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Leo
31-10-2016, 02:08 PM
part of me finds this interesting, but part of me also thinks it might be a little bit too mojo magazine.

Listening Clubs Tantalize Audiophiles in London

http://nyti.ms/2e2iLh6

Corpsey
31-10-2016, 02:10 PM
Damn NYT paywall!

Even when I'm by myself I rarely just sit and listen to music. I think it's the technology I've grown up with. I need a screen to look at.

luka
31-10-2016, 02:19 PM
I was telling woebot to open one of these recently. I read an atricle about ones in Tokyo. Didn't even knoe they had them here.

luka
31-10-2016, 02:22 PM
Doesn't have to be mojo it just seems like this place is run by a crowd with very middlebrow taste which is a shame. If someone with an interesting collection was running it it could be great.

Leo
31-10-2016, 03:04 PM
just for you, corpsey:


LONDON — One Sunday evening in September, the main hall of a community center here was decked out with ribbons, balloons and a gyrating disco ball that marked a sonic sweet spot — the optimal position for partygoers to enjoy the clean, punchy (and not too loud) sound of five towering speakers arranged strategically around the room, piping a playlist of pop, funk, rock and dance floor gems for all generations.

The Lucky Cloud sound system was in town. Following the lead of a cult party series created by the D.J. and impresario David Mancuso in 1970s New York, the organizers prioritize audio quality above all else. With Mr. Mancuso’s blessing, they began running events in London in 2003, starting a slow-burn trend that has spread around this city: Numerous listening clubs now invite people to experience recorded music played through hi-fi rigs that most humble audiophiles can only dream about.

The newest is Spiritland, a cafe-bar in central London that claims to offer “the best sound system in the world” — an imposing array that dominates the room like a shrine in a temple. Two sets of bulky yet elegant speakers finished in vintage wood sit on either side of an Italian amplifier with colorful valves and tubes that glow orange when the lights are low.

“I always wanted to go somewhere which could be all about musical appreciation, to hear someone dig really deeply into their record collection and explore their private passions,” said Paul Noble, Spiritland’s creative director. After two successful years with a pop-up venture at a restaurant in East London, his team found a permanent home and invested heavily in a customized system, designed by the British company Living Voice. It is valued at just under a half-million dollars.

“These speakers were built totally without compromise,” Mr. Noble said. “When you have equipment this good, it can deliver such high quality that it emotionally connects you to the music. We’re not afraid to say that listening to music is a very magical thing.”

That mystical philosophy echoes back to New York, where Mr. Mancuso obsessed over the hi-fi setup for his weekly Loft parties in the 1970s and ’80s. Purity was paramount: Mr. Mancuso stripped away mixing equipment used by many D.J.s, imagining that fewer cables and boxes would liberate the sound waves and, consequently, his guests on the dance floor.

Tim Lawrence, the author of books including “Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979,” explained: “The D.J. didn’t mix or perform tricks on the equalizer. The D.J. divested themselves of their ego, stopped trying to interfere with the music, and they just chose really good tunes.” When Mr. Mancuso had the idea of taking his Loft concept to London in 2003, he called Mr. Lawrence — and the Lucky Cloud sound system was born.

Another Mancuso disciple to join the effort was Colleen Murphy, an American D.J. who regularly played at the Loft before moving to England, where she is now a familiar face behind the Lucky Cloud turntables. In 2010 she began Classic Album Sundays, turning one of her favorite social activities into a public gathering: Every month, people are invited to hear a culturally significant record on vinyl with luxury audio gear.

“Younger people don’t really share music anymore,” said Ms. Murphy, 48, who aims to push back against “shuffle culture” with her events, which have spread to Amsterdam, Sydney, Chicago and Tokyo, among other cities. “People don’t give themselves the time and space to listen to a full album,” she continued. “They listen to MP3 files in earbuds, losing half of the sonic information.”

