Archive for October, 2012

My Sleeping Karma

30th October 2012

When 3 members of German stoner rock band The Great Escape began jamming together they planted the seeds of what was to become My Sleeping Karma. When the main project disbanded in 2006, they drafted in the help of a keyboard player to allow them to expand on the instrumental sound that they had created for themselves and their self-titled debut came out later that year to favourable reviews.

Their third album, ‘Tri’ holds a special place in my heart and although I’m still getting to grips with new album ‘Soma’, my initial listens have confirmed that they have once again upped their game with another natural progression.

Guitarist Seppi and bassist Matte look like they’ve spent most of their lives in the gym and that you wouldn’t want to spill a drink on them down the pub. But they’ve embraced the whole karmic way of life that they so beautifully refer to through their song and album titles and are really just a pair of big, solid fluffy soldiers. And a great reminder not to go judging people by their appearance.

Find out what comes around at http://www.mysleepingkarma.eu

Classic Album Sundays Glasgow – The Blue Nile "A Walk Across The Rooftops", Sunday 25th November

26th October 2012

Classic Album Sundays with Loud & Clear Present

The Blue Nile “A Walk Across The Rooftops”

Since we sold out so quickly we have added a second session. Album plays at 9pm.

The Berkeley Suite, 237 North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DL
Sunday 25th November 2012
£6 on the door or online:
http://loudandclear.eventbrite.com
8.45pm –10.00pm (album plays at 9.00pm)

 

“One of the world’s great albums, played on one of the world’s finest hi-fi systems in conjunction with one of the world’s best hi-fi stores.”

 

Classic Album Sundays: A Communal and Audiophile Listening Experience is joining forces with Loud & Clear again for this now semi-regular event in Glasgow.

Listed as one of the Top 20 Trends of 2012 by London’s ES Magazine, Classic Album Sundays has become a media sensation in a little over a year. With features on BBC Breakfast, BBC 6 Music, NME, Elle, The Word, The Independent, The Evening Standard and more. Why all the fuss?

The concept is to enable people to experience music as close as possible to the way the artist intended, to treat music as a precious commodity and a classic album as a work of art which should be appreciated in its entirety. Classic Album Sundays’ use audiophile hi-fi equipment to ensure an awe inspiring listening experience. Visitors are invited to switch off their phones and refrain from unnecessary conversation: just sit back, listen and immerse themselves in the experience.

Music fans have enthusiastically responded en masse as Classic Album Sundays’ monthly listening sessions in London and New York have been selling out, with festival sessions featuring at The Vintage Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London (for which Loud & Clear put together a £130,000 hi-fi system), plus Camp Bestival and Bestival amongst others.

Here is what some visitors had to say:

Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” was our first visit, and it was excellent. Sounded as if Joni was playing live, and heard in reverential silence by a deeply appreciative audience.” – David Lye, CAS attendee

“Hearing that fabulous cello line in ‘Eleanor Rigby’ – I could’ve wept with the sheer beauty of it.” – Annette Corbette, CAS attendee

The event format:

Join us from 8.45pm to get in the mood by listening to some of the music that inspired The Blue Nile, along with tracks from their musical contemporaries around the release of the album in 1984.

At 9.00pm the lights go down, the volume goes up and we play the album from beginning to end on a reference Linn hi-fi system. We’ll be using Linn’s iconic Sondek LP12 turntable with a reference Klimax Kontrol pre-amplifier and Linn’s very own “black ops” custom made fully active PA system featuring 12 channels of their Akurate power amplifiers.

The Blue Nile “A Walk Across The Rooftops”

To coincide with The Blue Nile’s seminal debut album being re-issued in November; we thought it was the perfect time to play this classic album from Glasgow.

Both “A Walk Across The Roof Tops” and its follow up “Hats” have been remastered as a double CD, featuring unreleased versions and b-sides selected by the band.

Formed in 1981, the three piece Blue Nile had released one single on their own, Peppermint Records, before they were introduced to hi-fi manufacturer, Linn Products, by their friend, and soon to be long term producer and engineer, Calum Malcolm.

Linn were looking for a band to record a track that would showcase “the fidelity and versatility” of their high-end hi-fi components, like the Sondek LP12 turntable. Having heard a demo of “Tinseltown In The Rain” while visiting Castlesound Studios, they approached the band to fund the recording of a full album, and formed a record label especially to release it.

The rest of the album followed the laidback style of the opening “A Walk Across The Rooftops”, though the pace is picked up with the homage to Glasgow in the anthemic single, “Tinseltown in The Rain”. It garnered positive reviews, but only sold modestly at the time. Interest in the band has continued to increase over the years with their ethereal, spacious sound, prolonged periods of inaction and lack of “profile” from the band all adding to the mystique.

