hypnos logo

Index

Blog/News
Hypnos Forum
Hypnos Online Store
CDs
Artists
FAQ



Latest

Antonio Testa & Michel Moglia
Forget the Past


Robert Rich
Trances & Drones


Robert Rich
Sunyata & Inner Landscapes


Numina
The Deception of Reality


Bruno Sanfilippo
Urbs


Caul
Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night


Seren Ffordd + Oöphoi
The Martian Chronicles


A Produce & Loren Nerell
Intangible


Hypnos News Archive, 2003


2003.12.23 PLEASE NOTE: Hypnos mail order HQ will be in hibernation mode between Wednesday December 24 and Monday January 5, 2004. If your order was placed by the afternoon of Dec 23 or earlier, it will be shipped before this vacation. The online store will remain "open" during this period, and orders will be held safely until we start processing and shipping your orders again on Monday January 5, 2004. A number of new items will be listed for sale at that time, as well. Thank you for your continued support!

2003.12.22 More reviews... cleaning out the old archive finally. This time it's Thermal Transfer by Vir Unis & Saul Stokes:

"Stroboscopic is a helicopter sinking through a time warp in the Bermuda Triangle. This disc begs to be played at riskier volume. Tracks blend inside each other like a tidal wave of tropical vibration as in Replicants in Orbit. Vir Unis, last heard on the collaboration Blood Machine (Green House Music) with Steve Roach is in superb, groovy form on Thermal Transfer blending his sythesizers with the ample rhythms of the Bay Area s Saul Stokes. Portland label Hypnos has established Binary, a sub-label forged in deeper groove-laden recordings with an emphasis on sequencer relationships. Modea s Liquid Metal is a churning concoction of quirky percussion and smooth hand forged electronics via Stokes. This track merges fluidly into Blurring Maguro (which is then remixed for the disc s final track). The Interstitial (John Koch-Northrup) remix crosses semblances between itself and Aphex Twin with an air of free-fusion electronics. This is a sizzling collaboration by two artists who normally reduce the bpms in half. Here we have a solid combine of two electronic wizards working in a singular, making for an overall more buoyant, voice. Turning the tonal levels to a crispy, but darker element, The Burning Ground shrouds the listener in a heavy handed transitional track that emphasizes its weight. On the title track, the preeminent tick-tocking breathes an inverse, anxious sigh. An active listen that performs like stormy weather, complete with its own abstract fractal sunset. This is a recording that pulses above the line and beyond the pale."
--TJ Norris, Soundvision

.

"Combining the idiosyncratic synthesizer music of Saul Stokes with the high-energy fractal electronic rhythms of Vir Unis yields one of the more adventurous (yet not inaccessible for the genre) recordings of last year. Most of this CD is a full-out assault on the listener, albeit done is such an enjoyable manner that no one in their right mind would object to the pulsing beats, whirling synths and assorted textural effects. Starting off with the high octane tune ³Kinetic Center² with its percolating fractal beats, swirling keyboards, and alien-insectoid backgrounds, the album is one of those that, while enjoyable enough in the background, intensifies to an almost unbearable (in the best sense of the word) degree when directly listened to, especially with headphones.

There are nine tracks in all, many in the seven to nine-plus minute range, so the electronics are allowed to evolve gradually. This is a wholly textural EM exploration - don¹t expect melodic refrains herein - it¹s all about overall impressions, yet the CD is also driven by a relentless series of electronic beats (all of which sound cool to my ears). If you can resist the cyber-sensuality opening of ³Stroboscopic,² with a wailing guitar-like keyboard played out against a steady sexy beat (is that a sampled water drum I hear?) before the fractal hyper-drive kicks in - well, you¹re not clued in to what these two artists are dishing out, obviously.

It¹s no surprise that, being a Hypnos release, the engineering and production are flawless. The soundfield is appreciably wide - there is stuff happening everywhere on this CD. But rather than try to isolate this or that, just slink on down and allow yourself to be absorbed into the kinetic energy of the beats and the liquid smoke of the myriad synths. Owing to the highly cybernetic feel to the overtly electronic nature of the CD, I would guess that science fiction fans will enjoy this recording a lot. Thermal Transfer is highly propulsive 21st (or maybe even 22nd) century music - made for cruising the darker side of the backwaters of the Milky Way or fly-overs of forbidding planetscapes (the friendly skies of Jonn Serrie this ain¹t!).

The only downside to the CD is that the melding of the two artists is so synergistic that, as a reviewer, I can¹t delineate who contributed what (beyond the obviousness of Vir Unis¹ fractal grooves). Thermal Transfer is one of those unique collaborations whereby two artists form a symbiosis of near perfect equality. Stokes¹ inventive approach to EM (and using his self-constructed synthesizers) is blended with Unis¹ trademark rhythms and lush keyboards to produce music that, for all intents and purposes, sounds like it is the product of a single psyche.

