Malachi Lui

Malachi Lui  |  Apr 12, 2022  |  First Published: Apr 12, 2022  |  39 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is AnalogPlanet’s guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months’ new releases for which we don’t have time or energy to cover more extensively.)

Malachi Lui  |  Mar 24, 2022  |  52 comments
Mere months after his patience-testing yet rewarding opus Donda, Kanye West is back with its lazily titled sequel, Donda 2. Don’t expect to find it on streaming platforms or in record stores, however. The artist now legally known as Ye instead independently released it exclusively on the $200 Stem Player, a proprietary, Yeezy Tech- and Kano-developed device that allows users tactile interaction with his last three albums (more about that later). Most of Donda 2’s media coverage centers around the Stem Player situation, how everyone thinks Kanye is “crazy” to so highly value his art by making everyone pay $200 for it. Yet, Donda 2 itself doesn’t cost $200; it’s a free download accessible only via the $200 Stem Player, meaning he doesn’t technically have to pay anyone royalties or sample clearances. Kanye would tell you he’s winning, except it’s his own game designed to eliminate any threat of competition. (Either way, Billboard ruled the album ineligible to chart. Kanye’s decision to keep Donda 2 off streaming is immensely respectable, though I wish he also put out a more convenient $20 CD or tape.)

Malachi Lui  |  Mar 16, 2022  |  8 comments
Following a snooze-inducing headlining performance (based on the recording) at the 2000 Glastonbury Festival, David Bowie and his band (guitarist Earl Slick, bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, pianist Mike Garson, drummer Sterling Campbell, and musician/producer Mark Plati) entered New York’s Sear Sound to re-record his early, mostly pre-Space Oddity catalog highlights. Bowie intended the quickly recorded result, Toy, as a surprise release, though in 2001 the financially struggling Virgin/EMI balked at the idea and eventually rejected the album altogether. For the following year’s Heathen, Bowie signed to Columbia and left uncertain Toy’s future. Leaked in 2011 and recently officially released by his estate and Parlophone, Toy now has its proper place in his studio discography. Yet, is it worthy of its legendary—and in some circles, almost mythical—status?

Malachi Lui  |  Mar 01, 2022  |  11 comments
In November 2021, Radiohead combined their “twin albums” Kid A (October 2000) and Amnesiac (May 2001) with a previously unreleased outtakes collection, Kid Amnesiae, for the highly anticipated three-disc Kid A Mnesia. Several formats are available: US and EU standard weight 3LP pressings on black (standard) and red (limited) vinyl, a similar 3CD set, a Japanese 3CD featuring Amnesiac B-sides excluded from most other Kid A Mnesia releases, a Kid Amnesiette limited edition double cassette (also featuring those Amnesiac B-sides), and the sold-out “Scarry Book.” The latter, a super deluxe 3LP package, lacks the Amnesiac B-sides but features a 36-page large-format art book and the 3 LPs on 180g cream-colored vinyl.

Malachi Lui  |  Feb 28, 2022  |  First Published: Feb 28, 2022  |  7 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is AnalogPlanet’s guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months’ new releases for which we don’t have time or energy to cover more extensively.)

Malachi Lui  |  Feb 25, 2022  |  4 comments
Four years after his addiction-and breakup-themed magnum opus Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, Spiritualized’s J Spaceman (Jason Pierce) reemerged with the band’s fourth album, 2001’s Let It Come Down. Greeted with high anticipation—and recently reissued as the final installment in Fat Possum’s Pierce-supervised Spaceman Reissue Program—Let It Come Down is now commonly seen as the moment when Spaceman lost the plot. “It all fell apart a little bit during this period,” he admits. Two decades later, Let It Come Down stands less as a great Spiritualized record and more as a product from the bygone era of expensive recording budgets and ample studio time.

Malachi Lui  |  Dec 28, 2021  |  First Published: Dec 28, 2021  |  6 comments
Unfortunately, we didn’t review in real time every important 2021 release; thankfully, there’s still time to catch up on essential missed albums, EPs, and singles. This is the second of two 2021 Catch-Up Explosions (read the first one here), featuring in alphabetical order 12 more releases.

Malachi Lui  |  Dec 22, 2021  |  First Published: Dec 22, 2021  |  7 comments
Despite our best efforts, we unfortunately didn’t review in real time every consequential 2021 release; thankfully, there’s still time to catch up on important missed albums, EPs, and singles. Our two 2021 Catch-Up Explosions (of which this is the first) differ somewhat from typical Review Explosions: some of these reviews are shorter than usual, and this time we won’t include sound quality scores (though rest assured, those will remain a site fixture). We won’t be able to cover every worthwhile 2021 release, though it’s possible to provide a reasonably comprehensive roundup of the year in music. The reviews are listed alphabetically, not by merit. Let’s begin!

Malachi Lui  |  Dec 19, 2021  |  First Published: Dec 19, 2021  |  3 comments
(Vinyl Reports is an AnalogPlanet feature aiming to create a definitive guide to vinyl LPs. Here, we talk about sound quality, LP packaging, music, and the overarching vinyl experience, this time in a shorter format than usual.)

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