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May 2008
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
It's The Music Stupid!
Part I
Article originally written in 1998 By Steven R. Rochlin
Edited and updated May 2008

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  Ok, it has been quite some time since anything has been added here on the Senseless Ramblings page.  Well, life has also been extremely busy (my apologies to all).  As this little rambling is being typed away, my location is physically in the UK and not in my home in the USA. An amazing thing happened today.  While with a manufacturer, we both went on and on about various things. During the long-winded discussions, we were discussing enjoying music and how some magazines and reviewers have seemed to killed this joy.  Are we to only enjoy the absolute perfect recording rather then the music?

This isn't to say that all magazines are so equipment/sound quality/recording driven that the joy of music is lost. It is to say that when the day is done can you sit down, relax, play some music through your music reproduction system and enjoy the music? Do you find yourself buying music you truly can enjoy or is the music you buy solely based on being recorded to "audiophile" standards only?  What i mean by that is, is the system there to serve the music or is the music there to serve the system?  What is the priority here?

Alas, sometimes i read things, hear things, etc. that make me wanna throw up!  C'mon, a great engineered recording is one thing, but if the music is horrible there is no way in heck for me to enjoy it! For instance (yes, i name names here), Reference Recording's Manifesto & Co. is engineered very well. Heck, it received a few great reviews too. Me? It was so bad in my opinion that i actually gave the CD back to Reference Recordings! The recording quality is wonderful.  Engineered to a very very high quality... But the performance of the music is not to my liking. The horns come in early in a few sections, late in others, etc. It sounds to me like the musicians are, at times, playing the notes vs. playing the music. Of course this is my personal preference and in how i would interpret the music.

That is the point! Does your music reproduction system play music you prefer... or a conglomeration of notes at variable volume levels during different timings? Also, is there such a heck-bend priority with you on how wide/deep/defined the soundscape (or soundstage) is that it sounds hyper-unreal? Does it truly sound natural or is it so over emphasized that it resembles nothing like what the original performance did? Are we to say that all things mono are rubbish because there is no "imaging"? Heck no! Yes, soundscaping is an added bonus, though are we saying that because a recording is mono that it can't be enjoyable? There are, in my humble opinion, many great performances only available in mono. So, is your priority so twisted in this soundscaping thing that you would overlook a great performance to hear a lesser performance in stereo for all those imaging cues? Is the music, um, truly being served here?

Maybe it is me? Perhaps i should only enjoy well engineered, pinpoint soundscaping, stereo blooming "air", hyper-real recordings. After all, i am some lame reviewer, right? Ok, so how many recordings would i then be "allowed" to have in my home and enjoy? What should be done about my love for dance/techno/rage/house/pop/trip-hop/psychedelic/funkadelic music? Is my "audiophile" music reproduction system not allowed to play music like that because dance/techno/rage/house/pop/trip-hop/psychedelic/funkadelic music does not wholly consist of acoustic instruments?  Shall James Brown be forever barred from my system? How about Zappa, George Clinton/P-Funk, Rush, Pink Floyd, the Doors or Zeppelin? Are we to make excuses to our "audiophile" buddies about having sinned because we also enjoy Zappa? Is there some "audiophile" high Priestess out there we can confess our "sins" to? If loving you is wrong i don't want to be right!!!

Guess my whole point here (which had been harped about before on these pages) is that it is the music stupid! Sheeesh, i just hope you're enjoying the music too. Of course if you "get off" differently from your music reproduction system that's cool with me. Please realize that music is art, electronics is engineering. Please don't forget music's heritage. Please try to keep an opened mind about great performances (even if they are mono or not recorded to "audiophile" standards). Please remember that it took a musical inventor to conceive and play beautiful music. Notice how i don't use the term musical "artist" because my feelings are that it is so over used that its true meaning has been watered down too much. What really matters to me is that you...

Enjoy the Music ("Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow" by Funkadelic right now),

Steven R. Rochlin

Click here for Part II

"Free your mind and your ass will follow
The kingdom of heaven is within...
Open up your funky mind and you can fly
Free your mind and your ass will follow
The kingdom of heaven is within

Freedom is free of the need to be free..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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