The growth of the audiophile scene in London parallels a resurgence in global vinyl sales, which hit a 28-year-high in 2016. High-fidelity streaming services like Tidal and home sound systems like Sonos represent a philosophical shift to quality over convenience in digital consumption, but the tactile charm and full sound of vinyl are here to stay.

At a recent Classic Album meeting, a pair of Klipsch La Scala speakers (valued at $8,000) were installed in the basement bar of an East London hotel on either side of a Rega P9 turntable at center stage. The audience sat in rapt silence for New Order’s 1983 record “Power, Corruption & Lies,” taking in every detail of the sparkling electro-pop riffs, soaring vocals and bouncy polyrhythmic beats.

During an onstage conversation with Ms. Murphy before the listening session, Peter Hook — a former bassist with New Order, also known for his work with Joy Division — spoke about designing sound systems that “made the tip of your nose tingle” at British nightclubs in the 1980s.

“In those days, because they were analog, they had a warmth that now has to be created,” Mr. Hook, 60, said in an interview. “It’s very difficult to get the fullness of the old days, which is hard to manufacture,” he continued. “It’s always a bit too clicky and a bit too digital. I think digital has a lot to answer for.”

In Dalston, in northeast London, the Brilliant Corners restaurant lives up to its name: Large floor-standing speakers by Klipsch (worth $6,000 each) are in each corner of the main room. The venture was opened three years ago by Amit and Aneesh Patel, brothers who had discovered the pleasure of deep listening at Lucky Cloud parties.

“I hope this audiophile movement questions the model about what kind of sound systems are installed in public places,” said Amit Patel, who left his career as a lawyer to open the restaurant.

Aneesh Patel observed, “In the big nightclubs, they spend thousands on interiors, toilets, whatever, but they have sound systems that distort all the time, and everyone thinks it’s normal to leave with your ears ringing.”

Brilliant Corners also hosts pop-up events like Classic Album Sundays or the occasional Jazz Kissaten — a listening session run by Gearbox Records, a label and mastering studio that works exclusively with vinyl. In Japan, a typical kissaten is a coffee shop with audiophile equipment and a huge jazz collection.

“You’re in a tiny room, and the immense speakers swallow half of it,” said the founder of Gearbox, Darrel Sheinman, who visits Japan every year. “You walk in, grab a coffee or a glass of wine, and listen for as long as you like — without talking.”

Mr. Sheinman, an entrepreneur and record collector, started Gearbox in 2009 as a hobby, and it became his full-time job in 2012. His studio is packed with rare analog apparatus including a Haeco Scully vinyl-cutting lathe and a Studer C37 tape recorder, thought to be one of two in existence. The label’s catalog includes jazz, avant-garde electronica and American folk, featuring emerging artists and archive sessions from the BBC vaults or other sources.

“In a world that doesn’t linger too long on anything, we’re trying to bring a bit of ritual back into listening to music,” said Adam Sieff, the marketing and sales director at Gearbox. “Take a deep breath, sit down, take the music a little bit more seriously — and enjoy it.”

Corpsey
31-10-2016, 03:15 PM
Could only read so much in italics but:

Yeah this sounds like a great idea.

I'd like to listen to LFO's S/T album on speakers which shake the face.

sufi
31-10-2016, 03:20 PM
oh ffs, i've been to lucky cloud mancuso love ins, people dance there, and it is not a patch on aba shanti I, which was old when dissensus was still young

Leo
31-10-2016, 03:27 PM
Could only read so much in italics but:


one more time, just for you, corpsey. ;)

LONDON — One Sunday evening in September, the main hall of a community center here was decked out with ribbons, balloons and a gyrating disco ball that marked a sonic sweet spot — the optimal position for partygoers to enjoy the clean, punchy (and not too loud) sound of five towering speakers arranged strategically around the room, piping a playlist of pop, funk, rock and dance floor gems for all generations.

The Lucky Cloud sound system was in town. Following the lead of a cult party series created by the D.J. and impresario David Mancuso in 1970s New York, the organizers prioritize audio quality above all else. With Mr. Mancuso’s blessing, they began running events in London in 2003, starting a slow-burn trend that has spread around this city: Numerous listening clubs now invite people to experience recorded music played through hi-fi rigs that most humble audiophiles can only dream about.

