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ICP Box set

102 posts in this topic

There are a couple of problems I have with the set so far (other than fiscal inaccessibility for most):

1) The needle-drops don't sound all that great so far. Honestly, I think I have better vinyl copies than some of the sources they used.

2) The Boersma photos are great, but like the wonderful books that came with the FMP boxes For Example, Cecil Taylor in Berlin, and In Retrospect, there's a dearth of liner notes/exhaustive session information. I suppose they didn't want to pay writers? Surely there are enough living critics/historians of the Dutch scene that this could have been done in an interesting way. The "Contents" sheet is pretty hard to read and not entirely sensible.

3) "Hand painted" my ass.

I'll be working through the set over the next month and hope to have an exhaustive writeup on it myself in the early spring. I'm glad the set exists but there are some things I wish that ICP/Challenge had done differently.

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I was a bit annoyed by the "hand painted" part. Considering the beautiful artwork Han has created in the past, a pencil sketch, shading in the lower left and adding a year was far from what I was expecting.

I have mostly been listening to albums they released in the last two decades; ones I hadn't heard before, very impressed with how far they have taken improvised music.

Edited by Deepak

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There are a couple of problems I have with the set so far (other than fiscal inaccessibility for most):

1) The needle-drops don't sound all that great so far. Honestly, I think I have better vinyl copies than some of the sources they used.

2) The Boersma photos are great, but like the wonderful books that came with the FMP boxes For Example, Cecil Taylor in Berlin, and In Retrospect, there's a dearth of liner notes/exhaustive session information. I suppose they didn't want to pay writers? Surely there are enough living critics/historians of the Dutch scene that this could have been done in an interesting way. The "Contents" sheet is pretty hard to read and not entirely sensible.

3) "Hand painted" my ass.

I'll be working through the set over the next month and hope to have an exhaustive writeup on it myself in the early spring. I'm glad the set exists but there are some things I wish that ICP/Challenge had done differently.

Agree that the needledrops aren't that good.

Agree that 'handpainted' was false advertising. The boxes were individually signed by Han Bennink.

Although I would liked to have more in the way of notes, I think the personnel listings are very readable and I have no problem with them. I would have liked this sheet even if there were notes in addition.

Surprised no one seems disappointed with the quality of the box itself. The cut and folded piece of paper was a bad decision. Worse if they did it to keep the production cost down.

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Glad I considered myself too poor to buy the box.

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There are a couple of problems I have with the set so far (other than fiscal inaccessibility for most):

1) The needle-drops don't sound all that great so far. Honestly, I think I have better vinyl copies than some of the sources they used.

2) The Boersma photos are great, but like the wonderful books that came with the FMP boxes For Example, Cecil Taylor in Berlin, and In Retrospect, there's a dearth of liner notes/exhaustive session information. I suppose they didn't want to pay writers? Surely there are enough living critics/historians of the Dutch scene that this could have been done in an interesting way. The "Contents" sheet is pretty hard to read and not entirely sensible.

3) "Hand painted" my ass.

I'll be working through the set over the next month and hope to have an exhaustive writeup on it myself in the early spring. I'm glad the set exists but there are some things I wish that ICP/Challenge had done differently.

Agree that the needledrops aren't that good.

Agree that 'handpainted' was false advertising. The boxes were individually signed by Han Bennink.

Although I would liked to have more in the way of notes, I think the personnel listings are very readable and I have no problem with them. I would have liked this sheet even if there were notes in addition.

Surprised no one seems disappointed with the quality of the box itself. The cut and folded piece of paper was a bad decision. Worse if they did it to keep the production cost down.

The way the box holds the CDs isn't great (in fact mine weren't stacked up on top of each other when it arrived), but I prefer the LP sized box over something like the classical Masterpieces series ie this box) purely from an aesthetics point. I was going to place the discs in mini jewel cases since I don't trust the sleeves keeping the CDs scratch free.

