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Vaughan "Crash" (UK)

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Solo [1974-1983] The Virgin Years
Solo [1974-1983] The Virgin Years
Price: £15.47

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Price Alone, 5 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The fact is, the price of this set is such that it's difficult to complain. At the time of writing you can get it for £12, which for the five albums included is silly money. I already had some of these on CD - such as Aqua - but even so the other titles just make this a bit of a no-brainer.

If I can throw in a couple things I don't like..... First some might be bothered that they didn't keep the discs pure enough. So for instance, CD1 has all of Aqua on it, and one track from Epsilon etc. Keeping albums on discrete discs is much preferable. Then we have the utterly worthless 8-page booklet, that contains basic album credits and nothing else, not even a remnant of an article about the music is included. Finally, why include details - including highlighting the cover art - of a sixth album (Kamikaze) if they're not going to include it? The booklet simply states "Not Included" - so why is it there on the back sleeve of the package?!?!?

But the price out weighs such complaints. The whole thing comes in a CD case (one of the old school type that double-CD's used to come in, except this has four discs in it). Highlights are Aqua, of course, but the best album for me is Pinnacles followed by Stuntman. On the other hand, Ages is pretty awful (and since the albums aren't included on discrete discs, it makes it more difficult to avoid).

All in all then a fine release for the price, but yeah, not quite perfect.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 6, 2012 10:45 AM BST

A Rainbow In Curved Air
A Rainbow In Curved Air
Price: £11.66

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Reissue, 29 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: A Rainbow In Curved Air (Audio CD)
I'm not going to comment on the music as such - readers likely know what this is, and why it's so interesting. Early Philip Glass works are indeed pretty close to what we have here, except the Riley pieces have more vitality, taking repetitive passages and infusing them with infinite variety. There's a liveliness here you don't normally associate with the category.

I bought this reissue because the label, Cherry Red/Reactive have been doing an phenomenal job reissuing titles from the Tangerine Dream catalog (come on Virgin, give it up and let Cherry Red have access to your catalog!)

As such this remastered edition sounds terrific, the music sounds pure, vibrant, and alive. The booklet folds out (think of a front cover as one panel - the fully unfurled booklet is eight panels in size, if that makes sense). The unfolded booklet contains a new, and lengthy article written by Sid Smith. It's a decent read too, and includes a reproduction of the original French release.

All in all this is excellent - some might be bothered by the relatively short playing time (approx. 40 minutes total), but that's being a bit churlish when the music is this good. As reissues go, this is great. I bought the reissue of In C at the same time, well done Cherry Red!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2012 2:24 PM BST

In Tokyo
In Tokyo
Price: £15.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad, 23 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: In Tokyo (Audio CD)
This disc isn't bad. But keep in mind the following:

1) Six of the ten tracks appear as bonus tracks on the "Music for Piano and Drums" and "Flags" reisues.
2) Moraz plays a lot of synthesier here, aogn with electronic drums from Bruford, somewhat spoiling the acoustic feel of the studio recordings.
3) The quality of the recoding isn't ideal, and on some tracks (Hazy, for example) the piano is very poorly recorded.

This is a decent curio, but just keep the above in mind.

No Title Available

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Music is a 5, 23 Mar. 2012
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I wanted to post a comment on the reissue of this title. I'll say up front that the music from the original album is certainly a five-star effort, and the years have done nothing to blunt it's excellence. So why only 3-stars then?

Well - I owned the vinyl, the first CD release, and now this. The first CD release sounded good enough, and I can't say the remaster here makea a huge difference. Still, any incremental improvement of a great work is worthy.

Where things begin to disapoint is in the packaging. The booklets in this release and Flags is really poor. The booklets in both open up to two pages of text. The left hand page is a brief set of notes about the label - with nothing specific about the release that is in your hands. The right hand side is the original sleeve notes. That's it for the booklet. This is repeated in Flags, so all in all, pretty worthless and somewhat annoying. But disapointments don't end there.

