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Lou Reed – Live: Take No Prisoners (1978/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Lou Reed – Live: Take No Prisoners (1978/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 01:38:31 minutes | 2.12 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | ©  Warner Bros. Records
Recorded: May 17–21, 1978, The Bottom Line, New York

“I do Lou Reed better than anybody, so I thought I’d get in on it,” Reed says at one point during this double live set, and that seems to sum up the album’s theme quite well. Recorded during a week of shows at New York’s Bottom Line in 1978, Live: Take No Prisoners presents Lou Reed the Standup Comic, doing schtick on Patti Smith (“F*ck Radio Ethiopia, man! I’m Radio Brooklyn!”), political activism (“Give me an issue, I’ll give you a tissue, and you can wipe my ass with it”), and the agony of playing “Walk on the Wild Side” (“It’s not that I don’t want to play your favorites, but there are so many favorites to choose from!”) while occasionally pausing to play a song. As a comic, Lou is no Lenny Bruce or Bill Hicks, but he’s funny by fits and starts (and he plays guitar better than either of them). On the odd moments when Lou is focused enough to actually perform a song from start to finish (such as “Pale Blue Eyes” or “Coney Island Baby”), he’s in fine form, sounding loose but enthusiastic, but those moments don’t happen especially often, and this album plows through a mere ten songs in close to 100 minutes, which gives you an idea of just how far he stretches out here. If you’re a fan who wants a look into the mind of Lou Reed, comic or otherwise, Live: Take No Prisoners certainly fills the bill, but if you want to hear Lou actually play his music, you’re better off with Rock N Roll Animal or Live in Italy. But then again, as Lou himself points out, “What’s wrong with cheap dirty jokes? I never said I was tasteful.” –Mark Deming

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Lou Reed – New York (1989/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz + 24bit/192kHz]

Lou Reed – New York (1989/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz ,192kHz  | Time – 56:47 minutes | 1,15 + 2.1 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | ©  Warner Bros. Records
Recorded: May–October 1988, Media Sound, Studio B, New York City

New York was Lou Reed’s fifteenth studio album released in 1989. The record was considered one of Reed’s best solo albums, known for it’s great lyrical content, it featured single “Dirty Blvd.” which made it to number one on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart.

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Lou Reed – Magic and Loss (1992/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz + 24bit/192kHz]

Lou Reed – Magic and Loss (1992/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz ,192kHz  | Time – 58:29 minutes | 1,22 + 2.38 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | ©  Warner Bros. Records
Recorded: April 1–27, 1991 at The Magic Shop, New York

Magic And Loss is Lou Reed’s sixteenth studio album. Produced by Lou Reed and Mike Rathke, it was released on Sire Records in 1992.

With 1982’s The Blue Mask, Lou Reed began approaching more mature and challenging themes in his music, and in 1992, Reed decided it was time to tackle the Most Serious Theme of All — Death. Reed lost two close friends to cancer within the space of a year, and the experience informed Magic and Loss, a set of 14 songs about loss, illness, and mortality. It would have been easy for a project like this to sound morbid, but Reed avoids that; the emotions that dominate these songs are fear and helplessness in the face of a disease (and a fate) not fully understood, and Reed’s songs struggle to balance these anxieties with bravery, humor, and an understanding of the notion that death is an inevitable part of life — that you can’t have the magic without the loss. It’s obvious that Reed worked on this material with great care, and Magic and Loss contains some of his most intelligent and emotionally intense work as a lyricist. However, Reed hits many of the same themes over and over again, and while Reed and his accompanists — guitarist Mike Rathke, bassist Rob Wasserman, and percussionist Michael Blair — approach the music with skill and impeccable chops, many of these songs are a bit samey; the album’s most memorable tunes are the ones that pull it out of its mid-tempo rut, like the grooving “What’s Good” and the guitar workout “Gassed and Stoked.” Magic and Loss is an intensely heartfelt piece of music, possessing a taste and subtlety one might never have expected from Reed, but its good taste almost works against it; it’s a sincere bit of public mourning, but perhaps a more rousing wake might have been a more meaningful tribute to the departed. –Mark Deming

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Lou Reed – Ecstasy (2000/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz + 24bit/192kHz]

Lou Reed – Ecstasy (2000/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz ,192kHz  | Time – 01:17:34 minutes | 1,56 + 2.88 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | ©  Warner Bros. Records
Recorded: Sear Sound studios, NYC

Ecstasy was released in 2000 and is Lou Reed’s of eighteenth studio album. It was produced by Lou Reed and Hal Willner, and is a concept album about Reed’s personal experiences with marriage and relationships.

