Archive for July, 2012

Wolfmother

31st July 2012

Even if you don’t recognise the name, you probably know at least one Wolfmother song from either TV or radio. When their debut was released in 2005, it was difficult to escape the cries of “WOOOMAN!” (from the song of the same name) or a catchy riff from one of their classic sounding rock tracks. Now you’re probably thinking ‘oh yeah, whatever happened to them?!’.

Well, in true rock style the original band survived the gruelling initial tour but imploded during the writing of the second album with rumours of in-fighting and (yes,you’ve guessed it) ‘musical differences’. However, singer Andrew Stockdale decided to continue on using the band’s name and second album ‘Cosmic Egg’ was eventually cracked with the help of a new band.

Now, despite problems continuing to dog (pun intended) writing, recording and touring they’re back again with their finest line-up to date. New member Elliott Hammond in particular helps to lend a whole new ‘Dimension’ (yes, I did mean that) to old and new songs alike with his input which includes percussion, harmonica and even some dancing. And yes, maybe Andy is a little eccentric. Which might explain his alleged ‘difficult’ nature. But I couldn’t care less. He rocks. He is Wolfmother.

It’s feral at http://www.wolfmother.com/

Syd Arthur

Now that summer has (hopefully) finally arrived, we’ll need an appropriate soundtrack to accompany it. Enter Syd Arthur. No, not just one bloke but four very talented young men. These guys have been rattling around on the outskirts of ‘favourite new band’ territory for a while now, honing their live sound which by all accounts seems to working out quite well for them. Often mentioned as part of the canterbury folk scene, this is probably more due to the fact that they live there than mere musical influences.

Don’t get me wrong, they definitely have a folky thing going on but it comes via a psychedelic, jazzy (and dare I say it) rock route giving it quite a unique edge and therefore qualifying itself for the category of ‘interesting’. That’s good enough for me. So having plumped for their very limited (250 copies) 180g vinyl edition, I’m please to say it was well worth the money. All I need now is to experience one of those high-energy live shows. And maybe invest in some funky knitwear…

Take up knitting at http://sydarthur.co.uk/

 

VPI Industries Record Cleaning Machines

25th July 2012

Great news, we have just received our first delivery of the VPI HW-16.5 Record Cleaning Machines. Now in production for over 30 years this is the machine for the vinyl enthusiast that wants to keep his or her collection in top shape. At £650 we have tried to keep the cost low for you and think you will find this machine to be another Loud & Clear audiophile bargain.

Click here for more info from VPI

Hear Your Records As You Have Never Heard Them Before – Thursday 26th July – John Coltrane Album Replay

20th July 2012

The Glasgow shop is having a couple of jazz based events at the end of July.

Thursday 26th July from 4pm – 8pm

This second event focuses on vinyl replay on various turntables from the likes of Rega and Linn.

Bring your favourite jazz LP and hear how it can really sound on turntable based systems from £1,000 – £70,000.

We’ll also have a record cleaner set up (hopefully our beautiful new Keith Monks!), so we’ll give your record a clean and put it in a new anti-static sleeve for free!

Entrance is free and refreshments will be provided.

Audiophile listening session with John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme  at 7pm on the night.

 

New Linn Kiko Music System

17th July 2012

The Glasgow shop has just taken delivery of the rather lovely looking new Linn Kiko streaming music system.

It’s available in 6 different colours and features a Kiko DSM networked music player with built-in amplification in one funky looking box, plus a pair of fully Aktiv Kiko speakers.

Beautifully designed, sleek and compact, Kiko is small enough to find a place in any room – living room, kitchen, study or bedroom. Crucially, Kiko also has the perfect sound and build quality you expect from a Linn system.

Play iTunes on your laptop and Kiko will transform the sound into something fabulous. The same for Spotify and Napster. You’ve never heard music from the computer sound this good.

It’s the same for your Netflix movies and programmes on BBC iPlayer, 4OD, etc. Also your digital or satellite TV, Blu-ray player and games consoles. Connect them all to Kiko and whatever you’re watching or playing you’ll get brilliant audio and a soundtrack to blow you away.

All this for only £2,500.

For more information:
Meet Kiko

Arbouretum

I see lead Singer/Songwriter of Arbouretum, Dave Heumann as a type of messenger. The progressive psychedelic folk type. And if you allow yourself to become completely immersed in their sound, especially on last album ‘The Gathering’, you might find their remarkable ability to create stories and imagery with their music an experience bordering on meditative.

Go with them and they’ll take you on an uplifting and sometimes tribal, sonic pilgrimage. Even when the journey may be fraught with danger, there is such an irresistible quality to Dave’s vocal that you can’t help but feel that hope and redemption might be just around the corner. Either that or one of his outstanding guitar solo’s.

