Looking for music to cheer you up on a cold, overcast winter day? We’ve selected these tracks not just because we love the music & the lyrics – each track is brilliantly engineered and capable of showcasing the full dynamic potential of your system. Totem uses these tracks regularly for voicing and testing new products, and for memorable presentations. These tracks are all available on Tidal and Spotify so you can easily add them to your personal playlist. Cue them up and prepare to be showered with amazing sound!
Fever, Musica Nuda
This is a live recording that takes place in a small venue for a radio station in France. It is an intimate environment, but the imaging is still noticeably larger and taller than what can be achieved in a standard studio, and substantially airier as well. The singer is French and tends to overcompensate English articulation, pronouncing every syllable with almost equal emphasis in a crystalline high voice devoid of sibilance. She’s accompanied by a stand-up bass at the beginning, providing a dynamic and striking contrast. Soon comes a classic guitar and harmonica, instruments with the potential to be aggressive but they stay smooth and huge. Speakers with linear phase accuracy will take this track this from sounding like a superior recording to the feeling that you’ve been transported to the original moment.
S.M.F, Joe Satriani
No need to tell you what you’re going to hear from a Joe Satriani track, right? He’s renowned for his iconic guitar work but he’s actually an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and its recognizable as his tracks give weight to each instrument and create rock symphonies. The track has authoritative bass impact, and crisp, perfectly defined highs, but its strongest traits are the tangible presence and encompassing soundstage. It demonstrates the appreciable difference between a good two-dimensional recording and a three-dimensional holographic wall of sound.
Leaving the Table, Leonard Cohen
Totem and Leonard Cohen are both Montreal originals, and harmonize beautifully together. This cut includes a wide variety of instruments played by very talented artists, but they all take a back seat to the legendary vocal styling of Leonard Cohen. We’re most sensitive and critical of vocal accuracy and a speaker with precision control and naturalness will provide the perfect measure of gravitas to Cohen’s voice. Anything less will result in either a nasal sounding effect if it can’t dig deep enough, or a muddy resonance if it doesn’t have appropriate control. But, it has the potential to sound wonderfully ethereal, like Cohen himself is serenading you.
Bubbles, Yosi Harikawa
Harikawa describes himself as an experimental producer and creates pieces using material that are out of the norm and heavy in ambience. This piece is as close to a surround sound demo through 2 channels as you will ever hear. The ping pong ball flurries have amazing spatial presence and sound so three dimensional that you will swear they are in the room. A full range of frequencies is thoroughly presented, and the speaker must handle the challenging transients to recreate the effect Harikawa wants to create. The track totally immerses the listener in its encompassing presence.
Valerie, Amy Winehouse
Winehouse’s soulful, raspy singing is a beautifully balanced counterpart to the electric piano, making this cut a superb demonstration of clarity and high frequency control. Play it loud. On a good system, it will never become sibilant and you should feel that you’re witnessing the original recording for BBC Radio 1 at the Live Lounge. The intimacy and size of the venue is accurately conveyed while also capturing the raw emotion of the performance.