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Jamie (England)

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Oppo PM-3 Classic Planar Magnetic Headphones - Black Finish
Oppo PM-3 Classic Planar Magnetic Headphones - Black Finish
Offered by HiFix
Price: £349.00

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are these really worth it?, 29 Nov. 2015
I have been lucky enough to experience the pleasure of many high end pieces of audio equipment. This includes in ear, over ear and on ear headphones as well as amps, speakers and media players.

Having now listened to these for a over a month on varying different types of music (blues, jazz, rock, metal, house, techno, classical and crooners) I have to say these headphones are stunning. The bass, mid-range and treble - in fact everything that contributes to the detail is absolutely stunning. I am so pleased I bought these.

At the time of writing there are 4 colours - black, white, blue and red - however, I absolutely love my white, although my wife is quite right, this is the most dangerous colour!

If you are reading this review then you are either considering buying these cans - in which case do so!! You can't go wrong!! Or alternatively, you already bought them and are wondering what others think, in which case you definitely made the right decision!! Either way, enjoy.


Masterpiece Annie Nightingale
Masterpiece Annie Nightingale
Price: £7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Varied, 4 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have to say I am absolutely loving this album. I do understand why some have marked it down as their particular taste is less catered for, etc, etc, however, I have to say I am loving even the tracks or artists I didn't find too inspiring when I first listened to them years ago. For example, Example himself! Not my favourite artist but this track works well straight after Mike Skinner has recounted what, many will recognise as, a typical night out back in our heyday.

Alternatively, the Zinc remix of La Roux's "Bulletproof"! This is a meatier, beatier, funkier version that grabs the best parts - the hook and the vocals - and really mesmerizes.

There's other gems on hear too that I didn't know - like The Mitchell Brothers. Their track right at the end of CD 3 is just a great fun way to finish up. I love it!

CD 1 though, for me, is the real standout of the 3 disc's (I say that now, having only had this for 3 weeks so in a couple of years time I might think differently - and so might you!). The opening trilogy of tracks are all gems and flow fantastically well into one another and I'm definitely not a fan of Paul McCartney's but I love all three of them. It must be the sequencing.

I also love the way Annie has dropped in some great '60's tracks (The Marvellette's, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Byrds) right next to more classic 80's & '90's beats. Again it just works and I can only assume it's Annie's magical touch!

I'd like to end by recounting a tale of years gone by. In the late '90's and early noughties Annie's radio show always used to come straight after the Essential Mix on Radio 1. I used to record (on tape mostly!) whatever the Essential Mix was and as the tapes were 2 hours long and always had spare time at the end I normally managed to get 10 or 15 mins of Annie and those snippets were some of the best bits recorded! Track selection was always magnificent and fun.

Thank you Annie - this album makes me reminisce on good old days and happy times!


Alternative Light Source
Alternative Light Source
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my humble opinion, a great album, 12 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am slightly surprised by all the negative reviews this album has got. Ok, I get track 4 is a disappointment and can in no way be considered in the same league as "Open Up" but the rest of the album is very very strong. There are some fantastic chunky frenetic beats, mostly good vocals, which are not intrusive and some darkness.

The opener, apart from the name of the track, is very strong funky, gripping and drives you forward straight away.

Universal Everything I heard a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it when I first heard it. In fact I got the same feeling hearing it for the first time as a did "Phat Planet" on that Guinness advert all those years ago. Awesome! I love the techno feel to it as the opening 3 -4 mins gives you a taster of the dance floor destruction that is about to hit after the breakdown. This track in a live set or club would be outstanding. It sounds outstanding just turned up as loud as I dare on the system at home!

Bilocation is the absolute gem on the album - a gorgeous piece that entrances the listener. Subtle, delicate and forcefully funky at the same time. Great vocals, slightly obscured in the mixing of the track by the beats but done perfectly to suit. For me, this stands tall with their prior material.

The best feature of "Head & Shoulders" is the backing music. If this had just been a musical; piece without the vocals I think we'd all be very happy. I'm sorry to say Mr Sleaford Mods hasn't worked out, but credit for trying something different. It worked on Leftism with John Lydon but not this time.

"Dark matters" is a spacey, sweeping, delightful cinematic piece that works perfectly.

"Little Fish" was initially a slow burner but it has definitely grown on me the dozen or so listens I've given this album this week. it has a pounding beat with a frenetic attitude and slightly obscured vocals again by the singer from Polica.

