9B

For a couple of years, my main CD source has been my Theta Data Universal Transport — a laserdisk/CD player from the early 90s. Fed through a Meridian 518 for dejittering and upsampling to 24-bit, it has always sounded good through my Yamaha DSP-AX1 amp. But recently, I’ve started to feel it’s been missing something at the top end. Conversely, CDs played on my Arcam FMJ DV27 have sounded mechanical, with a lack of warmth in the bass, and overbright, unrefined treble. Assuming that the Theta’s failings at the top were probably simply masking the limitations of the Yamaha’s power …

Field

From 13 to 29 February this year, UK physicist and artist Richard Box is exhibiting his Field — a nice riff on Lightning Field — under (and powered by) the power pylons of the National Grid, somewhere near Bristol. Makes me want to re-read Keith Roberts’s High Eight.

The Fourth Dimension

I first saw Rybczynski’s Tango, I Can’t Stop and some of Orchestra on the ABC’s Sunday Spectrum strand on TV back in the 80s in Tasmania (the original Sunday Spectrum doesn’t even rate a mention on the ABC website, but it was really important at the time. I seem to remember the work of Rybczynski, Michael Snow and Ed Emshwiller all being shown within the same month. Revelations.) I’ve been hunting The Fourth Dimension since Tokyo. Tim saw it at (I may be wrong) Image Forum, and made it sound a thing worth tracking down. That was probably 13 years …

Degraded Audio and Its Promotion

Compressed digital formats (mp3 and its ilk) are expedient: they save storage space and download time. But there’s something rather disingenuous about MusicMatch — the software accompanying iPod on the Windows platform — misrepresenting 128kbps mp3 as ‘cd quality’! There is a certain aesthetic to degraded digital audio — classic 12-bit samplers sell at inflated prices on eBay for their ‘authentic hip hop sound’ — but the post-Napster generation is being sold a lie by the music industry about the quality of the music they’re being offered by the ‘legal online music revolution’. It’s certainly quicker to download a compressed …

Zbig Rybczynski DVDs

A selection of Zbig Rybczynski’s early films and his HDTV work from the 80s is now available on DVD. Shame it isn’t HD-DVD. And shame I don’t have an HD-DVD player. Oh well. Really wish I could find this stuff on Japanese HD laserdisc (and that I had one of those ancient MUSE HI-Vision decks to play them on…)Oh and Happy New Year. I’ve been very busy with work and thinking, and this is the first thing I’ve seen this year that I’ve wanted to post. More to come soon…