Monday, 15 February 2016

The Dan Lampinski Tapes - KISS & Black Sabbath - Live Providence, RI USA 1975 (Remastered 2016)

KISS - Civic Center Providence, RI, USA August 8, 1975

Review taken from www.collectorsmusicreviews.com
Running time: (corrected) 61:48
Tracklist: Deuce, Strutter, Hotter Than Hell, Fire House, She, C’Mon And Love Me, Solo Gene Simmons, 100,000 Years, Solo Peter Criss / 100,000 Years cont., Black Diamond, Cold Gin, Rock And Roll All Nite

Flash back to 1975 and KISS was in the final stages of being an opening band, on this night Black Sabbath was the headliners. They had just finishes work on the Alive ! record and were on the final dates of the Dressed To Kill tour. The set list had been pretty much standard and as an opening act were dangerous.





The concert was recorded by Dan Lampinski who’s vault of  audience recordings began to appear on various torrent sites a couple years back, the Sabbath set is also in circulation and is worth seeking out. (*Included here and treated with the same dedication and effort as the KISS show)
Superb three dimensional audience recording recorded close to the stage with minimal audience interference with the band in phenomenal form. I downloaded this and the Sabbath set when it first appeared and it deserves a silver release and is a perfect representation of the band at this point.



Dan Lampinski recorded over 100 concerts in the Providence/Boston area, mostly between 1974 and 1978. His earliest recordings were made with an internal microphone deck, and though they are somewhat lo-fi compared to his later work, some very great moments in rock history were captured for posterity. In late 1974 he bought a Sony TC-152SD tape recorder, a Sony ECM-99 stereo microphone, and began using Maxell cassettes. He was also fortunate enough to have a friend who provided excellent taping seats for many shows, resulting in high quality recordings. In 1977, he switched over to a Nakamichi 550 tape recorder, two Nakamichi CM-300 microphones, and continued using Maxell cassettes.

The band storms the stage with the classic opening of Deuce and Strutter to get things rolling. Paul acknowledges the audience as this is the bands first appearance in Providence and they slow the set down with something slow and heavy with She. I love the middle section where it starts of with Bass and Drums then the guitars break into the riff and Ace plays a great solo and leads them into the fast pace section….so heavy ! The song is also a solo spot for Ace and he sets the place ablaze..afterward Paul states “Ace Frehely….Smokin !”

100,000 Years, is another set highlight, Gene begins to spit blood and some people close to Dan say “Grosse” upon the sight of fresh blood, not for the weak hearted. I would imagine that some of the crowd were not prepared for what they were seeing. If there was one KISS song to be label epic this one is it, its inherent in the riff and the way Ace plays the leads over it is just so great. Vintage Peter Criss, that is all need be spoken about his solo. Well not all. He kills it from the first beat, he is in his prime as a player and it shows and the crowd in return show their appreciation.

Paul does a great rap and has the audience completely on his side, it leads into the drinking rap that always garners hoots and hollers. The band know what’s next and Paul gets them to scream it “COLD GIN”. and the party atmosphere is in full swing, it is a crowd favorite and by the time the song is over, the crowd isn’t’, they demand more and they band finish with their philosophy, Rock And Roll All Nite. The recording keeps going after the band finishes with comments being picked up like “I didn’t like them till the end”, It is a brilliant end to a great show that has the band winning over some of the crowd on their way to world domination.


Notes on this new 2016 Corrected Remaster:
Although indeed a near perfect recording, the original High Resolution Tape transfers had problems. Though minor I wanted to correct them the best way I could because this is legendary stuff and why not perfect it when you have the chance.

- The tape-transfers had a mismatch in speed. This was pretty far off and this is a problem with analog recording mostly when tapes are recorded and then re-transferred using a different machine. These masters are now on the correct pitch/speed.

I also have tried to correct most of the tape-drop-outs in a way that it's not annoying and barely noticeable that they were there. I also beefed up the sound a bit, it has more balls now and crystal clear sound while retaining the original characteristics of the recording.

