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DAR prize giveaway #9: a lifetime Roon membership

“Cliché – an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.” – Wikipedia


Dial-a-cliché. In the hifi demo music world, it’s Boz Scaggs, Rebecca Pidgeon, “Hotel California”, Gaucho, “The Girl From Ipanema”, “Take Five”, Dark Side Of The Moon, “Keith Don’t Go” and, queen of them all, Diana Krall.

The why is crystal clear: an exhibitor has only a few minutes to make a favourable impression and fear of failure is one helluva motivator; better to stick to the tried and true than risk alienating one’s audience with the shock of the new. This sees many a show exhibitor forever locked into playing from last year’s hard drive.

Another hifi world cliché: manufacturers and their distributors talking up the need to attract a younger audience. We hear this year in, year out…but little changes.

Quoting myself from 2016: “Of course, for show regulars this skinny genre diet is nothing out of the ordinary. Audio shows across the world sound like this. However, one might reasonably ask: is high end audio’s talk of capturing the imagination of the next generation of audiophiles nothing more than lip service?”

You tell me. Here’s a video snapshot of High End Hong Kong from August 2016:

And here’s a highlight reel from a mid-2016 event down under:

How about something more recent and European? Highlights from the Norddeustche HiFi-Tage held in Hamburg in February 2017 can be seen/heard here:

Two big problems with clichéd demo music choices: 1) nothing is being said that hasn’t been said a thousand times before and 2) the audience remains the same.

It’s not just exhibitors. The more the dominant show attendee demographic – middle-aged dudes – are exposed to this narrow diet of same-same, the more subconsciously resistant to change they become. I’m sure we’ve all been there when a room host dared to play a tune that reached beyond blues or a string quartet only to see Old UpHimself leave the room, quickly and with an audible grumble.

The irony is that audio show attendee complaints about exhibitors’ clichéd music choices are now so numerous that they too have become a cliché. Hanging a “Diana Krall Free Zone” sign outside your demo room door? How cliché!

Munich High End 2017 is less than two weeks away. Attendance by yours truly these past four years tells me that exhibitor music selections are consistent in their overall tendency towards a certain sameness. The likes of Zu and Gamut provide some relief but they’re outliers in the long grass.

Here’s how it played out in Munich last year:

And here’s another dose:

Think of the 40 million songs available on Qobuz and/or Tidal. Now consider the number of different tunes spun at an average audio show: they probably number a thousand at best. Can the remaining 39,009,000 songs ALL be so poorly recorded and/or mastered as not to be worthy of hifi demo consideration?

It’s also worth remembering that consumers don’t only make purchasing decisions based upon left-brain activity. Emotions play a significant part in our choices. The ‘best’ song isn’t always the best sounding. Sometimes it’s the song that packs the biggest emotional punch.

If we’re lucky, we can have both. Unearthing such gems takes effort and time.

Highly likely that audio engineers spend so much time engineering that they find precious little time at the end of the working week for new music discovery. How about we give ’em a helping hand…

Off the top of my head, I might go with:

  • Lambchop – Old Matchbook Trick
  • Rammstein – Heirate Mich
  • Forest Swords – The Highest Flood

or…

  1. Clark – Hoova
  2. Low – Witches
  3. Mercury Rev – Everlasting Arm

…or maybe…

  1. Giant Sand – Stranded Pearl
  2. DJ Hell – Car Car Car
  3. Richard Thompson – Mingus Eyes (Live from Austin TX)

Among each trio of tunes: one electronic piece to test dynamic drama, bass reach and detail excavation; one acoustically dominant number for tone, timbre and layer separation; and one that pulls on a system’s ability to handle complexity.

Side note: large orchestral pieces and opera don’t feature here because this site is squarely aimed at the more contemporary music fan: the kind of guy/gal who reads Pitchfork, Uncut and Factmag. It’s a sad fact that electronic music fans are rarely catered to at show. The odd cut from Kraftwerk or Yello. Trentmoller if your’e REALLY lucky.

Which three songs would you use to show off a hifi system? Perhaps it’s your system. Perhaps it’s one that you dream of owning one day. Let us know your THREE (3) favourite hifi demo songs in the comments section below. Try to steer clear of clichéd choices.

The best entry, the one that shows the most original thought and musical variety, as chosen by Roon Labs and myself, wins a lifetime Roon membership (valued at US$499).

Entries close midnight 31st May 2017. The winner will be notified via email soon thereafter. The judges’ decision is final, no cash alternative offered, yadda yadda.

Further information: Munich High End | Roon Labs

Written by John H. Darko

John H. Darko

John is the editor of DAR, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is also an occasional contributor to 6moons and AudioStream and currently resides in Berlin, Germany.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
Instagram: DarkoAudio
Facebook: DAR

169 Comments

  1. Off the top of my head;

    Hey now – London Grammar
    Welcome to Jamrock – Damian Marley
    Wob Glass – Ozric Tentacles

  2. Hmmm…
    “Tempus Fugit” by Yes (great for demoing bass)
    “New Coat of Paint” by Joe Bonamassa (remake of the Tom Waits song)
    “Dark Necessities” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Any song from the album would be great.

    Dang. Hard to keep the list down to just three.
    You’ve got a great website. Keep it going!

    Jim (Irving, TX, ‘Murica)

  3. Oneness – Devadip Carlos Santana.
    Gone Cold – Clutch.
    God is an automaton – Sybreed.

  4. OK here we go, in no particular order:

    -Ani Di Franco: “Landing gear”
    -Jerry Granelli & Friends: “Blues connotation” and
    -Rokia Traoré: “Sé Dan”.

  5. Moderat – Milk (for that low bass…)
    Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy (amazing vocals and acoustic guitar)
    Mettalica – Enter Sandwoman (great dynamics and punch)

  6. Liar – Rollins Band
    Walk Tall – Cannonball Adderley Quintet
    Lisdoonvarna – Christy Moore

  7. Daft Punk: Give Life Back to Music
    London Grammar: Nightcall
    Amit Trivedi: Manmarziyan (from OST of Indian movie Lootera)

  8. If I was a Man. Rosanne Cash
    The Feeling Begins. Peter Gabriel
    Just about anything by The Books

  9. In no particular order:

    1 – Songs: Ohia – Blue Factory Flame
    2 – Esben and the Witch – The Wolf’s Sun
    3 – The Knife – A Tooth For an Eye

  10. OutKast – Aquemini
    Abdullah Ibrahim – Calypso Minor
    Felix Laband – Sleeping Household

  11. My test tracks for equipment, chosen simply because I love the music:

    1) Carnival, The Cardigans
    2) Temptation Waits, Garbage
    3) Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles

    No philosophizing or waxing poetic about the sonic qualities each song is supposed to test. Rather, the best way for me to consider whether a component would sound good in my system is to play the music I listen to.

