New music available now, tell us what you think.

spiro_cover

“Once you start listening to Spiro and how it’s composed you hear elements of systems music, people like Steve Reich, Phillip Glass, dance music and all sorts of musical influences are woven into this very contemporary music.”

So said Peter Gabriel about this month’s album. Some of our albums are more challenging than others but there was a joyfullness to Spiro’s music that we couldn’t resist. They sound just as good through your speakers as they do playing live and none of their energy has been lost in this vibrant recording.

They have some live shows coming up later in the year, including some festivals, which are listed on their website.

Let us know what you thought of Live in Box here.

41 Comments

  • JNA says:

    I really enjoyed listening to these 4 track samples from Spiro. I want to thank B&W for their 3 month free membership. However I would have imagined being able to listen to high definition audio sampled at 88.2 kHz or 96 kHz. The sound delivered here only at 48 kHz is somehow ocnstrained and does not allow to express itself in its full dimension. I imagine this inability to access high definition music is linked to the free membership. I wonder whether full membership would allow to get access to the studio masters in high resolution. If it does then I will consider upgrading. Anyway many thanks for this very enjoyable music, but as a potential member of the B&W Music club, I definitevely would like to access higher definition recordings.

  • simon says:

    You know what – I actually like it. When I read the details on the artist I didn’t think I would.
    But the blurb about Steve Reich and Phillip Glass had me intrigued, and once it was downloaded I thought the whole thing was excellent. Kind of like an Celtic Kronos Quartet – and it’s not often you can say that!

  • ullodea says:

    Perhaps I’m just a simpleton, and apologies to those of you with more sophisticated aural palates if that the case, but why is the music offered here recently so exclusively “eclectic”? This is essentially folk music, the last album an even bolder vision with an international twist. How about some common denominator sounds: blues, jazz, good female vocals, dare I say it some modern elements? I don’t mean to be derogatory to the talented artists whose work clearly has some appeal – it’s just that it all sits somewhere outside the usual range (a bold statement I accept). Please feel free to disagree! Perhaps that’s just the view that has been taken of B&W’s most valuable customer base? All high brow and not wanting anything to do with mainstream styles?

  • Audiolover says:

    Although not something I’d normally pick up, I ended up enjoying this a lot. Some of the previous offerings have been a bit too estoric for me but I’ve discovered some real gems too which is what, I guess, this club is all about.
    High def recordings would work for me too.

  • Elias says:

    No that great. I listened to the first few tracks, and deleted the whole album later. Sorry. And even with my DM602, I didn’t find that the sound was great either.

  • António Oliveira says:

    For me it was a great surprise, my Hi-Fi setup had just been fixed and I’m listen sound like I never was and this music was just a wonderfull pleasure. Great recording quality and music environment. Simply a great show in my living room

  • DEP says:

    Well I loved it, luckily I love all music genre so fit into this music club quite nicely.

    Have given B&W their own playlist on iPod too.

    Am always looking forward to next months offering with anticipation. Many thanks!

  • Jason Brown says:

    As with last month, this artist was not my cup of tea. The music was a bit repetitive and could have used a few more breaks or rhythm changes. The performance was good, and so were the recordings, but the content left me wanting.

  • MTurner says:

    I enjoyed this album quite a bit. Unfortunately, JNA, this one was resolution limited for everyone.

  • Boogie says:

    I was very wary of this when I first started to listen to Spiro’s album but as I slid into the rhythm and flow of the music I loved every track. It took me on a journey of light and shade, and surrounded me with a wonderful tempo. As other people have said I possibly would not have bought this off a shelf, but I am glad I have been able to listen to the delights that have been set before me. As for the comments about the girls There has been some wonderful music produced for us, Gwyneth Herbert and Julianna Raye both have given some beautiful albums, that were released here. I joined the B & W music club because of these artist , I am so glad I did. I am willing to try all music, each has something to offer, I have a thought that if you don’t jump in, you will never know, so jump in and enjoy the music.

  • rtb says:

    I would have to say that I enjoyed the presentation; however, all of the tracks sounded the same to me.

  • Clark says:

    I put on the music and started walking around the house to do some cleaning. By the end of the second track, I had given up cleaning and was firmly planted in my listening chair. This isn’t the kind of thing I would have sought out, but I’m glad you brought it to me!

  • Steve says:

    To my ear, this was what I wanted out of the B&W Music Club. Unlike some of those who commented above, I didn’t just want another take on the Blues. So Spiro, weaving their sounds around my ears (helped by some superb mixing) was intriguing. Audio quality was wonderful although, whisper it quietly, it was not on B&W speakers but L*nn. Best offering to date.