From a music perspective I am extremely happy to have purchased this set.

Are the needle drops from their earliest LPs?

Edited by Deepak

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Are the needle drops from their earliest LPs?

Yeah... in fact, my vinyl copy of ICP 002 sounds stunning, which isn't the case with the transfer.

I mean, I don't feel like a total asshole or "taken" by the box, but I do think it could have been done better considering the material and resources. It's by no means a perfect set, and considering the organization's importance, it should be damn near that.

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I've been working my way through the set, and it has been lovely. The "needledrops" of the early LPs sound good, IMO, although I have only listened to a few of them. I'm of the opinion that LPs sound better than CDs anyway, so buy the early original LPs, if you can. This set is the complete catalog at a fair, albeit expensive, price. To buy the first half of the ICP catalog on vinyl would likely cost one at least three times more than the cost of this set. And many of the CDs after the vinyl period have been OOP for years. To have all of this music in one package is wonderful.

I remember talking to Bennink after a gig in Seattle in 2009 after which he signed a copy of my ICP 007/008. I asked him about the possibility of reissuing the early ICP catalog, and he said that it would not happen. I'm glad that he reconsidered.

There is nothing "hand painted" about the set, but the music is plenty of equipment for living. That is good enough.

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I have a few of their early LPs. I don't plan to sell them, but I won't be paying Ebay prices for them either. I played ICP004 and it sounded fine to me over headphones.

I guess I'm thankful that for the 5 or 6 albums I've played all of them have not been squashed dynamically or had the treble boosted. I played the Albert Ayler Complete Live at the Greenwich Village set immediately after listening to ICP039 and it sounded harsh and loud in contrast.

Some of the albums have pushed my boundaries as far as free music goes. ICP037 with the toy keyboard and sound effects was something else

Edited by Deepak

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Looks interesting, but I have to say experience has taught me that no 52-cd box set could ever be worth the price. That's simply too much material.

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Is ICP015 (Epistrophy) an example of one of the poor sounding needle drops? I don't have the original vinyl for this one, but the CD is quite muffled. It sounds like it is inherent to the recording though.

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It looks as though ICP isn't the only label on the way out. I see that at various places Hat, Intakt, Emanem, and PSI catalog are on sale. Jeez. I could have spread the money around instead of concentrating it on this one collectible. Having said that, if anyone has seen these other sales and can make any quick recommendations I still may have some money left to pick up a few bargains before all these great labels disappear.

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It looks as though ICP isn't the only label on the way out. I see that at various places Hat, Intakt, Emanem, and PSI catalog are on sale. Jeez. I could have spread the money around instead of concentrating it on this one collectible. Having said that, if anyone has seen these other sales and can make any quick recommendations I still may have some money left to pick up a few bargains before all these great labels disappear.

Intakt too?

I hadn't heard that.

Where are Intakt CDs on sale??

Edited by jlhoots

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It looks as though ICP isn't the only label on the way out. I see that at various places Hat, Intakt, Emanem, and PSI catalog are on sale. Jeez. I could have spread the money around instead of concentrating it on this one collectible. Having said that, if anyone has seen these other sales and can make any quick recommendations I still may have some money left to pick up a few bargains before all these great labels disappear.

Intakt too?

I hadn't heard that.

Where are Intakt CDs on sale??

Cadence (Klompfoot) had a 24hr sale - unfortunately it finished on the 12 Dec

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Still haven't heard back from Challenge regarding ICP013 :tdown

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It looks as though ICP isn't the only label on the way out. I see that at various places Hat, Intakt, Emanem, and PSI catalog are on sale. Jeez. I could have spread the money around instead of concentrating it on this one collectible. Having said that, if anyone has seen these other sales and can make any quick recommendations I still may have some money left to pick up a few bargains before all these great labels disappear.

Intakt too?

I hadn't heard that.

Where are Intakt CDs on sale??

