Music and Soundtrack Features

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Mike Mettler, Al Griffin  |  Sep 17, 2021  |  2 comments
Back in May 2021, Apple significantly boosted the appeal of its Apple Music streaming service with the addition of two new features: Lossless Audio (including high-res versions for some albums and tracks) and Spatial Audio. While the term "Spatial Audio" might indicate that Apple has created a completely new surround sound music format, it's essentially Dolby Atmos—the same immersive, object- based mixing technology used for movie soundtracks.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 22, 2022  |  4 comments
"I'm just very grateful we're allowed to, by grace, manifest some really, really high-standard, quality music. We do not have to be victims of static."

That's rock legend Carlos Santana, succinctly summarizing two things at once: a) the fine art of making music worth listening to, and b) being able to hear that music as clearly as the artist intended. (To that end, Carlos and I wound up switching phone lines during the front end of our conversation in order to hear each other with a much better-sounding connection, but that's another story.)

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 18, 2020  |  2 comments
Gavin Harrison knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it. The critically celebrated, session-bred progressive-oriented British drummer vaulted into superstar status during his jaw-dropping eight-year stint as a member of Porcupine Tree, and he's since moved even further up the wide-acclaim foodchain thanks to all the mind-bending work he's done during his current, ongoing gigs behind the kit with both King Crimson and The Pineapple Thief. The thing is, Harrison pays little or no heed to the constant praise for his innovative drumming, nor does he spend much time ruminating over his impeccable legacy.
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 02, 2021  |  0 comments
Bob Clearmountain knows how to move mountains with his mixes. Ok, ok, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit here—but the fact is, Clearmountain has been a go-to mixer/engineer/producer for A-list musicians for decades, having shepherded the sound of landmark albums by artists like Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Simple Minds, Bryan Adams, and Roxy Music. (And that barely scratches the surface of his top-shelf mixing C.V., btw.)
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 13, 2020  |  0 comments
Like most musicians, Jakko M. Jaksyzk was not planning on spending the bulk of 2020 at home. For one thing, the celebrated progressive-leaning British guitarist/vocalist was more than ready to continue with King Crimson's ongoing 50th anniversary tour that had begun in earnest in 2019. (Sidenote: most of Crimson's 2020 dates have since been reset for 2021.). Not only that, Jaksyzk had composed a short set of experimental, narrative performance pieces that were commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for him to perform solo during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, but that event was also scotched.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 21, 2022  |  0 comments
Rush’s February 1981 masterpiece Moving Pictures ushered in a previously uncharted era that brought prog rock closer to the heart of the masses. And now, 41 years later, this landmark album gets its further due, thanks to a truly comprehensive multidisc box set and a fully immersive Dolby Atmos mix.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 12, 2021  |  0 comments
It's not a complete misnomer to observe the audience for King Crimson music tends to skew more towards the male side of the listening ledger—but that statement in no way means their forward-thinking music holds little or no sway with female music aficionados and audiophiles alike. In fact, far from it.
Mike Mettler  |  Dec 17, 2021  |  4 comments
"I heard a bunch of things in it I had never heard before."

That's Rob Baker, guitarist of Canada's still-favorite sons The Tragically Hip, recounting the feelings he experienced upon hearing the recent, fully completed Dolby Atmos mix of his band's seminal February 1991 release, Road Apples for the very first time.

Mike Mettler  |  May 13, 2022  |  0 comments
Talk about peaking at the exact right time. Scottish art-rockers Simple Minds had just hit their stride with February 1984's transitional Sparkle in the Rain and scored an unexpected No. 1 single in the summer of 1985 with the Breakfast Club soundtrack-only smash hit "Don't You (Forget About Me)"—and it was all precursor to the production power that propelled their October 1985 longplayer, Once Upon a Time, into one of the biggest albums of the MTV Decade.
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 01, 2021  |  0 comments
Calling Bob Marley the king of reggae is a bit like saying Jamaica is a nice place to visit for fun in the sun. It's truly a shame Marley passed away from melanoma at age 36 in 1981 before he could get a full whiff of just how far-reaching the music he helped pioneer has rolled in the ensuing years, but Island Records founder and unyieldingly ardent Marley advocate Chris Blackwell and his forward-thinking label compatriots had the clear foresight to compile 14 of the man's top grooves and singles for inclusion on May 1984's Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers LP.
Mike Mettler  |  Apr 15, 2022  |  0 comments
The seven-man band then known as Chicago Transit Authority were at the forefront of the horn-driven jazz-rock movement when they emerged in April 1969 with their self-titled double-length debut album, thanks in no small part to the knob-turning efforts of their semi-Svengali producer James William Guercio.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 03, 2022  |  0 comments
Fifty years on, Deep Purple's March 1972 masterstroke Machine Head remains a clarion call for hard rock fans the world over. Stamped onto polished metal, the band name/album title stack appearing atop a funhouse-mirrored image of the five-man group on the cover is the perfect visual representation of in-tune artists at the nexus point of transitioning from their late-1960s blues psychedelia phase into a signature sound clearly on the cusp of birthing heavy metal.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 12, 2021  |  1 comments
Considering how much Roxy Music were deemed outliers in the 1970s as a band pioneering the blend of glam jams with progressive elegance, Avalon, their May 1982 masterpiece of rock chic, is truly a musical entity unto itself. Avalon lays bare the aural tenets of the très-cool Roxy aesthetic, taken to their most go-for-baroque extremes—all of it in the most ear-pleasing of ways.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 04, 2021  |  0 comments
Whenever we talk about artists who changed the course of rock history who aren't The Beatles, one group with perhaps the most unassuming yet wholly appropriate name tops the bill: The Band. Their homespun July 1968 debut Music From Big Pink literally turned the rock world on its collective ear to such a degree that contemporaries like Eric Clapton instantly renounced their virtuosic "look at me" playing styles and adjusted their thinking toward creating more organic and more authentic music truer to their essential selves.
Mike Mettler  |  Mar 11, 2022  |  0 comments
Tears For Fears have always been a band who have worn their hearts on their sleeves. And when I say band, I'm really referring to the push-pull creative synergy between the pair of British childhood friends at the core of TFF—i.e., Roland Orzabal (guitars, vocals, and keyboards) and Curt Smith (bass, vocals, and keyboards).

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