  • Gwadapan says:

    Comme beaucoup de personne j’imagine. Je ne connaissais pas le groupe SPIRO. Pour moi c’est toujours un pure bonheur de découvrir de nouvelles musiques. Je pratique la musique en groupe (très modestement) en tant que bassiste. Cela me permet de comprendre et de connaitre toute les difficultés de la musique. Les SPIRO sont à mon avis de très bons musiciens. Leurs musique un peu « particulière » mérite vraiment une écoute attentive, et nous oblige à entendre plusieurs fois pour vraiment commencer à écouter. Je peux vous dire que le CD tourne en boucle dans ma voiture. C’est vraiment super ! Après des dizaines d’écoutes en voiture et sur ma chaine Hifi avec mes enceintes Cabasse Eole II, c’est du nectar pour mes oreilles. Le codec 24bit flac est vraiment super pour graver des CD. J’ai obligé (gentiment) mes amis (musiciens de mon groupe) à écouter SPIRO et comme moi ils ont été surpris et on aimé.

  • jmn71 says:

    I only can say… Thanks. I’m a ‘consumer’ of certain type of music (ie: the recordings from the first 10 years of Windham Hill, any of the ‘gems’ from ECM Records…) and, when I listen the 4 tracks from Spiro, I think ‘God, I found something special…’.

    I don’t know the previous recordings, but I’ll wait with espectation the 23th day of the next months to download and listen with avidity your proposal…

  • gingersteve says:

    A great album, this. Certainly not highbrow, this is about as grassroots as you can get. Real roots music played with passion and zest, which lifts my spirits every time I hear it. I’m not sure what ullodea was expecting from a collaboration with Real World studios, but most of what has been served up to date has firmly met my expectations. Some has not been to my taste, but others, including Spiro, have more than made up for it. If you have children play it to them and see a reaction devoid of “mainstream” expectation ;o)

  • Peter says:

    I love it. It’s a great Album and the recording is lovely. Right up my alley (even though I would likely walk past it in a CD store and iss out).

    So far (quite a few Albums in) there have only been one or two that wweren’t fabulous to me, and that’s just a taste thing, and even one of those I went back to recently and started to really enjoy it once I cut away my aural prejudices.

    The club is working for me because it’s introcuing stuff I wouldn’t otherwise see, but which I really love. The fantastic recordings make it even better. Sorry for ranting on.

  • LesU says:

    I like a wide spectrum of music and this includes World Music and Folk. I found the offering this month interesting at first, but by the time I’d got to the end of the album, very disappointing. It all started to meld into one repetitive sound. I would be hard pressed to be able to say which was track 1 or track 5 6 7 8 etc.

  • Lok says:

    Firstly, let me thank your music club for the trial membership. :)

    Next, let me just say “I’m just not that into Spiro”.

    Having said that, let me just qualify by reiterating that music is a personal thing, and music lovers can feel free to like or dislike anything without guilt, and music creators can feel free to create and innovate without too much concern about commercialism. That’s why the B&W Music Club is so cool!

    Over the years of my off-and-on audiophile interest, I’ve realised this: when the music and musicianship touches me, I will enjoy it without fussing over the playback equipment, venue or source resolution. Conversely, when the music is not what I enjoy, then even if it is played back on the world’s best sound system, in the world’s best sound room — I will not enjoy the experience. Even if the musicianship is faultless, and the arrangement and sound engineering are top-notch, my interest will wane within a minute.

    Some die-hard audiophiles have become so obsessed with equipment and the technical merits of resolution, dynamics, imaging, etc., that they fool themselves into “liking” all kinds of audiophile recordings, when in reality, all they are after is gratification of their ego (ie, vindicating their views about sound reproduction, audiophilia, etc). Well, more power to them, too!

    The sad truth today is that, only musical works that are profitable will thrive, while those that somehow do not catch on, will wither away quickly. Yet, profitable music is not necessarily good music, while dying music may not be bad music.

    Thankfully, the internet is allowing more people to be exposed to the widest range of musical styles without excessive worries about costs, accessibility, playback technicalities and peer pressure. May more music clubs like B&W’s spring up worldwide and educate listeners to be more open-minded and receptive to new styles, new interpretations and new ideas. Listen and we’ll see. :D

  • Paul says:

    I really enjoyed this album. It is fresh, has a great energy and produced to a very high standard.

    I have not enjoyed many of the recent albums and deleted them very quickly, but this is one I will keep coming back to. Many thanks.

  • Stuart says:

    Maybe it will grow on me with a couple more listens. It is certainly busy, and once I got past the first impression being of my lounge room sounding like it was fill of fighting cats, it did seem a bit repetitive, which is ok but it seemed a bit obvious. Certainly energetic. Resolution is great though (I download the flacc files.)Must admit that the album that I play the most (of the eight I have so far)has been Julianna Raye. But it is nice having a wide variety of listening options available at the end of the day.

  • Christopher Gillespie says:

    This is a great mashup album of contemporary minimalist and folk music. I’ve listened repeatedly and do not grow tired.

    I agree we should see more 88.2 and 96k releases.

  • Big Rey says:

    Audio quality was outstanding as expected. The clarity of the mandolin in the high registers was notable as well as the separation of the instruments during the frenetic passages.
    Although the musicianship of the players was unbelievable, I was not drawn to the song structure and format. The monotony of the meter- although at high BPM rates, made the “calisthenics” of the musicians more notable than the melody of the music. There was little dynamic ebb and flow within a single piece. That said, “there is a butt for every seat” and the group exhibits strong chops and a facility to work together that is remarkable. Best of luck to them in the future.
    I would like in the future to see artists that exhibit the full range of dynamics and sound space to take full advantage of the lossless audio format. Gimme some bass and drums please!!!
    Keep the great music coming. My comments above are constructive and should signal my interest in the club and its artists.

