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August 2020

Jeffrey Lee Puckett Why You Should Listen to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon Through Your Headphones

When a few of us here at Discogs started tossing around ideas for albums to feature in this new series about the joys of a headphone experience with vinyl, we knew we wanted to start with something iconic.

The Dark Side of the Moon immediately came up, but we were worried. It’s a short walk from iconic to stale, and Pink Floyd’s epic exploration of the human existence is one of history’s best-known albums. Surely this was the lowest-hanging fruit ever.

We tried. I spent a week listening to a variety of albums to find an alternative, including a lot of Pink Floyd’s catalog. Wish You Were Here made a very compelling case for itself; “Welcome to the Machine” left me feeling cold, isolated, and lost — exactly how it’s supposed to make you feel.

And then I finally put on The Dark Side of the Moon, and the thud of a beating heart that begins the album sounded exactly like a mic drop.

There’s just no getting around it: The Dark Side of the Moon is an album exquisitely crafted for the listening room inside your head, creating a world within a word that, nearly 50 years later, still inspires. Low-hanging fruit, it turns out, is often the sweetest.

The record has long been hailed as an audio demonstration of the highest order, the one you played to show off your new speakers. Engineer Alan Parsons, whose reputation was on the rise in 1973, worked hard to make the sonics equal to the music and it sounds spectacular playing in your living room on a conventional stereo.

But listening on a decent headphone system is a different beast entirely. For this story, I used a pair of the high-value House of Marley Exodus headphones ($200), which offer an exceptionally smooth, clear sound and deep, tight bass combined with elegant looks. Plugged into an iFi ZEN DAC, the Exodus headphones bring DSOTM alive to such a degree that it almost feels renewed — even if you’ve heard it hundreds of times.

“Speak to Me,” the opening track, sets a high bar both conceptually and sonically. A collage of sound and words, it uses bits and pieces from seven of the album’s 10 songs to create a tidy encapsulation of lyricist Roger Waters’ themes. It culminates with the sound of helicopter blades circling wildly around your head before rising into a snippet of Clare Torry’s gospel freakout from “The Great Gig in the Sky” right before dropping into the tranquil opening of “Breathe.” It’s how a psychedelic record should start.

“Breathe” is the song that establishes the basic template favored by the band, Parsons, and mixer Chris Thomas throughout the album. For example, whenever guitarist/singer David Gilmour is playing broken chords, they’re positioned in the lower left of your (hopefully baked) brain, while the upper right channel often features keyboardist Richard Wright and a second guitar part with a much different sound.

Not every song is built this way but it’s consistent enough to establish a central soundscape. Keyboards, guitars, and Richard Parry’s saxophone are frequently planted solidly in the middle of your forehead on featured solos — and synthesizers are all over the place — maintaining a nice flow of build-and-release tension. Thick layers of background vocals are meanwhile laid across the entire soundscape, providing a kind of cloud on which everything floats.

This template is the foundation of the album’s aural universe and it’s certainly not revolutionary thinking. It’s more about the execution. Pink Floyd, with three of the four members putting in time on synthesizers, provide Parsons and Thomas with truckloads of texture that are then expertly recorded and precisely placed to create a feeling, a mood. A state of mind.

And then there are times when it all descends into madness.

“On the Run” is a sound collage of the highest order, a densely orchestrated exploration into the fear of death inspired by Wright’s profound issues with air travel. Guttural synths fly left and right, punching through snatches of voices; what sounds like a second keyboard gradually morphs into the sound of a plane going down; and running footsteps travel around your skull chased by lunatic laughter.

It’s pure mayhem that’s brought to a halt by the most famous alarm clocks in rock history erupting to signal the beginning of “Time.” It’s undiluted studio artifice, gimmicky even, but like everything else, it works. The rest of “Time” is an engineering and mixing tour de force, balancing left, right, and middle in such a way that the song’s quiet menace is enhanced.

The fun continues throughout the album’s second side — if you consider existential dread fun.

Overt headphone effects are used more sparingly, the most famous being the lunatic laughter of Peter Watts that crawls around your head during “Brain Damage” and the rhythmic cash register samples on “Money.” But many of the choices are more about the song’s composition, as when Gilmour uses three different guitar sounds on “Money,” each occupying a different space; it’s almost like they’ve merged music composition with visual composition.

