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Dell XPS 13 (9370) vs Dell XPS 13 (9380)

Can Dell make its XPS 13 laptop any better? Well it's tried with a new 2019 model so we compare the two and explain what has and hasn't changed.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) Or Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
There’s a new XPS 13 in town but you’ll struggle to justify the upgrade from 2018’s model with namely a new webcam as a headline upgrade.
Sure, there are other upgrades to the the core specs but for most people, these will be fairly insignificant. The inclusion of a cheaper Core i3 model is particularly interesting.

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Jon Hassell - Listening to Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) Music Album Reviews

Jon Hassell - Listening to Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) Music Album Reviews
On his first album in nine years, the Los Angeles trumpeter-composer sounds like he’s remixing himself, taking apart his past 40 years of work and reassembling it for the present moment.

While it’s been nine years since his last full-length, 2009’s Last Night the Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes in the Street, Jon Hassell has not been completely absent from record shelves or streaming playlists. Several of the Los Angeles trumpeter, composer, and ambient godfather’s canonical albums have been reissued during that stretch, including a fantastic expanded edition of 1990’s hip-hop-influenced City: Works of Fiction and a remastered re-release of his swampy, cinematic fourth album, 1981’s Dream Theory in Malaya, helping reintroduce his smeared, fluid tones and colorful soundscapes to a new generation of listeners.

Hassell’s influence is increasingly apparent across younger generations of artists, too. Destroyer’s last couple of albums have made great use of Hassell-like trumpet treatments, and artists like Visible Cloaks and Sam Gendel are marking ambient compositions with similar touches of Eastern percussion or hazy electro-acoustic processing. Last year, Glasgow’s Optimo Music issued a compilation of material from Hassell and artists in his orbit, like the UK post-industrial duo O Yuki Conjugate and reclusive Spanish experimental musician Javier Segura, that filtered age-old musical ideas from around the world through a contemporary technological aesthetic. All of it fit neatly under the umbrella of “Fourth World,” a category that Hassell coined for his work alongside Brian Eno on 1980’s Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics.

The door, then, has been open for Hassell to return, and Listening to Pictures (Pentimento Volume One), his new album and the first on his Warp sublabel Ndeya, sounds like it has benefited from its extended gestation period. Its eight tracks are teeming with strands of melody and unbound rhythms that have been meticulously constructed into groaning towers of sound. The material fits perfectly into the continuum of Hassell’s entire career and steps beyond the cozy, hypnagogic compositions that made up Last Night. Where that album felt like an extended period of deep, restorative slumber, Listening to Pictures takes us slowly from that state into a stretch of twitchy, eyes-darting REM sleep. Even as many of the tracks on this new album soothe, they are still marked by a flickering, hallucinatory energy, built around stuttering beats that flood the stereo field through which little phrases of trumpet, synth, piano, and violin poke through.

Sometimes those elements are clear and direct, as on the bulbous “Ndeya,” where Hassell’s trumpet, a Rhodes electric piano, and Kheir-Eddine M’Kachiche’s violin play a series of halting refrains intercut with drones. But more frequently Hassell processes everything through effects pedals and computer until it blurs, to impressionistic effect. While “Al Kongo Udu” is underpinned by a quietly humming string section and a batucada-style drum pattern, the attention diverts to electronic pulses and whines that recall a broken cell-phone connection. “Pastorale Vassant” centers on a field recording of a gamelan that Hassell captured on the island of Mallorca, but it is nearly overwhelmed by the drunken bass notes and fluttering racket going on around it, in a manner similar to the dizzying spirit of his 1986 ECM debut, Power Spot.

This music may sound chaotic, but there’s a clear logic and structure to what Hassell has created on Listening to Pictures. That includes his well-chosen album title, a reference to a style of painting where traces of earlier versions of the artwork remain visible in the finished product. It’s possible to discern a double meaning here: not only the layering that distinguishes each song but also the way that echoes of the composer’s last 40 years of work swirl together in the new material. It feels like he’s constantly remixing himself, taking apart ideas from as far back as his 1978 debut Earthquake Island and using new technology to augment and re-contextualize them for the present era. In a perfect Fourth World twist, the music remains entirely grounded in the now while also sounding like it’s been floating in the cosmos for eons.

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