The decision to award a Qobuzism is made unanimously by the Qobuz team. In most cases, a Qobuzism is given to a “crossover” album in the best sense of the term, in that it will speak to all of our users.

By awarding a Qobuzism, we aim to draw attention to standout albums across a wide range of genres. In theory a Qobuzism is intended to alert you to an artist’s debut which has ventured into unexplored territory; but albums which merit this distinction can, in practice, come from anywhere! In each instance Qobuz endorses the album entirely, working with the artist in order to give them the greatest exposure possible – both within and outside of Qobuz. 

What we love is to give our Qobuz users the chance to discover recordings which are not necessarily what they would normally go for.

Albums

125 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
€21.49
€14.99

Opera Extracts - To be released March 2, 2018 | Decca

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
Nowadays it might seem rather strange to describe a composer as a “singing master”, but, during the eighteenth century, this was not the case at all. In Italy, almost every composer worthy of the name wrote opere serie (Porpora wrote at least forty- ve): serious opera was the dominant musical genre, glorifying the human voice above everything else. It was the maker or breaker of musical reputations, with its nest singers the rst superstars of music. Therefore composers, though generally eclipsed by the fame of their leading men and women, needed to understand the human voice and all its remarkable capabilities, both technical and histrionic, in order to be able to exploit the possibilities of the operatic form at a time when those “machines made for singing”, the castrati, had brought the vocal art to a pitch of perfection never known before, nor equalled since. Though this recording is bringing Porpora’s name to public attention again on the 250th anniversary of his death, his fame as a singing teacher has probably obscured, until recently, his remarkable qualities as a composer, quite simply because two of the most famous castrati were among his many pupils, namely Gaetano Majorano, known as Caffarelli, whom Porpora once called “the nest singer in Europe”, also famed for his amorous antics and arrogance on- and off-stage, and the even more celebrated Carlo Broschi, who, under his stage name of Farinelli, amazed audiences and set hearts a- utter for fteen years throughout Europe, before being called to Spain to heal a crazed King by the power of his voice. Max Cencic remarks: “Porpora was a severe teacher, I think, maybe almost sadistic in his demands — you need 120% control of breath, brain and voice”. Legend indeed has it that he taught Caffarelli one page of exercises, and those alone, for six years. The formal alternation of aria and recitative in opera seria conceals a great range of emotional expression, that varietas that Erasmus famously described as “so powerful in every sphere that there is absolutely nothing, however brilliant, which is not dimmed if not commended by variety”. In such forms as the orid aria di bravura or the lyrical aria di sostenuto, the composer’s fantasy only provided a framework for the singer to embroider: the performer’s skill in ornamentation and other emotional devices was of paramount importance. Porpora’s many years of both teaching and composing experience made him, in Max Cencic’s opinion, “one of the top ten composers of Italian Baroque opera. I chose the arias for this recording almost by instinct, by what ‘felt right’. There is no way one can encompass a composer of such quality in one album, and each piece is a treasure in its own right. Though technical display is everywhere — leaps, rapid scales, trills, long phrases — Porpora’s special and utterly captivating melodic gift always shines through.” The arias are all taken from works composed at the height of Porpora’s fame, from Ezio (Venice 1728; “Se tu la reggi al volo” is a semiquaver spectacular) to Filandro (Dresden 1747, with a ravishing siciliano in “Ove l’erbetta tenera, e molle”), including three of the operas he composed for London during the 1730s, in direct competition with Handel (Arianna in Nasso 1733, Enea nel Lazio 1734 — real reworks here in “Chi vuol salva” — and I genia in Aulide 1735). The Teatro San Carlo in Naples, perhaps the most famous of all opera houses at that time, saw the premiere of Il trionfo di Camilla in 1740, and the two arias recorded here show Porpora at his best: the music of “Va per le vene il sangue” evocatively matches its darkly suggestive text, while “Torcere il corso all’onde” combines rapid- re coloratura with elegance of line. In the three arias from Carlo il Calvo (Teatro delle Dame, Rome 1738) the singer is similarly called to match Porpora’s varietas with his own: from the scurrying oriture of “So che tiranno io sono” to the high-lying phrases of “Se rea ti vuole il cielo”, and the beguilingly hypnotic sostenuto of “Quando s’oscura il cielo”. Porpora’s orchestral writing is also remarkably varied, all the more so in that he generally uses only strings, nowhere better than in the elaborate lines of “Torbido intorno al core” from Meride e Selinunte (Venice 1726), where voice and violins entwine in an elaborate and emotionally suggestive web of divisions. However, sometimes he pulls out all the sonority stops, as in the martial “Destrier, che all’armi usato” where, at the rst performance in the Teatro Regio, Turin in 1731 trumpets and horns vied with the unmatchable power of the voice of Farinelli. As Max Cencic has said: “How can we emulate the great castrati? That is hard to pin down, but these voices were the very soul of Porpora’s music.” -Nicholas Clapton © 2018 – Decca Group Limited
€8.99€11.99
€7.99

