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Mr. Gregory R. Colton "diamond-fire" (SE England)
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The Dark Side (The Goth Rock Album)
The Dark Side (The Goth Rock Album)
Offered by gowingsstoreltd
Price: 14.50

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goth-Curious? This is a great starting point., 30 Dec 2006
This double album is packed with a rich diversity of alternative rock music. It's a superb introduction to 'Gothic Rock' that rewards repeated playing.

I'm not too sure about the exact definitions, but it encompasses a wide range of styles. These include hard, gothic, industrial, and corporate rock, AOR, electronica and even some folk-inspired songs. The common thread is that the songs all have an edgy beauty, whether in the music, instrumentation, or lyrics. Without wishing to sound too arty, the songs explore (and in some cases appear to celebrate) the sinister, nefarious or unfulfilled side of human existence - hence the title.

I just love this album. The more I've listened to it the more I've liked it. It rewards repeated playing - especially if you are new to this sort of music. Persevere with it and I feel you will be amply rewarded. I would have rated this 3 stars when I first bought it, 4 stars within a fortnight and now I have no hesitation in giving it full marks - it's 90+% killer with little or no filler.

The compilation features some of the biggest tunes by the best exponents in this area. It has introduced me to many new artists, as well as showing familiar ones in a different light and brought together some gems that I was already aware of. I will certainly be buying more albums by the featured artists on the strength of this set.

Another plus with this album is its balance: it contrasts heavy and light musical styles, and whilst the overall tone is black, the editor has injected levity by including two or three real oddities. These may make you laugh aloud on first listen and smile thereafter. You may also find yourself dancing or singing along to quite a few of the tracks - never a bad sign (unless you're in the convent trying to maintain that vow of silence - don't let Mother Superior catch you with these two discs though!).

Hats off to the editor who chose the selections on this compilation. I am a DJ and have a considerable music collection, but when I fancy a late night listen or have a longish journey to make, this is the CD I often reach for.


Fatman Fivds Itube Valvedock With Speakers
Fatman Fivds Itube Valvedock With Speakers

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome musical enjoyment courtesy of The FatMan iTube, 27 Dec 2006
WOWWWWWEEEEEEEE! The FatMan Rocks (and Dances, R&Bs, Electronicas and does Classical)!

This device should come with a health warning about the possible effects of dehydration from over-enjoyment! Partner it with decent speakers and you will fall in love with your music collection again. As well as your iPod, try plugging in your CD player, and enjoy.

The package comprises a docking station/control unit and a valve amplifier unit, plus the necessary cabling, but no speakers. The build quality, aesthetics, and feel of this product are all superb. The dock and amplifier units feel solid and substantial. It's great to get a decent set of speaker cables with proper gold plated banana connections. The controls are good, and the terminals machined so that leads fit snugly.

The unit took about 5 minutes to unpack and a further 5 or 10 minutes to set up. We used a pair of neutral, fairly sensitive book-shelf monitor speakers and a G4 iPod and we were ready for music...the magical greenish moving glow of the larger tube upon switch on announced that something special was about to happen. After an initial concern about low volume (the remote needed turning up) it did not disappoint!

We used the iTube in a room measuring only about 8'x8' (and half of this is taken up by a bed). The speakers and FatMan were crammed on a dressing table up against other furniture. We were surprised that the set-up worked so well in such confined conditions. We were also unprepared for the hour or so of manic enjoyment that followed. We danced in the small space on Christmas morning, as if enchanted by the pied-piper-like effects of the FatMan and his iTube. The awesome sound simply flowed out of the machine and we had to try track after track. So much so that we became overheated and started to suffer the initial effects of dehydration!

Whatever we played just sounded great - Depeche Mode, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, All About Eve, U2, Bodyrockers, Justin Timberlake, Akon - you name it, the iTube + our speaker combination reproduced it with feeling, vigour, and clarity. Now we know our little monitor speakers can only go down to about 65Hz, but the size and quality of the bass being reproduced was a delight - I normally only listen to R&B in clubs where the sound systems aren't top notch and detail is lacking...but the iTube did full justice to the genre. It resolved R&B productions with fabulous, meaty, wall-shaking, but well-defined lows, crisp highs, and exquisite vox - it was a revelation!