Whether you appreciate the glitchy ambient beats and bubbling sound effects of ³Modea¹s Liquid Metal,² the hyper-speed tribal/fractal beats of ³Blurring Maguro,² or the truly odd ³The Burning Ground² (indescribable EM noise effects and pounding midtempo beats), Thermal Transfer is one of those CDs that will entertain you for hours on end as you unravel its many pleasures. While I have attempted to describe at least some of what lies ahead for those who get this album, in all actuality, the music on this album is much more adventurous (within the genre) than I could adequately characterize. Fans of drifting and serene soundscapes need not apply - but lovers of Stoke¹s earlier kinetic work, as well as those who enjoyed Unis¹ collaborations with Steve Roach (in particular, Blood Machine) will almost assuredly delight in these explorations of electronics and beats. Recommended."
--Wind and Wire (Bill Binkelman)

.

"John Strate-Hootman goes by the name "Vir Unis" - Latin for "one man" - as he feels this term best describes the insular attitude he holds towards musical endeavor. However, a quick look at John's "Curriculum Vitae" and one finds that most of his musical output has actually been in collusion with others (and a star studed cast it is, including some of the world's most innovative artists in electronic sound).

Now Saul Stokes is a guy who really does spend alot of time alone in his studio/workshop. Stokes, the "Sonic Innovator", not only experiments, composes and records music but also builds, modifies and maintains a unique array of custom-built synthesizer gear - a combination of poetry and engineering as it were. So when Vir Unis shared the double-bill with Saul Stokes at the 4 March 2000 Gathering in Philadelphia, the stage was set for more than just an incredible evening of music - it was felt that putting these two together in this space would surely lead to a greater connection elsewhere.

That opportunity came later in the night, at about 2am, when the two commenced their live on-air STAR'S END radio performance - their first actual collaboration together. Having met only a few hours earlier, John and Saul quickly became in tune with their instincts and with each other and set about creating a two hour dreamscape which incorporated bottomless drones, detuned harmonies and environmental field recordings. The radio concert explored aspects of minimalism in both sound and consciousness as the music affected the performers and their small in-studio audience - all of us drifting off to sleep at one time or another (and occasionally all at once!) throughout the duration of the concert.

THERMAL TRANSFER is the first full-length album by Vir Unis and Saul Stokes. The idea of John's micro-managed software based trance grooves interacting with Saul's electrically charged analogue sequencer fluctuations seems most promising. This album is certainly unlike anything we've ever heard from Saul Stokes prior to this, having more in common with the design and progression of past Vir Unis albums. Each of the nine tracks flow through an evolution beginning with swirling electronic atmospheres out of which rise multi-layered rhythm loops that are eventually engulphed again by encroaching misty synth pads. The energy level of THERMAL TRANSFER ranges from impulse powered orbits all the way up to warp driven dancefloor explorations. Interesting moments arise when one pattern suddenly slips into another, marking a radical fluctuation on the beat meter as well as on the navigational coordinates of the piece. The morphing is done with precision - with the beats staying tightly in phase - and will amuse the attentive listener while merely jostling those less alert. THERMAL TRANSFER is an album about heat and light where rhythm and timbre are ever unfolding and evolving - a novel study of the intensity of tribal trance grooves tempered by post-new age breathing synth forms."
--Chuck VanZyl, Star's End radio host

.

2003.12.21 Just catching up on inputting some reviews, some new and some old. This time the reviews are for Imprint by M Griffin & D Fulton:

"If their last collaboration, The Most Distant Point Known, evoked images of sci-fi and deep space, this one does even more so. Whereas the last disc tended toward darker ambience this one, while still on the mellow side, has a little more activity. For instance, the coolest sound effects begin 'Please Identify.' Both Griffin and Fulton are technical wizards, and the spatial separation here as it pans from left to right is excellent, giving it a great deal of depth. 'Biometric' has a similar feel of expansiveness. Swirling sweeping sounds whish and whoosh about. I envision robots, or the inner workings of a spaceship. Though 'Biometric' is quite abstract, beautiful dramatic synth strings appear for the last third of the 11-minute journey, giving it more of a retro feel. The title track comes next, full of buzzes and bleeps that again conjure up visuals of a science fiction film. An energetic sequence picks up the pace for just awhile, fading out into what could be alien night sounds. Fulton's influence is particularly notable on 'Thermoptic Disguise,' which could easily pass for a Dweller At The Threshold track. 'Plastic and Flesh' may be my favourite, featuring cool bell tones, then organ almost like the krautrock days of old Ash Ra Tempel. The organ hangs around lazily until a crescendo appears almost out of nowhere. I found the overall effect of the five-minute piece unique, refreshing. 'Levitation Before Sunrise' has great textures, choirs, pulses, and a general sense of pent-up energy waiting to be unleashed, only gradually being allowed to escape. Consider Imprint for your next introspective outer space voyage."
--Phil Derby, SMD

.

""Please Identify" on IMPRINT opens the album with plaintive synth chords slowly alternating between keys. The piece leads the listener, twisting and turning, along an odd sonic route of complex drones, unique timbres and detuned sequencer tones. This is the auspicious opening to the second collaborative effort from Mike Griffin and Dave Fulton, an album attempting to satisfy the modern yearning for enigma.

