New music and technology releases in June 2018

By: Gary Steel , Photography by: Supplied


Deals on Wheels brings the latest in music and technology for June 2018

Despacio Sound System

Despacio

Imagine if you went to a club and the sound was really, really good. Unfortunately, the sound quality is often the last thing touring bands or clubs seem to think of, and for obvious reasons. PA systems are built for durability and the ability to play loudly, but in the process, fidelity often disappears, leaving the music sounding harsh and unrefined.

Back in 2013, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy got together with legendary audio technician John Klett and probably the most highly regarded high-fi company in the world, McIntosh, to come up with the ultimate club-oriented sound system. So, what’s special about it? There are seven custom-built speakers, each standing 3.3 metres tall, while McIntosh amps power the rig with 50,000 watts of pure energy.

Named after a Spanish word meaning ‘take it easy’, the system was installed in several prime small club environments and no one went away dissatisfied with what they heard. After taking a long break, Despacio is back in 2018 with key dates in the US, London, and Barcelona, but sadly (so far) nothing down our way. Boo-hoo!

mcintosh.com

Monitor Audio Studio speakers

Monitor -Studio -1

Monitor Audio’s new Studio standmount loudspeakers are the definition of shiny new things. It’s designed without grilles so that the visual focus goes straight to those beaut four-inch silver drivers.

With technology smarts passed down from the flagship Platinum II series, the affordable ($2500) Studio speakers are designed to complement an environment without hogging all the space but still deliver high-end performance.

Monitor -Studio -3

And did you notice the tweeters? A Micro Pleated Diaphragm high-frequency transducer makes the sound more life-like and, the company claims, releases the high harmonic spectrum of every note. Just don’t let the kids or cats near those drivers!

dencoaudio.co.nz

LUMP—Late To The Flight

Lump1

You know those times when it’s maybe late at night and you’re tired but feel like listening to some music but you can’t think of anything that matches your mood? 

Late To The Flight is the kind of album you reach for when nothing else will do. This collaboration between enchanting singer-songwriter Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay of exquisite English ‘folktronica’ group Tunng is completely outside of the box, yet it’s easy to fall in love with.

Lump2

 Bewitching mood music that takes you on a journey, it’s full of mystery and imagination and won’t leave you with a sleep-disturbing cliffhanger at bedtime like that series you’re binge watching on Netflix.

Antipodes CX/EX Music Servers

Antipodes -1

Kapiti Coast-based Antipodes is a company that’s held in such high regard internationally that it’s difficult to understand how they have managed to fly well below the radar in New Zealand.

Then again, maybe that’s because they are cutting-edge products that bring audiophile aesthetics together with computer technology. The latest iteration of Antipodes music servers is the modular X-Series, and two of its new star players are the CX and EX, which can be joined at the hip to perform together or used separately. 

The problem with computer audio is that high computer clock speeds cause harsh sound, but the CX ($5895) solves this problem with computer chip tuning. Its little brother is the entry-level EX ($4295).

Both are designed to stream from the internet or music libraries and let absolutely nothing get in the way of superior performance. For those serious about getting the best from their computer-based music system, Antipodes is well worth investigating. 

antipodesaudio.com

Sandy Mill—A Piece Of Me

Sandy -Mill -4

Sandy Mill has been a quiet achiever on the Auckland music scene for a few decades now, and her exquisite pipes have long been harnessed to give other artists a nudge, including records and live performances by the likes of Neil Finn, Don McGlashan and English dance group Basement Jaxx.

The lady can sing, and on her debut five-track mini-album, that soulful, powerful, and adaptable voice gets its time in the spotlight. But perhaps more intriguing is that these are her own compositions, and with each listen, they get better and better. Soulful, deep, and sing-along-able, A Piece Of Me whets the appetite for a larger slice of her musical pie.

Sandy -Mill -2

You know those times when it’s maybe late at night and you’re tired but feel like listening to some music but you can’t think of anything that matches your mood? Late To The Flight is the kind of album you reach for when nothing else will do.

This collaboration between enchanting singer-songwriter Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay of exquisite English ‘folktronica’ group Tunng is completely outside of the box, yet it’s easy to fall in love with. Bewitching mood music that takes you on a journey, it’s full of mystery and imagination and won’t leave you with a sleep-disturbing cliffhanger at bedtime like that series you’re binge watching on Netflix.

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