We’ll be able to listen to “A Walk Across The Rooftops” as it was supposed to be heard: on a fabulous hi-fi system, showing off the fantastic production, but most of all, taking you closer to the performance and the heartfelt emotion of the songs.


More info:
http://www.classicalbumsundays.com

http://www.loud-clear.co.uk

Put a Sparkle Into Your Christmas

25th October 2012

Exclusive Event

Thursday 22nd of November
from 6pm – 9pm

Iain Baird of jewellery designers Lugh would like to invite you to an exclusive preview of his autumn collection. Also on the evening, award-winning jewellery designer Ishbel Watson will be exhibiting her latest designs.
Both designers will be available to talk about their work and discuss bespoke commissions.
The show will be held in Loud & Clear in St. Vincent Street in Glasgow
And of course refreshments will be provided.

The Cosmic Dead

23rd October 2012

There are some good reasons to likeThe Cosmic Dead. One, they hail from Glasgow (but let’s not hold that against them) so are homegrown talent. Two, they are funny (please refer to their website/facebook page for proof of this). And three, because they rule. They also have a great work ethic. With 3 releases in just over a year (you can download the free ‘Psychonaut’ collection for a taster) including a set of live recordings and some even available on cassette tape which is a lovely, if not very practical touch. They also appear to be the go-to support band for a few venues in Glasgow and it was at The Captain’s Rest that we had our first encounters with them supporting a couple of our favourite bands (Pontiak and Arbouretum).

We were suitably impressed the first time even though we only caught the end of their set and had no idea who they were. Second time, we had arrived quite early and were sitting in the bar when the unmistakable sound of one of their psychedelic space-rock jams drifted up to us. We exclaimed “Its the bloody Cosmic Dead!” as we bounded down the stairs to join them. Afterwards, we spoke to guitarist James and asked where we might be able to purchase some of their tunes, at which point he produced a bundle of CD’s from his pocket. Once we had exchanged a whole fiver for ours, we noticed a small queue forming behind us which included members of the headline band and crew who were also heard enquiring about their playing style and inspiration. Not bad for a local support band.

And if you ask then nicely, they’ll even come and play at your house party. No really, they will. Just check out their list of past gigs.

All hail The Cosmic Dead at http://thecosmicdead.blogspot.co.uk

Naim NDS Reference Network Streamer and DR Upgrades

16th October 2012

Naim have had a busy few months with the  release of their reference digital streamer, the NDS, and the new Discreet Regulator (DR) power supply update.

NDS

Taking inspiration from the world leading engineering and performance  of their CD players and combining it with the latest in network audio technology, Naim have created the ultimate network streaming product that takes internet radio to 24 bit/192kHz files to the true high-end.

The NDS is partnered with the 555 PS and retails at £12,620 for both combined.

It is now on permanent demonstration in the Glasgow shop. Please contact Ian on 0141 221 0221 to arrange to hear Naim’s new super player.

Naim NDS Product Information

DR Power Supply Update

The Discreet Regulator (DR) power supply upgrade is a big upgrade that is being made available on the following power supplies:

HiCap £425
XPS £925
SuperCap £1295
555 PS £1450
552 PS £1750

The Glasgow shop is able to perform the DR demonstration with a standard SuperCap versus a DR unit. Please get in touch with Ian on 0141 221 0221 to book a demonstration.

At present the upgrade hasn’t been released to Naim’s service department. They are expecting a large amount of interest, and so to ensure a steady flow and to avoid interruption of their production schedules for new and standard products, they will be offering a limited number of bookings for DR upgrades each month from October onwards. These will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

Naim are inviting owners of power supplies to register their interest in upgrading their units to the new DR specification through the Naim website at www.naimaudio.com/dr-upgrade. Those who register will be supplied with an estimate, which they are advised to take to their local Naim retailer who will then arrange RMA paperwork and return the unit to Naim through our RMA process.

Naim are also offering discounted servicing on the unit if it is done at the same time as the DR update. Please get in touch for more information.

Unfortunately these modifications are not available on chrome bumper or olive units.

The prices quoted are for unit shipped before 1st March 2012, for those non DR units shipped after that there is a discounted price. Please get in touch for more details.

