Archive | December, 2013

Weekly Vinyl – Neuromantic

13 Dec

Yukihiro Takahashi






This is a brilliant album. About half a year ago I reviewed Klaus Schulze`s Dune and noted that, although it is definitely in the experimental-electric realm of music, it is a worthy precursor to the electro-pop that we listen to now.
Well the good stuff anyway.
Takahashi`s music is the bridge between the two worlds- pop and experimental. He was a key member of Japan`s Yellow Magic Orchestra that did as much for modern music as Kraftwerk but has never gotten the credit, nor the legendary status, that the German band garners.
How great is this album? It is still fresh even after 30 some years. The songs could be newly minted. In fact, the first song on this album, “Glass”, has a riff that sounds like Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”. For real.
It is an album that one could dance to. One wants to dance. But it is also one that one has to listen carefully to. There is great musicianship here. There are great textures in the music – especially where the analogue and digital sounds interplay with each other.
A glorious album – listen to it if you can.


Weekly Wine – Yvon Mau

11 Dec

????????Yvon Mau Merlot VDP
$8.95 (LCBO)

Another great wine from France. Another great affordable wine from France.
It is a fine wine. It has a fine taste. There is really nothing that one cane fault with this wine.
Sure, some taste buds on the upper-left side of my tongue are vibrating and sending my brains some signals. But I am ignoring that signal because I do not understand it.
The strange sensation appears briefly and then vanishes.
I like the fact that the label has “Depuis 1897” on it. That is gravitas baby. 30 years younger than Canada. It is a very respectable label.
The back label has a bunch of writing on it that I passed on reading because I was busy drinking the wine. Wine is not a cereal box and I am not a toddler eating (pre-fermented) sugar and reading propaganda and the riboflavin(?) content of what I am eating. The front label should entice me – the back label is just for statistics.
This is a nice wine.
I shudder to think that I used to not buy French wine because of the nuclear testing and that little thing in New Zealand. My bad – good wine is good wine and this is good wine.

Weekly Vinyl – Sidi Tal’ – Сиди Таль

6 Dec

From the programs of concerts
Sidi Tal’ – Сиди Таль
I’m not 100 per cent sure how I got this album but It came from Ukraine. Did I buy it or was it given to me – that is a mystery.
This is an album by a noted Yiddish-Soviet artist, Sidi Tal. The album contains stories and songs. I understand none of this – but this is kind-of-like listening to Edith Piaf for most of the non-French-speaking world. The strong emotions of the artist come through beyond the barrier of language.
As I listen to this album, I hear the Eastern European pathos emerge. I recognize the rythm of the language. Sidi Tal lived worked and died in Western Ukraine so the mood and feeling of her storytelling and her songs are very well known to me. I can identify with what she is going on about although I understand not one word.
This is a great discovery in my collection – I had completely forgotten that I had such an album. 

Weekly Wine – Caliterra

4 Dec

SONY DSC Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I have a friend who swears by Chilean wine. He said that there was no such thing as a bad wine from Chile.
I will be sure to bring him this one the next time I come around.
It ain’t bad but it sure ain’t great.
This wine has harsh overtone, hell flavours, that last from the moment the wine hits the mouth to long after it has been swallowed and has gone on its merry way. This wine is in your face. When you sip it you will not say – “Oh, what a nice wine.”
It will be more like, “Oh, that’s an interesting one.”
I should do a back to back tasting based on wine grapes. I’ve had very good Cabernet Sauvignons and ones that I would pass on. I’ll pass on this one as it is not pleasant to drink. Perhaps there are subtleties in the flavouring that I am to pedestrian to savour and appreciate.
Nah – this is a cheap wine and it tastes like it.