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Category: Studio Masters

Ruggero Leoncavallo – I Pagliacci – Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin (1954/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Ruggero Leoncavallo – I Pagliacci – Maria Callas, Orch del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Tullio Serafin (1954/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 1:12:49 minutes | 717 MB | Genre:Classical, Opera
Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet | © Warner Classics
Recorded: 12–17. June 1954, Teatro alla Scala, Milan

The role of Nedda in Leoncavallo’s verismo classic never entered Callas’s stage repertoire, and so her recording made with the forces of La Scala, Milan, between 12 and 17 June 1954 represents one of her explorations of an opera made purely within the confines of the studio, rather than developing over a period on the stage. But as in all such cases – this was the first time she recorded a role she had not previously sung – Callas’s desire to explore it to the fullest remains paramount. There is a complete identification between singer and character, down to the smallest detail, that make her Nedda an unusually complex creation that grows throughout the opera as she responds to its desperate emotional thrills and spills.

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Leif Ove Andsnes – The Beethoven Journey – The Complete Piano Concertos (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Leif Ove Andsnes – The Beethoven Journey – The Complete Piano Concertos (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 03:08:25 minutes | 3,16 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Sony Music Entertainment
Recorded: 2012 – 2014; Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague; Saint Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London.

2014/15 is the crowning season of the Beethoven Journey. Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra have now recorded all of the Beethoven piano concertos, they will be performing the works in 16 cities across North America, Europe, and Asia. Full-cycle residencies in 2014/15 will include (in chronological order): Bonn, Lucerne, Vienna, Paris, New York, London, Shanghai. The Beethoven Journey is a four-year collaborative project between celebrated pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Together they have recorded all of the Beethoven Piano Concertos, as well as the Choral Fantasy, with Andsnes not only playing but also directing the orchestra. The series began with the live recording of the Piano Concertos 1 & 3 at the Prague Spring Festival in the historic Rudolfinum building. The second CD, Piano Concertos 2 & 4, was recorded in London in 2013, and the final album was recorded again live at the Prague Spring Festival. Leif Ove Andsnes has devoted the majority of his performing and recording activities in the last 3 years to the music of Beethoven. The first recording for the project was named iTunes’ Best Instrumental Album of 2012. The second recording enjoyed an outstanding reception from critics, with many heralding the release as one of the finest recordings of the 2 & 4 Concertos. Although Andsnes has an extensive discography “The Beethoven Journey” is his first Beethoven recording ever.

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Kenny Dorham – Una Mas (1963/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Kenny Dorham – Una Mas (1963/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 00:31:27 minutes | 1,32 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records
Recorded: April 1, 1963 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s Una Mas was one of 1963’s best records. With its melding of hard-bop, bossa nova, and the blues, Una Mas is a prime example of the memorable vamps that Blue Note favored at the time, finding ultimate success later that year with Lee Morgan’s The Sidewinder.

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Kenny Dorham – The Complete ‘Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia (1956/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Kenny Dorham – The Complete ‘Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia (1956/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 02:02:58 minutes | 4,73 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: Acoustic Sounds | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records
Recorded live at the Café Bohemia in New York City on May 31, 1956.

During the spring and summer of 1956, trumpeter Kenny Dorham recorded two studio albums with his Jazz Prophets, a small hard bop band involving tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose and a rhythm section of pianist Dick Katz, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Arthur Edgehill. On May 31 of that year, Dorham’s group performed live at the Café Bohemia with Bobby Timmons at the piano and guitarist Kenny Burrell sitting in on all but the first of four sets. Originally engineered by Rudy Van Gelder and remastered by him in 2001, Blue Note’s 2002 double-disc “Complete” Dorham Café Bohemia edition combines every usable track taped during this exceptionally fine evening of live jazz. The word “understated” has sometimes been used to describe the music played by Dorham’s band on this night in 1956; this is only appropriate if Dorham is compared with intense individuals like Fats Navarro or Dizzy Gillespie. Dorham’s jazz was perhaps more intimate and accessible precisely because his horn had an earthier tone, almost like that of a cornet. Sometimes compared with Ted Curson, Richard Williams or Freddie Hubbard, Dorham sounded a lot like the profoundly gifted and vastly underappreciated Johnny Coles, particularly during ballads like “Autumn in New York” and “Round Midnight.” There are also intimations of Miles Davis, Nat Adderley and even young Don Cherry. This music is designed for relaxing and grooving out. It will greatly assist anyone who is traveling by night or trying to make it through to the end of another day. –AllMusic

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Keith Jarrett – Death And The Flower (1975/2011) [DSD64]

Keith Jarrett – Death And The Flower (1975/2011)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 00:41:59 minutes | 1,66 GB | Genre: Jazz
Source: ISO SHM-SACD | © Impulse! | Universal Music Japan
Recorded: October 9 and 10, 1974, at Generation Sound Studios, New York City

Death and the Flower is the third album on the Impulse label by jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. Originally released in 1975, it features performances by Jarrett’s ‘American Quartet’ which included Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian with Guilherme Franco added on percussion.