Cadence (Klompfoot) had a 24hr sale - unfortunately it finished on the 12 Dec

I that that was just Cadence reducing stock to go out of business, not necessarily the labels going under.

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It looks as though ICP isn't the only label on the way out. I see that at various places Hat, Intakt, Emanem, and PSI catalog are on sale. Jeez. I could have spread the money around instead of concentrating it on this one collectible. Having said that, if anyone has seen these other sales and can make any quick recommendations I still may have some money left to pick up a few bargains before all these great labels disappear.

Intakt too?

I hadn't heard that.

Where are Intakt CDs on sale??

Cadence (Klompfoot) had a 24hr sale - unfortunately it finished on the 12 Dec

I that that was just Cadence reducing stock to go out of business, not necessarily the labels going under.

I didn't know that Cadence was going out of business. I would have thought they might notify me if that were the case. Maybe not, I guess.

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It looks as though ICP isn't the only label on the way out. I see that at various places Hat, Intakt, Emanem, and PSI catalog are on sale. Jeez. I could have spread the money around instead of concentrating it on this one collectible. Having said that, if anyone has seen these other sales and can make any quick recommendations I still may have some money left to pick up a few bargains before all these great labels disappear.

Intakt too?

I hadn't heard that.

Where are Intakt CDs on sale??

Cadence (Klompfoot) had a 24hr sale - unfortunately it finished on the 12 Dec

I that that was just Cadence reducing stock to go out of business, not necessarily the labels going under.

I didn't know that Cadence was going out of business. I would have thought they might notify me if that were the case. Maybe not, I guess.

I get the impression Cadence is liquidating stock. I would not be surprised if they did go out of business. Great place, I've been buying from them for at least 25 years,

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My box finally arrived yesterday (long haul to Australia) - no damage though the sleeved discs were scattered through the box - the "insert/CD cradle" wasn't doing it's job - sorted that problem by glueing (bookbinding glue to the flaps) it into the box -> now sturdy & CDs stay in place

I'm quite impressed with the general design - outer box is sturdy, cover artwork is legible - the book is a real treat - photographs accompany most of the recording sessions (live & studio)

Only listened to the first 2 discs so far - happy with the SQ (long way to go though)

slowly transferring the set to itunes - Unfortunately I've detected a fault -> discs 19 & 20 are identical ie the Mengelberg/Bennink double "Coincidents" (discs 19 & 20 - both ICP 017, both with virtually identical timing) - was originally released as a cassette (ICP #17) - I presume each disc is a side of the cassette - not sure if they have doubled up on side A or B - anyone out there with a copy of the cassette. No, I havn't been given the same disc twice - each disc is labelled # 19 & 20 respectively - i presume we will all have the same error (or was the cassette also like this too?).

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My box finally arrived yesterday (long haul to Australia) - no damage though the sleeved discs were scattered through the box - the "insert/CD cradle" wasn't doing it's job - sorted that problem by glueing (bookbinding glue to the flaps) it into the box -> now sturdy & CDs stay in place

I'm quite impressed with the general design - outer box is sturdy, cover artwork is legible - the book is a real treat - photographs accompany most of the recording sessions (live & studio)

Only listened to the first 2 discs so far - happy with the SQ (long way to go though)

slowly transferring the set to itunes - Unfortunately I've detected a fault -> discs 19 & 20 are identical ie the Mengelberg/Bennink double "Coincidents" (discs 19 & 20 - both ICP 017, both with virtually identical timing) - was originally released as a cassette (ICP #17) - I presume each disc is a side of the cassette - not sure if they have doubled up on side A or B - anyone out there with a copy of the cassette. No, I havn't been given the same disc twice - each disc is labelled # 19 & 20 respectively - i presume we will all have the same error (or was the cassette also like this too?).

Don't have the cassette. Although they are the same composition I haven't listened to more than about a minute of both, so they could diverge in terms of the improvisation. Disc 2 sounds more distorted, though, and that is a definite difference. I must say that as much as I enjoy it this is an inconsistently curated box and there will probably be more mistakes popping up as people who collected the catalog over the years go through their boxes.