  12. Three is VERY little. I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I’m sending a long one… Bit unfair that you allowed yourself three lists, but I’ll stop whining now
    Here goes:
    Gabriel Rios – Santera
    Cody Chessnutt – serve this royalty
    UNKLE and the heritage orchestra – 24 Frames (Redux)

  13. – ‘Bad Kingdom’ by Moderat, from II
    https://youtu.be/3NPxqXMZq7o

    – ‘6 Underground’ by Sneaker Pimps, from Becoming X
    https://youtu.be/2eBZqmL8ehg

    – ‘1st Movement: The Legend Of Ashitaka’ by Joe Hisaishi (born as Mamoru Fujisawa), from Princess Mononoke (Symphonic Suite)
    https://youtu.be/bCM3clq-_c0
    https://www.discogs.com/Joe-Hisaishi-Princess-Mononoke-Original-Motion-Picture-Soundtrack/master/111102
    I am totally crying listening to this piece again as I write this post :’)

    Bonus entry:
    – ‘from the roof top ~ somewhere in the silence (sniper’s theme)’ by Yoko Kanno/Ilaria Graziano, from the soundtrack Ghost in the Shell: Stand A Complex- Solid State Society.
    This is, and remains, the most important and powerful single music track I own and enjoy.
    First heard as part of the GitS Stand Alone Complex series (Solid State Society is a film but also third season of the SAC series).
    This song is truly special, starting with a short jazz interlude and exploding into heady atmospheric electronica with gorgeous singing, and has many powerful audible effects that ditz around you (or headspace). My personal perfect song ^^
    https://youtu.be/I8OVH5AsuQA

    I have so much music that condensing all of it into just three songs (four if we can include bonus) is criminal.
    The many, MANY, left out honourees include: Burial, David Bowie, HECQ, The Prodigy, The Avalanches, Gorillaz, Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Nine Inch Nails, Led Zeppelin, Nobuo Uematsu, Daft Punk, Massive Attack, Supertramp, Motoi Sakuraba, Yoko Shimomura, Pink Floyd, Autechre, Nosaj Thing, Rob Dougan, Boards of Canada, Gil-Scott Heron, Trentemøller, John Williams, Radiohead, Banco de Gaia, DJ Shadow, Koji Kondo, Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL), Metallica, Bonobo, Tricky, Indiana, DJ Sasha and John Digweed, Michael Nyman, Portishead, UNKLE, Rage Against the Machine, Talking Heads, Michael Giacchino, Thomas Newman, Queens of the Stone Age, Hans Zimmer, Fuck Buttons, Jimi Hendrix, Underworld, and more.

    It took me a while to whittle down from that list of artists and bands to just three tracks.
    If anything, this should also be a talking point at a fundamental flaw at most stereo and multi-channel speaker HiFi shows; a few curated songs or musical pieces will never really give a listener the benefit of whatever system is playing simply because so few songs can capture said listener’s personal full spectrum of musical enjoyment.

    However, we can try, and I think my list is a solid attempt to nail down my amorphous tastes ^^

    https://twitter.com/theoneinyellow
    @theoneinyellow

  14. Lamb Lusty
    A Winged Victory for the Sullen Requiem for the Static King part one
    Half Moon Run Warmest Regards

  15. Have You Ever Seen Peaches Growing on a Sweet Potato Vine? – Jake Xerxes Fussell
    Spinning Away – Brian Eno & John Cale
    Denibarika – Djelymadi Tounkara

  16. Hard to pick just three….

    BASS
    Willow Weep For Me (Sinne Eeg)
    MIDS
    Trawlerman’s Song (Mark Knopfler)
    HIGHS
    Nardis (Patricia Barber)

    .

  17. The Dark End of the Street – Dan Penn from “Do Right Man”
    Sugaree – Jerry Garcia from “All Good Things”
    True Love is Not Nice – Jonathan Richman from “I’m So Confused”
    Woman (2010 Remix) – John Lennon from “Double Fantasy”
    Three O’Clock Blues – Eric Clapton and B.B. King from “Riding With the King”
    Let’s Stay Together – Al Green from “Anthology”
    Mood Indigo – Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins from “Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins”
    Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton from “Traveller

  18. The three I’d pick today (play in this order):

    Uncertain Smile – The The (because Jools Holland dials it up to 11)
    Saeglopur – Sigur Rós (Supremely complex and emotional)
    De Sålde Sina Hemman (Emigrantvisa) – Jan Johansson (achingly beautiful)

  19. Ok, so there’s not much point showing-off what a system can do if it doesn’t make you actually *gasp* enjoy yourself. I do want to enjoy myself with the gear I hear, and eventually buy.

    Here’s my three, all from 2017 noless:

    1. Thundercat, “Show You the Way” (feat. Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins) from “Drunk”

    https://open.spotify.com/track/3O1ra4hVilVoooLL9uxfzy

    2. Mastodon, “Ancient Kingdom” from “Emperor of Sand” (if this doesn’t blow away a few cobwebs I’m not sure what else could…)

    https://open.spotify.com/track/0k8CNAD5ADcMCOdTOMxUHk

    3. Kelly Lee Owens, “Lucid” from her self-titled album

    https://open.spotify.com/track/4ltleS56fkj1nR5z6OO2m3

    • Forgot some rationale:

      1. Thundercat is one of the world’s best bass-players, no surprise this one is amazing for both slam and reach. L/R hi-hats; and no less than three different vocalists, often multi-tracked that appear in different places image-wise.

      2. If a system can’t do fast, complex drums, it ain’t good. The Mastodon track has ridiculous fills, double (triple?) kick-drums, cymbal shimmer, and guitar CRNCH. Just generally-toe-tappingly-rad hard rock.

      3. For a change in mood, pace (and gender!). Beautifully-produced minimal electronic track, with ethereally spacious femals vocals.