Finally, just a quick mention for "Shaker Obsession" - this is quality acid tinged techno and a real highlight towards the end of the album.

In my humble opinion this is a great album which, if produced by someone new to electronica, I'm sure we'd all be saying how refreshing this sounds and how these guys have a great future. Again, in my opinion, this should definitely be be worth your time in giving it a listen, so try it and make up your own mind.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 9, 2015 7:40 PM BST


Stanton Sessions Vol. 4
Stanton Sessions Vol. 4
Price: £7.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart beats, cool vocals, typical Stantons, 28 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Stanton Sessions Vol. 4 (Audio CD)
This is yet another top quality mix released by the Stantons. They really are a by-word now for quality breaks and beats. The whole mix flows so smoothly with tremendously familiar loops dropped in from time to time - "I wanna give you devotion" track 3, "kinetic" track 7 and a couple of the Stantons' own tracks like "New York", "Superstar" and "Shoot me down".

It's almost impossible to pick particular favourite tracks as all the vocals are great and the beats, bass and rhythm is just so call throughout.

This is definitely the Stantons on form so of you've ever enjoyed one of their other mixes or loved them live then this is simply a must have!

What are you waiting for, you definitely want to f*** that MPC all night!!!


Zaba
Zaba
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a punt., 13 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Zaba (Audio CD)
Wow - this is fresh and takes me back to the early to mid 90's discovering groups like Massive Attack. In fact there is such a Massive Attack feel to many of the tracks it's uncanny. Glass Animals develop their tracks more into full blown instrumental quirkiness that then likens itself more to Flying Lotus.

Take the opener for example - "Flip" - this has a shy, abstract opening with a deep, relaxed beat swiftly following. The vocals then enter and again there is melody and flow and swiftly the track picks up pace, with more instruments (or sounds) entering the fray to create an atmosphere of a track with the vocals almost taking second fiddle. Great start to the album.

"Black Mambo" is up next and straight away we have a completely new style of beat, suddenly more uplifting but still relaxed. The same slow melodic vocal style and suddenly "Black Mambo" has developed a funk quite unlike the first track but extremely pleasing to the ears.

Most of Glass Animals' tracks commence in similar fashion developing rapidly with many becoming a melange of musical textures, vocals and sounds that probably shouldn't work but absolutely do. Each track brings a smile and realisation that you're coming to the end of another quality track.

Track 3 "Pools", is ever so slightly different. It commences on a slightly more upbeat note, and throughout most of the track slows down for the vocal sections followed by a return to the chorus and funky beat. Again fantastic.

Special mention to "Gooey", "Toes", "Hazey" and the closer "Jdnt". All prime examples of pleasing cacophonies!

I only have one, slightly critical comment, quite a few of the tracks have extended closing sequences which I find unnecessary. These appear after the track has apparently finished and then suddenly a new lazy beat fades out slowly. I guess this is the artists way of expressing full circle. It doesn't really detract from the tracks or the album, I certainly wouldn't knock a star off for that but I did find it odd the first few times I listened to the album.

Anyway, should you be looking at this trying to decide if you should try something new, then jump in. Do it! Glass Animals are excellent and definitely an ensemble I will look for again.


Destination Unknown
Destination Unknown
Price: £11.23

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balearic Bliss, 21 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Destination Unknown (Audio CD)
This is destined to be an absolute classic. It is so cool, so chilled, so relaxed, so smooth and oh so enjoyable.

If you are reading this then you probably know something about the release, either through the artist or via other reviews, recommendations, etc. Well, if you are hesitating and wondering whether it's as good as made out, then I can confirm it is not only as good, it is better!

This is far removed from Pig and Dan's usual fare, so if you're fans then don't expect their usual hard, dark prog influenced techno beats. This is relaxed, Balearic, diverse, funky and deeply melodic.

Track 1 CD1 sets the tone immediately. "I Feel Love" is just pure Balearic melody. So funky, so cool. I defy you not to love this immediately.

Other highlights from CD1 are "Urban Armchair" - it continues the cool, relaxed vibe - "Dub In It" - deeper beats continued in the same emotively relaxed vibe - "China Doll" - this has a dense fragility that you won't fail to love - and finally "Windchime".

CD2 is just as good, if not better. It picks up the pace and has a few more vocal tracks - the best of those is definitely "Onetwoseven" featuring Aqeel. Fantastic groovy raps with a tremendous beat. Other highlights for me on this CD are "Tokyo Twilight", "Rimshot Shuffle" and "Rasta Blasta".