When I noticed this CD was out, I of course went looking for Flags - and yes, that had been reissued to, with bonus tracks! Better yet, there are now TWO live CD's out. I bought all four. How can you go wrong with remasters of the studio work - with bonus tracks - and two live albums? Easy - I now know that the "bonus" tracks are in fact tracks pulled from the "Live in Tokyo" CD release available on this site. I bought that too, not knowing the bonus tracks where one and the same as on that disc. With ten tracks on the Tokyo disc, six appear as bonus tracks on the two studio releases.

It's also worth noting that the live performances aren't recorded very well, and include a lot of synthesizer. Odd when the album you've bought is called "Music for Piano and Drums". It's not great to be honest, and I'd have preferred it if they had left it off the studio discs.

I'll end by saying - despite what the liner notes say - I didn't get either of the "sampler" discs promised. I guess the Gods weren't smiling on me with this order.

Again - the music itself is, for the most part, terrific. But keep what I've said in mind if you're simply consdiering an upgrade. You'd be better off just buying the Tokyo live disc on its own and skipping this reissue........

Richard Wahnfried's Tonwelle
Richard Wahnfried's Tonwelle
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £17.69

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Odd Release, 29 Feb. 2012
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Well, first the facts. It ships in a digipac, with the two discs tucked inside slits in the packaging. There is no booklet as such. Liner notes are printed in the fold out, and what you get to read is a direct quote from the original release - they won't impress anyone looking for information, and they don't come near to comparing with what we got used to the the previous reissues.

Then on to the minor angst this release caused. If you're reading this you'll know all about it, so I won't detail it again. In a nutshell - this music was originally released on 12-inch vinyl, but strangely it was meant to be played at 45RPM (usually reserved for 7-inch singles). The record label saw that the original release said 45 RPM, and took that to mean it was one huge mistake. So - ion press releases prior to the reissuing hitting the streets, we got to read about how the label had fixed past "mistakes", and that we were getting two versions here - one at the "correct" speed on 33RPM, and another a what would have been 45RPM, but with the tone changed so it wouldn't sound weird.

In the end this was all found out to be tosh - the original 45RPM copy was CORRECT, there never was a mistake, and the tweo versions on this release are incorrect - albeit with Schulze's okay.

Got that? Good, because in the end all I care about is what it sounds like. The 45RPM version is..... truly bizarre. How anyone could think that sounds right is beyond words. All vocalists sound like old drunks. The 33RPM version is better. None replace the original CD release - but that goes for silly money (£86 at time of my writing this).

Weirdly, the liner notes in the digipac are actually a sticker. If you peer underneath it you'll find the original press release about previous mistakes with speed etc.....

Sounds quality - detail etc - is good. Those bothered by volume levels being pumped up will hate it - this disc is LOUD. Personally I'm glad to own it, even if only as a curio. But to say this is a odd release doesn't really cover it. --lol--


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Meditation (Audio CD)
You know, I finally took the plunge and got this, even though I paid over the top. I'm a bit of a Schulze completist (which means lots of money!) and somehow this one had eluded me. Having finally got it I'm so pleased.

The magic here is somewhat unlikely, since it comes by way of a flute. Schulze has released music with an accompanying Cello in more than one occasion, and also guitars - but the flute is somewhat rare. The trouble with a flute is that it can sometimes sound weedy, or worse forces things into a new age feel (Ian Anderson excepted). On here though there are no such worries. Joliffe does a fine job, and the music is only enhanced by his presence.

The music itself is two long sequencer based pieces, completely in line with what Schulze was doing on his own at the time (be thinking Trancefer), and it's throughly pleasant throughout. Never dull, and never boring, this one glides by easily.

Forget the cover art, this is actually essential Schulze.

Ash Ra Tempel
Ash Ra Tempel
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.95

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Affordable, 14 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ash Ra Tempel (Audio CD)
As a fan of both early Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, this is a CD I've wanted for a long time. However, the price has been scary! This reissue then brings things down to the level of mere mortals, and finally I can own the two Ash Ra Tempel CD's that feature Schulze.