  20. Black Crowes: She Talks to Angels
    Tom Waits: Long Way Home
    Johnny Cash: Delia’s Gone

  21. If I had to choose only 3:
    1. Jamie Woon – Skin (dynamics, bass)
    2. Richard Thompson – I misunderstood (acoustics)
    3. Esme Patterson, William Ryan Fritch (complexity)

    Honourable mention:
    3a. Asgeir – Heart shaped box (just because it’s fantastic)

  22. Off the top of my head:

    Dirty Projectors – Little Bubble

    Wilco – Hate it Here

    Spoon – My Little Japanese Cigarette Case

  23. Trevor Something – Your Sex is a Dream
    Sting – Englishman in New York
    Iron Maiden – Whete Eagles Dare (1998 Remastered Version)

  24. AC/DC – It’s a Long Way to the Top ( more Bagpipes are like “More Cowbell” essential) 😉
    R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts (interplay between vocal variations and beautiful acoustics)
    ART BLAKEY – Buhaina Chant – Orgy In Rhythm (Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Every thing and every human action revolves in rhythm. – Baba Olatunji)

  25. 1) “Parts and Accessories” Josh Rouse.
    2) “Bass Head” Bassnectar
    3) “Clay and Ottie” Blue Highway

  26. 1) On a Tuesday – Pain of Salvation
    Genre: Metal

    2) Slide – Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean
    Genre: Electropop

    3) Burn the witch – Radiohead
    Genre: Alternative

  27. French,Frith, Kaiser and Thompson-The Same Thing
    Tweed Funk-Fine Wine
    Doobie Brothers-South City Midnight Lady

  28. Shackleton – Rusty Nails (Moderat Remix)
    Tony Allen – Get Together
    Radio Birdman – Man with the Golden Helmet

      • That’s right Darkø.

        Hey William, Rusty Nails is by Moderat, from their self titled debut album in 2009 (the first album collaboration release between Modeselektor and Apparat, not including their 2003 EP).
        On a deluxe version of the album Moderat, which includes a DVD and so far only released in Japan, Germany, and Poland, were two extra tracks, both remixes. Track 15: Rusty Nails (Shackleton Remix) appears on these deluxe versions:

        https://www.discogs.com/Moderat-Moderat/release/5485167

  29. Jim James – State Of The Art (A.E.I.O.U)
    Buddy Guy – Hard Time Killing Floor (Blues Singer CD)
    Black Keys – Gold On The Ceiling

  30. 1) Harris Eisenstadt September Trio: “From Schoenberg, Pt. 1”
    I love recordings that articulate drums nicely, and show a kit’s full range; especially in a jazz group. Eisenstadt’s soloing is superb here.

    2) Talking Heads: “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)”

    3) Four Tet: “She Just Likes to Fight”

  31. Aphex Twin – Aegeispolis
    Fever Ray – Mercy Street (great cover)
    Joy Division – Decades (try listening without feeling something)

  32. Morphine – You Look Like Rain
    Beck – Heart is a Drum
    Ry-X – Shortline

  33. The Silver Meter – Big John Patton
    I’m an Albatraoz – AronChupa
    Hate Street Dialog – Avener

    It all depends on the day and the mood, but is not that the joy of music! Good luck to all.

  34. Edge of darnkess (live) by Eric Clapton
    Hey now by London grammar
    A little bit sometimes (live kexp) by mum

  35. Last weekends playlist seemed alright:

    Nursery Crimes – Get up Girl
    Daft Punk – Contact
    Melanie Oxley and Chris Abrahams – Benchtop

  36. David Sylvian-When Poets Dreamed of Angels
    Talk Talk-Desire
    Kurt Vile-Pretty Pimpin’

  37. BT – Rose Of Jericho (time domain deliciousness)
    Tchaikovsky – Hopak (from Mazeppa) – Exotic Dances From The Opera – Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra (imaging, timbral resolution, big dynamic impacts if you have a super powerhouse amp)
    Emeli Sande – Lonely (vocal performance, midrange clarity and layer separation)

  38. Gas – Narkopop 10
    Can – Halleluwah
    Elvis Presley – Gentle on My Mind

  39. Jon Hopkins – Open Eye Signal
    Serge Gainsbourg – Melody
    Ride – Dreams Burn Down

  40. Preservation Hall Jazz Band – That´s it!
    -> Fast and Noisy Track, lots of high treble, Shows very well if a System is able to seperate frequencies sharp or tends to bleed

    DJ Hell & Bryan Ferry – U can dance
    -> Dark Electronic Sound and clear Vocals, Club Track, for me a Benchmark Track because it summs up my listening Preference in that Genre

    AC/DC – Rock N Roll Train (Live at River Plate)
    -> Great Live Recording, Very Massive, if played right very immersive (100.000 Spectators are quite loud), good for analyzing Soundstages and Openness

  41. Ryan Adams – La Cienega Just Smiled
    dEUS – Crazy About You
    Fever Ray – Keep the Streets Empty for Me

  42. The police: Tea in the sahara. Imaging, bass depth / clarity. Can you hear Sting’s straining vocals in the last chorus? Do the bass and kick drum turn into a mush of noise?

    Ryan Adams: Enemy Fire. Cause its a damn rock song. And it’s quite a raw mix that can test your system at higher volumes. But more importantly, does it get your feet tapping?

    Dawn is midi:Atlas. Is it a series of noises or a rhythmic masterpiece? Does your system make you want to listen to whole thing or switch to other track?

  43. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
    Silent Lucidity – Queensryche
    California Roll – Snoop Dogg

  44. Larry Carlton – Sunrise (from Paris concert)
    The Weeknd – The Hills
    Moloko – I Want You

  45. Barbara – une petite cantate ( french icon, emotion, natural sixties recording)
    Sylvan Esso – Hey Mami (hand claping ! , street sound, deep punchy electronic bass)
    Breeders – Happiness is a Warm Gun (beatles cover , Steve Albini recording)

    bonus
    Sinkane – my favourite song ( title !, on a good system, every body should be dancing in the room)

  46. Clash – The Guns of Brixton
    The Turtle Creek Choral – Pie Jesu
    2Pac – How do you want it

  47. XMD 5a – Aphex Twin (Chosen Lords)
    She’s Lost Control – Joy Division (Unknown Pleasures)
    The Peppery Man – Natalie Merchant (Leave Your Sleep)

  48. These would be my three today. Tomorrow would be different ….

    – Marillion: Kayleigh (almost symphonic)
    – The Cult: She Sells Sanctuary (just play it loud!)
    – Crowded House: Private Universe (many layers)

  49. Most original… here goes…

    Born to Roon – Bruce Springsteen
    Band on The Roon – Paul McCartney & Wings
    Roon To You – Bryan Adams

    I’d love that lifetime membership.

  50. The xx: Dangerous
    Gillian Welch: Old Time Religion
    LCD Soundsystem: call the police

    • “Lots of little Osmonds.”

