The HiFi Starters Club November 22 playlist……find it on Spotify here
1. “Ta Confiance’ by Kham Meslien from Fantomes…Futurs
A newcomer to the reference playlist, this is a stunning track for testing bass. Soundstage too; Meslien should be up front, huge. Yet you can hear right back into the acoustic as well. More importantly it’s lovely music; Meslien is an absolute master of his instrument. And yes it’s a slow, contemplative start. Fear not, the pace picks up at 1’38”.
2. “Everything In Its Right Place’ by Radiohead from Kid A Mnesia
Just great music; urgency, swirling synths, a driving rythmn. With more layers than a mille feuille – how well does your system unpick the plethora of things going on?
3. “Dies Irae’ by Jaap Van Zweden / NRP from Britten’s War Requiem
A change of pace to serious, large-scale orchestral music of the highest order. The recording is superb, capturing the forces at play. There aren’t many classical recording better than this.
4. “Dance on a Volcano’ by Steve Hackett from Live at the Royal Albert Hall
In essence Genesis at their theatrical best, giving it large at the Royal Albert Hall in a live recording. Pity the engineers – the RAH is a pig when it comes to sound quality, bass in particular bouncing around like nothing on earth. Yes the recording is heavy, focussed below the waist. It still captures the pomp of the music though.
5. “Fantasia X’ by Anders Miolin from A Timeless Odyssey
How can 500 year old music sound so fresh? It was composed by Alonso Mudarra in Renaissance times. In Anders Miolin’s hands, courtesy of his 12-string guitar it has just as much relevance today. The recording is simple yet beautiful. A low (electrical) noise system helps get the most from the sparse music.
6. “La Grange‘ by ZZ Top from Goin’ 50
We’ll finish November’s list with a barnstomer from ZZ Top. The recording’s a bit bright but much like Metallica’s Enter Sandman you ignore that and just riff along with the music. The band is really tight, the music propels you along. You’ll here some audiophiles talk about PRAT – pace rythmn and timing. If I’m honest I’ve never been too sure what they mean. On a good system this track might be one example of it though.