The music on IMPRINT falls under the classification of Spacemusic and the duo demonstrates that there is no one way to realize music of this genre. Griffin + Fulton take all the ambiguities of the Spacemusic convention and streamline them into a totally distinctive and striking vision. This is not tepid new age bath music, nor is it a carbon-copy of the Berlin School - the aural specifications of IMPRINT cover vast stretches with tracks but no roads and triggers our imaginations to embrace the unknown. The dreamy imagery and blurry edges of "Imprint", the title track, is a journey with no map. Layers of electronic pads shift, phase and combine. This composition unfolds with both the serenity of twilight at dawn and the enormity of crossing the edge of the universe. "Thermoptic Disguise" is reminiscent of the '80's style of EM - after a brief amorphous introduction, a bouncing sequencer pattern emerges over which a restrained lead melody speaks of challanges met and beauty lost.

With all their sonic pursuits, Mike Griffin + Dave Fulton attempt to map and then trap space - converting it into permanent pieces of data which can be released into your listening space; and it is with sound that their world comes into being."
--Chuck VanZyl, host of Star's End radio

.

"Imprint your mind with the shared visions of deepest space, as realized by M Griffin and D Fulton; subtly psychedelic spacestreams will carry you toward the outermost realms of abstractions.

From its tentatively wavering beginnings, please identify boldly plumbs otherworldly atmospheres and after some celestial wayfaring, ends on radiation-bathed (and nearly-symphonic) overtures. The biometric (11:16) pressure fluctuates with the everchanging balance between boiling vapors and grumbling essences (as well as organlike drifts and orchestral slopes).

The title track hovers in a similar fashion until low burbling tones tweedle to-and-fro (and back-and-forth) across the sonic spaciousness. The neuralnet crosses contemplatively thrumming vastness, occupied by various airborne energy fields and tonal patterns.

Good-old earth-style organs pump and wheeze to the heavens in plastic and flesh (4:54) until radiant beams of unknown origin dissolve all with their powers. Fluttering plains of feathery organ-ics drones sweetly in levitation before sunrise.

Seven pieces make for nearly an hour of especially-immersive listening; piloting their computers and synths into previously unheard territories, M Griffin and D Fulton leave an impressive Imprint in the spacemusic genre. Nicely done! A-"
--The AmbiEntrance (David Opdyke)

.

2003.12.11 Here are a couple of new-ish reviews written by Todd Zachritz in "Industrial Nation" magazine:

"Jeff Pearce's BLEED CD proves to be an absolutely beautiful and shimmering collection of gentle soundscapes that blend acoustic guitars with the usual electronic sources. BLEED evokes a calm, peaceful serenity, with a slight touch of mystery, as Pearce's distant rumblings and atmospheric reverberations are warmed up considerably by the addition of soft, melodic guitar on most of these 13 tracks. Prior to this CD, I was not familiar with Pearce's work, but upon spinning this one numerous times, I'm convinced he's walking alongside the genre's heavyweights. Really, you're not likely to hear a more gorgeous album this year. My full recommendation, and kudos to Mr. Pearce for creating such a lovely and enveloping listening experience. Fans of stuff like Robert Rich, Steve Roach, or classic Eno should track this one down."

and...

"Finally, it's M. Griffin & D. Fulton's IMPRINT CD, which pools the talents of 2 little-known ambient sound architects. IMPRINT glides along effortlessly in a sea of blissful mystery, combining space, texture and melody. WHereas other ambient releases can consist of little more than pleasant background sounds, IMPRINT has a distinctly human element present that at times can actually be quite touching. WIth the composers coming from two distinctly different "schools" of electronic sound (Griffin's tendency is toward digital abstraction and software-based systems while Fulton generally gears toward the analogue sequencer-prog-Berlin style of composition), this collaboration is surprisingly cohesive. IMPRINT glides from the darkly mysterious "Please Identify" to the cosmic free-flight of "Neuralnet," and touches on a number of electronic genres and vibes -- both retro and modern. IMPRINT is a truly effective soundtrack that rings with complexity and depth."

Thanks to Todd Zachritz for the attention and praise! 2003.12.10 Been busy here putting the finishing touches on a trio of Hypnos label CDs, all 3 of which will go into manufacturing soon. Here's a preview of the artwork:

2003.11.17 Wow, over a month without any updates to this page. This it the way it seems to go, though... consistent updates several times a week for a while, then nothing for a period of weeks. When you go this long without updates, lots of stuff happens that needs to be covered.

The A Produce & Ruben Garcia disc Early Sessions 1991 - 1993 is available on the Hypnos Online Store. Check the A Produce section, until I get the Hypnos Recommends section updated, at which time this disc (and other new items) will be featured on the front page.

Next, a series of sad announcements:

First, Vidna Obmana's recently-announced performance dates in support of Porcupine Tree have been cancelled due to unspecified "health problems." Here is the news announcement from vidnaobmana.org:

 Murphy's law in the extreme, due to severe illness it's very sad and hard to announce
 that the support tour for Porcupine Tree in Belgium and The Netherlands, in total 5
 concerts, is cancelled.

 We can only hope vidnaObmana will recover soon but at this very moment our gratitude
 goes out to Steven Wilson for his understanding and continuing support and to the
 venues Tivoli, De Boerderij and De Oosterpoort for their equal concern and appreciation.