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Lou Reed, John Cale – Songs for Drella (1990/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz + 24bit/192kHz]

Lou Reed, John Cale – Songs for Drella (1990/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz ,192kHz  | Time – 59:27 minutes | 1,07 + 2.12 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | ©  Warner Bros. Records
Recorded: December 1989 and January 1990, at Sigma Sound, New York City

Released in 1990, Songs for Drella was recorded as a concept album dedicated to the memory of Andy Warhol, who had died unexpectedly in 1987. The songs focus on Warhol’s life and relationships, and are roughly set in chronological order.

Songs for Drella is a concept album by Lou Reed and John Cale, both formerly of the Velvet Underground, and is dedicated to the memory of Andy Warhol, their mentor, who had died unexpectedly in 1987. Drella was a nickname for Warhol coined by Warhol Superstar Ondine, a contraction of Dracula and Cinderella, used by Warhol’s crowd but never liked by Warhol himself. The song cycle focuses on Warhol’s interpersonal relations and experiences, with songs falling roughly into three categories: Warhol’s first-person perspective (which makes up the vast majority of the album), third-person narratives chronicling events and affairs, and first-person commentaries on Warhol by Reed and Cale themselves. The songs on the album are, to some extent, in chronological order.

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday (2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 01:00:26 minutes | 1,37 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | ©  Sour Mash Records
Recorded: 2014 at Strangeways and Abbey Road Studios, London

Opening with a minor chord strummed on an acoustic guitar somewhere off in the distance, Noel Gallagher’s second solo album, Chasing Yesterday, echoes Oasis’ second album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? — a conscious move from a rocker who’s never minded trading in memories of the past. He may be evoking his Brit-pop heyday — “Lock All the Doors” surges with the cadences of “Morning Glory” even as it interpolates David Essex’s “Rock On” — but it amounts to no more than a wink because Gallagher knows he’s two decades older and perhaps a little wiser as well. Certainly, Chasing Yesterday is the work of a musician very comfortable with his craft. Like the first album from High Flying Birds — a largely anonymous group of pros who make no attempt to steal the spotlight from their leader — it moves deliberately, never rushing and rarely rocking, preferring to find pleasure in majesty instead of hedonism. Where 2011’s HFB kept things a shade too calm — its reserve almost seemed like a rebuke to the messy id of Gallagher’s brother — Chasing Yesterday occasionally threatens to actually rock, delivering that signature wall of guitars on the aforementioned “Lock All the Doors,” mustering up a bit of old-fashioned, cowbell-driven glam boogie on “The Mexican,” and quickening the tempo on “You Know We Can’t Go Back,” a piece of incandescent pop that plays as a resigned companion to “Step Out.” Better still, the self-styled epics — which include the first single “In the Heat of the Moment” and closing “Ballad of the Mighty I,” which features grace notes from a guesting Johnny Marr — pulsate with quiet color, as does “Riverman,” a signature piece of stately late-period Beatles pop that would’ve been drained to grey on HFB. Here, “Riverman” breathes and sighs, taking a moment to slide into a saxophone-accentuated guitar solo straight out of a pre-punk 1976, and this masterful flair is a testament to the control and focus Gallagher displays on Chasing Yesterday. He’s not racing after the past, nor is he afraid to seem floridly fussy: he’s reveling in his ascendency to the position of one of rock’s wise old men. –Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Michael Formanek – Small Places (2012) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Michael Formanek – Small Places (2012)

FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 60:11 minutes | 1,24 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: | ©  ECM Records
Recorded: December 2011 Avatar Studios, New York