Alternative & Indie - To be released March 2, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
€8.99€13.49
€8.99

Jazz - Released February 9, 2018 | Brownswood Recordings

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - Qobuzissime
And here we go again: London Calling! But this time, the call doesn’t come from the rock ‘n’ roll’s hungry depths but rather from the jazz’ ones. A jazz which we can only label as special so much the young London scene compiled on this We Out Here was built on mixed influences, soul as well as Afrobeat, fusion or electro. To center in on this new generation, Brownswood Recordings, Gilles Peterson’s label, entrusted the album’s artistic direction to the most publicized among them: saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings. Recorded over three days, the selected musicians and bands display a jazz spirit rather than jazz form. Therefore, drummer Jake Long and his formation Maisha play at being voodoo masters in the style of a Pharoah Sanders. Fela’s Afrobeat provides a fertile ground to the Ezra Collective from drummer Femi Koleoso but also to the Kokoroko Collective. While another drumming ace, the charismatic Moses Boyd, wraps up his rhythms in a brilliantly hypnotic electro loop before coming back to the paths of an invigorating libertarian jazz. This Qobuzism colorful like never before, includes instrumentals from the likes of Theon Cross, an impressive tuba marathoner (and incidentally an accomplice of Shabaka Hutchings within the Sons Of Kemet), Nubya Garcia, a saxophonist possessed by Charles Lloyd’s lyricism, and also Joe Armon-Jones, a keyboard mad scientist who knows Herbie Hancock like the back of his hand… With We Out Here, and the new London jazz scene pens a manifesto as dynamic as it is eclectic. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
€21.49
€14.99

French Music - Released February 2, 2018 | Barclay

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
€8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released January 26, 2018 | LasVegas Records

Distinctions Qobuzissime
Ever since the release of their debut album Spanish Disco in 2015, Leyya’s music has been playing on loop on Austrian radio stations. The two young Vienna-based artists, producer and composer Marco Kleebauer and the singer Sophie Lindinger, have been accomplices since childhood, forming a duo in 2014 that becomes a quartet when they perform live. Their style is dominated by electronic sounds, which they have further developed for their second work, Sauna. Marco’s synth sounds are transformed into dreamy melodies and contemporary pop, enhanced by Sophie’s light, fresh voice that occasionally sounds like Feist. The duo composed the songs during their 2017 European tour, taking the time to reflect, a characteristic that’s not just unique to a Suana by the way. Leyya perform like painters that apply the utmost care to each and every brushstroke. On Sauna, a place for sweating and meeting people, the duo leave the beats running drop by drop (Oh Wow), turn up the heat (Drumsolo, Heat) and let the bubbling be heard (Candy). After this sudorific experience, you can’t help wanting to slide down their rainbow. Leyya transforms winter into summer and colours the fog. A Qobuzissime album that comes out just at the right time! © SD/Qobuz
€13.49
€8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released January 12, 2018 | Dead Oceans