The newest is Spiritland, a cafe-bar in central London that claims to offer “the best sound system in the world” — an imposing array that dominates the room like a shrine in a temple. Two sets of bulky yet elegant speakers finished in vintage wood sit on either side of an Italian amplifier with colorful valves and tubes that glow orange when the lights are low.

“I always wanted to go somewhere which could be all about musical appreciation, to hear someone dig really deeply into their record collection and explore their private passions,” said Paul Noble, Spiritland’s creative director. After two successful years with a pop-up venture at a restaurant in East London, his team found a permanent home and invested heavily in a customized system, designed by the British company Living Voice. It is valued at just under a half-million dollars.

“These speakers were built totally without compromise,” Mr. Noble said. “When you have equipment this good, it can deliver such high quality that it emotionally connects you to the music. We’re not afraid to say that listening to music is a very magical thing.”

That mystical philosophy echoes back to New York, where Mr. Mancuso obsessed over the hi-fi setup for his weekly Loft parties in the 1970s and ’80s. Purity was paramount: Mr. Mancuso stripped away mixing equipment used by many D.J.s, imagining that fewer cables and boxes would liberate the sound waves and, consequently, his guests on the dance floor.

Tim Lawrence, the author of books including “Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979,” explained: “The D.J. didn’t mix or perform tricks on the equalizer. The D.J. divested themselves of their ego, stopped trying to interfere with the music, and they just chose really good tunes.” When Mr. Mancuso had the idea of taking his Loft concept to London in 2003, he called Mr. Lawrence — and the Lucky Cloud sound system was born.

Another Mancuso disciple to join the effort was Colleen Murphy, an American D.J. who regularly played at the Loft before moving to England, where she is now a familiar face behind the Lucky Cloud turntables. In 2010 she began Classic Album Sundays, turning one of her favorite social activities into a public gathering: Every month, people are invited to hear a culturally significant record on vinyl with luxury audio gear.

“Younger people don’t really share music anymore,” said Ms. Murphy, 48, who aims to push back against “shuffle culture” with her events, which have spread to Amsterdam, Sydney, Chicago and Tokyo, among other cities. “People don’t give themselves the time and space to listen to a full album,” she continued. “They listen to MP3 files in earbuds, losing half of the sonic information.”

The growth of the audiophile scene in London parallels a resurgence in global vinyl sales, which hit a 28-year-high in 2016. High-fidelity streaming services like Tidal and home sound systems like Sonos represent a philosophical shift to quality over convenience in digital consumption, but the tactile charm and full sound of vinyl are here to stay.

At a recent Classic Album meeting, a pair of Klipsch La Scala speakers (valued at $8,000) were installed in the basement bar of an East London hotel on either side of a Rega P9 turntable at center stage. The audience sat in rapt silence for New Order’s 1983 record “Power, Corruption & Lies,” taking in every detail of the sparkling electro-pop riffs, soaring vocals and bouncy polyrhythmic beats.

During an onstage conversation with Ms. Murphy before the listening session, Peter Hook — a former bassist with New Order, also known for his work with Joy Division — spoke about designing sound systems that “made the tip of your nose tingle” at British nightclubs in the 1980s.

“In those days, because they were analog, they had a warmth that now has to be created,” Mr. Hook, 60, said in an interview. “It’s very difficult to get the fullness of the old days, which is hard to manufacture,” he continued. “It’s always a bit too clicky and a bit too digital. I think digital has a lot to answer for.”

In Dalston, in northeast London, the Brilliant Corners restaurant lives up to its name: Large floor-standing speakers by Klipsch (worth $6,000 each) are in each corner of the main room. The venture was opened three years ago by Amit and Aneesh Patel, brothers who had discovered the pleasure of deep listening at Lucky Cloud parties.