Bedrock have scored an absolute winner with this. It really is worth your investment, I can't believe you would be disappointed.


026 Various Artists
026 Various Artists
Price: £12.45

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one for the collection, 1 Nov. 2014
This review is from: 026 Various Artists (Audio CD)
Hernan Cattaneo has been around for a good while and, for me, his releases have always been consistently good but never exceptional, until now. For example, I really liked CD1 of his most recent Masters Series release for Renaissance, but not as keen on CD2.

This release however, is quality throughout. CD1 starts strongly with the Boards of Canada, then progresses through a few nice tracks before a standout from Silinder - who always seems to deliver - with slightly tougher developed beats to bring the mix out of a meander. Derek Howell provides some real quality with his track "Happy to be Sad" and I absolutely adore the John Tejada mix of The Field's "No. No...." - brilliant, melodic, uptempo and relaxed house.

Next highlight is Weval's fantastic "Out of the Game", which has some welcome vocals, subtly inserted, and which are definitely not overbearing or out of place. More outstanding tracks flow straight after this with Mike Griego's "Sponges", a real gem of a track and Mr Cattaneo's own track "Ginga". Great stuff.

The only track I struggle with on this first CD is Yews's "Believe. Belong" - I just don't like the vocals but who's to say you won't. I find them a little grating, cheesy and, to be honest out of place. After this though we have the 4 tracks of this disc, especially the astonishingly good Guy J track last of all. They are all mixed impeccably into each other and provide, not only a delightful end to the disk but also a great phasing into CD2.

CD2 starts strongly with another track from Hernan and his muscial partners Soundexile, followed by some lovely subtle, calm vocals on the track "Changes". Then we get a second track from Chaim, this one is even better that the one used on CD1. I simply love the break down in the middle and the sudden impressive beat dropped in around 4 minutes. Wow.

Hernan and Soundexile's "Fugazzi" is a shimmering synth masterpiece which has a lovely uplifting melody, it really helps pick up the pace in the middle of CD2. Then follows 3 cracking tracks to match the tempo, energy and dynamism, with a special mention to We Need Cracks's "Joran" track - outstanding stuff.

I am slightly disappointed with Santi Mossman's reworking of Guy J's classic "Esperanza", but it's only a short excerpt from that track and we've swiftly moved on to a gloriously uplifting end to the album, with highlights from Hernan himself but especially Guy J's brilliant "Lonely Colour". (If you haven't got Guy's "1000 Words" album then you should really check it out)

This is another exceptional entry into the Balance series. Almost all the one's I own raise the standards of the mix album. Their quality doesn't seem to subside and I love the way they can vary their releases from tough old-school Techno one month (Danny Tenaglia) to shimmering prog house almost the next.


Sirens
Sirens
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.77

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get on the Gorgon Gravy Train, 19 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sirens (Audio CD)
This album just gets better and better the more I listen to it.

I'd heard the two main singles prior to buying it and loved them both, especially the bass line dropped into "Real" - classic!

Gorgon City start the album strongly, "Coming Home" should be a single, it has a lovely relaxed vibe with another killer bass line and great lyrics, sung really well by Maverick Sabre. This is the kind of track now typifying Gorgon City.

On to track 3 - "Lover like you". I'm loving Katie B at the moment. She seems to have so many hot tracks, which shows that she's not only picking great collaborators but she really is a fantastic vocalist and talent. This track is uptempo but still with a nice relaxed feeling.

Track 4 is "Here for You" and another good female vocal performance. This track took me a little longer to get into. It feels a little more poppy at first but give it a few listens and you'll soon start to appreciate it. What does remain consistent is the deep bass line dropped in.

"FTPA" is one of my favourites on the album. It slows the pace down and has quite a somber feel, again another great bass line - so deep but this time incredibly relaxed and slow. The track however, is made by Erik Hassle and the lyrics. Love it!

Next up are a couple of good solid upbeat tracks, "Unmissable" probably being the one I enjoy more. Then it's the class act of the album "Real", an absolutely stunning track. You probably know that though if you are reading this as it's probably one of the tracks that has brought you to this album.

The second half of the album is just as strong as the first. "Imagination" is catchy, cool and continues those deep throbbing bass lines. It feels upbeat but continues a nice relaxed feel. "6AM" then follows in a similar vein. 2 very very good tracks.

