jamesrsutton.net | music and stuff

26 January, 2015

Rush : Fly By Night (Reissue)

Filed under: Lossless Audio,New Music and Video,Vinyl — James Richard Sutton @ 10:07 PM

Mercury Records is reissuing all of their Rush catalogue on 200g vinyl this year, along with selections on blu-ray in 96kHz/24-bit PCM stereo and 5.1 surround mixes. I plan to post throughout the year as each release reaches my door. Today I’ve received the first installment, Fly By Night.

The first thing I noticed was just how well it’s all put together. The packaging, especially the vinyl, is delivered in a very simple and elegant way. The LP is pristine, with almost no surface noise, and blows away any previous vinyl pressing I’ve heard. The DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixes breathe new life into the album, adding excitement to many of the tracks. The solo section of By-Tor & The Snow Dog is particularly amazing.

With all of that said, the winner here is clearly the incredible 96kHz/24-bit PCM stereo mix. I believe this is the only way to truly hear what the musicians and engineer heard in the studio as this music was created.

23 January, 2015

Now Playing : Once

Filed under: Now Playing,Vinyl — James Richard Sutton @ 7:32 PM

I’ve finally found an affordable, new copy of Nightwish‘s “Once“, my favourite from the Tarja Turunen years. Like most Americans, this very solid album was my first taste of Nightwish.

The band have a new release out early this year with Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen (After Forever, ReVamp) and Finnish drummer Kai Hahto (Wintersun), both of which are very respectable musicians. I’m very much looking forward to both the album and the following US tour.

16 January, 2015

Now Playing : The Amanuensis

Filed under: Now Playing,Vinyl — James Richard Sutton @ 9:58 PM

Monuments are yet another band from Britain that create quality, modern progressive metal.

I only got into the band recently and their music definitely requires multiple listens to truly take in. So far it’s still John Browne’s guitar playing and Chris Barretto’s versatile vocal performance that really moves me. I’ve never heard grunt vocals quite like this before.


12 January, 2015

Hey Kids, It’s Old Guy Again…

Filed under: Random Thoughts — James Richard Sutton @ 11:15 PM

I’m 43 years old, have experienced adult life before mobile phones, and currently work as a full-time IT professional in the US. The internet is a major part of our priviledged, everyday lives and I often take that for granted. I also don’t care that it’s the year 2015 and we still don’t have proper flying cars or hoverboards.

I just finished watching four video clips from a gig in Tilburg, Netherlands, taken by a stranger in high definition with a handheld device YESTERDAY.




11 January, 2015

Now Playing : Vital Information

Filed under: Now Playing,Vinyl — James Richard Sutton @ 12:41 PM

These are my two favourite Vital Information albums. The debut was a recent $4 find at a local shop. I’d only ever owned it on cassette sadly. Fiafiaga was one of the first vinyl albums I’d ever owned, having bought it new in 1988. Surprisingly it’s still in playable shape.
 Like many, I first heard Steve Smith’s drumming during his time in Journey. Their Frontiers and Captured albums were very inspiring for me as a young drummer.
 Vital Information’s music in my high school years in particular, really helped me to keep practicing. Even to this day, the drum solo on “The Perfect Date” from Fiafiaga just kills me.
 “Steve Smith’s Vital Information presents electric jazz at its finest – progressive music for audiences of the eighties.”

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