Small Places is double bassist/composer Michael Formanek’s follow-up to “The Rub and Spare Change”, his widely lauded ECM debut as a leader. That 2010 release garnered a rare five-star review in DownBeat magazine, while The New York Times described the disc as being “graceful in its subversions, often even sumptuous.” The review in Progression perhaps puts it best: “This type of listening experience, dense yet luminiferous, treads the tightrope between cerebral and streetwise in a damn cool way.” The new album features the same powerhouse band of long-time confreres, with Formanek in telepathic league with saxophonist Tim Berne, pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver. If anything, Small Places is a step beyond this quartet’s first release, with the compositions and improvisation blending so seamlessly that a listener is scarcely able to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. Earthy yet atmospheric, this is very 21st-century American jazz, the music brimming with piquant riffs and muscular ostinatos, rich in melodic possibility and the sound of surprise.

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Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Symphony No. 2 – Chor & Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Pablo Heras-Casado (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44.1kHz]

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Symphony No. 2 – Chor & Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Pablo Heras-Casado (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44.1kHz  | Time – 01:01:48 minutes | 605 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | ©  Harmonia Mundi
Recorded: Enregistrement juin 2012, Philharmonie am Gasteig, Munich

Mendelssohn’s Second Symphony (known as Lobgesang, or Hymn of Praise), was described by him as a “symphony-cantata”; in a similar manner to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, it consists of three purely instrumental movements followed by an extended closing section featuring choir and soloists. It is a piece that often seems to sit in the shadow of that masterpiece of Old Testament storytelling, Elijah.
The opening motif is a tricky one to handle; so simple in its own right, yet the linchpin of the entire work. Here it is subtly phrased rather than declaimed dramatically; Heras-Casado is evidently keeping his powder dry, treating this initial statement as the seed from which the rest of the performance grows.

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Charles Mingus – Arizona, 1922 – Mexico, 1979 (2004) [Hybrid-SACD] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Charles Mingus – Arizona, 1922 – Mexico, 1979 (2004)
SACD ISO (2.0/MCH): 2,80 GB | 24B/88,2kHz Stereo FLAC: 852 MB | Artwork
Label/Cat#: Membran “Supreme Jazz” # 223277 | Country/Year: Europe 2006 | 5% Recovery Info
Genre: Jazz | Style: Bop, Post Bop

Charles Mingus (1922-1979). Mingus was 1 of the most important & pivotal artists, musicians, & composers in the 20th century: he played a profound role in contributing to & leading a revolutionary movement in the history of Jazz in the post 1945 era–1 of the most significant & transformative periods in what can only be called a true ‘golden age’ in the music & thus the culture(s) of the African American people, its diaspora, & American society & culture generally.

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Khatia Buniatishvili – Motherland (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Khatia Buniatishvili – Motherland (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz  | Time – 01:04:35 minutes | 0,98 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | ©  Sony Classical
Recorded: Jesus-Christus Kirche, Berlin, 15-19 April 2013

As she has demonstrated in her critically acclaimed albums of the keyboard music of Liszt and Chopin, Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili is a stunning virtuoso with impressive skills and her dynamic playing compels listening. However, for her 2014 Sony album, Motherland, she finds subtle expressions in her favorite character pieces, and none of them could be considered showstoppers. Most of the selections reflect calm and intimate moods, typified by Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze, Tchaikovsky’s Autumn Song, Debussy’s Clair de lune, and Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte, while the liveliest pieces, which include Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words in F sharp minor, György Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata No. 7, Dvorák’s Slavonic Dance in E minor, and Scarlatti’s Sonata in E major, offer rather modest displays of technique. Instead of dazzling her listeners, Buniatishvili is putting forward her personal, private side in this understated program, and the key to her selections is the sense of yearning that these pieces evoke. The most passionate outpouring of emotion comes in her own arrangement of Vaguiorko ma, a Georgian folk song that surely must hold a special place in her emotional world. Because this is a gentle and poignant album, listeners may find it is best appreciated in a quiet space with few distractions. –Blair Sanderson, AllMusic

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