From its origins to the present-age movement, jazz has been inseparable from the concept of community. A precursor of jazz was African-American work songs, where slaves bonded over songs they conceived in the thick of working in chain gangs and plantations. Later, the age of the free man allowed them to bring these tunes to their communities in New Orleans, sparking the beginnings of the jazz movement as we know it today.
As Jazz travelled out of America to the rest of the world, communities drew on bits and pieces of local musical culture, giving rise to many jazz enclaves around the world.
In fact, if you looked closely enough at your own community, you would most certainly be able to find the colourful characters that make up your local jazz diaspora.
One such character is Nori Shiota, a forerunner of the modern indie jazz scene in Japan.
Shiota-san has been active in the Jazz scene for a whopping 27 years since 1992. He is a bassist and a producer, spending his time combing the jazz bars of Japan, performing and honing his craft while producing music.
Shiota-san is also an audiophile for the sake of his trade, constantly seeking out the best gear for his art, in 2016 he produced “DITA Live Session in New York”, mastering the jazz album with a pair of DITA The Answer earphones.
In this interview, PP chats with the Japanese Jazz artist Nori Shiota about his work, his travels, the importance of lifelong learning and his penchant for DITA earphones.
PP: Shiota san, you’ve been to places like New Orleans, New York and many more in the course of your career. Which part of your travels are you most inspired by?
NS: I was the most inspired by the people who I met at those places. All the good and bad experiences made me grow as musician, and I believe those experiences were created by the people I meet there.
PP: Is there one person you met during these experiences that impacted you the most greatly?
NS: Not a person. people, that's the key, I think. Much like music how music is made up of vocals, drums, bass, piano and guitar, people make the experience. Those experiences make me remember what it was and where I was.
PP: For the readers who don't know you well, how would you describe your style of music?
NS: My style of Music? Groove Entertainment.
PP: Sounds like fun. What made you decide to adapt this style of music?
NS: Groove makes people move, it’s a lot of fun on an emotional level. When I see people move or smile or even cry when I perform, I feel like I'm making Music.
PP: I saw on your profile that you be having a full-member performance with your Jazz Band SFKUaNK!! on 24 February 2019 What sort of vibes are SFKUaNK!! Looking to bring to the audience this time?
NS: The people I’m performing with are great musicians, or should I say great people.
PP: There's something I am a little curious about. In 2010, you entered the Berklee College of Music, majoring in Music Production and Engineering. Caused you to make the decision to return to school in 2010?
NS: Well, since I was working with a major label as producer, I was always struggling to get the “sounds” I want. It’s very tough to make recording engineer understand the kind of quality and taste we’re going for.
Also, the advent of digital recording these days changed everything about the production game, so I felt like I should study these recording technologies by myself.
PP: Now that you're doing so much music production, the course seems like it’s been very helpful!
NS: I mean new technology is always helpful if somebody understands exactly how much it can help in reaching the dream.
PP: As people who love earphones, the game seems to be changing at a breakneck speed. Is the music production scene also changing rapidly?
NS: Oh yes, I think so. Internationally we’re turning more towards streaming music and away from CDs, but vinyl records are coming back... there are so many different perspectives for music.
PP: In 2016 you produced DITA Session in New York: What inspired you to work with DITA audio and how did you decide on which pieces to include within the album?
NS: DITA earphones are amazing because they’re honest. Usually earphone or headphone companies do their best make their products sounds good, but they achieve this by "faking it" a little: a fake sounding low end, fake high definition etc.
These are "ok" as consumer product but not for professional audio engineers, we need accurate sound, we want to listen to what we are going to be recording, controlling or balancing as it is.
I’ve tried many different companies’ earphones for mixing and recording but so far DITA earphones are best. That's all I know from my own experience.
For the song selection, I’m always thinking the singers and audience there. So I picked songs where the singer is comfortable and sounds good in.
It's like a good movie. it's like good cooking. We need to know what the best thing is to do with the material, we need good devices, such as the best camera, the best knives... Well DITA earphones are best for music.
Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother is an album that runs forever; The drip-dripping of a kitchen tap at the end of the its last song, Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast, is cut into the run-off groove, making the record play indefinitely until the listener chooses removes the stylus from the vinyl, ending the song.
With the vinyl becoming a relic of past times, the run-on groove as we knew it was rendered obsolete and the effect was tragically lost on the CD. The joy of collecting and playing vinyl faded away in a culture that had no time for the kind of active, participatory listening that the record demands.
However, the End-September launch the Fiftysix® collection for Vacheron Constantin gave us the perfect opportunity to rekindle our passion and bring the joy of vinyl to a wonderfully classy location.
Hosted at the NCO's Club, the Fiftysix® collection pays tribute to the 1950’s, a time marked by easy to wear and elegantly designed watches, bringing back the best of the period while embracing the present time and modern expectations.
Few things can beat the warmth and clarity of listening to a record with a pair of headphones. With the resurgence in the popularity of records outstripping the growth of digital music in 2017, it seems as if present-day music lovers are unable to resist the call of the beauty of the physical artifact of music made manifest.
This set up uses
For more information on the turntables used, visit https://musichallaudio.com/
For more information on where how to purchase Final Audio's products, visit: https://www.pp-distribution.com/final.html
DITA Audio Spent the past 3 days in the Munich High End / Canjam Europe 2018, held in the deliciously stylish but functional Kohlebunker. It's really been quite the eye-opener, so we're sharing some of our highlights and favourites from the show!
We would like to thank everyone who turned up at the Hpfes DITA booth to support us last weekend! We're very touched by the responses we garnered from our friends in Japan. Thank you for making this show a beautiful one for us!
Tinkering with Tidal on a Monday afternoon yielded interesting results when we decided to tap on an unfamiliar album entitled "Convergence" by an equally unfamiliar artist named Malia, making for a very interesting afternoon of music in the office.