Of course these are early days, and we're talking Schulze the drummer here. Like the TD albums of the time, this is essentially acid rock with wild guitar work and crashing percussion. Basically if you like your TD Atem, Alpha Centuri and Zeit then you'll like this.

There's not much else to say really. I don't know if these sound better than the original versions. There is some hiss at the start of the album, but certainly nothing to worry about. It son disappears behind the wall of sound anyway. If I had to complain about something it would be the booklet. From what I can make out all the original artwork from the earlier releases is here, but that's not saying much. It would have been nice to have a brief article setting the context of the recording, or just recollections from one, some, or all the participants. However there's none of that - just the graphics and that's it.

I suspected this was be a digipack - but it's not, it ships in the usual jewel case.

That's about it. If you've stumbled upon this release then you probably know something about the band. I think this is very good album and I'm pleased to finally own it. Be sure to check out the other Ash Ra Tempel releases, I'm waiting for the delivery of the other release with Schulze as I write this....

Speedlink STRIKE PC Gamepad - Black
Speedlink STRIKE PC Gamepad - Black
Offered by eoutlet-uk
Price: £11.49

5.0 out of 5 stars At Last!, 23 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I received this last Friday, and have used it all weekend. My story is very simple - I have Mame on my PC running Windows XP. I bought a controller for twice this amount from Maplins, but though it "worked" it simply wouldn't hold its calibration in Windows. For example, mid-way through Pacman it would lose its centre and move my little Pacman to the right all the time....

So I thought I'd try this controller. Voila! This one worked without problems all weekend.

I don't exactly know why the Maplin's controller didn't work properly, but I think it's something to do with the analog/digital thing. This controller (the Amazon one) has a switch on it - I left it on "digital". No more calibration problems!

What I wanted was quite simple, but wasn't simple to find. As for this controller, it looks and feels like other controllers of it's type. Design-wise it's nothing special, nor is it poor. However, having a controller that 100% works with Windows is a godsend.

Territories [DVD]
Territories [DVD]
Dvd ~ Roq LaFortune
Price: £2.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Guantánamo Reflex, 4 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Territories [DVD] (DVD)
The premise of this movie is quite obvious, and I wouldn't usually fault it for that. Like much of the "Torture Porn" genre that materialized after the war in Iraq, the inspiration for the story here was Guantánamo Bay and the horrors enacted there, along with the terrible torture footage from Iraq. Where this movie fails a little for me (docked one star) is that they didn't think the audience would be smart enough to make the connection themselves, so there are a couple scenes where you're beat over the head with it.

The ending, bleak as it is, is clearly intended not to allow a sequel, but to further show how the horrors never really end, and how those who perpetrated the actions never seem to pay for what they've done.

The cover art tries to link it with Texas Chainsaw, but that's wholly inappropriate. As for others who have posted reviews complaining about the lack of gore in reference to TCM - I wonder if they've actually watched TCM, which has very little.

Anyway, back to this film. It's gloomy, hopeless, and nasty (but not especially violent or gory). As such it worked.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2012 8:41 AM BST

Born Broke
Born Broke
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.13

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Amazing, 13 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Born Broke (Audio CD)
Wow. This is something very very special. Brotzmann in a duo setting, leaving lots of space for the energy to build and release. The album (a double-disc set) opens with the title track "Born Broke", with Uuskyla given a full four minutes to beat out the pace of an advancing army. The sound of this CD is incredible, there's a real sense of being there with the players, gone is the studio sanitized sounds we often gear. This solo drum effort finally breaks to Brotzmann's trademark wail, and the CD proper starts and never lets go.

In Brotzmann's world, invention is a constantly churning event. If you know his playing then you won't be disappointed. In this duo recording though, there is a unique freeness that I really appreciate. This is a very human recording, coming across as more personal than many. Perhaps that's due to our being so close to these players, since it's simply a duo. Of maybe it's the excellent production techniques. Or the playing.

Or all of the above.

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