In case you are not familiar with the name Unison Research, it is an Italian company in business for some 20 years or so at Treviso, a municipality just to the north of Venice, with a well earned reputation for producing some excellent hifi components. Dominic Marsh hs a play with their Triode 25 valve amplifier. More »

Keyboard maestro Vangelis has personally overseen the remastering of Delectus,  a 13 disc retrospective collection comprised of a selection of his solo albums and those recorded with Jon Anderson of Yes.  More »

Designed with the active music lover in mind the NuForce Sport3 In Ear Monitors cost £80. Janine Elliot gets gets physical with them.  More »

I first saw Pixies playing live nearly 30 years ago at Manchester International supporting Throwing Muses (who were promoting their second album ‘House Tornado’ – still one of my all-time favourite albums).  I didn’t actually realise at the time, but it was to be one of those tours which people still talk about years later (‘You were there??!!  No way!!’).  I was – and still am – an avid 4AD fan, so I’d purchased Pixies’ album ‘Surfer Rosa’ on its release just over a month prior to the gig.  The album’s now well-documented ‘loud-quiet-loud’ songs made for an essential listen; Pixies didn’t sound like much else at the time – and certainly nothing on the 4AD roster.  I likely don’t need to tell you that bands such as Nirvana, Radiohead & David Bowie cited them as a huge influence.  It still amazes me how Pixies signed to a London-based label, despite originating from Boston, Massachusetts – and even 4AD themselves nearly passed on the opportunity had it not been for the girlfriend of then-chief Ivo Watts-Russell who managed to persuade him.

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From Greece, the Echo Diastasis PH-79 Phono Stage is a dual mono design using E-Core transformers and costs £2760. Janine Elliot gives it a whirl. More »

George Jones was the king of heartbreak. But with his demise in 2013, Jim Lauderdale, the crown prince, could very well take the throne. However, it’s not as simple as a mere coronation ceremony. It’s a test of mettle, of experience, and of the songs. With a solo career spanning from 1986 to 2017, Lauderdale has the experience, and as evidenced by London Southern, he has a firm grasp on the songs. However, the sceptre just about slips away.    More »

Pro-Ject Audio Systems is known as the world leading producer of analogue hifi audio equipment for more than 25 years. Producing a range of products. Now they are releasing The Beatles 1964 Recordplayer Limited Edition More »

Myles Manley makes idiosyncratic folk music on guitar with rhythms and colours snatched from various places, most recently Eric B and Rakim, Micachu and The Shapes, Moondog, The Clash’s Sandinista, Jinx Lennon, Frankie Cosmos, etc. “I started listening to a lot of early hiphop for some reason and what I loved about it was the clunkiness of the sounds, and the excitement you can hear at a whole new world of opportunities. I bought an MPC and started making idiot beats late at night that I’d write songs to. I’ve always had an ear for weird rhythms and I was able to make stuff that you’d never come up with rehearsing in a room with a drummer.”

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“Surviving Twin” is a posthumous collaboration in which Grammy Award winner Wainwright connects some of his best songs with the writing of his late father Loudon Wainwright Jr, the esteemed LIFE Magazine columnist. The performance is a game of creative catch between son and father, exploring issues like birth, loss, parenthood, fashion, pet ownership, and mortality. In a one man show, Wainwright recites a selection of his father’s compositions interspersed with songs from his own catalogue. “Surviving Twin” has never been previously performed in the UK.

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Norwegian pop-punks “TAKING NAMES” share first single “Say Anything” More »

The Black Angels – Austin’s psych rock masters – have confirmed details for their upcoming album, ‘Death Song,’ out April 21st. This will be the five-piece’s first full-length release in four years, and their debut for Partisan Records.  

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Ahead of the release of their forthcoming album “The Tourist”, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have announced a string of UK tour dates for September 2017. This will be the first time the band has toured in the UK since 2014, and the dates will follow on from the band’s huge US tour, which will take place across March, April and May 2017

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The Los Angeles based duo Tashaki Miyaki will release their highly anticipated debut album, ‘The Dream’, on April 7th via Metropolis Records and have just shared the first taste of the upcoming release via a new single entitled ‘Girls On T.V.’ “This track emerged out of observing fame culture,” explains vocalist Paige Stark. “Things like the emergence of reality TV stardom and social media celebrity have elevated fame culture to a new sphere. We are living in an Andy Warhol meets Orwellian vision of the future and I find it terrifying. It’s all about ‘likes’ and numbers, and now our country is being run by a monster who was created by this very machine. The title is playing on the perspective I’m singing from a media brainwashed girl that only wants to be famous like the girls on TV.” More »

