First, thank you for reading my music reviews. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on all sorts of music and like to learn about new music and artists. I also support independent musicians, artists and filmmakers. I’ve been a listener and music appreciator for many years and figured it was time to write about an art form that is so important to me. Unless noted otherwise, music reviewed is unsolicited. Recordings have been purchased by me through legal channels, to support artists (direct from record label, artist, retail or online shop), and if a review is solicited, and involves auditioning an advance or promotional copy of a recording, this will be noted. I receive no financial compensation from artists or their PR representatives of any kind. This is a non-profit venture.
Please note: I review from actual CDs or LPs not digital-download files (for the best sound quality possible, and out of respect to the musicians and their work). Please do NOT send unsolicited digital music files, I will not review them. I understand that this represents more of a financial commitment on the part of the artist/record label, but I invest a great deal of time listening to the music and writing the reviews.
If you would like to send a review or promotional copy of your music, please contact me at: wajobu [at] hotmail [dot] com with more information on your release and I will let you know if I’m interested and able to prepare a review to meet your schedule. If I write a solicited review, the artist/record label will have a chance to preview it for factual content and respond with comments before it is published here. You can also contact me at my Facebook, Soundcloud, Tumblr, Ello pages or follow me on Twitter: Follow @wajobu
This is an archive of my music reviews at various locations around the internets and related topics. I have published reviews at HiFi Zine and Affordable Audio.
Equipment used for reviews includes:
Primary Listening Equipment: Manley Mahi-Mahi Mono Amplifiers, Manley Jumbo Shrimp Preamplifier, Manley Chinook Phono Preamplifier, Garrard 401 w/ custom aluminum block plinth (wajobu design) with Thomas Schick Arm w/ Benz Ace S Cartridge, Bel Canto CD2 with onboard DAC and ADS L-910 Studio Monitors.
Alternate Listening Equipment: Bel Canto S300i Integrated Amplifier (Digital IcePower, Class D), Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference (Droog) TT w/ Grado Gold cartridge, Bottlehead Seduction Phono Preamp w/ C4S Upgrade (wajobu-built), Yamaha CT-7000 FM Tuner (restored), Rega Apollo CD Player, Yamaha NS-1000 Monitors, Blumenhofer FJ Om Speakers, ADS L-520 Speakers, System Audio SA505 Speakers, Yamaha A-1 Integrated Amplifier (restored), Yamaha T-1 AM & FM Tuner, Bryston 3BST Amplifier, Sony XDRF1HD Tuner and K&K TVC Stevens Billington Transformer Linestage Preamp and B&W DM 602 S2 Speakers.
Music Equipment: Some of you may have noticed that I have been posting some guitar and effects photos recently on Instagram. After decades of having a guitar traveling with me and sitting in its case, I finally took it and a couple of others out of the cases and started relearning my way around a fretboard (I’m sure using ALL the wrong methods). On the electric side, I have a US Fender Telecaster (2008) and a Fernandes Sustainer Monterey (basically a Les Paul clone) and a couple of small Fender [clone] amps (a modded 5B1 reissue Fender “Champion 600″ and a 5E1 Mojotone Tweed Champ with many mods and upgrades, both with NOS valves from my stash I’ve gathered over the years). I’ve bought and sold many effects and audio equipment to fund a search for certain sounds bouncing around in my head, and here’s a current list of what I have (it changes weekly)–signal chain currently has: Caroline Guitar Co. Olympia fuzz (Shigeharu graphics) > Old Blood Noise Endeavors Haunt Gated Fuzz > CGco Haymaker Dynamic Drive > JHS Twin Twelve > Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl Vibrato/Chorus > Mr. Black Double Chorus > Dunlop GCB80 High Gain Volume Pedal > Catalinbread Echorec Delay > Old Blood Noise Endeavors Black Fountain Delay > CB Belle Epoch Delay > CGco Kilobyte Lo-Fi Delay > CB Topanga Spring Reverb > Lotus Pedal Designs Iceverb (FKCNCR version) > JHS Alpine Reverb > Mr Black Supermoon Chrome > Mr Black Eterna Gold Modified > Hotone Wally Looper. Off the “board” at the moment are: Keeley Electronics Stahlhammer Distortion, MXR Phase 100, MXR Micro Flanger and a Lumpy’s Class A Germanium Overdrive (which sounds excellent and is beautifully built inside on a breadboard). I’ll be thinning this down at some point soon and I’m looking for one last reverb to try…awaiting its rerelease. I have various options for recording and processing music and sounds.
I’m pretty much done (famous last words) looking for the “grit” on the board, but I’m very happy with the overdrive, distortion and fuzz end of things, for now.
The masthead photo was taken on the Connecticut River, in New England in October of 2011.