Click here for the white paper from Naim about the DR upgrade

 

Opeth

15th October 2012

It’s official. I’m in love with a ‘Swedish Death Metal’ band. And they’ve been hiding themselves in full view, just waiting for me to fall for them. I’ve been aware of them for a while but the genre tag made it difficult for me to get past the growling vocals. So after catching a couple of their songs with ‘clean’ vocals during a televised set from Sonisphere festival, I felt very confused as I immediately wanted to hear more. Upon further investigation, I was ecstatic to discover that there were two full albums containing said singing. 2003’s ‘Damnation’ and last year’s ‘Heritage’ were just the start of a joyous and surprisingly rapid roller-coaster descent into complete infatuation with a band that has a glorious 18 years of back catalogue to choose from.

Suddenly, the growling didn’t seem so bad. Until I saw what was producing it. Mikael Åkerfeldt, the longest serving member of the band, is almost solely responsible for the writing of both the music and lyrics which, in itself is an astounding achievement. But his ability to switch from a powerful growl to the kind of singing voice that most singers would sell their soul to the devil for(he he), has to be seen to be believed. He also has the option of a career in stand-up comedy if he ever becomes bored with the whole prolific musical genius thing. I kid you not. He is the most bizarre and mesmerising frontman I have ever seen and the quality of musicianship from the whole band is outstanding.

If you’re still not sold, you can sample some of their progressive-medieval-jazzy-folk-metal goodness via the wonders of the internet. There are also 3 official pro-shot gigs available on dvd with ‘Lamentations’ being a good place to start as it’s the full ‘Damnation’ album plus some extras (ie.a sample of what else they are capable of). And you never know, you too could soon be growing your hair and wearing an ‘I Love Swedish Death Metal’ t-shirt.

Seek out deliverance via damnation at http://www.opeth.com

p.s.They will be gracing the Glasgow ABC with their presence on November 13th on the 2nd leg of their Heritage tour (which also includes some ‘unplugged’ dates). I’ve got my tickets…

End of an era? No, just a bargain!

9th October 2012

A few years ago Loud & Clear brought you the Black Ravioli Pad. Now with constant development the Black Ravioli Sticky Pad has taken over from the original pad. As a farewell we have a great bargain price on the original Black Ravioli Pad, £15 each, but only whilst our stocks last.

 

Contact either of our stores for more info or to grab this bargain….

Diagonal

At one point there were seven members in Diagonal and, as demonstrated on their self-titled 2008 debut, they each brought their own influence to the sound. It’s a mind boggling blend of jazz, folk, psychedelia and prog (please note: prog is not a dirty word) and it sounds so authentically retro it’s like it’s been transported straight here from the 1970’s. There’s also quite a bit of mystery surrounding them but I’ll tell you what I know so far…

I know that they’re based in Brighton and that they’ve now sadly parted company with two of their original members, one of them the vocalist. In true Diagonal style though this will merely result in more lengthy instrumental saxophone/flute/clarinet led action. I also know that they don’t play gigs north of the border often enough (like ever?) but with a new album imminent, I’m hoping that will change.

So if you like your musical soup a little from the leftfield then Diagonal just might be your favourite new band.

Take a left at  https://www.facebook.com/diagonalband

Classic Album Replay – Donald Byrd "Places and Spaces", Thursday 25th October.

4th October 2012

This month’s Classic Album Replay in the Glasgow shop is Donald Byrd “Places and Spaces”

This is a jazz funk masterpiece produced and written by the wonderful Mizell Brothers. Find out more information about it on Classic Album Sundays’ website.

The album plays at 7pm, on Thursday 25th October.

Please don’t feel intimidated in coming to the shop!! There is no sales pressure. Simply come along, grab a glass of wine, and listen to this classic on a fabulous hi-fi system – taking you closer to the performance!

If you could get here 10 minutes before that would be great!

Inspired by Cosmo’s Classic Album Sundays:
http://classicalbumsundays.com/

and Greg Wilson’s Living to Music Blog:
http://www.gregwilson.co.uk/2010/06/living-to-music

Black Mountain

2nd October 2012

I’ve been trying to write a piece about Black Mountain for a while now but haven’t been able to find the words to describe them. Or even how to start. It all began for me when a loved one said that they had found a track on a new album that they thought I would love. Cue ‘Wucan’ from second album ‘In The Future’ with the rest of the album and investigation of their back catalogue not far behind. I found myself so obsessed that I eventually had to take a break for a while.

Then came along album number three ‘Wilderness Heart’ to re-ignite my interest and I’m pleased to say that they still sounded as fresh as the first time I heard them. That was how they infiltrated my record collection (and my heart and head) and how I feel it would be incomplete without them. You have been warned…

Get stratospheric at https://www.facebook.com/BlackMountainOfficial

p.s. They recently put together the soundtrack for a post-apocalyptic surf movie (yes, you did read that correctly) called ‘Year Zero’. Which, by the way is perfect. Only Black Mountain could achieve that.

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