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
As intense as an XS G-string stretched around an XL derrière, Shame isn’t here to joke around. The concentrated post-punk that is at the heart of this debut album from the London quintet stands out through its charisma, violence and originality. Songs Of Praise even sounds like the soundtrack to a really grey, frustrated England. There’s a lot of The Fall, Gang Of Four and Killing Joke in this sonic bundle of nerves, but it never sounds retro or backwards. Like Fat White Family, Ought or even Vietnam, Shame belongs in 2018 and you can definitely hear it! Straight from Brixton, singer Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, drummer Charlie Forbes and bass player Josh Finerty produce and cage their seemingly visceral irritation on punchy songs (Dust On Trial) that are sometimes poisonous and throbbing (The Lick) but at other points more genial (One Rizla). Here, Shame play brazen, uncompromising and unapologetic rock. Just one listen to Songs Of Praise and your body will come out bruised, yet you will keep asking for more. © MZ/Qobuz
€14.99
€9.99

Rap - Released December 1, 2017 | Pineale Prod - Grand Musique Management

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
€14.99
€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released November 10, 2017 | La Castanya

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Psych pop, surf music, shoegaze and dream pop isn’t just confined to America or the UK. Even in Barcelona they master the notions of this blend of electronic notes and dreamer harmonies. There in the heart of the Catalonian capital, we find two Chileans and two Spaniards; all experts in sugary melodies oozing with dreamlike guitars and reverb, The Zephyr Bones have concocted a superb sun-drenched record. The aptly named album Secret Place is a little island of hedonistic pop where the crystalline six-strings and muffled voices make the rules. A refined treaty that brings together a blend of their contemporary influences (DIIV, Beach House, Black Lips, Wild Nothing, Real Estate, Beach Fossils) while retaining a very personal tone. This warm and sunny Qobuzissime is more than perfect to keep you toasty as winter comes creeping in... © MZ/Qobuz
€14.99
€9.99

Classical - Released November 3, 2017 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Qobuzissime
Aside from Elgar’s fascinating and obligatory Falstaff composed in 1913 (a Symphonic Study according to the partition, but in reality a symphonic poem in the grand tradition of Strauss— about whom Elgar probably thought when he wrote his masterpiece, and the rather present solo cello cannot help but remind us of Strauss’ Don Quixote, composed sixteen years earlier), the album distinguishes itself by a few melodies with orchestra from the same Elgar, a repertoire unfortunately too often neglected and yet of breathtaking beauty (we hear, in a pinch, the Sea Pictures performed from time to time, but that’s all folks). And when you know that it’s the now very famous baritone Roderick Williams on the mic, we can only applaud the initiative of Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic to feature these splendors once again. Elgar proves to us here that, far from just being a great master of large symphonic-vocal soundscapes in the form of oratorio (we obviously think about The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles and The Music Makers), he handles the miniature with genius. Roderick Williams, one of the most beautiful voices of today’s British scene, grasps these rarities with a joy that is as rare as these pieces. The album closes on a hilarious wink, the Smoking Cantata, a cantata with a ginormous orchestration but that lasts… only 49 seconds, and whose text is limited to: “Kindly, Kindly, kindly do not SMOKE in the hall or staircase”. It’s the best British humor! Qobuz technical commentary on sound quality The sound quality for this wonderful orchestration is refined; the level ratios are well-judged; and the distances between the consoles are just right, in this airy piece of mixing that renders the lines exceptionally clear. Clear and enveloping reverberation never hides the discourse: the result is a rare evenness between the different families within the orchestra. The tutti certainly aren’t lacking any liveliness, thanks to the remarkably assured dynamic, and when the percussion gets going we discover a beautifully-proportioned hall, which gives the sound room to develop without constraints. Without falling into the very (too?) popular trap of ultra-proximity, and because the acoustics allow it, Chandos has produced a mix which really respects the score, the performance, and the sound scene... what a relief! © SM/Qobuz
€21.49
€14.99