“I hope this audiophile movement questions the model about what kind of sound systems are installed in public places,” said Amit Patel, who left his career as a lawyer to open the restaurant.

Aneesh Patel observed, “In the big nightclubs, they spend thousands on interiors, toilets, whatever, but they have sound systems that distort all the time, and everyone thinks it’s normal to leave with your ears ringing.”

Brilliant Corners also hosts pop-up events like Classic Album Sundays or the occasional Jazz Kissaten — a listening session run by Gearbox Records, a label and mastering studio that works exclusively with vinyl. In Japan, a typical kissaten is a coffee shop with audiophile equipment and a huge jazz collection.

“You’re in a tiny room, and the immense speakers swallow half of it,” said the founder of Gearbox, Darrel Sheinman, who visits Japan every year. “You walk in, grab a coffee or a glass of wine, and listen for as long as you like — without talking.”

Mr. Sheinman, an entrepreneur and record collector, started Gearbox in 2009 as a hobby, and it became his full-time job in 2012. His studio is packed with rare analog apparatus including a Haeco Scully vinyl-cutting lathe and a Studer C37 tape recorder, thought to be one of two in existence. The label’s catalog includes jazz, avant-garde electronica and American folk, featuring emerging artists and archive sessions from the BBC vaults or other sources.

“In a world that doesn’t linger too long on anything, we’re trying to bring a bit of ritual back into listening to music,” said Adam Sieff, the marketing and sales director at Gearbox. “Take a deep breath, sit down, take the music a little bit more seriously — and enjoy it.”

Corpsey
31-10-2016, 03:32 PM
Doesn't Aba Shanti play strictly reggae though?

I want to hear Mike and the Mechanics 'Over My Shoudler' on the Valve soundsystem.

sufi
31-10-2016, 04:28 PM
Doesn't Aba Shanti play strictly reggae though?
"strickly roots and culture" i believe

luka
31-10-2016, 04:56 PM
i want to hear the most abstruse musique concrete on the finest audiophile gear in a room with the best acoustics in a high quality armchair with a glass of expensive cognac and a massive spliff of super lemon haze

IdleRich
31-10-2016, 08:55 PM
I don't want to be someone who has a go at other people having fun (or pretending to) if it doesn't harm me but I find something pretty annoying about this if I'm honest. Not so much the doing of it but all the banging on about the warmth of analogue and how people these days don't find time to sit down and listen. Don't we? There is something annoyingly superior or patronising about it isn't there? It's not just me right?
Also, I've been to Brilliant Corners several times and I've never been that blown away by the sound. Maybe it's cos on a Wednesday or whatever when there is no special night on they don't have the volume above some very low max but it's always been quite quiet when I'm there. I had a suspicion that it might be due to the shape of the room or the acoustics of having all the people in that small space. I know nothing whatsoever about that kind of thing but I do find it an amusing possibility that there is a bar that has spent a billion pounds on speakers and a rotary mixer (don't think they mention the mixer in the article but that's something that gets people excited too) but has undercut that by neglecting to think of the many other factors that affect the sound quality.
Anyway, there are lots of articles about sound quality these days - hot stampers, analogue vs digital, extreme audiophiles etc Something in the air I guess, on the street where I live there is now a shop that sells ridiculously expensive audio stuff - at least I assume it's ridiculously expensive but I don't know for certain cos none of the stuff has prices on it and you need to make an appointment to go there.

IdleRich
31-10-2016, 08:57 PM
Although I will say that when I dj and the sound is bad it makes me really sad and angry cos it makes you look like a cunt so I'm glad someone cares about it I guess. It's just that personally as long as the quality is of a level where you can hear the tune and it doesn't damage your ears etc then there is little value in striving asymptotically towards perfection by buying increasingly expensive improvements, half of which people claim don't even work.

Slothrop
31-10-2016, 09:50 PM
I have a standard rant about analogue bores of which the crux is that if your music needs expensive analogue equipment - either on the production side or the listening side - to avoid sounding flat and lifeless then you probably need to start looking for some better music.

sufi
01-11-2016, 08:11 PM
Dear dancer

Reservations for Lucky Cloud Sound System's winter Loft party on 4 December at Rose Lipman have happily/sadly sold out.