Original infosheets:

Providence Civic Center
Providence, RI, U.S.A.
3 August 1975

Kiss
01 Deuce
02 Strutter
03 Hotter Than Hell
04 Firehouse
05 She
06 C'Mon and Love Me
07 100,000 Years
08 Drums/Paul Stanley Rap
09 100,000 Years
10 Black Diamond
11 Cold Gin
12 Rock and Roll All Nite

Black Sabbath
CD1
01 Intro
02 Killing Yourself To Live
03 Hole In The Sky
04 Snowblind
05 Symptom Of The Universe
06 War Pigs
07 Megalomania

CD2
01 Sabra Cadabra
02 Jam
03 Sometimes I'm Happy
04 Drums
05 Supernaut
06 Iron Man
07 Jam
08 Black Sabbath (spliced)
09 Spiral Architect
10 Embryo/Children Of The Grave
11 E: Paranoid

Master audience recording taped by Dan Lampinski
Sony TC-152SD Tape Recorder
Sony ECM-99 Stereo Microphone
Maxell cassettes


Mastered and FLAC'ed by Carl Morstadt (dantalion8@yahoo.com)
   
Lineage:
Master Cassette ->
Nakamichi CR-3A cassette deck with azimuth correction ->
M-Audio Firewire Audiophile 2496 ->
CDWAV 24-bit/96-KHz wav files ->
Goldwave (normalizing and crossfades) ->
CDWAV (track breaks) ->
dBpowerAMP Audio Converter (24-bit/96-KHz wav files converted to
  16-bit/44.1 KHz wav files) ->
FLAC Front End (FLAC 8 with sector boundary alignment)
FLAC files tagged with Foobar2000 Live Show Tagger

No EQ'ing.


2016 Corrected Remaster in 24/96 resolution by Eddy Lite for hoerejong MultiMedia Design.
No EQ'ing used either...

Monday, 1 February 2016

MASQUE OF DEATH - 'Ivory Cities' (MCD/digital download) | 2016 XDR Remaster

MASQUE OF DEATH - 'Ivory Cities' (MCD/digital download) | Spain | February 2010 | by Eddy_litE | Style: Catchy & Melodic Death Metal | Running time: 0:34:59 (tracks: 6)

If Century Media had been sending me this gorgeous debut by Madrid's Masque of Death it would've been their most impressive release since Lacuna Coil's "In a Reverie" from 1999. But they didn't. In fact this band is unsigned. And although I think that Century Media would be the best match for this promising combo, I am afraid for the event to happen. But then again, this EP has Century Media written all over it already. The quality of the songwriting, the arrangements, the artwork and the sheer art of persuasion, it is top-notch all the way.

The Masque of Death origins date back to mid 2004, when singer/composer/guitarist Sofía Ruiz and Abel Ramos met at a local University and decide to mount a music group. After several years of trying different styles with various musicians, the two decide to start a melodic metal project. After considering different options the name Masque of Death is chosen for the project, a derivation of the original idea of Sofia Masquerade of Death, which was discarded as being too long. The last year has been nervewrecking for the band because they were still studying but great leaps have been travelled to this very day. Not literally, but in the landscape of creativity and defining the coup. As I said before, this MCD must be the most impressive DIY product I have had the pleasure of absorbing in years, maybe even of all time. Yep, it's that good!

 

Part of the charm comes from Sofía. Not only is she very pretty to look at but her voice will make anyone surrender within the first minute. Cristina Scabbia could be a good reference to give you an idea in which section to look. But as much as I love Miss Scabbia and her Italian posse, she has been poked off the throne by Sofía's mesmerizing voice last week when this masterpiece arrived here. Why I call it a masterpiece, you ask me. Well, what if Within Tempation had the voraciousness of Arch Enemy, and Megadeth the cuteness of The Gathering? Well, then you'd have Masque of Death! Yep, it's that good!

Lyrically, Masque of Death reads like the best Jostein Gaarder novel "Sofies verden". Visually this is pretty much drop dead gorgeous. And musically this album has it all. Melody, attack, adventure, mystique, graciousness, vulnerability, catchiness, heavyness and balance. And a sometimes unpredictable blackhaired atomic kitten. I would've provided info on which track is the best then. But I simply can't. Opener "Abeyance" is a good candidate for being the favorite with it's marvelous solo's and massive impact, but so is "Black Red Roses" with it's catchy persuasive swing and "Numedak" is sounding like the Dead can indeed Dance. "Darkest Eyes" is Iron Maiden like Maiden never managed to be and "The Shape of Things to Come" is simply the track I was hoping Queensrÿche would release in the last decade. Again, it's that good!