      A Monkey For Salley? I love it but it might be a bit too salacious for some listeners. 😉

  51. Tom Waits – Muriel (for spassy vocals)
    T. Monk – Well You Needn’t – from Monks’ Music (for depth of soundstage)
    T. Dolby – Blinded by Science (for shear bombast)

  52. 1. Cass McCombs – ‘It’
    2. The Lounge Lizards – ‘Voice of Chunk’
    3. Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘ Chrome Country’

  53. I’m going with:
    1) Tectonic Shift Delirium
    2) Where or When Julian Lage
    3) Hand Cannot Erase – Steven Wilson

  54. Squarepusher – Squarepusher Theme
    The Devin Townsend Band – Kingdom (from Epicloud)
    Neil Young – Walk Like A Giant

  55. F.S.K. -Kinski Jones
    Sons and Daughters – Fight
    All diese Gewalt – Maria in Blau

  56. Tin Pan Alley, Stevie Ray Vaughn
    The Peach, Corey Harris
    Nadia, Nitin Sawhney

  57. Nierika – Dead can dance
    Piano Sonata #8 – Beethoven (pianist: Richard Goode)
    Love song #1 – Meshell Ndegeocello

  58. Rodrigo Y Gabriela – Tamacun
    Radiohead – Everything In Its Right Place
    Massive Attack – Teardrop

    Thanks for the fun contest!

  59. 1. Medeski, Martin & Wood – ‘Hey Joe’ from the album Tonic
    2. Radiohead – ‘Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors’ from the album Amnesiac
    3. Bill Frisell – ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ from the album East/West

  60. 1. Pink Floyd – Pigs (Three Different Ones)
    2. Julian Lynch – Just Enough
    3. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – Baudelaire

  61. Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
    Cuby and the Blizzards – Somebody will know Someday
    Yes – Heart of the Sunrise

  62. My choices are based on flexibility and appeal as it can be difficult to play your own music in a room! Each of these pieces has multiple excellent versions and are immediately familiar to just about everyone;

    A Change is Gonna Come – my favorite is Same Cooke but there, Otis Redding, Al Green or Aretha to choose also. Great melody and showcases what a system can do with vocals

    My Favorite Things – My favorite is Coltrane but there are plenty of vocal and instrumental choices. Good systems keep the rhythm flowing but don’t blend everything together.

    Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto – Pearlman was who I grew up on but there are lots of great contenders. A good system will create a space for the solo parts but also leave room for orchestral majesty.

  63. Paul Kalkbrenner – Square 1 (as you are currently living in Berlin)
    Bill Withers – sometimes a song
    Arcade Fire – Reflektor
    Makaya McCraven – Finances (in the moment)

  64. Paul Kalkbrenner – Square 1 (as you are currently living in Berlin)
    Bill Withers – sometimes a song
    Makaya McCraven – Finances (in the moment)

  65. Great topic. I’m always looking for fun songs to listen to. I’ll be mining these suggestions for some time. Here’s some of my favorites that I think could also attract a new wave of young audio enthusiasts.

    1. Take You Away by Angus and Julia Stone – just looking to be drawn into the music. When I play this to friends who have never experienced music beyond earbuds and live concerts they almost always say this song gave them goosebumps. I’ve had quite a few sit and listen for hours after listening to this track.
    2. Osaka Line Loop by Discovery – bit of a speaker test. If I can listen to this track without hearing congestion or feeling the need to turn down the volume then I’m listening to a well composed system.
    3. You and The Night and The Music by Ron Carter – was tempted to leave jazz off the list, but I’ve actually come to listen to more jazz because its so enjoyable when listening through a nice system. Even friends who don’t like jazz always ask what song this is and by who.

  66. 1. Roscoe (Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Remix) – Midlake
    2. The Message (extended mix) – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
    3. Three Wishes / Amused To Death – Roger Waters.

  67. Nicolas Jaar – The Governor
    Iron & Wine – Cinder and Smoke
    Rival Consoles – Odyssey

  68. Ok for me this week – these hit the spot. Next week, it’ll be different…

    Depeche Mode — Enjoy The Silence
    PJ Harvey – Down by the Water
    Us3 – Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)

  69. Themed set:

    Ist up: A Quick One, While He’s Away – Live at Leeds Deluxe Edition ( Original release 1970). Crazy wonderful interplay between the band and the crowd before a rousing, fun number.

    Next in the queue: Where did you sleep last night – from MTV Unplugged in New York, 1994 – Nirvana. How many goosebumps can this raise when Kurt caterwauls?

    Last up: New York City Serenade – from The Wild The Innocent and the E-street Shuffle, 1973 – da Boss man Bruce Springsteen. Atmospheric as all get out.

    So, there you go – 3 songs from 3 fabulous bands at the top of their games. All about, wait for it, fornication (as Pete Townshend puts it). Besides being musical masterpieces full of beauty and truth – these all tell a story and a good one at that.

  70. The above admonitions would appear to spell out a death knell for an entry containing the word “orchestra.” Well, I’ll just have to let the music speak for itself. Enjoy!

    Ryuichi Sakamoto & Morelenbaum2 – As Praias Desertas

    Gustavo Dudamel/Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela – Danzon No. 2 (by Arturo Marquez)

    See You In The Funnies – Lucky

  71. Schneider TM – Frogtoise
    Sufjan Stevens – The Trees of the Fields Will Clap Their Hands
    Sunny Day Real Estate – How it Feels To Be Something On

  72. Carbon Based Lifeforms – MOS 6581
    My Morning Jacket – Dondante (live version from Okonokos)
    The Bright Light Social Hour – Slipstream

  73. Late but what the heck:
    Bugge wesseltoft – Leave my head alone brain
    Fink – Berlin Sunrise (live)
    Ray LaMontagne – Ouroborus
    (MMW – Church of Logic)

  74. I’m so glad you are doing this (Roon giveaway) again! Though I don’t know that my somewhat less than contemporary choices will play with the audience. But from the standpoint of testing the resolving power, speed and subtlety of a stereo system, these are some of my starting points…

    So the criteria you set forth was:

    “one electronic piece to test dynamic drama, bass reach and detail excavation; one acoustically dominant number for tone, timbre and layer separation; and one that pulls on a system’s ability to handle complexity”

    For ‘one electronic piece to test dynamic drama, bass reach and detail excavation’, I’d recommend Klaus Schulze’s Bellistique from his 1980 album …Live… (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbRKr5iQhNA).

    It’s a slow build — be patient. Recorded in Paris on the 13th of November, it’s a testament to what a talented composer and musician was able to do with technology back then. And, no, the YouTube link above can’t do justice to the piece–it is best listened to on a good vinyl cutting or digital source. Around 15 minutes in, the drone of the beginning sequences is abandoned for something completely different. The hall sounds huge, the transitions and belting out of the sound challenge simpler systems to convey the grandeur, the sheer size and belligerence of the sound. It’s those last seven and a half minutes that, to me, will show the real resolving power and sound stage of your equipment.