What’s interesting is that this epic journey through existence, both corporeal and otherwise, plays it straight for the closing track, “Eclipse.” There isn’t much trickery here, just a solid wall of sound — or maybe a monolith of sound if you’re into Stanley Kubrick — that quickly builds to an overwhelming climax before the heartbeat returns as it all fades to black. It feels like a church service ending.

It’s easy to just twist a bunch of knobs and create stereo effects in studio. Happens all of the time. Even good records, such as the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Axis Bold as Love, boast effects that are more gratuitous than necessary; the mono version of that album is actually more direct and engaging.

But what Pink Floyd, Parsons, and Thomas achieved with The Dark Side of the Moon is a perfect studio album, where effects are used to amplify not just the experience of listening but the actual meaning of the songs. It all works as a whole, and the fact that it still works 47 years later is remarkable. There are many different kinds of headphone experiences, some of which don’t lean on hard panning or electronic effects, and this series will certainly explore some of those. The Dark Side of the Moon, however, is the pinnacle of a very particular kind of headphone experience, and its longevity speaks both to its music and its mastery of the studio.

This is the first article in our series exploring the headphone experience. Published in partnership with House of Marley.

 

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discogs How to Contribute to the Discogs Database

If you’ve ever thought:

  • I had no idea Discogs was built by a contributor community!
  • I want to learn more about the Database because I’ll probably discover some interesting stuff about my favorite music.
  • I would love to contribute to Discogs but I don’t know how to.
  • I have tried to contribute in the past, but I got told that I made a lot of mistakes then was completely turned off to the whole idea.

Then this guide is for you. Welcome to a basic overview of how Discogs is built by our users and how to contribute to the Database. We will focus on the process for new submissions but this will also be helpful for improving existing details about albums, artists, and labels.

Putting the right information in the right spot with the right formatting is mission-critical for all contributors. It’s time-consuming, difficult, and often requires input from multiple experts. But as with all things detail-oriented and challenging, it’s satisfying, valuable, and cements your place among our Community of tireless archivists.

If you’re a music fan, then you’ll no doubt agree that Discogs is a paradise — a paradise that only thrives because the Community has spent millions of hours over the past 20 years trying to make the Database comprehensive and accurate. Maintaining it requires us to follow strict guidelines so we can ensure information remains accessible, connected, and searchable. It’s incredibly rewarding, but it’s not that easy. If you’re ready to begin your adventure as a Discogs contributor, you’ll find instructions for taking your first steps below.

Who can contribute to Discogs?

Anyone with a Discogs account can contribute information to the Database. If you’re submitting a new Release (more on that in a bit), you must have a physical copy of that Release to reference. All new contributions are visible to anyone on Discogs the instant they’re created.

What can I contribute?

There are four main types of pages within the Database:

  • Release. This refers to a piece of music with a specific format, year, and country. It can be anything from a 70-year-old 7-inch vinyl to a brand-new full-length CD.
  • Master Release. This is an umbrella page that houses details about the piece of music and links to each Release. For example, the Master Release of Abbey Road includes the original 1969 LP from the UK all the way down to a 2019 limited-edition Japanese reissue on CD.
  • Artist. This could be a vocalist, instrumentalist, band member, or entire band, as well as an engineer, supervisor, album cover artist, and other roles behind-the-scenes.
  • Label. This includes individual pages for large label companies and subsidiaries.

And there are two major forms of contribution:

  • Submitting a new Releases via the Add Release Form. New Artist and Label pages are automatically created when you add a Release page that identifies previously undocumented artists or labels. (Artist and Label pages cannot be added directly).
  • Editing an existing Release, Artist, or Label pages via the Edit link in the top right-hand corner of every page.

However, you can also contribute by:

  • Adding images to existing pages.
  • Merging duplicate pages.
  • Combining similar Releases under a Master Release.

How do I maintain the quality of information?

With our guidelines and voting system.

Anyone with a Discogs account can submit Releases or edit any existing page, but to keep the Database neat and usable, there are guidelines for how to record information about releases, artists, and label; for which information belongs in which field (hundreds of fields are needed to accommodate all the different information available about Releases); and for how to format each field entry.

To ensure adherence to the guidelines, new submissions and edits are voted on by other Discogs users. Not everyone can vote. The ability to vote is automatically assigned based on your interaction with Discogs: You need to log in reasonably regularly, view releases, read the guidelines, comment correctly on other submissions, and make accurate submissions and updates. Basically, voters must demonstrate that they are helpful and positive contributors. Contributions with no votes are flagged so that voters can provide feedback.