We’re happy that so many people want to dance with us beneath a sea of balloons. We're sad that there might be some dancers who’ll miss out.

For those who want to plan ahead, we’ll be holding our spring party on 19 March and will be putting reservations for that on sale after the winter party. Reserving early is, as always, recommended.

Back to now, four weeks to go. We can’t wait to head back to the Lucky Cloud Sound System dance floor.

Love saves the day,

xxxx Lucky Cloud Sound System xxxx

PS Colleen Murphy will host a conversation with Tim Lawrence as well as play Dinosaur L’s 24>24 Music at Classic Album Sundays, Sunday 6 November, more info here! Books for sale/signing.

PPS Beauty and the Beat’s next party is on 19 November, details here!

PPPS Tim is holding additional book events at Behind this Wall/London, The Baltic/Liverpool, the Refuge/Manchester, Walthamstow/London and Sketch/London during the coming weeks. More info here. Books for sale/signing.

PPPPS Classic Album Sundays’ last session of the year will celebrate D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ on 27th November at Brilliant Corners. http://classicalbumsundays.com/classic-album-sundays-presents-dangelo-voodoo/
spam this eve

droid
01-11-2016, 09:11 PM
If I was an enterprising London scally, I would definitely be paying a visit to one of these - along with a van and a few rudeboys.

Mr. Tea
01-11-2016, 09:29 PM
So are you meant to actually dance at these events, or just stand there and stroke your chin to show that you appreciate the superb acoustics?

Also there's no way of getting around the fact that 'audiophile' sounds like it means a pervert and possible sex offender.

There's a fair enough point later on about people listening to MP3s, which are far from lossless. I dunno why anyone bothers with them, I mean modern portable music players have enough memory in them that you can fit plenty of albums/mixes in a lossless or nearly lossless format without having to compress it down to MP3.

luka
01-11-2016, 09:45 PM
Not all music is made to dance to. I'd like to listen to some albums at a volume I can't in my flat and on equipment I can't afford. I think it's a good idea but if the venues don't tolerate drug use then I don't see the point.

Mr. Tea
01-11-2016, 10:17 PM
That's a good point. Buuuut - if we're talking about listening just for the music's sake, and not dancing, you're better off listening on really high-end earphones, aren't you?

Yes, you're not going to get that somatic bass-in-the-body feel you get from a big PA system in a club or gig venue. But that's more important when you're dancing, so it's sort of moot...

luka
01-11-2016, 10:50 PM
I'm not sure about that, there's something about sound within a space and also it's nice, sometimes, to share the experience with people you can tolerate (friends)

Leo
01-11-2016, 11:14 PM
there's something to be said for listening in a room as opposed to on headphones. i remember smoking pot as a teen and listening to one of the early black sabbath albums on a friend's high-end audio system. it was amazing, unlike any listening experience i've ever had.

it was good pot, though.

UFO over easy
02-11-2016, 12:11 PM
I have a standard rant about analogue bores of which the crux is that if your music needs expensive analogue equipment - either on the production side or the listening side - to avoid sounding flat and lifeless then you probably need to start looking for some better music.

the two poles are the guy insisting that modern music is all mastered for laptop speakers these days anyway - anything else is just ridiculous opulence and if you need good kit to appreciate music you don't really like music - and these dudes with their private electricity supplies: http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-gift-for-music-lovers-who-have-it-all-a-personal-utility-pole-1471189463

obviously both positions are silly

Corpsey
02-11-2016, 12:28 PM
It's interesting, this idea that you need to be dancing to make communal listening worthwhile. I'm not suggesting you ARE saying that, Tea, but I think it's something I instinctively feel, too. Or at least, you need something to watch. For example, a classical concert, no dancing involved, but you're watching the performers. It's harder to imagine an auditorium of people listening to a big speaker playing a Beethoven symphony.