    For ‘one acoustically dominant number for tone, timbre and layer separation’, I’d nominate Marie Claire Alain’s interpretations of Bach’s Fantasia and fugue in G minor BWV542 (A good example from her 1980 complete Bach Organ Works can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx3JrankVOA)

    This is another go to track for me to test the resolving power of a stereo system but if it is simply too archaic for you and the audience in general, another I’d recommend in this category is King Crimson’s Frame by Frame from their album, ‘Discipline’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M2vUWVKeSM&list=PLbouzmFCyUKYYOS42n25qm-N6RtZAp8ft)

    But if truly acoustic music is what you mean by this section, then I’d recommend Jerry Douglas’ amazing track on Alison Krauss & Union Station’s Live album, ‘A Tribute To Peador O’Donnell/Monkey Let The Hogs Out’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRjdI7Ha7TU) which, in one track, could probably serve as a good test for any system on all three of your criteria (the electronic component aside, of course…)

    And, finally, for ‘one that pulls on a system’s ability to handle complexity’, my go to is Frank Zappa’s album Uncle Meat and, in particular, the breadth and complexity of the King Kong variations (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD5kTEf8Rd0). Other tracks on the album, such as ‘Dog Breath, In The Year Of The Plague’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMSQ1vCxZJU) are technically more complex from a recording standpoint. But from a sheer outpouring of amazing virtuosity, ensemble cohesion, acoustically variable settings and wall of sound assault on the senses (in a good way), the King Kong variations are both a good test of any stereo system as well as an under-appreciated tour de force.

    Thanks again for doing this! Someday when the boys are grown, I’ll be able to afford Rune. But in the meantime, your giveaways keep hope alive!

  75. Regretted not taking part in the previous giveaway – here’s my list:

    M83 – New Map
    My Morning Jacket – Sec Walkin
    Destroyer – Kaputt

  76. 1) Metallica – Sad But True

    https://open.spotify.com/track/037Q3LMK7nqfCsTsD0E0JP

    2) The Devin Townsend Project – Truth

    https://open.spotify.com/track/2qZnwY88TSeHGyXqgHGTHl

    3) Allegaeon – Gray Matter Mechanics – Apassionata Ex Machina

    https://open.spotify.com/track/2ZYsMOE4QpWICp8LQR6iku

    Yes, this is an all metal list.

    And why should metal not sound great? Well these tracks do.

    Number 1 is well known but number 2 is wonderful as well. The crisp guitars, the layered vocals and the mighty bass drop will move you whether you want it or not.

    The technical death metal from my number 3 will test the limits of your system. It has the fast double bass drums, the grunting vocals and the Al Di Meola flamingo guitars. No kidding.

    This track will chase away ‘Old UpHimself’ faster than you can say ‘technical death metal’.

  77. My 2 cents… 🙂

    Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton – Just A Closer Walk With Thee
    Henrik Freischlager – Drum Solo By Dirk Sengotta
    Maria Rita – Veja Bem Meu Bem

  78. In order to win this amazing prize, I chose 3 beautiful songs begging to be Rooned… However, as they are not available in the digital world, one needs to dig a little deeper in order to find (and then digitize) the treasured vinyl:

    Lilac Wine – Cinematic Orchestra featuring Heidi Vogel

    Bring You Down – Incognito (4 Hero “Bring You Up” mix)

    Why Try To Change Me Now – Cy Coleman Jazz Trio

  79. These could be my three today:

    Life on Mars – Dexter Wansel
    Over The Hill – John Martyn
    Help Me Lose My Mind – Disclosure, London Grammar

  80. Mucha Muchacha – Juan García Esquivel: From dawn of stereo and this hobby in 1961 a fun and surprisingly clear as bell recording, sing songing and ping ponging between speakers, with voices, large ensemble and sound effects, that will still appeal to many, holding its own for 55years. If you like it, get the “Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music” compilation, remastered for a great test record/CD/download.

    Floe – Phillip Glass, 1986 from Glassworks: 2 flutes, 2 soprano saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 2 horns, flawlessly keep up with break neck hypnotic synthesizer in perfect syncopation. Brazenly adapted in the movie Intersteller without credit.

    Triptico – Gotan Project, 2001: Tango/dance/electronic; a rollercoaster ride slowly builds and releases in in heart pounding arpeggios, then again and again with variation, true to all three genres. Many mixes abound, all good. I guess I moved from mix denier to believer and please don’t tell my son.

  81. I love ROON! Just heading into my first year of using this wonderful piece of gear. Would be great to join the lifers club! My 3 as follows:

    1. The XX – Dangerous
    2. Beck – Country Down
    3. Radiohead – Where I End and You Begin

    Thanks,
    Jason

  82. I’ll go in with these (recent) gems
    – agnes obel – familiar
    – radiohead – burn the witch
    – patrick watson – lighthouse

  83. Prince – Baby I’m a star. Great for judging that wiggle factor.
    Elbow – Mirrorball. Delicacy and controlled pace.
    Crystal Castles -Not in love. Useful for judging how well it can make sense of some major compression.

  84. The list of what I like about Roon is pretty long. At the top is the way it works with Tidal to help me discover new music and learn more the about music I’ve liked for along time. Here is a list of three songs that not only sound demo worthy, but relate to my life somehow…call it Two Degrees of Separation.
    1) Eric Dolphy at The Five Spot/Fire Waltz
    Richard Davis moved to a small town outside of Madison WI in the late 70’s to teach at UW. It was the same town my ex grew up, her sister babysat for Davis.
    2) Mark Mothersbaugh/Moonrise Kingdom/Camp Ivanhoe Cadence Melody
    Devo frontman and film composer/Wes Anderson cohort. We both grew up in NE Ohio, both went to Kent State and both had the same film teacher. I did not start a band.
    3) Andrew Bird Noble Beast/Fitz and the Dizzyspells
    My neighbor in Atlanta was in a band called The Jody Grind. The lead singer was Kelly Hogan. She pops up onlots of projects, here providing back up vocals for Andrew Bird.
    Thanks to Roon for letting me browse Tidal and finding these and many more gems.

  85. So tough, but here’s a shot…

    Arvo Pärt. – Mein Weg, for 14 Strings and Percussion- ECM

    King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic pt. 2 – ( 40th anniversary Steve Wilson version)

    Joni Mitchell- A case of you.

    Cheers!