Tonight I connected a very good CD player to the iTube's Line 2 input (Line 1 is for the iPod). Wow! The FatMan certainly isn't embarrassed in this company - again, whatever disc you play, whether it be Nigel Kennedy's original recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, The Manhattan Transfer, Nina Simone, Goldfrapp or Radiohead - the openness, sense of ambience, bass and driving attack are beautiful.

This thing not only sounds and looks good; it's wondrous to watch it work. In light or total darkness, it's fascinating to observe the two bands of green plasma in the large tube dance - rising to meet each other on peaks and falling back in time to the music. I suspect the bands also indicate the limits of available gain. I guess when the bands overlap the amp is running at full tilt.

The iTube sounds great and gives real insight into the music, so you will get benefits by partnering it with decent speakers and using lossless encoding. Some speakers tend to wallow if placed too close to walls or corners, so be a little careful if the system's going to be used in a confined area. We used an old pair of Tannoy Reveal speakers (cheapish, but decently made, neutral sounding, semi-pro monitor speakers). They work well and seem happy in fairly tight spots. A set of speakers with more pace, agility, and detail retrieval, and perhaps a little more well-controlled extension, would no doubt repay the investment.

Also if you want to listen at high levels, you will need to partner the iTube with extremely sensitive speakers. Ours are a fairly sensitive 90dB/W/m, and with the FatMan iTube turned up they are loud and lusty enough for nearly all occasions. However, if you like to rock out or bounce at high-very high volumes, want to fill a large room, or have less sensitive speakers, then you will crave an amplifier with greater output.

For all other applications, I can thoroughly recommend this piece of kit and say it's easily worth 5 stars.

- G


Warrior on the Edge of Time
Warrior on the Edge of Time

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hawkwind - Warrior On The Edge Of Time (Review), 19 April 2005
My brothers introduced me to this album within a year or two of its release, when I was about six or seven: seeing it now on CD available on Amazon brings back very fond memories of the original vinyl.
The original album cover - with its gate fold shield on one side and the warrior on horseback poised above a precipitous drop on the other - was second only in distinctiveness to ELP's scary Geiger cover to Brain Salad Surgery.
The music itself also made a big impact - I can still recall the hooks vividly 20 years or so after last hearing the tunes: Kings of Speed sums up hard, simple 70s rock with that classic thick sound. Magnu has the terrific ambience, driving riff, delayed vox, and eastern-tinged electric fiddle melodies that make it so memorable. Spiral Galaxy has that ultra fat synth sound and drive, I would still play it at the right kind of disco. The spoken bits were...weird and met with a certain amount of derision at the time, but added a certain drama to proceedings!
When I was able to buy my own records (in the mid 80s), it was the quality of this album sent me to explore Hawkwind's back catalogue and contemporary releases. I found some interesting material on most of the albums, but the earlier stuff seemed too weird and the later material was prone to inconsistency, so my tastes evolved. On a camping trip with my two brothers quoted a Hawkwind roadie who ventured "Hey man, that was one of the best albums they ever made" - I would more than agree.
The instrumentation and production on this album sounded exquisite played back on the modest record players at our disposal (we were too poor and ignorant to go in for 'hi-fi separates'). I would second (third?) those calling for a remastered version: the Strawbs discs on A&M from the same era have translated extremely well to CD and imho sound every bit as full as my memory of the originals, so a similar quality remastered issue of Warrior would be most welcome.
If you are interested in the heavier side of 70s rock music, and are not prejudiced against electronica, and don't mind the odd bit of leftfield weirdness, then this should make an interesting addition to your collection - highly recommended.
- Greg


Shake The Disease
Shake The Disease

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Single, 10 Aug 2002
This review is from: Shake The Disease (Audio CD)
I recently started compiling a minidisc of Depeche Mode for the car and found that I couldn't fit all the "essential" tracks onto 3x74 minute discs (hell and I wouldn't even consider myself a fan)! That gives some indication of the tremendous quantity and more importantly quality that this band has produced over their two decades of existence.
Of all DM's singles and album tracks, imports and remixes, my favourite has to remain SHAKE THE DISEASE. Everything about this song exudes quality: the musical hooks really get under your skin, the vocals are both tender and powerful and the sentiment is universal. All this is subtly supported by great instrumentation and use of FX sampling. The effect is ethereal and never fails to elicit an emotional response.


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