Nothing about Gorgon City ever seems rushed, it all just flows and that is a really great thing. I just hope that they continue with this kind of quality output for many years to come as it's exciting the potential these guys have.


Strut
Strut
Price: £7.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed, 5 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Strut (Audio CD)
I was looking forward to this for quite a while. After his outstanding "Black & White America" album I really hoped this would continue Lenny's renaissance. Sadly, this is definitely nowhere near that standard. Whereas that album was definitely a 5 star album this is 3.5 - 4 at best.

I heard "The Chamber" about 3 months before the album came out and I wasn't immediately taken by it. However, repeated listens have really drawn me to the song and now I love it. It's got a great '80's sounding vibe to it. I little like "Black Velveteen" but more poppy and fluid.

First track on the album is "Sex" and it's definitely a great start. Funky, rocking and suggestive. Typical Lenny.

After "The Chamber", is "Dirty White Boots". This track feels like Lenny was a little on autopilot. It's ok. It's got his trademark funk along with rocking guitar work and I would admit that it's definitely not one of the filler tracks but it is one that promises so much but just doesn't deliver. A real shame, maybe live though this track will come to life.

Next up is the absolute gem on the album. An ode to the city that Lenny obviously loves. "New York City" is classic Kravitz, it has great electric guitars, great brass work and is so catchy. Definitely the track that makes sure the album is elevated from 3 out of 5 to 4. Well done, Lenny, this is it.

A quick mention for "Strut". This is a funky rocker that does quite literally strut in the middle of the album! I can just see Lenny strutting across the stage now as he plays this one. I can see this being a crowd pleaser, but, again it's big BUT, it's not quite a good as it could be.

Final highlights are "Frankenstein" and "I'm a Believer". Both good solid tracks, with good strong lyrics, vocals, funky guitars and will please his fans. However, again, I'd have to say they are not his best tracks.

Unfortunately the album ends weakly. "Happy Birthday", I can only assume he wanted to sing happy birthday to someone close and needed an extra track on the album. Not for me, I'm afraid. I might play it during a kids birthday party though!

"I Never Want to Let You Down"& "Ooo Baby Baby" are so twee it's unbelievable. They are both chugging pop, with paint by numbers lyrics. They represent a really disappointing end to the album. Such a shame.

All in all, Lenny fans will love it for the really strong tracks. I have my tickets for Wembley and can't wait to see him. However, if you're new to Lenny, then there are definitely stronger, more consistent albums out there.


Caustic Love
Caustic Love
Price: £3.97

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progression reaches it's peak, 30 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Caustic Love (Audio CD)
This is a truly outstanding album, well worthy of 5 stars and more. It is probably going to be the pinnacle of Paolo's career and without a doubt it's his current pinnacle.

The first track "Scream (Funk up my life)" is a great funky rocker. Catchy, tuneful and above all else a superb start to the album - it really sets the tone of what is to come.

Next up is "Let me down easy" - this is a really good soulful number and this shows that Paolo has really developed as an artist. It's a great track with lots of layers and great vocal male versus female dialogues portions.

After the first of the interludes (the only downside to this album) is the track "One Day", currently I'm struggling to get into this track. It continues the soulful layers but it slows the tempo down considerably. It seems to be popular though so it's probably just me!

Jumping forward, tracks 7 ("Better Man") and 8 ("Iron Sky") are fantastic. The former is a slow builder which tells a tale of self improvement. A really nice gentle soulful track at the right point in the album. The latter is an absolute belter, this builds and builds into a true arena stopping crescendo. Paolo's vocals are coarse, gritty and passionate. I absolutely love it!

Next is "Diana" - not sure why but I keep thinking of MJ's Dirty Diana! This doesn't bear any relation to that track though. This is another highlight for me. A really slow, catchy and soulful number, there's elements of Bill Withers and Lenny Kravitz in there. It's essentially just a love song, but it captivates and holds the listener during it's short 3 and a bit minutes.

Finally, a mention for "Looking for Something". I always appreciate when an album maintains a high level of quality and interest through to the closing tracks. Too many fade after the first half dozen tracks. The sign of a great album is to continue to capture and keep the listener all the way through to the very end. Another great soulful number from Paolo, demonstrating, what for me, is an outstanding accomplishment. This definitely crowns off this glorious album.

You would do yourself a disservice if you didn't get this. Paolo is definitely worthy of all the plaudits he receives for this effort. Enjoy.


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