not quite in love with it like their last album.

Les Claypool's latest has a weird, organic percussion sound that shows some progression from his other solo albums.

A couple fine records from Cave and Eternal Tapestry round out the new purchases with some quality psych-rock jams. I think I'm liking this year better for music.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Long Overdue Update

A new batch of Archive discs arrived earlier in the week. Being the Archive fanatic that I am, I bought the limited edition LP+CD for the Hasegawa & Igler release and the lathe cut 7"+CD for the Zaika release. Some excellent instrumental music from both. Hasegawa & Igler create some noisey, psychedelic-like sounds that go to the verge of harsh noise but they manage to keep it listenable. Zaiaka is the duo of Tom Carter and Marcia Bassett who create some spacey, haunting sounds.

Other new music arriving was the huge double LP, single CD release by Three Lobed of Sunburned Hand Of The Man's 'A Grand Tour Of Tunisia'. The CD is a live set called 'London Zero' that features some Beat-like poetry with sparse instrumentation throughout. The double LP on the other hand is a free folk, psych-tinged adventure. I also picked up the new Mastodon album with the DVD that has a documentary on the making of the album. It's a different sound from them as they were going for a classic progressive rock sound.

From Sub Pop's subscription series, singles from Arthur & Yu, Tyvek and Circle have showed up. I started a new 7" series with Volcom Entertainment and the first edition is a split between Kandi Coded and Valis.

On the gear front, I've added a Agile 2000 guitar to the mix. It's a Gibson Les Paul style guitar with a flamed top. For effects pedals, I've added the Devi Ever Bit and MXR Bass Auto Q Wah to the mix. I built up a Cream Pie boost/overdrive and combined it with a clone of Electro-Harmonix's Mole/Hog's Foot bass boost. I've found it to be a great combination that works very well with my fuzz pedals. I'm also working on an original project that generates different waveforms where you can modulate the amplitude and frequency.