Hop onboard at http://arbouretum.blogspot.co.uk

My Morning Jacket

What you see, isn’t always what you get. Otherwise, my first encounter with MMJ via their Okonokos dvd might have been a full aural assault on my ears by some hairy bottomed metal merchants. Instead, I was treated to exactly what I wasn’t expecting.

Starting out with a slight reggae feel (which put me straight on the back foot) each subsequent track morphed into everything from country to jazz to rock, and it was all topped off with an even more surprising vocal turn from the wonderful Jim James (aka Yim Yames).

I’ve witnessed it for myself three times now and, I don’t want to get too gushy but something almost magical happens when these guys play together. Even they have trouble explaining it. But they have dynamics to die for. I recently heard someone describe it as ‘Cosmic Americana’. Cosmic indeed.

Try on your morning jacket at http://my morningjacket.com

Demystifying Music Streaming – Thursday 19th July – Dexter Gordon Album Replay

15th July 2012

The Glasgow shop is having a couple of jazz based events at the end of July.

Thursday 19th July from 4pm – 8pm

This first event is based around streaming music and getting the best performance from music stored on a PC/Mac or external drive.

Bring your favourite jazz CD, rip it, and hear how it can really sound on a range of systems from £1,000 – £60,000.

Entrance is free and refreshments will be provided.

Audiophile listening session with Dexter Gordon’s One Flight Up at 7pm on the night.

 

**STOP PRESS**, new brands at Loud & Clear

13th July 2012

Summer time at Loud & Clear is sadly not all about lounging by the pool! We have been busy testing and researching some great products for our shops. Full details will be noted on individual items as we receive them. For now, here is a note of some of the brands included, Stax Headphones and ear speakers , VPI turntables and record cleaning machines, Golden Ear loudspeakers, Antelope Audio DAC’s and A to D converters, foxL bluetooth travel speakers and Nagaoka cartridges and accessories (which have now arrived). If you need any advance details drop an e-mail to John in the Edinburgh shop.

MOON 810LP – The Best Phono Stage Ever?

3rd July 2012

We have taken delivery of the new reference MOON phono stage, the 810LP.

We can guarantee that you will never have heard your records properly till you have used the 810LP.

“The new state of the art 810LP. For many years as music lovers, we at Sim Audio wanted to have the opportunity to do the best phono playback system that today’s technology permits.  We wanted a project where no restriction limits the goal to bring all the emotion that the artist and sound engineer wanted to generate with a piece of music and get it straight to you in your living room, and we have done it… Listen and feel for yourself, the emotion, soul and power of music will reach you…”

Jean Poulin, CEO of Sim Audio

All the technical details and specifications can be found here. You should also check out Tone Audio’s review

We’ve already had some stunning feedback from the demonstrations that we’ve conducted so far.

Please get in touch with either the Edinburgh or Glasgow shop to book a demonstration.

This is truly world class hi-fi, and in a league of its own. I think we may be gushing a bit on this, but really, you NEED to hear this!

Godsmack

Sully Erna’s musical life began at the age of 3 with a drum kit and it was an interesting journey that saw him rise up to become one of the best multi-talented frontmen that today’s rock scene has to offer (take a bow Dave Grohl also). But music was in his blood and most people he encountered on the way had little doubt that he would make it. Added to the incredible guitar talents of Tony Rombola and bassist Robbie Merrill along with the mesmerising drumming style of Shannon Larkin, Godsmack become an unstoppable force.

Having been to a show in San Antonio, Texas on a recent trip to The States I can confirm this. And that the now legendary ‘Batalla De Los Tamboress’ between Shannon & Sully is a particular highlight. Even if you’re not a fan of the full-on rock sound, please check out The Other Side EP and their acoustic performance at the Las Vegas House of Blues (the dvd of which comes as a freebie with their Good Times, Bad Times collection) for a real showcase of their versatility. They are best played loud. But preferably not near small children. Or your Granny.

Get Live & Inspired at http://www.godsmack.com

Grails

Starting out as the bedroom side project of some restless musicians in Portland, Oregon I can only assume that Grails now inhabits not only the rest of the house, but the garden (including the shed) as well. To say that they are an extremely eclectic and prolific bunch would be underplaying it a little. As would labelling their particular brand of instrumental music, post-rock.

With no care for convention, each album is a unique blend of eastern influenced-ambient-experimental-psychedelic-folk-jazz and I imagine record shops find it difficult to categorise them. Live, they truly are an experience and manage to create an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve been wrapped in a lovely big blanket of sound. And all with the added entertainment of watching various band members switching instruments in between (and during) pieces. I wonder what their day jobs are like…?

Discover the Holy Grail at http://www.grailsongs.com/

(via Lilacs & Champagne – yet another side project)

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