Porshyne are an atmospheric rock five-piece hailing from Brighton. Formed in 2014, early releases from the band such as “Residue” and “Warp” have helped to cement their name within the Brighton music scene, leading to them playing shows alongside the likes of Black Peaks, Valerian Swing, Town Portal and many more. Now, after having burrowed away to record their debut EP “Environmental Music” with Mark Roberts (Black Peaks, Broker, The Physics House Band), Porshyne are set to return with their most heavy, emotive and accomplished material to date. More »

Sweet Gum Tree’s first and heavily supported album by the likes of Mojo, Uncut and The Line Of Best Fit, came to fruition with the help of many prestigious collaborators such as Isobel Campbell -Belle & Sebastian, Earl Harvin -Tindersticks and Marty Willson-Piper -The Church. This time, Arno Sojo has reshuffled his cards and chosen to record this new album almost entirely on his own, except for the help of Irish producer David Odlum (long-time partner-in-crime of Gemma Hayes and Glen Hansard). More »

Van Morrison, Herbie Hancock, Jamiroquai, George Benson, Norah Jones, Laura Mvula and many more confirmed for North Sea Jazz Festival 2017 More »

Vandana is pleased to share the first single from her upcoming EP today, with Wonderland. More »

Los Angeles based Cambodian and American rock band DENGUE FEVER have announced that they are set to begin a deluxe reissue campaign to release the bands long out-of-print back catalogue via their own Tuk Tuk Records. More »

Janine Elliot takes a listen to the STS Digital reel to reel copy of Jazz Masters Volume 1 More »

Father and son duo Rob and Dave Stevenson get tooled up and take a bash with this interesting single driver DIY loudspeaker project costing a total of £552 including VAT.  More »

It’s been twenty years since Madeleine Peyroux released her debut album, Dreamland.  Although the comparisons to Billie Holiday that dogged her initially have lessened, they haven’t totally evaporated either.  Peyroux does share a certain smokey tone with Holiday along with the ability to warp time with her phrasing, stretching vowels beyond breaking point or shoehorning syllables into the smallest of spaces with an ease that baffles belief.  Peyroux also shares Holiday’s ability to know a good song when she hears it;to inhabit it completely and make it her own.  A good song needs a good songwriter and tonight Peyroux will take songs by songwriters such as Tom Waits, Lennon & McCartney, Stephen Foster, Allan Toussaint, Leonard Cohen, Linton Kwesi Johnson  and Willie Dixon and turn them inside out. More »

Janine Elliot spends a day in the studio with Mike Valentine More »

Arcaydis are a Sheffield based manufacturer of loudspeakers that many will know the name of. The company has relaunched recently with new owners but with the same designs and here Ian Ringstead takes a listen to their £799 EB2S standmount loudspeaker.  More »

When I think of reggae coming out of the UK in the 80s and 90s my mind immediately jumps to the fabulous On-U Sounds label and producer Adrian Sherwood. Indeed, in the early 90s I had a radio show on Sony Radio Station of the Year winner Wear FM called The Midnight Train To Doomsville inspired by the Lee Perry tune of the same name. Every week we would start the show with the full version of the song taken from one of the On-U Sound Pay It All Back series of compilations. The label even inspired a group of us to form a reggae band that enjoyed reasonable success in the North East of the country…but I digress. More »

DAC3 is the latest converter to be unveiled by Benchmark and features the new ESS Technology ES9028PRO chip. Dan Worth takes the £2349 American made DAC3 for a test drive.  More »

Chord Electronics has added a high-resolution USB Type-B input to its CES-unveiled Blu MkII upscaling CD transport. The USB input takes the place of the optical output seen on the prototype at CES and has been implemented following dealer demand for Blu MkII’s upscaling technology to be available to a wider range of digital devices. More »

OPPO Digital have announced that the new Sonica DAC is ready for release. The newest entry into the OPPO family of digital audio products, Sonica DAC merges audiophile-grade performance with the latest network streaming technology, says the company’s recent press release. More »

Stuart and Linette take a listen to the unique Volya Bouquet loudspeakers costing €120 000.  More »

From 18 to 21 May 2017 the time comes around again for the world’s biggest audio fair to open its doors at the MOC site in Munich. The HIGH END is indisputably the number one international meeting point for audio enthusiasts and has been an institution for many years. It is the oldest and biggest fair of its kind and has become firmly established in the course of more than three decades.  More »

From 18 to 21 May 2017 the time comes around again for the world’s biggest audio fair to open its doors at the MOC site in Munich. The HIGH END is indisputably the number one international meeting point for audio enthusiasts and has been an institution for many years. It is the oldest and biggest fair of its kind and has become firmly established in the course of more than three decades.  More »

Acclaimed indie-folk quintet Patch & The Giant, release their long awaited debut album, ‘All That We Had, We Stole’, out 10th February 2017. More »

