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This is the album that shepherded me into the rolling knolls of Vinyl Hunters Valley. This is because it causes the most mysterious synaptic firings within my squishy grey matter. Makes my temples swell with a pleasing uneasiness. Causes mysterious pockets within my loins to quake and flutter.

It's my HEAD, Schwartz, it's MY HEAD!

OK, so basically I have no idea what it does to me but I’m certain it transmits some sort of ultrasonic frequency that says, “GO ON EBAY AND BUY A TURNTABLE RIGHT NOW. NOT LATER, NOW. TURN OFF COPS, YOU’VE SEEN THIS EPISODE, GUY, BUY ONE NOW.” So I did and never looked back.

Despite the fact that I love, love, love this album I’ve been avoiding reviewing it here because it’s difficult to capture the essence with letters. Most stereoponies love to saddle the “Trip Hop” label onto this album but that does it no justice whatsoever. That term conjures the visions of hippies listening to hip hop, smoking a big J and spouting, “whoa man this rap groove is, like, so trippy. It’s totally gnarring my buzz, man.” While this album will most likely multiply and sassify marijuana-induced intoxication it’s so unfair to tie it to pot culture. Endtroducing would never, EVER get caught dead in patchwork corduroy pants.

 

Our youth are under attack.

Other bucking vinylbroncos like to describe  the album by mentioning Endtroducing’s ingredients: hip hop, jazz, psychedelia, movie dialogue, television show trialogue, percussion samples etc. However none of these phonocowboys can ever really capture this wild one.  True, you get a flavor of each along the winding train ride through British Columbia that is Endtroducing but it’s so much more than bits and pieces. It’s like describing your favorite pizza to a friend and saying, “Yeah man I had this awesome food today it was, like, a bit of tomato, flour, a touch of salt and some, like, I think cheese.” Those ingredients are all fine and good but separately they wouldn’t do an Adriatico’s Bearcat Pizza justice just like calling this album a fusion of genres is a crime. The sum is much greater than the parts.

I think, maybe, this album is like watching the most beautiful little bubble you ever saw. You can watch it dance on the wings of an invisible wind but as soon as you try to capture the damn thing in your hands it’s gone. You’ve taken your dirty little paws and ruined such a magical, delicate thing. You should be ashamed of yourself. We were all having such a wonderful time watching that little orb. Next time chill out, stop trying to bottle it up and just behold its angelic splendor while the gettin’s good.

"From listening to records I just knew what to do...mainly I taught myself. And you know I did pretty well...there were a few mistakes that I have just recently cleared up. I'd just like to continue to be able to express myself as best as I can. I feel like I have a lot of work to do still. I'm a student of the drums and I'm also a teacher of the drums too. And I would like to be able to continue to let what is inside of me, which comes from all of the music that I hear, I'd like for that to come out, and it's like it's not really me...the music's coming through me."

What’s truly incredible about Endtroducing is how it was composed. You have to remember that this was created in 1996 and if anyone even had a laptop it could maybe hold a gigabyte of files, if you were lucky and rich. In addition, music manipulation software like AudioMulch or Adobe Audition hadn’t been invented yet. So, Shadow had to use an Akai MPC-60 music sampler/beat machine to cut, splice, and melt his tracks together. If you then take into consideration exactly how much trial and error of listening to thousands of big vinyl discs it took to find the necessary sounds for the album it becomes evident that either a miracle was performed in the making of Endtroducing or Shadow’s some sort of DJ genius. I prefer to believe the latter, especially after taking watching the following video.

So if you haven’t heard this album, regardless of what music you’re into, you need to get in the boat and get your float on. If you’re a fan you can always use a higher quality rip. And, if you really want to get deep, pick up the vinyl and take a voyage into the continental divide…of your mind!!!!