The strongest point of Masque of Death is it's capability to move the listener and make him or her feel really thankful to be "Alive". And to kick it in the m**her**cking a**! The songs are quite long, with an average of 5 minutes each, but there is never any dull moment going through this magical piece of Efteling Metal. As it suits a Spanish band typically, you will hear many acoustic flamingo style passages performed in a way only the Spanish can. And though the songwriting is very catchy and the main vocals butterscotch sweet, this album should be most able to impress the die-hard metal-heads among us too. Lots of tempo-changes and surprisingly clever fills, and lots and lots of passion, it all adds up to a legendary debut.

And, boy oh boy, that voice! That voice!
Eddy Lite Fevruari 2010



https://soundcloud.com/hipperthanhellrecords/sets/sofia-ruiz-and-masque-of-death

Visit the website: www.masqueofdeath.com [expired]
MySpace: www.myspace.com/masqueofdeath [barely alive]
Youtube: www.youtube.com/masqueofdeathofficial
RATING: 99/100

Friday, 29 January 2016

Queensrÿche - 1988 - 'Operation:Mindcrime' FULL Dynamic Range Remaster 2016 (German Original DMM #vinyl)

Queensrÿche - 'Operation : Mindcrime' Coverart 1988
24bit 96kHz FULL Dynamic Range Remaster 
Redbook 16bit resolution files in FLAC container.
Vinyltransfer 2016 by Eddy Lite,
for hoerejong MultiMedia Design.
Source:
1988 EEC first DMM* pressing.
Vinyl manufactured by Teldec Germany,
Coversleeve manufactured by EMI Uden, the Netherlands.

Package including Album Artwork & info.
For Promotional Purposes Only.
Not for sale, for fans by fans.

We'd love to hear your opinions!
Viva La Revolution!

DMM German 1st vinyl issue 1988, EMI Uden / Teldec Germany




[Download]
http://novafile.com/og5ux5d901hq

http://www.dynamicrange.de
http://www.turnmeup.org
https://www.youtube.com/hipperthanhellrecs
https://www.soundcloud.com/hipperthanhellrecords

(c)1988 EMI Uden, The Netherlands
(p)2016 Hipper Than Hell Records, The Netherlands.
*Master developed by Teldec Germany.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

KISS - The Vinyl Reissues 2014, EU issues from GZVinyl, an overview.

So, after years of remastered audio on CD, record companies jumped on the revival of the popularity of music pressed onto vinyl. That sounds swell and all, but sadly this is turning out to be a big disappointment for those of us who actually listen to vinyl and have experience with these discs of black plastic as it were. This ancient format can sound much better than any CD, but of course needs a lot more attention to get there.

Being it that I have many years of experience with vinyl in all of it's glory in the 1970s and 80s, and it's pros and cons in contrast to their digital counterparts, I decided to pin-point some of the complaints I hear and read about more and more these days. It's 2016, one would think we've reached the pinnacle of what is technically possible, and for everyone to enjoy. For a decent price. In other words, are these new waves of massively produced vinyl albums, often in 180grs vinyl, 'audiophile' quality products like many companies claim or hint on? Or are they just over-priced novelties?
Well, I guess you know where this is going by now. And here's why...

Since I have been a big KISS fan since 1978 and have played, scrutinized and transferred, restored and "remastered" many, many different pressings of the KISS catalog, I was of course excited when the Universal 2014 vinyl reissues were announced. I might not be the average Joe so to speak, since I am hunting for the ultimate sounding 'definitive' versions of these great albums for years. To each their anomalies right?! (;D)





My beloved DENON turntable playing a vintage KISS vinyl...



Not having that kind of money to spend on the complete catalog, I decided to buy a title whenever I had some money to break, and so in 2015 I had bought these new reissues up until the unmasking of the band in 1983. 12 albums, of which 2 double vinyl albums. Retail prices in the EU, 25 euro's for a single album. 30 euro's for a double vinyl one. Do the math, it's not a cheap ass hobby, but hey that's not my complaint.