  86. 1) ‘The Greatest’ Cat Power

    2) ‘Remurdered’ Mogwai

    3) ‘Shady Grove’ Doc Watson

  87. The 69 Eyes – Rosary Blue (feat. Kat Von D)… acoustic duet featuring deep, smooth male baritone, slightly husky female, with a real sense of deep silence in the background

    Sigur Ros – Glosoli… wonderful atmospherics with Sigur Ros’ unique high pitched male lead

    Sithu Aye – Baryogenics… progressive metal that will really test the full frequency range and timing, including bass speed and tautness, along with super high guitar notes

  88. Laurie Anderson: Transitory Life
    Radio Tarifa: Baile De Almut
    Habib Koite: Batoumambe
    The first for its wonderful reach, depth and nuance, the second for the many percussive sounds with imaging and range, the last for exposing harshness in particular…. All are very open recordings which allow me to focus on the respective qualities in detail. They have been in fact my main auditioning recordings in recent times. Plus a few others of course but here we are 3!

  89. It would be amazing to walk into a demo room and hear these:
    1. Aphex Twin – diskhat ALL prepared1mixed 13 (Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 EP)
    2. Shellac – The End of Radio (Excellent Italian Greyhound)
    3. MONO – The Flames Beyond The Cold Mountain (You Are There)
    It would be equally amazing to be able to play these at home through Roon!

  90. At last – a HiFI question I can really get behind!

    I dabble in hifi (mostly vintage, for cash reasons) and I was starting to think I needed to buy the complete works of Diana Krall, just to make sense of it all. I have resisted so far, mainly because the initial album covers have often convinced me I will be getting the complete works of Bruckner or an obscure Austrian song cycle.

    Seeing as how she is Mrs Costello, I may have misjudged her. I fully expect a joint album with her and hubby with the LSO at the Albert hall at some point, an audiophile’s dream!

    I, too, have experienced spiritual and emotional reactions (from others) at HiFi shows to the hidden themes in Dire Straits ( often Germans, it has to be said). I have Squeezebox Touches (gloriously unmodified – with the plastic left on to avoid temptation) and even a valve reel-to-reel for extra masochism.

    I have enough Pink Floyd to lay claim to an insignificant part of a headlight from one of Nick Mason’s Ferraris, or perhaps one of Dave Gilmour’s cheaper hair clips.

    I ‘m all in favour of a crisper treble, a tighter mid-range and a better view from the kitchen window but these things cost money – which younger people tend not to have, on account of jobs, rent and things.

    So, I asked the nephew: he who listens to his phone with one ear bud because the other is broken; he doesn’t actually own any music . For the record he has just become a certified chartered accountant and has some of what passes these days for disposable income, after rent, tuition fees and all.

    His response was “anything by Justin Bieber”. That’s not a track called “Anything” – he really meant anything by Justin Bieber.

    So, with that in mind, here are my choices,

    1) anything by Justin Bieber – pace the nephew

    2) Captain Beefheart – Safe as Milk – any track but in the mono version to piss off half the purists and delight the other half. Plus my wife likes it too.

    3) Jimmy Jazz – the Clash. Even the French like the Clash (disclosure, I live in France) and there are some interesting, subtle things going on in it too (at least I think there are). Plus, if I had the cash, I would like to buy high-end, high value kit from someone who at least acknowledged the Clash’s existence.)

    And I’ve heard it for over thirty years on everything from Akihabara god system to a coconut in Fiji.

    I’m not at all interested in Roon: the only musical meta data the young are interested in are in OK and other celebrity magazines – perhaps there is an API.

    Love your work: thank you for listening.

  91. Loving these lists. How cool are we? [pats back]

    Pantha Du Prince – The Splendour
    Spare yet deep. Tasty bleeps and blops you’ll want to play loud

    Cash Savage and the Last Drinks – The Hypnotiser
    Big and dark, obligatory comparisons to Nick Cave.

    Nadia Reid – Holy Low
    Haunting female with guitar, you’ll swoon.

  92. Mat Pentheny (lego Jazzy) Dub 5 am /Artist> Lego Edit >Album >Legbootleg-Jazzy EP
    Rubber Soul / Artist >Herbie Hancock. Album> Dis Is Da Drum
    Maria is her name > Artist Elvis > Album DJ Snatch Edit Pt1

  93. Papa was a rolling stone – Marcus Miller
    Dub in a time of Cholera – Dub Colossus
    Burn the witch – Radiohead

  94. 10cc – I’m Not in Love (20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of 10cc)

    Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale ( In Concert with The Danish National Concert Orchestra & Choir)

    Cat Stevens – Wild World ( Tea for the Tillerman , Remastered Deluxe Edition)

  95. Why not some metal:
    1. Alcest – Kodama
    2. Witherscape – Northern Sanctuary
    and some rhythmic pop
    3. Clean Bandit – New Eyes

  96. Garnier – The Rise & Fall of the Donkey Dog
    Michael Wollny, Vincent Peirani – Hunter
    Jeff Buckley – Dream Brother

  97. Honey dripper – acoustic – Royce Wood jr. (snare & voice)
    Lead Belly – Dayne S, Tapesh (Bass test)
    Save me – Pupkullies & Rebecca (complex)

  98. And now for something completely different:
    New from Orchestra Baobab from the album Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng: Foulo
    From 2010 Champagne for gypsies Goran Bregovic and Gipsy Kings: Presidente
    From 2003 Sueños Liquidos Maná: Chaman

    Give it a try.

  99. So hard…….

    The Rainbow – Talk Talk (Spirit of Eden)

    Goodbye Lucille#1 – Prefab Sprout (Steve McQueen)

    Love In A Car – The House of Love (The House of Love – Guy Chadwick/Terry Bickers cover)

  100. Wow, this was hard and my final choices are far from where I started.. Atom TM is not something I listen to regularly, but I think it fits perfectly in what I wanted to convey in this setting. 3 very different songs, generes and recordings, but with a breadth that I think will really challenge both the system and the listener in a demo setting.

    Atom TM – Pop HD (Crisp, clear, electronic pop in bright high definition with a big nod to the German pioneers of the genre)

    Mary Margaret O’Hara – To Cry About (Truly heartfelt, soft and with great dynamics. This song never ceases to amaze me in it’s deliverance and the subtle instrumentation)

    The Heavy – Sixteen (Massive, compressed, processed but deep down and dirty funky rock of the highest quality)

    Fingers crossed you like it too!

  101. Transfatty Acid – Lamb – Kruder & Dorfmeister Session Mix
    Halo – Depeche Mode – Live in Berlin
    Crystal Fighters – Bridge of Bones

  102. Oh yeah, love some replies so far! Hard to choose just three, but here we go:

    1. Darkside (Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington) – Golden Arrow

    This song is always the first I play when trying new equipment. I got to know it so well that I can say where the gear wants to take me. It’s perfect to test layering separation, dynamic range and soundstage. Extra points for being such an enjoyable trip.

    2. BADBADNOTGOOD – Confessions

    Really well mastered Hip-Hop and Jazz fusion packed in 5:01 minutes. Still no vocals so far but, why vocals having such a sexy sax?