Click here to download Endtroducing

Tracklist

A1 Best Foot Forward 0:49
A2 Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt 6:40
A3 The Number Song 4:40
B1.a Changeling 7:51
B1.b **Transmission 1
B2 Stem/Long Stem 9:21
C1.a **Transmission 2
C1.b Mutual Slump 4:02
C2 Organ Donor 1:57
C3 Why Hip Hop Sucks In ’96 0:43
C4 Midnight In A Perfect World 4:57
D1 Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain 9:23
D2.a What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1 – Blue Sky Revisit) 7:28
D2.b **Transmission 3

Automobile Car Top Speed Vintage Sebring Endurance Race Ferrari Maserati Jaguar Lister Corvette Triumph Porsche Alfa Romeo Abarth Lotus Austin-Healey 12 Hour     2000 - 1999 - 1998 - 1997 - 1996 - 1995 - 1994 - 1993 - 1992 - 1991     1990 - 1989 - 1988 - 1987 - 1986 - 1985 - 1984 - 1983 - 1982 - 1981     1980 - 1979 - 1978 - 1977 - 1976 - 1975 - 1974 - 1973 - 1972 - 1971     1970 - 1969 - 1968 - 1967 - 1966 - 1965 - 1964 - 1963 - 1962 - 1961     1960 - 1959 - 1958 - 1957 - 1956 - 1955 - 1954 - 1953 - 1952 - 1951     1950 - 1949 - 1948 - 1947 - 1946 MP3 vinyl record download

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One of the best ways to test your sound system is to pop a quality stereophonic sound effect disc onto your turntable.  If it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck then you’ve got your Hi Fi set up just right.  For some people it may be jets, for some people it may be a cooking disc.  For some creeps it might be monkey mating calls.  Whatever the case the right disc, if ampilified properly, will turn you to jelly.  If not, well honey, you got problems.

For me the golden arrow is Sports Cars In Stereo.  It was recorded back in 1958 during the golden era of racing.  This Grand Prix saw dangerous speed paired with a huge void of  safety precautions.  Most of these guys didn’t even buckle their lap belts after their mad foot dash to start the beginning of the 12-hour race.  It just took too much time to click it.

Mad dash to the cockpit at the races start.

Mad dash to the cockpit at the race's start.

These guys were batshit crazy speed freaks who didn’t give a damn about the frivolities of crumple zones and roll cages.  I mean wouldn’t you be willing to risk your life if you got to drive top speed with reckless abandon in one of these:

Ferrari 250 TR

Ferrari 250 TR: Raced at Sebring

From a spectator’s standpoint the best part of the race had to have been the smell and the sound.  5 billion octane exhaust fumes and ear-drum imploding top gear passes must have been absolutely intoxicating.  God damn I wish I knew Dr. Emmit Brown.

Your clothes won’t get stained with gasoline perfume listening to this record but if you crank it until your fuses melt you can totally feel the thwomp of every downshift down to your bone marrow.

Featured Automobiles

Corvette – Ferrari – D Jaguar – Lister-Jaguar – Aston Martin – Maserati – AC Bristol – Austin-Healey – Triumph – Porsche – Lotus – Alfa Romeo – Abarth-Fiat – Osca – DB

8)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD SPORTS CARS IN STEREO TO MP3

8)

Tracklist (with descriptions from back cover)

1. Technical Inspection

The process by which each car is authorized to compete.  Brakes, tires, fluid leaks, general running condition, etc., are checked.  At Sebring (which is run under rules of the F.I.A.), such other items as headlights, working top, seat size, and windshield are also checked.

2. Slow Corner

A 90 degree right-hand turn.  From top speed, drivers shift down through the gears to second for this tight corner, then shift back up for the next long straight.

3. The Esses

The difficult and dangerous bends where the incredible Ferraris and Jags and Porsches slam through the gears, sliding from one side of the road to the other, tires screaming, and zoom away.

4. The Straight

Here the cars emit the loudest noise of full acceleration as the pass through all the gears.  Note the different shipting points of the different cars.

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Here’s a great classical recording brought to you by the folks at JBL. It spans the inner, outer, and aquatic reaches of the orchestral world. You can’t miss with it.

Enjoy it here.