Alternative & Indie - Released October 13, 2017 | Universal Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
In the latest edition of the hipster series, Lawrence Rothman seems to be the world champion. An androgynous face (and voice) made for the glossy pages of fashion magazines, a passion for the noteworthy transformations in Cindy Sherman’s photography (Rothman changes his look with every clip!) and packed full with friends who came to lend a helping hand (Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, Angel Olsen, Marissa Nadler, Duff McKagan from Guns’N’Roses, Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint, Tom Krell a.k.a. How To Dress Well, the bassist Pino Palladino, Kristin Kontrol from Dum Dum Girls…the list goes on!). To our ears, Rothman sounds like the soul dandy/R&B from the 80s. Talk Talk often comes to mind, as well as David Bowie, Depeche Mode or sometimes Prince and, a little closer to home, Ariel Pink and How To Dress Well. But under the glitzy varnish, this début album holds songs with staggering melodies. Some compositions bring a rather cathartic style of writing with which Rothman displays his personal quest for an identity that he defines as non-binary (gender queer). This Californian, who was born in Los Angeles 35 years ago and who claims to love Charles Bukowski just as much as R. Kelly and Tupac Shakur as much as Leonard Cohen, has assured that The Book Of Law is one of the most moving albums of 2017. A highly refined Qobuzissime. © MZ/Qobuz
€11.99

Quartets - Released October 13, 2017 | BMC Records

Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
Homer, James Joyce and Kafka, these are the three authors Peter Eötvös has chosen for his Sirens Cycle, composed 2016. It is a string quartet with an added soprano coloratura voice, just as Schönberg did in his Second Quartet, Berg in the vocal version of his Lyrische Suite, or Wellesz in his Sonnets for Elisabeth  Barrett-Browning.  The composer illustrates three very different literary versions of the mythological Ulysses meeting the sirens, each entrusted to the singer in the respective languages they were written in : Greek, English, German. The first and longest part, Joyce, has seven movements in which Eötvös freely transcribes Joyce’s "interior monologue". On the other hand, Homer’s Odyssey and Kafka’s Silence of the Sirens uses the exact original text, even though Homer is assigned a Lied form, Kafka a kind of recitative. “Each language, by its rhythms and own consonants, its accents and its inner architecture, implies a very peculiar musical character”, says Eötvös. With regards to his first quartet, Korrespondenz composed in 1992, it is a kind of “mini-opera” without singers or singing. Its starting point was an exchange of letters between Mozart and his father Leopold in 1778, when the 22-year-old composer was unhappily living in Paris. In the quartet’s three “scenes” the viola represents Wolfgang and the cello Leopold, both with music that mimics the inflexions of what they write in their letters, while the two violins attempt to mediate between them. Eötvös assigns each vowel of the text to an interval, diphthongs become glissandi, while the consonants are expressed by different ways of playing; for instance, ‘r’ is always a trill or a tremolo. This technique would appear to place severe restrictions on the composer, but Eötvös feels that the more he has to compose within limitations, the wider opens the store of infinite possibilities. The work is divided into three scenes: Leopold trying to dissuade his son from pursuing his passion for the soprano Aloysia Weber; Wolfgang complaining that the Parisians are indifferent to his music; and Wolfgang tells his father of his mother’s death in Paris. The score contains the complete text but the listener does not know it, yet the string instruments communicate in a startlingly human fashion. Eötvös’s music “reads between the lines”, so to say. A fascinating composer, two of his fascinating works, both played with passion by the Calder Quartet, joined by Audrey Luna for the Sirens. © SM/Qobuz
€14.99
€9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2017 | Abbey Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
England possesses a unique capacity to reinvent the wheel of rock’n’roll. Although it seems to have been said time and time again, the country regularly gives birth to young groups that come to add their unique stone to an already solidly constructed building. And even if the influences may seem obvious from the outset, each personal touch elbows its way through to the front. Pale Seas belongs to this breed of musicians - the type whose music bursts on the palate from the very first taste. By the sea in Southhampton, the singer Jacob Scott, guitarist Graham Poole, bassist Mathew Bishop and drummer Andrew Richardson drew from the early albums from the likes of Radiohead and Suede in order to establish their own rock’n’roll rulebook. But even though this distinct taste for the English rock of the 90s jumps to mind throughout Stargazing For Beginners, this British foursome manages to draw up a guitar landscape, making their first album truly original. Largely recorded at night in an old Abbey, here’s a Qobuzism disc that teases the animal instincts of guitar band fans. A true revelation. © CM/Qobuz
€15.99
€13.49