Malia is a buttery-voiced songstress from Malawi. Equipped with what the internet tells us is her trademark winning smile, each note that emerges from her seems to channel Nina Simone, her vocals are smooth and husky and her music run the gamut from covers of classics, to strange, strong, almost tribal beats laced with addictive bassy undertones.
Kickstarting today's two-track listening session is Celestial Echo, the first track on her album "Convergence". Celestial Echo is a bassy, bluesy and frankly all-round magical track with some pretty, mystery synth chords. It probably helps that Convergence was made in conjunction with Boris Blank, who build and layers his music beautifully.
Carrying the smokey, bassy notes over from the previous track, although perhaps in a lighter dose, the next tune in line is Little Willie John's Fever, which, admittedly, has been covered to death. Malia's version retains a lot of its bounce-in-your-seat charm while still remaining strong and quite mysterious.
As much as these two tracks are lovely in themselves, we strongly recommend checking the out on Tidal, or even better, supporting the artist by buying her albums.
We've also received in-office feedback that this album sound absolutely stunning when paired with the (now discontinued) DITA Dream so we'd recommend the lucky folks who own a pair to pop them in and enjoy yourselves.
For the folks who don't own the Dream but have been keeping a lookout for any new DITA releases. DITA is unveiling it's double release, the DITA Twins, at the Headphone Festival 2018 held in Tokyo at the end of the month. The new DITA Twins: Fealty and Fidelity is built from technology trickled down from the Dream, making it literally the next closest thing to hearing the DITA Dream for yourself
Every single day hundreds around the world sit down at microphones and cameras and whisper to their setups while a million more people tune in. That's a part of the undeniably weird but undeniably addictive phenomena known as ASMR. In which audio and visual stimuli supposedly produce a tingling sensation in the listener. This sensation usually occurs in the spine and/or the scalp. We know it exists, except that, according to science, it doesn't (yet).
There is presently a dearth of scientific evidence behind the ASMR phenomena. It's something we only know exists because multiple people have experienced it independently and reported it in the same way.
Steven Novella, the Director of General Neurology at the Yale School of Medicine and a Very Important Person in the field, posits that it might be a type of pleasure response. Or even a pleasure seizure. Terminology aside, various scientists have realised that, despite the multitude of brain imaging technologies,
Either way, for the folks that do experience it, soothing, relaxing and sleep-inducing have been words used to describe this phenomena. Listeners hook themselves up to their earphones before bed, allowing the crinkling and tapping to lull them to sleep.
While it has always been the preference of some to listen to their favourite tracks before bed, the demand for sleeping earphones have seen an increase after the advent of ASMR.
To some, a dedicated pair of sleeping earphones is an indispensable for a night of comfortable sleep. Petite unobtrusive earbuds ensure that you can toss and turn painlessly, and good sound isolation. Thankfully, a speedy google search for “sleep earphones” turns up myriad results. But an affordable option often turns up in the search results.
The Final E2000 and E3000 seems to be a sleeper favourite (pun entirely intended), often turning up in the honourable mentions of a few of these lists, while never explicitly stated to be a “sleep-only” pair of earphones, these slim all-rounders can be used through the day and taken to bed with their dimunitive size. Perfect for the audiophile who’s unwilling to risk getting some of their more expensive builds entangled in the sheets, or for the beginner who’s looking to explore the magic of ASMR on a wider soundstage.
Our sound design satellite event for Singapore Design Week 2018. A wonderful morning of hands-on tinkering with our friends from Forests and HULS Gallery Singapore.
We'll be holding more of these workshops from time to time! Like our Facebook Page for up-to-date information on more events, workshops and promotions.
Canjam SG saw DITA Audio bring their new prototypes, the Fealty and the Fidelity to Canjam SG 2018 where event goers got a chance to audition them for the first time.
This twin release will officially be out in the market at the end of April, in conjunction with Japan's Fujiya Avic Headphone show.
Manufacturers often find themselves in the position of having to serve two masters: The Music and the Listener.
From the very beginning, it has been DITA’s goals to serve both the Music and the Listener: And to this end, we present, Fealty & Fidelity.
Fealty, refers to DITA’s sworn loyalty to reproducing that captivates and draws the Listener in, while Fidelity refers to the product being faithful to the source, the Music.
Both together and in juxtaposition, Fealty and Fidelity reflects our goals to please the individual and provide them with greater immersion and enjoyment.
Fealty and Fidelity invokes the dynamics of duality in all that is important to the soul. Neither Fealty or Fidelity is skewed, preferences are left to the individual to decide, as are their loyalties.
Stay tuned for more snippets of information to be released throughout the months of March and April!
The D8000 is housed in machine aluminium magnesium alloy and sports a pliable and durable headband. Unfortunately for fans of lightweight construction, the D8000 weighs a hefty 523g, luckily. word on the street is that it performs its worth in weight.
Pros and Peculiarites
The D8000 brings Final's signature warmth to the table once again. It has thick and warm low frequencies, and a relaxed, but nevertheless again, warm, mid-range. smooth sound, However, the treble in the D8000 takes the background so treble fans might want to audition this pair at a retailer's before making a purchase.
The width of the soundstage is beautifully expansive, sound placement is accurate, and the entire construction is quite easy to drive.
The only thing some listeners might find iffy is the headphone's 523g weight, which can become increasingly apparent as a listening session draws on.
The D8000 presently retails for $4999 SGD, catch them at our Final Audio Retailers here!
Project Perfection presents STAX's new portable driver unit with chargeable lithium ion batteries for an all new on-the-go STAX experience!
Audition it at Ocean 10 at Canjam Singapore only with Project Perfection!
Pan Pacific Hotel