First up, Universal Music Group and their hired guns did actually do a great job restoring as much as possible in the graphics department, the audio restoration and so forth. All of these replica albums do look very nice and contain most, if not all, of the inserts that were shipped with them on the initial releases. On these EU versions the printed artwork is a bit on the dark side but that is not that big of a deal. There is a tiny amount of none uniformity on them like credits and artwork that show tiny adjustments or errors, but overall, great job! The masters used for cutting these albums to vinyl are done nicely too. All of them are transferred from their analog 'mothers' to high resolution digital audio streams and de-noised and corrected and what not to gain the most pristine sounding audio. No complaints there, apart from the fact that the same masters are sold via High Resolution Audio re-sellers online, but are sadly clipped & compressed to a pulp. But that's a different story altogether.


So, moving on to the minus points on these EU 2014 reissues, pressed and manufactured by GZVinyl based in the Czech Republic. I need to stretch this, since the albums were also manufactured in Germany by Optimal and in the US by other manufacturers as well. Reports of both the Germans as well as the US pressed ones (especially the QRP plant pressings) show a very different picture, none of the commentary below does fly for those!

The sad part...
The vinyl compounds used for the EU GZVinyl pressings are too dirty, vinyl particals too rough. This can produce a kind of murmuring when listened to on headphones. Most of the produced coloured vinyl out there has this effect, with black vinyl this is kind of new to me.  If you look upclose to the surface of the vinyl, holding it in different angles under daylight, you see a kind of crackling effect in the vinyl. Quite possibly the vinyl wasn't left to rest long enough and rushed into it's sleeve after pressing. The pressing time could've been too short and not hot enough too, at least, the surface looks rough although it is shiny. This could explain the surfacenoise that one hears when these are played on headphones. To give you an indication of how annoying this is, it's often twice as loud as any of my 80s "abused" records.

Why is this important in relation to the quality of the reproduced audio from vinyl albums like these? Because this is an analog media carrier, so it's prone to generation loss, and distortion because of the "direct contact transcription" of the medium. Thus we want the audio to be cut as loud as possible into the grooves, in order to go away from that noise floor as far as possible without doing harm to the dynamics of the content.

1981 Original Dutch Phonogram 670 pressing

2014 EU GZVinyl 180grs reissue pressing


Production of the matrixes or pressing plates is done on bad equipment or rushed since they contain rumbling and wooshy sounds, often in cycles throughout the whole surface of the record's sides. These sound mechanical to me, it's like hearing the platter spinning, fed back through the cuttinghead. Some of these GZVinyl pressings have this error up to -24 dB on a normalized scale. So, the peaks of actual audio are not limited in any way in the transfer I did and the image of the audio is then normalized to -0,5 dBFS.

I've never heard this effect on any of my hundreds and hundreds of vinyl albums. But most if not all my GZVinyl issues does have this in a certain amount. These KISS vinyls are all affected by this, though one title more than the other.


2014 EU GZVinyl image unaltered

1977 US first issue image unaltered



Cutting of the vinyl master plates...
In the old days, say the glory days of the seventies and eighties, there were technicians typically trained for this job, the cutting of the groove in the masterdisc.
He, (or she, but usually a he, why is that I wonder?) would methiculously try to make the groove as 'big' as possible, in other words as loud as possible to help the listener with this problem of the noisefloor that analog media carriers have. He would also try to use as much room for the groove as possible, in other words, the groove would use as much of the surface of the side of a vinyl record as tecnically is possible since then the groove can sound the loudest.

Sadly, these new 2014 issues, or at least the EU GZVinyl pressings, use standard cutting programs. In other words, most of these have lots of unused vinyl, what is called 'dead wax', the room between the ending of the contents of the music program but leaving unused vinyl where music could have been.
We need a small lead-out groove for the needle to safely return to it's resting post after the play but, as one by now can assume, the best is to leave that gap as small as possible.

Because these new 2014 reissues are cut softer, less loud than their original first pressing counterparts, we hear more surface noise in general, because we need to crank up the volume in order to get to the same audio sound pressure. So, in conclusion, twice as less 'high fidelity'. In the case where more audio was added to the content, as with '(music from) The Elder', this is of course even a bigger problem. Let alone the fact that it's typically this album that would've benefitted from a 'audiophile' approach, because it nearly a opera of sorts with lots of dynamics. This album has loud rocking parts, but also very near silent pieces, with orchestras, dialog and choirs.



