Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Engine trouble.


Having trouble with the running of your car engine, eh? Then this is what we need to lubricate it!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Black Explosion!










Finally this month I got around to remaking this mainly soul based Ronco compilation from my youth using digital sources. It originally run for 62 minutes which with 24 tracks on it meant apart from sounding somewhat thin each track had to be edited down quite drastically to get it all to fit!

My new version isn't as I just matched the average levels between each song up nicely and comes to about 79 minutes in total.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Hello








Hello there.
May I introduce myself? My name is Moomin and I just love Tuna, Chicken and beg sausages off my owner who writes this 'ere blog.
I thinks they are terrible making me wait to the end of some Japanese cartoon thingy until I get my dinner and feel the cat gut music is too painful on my sensitive ears.
Regards M.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Only Time Will Tell....













In May Audio Fidelity issued this speciality re-issue gold cd of the first album by Asia, the first supergroup of the 1980's with members from 'pomp rock' Yes, pop sensation Buggles and a few others.
Let's say they were 'the band' of 1982 scoring big hits with the singles 'Only Time Will Tell' and famously 'Heat of the Moment' and this album was a massive seller too.
No AOR collection is complete without it!

Unfortunately Mike Stone who engineered this album went for a really loud sound with reverb which can make it fatiguing to listen to as apparently was trying to create a sound that would capture the attention of folk listening on the radio. The original lp was just about acceptable but it's never really had a good cd version.
This issue puts that right bringing much needed bass and smoothing out the midrange so it doesn't grate as well as for once allowing the vocals to breathe a little,
Having compared this to several cd's and vinyl I'd have to say this is the best I've ever heard this album sound and only hope they can tackle the second album, 1983's Alpha which badly needs a decent cd.
Recommended.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Naruto Shippuden


At long last the R2 UK edition of this second part of the Narutu story has come out today.








We kick off with this volume covering the story of Kazekage's Rescue which takes place over 32 episodes.
In the two and a half years since Narutu Uzumaki left the Hidden Leaf Village to train up as a ninja under Jiraiya, much has changed. The boy is stronger, taller and a bit smarter even if his irrepressible nature still leaves him to put his foot in it when Sakura is around.
The good thing about this new Naruto series is the storytelling is much slower which is aided by putting much more fine detail into the story enabling you to get more out the story emotionally and the stories have more depth to them, the absence of which previously was something that to be quite candid put me off collecting it as much as I can understand the basic plot.
The initiated know shoujo is more my thing and the other great thing about Shippenden is Sakura who was previously on the periphery of the story playing a stereotypical role as a medical trainee takes a more central role showing her powerful warrior like abilities being able to split the ground with a single punch and co-operating with Naruto.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Tsubasa Chronicles Series 2


One result of UK distributor Revelation losing the Funimation licences has been this, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles series 2 missing a UK release.
I imported the US R1 Funimation release and have almost finished watching all 26 episodes (by tonight I'd of seen the lot!).


I won't spoil the story for those who haven't seen it but it continues the struggle from series 1 to get all of Sakura's memory feathers back and tests the loyalty of all four travellers and young Syaoran's love for Princess Sakura to the limit.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Summer 2010


Before the rain squashed them, this was one of several Wild Poppies that grow in my Garden every summer that I thought I'd share a picture of with you all.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Durarara!!













I've been watching Durarara!! at CR recently.
It's about a young man called Mikado Ryƫgamine who longing for the excitement of the big city, transfers to a school Ikebukuro, Tokyo at the invitation of Masaomi, his childhood friend.
Like most people in that situation, Masaomi warns of the people not to cross such as a violent man dressed like a bartender, an information merchant, and a mysterious gang called "Dollars" that in time we learn more about.
If that wasn't enough, on his first day in the city he witness the urban legend that is the "Black Rider," the supposedly headless driver of a black motorcycle.
She is in many ways the heroine of the series going under the name Celty and is a dullahan from Ireland who has come to Tokyo in pursuit of her missing head. Her motorcycle is in fact a horse in disguise! She wears a black helmet whilst driving working as an underground courier and lives with Shinra Kishitan.
I'm enjoying the series as we learn more about the characters.
It was announced at the EXPO in London, England on Saturday (May 30) that this will be released on dvd in a subtitled only version later on this year.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The Yes Album























This could be titled "The pitchfolks come out for Mofi" for the sheer drama a specialist cd reissue caused on one website and some of it's followers who believe only one Steve Hoffman alone can master a cd correctly and by sheer bad luck this was one he was scheduled to do but apparently Warner's messed up and Mofi got the license issuing it in May 2010.
To these folk this meant it HAD to be wrong and so off we went to find some proof to damn it even if it was like saying the pear wasn't up to scratch because it didn't resemble a much loved peach cos they're all fruit!
So the case for the prosecution submitted a Plum coloured label UK lp saying it had better dynamics as evidenced by waveforms that when you looked at them had mistakes in the axis scaling and forgetting that this cd issue has bass - loads of it - and obviously this would of itself make the lp which for those who heard was deficient of this important property look hotter.
The piece d'resistance was that this tape was a early Dolby A recording (a professional four banded noise reduction system) had no tones at the start which you use to calibrate the processor with and this is critical for getting the sound balance right as well as ensuring the noise reduction circuits aren't adding a pumping sound.
Mofi Engineer Rob LoVerde went to great pains to find out from the person who assembled the tapes what level he used to set this up so he'd get an exact match. Now this lp when you heard it had very obvious pumping and Rob's cd was well - faultless - in that department.
Several of us tried in vain to get this through but the sheep wouldn't listen, the site owner kept deleting favourable posts, nuking twice the thread and in the end it was padlocked!
What a flaming carry on, eh?

Anyway back to the music and my mini review published elsewhere as by the time I got mine the thread was locked!
Tonality: Spot on with good low frequency extension and vocals projecting clearly out of the mix.Certainly better than my WG lp and the Gastwirt remastered tracks from Classic Yes. Subjectively it was like hearing Starship Trooper for the first time.
Dynamics.
Pretty good overall with only part I've seen All Good People part (b) 'all good people' sounding slightly louder but maybe that's what it needed.
No Dolby(tm) pumping, period - something I'm mighty glad about - and given no tones on the tape an A* to Rob for getting it right.
Packaging: Very good as a Mini lp fan.
Conclusion: Recommended.

Personally I feel if you dig a particular version of a recording that's dandy as everyone has their own ideas on what makes a good version - it's rare to have on e totally perfect in all respects - but just howling down stuff in a debate is disrespectful.

I also picked up this reissue from 2006 also on Mofi.












This one contains Heart of the Sunrise and i love the sound quality on it.