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Tricky – Mixed Race (2010) [24bit/44.1kHz]

Tricky – Mixed Race (2010)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44.1 kHz | Time ~ 00:33:06 minutes | 296 MB | Genre: Trip-Hop
© Domino Recording Co

hen Tricky returned from his five-year recording hiatus with the autobiographical Knowle West Boy in 2008, he proffered a hard-hitting set of songs and soundscapes comprised of originals and covers that roared with confrontational brownpunk energy. Two years on, Mixed Race is as direct as its predecessor, but sparser, more spacious, mostly low-key, and very brief (under half an hour). While its sound is still in-your-face, it’s remarkable how little murk there is — despite the layers of backing tracks. Lyrically it’s autobiographical, but it’s also a gangster album. The sound of guns being cocked and loaded is almost ubiquitous. The signpost is the single, a revisioned take on Echo Minott’s ’90s dancehall hit “Murder Weapon.” The lyric (delivered by Tricky’s brother Marlon Thaws), full of references to guns and shoot-em-up street battles, is juxtaposed with Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn Theme” and a sampled blues harmonica riff. Its sound looks to the past for inspiration while looking only at itself as a map reference. “Bristol to London” rips on the old-school styles of Brit-hop with a furious synth up front and three staggered rhythms. The wiry funk in “UK Jamaican,” with singer Terry Lynn, defines the plight of immigrants who think (or are forced to think) with “Kingston logic.” “Ghetto Stars,” one of numerous tracks to feature Tricky’s excellent touring vocalist Franky Riley, comments on the reality of gangster life in public housing projects with dramatic string samples, slow, menacing loping beats, and metallic guitars. She also shines on the spooky, sinister, drone-blues opener, “Every Day.” “Hakim” uses a North African motif, handclaps, and both vocal and lute from Hakim Hamadouche (Rachid Taha), along with a shuffling rhythm track. “Early Bird,” with its slow chunky guitars, shimmering cymbals, muted trumpet, and a knotty little single-string blues guitar riff, is dark and imposing. “Come to Me” is a (literally) finger-popping jump jazz love song, slowed down to cough syrup flow. “Time to Dance,” the closest Tricky claims he will “ever get to disco,” is synthed-out minimalism, dry and deadpan. “Really Real,” a collaboration with Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, is a spaced-out, aimless dronescape, with guitars and rhythm tracks crisscrossing in a repetitive mantra-like manner. Ultimately, Mixed Race, with its simmering tension, is a worthy follow-up to Knowle West Boy, and a fine entry in Tricky’s catalog overall. ~ Thom Jurek

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The Who – Quadrophenia (1973) [Super Deluxe ‘2014] [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Who – Quadrophenia (1973) [Super Deluxe ‘2014]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time ~ 3:06:38 minutes | 3.86 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks  | © Geffen Records

Quadrophenia is The Who’s landmark rock opera originally released in 1973. The opera revolves around the happenings, socially and psychologically, of an English teenager during 1965. Upon its release the album peaked at number 2 in both the US and UK charts, featuring hit singles “5.15” “Love, Reign O’er Me” and “The Real Me”.

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The Who – It’s Hard (1982/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Who – It’s Hard (1982/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time ~ 69:43 minutes | 1.44 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: WEB | © Geffen Records
Recorded: June 1982, Turn Up-Down Studio at Glyn Johns’ home in Surrey, England, UK

It’s Hard is the tenth studio album by the English rock band The Who. It is the last Who album to feature their bassist John Entwistle (before his death in 2002) and their drummer Kenney Jones, as well as the last to be released on Warner Bros. Records in the US. It was their last album until 2006’s Endless Wire with the last two members of the original 1964 lineup. It was released in 1982 on Polydor Records in the UK, peaking at #11, and on Warner Bros. in the US where it peaked at #8 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. The US rights to both this album and Face Dances subsequently reverted to the band, who then licensed them to MCA Records (later Geffen Records, itself once distributed by WB) for reissue. The album achieved gold status by the RIAA in the US in November 1982.

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The Libertines – The Libertines (2004/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Libertines – The Libertines (2004/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time: 42:05 |  930 MB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks  |  Digital Booklet | @ Rough Trade Records

The Libertines is the eponymous second album by the British indie rock band The Libertines. It was produced by Mick Jones and originally released on August 30, 2004. The album instantly hit #1 in the UK, selling 72,189 copies in its first week. It was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

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Submotion Orchestra – Alium (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44.1kHz]

Submotion Orchestra – Alium (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1 kHz |  651 MB | Genre: Dubstep, Electronic
Official Digital Download – Source: Bandcamp |  Front Cover

Since forming in Leeds in 2009 Submotion Orchestra have carved out their own special place in the UK’s ever-changing musical landscape. The 7 piece band’s fusion of bass heavy electronica, jazz, soul and much more besides has made them a favourite of the likes of Gilles Peterson, Trevor Nelson and Jo Whiley, whilst their live show has seen them play festivals around the world and sell out venues such as London’s famous KOKO.

Now following two critically acclaimed albums, Finest Hour and Fragments, Submotion Orchestra return bigger, brighter and bolder than ever with Alium; their first album for Counter Records. Released on November 3rd, Alium sees the band in an expansive mood as the interplay between their electronic and acoustic sounds has become more natural than ever, whilst Ruby Wood’s vocals continue to find new levels of emotion.

Written over two years in the remote Welsh countryside with just ‘passing sheep and a rusty ping-pong table for company’ and recorded in Brighton, Alium has been a true group effort with every band member involved in the writing and recording process, something that is reflected in the album’s varied nature.

From neon synth strafed opener ‘Awakening’, to the bruising 21st century soul of ‘Time Will Wait’, the tense cinematic drama of ‘Bring Back The Wolf’, ‘The Hounds’’ late night/early morning jazz workout and the unashamedly big pop moment that is ‘Trust Lust’, Alium may be a dazzlingly eclectic record showcasing the band’s myriad talents, but thanks to producer Ruckspin’s deft touch remains a satisfyingly coherent whole.

With a busy summer schedule that will see the band play over a dozen festivals in 7 different countries and a full UK tour lined up for later in the year Alium looks set to cap a triumphant year for the band as they continue to push the boundaries of what an ‘electronica’ band can and should be.

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