2014 EU GZVinyl image normalized

1977 US first issue image normalized



Today, with digital reproduction we don't have this problem anymore since we have no noisefloor in the digital domain. (Or at least not this kind of 'generation-loss noise'.) But we do have a different problem since say 1995, and that is called brickwalling or the Loudness Wars. But that is a different story altogether. I am not going into that now, for a change. Although it's much more seriously bad for your ears, that's a fact!


Vinyl is immensely static and dirty on arrival. When I opened these shrink wrapped albums, I was amazed by how static loaded they were. Even those with the generic 'anti-static' inners were! And the amounts of dust and paper particles in there is ridiculous as well! I had one that looked like someone dropped it on the floor and thought, "oh well, that's a pity to waste" and placed it in a sleeve to get carried out... I had to 'seriously' clean all of these before playing. Luckily I have the knowledge and tools to do so, but one shouldn't have to, right?!

All of this makes removing the vinyl from the inner sleeve a hell of job without ruining or dirtying the vinyl. Typically for people who just start with playing vinyl, you can fairly say it's become a second hand vinyl, grade B- after you've only removed it from it's sleeve. It leaves the vinyl itself hugely static loaded too on first play if this load is not removed. This event will give ticks and pops on the first play that usually remain there forever.
BTW, Usually, ticks and pops are not so much a pressing error as more of careless manufacturing sloppyness as anyone can determine by now.

Manufacturers should consider using other inner sleeves and lose the shrink wrapping altogether. Often the longer the vinyl gets to 'rest' in a decent dust free environment before it is packaged the lesser these problems for the consumer.

Inner sleeves are too tight, vinyl maybe even too thick.
Again, when you try to remove the vinyl from it's (plain thick sturdy paper, printed) inner sleeve you find it almost impossible to do this without scratching the vinyl or smudging it. That's not a good first listen experience! The generic anti-static one's are a bit too large. Once you've opened the sealed album, they don't get back in completely any longer.

Also, 180 grs vinyl is not necessarily a good thing for vinyl records. Some exotic pure analog vinyl labels make exquisitely beautiful sounding vinyl, often pressings on heavyweight 180grs 'virgin' vinyl but it's not necessarily just the use of more vinyl that makes this sound this good and pure. My 1980s Phonogram KISS albums were light in comparison, I guess they even used half of the amounts of vinyl for those, yet none of those were warped, concentric nor static loaded when I bought those back in the day. In comparison, even those that have been played a hundred times or more produce less distortion or vinyl noise than these.

These 180 grs new vinyls are ALL warped and some slightly concentric too. What does this mean? Well, a distorted signal, however slightly it may be. Sometimes even this serious that the needle is jumping out of the groove. This usually happens at the very beginning of the groove. Some of these have a warp that, did I not have the tools to correct this, would make them unplayable.
If a company ships out warped and concentric pressed vinyls, 180 grs does not get you anywhere. It still sounds like shit. Or it is simply not possible to play the album at all.

In conclusion...
Of course, if some decides to press a CD master (this happens oftenly today too) it will sound worse than the actual CD. Maybe if done well, a bit more pleasant to the ear but technically, worse. So the actual audio contents are important for the final result in terms of quality. In this case there's nothing wrong with the audio contents, in fact, the catalog may have never sounded better. Kevin Reeves did a great job on restoring and remastering these if you'd ask me.
The sad thing is, at least with THESE GZVinyl versions, it was all in vein, since the end result is crappy, utterly crappy. Even if they just asked 13 euro's a title to begin with. But hey, that's my personal opinion...


Audio snippets and comparison material in a zip container can be downloaded here:
KISS - 2014 Vinyl Reissues Comparison (AAC-LC 512)


Feel free to drop me a line or two. Discuss, share your insights.
But most of all, think about what you spent your money on. It's not like you buy a package of chewing gum. If we all just keep on buying things without blinking or giving critique things will never change right?!


Eddy Lite, January 2016

Sunday, 3 January 2016

PLASMATICS 'The Human Race Nailed to a Cross' 2015 XDR PROMO released

2 Bee released on Wendy O' Williams' birthday 2016, only on Hipper Than Hell Records. The complete 'Beyond the Valley of 1984' trilogy, remastered in High Definition Pristine Clear Fidelity Phaseshifting Wide Spectaclular Stereo Sound.