There IS something thrilling about, say, watching a movie in a cinema as opposed to alone, even though you're not talking or interacting with other people much at all for the duration of it.

I suppose more than ever before music appreciation tends to be a solitary experience. I think Reynolds talks about this in 'Retromania'.

luka
02-11-2016, 01:24 PM
I suppose I'm coming to it from a recent incredible magical experience of listening to Bernard Parmegiani: De Natura Sonorum (1975): http://youtu.be/c_JHjUFfOs8 and Roland Young - Crystal Motions: http://youtu.be/WSVuqiMmvN4 in my flat with my mate and both 'in the experience ' completely immersed in listening and although the audio gear is low end in the extreme our ears were improved with special mystical substances. Music is made primarily to listen to and sharing the experience makes it more magical

luka
02-11-2016, 01:25 PM
There's something about the act of listening that gets you closer to the ground of being, strips away a lot of ordinary grossness. It needn't be dionysian

luka
03-11-2016, 09:15 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbxtYqA6ypM

imagine listening to this on billion pound audio equipment in a room with perfect acoustics. youd transcend this universe forever.

firefinga
03-11-2016, 09:37 AM
the two poles are the guy insisting that modern music is all mastered for laptop speakers these days anyway -

He got a point there, though. Not all, but a big chunk.

Corpsey
03-11-2016, 09:51 AM
As a sidebar, in visual terms, everything is increasingly geared towards high definition. Film has its own debate going on between digital filming and traditional filming. e.g. Nolan and PT Anderson insisting on shooting stuff on 70mm.

firefinga
03-11-2016, 10:24 AM
As a sidebar, in visual terms, everything is increasingly geared towards high definition. Film has its own debate going on between digital filming and traditional filming. e.g. Nolan and PT Anderson insisting on shooting stuff on 70mm.

Not everything, but certain sectors of the industry no doubt. Especially manufacturers of TVs wanna shove high def. down your throat, now even 4K. But at the same time, Amazon or Netflix (Apple included) push streaming, and don't give much a fuck about picture quality. Blu Ray is practically a zombie medium, never reached the popularity of the DVD and younger viewers start out with payperview/streaming. At the same time stuff is being filmed in HighDef, but watched on rather smallish (und therefore useless) screens of smartphones/tablets.

Just showing the shizophrenia of the entertainment industry.

As a movie buff, I am all but happy about the dominance of tech-gimmickery over the last decade or so (High Def/Blu Ray/3-D/4K) - bc at least IMO the number of movies I find interesting has considerably dropped.

CrowleyHead
03-11-2016, 01:24 PM
As a sidebar, in visual terms, everything is increasingly geared towards high definition. Film has its own debate going on between digital filming and traditional filming. e.g. Nolan and PT Anderson insisting on shooting stuff on 70mm.

They're also fucking rich, or at least have the money expected to put their foot down on that.

Tell anyone who hasn't gotten a sterling reputation of classics to insist on 70mm and watch their careers struggle.

We can only place the terms of engagement for experience in mediums like audio or digital based on who's willing to support the artist as an audience and as a backer. It becomes a lot of hypotheticals as to who wants what, who values what, etc. etc.

UFO over easy
03-11-2016, 02:07 PM
He got a point there, though. Not all, but a big chunk.

pop music needs to sound good everywhere because it's listened to everywhere. it needs to sound good on laptop speakers but also car radios, club systems, hifi, earbuds etc

mixed_biscuits
05-11-2016, 09:29 PM
Spent some time at Spiritland this afternoon; the sound quality is exquisite and the bar has a nice vibe to it too.

sufi
16-11-2016, 04:05 PM
https://www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=37280 :(

luka
21-11-2017, 07:59 PM
having been brilliant corners a couple of times now have to agree with idle rich the sound doesnt sound like anything special and i was certainly in a state to be able to appreciate it if it was. just any bar really. girls in their saturday night dresses and boys with bottles of lager. shame really. i'll wait for woebots one.