RMAF 07 Demo Music

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by Josh Ray on October 28 '07

In a quest to bring you the most in-depth and meaningful analysis of the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I put together a full demo CD and, like any good journalist, demanded play time in every single room. Unless you're listening to your own music, it's impossible to tell how a system really sounds. Quite often I'd enter a room to hear Diana Krall and the system sounded uneventful until I put my CD on. Likewise, systems sometimes sounded great on the exhibitor's custom tracks but would then fall apart on my demo disc.

As you can see below, I chose tracks that normal people listen to (aka me).  Forget the audiophile-certified test tracks, nothing is more meaningful than the music that actually gets circulation.  I mixed it up with hip hop, electronica, rock, film sountracks and other wild cuts.  This bunch covers all styles and segments from female vocals to big orchestral to subsonic synth.

If I wasn't able to listen to my own disc, I'll let you know. By and large, the exhibitors are a hip bunch and enjoy far more diverse music than typical audiophile recordings.  I'd put on my Massive Atttack, Radio Head, Bjork or Eminem and they were trilled.   On the flip side, my demo track did a fine job of clearing out the audiophiles who found that "hippityy hoppity" music personally offensive. I did, however, get into great music conversations with a number of guys who heard my tracks and followed me from room to room to hear how systems sounded with real music.  There are hip people in hi-fi, no doubt, it just takes a little bumping bass tracks to bring them out.

Here are the tracks:

Massive Attack -- Inertia Creeps Remix Album -- "Inertia Creeps" (Alpha Remix)

Howard Shore -- The Lord of the Rings Soundtrack -- "The Black Rider" and "May It Be"

Eminem -- The Eminem Show -- "Superman"

Radiohead -- Kid A -- "Everying in Its Right Place"

The Star Wars Episode One Soundtrack -- "Panaka and the Queen's Protectors"

Nine Inch Nails -- The Downward Spiral -- "Closer"

Robert Shaw & Atlanta Symphony Orchestra -- Polovtsian Dances  -- "Prince Igor"

Amon Tobin -- Supermodified -- "Saboteur"

Bjork -- Homogenic -- "Hunter"

Rammstein -- Sehnsucht -- "Tier"


A suggested addition to your list: "Finlandia", played by Thomas Murray on CD titled "Transcriber's Art" (Gothic Records) Nothing beats pipe organ music for testing audio systems (and chasing other people out of the listening room...) ;) JR
Josh Finally a real site for musical misfits. I like to terrorize systems with the following: U2 "Zoo Station" 1993/Live at Dublin Bootleg Radiohead "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" PJ Harvey "Kamikaze" Minutemen "Corona" Always a crowd pleaser The Replacements "I will dare" Makes great speakers sound muddy because it is the best muddy sounding recording ever War "Low Rider" Gets the hommies throwing signs of gratitude with the thump and wack sound Keran Ann "It All A Lie" PS: On your Wingman series: Always tell'em you will order in, ask if they like Frank Sinatra(Witchcraft is a killer intro), and have them wear a black dress with the special shoes you like.