  • David says:

    Thank you very much for giving me 2 free downloads. The second of which was Spiro and the first was Afrobilly. Both had a very clean and clear sound but a bit too bright sounding on my iMac. I put them both on CD to try on my Hi Fi system. This released the good bass but again was overall too bright sounding for me.
    The music was very dynamic and the kind of music I generally like but unfortunately I couldn’t warm to either of the samples. So I will wait for the third sample to be available hope for better.

  • Tom Erik Brauer says:

    Well… Its a fun type of music but like others here state a bit to repetetive.

    I want to tip you of the band Katzenjammer from Norway.
    Four lovely girls, fantastic live band and the managed to capture that on to their record Le Pop.
    You can find some of their energy on Youtube. Enjoy.

  • Bryant TREW says:

    Another superb album! Please keep bringing great music that is off the beaten track. These discoveries are wonderful!

  • symposium says:

    Yes, good sound but so what. Where’s the music?! When did audiophilia become just an exercise in self congratulation and system flexing?

    B&W, thanks for the forum, but please let’s move away from these recent, esoteric genres. It’s all subjective, but I suspect most people will switch this off after the first rambling track.

  • HTS says:

    Great for demonstrating the capabilities of a fine rig. I wouldn’t listen to it for it’s musicality/casual enjoyment, but I don’t think that’s the point of the club. It’s about showcasing our hifi. Perhaps that’s esoteric, I think not.

  • Susanna says:

    Thanks for all your comments – they’ve been very illuminating.
    The club is really about music discovery and sound quality is something that goes with out saying. It’s definitely not meant to be about demonstrating the abilities of your hi-fi. We really try to offer something different every month and the next three will include a classical performance, a very cool female singer/songwriter and one of Peter Gabriel’s collaborators plus some surprises and bonus recordings. Please keep commenting as we really want to know what you like or don’t like each month.
    Susanna, B&W

  • Miha says:

    I loved this album. Of the past 3, i found only Juldeh Camara somewhat less entertaining.

    From what i gathered the point of the club is to bring something new, unique, and i think the idea is awesome. Keep it up.

  • MICHAEL MCLEAN says:

    Can folk music be chamber music? Dunno, but thats what I got from this album. I need to take the time and listen more acutely. This is definitely not popsicle/folk, if I can coin an inadequate phrase.

  • tomhubboaterTr says:

    yep .. nice album … go ahead with this !!

    .. not initially .. but after listening a 2nd time.

    TX
    Thomas

  • YTT says:

    It’s very folk music like, but it transcends its genre. Interesting though not easy. I liked most the White Hart, which was most compelling. Some of the tracks sounded even a bit too academic, but they often made you want to listen them again. And that means music of good quality.

  • GilesG says:

    Oh wow! This is the most invigorating album I’ve heard in a long long time. I love the individual sounds and the layering. And of course it sounds awesome on my Quad/B&W rig!!

    Live in Box really keeps up the quality across the piece, whereas my previous favourite B&W album – A Town Called Addis – tails away as if there’s a loss of inspiration.

    I just want to listen to Live in Box over and over again. Marvellous.

  • Daniel says:

    I really enjoy the Spiro album. I listen to it often. The sound stage is quit convincing on my dipole speakers.

  • Lorenz says:

    Sound quality is outstanding, that is for sure. As for the music, not my usual choice but intriguing for sure! What I would love for one of the next months: something Asian. Lots of music from Africa is rather easily accessible, I haven’t really heard anything cool from Asia, besides sugary pop songs. There must be more and I’m curious to hear it!

  • bblue says:

    I’d like to know, on the 24-bit 48k re-releases of previous albums, such as Gwyneth Herbert or parts of Little Axe, what is the purpose of up sampling them from 44.1k to 48??

    Up sampling serves no purpose other than a minor degradation of quality. If all that is available is 24 bit 44.1k, why not just leave them alone?

    –Bill

  • Shaun says:

    Hello Bill, Shaun from B&W here.

    When we first offered 24-bit files a while ago it was with a 44.1khz sampling rate. However, going on feedback from comments on this blog and elsewhere, there were a lot of issues copying those tracks across to DVD.

    As this is something a lot of our users like to do – and something we encourage them to do – it made sense to switch to the standardized format of 24-bit 48khz.

    To ensure the high quality we pride ourselves on, each of the albums was up-sampled by experienced engineers at Real World Studios to ensure the tracks maintained their quality.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Regards

    Shaun

  • Michael G... says:

    What a splendid wall of noise!!

  • DEP says:

    Excellent, I was really peeved that I had missed the Kersten recordings, and now have them and the sampler too. Thank you very much! You are definitely broadening my music appreciation.

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