    3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Funky Monks

    This song may not be the best to test performance. However I challenge you to try not to bang your head with the bass line, the guitar riff and the punch of the snare on your face.

    Because at the end, those high priced pieces of junk are useless without creative people recording their shenanigans. Music is what all of this is about, isn’t it?

  103. Cat Stevens – Hard Headed Woman (Live version) from “On the Road to Find Out”
    Ayumi Hamasaki – Introduction from “LOVEppears”
    Kamasi Washington – Re Run Home from “The Epic”

  104. Some pretty amazing lists! I’m looking forward to checking out a lot of these tracks.

    Keeping my list relatively light and accessible.

    Aretha Franklin – (I can’t get no) Satisfaction
    From the album Aretha in Paris (1968)

    Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better
    From the album Currents (2015)

    James Blake – Retrograde
    From the album Overgrown (2013)

  105. Never been to a hifi show, but I’d be first in line if the booths were playing:

    Andy Shauf – The Magician (Available as Tidal MQA, but not in Canada…)
    Luluc – Passerby (Tidal MQA, this album by the same name is NOT to be missed)
    Elbow – Honey Sun (Tidal Redbook. Scarce and deep – this track is a trip to the end of the earth)

  106. Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta
    Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – X-Ray Style
    Flying Lotus – Do the Astral Plane

  107. I tried to keep my list contemporary and catered to a younger crowd. A eclectic selection of music to demonstrate the true capability of a system.

    “Halleujah” – Pentatonix (Showcases both male and female vocals beautifully)
    “Stranger Things Theme” – Luke Million (Great for testing bass, chosen for familiarity with the show)
    “The Man Who Sold the World” – Nirvana (Rock music recorded live, also contains clapping at the end. Fantastic test for any system)

  108. I’ve tried to avoid audiophile tracks and also keep the tracks fairly mainstream:

    1. Lorde – Green Light
    2. Ellie Goulding – Still Falling For You
    3. Beyoncé – FREEDOM

  109. 1. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi – Radiohead (listening to see how the system deals with the percussion)
    2. The Shrine/ An Argument – The Fleet Foxes (how good are the mids/highs particularly vocals and acoustic instruments)
    3. Paper Tiger – Beck. (Just a great song I love listening to…can I listen without thinking.)

  110. Been thinking really hard about this, as it’s a list that’s in rather constant fluctuation, but here are the “evergreens” on it, in no particular order of preference 🙂 Mostly it’s about feeling, but decent recording quality is a factor as well.
    – Whitesnake – Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City (Live) – https://tidal.com/track/68732996
    – Nits – In the Dutch Mountains – https://tidal.com/track/32120164
    – Rufus & Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody – https://tidal.com/track/2938822
    Another staple of system evaluation is sadly not commercially available or I’d have included it as well. It’s a Richard Thompson ROIO from his passage at the GrandTarghee Bluegrass festival in 2004 (http://haystackpudding.com/LOSSLESS/6b60d376.html).

    • An edit please. Just found out That Bruce Cockburn is available on Tidal, which he wasn’t on Spotify, so I’d like to replace Whitesnake with this all-time favourite for demonstrating “impact” …
      Bruce Cockburn – If I Had a Rocket Launcher – https://tidal.com/track/15564058

  111. Favourite 3at the moment. They all sound fantastic

    1. Bahramji & Mashti- Being with you (hypnotic Persian influenced ambient electronica – absolutely brilliant)
    2. Kandice Spring – Fall Guy
    3. Just Her – War on Myself

  112. how exactly does one enter this sweepstake/contest??
    top of my list ls#1-“HOME”/”Oh No, Not Not Now” by Won-Ton-Ton found on Qobuz and especially ‘walking on a wire’, ‘can i come near to you’ and ‘ilie and i cheat’
    #2- MQA TIDAL MASTERS of The Grateful Dead-“American Beauty” the entire album but especially ‘attics of my my min’. broke down palace’ and of course ‘ripple’ and the entire “working Man’s Dead”
    #3 MQA TIDAL MASTERS of Warren Zevon- ‘Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner’,’Werewolves of London’ and ‘Lawyers Guns and Money’
    #4- Tom Russell- entire ‘Hot Walker” and a song “east of Woodstock,West of Vietnam’

    will you submit this for me??
    bobbmd

  113. 1. Scarlett Johansson – Falling down from Anywhere I Lay My Head
    Any system that can disentangle the complex layering of this song without drowning Johansson’s voice is a winner.

    2. Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine from the eponymous album.
    I would use the DVD audio version because it’s 16bit/48Khz and not as dynamically compressed as the cd version. A voice that goes high, string and wind instruments and percussions that need to be faithfully reproduced. I would pay a particular attention to the pizzicati, the timbre of the oboe and bassoon and of the triangle.

    3. Miles Davis – Right Off from Jack Johnson, high res version.
    Great dynamics, intro with only bass and drums. You only need to play from the beginning to the first improvisation by Miles Davis to get an idea of the sound quality of the system and whether it can deliver the music with enough energy to make you tap your feet and rock your head.

    Are we allowed multiple entries?

      • And the bit of Right Off I was thinking about actually starts at 18:43, there’s guitar as well. My memory tricked me. Oh and the odd sign is a face palm emoticon gone wrong, I think I should go back to bed.

  114. Storm Warning(album Bob James, Restless) and for the same matter but all the same different same song by Sanne on Where Blue begins.

    Isola Grande(album Pino Daniele Ensemble with Peter Erskine Trio; project passi d’autore)

    After Hours(album Ronny Jordan, the Antidote)

  115. My current favourites are :-
    1. Colne Valley Hearts by O’Hooley & Tidow from the album shadows : Beautiful voices great song
    2. Dr Buzz by Jamioquai from the album Automaton: a great workout for the lower octaves.
    3. Soothing by Laura Marling from the album Semper Femina: Just magic

  116. Up With People – Lambchop – Uplifting feelgood music
    The Highwayman (from El Mirage) – Jimmy Webb – May not have the best voice but it does the job and it’s a great production.
    Madman Across The Water – Elton John – a favourite through the years.

    It could/will be a different three tomorrow (or in five Minutes)!

  117. The list:

    1)Alexisonfire – This Could Be Anywhere In The World
    2)The Brian Setzer Orchestra – Rock this town
    3)Pig&DAN – Chemistry

    WHY:
    1) This song is an all-rounder for Rock genre.
    3 differents voices. 2 main singers(George screams and Dallas Green has one of the finest voice high pitced male voice of the last 20 years IMO. In addition back-vocalist Wade has a more hoarsely type of voice.
    The ride cymbal is striking through the mix. There is a synth bass note added at the end of a few bars that will give you an idea of the bass extension.
    If this one sounds amazing then this is a really good start;especiallly for the speakers.
    One of my favorite in terms of music but also in terms of Mixing/Mastering (doesn’t suffer much from the loudness war).