Side 1

Stravinsky – CIRCUS POLKA (1942)
New Philharmonic Orchestra
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

Albeniz – LEYENDA
(Trans. Segovia)
Christopher Parkening, Guitar

Brahms – DOUBLE CONCERTO IN A MINOR OPUS 102
Excerpt
Oistrakh / Rostropovich / Szell
Cleveland Orchestra

Schubert – DIE WINTERREISE, D. 911
Die Wetterfahne
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Baritone
Gerald Moore, Piano

Corelli – CONCERTO GROSSO IN D MAJOR OPUS 6 No. 7
(Fourth & Fifth Movements)
Virtuosi di Roma
Renato Fasano

Padilla – EXSULTATE IUSTI IN DOMINO
Roger Wagner Chorale

Beethoven – SONATA No. 31 IN A FLAT MAJOR OPUS 110
(Second Movement)
Daniel Barenboim, Piano


Side 2

Stravinsky – LE SACRE du PRINTEMPS
Le Sacrifice
Excerpt
Philharmonic Orchestra
Igor Markevitch

Verdi – LA TRAVIATA, ACT I
Follie ! Follie !
Mirella Freni, Soprano
Rome Opera House Orchestra
Franco Ferraris

Prokofiev – SYMPHONY No. 1 IN D MAJOR OPUS 25 “Classical”
(First Movement)
Excerpt
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

Brahms – SEXTET No. 1 IN B-FLAT MAJOR OPUS 18
(Third Movement)
Excerpt
Menuhin Ensemble

Orff – CARMINA BURANA
In Taberna
Excerpts
New Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus
Frühbeck de Burgos

Debussy – NOCTURNES
Fetes
Philharmonia Orchestra
Carlo Maria Giulini

JBL Sessions

JBL Sessions

Click here for a random Rebuilt Tranny post!

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I decided to finally sit down and listen to the JBL Sessions album that I bought on eBay a few weeks ago.  I’ve a fair amount of sound effects and super-duper-stereophonic-bam-wow-oh-man-look-at that-what-is-that-sound-spewing-like-blood-from-the-speakers records but they are always pretty hokey and turn out to be more hype than actual high fidelity. However, this JBL album has turned out to a bit more serious, if a tad corny and antiseptic, but it’s proved to be a good buy so far.  Actually both of those aspects add a touch of credibility.  If anyone has read any articles from any “hi-fi” stereo equipment magazines from, well, any time you’d find them pretty self righteous, almost to the extent of piety.  But anyway, I digress.

First, I’d like to share a list of the equipment that I’m using to check this out.  There really wouldn’t be any point to reviewing the album if I was playing it through this:

This is the sound the pony makes.

This is a sound the pony makes.

The speakers that I’m using are a pair of JBL 4311B Control Monitors I picked up two years ago from a guy in the West Side that had posted them on Craigslist.

I’ve been through a lot of speakers at an alarming pace, from Sansui to Polks to Pioneers, to EPIs to Bang and Olufsons and a little bit in between.  Every other speaker gave the music it’s own coloring or, even worse, just made the music sound lumpy and required gobs of equalization to iron them out.  These 4311B’s just seemed to give me the music I’d been searching for; sound reproduction precisely how the sound engineer intended. You can find information on them here: http://www.jblpro.com/pub/obsolete/4311b.pdf

JBL 4311B Control Monitor

JBL 4311B Control Monitor

For my amp I’m using monster-turned-songbird Luxman L-100 which, according to the creepy foot fetishist from the now closed local amp repair shop, was owned by many African American NFL players in the 70’s. If you ever have the chance to pick up some Luxman equipment do not hesitate–it’s truly amazing gear. You can check out info on the L-100 from one of my favorite websites, the Vintage Knob, at this address: http://www.thevintageknob.org/LUXMAN/L100/L100.html# The Vintage Knob is currently down. Let’s pray it comes back soon.

ZAP ZAP ZAP

Luxman L-100 Integrated Amplifier

Finally, to spin the damn thing I’m using my recently acquired Technics SL-10.  It’s been a huge upgrade from my Technics SL-212, which is somewhat similar to the 1200 in certain aspects.  The SL-10 is a linear tracking turntable, which means that it doesn’t have a conventional tonearm.  The cartridge travels on a track situated over the record and travels in a straight line from the outer ring inward as opposed to an arcing pattern followed by a conventional cantilever tonearm.  Also, it can be played vertically which is pretty neat.  More detail can be found at: http://www.thevintageknob.org/TECHNICS/SL10/SL10.html

and

http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/2135/technicssl10.jpg

Technics SL-10

Anyway, now that’s out of the way we can get back to the record.  I think one of the excerpts from the narrator’s monologues best sums upthis entire album.