 November 5 - 2003
 Spirit of ’66, Verviers (Belgium) Support cancelled due to illness
 November 6 - 2003
 Spirit of ’66, Verviers (Belgium) Support cancelled due to illness
 November 8 - 2003
 De Boerderij, Zoetermeer (The Netherlands) Support cancelled due to illness
 November 9 - 2003
 Tivoli, Utrecht (The Netherlands) Support cancelled due to illness
 November 10 - 2003
 Oosterpoort, Groningen (The Netherlands) Support cancelled due to illness
 

Second, one of our favorite ambient-music-related resources, The AmbiEntrance (mentioned on this news page many times), has announced that it is closing. More specifically, David Opdyke, who runs the site single-handedly (and even writes almost all the content himself), has decided to call it quits at the end of this year. This is truly an unfortunate event, but as someone who has worked for years to keep a music-relate "labor of love" running, I can sympathize with David's fatigue. I'd like to offer David sincere thanks for his support of Hypnos (and related) music, as well as a pat on the back for all his work on behalf of this genre in general.

Third, the announcement of AmbiEntrance's closing (on the Ambient music mailing list on hyperreal.org) prompted Bert Strolenberg, who has written for several years for the Dutch magazine Klem, to announce that Frits Couwenberg, publisher of Klem, to stop publishing the magazine after a 20 year run.

All good things must come to an end, of course, but given that we have so few print resources for this kind of music, it's a shame to see two of them disappear. We still have Wind and Wire (now online-only, at www.windandwire.com), which continues despite a couple of "false alarm" announcements that it too was ceasing publication. We also have ElectroAmbientSpace, which is a new, printed newsletter, which deserves your support.

That's all for now... actually, there's other news, but it's better to bring this to a close for now, and just post it. Here's hoping the next update comes in days, rather than weeks! 2003.10.05 Hypnos listeners are certainly familiar with A Produce, the LA-based ambient/trance artist whose solo album Smile on the Void was released on Hypnos, and who collaborated with Hypnos founder M Griffin on the album Altara. Those familiar with the activities of A Produce prior to his affiliation with Hypnos, though, may recall that the first four A Produce solo discs were released on his own TrancePort label, and that the label was actively releasing cassettes for years before that.

A Produce fans will be pleased to hear that TrancePort has been re-launched, starting with a special, limited series of discs called TrancePort Special Editions. The first release on this imprint is Early Sessions 1991 - 1993 by A Produce & Ruben Garcia. The TrancePort web site is still under construction, but new content is being added regularly. You can visit the work-in-progress web site at www.hypnos.com/tranceport/.

More information on Early Sessions 1991 - 1993 by A Produce & Ruben Garcia is available here, and the CD will be available on the Hypnos Online Store soon. 2003.09.16 Here's a reminder about an upcoming concert (this Friday) in San Francisco, featuring long-time Hypnos & Binary artist Saul Stokes, and Foundry partner label main-man Michael Bentley, who also records under the name eM.

Friday 19 September 2003 -
Saul Stokes and Michael Bentley/eM
Musician's Union Hall, San Francisco
8PM - 11PM / $5

This evening of music will present solo sets from Saul Stokes and Michael Bentley/eM, as well as a set featuring collaborations between these two artists. Saul will be presenting improvised soundscapes using his collection of hand forged electronic music instruments and devices. Michael will be presenting his audio/video composition Chronos and Kairos.

That's a very reasonable ticket charge for such a unique concert, so I hope a great crowd will show up. 2003.09.11 Here's an announcement of some upcoming European concert dates for vidnaObmana, opening for the wonderful group Porcupine Tree on 6 of their dates:

It’s a great priveledge to announce that vidnaObmana, in the light of promoting SPORE and the forthcoming LEGACY album, will support the fantastic Porcupine Tree on 6 of their upcoming European shows in November.

Our association is very honoured that vidnaObmana will be able to perform live together with Steven Wilson’s Porcupine Tree on the same stage and it goes without saying that vidnaObmana will enjoy every minute of presenting the music live before an audience outside the ambient realm. Boundaries are here to be crossed.

Here're the dates :
November 5 - 2003
Spirit of ’66, Verviers (Belgium)
November 6 - 2003
Spirit of ’66, Verviers (Belgium)
November 7 - 2003
Al Seerei, Diekirch (Luxemburg)
November 8 - 2003
De Boerderij, Zoetermeer (The Netherlands
November 9 - 2003
Tivoli, Utrecht (The Netherlands)
November 10 - 2003
Oosterpoort, Groningen (The Netherlands)

Don't miss out on one of these unique events as it's an opportunity not only to see vidnaObmana and Porcupine Tree on one evening but also on stage of some of the best concertspaces in Belgium and The Netherlands. For this series of 6 concerts vidnaObmana can rely again on the support and expertise of soundengineer Stratosphere.

