The HiFi Starters Club October 22 playlist……find it on Spotify here
1. “Broken Skin’ by Nitin Sawhney from Beyond Skin
Just a great track, with killer bass that starts only 11 seconds in. Watch the volume!
2. “Olympic Fanfare” by Erich Kunzel & The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra on Pomp & Pizazz
Another one for bassheads. This was a favourite track of a certain Richard E Lord (as in, REL) when convincing audiophiles that subwoofers had a role to play (he did this one, I bought a massive Stygian model without even hearing it at home). The Telarc recording is typically slightly bright. It does go low though, and the piece itself is very stirring.
3. “Fermi’s Paradox” by Surrick & McFarlane on Fermi’s Paradox
Baroque Bluegrass anyone? This music came about due to Surrick & McFarlane having too much spare time in lockdown. We should be thankful, the whole album is a joy from beginning to end. Beautifully recorded, the acoustic in particular comes across really well. A good system also captures the ‘bounce’ of this opening track. Beware, it’s an earworm!
4. Bach’s ‘Lute Suite in E Minor’ by Sean Shibe (from his album Bach)
How can a single classical guitar playing music from 300 years ago sound so fresh and vibrant? It does though. And Sean Shibe absolutely fills your room (whack the volume up a bit). The recording itself is fantastic – a good test of your speakers’ soundstaging abilities – and the rest of the album is just as good musically and sonically. Check out his newer work for an electrical slant on things (shades of Dylan?)
5. “Malaika” by Angelique Kidjo from Sings
Adding a Philharmonic Orchestra to World music sounds like a recipe for elevator music. Not with Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo at the helm. One of those large-than-life characters with a big voice, she could make gargling with mouthwash sound emotionally engaging. Sonically, there’s a bit of everything in this recording, including impressive dynamics from the lady herself.
6. “The Eve of the War” from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds
Yes the music is showing its age. Yes it’s probably more appropriate for those of a certain age. Listen to Richard Burton’s lovely tone on the spoken introduction though. It’s the very definition of good midrange.