Let’s walk through your first submission.

Depending on the item, submitting a new Release to the Database can be complex. For your first submission, you should try something relatively simple like a CD or LP with a single artist and a small number of tracks. This way you can learn the process before moving on to complicated releases with many tracks by different artists.

Follow the submission guidelines. However, you don’t have to read them all before you start. Think of the guidelines as a cheat sheet — check them if you’re unsure of how to add the information or if another contributor says your info is incorrect.

Now, let’s walk through the basics:

  • You must have a copy of the item in front of you if you are submitting a new Release.
  • Check that your version has not already been entered into the Databases. The double-check, just to be sure. Duplicates are any archive’s worst nightmare — and a waste of your time!
  • Only submit what you can prove with pictures. You don’t need to include photos in a submission, but if you can’t prove facts, your submission might receive negative feedback.
  • Stick to the minimum required fields. It’s better to make a simple but correct submission than a complex submission with misinformation.
  • If you get stuck, you can always ask for help in the Database Help Forum.

Where do I go from here?

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far. Now it’s time to try your hand at contributing to Discogs. For more detailed tips and tricks, continue your adventure with the quick-start guide below. It includes step-by-step instructions with pictures. We’ve also listed additional resources, as well as links to the guidelines, release form, and more mentioned above. Happy contributing!

S.P.IN, Discogs’ September Pledge Initiative, is in full swing. Found something missing in the Database but have no clue where to start with a new submission? Check out our S.P.IN hub for beginner guides, tips and tricks, and interviews with some of our top contributors.

This guide is maintained by Discogs staff. Original article by Simon Ray. Last updated by Nicole Raney in September 2020. Feature image by Samuel Regan-Asante.

Interested in seeing more articles like this one?
Don’t miss a beat!
Subscribe to Discogs Newsletters for music news, contests, exclusive vinyl & more.
Want to join the Discogs community of music lovers?
Sign up for an account.
––––

The post How to Contribute to the Discogs Database appeared first on Discogs Blog.

from Discogs Blog https://ift.tt/2NqQ4jI
via IFTTT

discogs How to Contribute to the Discogs Database

If you’ve ever thought:

  • I had no idea Discogs was built by a contributor community!
  • I want to learn more about the Database because I’ll probably discover some interesting stuff about my favorite music.
  • I would love to contribute to Discogs but I don’t know how to.
  • I have tried to contribute in the past, but I got told that I made a lot of mistakes then was completely turned off to the whole idea.

Then this guide is for you. Welcome to a basic overview of how Discogs is built by our users and how to contribute to the Database. We will focus on the process for new submissions but this will also be helpful for improving existing details about albums, artists, and labels.

Putting the right information in the right spot with the right formatting is mission-critical for all contributors. It’s time-consuming, difficult, and often requires input from multiple experts. But as with all things detail-oriented and challenging, it’s satisfying, valuable, and cements your place among our Community of tireless archivists.

If you’re a music fan, then you’ll no doubt agree that Discogs is a paradise — a paradise that only thrives because the Community has spent millions of hours over the past 20 years trying to make the Database comprehensive and accurate. Maintaining it requires us to follow strict guidelines so we can ensure information remains accessible, connected, and searchable. It’s incredibly rewarding, but it’s not that easy. If you’re ready to begin your adventure as a Discogs contributor, you’ll find instructions for taking your first steps below.

Who can contribute to Discogs?

Anyone with a Discogs account can contribute information to the Database. If you’re submitting a new Release (more on that in a bit), you must have a physical copy of that Release to reference. All new contributions are visible to anyone on Discogs the instant they’re created.

What can I contribute?

There are four main types of pages within the Database:

  • Release. This refers to a piece of music with a specific format, year, and country. It can be anything from a 70-year-old 7-inch vinyl to a brand-new full-length CD.
  • Master Release. This is an umbrella page that houses details about the piece of music and links to each Release. For example, the Master Release of Abbey Road includes the original 1969 LP from the UK all the way down to a 2019 limited-edition Japanese reissue on CD.
  • Artist. This could be a vocalist, instrumentalist, band member, or entire band, as well as an engineer, supervisor, album cover artist, and other roles behind-the-scenes.
  • Label. This includes individual pages for large label companies and subsidiaries.