The function of high fidelity loudspeaker (sic) is to reproduce recorded music.  A good loudspeaker will reproduce music with clarity, detail, separation and definition…qualities that can’t be reduced to a set of tabulated numbers on a piece of paper.  That’s why some of our friends got together with us at Capital Records to make an album you could use as a standard of reference.

We’ll take each section of this record apart and let you hear each instrument individually; then we’ll put them  back together again so you can make a valid comparison between louspeakers.

As you will hear on Sides 3 and 4, the sound of a record depends greatly on the monitor loudspeakers used in the studio.  Most of today’s records are monitored on JBL loudspeakers just as this one was.  List to this music on our speakers to see how we intended it to sound–then listen on any other speakers.

After making your  comparisons , we think you’ll prefer ours for the same resons that most of the major studios in the world prefer them–clarity and definition.  However, if you find that another is more to your l iking, we’d like to think of it this way: We’d like to think of it this way: We’ve profvided a basis for comparison, you’ve made the choice that pleased you m ost and we’ve contributed to your pleasure.”

It’s a big advertisement for JBL but it fits like a warm glove.  The narrator makes several references to the JBL Dealer that the previous owner of this album must have visited to get this copy for review.  This, however, is the only advertisement that I would never turn off.  It’s just too fab.

I accidentally played side two first but I’m glad I did because it started off with a series of tone tests that are designed to check the limitations of both your loudspeakers and your ears.  The narrator explains that because of methods of analog recording, remember this is 1973, many tones will sound different, much different from how they are originally recorded if not played through true high fidelity loudspeakers.

He also explained that the majority of frequencies reproduced by conventional recording instruments–the guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano, etc.-do not, for the most part, delve deeper than 50hz.  Now with any speaker or amplifier that you see online on eBay or audio forums you’ll notice often that the tonal ranges are listed along with many of the specs.  A typical higher quality amp will play from 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz without any significant change in volume while a quality speaker will claim to play roughly in the same range.  It was also fun to sit down through the high frequency test which revealed the acoustic ceiling of myself and the three others that I auditioned this album with.  (My limit was 18,000 hertz through the speakers but 20,000 hertz through my enclosed Sony Studio headphones.  I’m going to chalk that up to the continual white noise generated by the intersection of McMillan and Vine outside my window.)

Mainly, this album professes that any company can throw all sorts of numbers and jargon at you that, unless you are a trained mechanical or sound engineer, isn’t worth a hill of beans.  What really matters is how things reach your ears.

To give you a real world test of your speakers JBL takes the time to show you different instruments and describe how they should sound in your listening room.  I’d like to go into detail on how each 12-string guitar and 9-foot harpsichord should tickle your ears but the narrator of the album does a much better job with his exquisite technical jargon.

Disc 1 is mainly a dissection of instruments and tonality that comes together in a sweet buffet of high fidelity recordings.  The songs at the the tail end of side one are surprisingly good; not just in sound reproduction but even more so in the musicality.  They’re just bitchin tracks.

Side 1

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?nwzm1m1mtyi

Side 2

http://www.mediafire.com/?mntl5motljm

Disc 2 delves deeper into explaining the actual recording process as opposed to the reproduction process.  It goes into length about the actual recording session and 16-track recording.  It’s pretty neat listening to the discourse between the sound engineers and the musicians from a session over 30 years ago.

Side 3 (sounds a bit worn)

http://www.mediafire.com/?yiyqrlemtn5

Side 4

http://www.mediafire.com/?eno2jvyw2zi

I hope you enjoy.

On a side note, it appears that JBL’s marketing campaign has decided to take corny to the next level. I feel like this is something they would have played on the tv screens perched above the roller coaster lines at Kings Island when it was owned by Paramount.