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My box finally arrived yesterday (long haul to Australia) - no damage though the sleeved discs were scattered through the box - the "insert/CD cradle" wasn't doing it's job - sorted that problem by glueing (bookbinding glue to the flaps) it into the box -> now sturdy & CDs stay in place

I'm quite impressed with the general design - outer box is sturdy, cover artwork is legible - the book is a real treat - photographs accompany most of the recording sessions (live & studio)

Only listened to the first 2 discs so far - happy with the SQ (long way to go though)

slowly transferring the set to itunes - Unfortunately I've detected a fault -> discs 19 & 20 are identical ie the Mengelberg/Bennink double "Coincidents" (discs 19 & 20 - both ICP 017, both with virtually identical timing) - was originally released as a cassette (ICP #17) - I presume each disc is a side of the cassette - not sure if they have doubled up on side A or B - anyone out there with a copy of the cassette. No, I havn't been given the same disc twice - each disc is labelled # 19 & 20 respectively - i presume we will all have the same error (or was the cassette also like this too?).

Don't have the cassette. Although they are the same composition I haven't listened to more than about a minute of both, so they could diverge in terms of the improvisation. Disc 2 sounds more distorted, though, and that is a definite difference. I must say that as much as I enjoy it this is an inconsistently curated box and there will probably be more mistakes popping up as people who collected the catalog over the years go through their boxes.

I've opened both discs with audacity & the wave forms appear "identical" - also each side of the cassette, AFAIK, had different sources (live localities?) & weren't the same improvised title

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I'll have to check my disc 19 and 20.

Here is what Challenge said about Midwoud 77

The fact that Midwoud '77 is listed on the back is a mistake we (ICP and Challenge) have overlooked during our many rounds of corrections and enhancements of the artwork. Midwoud '77 has been taken out of print by Han and Misha themselves because of the low quality of the audio. They then re-used the catalogue number ICP013 for Een Mirkalese Tocht. Because the source of that issue are 6 seperate flexidiscs that do not fit a single audio cd we have 2 discs. Which is, I presume, also the reason it was overlooked on the back of the box.

Kind regards,

Edited by Deepak

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My box finally arrived yesterday (long haul to Australia) - no damage though the sleeved discs were scattered through the box - the "insert/CD cradle" wasn't doing it's job - sorted that problem by glueing (bookbinding glue to the flaps) it into the box -> now sturdy & CDs stay in place

I'm quite impressed with the general design - outer box is sturdy, cover artwork is legible - the book is a real treat - photographs accompany most of the recording sessions (live & studio)

Only listened to the first 2 discs so far - happy with the SQ (long way to go though)

slowly transferring the set to itunes - Unfortunately I've detected a fault -> discs 19 & 20 are identical ie the Mengelberg/Bennink double "Coincidents" (discs 19 & 20 - both ICP 017, both with virtually identical timing) - was originally released as a cassette (ICP #17) - I presume each disc is a side of the cassette - not sure if they have doubled up on side A or B - anyone out there with a copy of the cassette. No, I havn't been given the same disc twice - each disc is labelled # 19 & 20 respectively - i presume we will all have the same error (or was the cassette also like this too?).

Don't have the cassette. Although they are the same composition I haven't listened to more than about a minute of both, so they could diverge in terms of the improvisation. Disc 2 sounds more distorted, though, and that is a definite difference. I must say that as much as I enjoy it this is an inconsistently curated box and there will probably be more mistakes popping up as people who collected the catalog over the years go through their boxes.

I've opened both discs with audacity & the wave forms appear "identical" - also each side of the cassette, AFAIK, had different sources (live localities?) & weren't the same improvised title

I'm hearing the same as ATR; my disc 2 does sound noticeably more distorted, this is clear when focusing in on the piano. I'll look at the files this evening.

Edited by Deepak

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