Titles:
~ 'Beyond the Valley of 1984' (1981)(Original Analog Sterling Master by George Marino).
~ 'Metal Priestess' (E.P.)(1981)(Original Remaster by George Marino, Sterling Mastering N.Y.C.)
~ 'The Human Race Nailed to a Cross' (The Initial 'Coup d'Etat' Electric Lady Studios sessions)
(Custom XDR Remaster 2015, by Eddy Lite for Hipper Than Hell Records, Inc. exclusively.)

Containers:
FLAC 16bit 44,1hz CD redbook quality
MP4 AAC mastered for iTunes compatible lossy


"The Story..."
The Lost Intitial 'Coup d'Etat' recording sessions from Electric Lady Studios including bass worx by Sir Jean Beauvoir & produced by Dan Hartman with Rod Swenson. This was supposed to be the last part of the 'Beyond the Valley of 1984' trilogy. This trilogy project mainly lined out by band designer and mastermind Rod Swenson and input from Wendy Orlean Williams. The 3 records 'holy bible bundle' was started with 'Beyond the Valley of 1984' in 1981 followed by 'Metal Priestess' and should've been masterly rounded up with the third title 'Coup d'Etat'.






PLASMATICS 

'The Human Race Nailed to a Cross' 

2015 PROMO


Sadly Capitol Records owned the Plasmatics asses by 1983, did nothing whatsoever to promote the pressured rerecording of the album with Scorpions soundman deluxe Dieter Dirks & meastro of all that is electronical Michael Wagener. Nothing wrong so far, and the final cut album as Capitol Records, and EMI Special Markets (splendid reissue! damn fine mastering!), released it sounds phenomenal. But the problem was that the two camps didn't go that hand in hand together, the stakes were too high, the stakes were bases on very different backgrounds, the dreams too big and funds too short. Most of it probably ended up in noses. Of Suits. So, project Plasmatics grinded to a halt, and Wendy went on with Gene 'It's My Life!' $immons. One Hell of a party for some, and as a dramatic cast 'Coup d'Etat' turned out to be one Hell of a big financial fiasco. Not in the least for initator Rod Swenson but also Wendy Orlean Williams, Richard 'Richie' Stotts, Jean Beauvoir and so forth and so on... even Joe the Lightning Guy! It all exploded in one big catastrophy with Coup being the last Plasmatics album. Except for the 'hybrid' Maggots album. That one counts too.The follow-up album to the totally flopped 'Coup', the brilliantly stylised 'W.O.W.' from 1983 is in a way a KISS album but also in fact a Plasmatics album. But Capitol wouldn't let the rights to the Plasmatics brand go and alez, in a way they simply killed The Plasmatics.

On this very day, some recordcompanies, some bootleggers and some people that in way sold out the soul of PLASMATICS sell bogus, defected and worthless versions of the Plasmatics's splendid discography. Doing it serious damage, making it nearly unbearable to listen to.
Here to set the story straight, maybe let some people shake some hands, hell, maybe even mine.

Sadly evenmoreso, these recordings are available through PlasmaticsMedia.com, but it all sounds horribly terrible!
Crushed to a pulp. One big sausage of noise. That's not rite!
We made it lite at times again.

Peaks, bottom & love, peace.

Dedicated to Wendy Orlean Williams, Lemmy Kilmister, Sir Jean Beauvoir, Sir Richard Stotts, Wes Beech, George Marino & Sterling Sound (Love your work from before 1995!), Michael Wagener, Sir! and all the Graduates of the Plasmatics School of Wreck & Roll...

Eddy Lite, 2016

2015 XDR FULL Dynamic Range Remaster for hoerejong MultiMedia Design, released on Hipper Than Hell Records & Filmworks.

(c) 1982 Stiff USA ~ Swenson O Williams Media ~ Plasmaticsmedia.com
(p) 2015 Hipper Than Hell Records

http://www.plasmatics.com
http://www.turnmeup.org
https://eddylite.blogspot.com
http://www.dynamicrange.de
http://plasmaticsmedia.com

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy 2016. May the Peaks Be with U!


Best Wishes for 2016 & all the love and sweet, sweet music samples from the Hipper than Hell team.

Make this one count at any time and may the Peaks Be with you.

Yolo! (;D)

Eddy Lite