Congratulations to vidnaObmana on this opportunity to play in front of a different audience than the usual trance/ambient listeners. 2003.09.07 Congrats to Saul Stokes on the latest Echoes radio monthly Top 25 for August:

 Echoes Top 25
 August 2003

 1 - Tim Story/Hans-Joachim Roedelius ­ Lunz - Narada
 2 - Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 - Rhino
 3 - Rhonda Larson - Distant Mirrors ­ Bear Behind
 4 - Yo-Yo Ma - Obrigado Brazil ­ Sony Classical
 4 - Saul Stokes ­ Fields - Hypnos
 6 - Acoustic Eidolon - Beyond Words ­ Eidolon Music
 7 - Coryell/Assad/ Abercrombie - Three Guitars - Chesky
 8 - Nigel Shaw ­ Ancestors ­ Seventh Wave
 9 - Kevin Bartlett - Near Life Experience ­ Aural Gratification
 10 - One Alternative ­ Pendulum ­ One Alternative Music
 11 - Erik Wollo - The Polar Drones - Groove
 12 - Kevin Locke - Midnight Strong Heart ­ Red Feather
 13 - Loop Guru - Bathtime with Loop Guru - Hypnotic
 14 - Pat Metheny - One Quiet Night ­ Warner Bros
 15 - Jairamji - Kindred Spirits - Dakini
 16 - Bob Holroyd - Without Within ­ Six Degrees
 17 - Bela Fleck - Ten from Little Worlds - Columbia
 18 - John Wubbenhorst - Facing Beloved ­ Facing East
 19 - AES Dana - Season 5 - Ultimae
 20 - Erik Wollo - Emotional Landscapes ­ Spotted Peccary
 21 - Al Jewer & Andy Mitran - Two Trees ­ Laughing Cat
 22 - Carbon Based Lifeforms - Hydroponic Garden - Ultimae
 23 - Brian Sparks - Wind Voyages - Neoga
 24 - Jeff Greinke - Weather from Another Planet - FWD
 25 - Kitaro ­ Kojiki - Domo
2003.09.06 OK, the Hypnos Online Store front page update, featuring the addition of Hell's Canyon and Taksu (by Loren Nerell), mentioned in yesterday's news update, has been completed.

2003.09.05 (later) Great news! The latest Binary release, John Duval's Hell's Canyon, is now available for purchase on the Hypnos Online Store. I'm still completing the front page "Hypnos Recommends" section update for September, but you can find Hell's Canyon in the Binary label section, or by using the "search" feature at the top bar. Also added is Taksu, by Loren Nerell, on the Soleilmoon label.

Direct links to the Binary and Soleilmoon sections of the Hypnos store (scroll down to the bottom of these pages, as newest additions appear at the bottom):
Binary label
Soleilmoon label

2003.09.05 Meant to post this schedule of Tom Heasley's current tour when I first received it, but forgot about it until I received a reminder from Tom today. The tour is about half-over, but it's certainly not too late to catch some of these shows. Check out www.tomheasley.com for more information.

TOM HEASLEY     2003 Solo Tour

Thursday, August 21
9 P.M.
Meet The Composer Concert
M Shanghai Den and Bistro
129 Havemeyer St. (Grand & S. 1st)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 384-9300
info@magmusic.org
www.magalhaesmusic.org

Monday, August 25
9 P.M.  (two sets)
Admission $7.00
Chama: The Secret of the Golden Flower
332 East 4th Street (between Avenues C & D)
East Village, NYC
646.654.6472

Thursday, September 4
6 P.M.
Sonic Circuits Festival
Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
Washington,  D.C.
http://www.composersforum.org/dc

Friday, September 5
8 P.M.
Sonic Circuits Festival
Warehouse Theater
Washington, D.C.
http://www.composersforum.org/dc

Friday, September 10
8 P.M.
Caffe Driade
1215-A   E. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC
(919) 942-2333
www.caffedriade.com

Friday, September 12
9 P.M.
Nightlight
405 ½ W. Rosemary St.
Chapel Hill, NC
(919) 933-5550
mr@dyss.net
http://dyss.net/nightlight

Sunday or Monday, September 14 or 15 (tba)
Louisville, KY

Tuesday, September 16
Guido’s NYC Pizza
Nashville, TN
www.VKMusic.org

Wednesday, September 17
WAWL-FM
Chattanooga State College
Chattanooga, TN
Flyingman1@netscape.net

Thursday, September 18
9 P.M.
Eyedrum
290 MKL Jr. Drive SE, Suite 8
Atlanta, GA
(404) 522-0655
http://tk.jk.net/euphonic/
www.eyedrum.org

Friday, September 19
8 P.M.
Athica Gallery
285 W. Washington St.
Athens, GA
(706) 227-6199
with special guests:
Tony Evans (electronics)
& Marshall Marrotte (electronics)

Sunday afternoon, September 21 or Monday evening, September 22 (tba)
Tennessee Tech University
Cookeville, TN

Tuesday, September 30
Tampa, FL

Friday, October 3
Super Happy Funland
2610 Ashland St. (@ W. 27th St. in the Heights)
Houston, TX
(713) 880-2100
http://www.superhappyfunland.com

tomheasley.com

"I love Tom's music; if you don't go to hear him when ya can, well.....your loss!" David Torn / splattercell

And of course, Heasley's Hypnos disc Where the Earth Meets the Sky is still available on the Hypnos Online Store. 2003.09.04 It's been in the works for a while, it will certainly interest anybody reading this page, and it's almost here. It's the Different Skies Electronic Space Music Festival, at Arcosanti (65 mi North of Phoenix, Arizona), between September 8 -14, 2003. Many people have been referring to this upcoming event as "Arcosanti" or "The Arcosanti Festival" (including Dave Fulton, whose band Dweller at the Threshold is playing), but the true name of the event is "Different Skies," and the location is Arcosanti.