Classical - Released September 29, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Qobuzissime - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
For their first recording, the Arod Quartet has selected Mendelssohn, one of the pillars of the quartet's art, in particular his masterpiece, the Fourth Quartet in E Minor of June 1837 - more Mozartian than Beethovian in its structure and development, to be sure, even if it bears Mendelssohn's hallmark from the first note to the last. To find the influence of the deaf genius, we have to look in the Second Quartet Op. 13 of 1827, a work written shortly after Beethoven's death, the full extent of whose innovations Mendelssohn was only just discovering. The Arod Quartet continues its album with Four Pieces for Quartet, assembled posthumously and numbered Op. 81 by Mendelssohn's successor at the Gewandhaus, Julius Rietz, and based on four disparate pieces from various eras. Finally, the album closes with the Arod's re-interpretaton of a Lied, sung here by Marianne Crebassa, whose theme takes in several passages from Beethoven note for note, a real homage from the young composer to his illustrious elder. It’s worth noting that the Arod Quartet, only founded in 2013, has shot to global prominence, having performed at the Paris Philharmonic, the Louvre Auditorium, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Metz Arsenal, and further afield the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Zurich Tonhalle, London's Wigmore Hall, as well as in Tokyo, Finland, Switzerland... the list goes on! © SM/Qobuz
€11.99
€7.99

Electro - Released September 21, 2017 | Houndstooth

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
At first glance, post-rock and techno were hardly made for one another. Guy Andrews would beg to differ. By fusing his two passions, the two major influences on his music, the young British producer has created his second album, Tåke, which means fog in Norwegian. This is an atmospheric journey, viscerally linked to nature. Andrews says plainly that the single Fjell was inspired by a walk on Cadair Idris, a Welsh mountain. It was inspired by the climbs. The challenge of the ascent. And the pride in reaching each peak... Another escapade, this time in Norway, offered added fuel for his record. It gave a power that has influenced this captivating work from beginning to end. Guy Andrews plays with atmospheres (his first works were very much rooted in ambient music) and alternates between Northern Lights and violent hurricanes. Each composition on Tåke is in fact a kind of miniature sonic documentary, inspired by the writer's many wanderings. Here, even more than on his 2016 debut album Our Spaces, Andrews is a painter. He is sketching out an electro landscape with diverse textures and hypnotic effects. No surprise that the Londoner's art has been hailed by big names such as Massive Attack, Scuba, Bonobo, Max Cooper and others. Tåke depicts a vast sound tapestry, mottled by rhythms and lit up by the colours that Andrews offers. Fog has never looked so radiant. © MD/Qobuz
€14.99
€9.99

Africa - Released September 8, 2017 | Bonsound Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
Breaking down borders, a total musical mix, eclecticism à go go: without a doubt, Pierre Kwenders is a creative of his time. With Makanda At The End Of Space, The Beginning Of Time the Canadian multi-instrumentalist of Congo origin (he was born in Kinshasa in 1985 and has lived in Quebec since 2001) unites rumba from his home soil with pop and electro. A multitude of languages bubble from his mouth: Lingala, French, English, and Tshiluba. Kwenders devises a stupendous pan-African symphony that one would be tempted, out of sheer laziness, to label as ‘world music’ - a term that brings him out in a rash! Produced by Tendai Maraire from Shabazz Palaces (an intriguing rap group made up of Ishmael Butler, otherwise known as Palaceer Lazaro who sings on a track in this album), Makanda At The End Of Space, The Beginning Of Time commands the listener to simply let go. Allow yourself to be carried along by the versatile rhythms and changing melodies where Congolese rumba meets contemporary sounds. An incredibly groovy nimbleness that doesn’t obscure the powerful intention behind this album. For Pierre Kwenders, this is above all a homage to the important women in his life. Four strong personalities: his mother, grandmother, aunt and little sister. It follows that the Tshiluba word ‘Makanda’ translates as ‘force’. A human and sensory kaleidoscope for a completely unique album.