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All posts by Beamer

Beamer is an avid surfer, programmer, and music/tech junkie based in SF. He has an extensive collection of analog synthesizers, rare Krautrock, Prog, and Italodisco vinyl, and knows more about Giorgio Moroder than any of us. Links: Beamer's Surf Blog, Beamer on Twitter, Instagram: @beamercola

Van Dyke Parks – Song Cycle (1968)

Posted by Beamer

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Coming across a 100% album isn’t very easy to do. On first listen of Song Cycle, it’s pure perfection blinded me. There’s not a single note I would change or a track I’d skip. Solid gold.

Parks was only 23 when he was asked by Brian Wilson to work on the famed Smile album with him. He pumped out “Heroes and Villains”, “Surf’s Up” (one of the best songs ever written), and many others with Wilson. After leaving the project, he went to write his first solo project Song Cycle at age 25; one of the most expensive albums ever recorded.

Give it a listen, and go buy it. You can get some great 180g analog master pressings on eBay.

Van Dyke Parks – Palm Desert

Van Dyke Parks – All Golden

Van Dyke Parks – Public Domain

“I should think he’d fade away; the way that bohemians often bare the frigid air.”

Premiata Forneria Marconi – Per Un Amico

Posted by Beamer

Premiata Forneria Marconi - Per un Amico

As far as Italian prog goes, PFM are the poster children. I’ve yet to find another group in the genre that makes it so smooth and buttery. The segways between movements (or lack there of, generally) is to die for. This album fails to leave my rotation.

There’s not much to say. The music speaks for itself. There’s quite a few movements, so give it a full listen.

If you’re looking for similar stuff, be sure to check out:

  • Locanda Delle Fate’s “Forse le Lucciole Non Si Amano Più”
  • Camel’s “Moon Madness” (England)
  • Grobschnitt’s “Rockpommel’s Land” (Germany)

Premiata Forneria Marconi – Appena un Pò (1972)

Premiata Forneria Marconi – Per Un Amico (1972)

Sorcerer – White Magic

Posted by Beamer

Sorcerer - White Magic
I’m sure everyone’s on the Sorcerer bandwagon, but it’s too good not to post. I want to blare it from my rooftop.

Brainchild of Daniel Saxon Judd (part Call & Response, part Windsurf) he really nails the summer surf tunes.

Enjoy.

Sorcerer – Surf Wax

Sorcerer – Popsicle Orange

See Also:

Baffo Banfi – Sound of Southern Sunsets

Posted by Beamer

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Fantastic album from Italian-based Baffo Banfi. Seems to be a mix of his previous albums “Ma, Dolce Vita” (1979) and “Hearth” (1981) mashed together for CD; but if anybody has better info than that, please comment!

Right at the time where Krautrock was morphing into the New Age sound, these albums straddle the fence very nicely. Very reminiscent of Manuel Göttsching at the time.

Released under Klaus Schulz’s new label at the time (Innovative Communication) – you can definitely hear his hand in it.

Baffo Banfi – Quelle Dolce Estate

Baffo Banfi – Dancing on the Ship

Delicious Library

Posted by Beamer

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So, I’m sure most of you have heard of Delicious Library already, but the mastermind Wil Shipley released the iPhone companion this morning (iTunes link), along with v2.1.

Delicious Library has a lot of neat features that I simply don’t use, but the best use I’ve found for it so far is cataloging your vinyl collection. Unfortunately you have to manually enter everything, as well as find the album art yourself… but it’s really handy to have your collection in a lusciously designed searchable beast in your pocket.

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It’s $40, but the demo let’s you add 25 items so you can play. The iPhone app is free.

Also, be sure to check out this fun stop-motion video introducing the iPhone app.

Teenage Engineering: OP-1

Posted by Beamer

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This thing’s gonna change everything. The new Operator 1 (OP-1) from Teenage Engineering truly shows how beautiful synthesis can be (though the Buchla 200e definitely has some chips in the pile).

A hybrid digital synthesizer and MIDI controller with enough features to question if this thing is even real.

8 synthesizer models (FM, Virtual Analog, String, +), 8 samplers, on board effects, OLED display, battery powered, built in microphone, FM radio, built in speaker, mp3 export, and a sequencer so cool – it’s still “secret”.

ETA: 10-12 months. Price TBA.

More info here: http://teenageengineering.com/products/op-1/

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“TE-10″ – Audio Sample

OLED Display Test