More information is available at differentskies.com -- definitely sounds like a worthwhile event to attend. Artists performing include Hypnos & Binary artists Dweller at the Threshold, and Paul Vnuk Jr. of Ma Ja Le. Other non-Hypnos-related performers include Metlay!, Mutation Vector, Ozone Player, Giles Reaves, Sundagger, Tim Walters, Xeroid Entity, and Tristram Visual. 2003.09.03 I've just received word that the newest Hypnos/Binary release, Hell's Canyon by John Duval (of Dweller at the Threshold), will be ready very soon (within the next week). It will be made available as soon as I have CDs in hand, at the Hypnos Online Store. Can't wait!

2003.08.29 Here are two recent reviews of on of the latest on Hypnos/Binary, Sonic Approach by Synthetic Block.

The first review appeared on The AmbiEntrance web-zine:

"Depending on the ear of the beholder, the initial moments of Variations On A Theme Of Absence could be prettily eerie or utterly serene (I find them both!) but in a spacey vein regardless; the track grows more musical, with a slow bass groove, even. The soft, clambering notelets, faint rhythmics and gossamer sheens of Sonic Approach warp into a free-flying celestial mode, taking a bass-powered detour toward its more-shapeless close.

Doused (12:53) begins as smooth sheets rise and fall in extended flutters; later, low, tuneful riffs unfurl against long-reaching curtains of spectral softness, while buoyant bass flits beneath; the track lands in its own little sea of tranquility. Bed Of Sphinxes rolls on electric crests of a symphonic nature; when these lush waves segue into The Square Triangle, they are topped by interlocking synth motifs of tweedling leads and pulsing lows with caressing overtones.

A pair of short interludes finish the disc; dazzling little Inevitable (2:59) oscillates and levitates on crystalline notes and sweeps, then becomes Sonic Recall via a more-deeply twisting strand which burrows into toneshifting clouds, etched with sporadic cymbal activities.

Pretty... spacey... and sometimes so crispy clean it seems a bit sterile, though when soundcapes are this gorgeous, that's a niggling point. Synthetic Block merges fluid melodies into starlit ethereality with his gentle Sonic Approach. Rated A-"

We thank David Opdyke of The AmbiEntrance for the review. Next up is a review which appeared in the Dutch magazine Klem, written by Bert Strolenberg:

There has been quite a gap between the release of Jonathan's 2nd release The Opposite of staring into Space and this brandnew one. Sonic Approach (8 tracks, almost 60 min.) has been worth the wait, offering another blend of classic electronics & the sophisticated infusion of modern approaches, so-called "Block-treatments". Next to the flowing passages there are sequenced , more structured parts leading the way, but there's always this lush, adventurous feel showing up during the whole record. The music delves into spacious territory (Quartz Marsh) but the tracks also show distinct traces of Berliner School (Square Triangle), the vast soundlayers sometimes even reminding of Schulze in his '70- period. The later absolutely applied for the nice solo-sounds in the 12-minute track Doused.

All these elements make listening to Sonic Approach a very enjoyable experience, in which you actually experience electronic music of former times get connected to the present. Well done !"

Lastly, listener feedback on the same CD from "Flyingdude" (who is also a radio DJ on station WAWL), on the Hypnos Forum:

I cannot believe that there is not more feedback regarding "sonic approach". upon receiving my radio promo the first note on track 1 totally captivated me. block approaches sonic sounds immediately and never slows. and, of course, fulton pulls some tricks. "square triangle" is my top playlist pick because of it's well defined and energetic change in tempo and musical registration. all tracks are getting air and well deserving of such. are you guys collaborating with the russians? are you on the same interstellar link? very few composers are in touch with the same deep grooves and beats (nearly industrial), but very melodic. not wanting to pass judgement, or anything, but "sonic approach" & "fields" are two HYPNOS/BINARY tops. thank you my friends... "

We appreciate eedback from reviewers, DJs and casual listeners alike, and and hope these remarks will help inspire new listeners to check out the Sonic Approach CD at the Hypnos Online Store.

2003.08.25 Wow, what a response to last week's update to the Hypnos Online Store. As usual, I appreciate the support, and will do my best to get these orders out tonight and tomorrow.

I've been away from Hypnos HQ since late last week, taking part (as volunteer driver) in a most unusual event, the "Hood-to-Coast Relay," the largest relay race in North America. Wow, what a traffic mess, what a sleep-deprived, crazy bunch of sweaty maniacs. Totally unlike anything else you'll ever experience, and I didn't even run/walk the thing, just drove a van. Anyway, I'm back now and ready to get back to Hypnos work. If you have emailed me or "PM'ed" me during that "away time," I'll be getting back to you soon.

This would also be a good time to mention that I'll be changing the main Hypnos contact email, from mgriffin @ hypnos.com to something new (to be posted soon), due to an increasingly un-reasonable onslaught of spam email (lately, over 1,000 messages a day). That spam problem caused me to turn to a "spam filter" program, but that seems to be occasionally deleting "non-spam" messages, which of course causes a problem when I never respond and my customer/friend/associate wonders what the heck is going on.