    2) This one is a Rockabilly song. It has brass instruments and a double bass. This one will give you an idea of what Jazz, Ska and blues would sound like. Brian Setzer’s solo will give you an idea of what a good blues song would actually sound.

    3) Finally a techno song. This one was produced around a ping pong delay. So there is a lots going on from left to right and right to left. You can actually feel the movement from side to side. This is challenging more the stereo image than a tradtitionnal stereo panning which doesn’t change for the all song IMO; at least this is a different way to evaluate your stereo image. This is special since most techno songs are mixed/mastered to sound good in mono since 80-90% of clubs are running in mono. It will also show you what your speakers are able to do in the low-end.

    3 songs isn’t enough but that’s a pretty good start IMO.

    Thanks!
    Julien

  118. Big Black – Big Money
    Joe Henderson – Felicidade
    Enrico Rava – Ammazzare il Tempo (1980 Soundtrack)

  119. Here are my suggestions, in random order :
    1. Agnes Obel – Familiar (Album: Citizen of Glass) : superb piano and voices with strings attached…
    2. Sara K. – Stop Those Bells (Album: Are We There Yet? Live in Concert) : impeccable live recording of voice and guitar
    3. Manu Katché – Number One (Album: Neighbourhood) : classy ECM recording (what a soundstage!) of top-shelf musicians in contemporary jazz

    Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

  120. 1)Selah Sue ft. Cee-Lo Green – ‘Please’

    2) Sleaford Mods- ‘B. H. S.’

    3)Big Rude Jake – ‘Swing Baby’

    Cheers

  121. Beck – Morning
    Dirty Projectors, Dawn Richard – Cool Your Heart
    Kanye West, Bon Iver – Lost in the World

  122. Hi John

    I’d kick off with:

    1. The Postal Service – The District Sleeps Tonight
    2. Bahamas – Lost in the Light
    3. Bob Mould – The End of Things

    If they stayed I’d play them Joe Jackson’s “It’s different for girls” and The Poets of Rhythm’s “More mess on my thing”. If they complained I’d put on TISM “I’m on the drug” really, really loud.

  123. Dinosaur Jr. – Start Choppin’
    Savages – Adore Life
    Grinderman – No Pussy Blues

  124. My picks

    1) Everything but the Girl – Missing (Todd Terry remix)

    2) Chris Cornell – Seasons

    3) The Smiths – This Charming Man

  125. Well if the brief is anti-cliché, then there’s no real option then but to surprise the fogies with some brand-newies – and therefore avoid any “baggage”. And they’ll need to be crackers at that. So with that in mind:

    1.      Mark Eitzel – “Just Because”, from “Hey Mr Ferryman” (2017). Close your eyes, and a set-up that images well will reward you with the feeling that you’re sitting three feet away from the band in a tiny club. https://open.spotify.com/track/50C10SCxRLz3rXhRh7bX62

    2.      Visible Cloaks – “Screen”, from “Reassemblage” (2017). A mind-blowing soundscape that can’t be categorised. Seamless blend of organic and electronic sound, coming “at you” from every direction. Zen. https://open.spotify.com/track/3lLcEArhIl5jYJYNnV7Xph

    3.      King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “Rattlesnake”, from “Flying Microtonal Banana” (2017). Because it’s a crazy, banging, toe-tapping psychedelic belter from a killer Aussie psychedelic band. Song of the year. https://open.spotify.com/track/7rV43z4kSYMRliXWnphANI

  126. 1.Laurie Anderson-Strange angels
    2.Kate Bush-A Sky of Honey (part II of Aerial)
    3.Dire Straits-Brothers n Arms

  127. 1. Amour T’es La: Snarky Puppy with Magda Giannikou
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFkRtjrrM5k)
    NO ONE is walking past this room! I cannot imagine who, whatever their persuasion, will not fall madly in love with Magda simply after hearing her voice! And when she’s backed up by some of the best musicians in the biz…

    2. Raise: Son Lux
    It takes a great system to do this song justice, let alone cope with it. Turn it up loud.

    3. Settle Down: Kimbra
    This girl is underrated.

  128. 1. Archive – Londinium
    2. Bjork – So Broken (B Side)
    3. Mad Season – Artifical red

  129. 1. Gaudi – Bethe Bethe Kese Kese (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan remix)
    2. Anders Osborne – My Old Heart
    3. The Holmes Brothers – That’s Where It’s At
    Great artists, songs and recordings.

  130. 1. Bola: Landor 50X2 (Tidal)
    2. R.E.M.: Nightswimming (DVD-A or 24 bit)
    3. Live: Rattlesnake (HDCD properly decoded)

    If limited to Tidal, then
    1. Bola: Landor 50X2 (Tidal HiFi)
    2. Soundgarden: Flower (Tidal Master)
    3. Muse: Panic Station (Tidal Master)

  131. 1. D’Angelo and the Vanguard — Sugah Daddy
    2. Weyes Blood — Seven Words
    3. Jamie xx — Gosh

  132. A-list
    Jonathan Wilson – Desert Raven
    Melanie De Biasio – The Flow
    Yello – Limbo

    B-list
    Jan Swerts – Kijk, Jessica, Kijk Naar Al Die Lege Wegen (bonus)
    Dans Dans – TV Dreams (bonus)
    Chromatics – Shadow

  133. Wilco — One Sunday Morning (simple song, with beautiful vocals, that gets more and more layered as it progresses)

    Grinderman — Heathen Child (Does it guitar? Oh yes it does. Does it get weird? Indeed it does. Micro and macro dynamics? You bet.)

    James Brown — Mother popcorn (the rare fast tempo + funky groove. The snare should pop you like you stuck a finger in a socket. Can you feel it on the One?)

  134. Ooh, that many People read DAR?
    The result is a nice selection of music for me to discover… Thanks! Here’s my selection:

    1. Fatima Al Qadiri: Szechuan
    2. Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld: Axolotl
    3. Yussef Kamaal: Strings of light.

  135. Colomb – Nicolas Jaar

    Picture in a Frame – Tom Waits

    Tinseltown in the Rain – The Blue Nile

  136. 1) Nick Cave and the Badseeds – Death is not the End
    2) Seatbelts – Tank! (Live; Cowboy Bebop OST LE)
    3) Ravi Shankar – Prabhujee

Assuming the room

Trans/portable high-end audio: iFi’s micro iDSD Black Label