And there are two major forms of contribution:

  • Submitting a new Releases via the Add Release Form. New Artist and Label pages are automatically created when you add a Release page that identifies previously undocumented artists or labels. (Artist and Label pages cannot be added directly).
  • Editing an existing Release, Artist, or Label pages via the Edit link in the top right-hand corner of every page.

However, you can also contribute by:

  • Adding images to existing pages.
  • Merging duplicate pages.
  • Combining similar Releases under a Master Release.

How do I maintain the quality of information?

With our guidelines and voting system.

Anyone with a Discogs account can submit Releases or edit any existing page, but to keep the Database neat and usable, there are guidelines for how to record information about releases, artists, and label; for which information belongs in which field (hundreds of fields are needed to accommodate all the different information available about Releases); and for how to format each field entry.

To ensure adherence to the guidelines, new submissions and edits are voted on by other Discogs users. Not everyone can vote. The ability to vote is automatically assigned based on your interaction with Discogs: You need to log in reasonably regularly, view releases, read the guidelines, comment correctly on other submissions, and make accurate submissions and updates. Basically, voters must demonstrate that they are helpful and positive contributors. Contributions with no votes are flagged so that voters can provide feedback.

Let’s walk through your first submission.

Depending on the item, submitting a new Release to the Database can be complex. For your first submission, you should try something relatively simple like a CD or LP with a single artist and a small number of tracks. This way you can learn the process before moving on to complicated releases with many tracks by different artists.

Follow the submission guidelines. However, you don’t have to read them all before you start. Think of the guidelines as a cheat sheet — check them if you’re unsure of how to add the information or if another contributor says your info is incorrect.

Now, let’s walk through the basics:

  • You must have a copy of the item in front of you if you are submitting a new Release.
  • Check that your version has not already been entered into the Databases. The double-check, just to be sure. Duplicates are any archive’s worst nightmare — and a waste of your time!
  • Only submit what you can prove with pictures. You don’t need to include photos in a submission, but if you can’t prove facts, your submission might receive negative feedback.
  • Stick to the minimum required fields. It’s better to make a simple but correct submission than a complex submission with misinformation.
  • If you get stuck, you can always ask for help in the Database Help Forum.

Where do I go from here?

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far. Now it’s time to try your hand at contributing to Discogs. For more detailed tips and tricks, continue your adventure with the quick-start guide below. It includes step-by-step instructions with pictures. We’ve also listed additional resources, as well as links to the guidelines, release form, and more mentioned above. Happy contributing!

S.P.IN, Discogs’ September Pledge Initiative, is in full swing. Found something missing in the Database but have no clue where to start with a new submission? Check out our S.P.IN hub for beginner guides, tips and tricks, and interviews with some of our top contributors.

This guide is maintained by Discogs staff. Original article by Simon Ray. Last updated by Nicole Raney in September 2020. Feature image by Samuel Regan-Asante.

Interested in seeing more articles like this one?
Don’t miss a beat!
Subscribe to Discogs Newsletters for music news, contests, exclusive vinyl & more.
Want to join the Discogs community of music lovers?
Sign up for an account.
––––

The post How to Contribute to the Discogs Database appeared first on Discogs Blog.

from Discogs Blog https://ift.tt/2NqQ4jI
via IFTTT

discogs How to Contribute to the Discogs Database

If you’ve ever thought:

  • I had no idea Discogs was built by a contributor community!
  • I want to learn more about the Database because I’ll probably discover some interesting stuff about my favorite music.
  • I would love to contribute to Discogs but I don’t know how to.
  • I have tried to contribute in the past, but I got told that I made a lot of mistakes then was completely turned off to the whole idea.

Then this guide is for you. Welcome to a basic overview of how Discogs is built by our users and how to contribute to the Database. We will focus on the process for new submissions but this will also be helpful for improving existing details about albums, artists, and labels.

Putting the right information in the right spot with the right formatting is mission-critical for all contributors. It’s time-consuming, difficult, and often requires input from multiple experts. But as with all things detail-oriented and challenging, it’s satisfying, valuable, and cements your place among our Community of tireless archivists.

If you’re a music fan, then you’ll no doubt agree that Discogs is a paradise — a paradise that only thrives because the Community has spent millions of hours over the past 20 years trying to make the Database comprehensive and accurate. Maintaining it requires us to follow strict guidelines so we can ensure information remains accessible, connected, and searchable. It’s incredibly rewarding, but it’s not that easy. If you’re ready to begin your adventure as a Discogs contributor, you’ll find instructions for taking your first steps below.