Following the creation of this new email message, I'll also be changing the way the email address is displayed on the web site, not in order to make it more difficult to get ahold of me (of course, the opposite is my goal), but to make it more difficult for "spam-bots" (email address harvesting computer programs, used by spammers) to pick out my address from the Hypnos site. You'll see how it will work, and I'm convinced the inconvenience of the change to my long-established email address, will be vastly outweighed by the improvement in how I'm able to deal with and respond to incoming mail. More on this soon... 2003.08.21 Finally, a new update to the Hypnos Online Store! Several new items are in, plus a few re-stocks that had been out for a while. The list includes:

Jeff Pearce - Summer Solstice
Nick Parkin & Tom Gillieron - Red Shift
Jeff Greinke - Weather From Another Planet
Brannan Lane & Tom Larson - Tribal Spirit
VidnaObmana - Spore (re-stock)
Zero Ohms & Brannan Lane - Immense Distance
Hafler Trio - Cleave: 9 Great Openings (re-stock)
Bass Communion versus Muslimgauze (re-stock)

Obviously the most demanded title were the Pearce and Greinke discs, due to each artist's Hypnos connection, but Vidna's Spore is still getting a bit of activity. And it's nice to see so many people buying the new Hafler Trio... H30 was always one of my favorite overlooked names to recommend to experienced ambient fans looking to try something a little different. 2003.08.03 We're down to the last two dates Robert Rich's concert tour:

*Saturday August 9 - Portland, OR
Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon 97214-1534
Phone: 503.239.5900
$15, $10 Students/Seniors
Doors open 7:30, Robert starts at 9:30 PM
Opening act: Dweller at the Threshold starts 8:00pm
Info: contact@nocturnalpdx.com, www.nocturnalpdx.com

*Saturday August 16 - Pomona, CA
51 Buckingham (at Downtown Pomona Arts Colony)
301 West 2nd St. Pomona CA 91766
Tel: 909-629-0051, 909-629-3665
http://www.51buckingham.com
Advanced Tix: Rhino Records, 235 Yale, Claremont CA 91711
909-626-7774.

The Aug 9th show, this Saturday, will be a fun one for me because A) I'll be introducing the artists, B) I'll be meeting Robert Rich for the first time, C) I'll be attending a show at the Nocturnal venue for the first time, and D) this will be the live debut by the post-Paul Ellis version of Dweller at the Threshold (not to say that Dweller will automatically improve with Paul out of the group -- just that it's a different mix and I'm curious to see how thing will fit together). Hope to see you all there! 2003.07.23 (later) Here, as I continue digging through the last few months' worth of CD reviews that I haven't posted yet, we find Wind and Wire's review (written by Bill Binkelman) of Jeff Pearce's Bleed, his latest on Hypnos:

Ambient guitar wizard Jeff Pearce returns to the melancholic soundscape terrain of his earlier recordings (The Hidden Rift and Vestiges) on his latest effort, Bleed. Unlike recent releases (The Light Beyond and To the Shores of Heaven), the music on Bleed is undeniably darker, more somber, and, in my opinion, more complex and evocative. While I appreciated the technical mastery of his previous two recordings, I believe that Pearce's strongest talent lie in the same realm as fellow artist Tim Story, i.e. crafting miniature musical paintings suffused with a sense of tragic beauty. Just as Story's neo-chamber pieces evoke regret, bittersweet remembrance, and loss, songs on The Hidden Rift and Vestiges struck me as musical interpretations of grey skies, open desolate places, and barren trees in late autumn. Recent Pearce recordings were filled, instead, with warm drifting ambient pieces and elicited feelings of peace, serenity, and the fulfillingness of love. In addition, some of the songs got quite lengthy.

On Bleed, all tracks are in the three to four-minute range. By narrowing his focus and crafting shorter pieces, Pearce has exponentially (in a positive way) affected the impact of the music. The opening song, "Autumn and Regret" conveys more in its three-and-a-half minutes than many other artists can do in triple that time span. Reverbed guitar, played gently against a backdrop of the echoes of previously played notes, contains enough melody to make the song accessible yet it still wholly exists within the realm of ambient music. "Written in Water" slows the pace down considerably and adds layers of processed guitar (resembling synths) underneath a more plaintive series of notes and chords.

One thing that will strike fans of recent Jeff Pearce albums (after just one playing of Bleed) is how this is Pearce's most "guitary" album in a long time. While he still does wonders in the studio with manipulating echo, reverb, and who knows what else, the crystalline tones, notes and chords on this recording are clearly coming from a guitar (on most, but all cuts). I prefer this musical style; it allows the more "human" side of this artist's sensitive and emotional compositions and playing to come to the forefront. I'm not dissing floating ambient music, but Pearce's guitar playing can be so beautifully sad that the less "disguised" it is, the better it plays to my ears. Of course, sometimes (such as on selected cuts on The Hidden Rift or Vestiges) his more textural playing is equally impressive.

Bleed is powerful in its carefully nuanced portrayals of sorrow and pain, and I'm not drawing these "sad" inferences solely from my own emotional response to the music. Track titles include "Through Tears," "False Hope," "Abandoned Playground," and the title song. Jeff Pearce has obviously translated some personally felt and somber feelings of his own onto this recording. Had I heard it before compiling my "favorites" list for 2002, it would have easily placed in the top 10.