After a great 2016 for the band that included a no.1 album on the rock chart, a sell-out headline tour and a hugely successful European tour in support of Biffy Clyro, Lonely The Brave continue their prolific streak as songwriters by announcing a brand new EP led by album highlight, the atmospheric and emotive “Diamond Days”. More »

‘Easy’, the highly anticipated new album from rising Nashville-via-Mississippi band The Weeks, is set for release April 7th on Lightning Rod Records. More »

German label Kompakt continue THE ORB’s SIN IN SPACE remix EP series with a third volume focusing on the duo’s latest full-length album, the acclaimed COW / CHILL OUT, WORLD!. The spontaneous, organic vibe and sample artistry of the album is reflected in three distinct reworks from Kompakt mainstays THE FIELD, DAVE DK and JÖRG BURGER – all of them informed with surprising twists and displaying a clear lineage to the source material. More »

Dominic Marsh takes a listen to the £ 699 budget conscious Cyrus ONE integrated amplifier for Hifi Pig More »

Following on from the reissue of their cult favourite ‘Holo Pleasures’ EP and their incredibly successful first ever UK live shows early last year, Elvis Depressedly have now announced a new set of UK/EU tour dates for 2017.

In May 2015 Elvis Depressedly released the well received “New Alhambra” with Run For Cover Records and Orchid Tapes, and last year the band went on to reissue their 2013 EP ‘Holo Pleasures’ via Run For Cover alongside a new EP of unreleased material on the B-side, ‘California Dreamin’’.

Since releasing ‘New Alhambra’ in May 2015 the band have earned critical acclaim from the likes of NME, DIY, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Rolling Stone, SPIN, Upset, Consequence of Sound The 405 and many more for their unique blend of minimalist, lo-fi, melancholic noise-pop.

Their UK/EU dates will follow on from the band’s West Coast US tour in March and will see them play the following dates with support from TV Girl:

Apr 7 – Amsterdam, NL
Apr 8 – Groningen, NL @ Vera
Apr 10 – Copenhagen, DN @ Stengade
Apr 13 – Malmo, SW @ Plan B
Apr 14 – Berlin, DE @ Urban Spree
Apr 15 – Leipzig, DE
Apr 16 – Halle, DE @ Huhnermanhattan
Apr 18 – Freiburg, AU @ Rang Teng Teng
Apr 19 – Salzburg, CH @ Rockhouse
Apr 20 – Zurich, CH @ Gonzo Club (w/LVL UP)
Apr 21 – Geneva, FR @ L’Ecurie
Apr 22 – Paris, FR @ E’ Space B
Apr 23 – Brighton, UK @ The Joker
Apr 24 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Apr 25 – Manchester, UK @ The Star and Garter
Apr 26 – London, UK @ Kamio
Apr 27 – Antwerp, BE @ Kavka

Janine Elliot checks out the multi-driver Optoma HEM4 In Ear Monitors costing a penny short of £250. More »

Award winning singer and master songwriter Jim Lauderdale releases a striking new studio album London Southern on February 3 2017 and will take part in the hugely popular Transatlantic Sessions tour in February, starting in Glasgow at Celtic Connections and then touring the UK.

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Hailed as ‘the heroes British rock needs right now’ by the Huffington Post, the mighty Hunter & The Bear’s raw, infectious and downright thunderous output has seen them garner extensive plays on BBC Radio 6 and 2 already, as well as spots on large stages at Reading & Leeds, T in the Park and Hard Rock Calling festivals. More »

Entering an impressive 3rd decade, Dreadzone release a brand new album “Dread Times” on February 17th 2017.

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Analog Candle are pleased to share the video for current single ‘Trier’ More »

Anti say it is thrilled to announce the signing of Jade Jackson. A highly prolific and supremely talented young singer-songwriter, Jackson creates a sound that is simultaneously new and old, merging a youthful spiritedness with a weary storyteller’s perspective usually reserved for veteran artists. More »

PIG mark the release of new album ‘The Gospel’ with a UK tour, for which the Lord of Lard Raymond Watts has enlisted former KMFDM colleagues En Esch and Günter Schulz, Greg Steward aka Z.Marr (formerly of Combichrist) and Galen Waling (Left Spine Down/16 Volt). More »

The Little Kicks first emerged around five years ago, a young Aberdeen band with the wind in their sails. A crisp, upbeat debut album followed, laced with off-kilter indie pop worthy of comparison to early Franz Ferdinand, The Long Blondes, or even Sparks.  More »

Torgeir Waldemar took the Norwegian people and music press by surprise with his eponymous debut album in 2014. Who had thought that the black-clad, longhaired and bearded man would deliver an album that captivated and moved us as much as it did. An acoustic masterpiece that sounded like it came straight from the rehearsal room of a young troubadour from Laurel Canyon in the seventies. More »