Who can contribute to Discogs?

Anyone with a Discogs account can contribute information to the Database. If you’re submitting a new Release (more on that in a bit), you must have a physical copy of that Release to reference. All new contributions are visible to anyone on Discogs the instant they’re created.

What can I contribute?

There are four main types of pages within the Database:

  • Release. This refers to a piece of music with a specific format, year, and country. It can be anything from a 70-year-old 7-inch vinyl to a brand-new full-length CD.
  • Master Release. This is an umbrella page that houses details about the piece of music and links to each Release. For example, the Master Release of Abbey Road includes the original 1969 LP from the UK all the way down to a 2019 limited-edition Japanese reissue on CD.
  • Artist. This could be a vocalist, instrumentalist, band member, or entire band, as well as an engineer, supervisor, album cover artist, and other roles behind-the-scenes.
  • Label. This includes individual pages for large label companies and subsidiaries.

And there are two major forms of contribution:

  • Submitting a new Releases via the Add Release Form. New Artist and Label pages are automatically created when you add a Release page that identifies previously undocumented artists or labels. (Artist and Label pages cannot be added directly).
  • Editing an existing Release, Artist, or Label pages via the Edit link in the top right-hand corner of every page.

However, you can also contribute by:

  • Adding images to existing pages.
  • Merging duplicate pages.
  • Combining similar Releases under a Master Release.

How do I maintain the quality of information?

With our guidelines and voting system.

Anyone with a Discogs account can submit Releases or edit any existing page, but to keep the Database neat and usable, there are guidelines for how to record information about releases, artists, and label; for which information belongs in which field (hundreds of fields are needed to accommodate all the different information available about Releases); and for how to format each field entry.

To ensure adherence to the guidelines, new submissions and edits are voted on by other Discogs users. Not everyone can vote. The ability to vote is automatically assigned based on your interaction with Discogs: You need to log in reasonably regularly, view releases, read the guidelines, comment correctly on other submissions, and make accurate submissions and updates. Basically, voters must demonstrate that they are helpful and positive contributors. Contributions with no votes are flagged so that voters can provide feedback.

Let’s walk through your first submission.

Depending on the item, submitting a new Release to the Database can be complex. For your first submission, you should try something relatively simple like a CD or LP with a single artist and a small number of tracks. This way you can learn the process before moving on to complicated releases with many tracks by different artists.

Follow the submission guidelines. However, you don’t have to read them all before you start. Think of the guidelines as a cheat sheet — check them if you’re unsure of how to add the information or if another contributor says your info is incorrect.

Now, let’s walk through the basics:

  • You must have a copy of the item in front of you if you are submitting a new Release.
  • Check that your version has not already been entered into the Databases. The double-check, just to be sure. Duplicates are any archive’s worst nightmare — and a waste of your time!
  • Only submit what you can prove with pictures. You don’t need to include photos in a submission, but if you can’t prove facts, your submission might receive negative feedback.
  • Stick to the minimum required fields. It’s better to make a simple but correct submission than a complex submission with misinformation.
  • If you get stuck, you can always ask for help in the Database Help Forum.

Where do I go from here?

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far. Now it’s time to try your hand at contributing to Discogs. For more detailed tips and tricks, continue your adventure with the quick-start guide below. It includes step-by-step instructions with pictures. We’ve also listed additional resources, as well as links to the guidelines, release form, and more mentioned above. Happy contributing!

S.P.IN, Discogs’ September Pledge Initiative, is in full swing. Found something missing in the Database but have no clue where to start with a new submission? Check out our S.P.IN hub for beginner guides, tips and tricks, and interviews with some of our top contributors.

This guide is maintained by Discogs staff. Original article by Simon Ray. Last updated by Nicole Raney in September 2020. Feature image by Samuel Regan-Asante.

Interested in seeing more articles like this one?
Don’t miss a beat!
Subscribe to Discogs Newsletters for music news, contests, exclusive vinyl & more.
Want to join the Discogs community of music lovers?
Sign up for an account.
––––

The post How to Contribute to the Discogs Database appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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“I picked up a friend’s camera in college on an acid trip. That’s how it all…

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“I picked up a friend’s camera in college on an acid trip. That’s how it all…

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“I picked up a friend’s camera in college on an acid trip. That’s how it all…

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Itaru Oki 1941–2020

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Alex Ross At the grave of my mother

For Mom; Grieving with Brahms.

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