From the mildly uptempo "False Hope" (featuring chorale effects underneath the sad guitar refrain) to the shadowy darkness of "Abandoned Playground" (one of the few tracks to prominently feature the processed washes and "pseudo-synthesizer" musical textures of recent Pearce albums) to the tone of acceptance and resignation that permeates the closing song, "The Last Secret," Bleed is proof enough for me that Jeff Pearce remains, arguably, the finest practitioner of electric guitar ambient music recording today. Simply put, Bleed is music at its most emotional, its most evocative, and its most sincere. Highly recommended.

I admit to being under the impression (because of something that founder & central scribe Bill Binkelman said on the Hypnos Forum) that Wind and Wire was on hiatus, or that Bill was planning to take an indefinite break from reviewing, but my latest visit to the site (www.windandwire.com) reveals that not only is it still going strong, but there's a ton of new content, and the site has switched to a "monthly issue" format (rather than just posting new stuff as it's ready, irregularly) which I think works well. Also, reviews by Hypnos Forum regular Brian Bieniowski are lately reprinted on Wind and Wire, which is a plus. This Pearce review is not from the current issue, but I'm just getting to posting it on this page -- my delay, not Bill's. Here's hoping that Wind and Wire will keep plugging along, and not fade away. Thanks to Bill for this review, and for his long-standing support and advocacy of Hypnos. 2003.07.23 New information about the August 2nd date on Robert Rich's concert tour:

**  new Aug. 2 - Seattle, WA info. **

*Saturday August 2 - Seattle WA
Secluded Alley Works
113 12th Ave,  just North of 12th and Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98122
Show starts at 8pm
Tickets: $12 advanced, $17 day of show
Advanced Tix: http://www.wildangellabs.com/rr-tix.html
Info. & map:  http://www.wildangellabs.com/rr-concert.html
Email: rrtix @wildangellabs.com (without the space) or call  (206) 679-9143

Looking forward to seeing the Aug 9th show myself... hope the rest of you will check out Robert's show if he comes near your area. 2003.07.22 Having just mentioned the Stokes interview being featured on the new AmbiEntrance web-zine posting, I thought I'd also mention that this month's issue has a great review of the Hypnos/Foundry release SUB.TERRA. Also, the Foundry web site has been updated with other reviews of SUB.TERRA on this page. Check it out and listen to the sound clips (also available at the Hypnos Online Store, though there's one ommission in the track-listing there -- it should also include the track "Solitude" by Interstitial). 2003.07.21 Another new Hypnos-related feature on Echoes Radio is happening in August. See below for the announcement of the Saul Stokes feature on Echoes slated for August 1 -- now, Echoes is announcing a new Living Room Concert feature with Jeff Pearce:

Wednesday 7/30, Saturday 08/02**, Sunday 08/03*
A LIVING ROOM CONCERT WITH JEFF PEARCE
Indiana based guitarist Jeff Pearce unfolds his layered melodies and deep atmospheres in a special Echoes Living Room concert. Jeff Pearce creates reverberant guitar orchestrations through his fragile melodies spun through into loops, delays, and echos that build and converge, creating a sonic womb of melancholy. He plays music from his January Echoes CD of the Month, Bleed and some new works. This is a special performance with a "live" Living Room audience to benefit West Chester Friends School.

Thanks as always to the folks at Echoes Radio for their wonderful support of Hypnos and our family of artists! 2003.07.17 This month's posting of the AmbiEntrance (almost inarguably the most important web-zine in the genre of ambient music) includes a new interview with Saul Stokes, in which Stokes discusses his beginnings as a musician and synth-builder, his inspirations and working methods, and even his relationship with Hypnos.

So often in this electronic age, interviews are often handled by the "I'll email you some questions and you email me back your answers" method, with the result that interesting answers to early questions fail to result in the interviewer following them up in more detail. This interview, though conducted electronically, was done question-by-question via internet chat, allowing David Opdyke of the AmbiEntrance to sieze upon some of Saul's responses and explore ideas which might have been missed in the more conventional electronic interview format. This interview is definitely worth a read, whether or not you're interested in Saul Stokes or Hypnos, if you consider yourself a fan of ambient or electronic music in any form.

Oh, and the appearance of this month's AmbiEntrance sidebar reminds me that a new Griffin and Sabine book is coming out soon... At any rate, run on over to the AmbiEntrance and take a look. 2003.07.16 (later) Here's an updated schedule of the remaining shows on Robert Rich's concert tour:

As a reminder, Robert Rich resumes his 2003 summer tour this week.

Please contact the venues or organizers listed below for the latest updates.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Rich 2003 July-August Tour Dates      Updated on July 6, 2003
http://www.robertrich.com/rrconcerts.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------
**  add July 20 - Detroit, MI  **

*Wednesday July 16 - Columbus OH
Dragonfly Neo-V Cuisine, $8
247 King Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
614.298.9986
http://www.dragonflyneov.com
contact: tentochi2003@yahoo.com

*Friday July 18 - Louisville, KY
U of L School of Music Recital Hall
Info: jason@krack.org, http://www.krack.org
Opening act: SKL, start 8:30

*Sunday July 20th - Detroit, MI
Detroit Science Center Planetarium
5020 John R St., Detroit, MI
Doors at 9, show begins promptly at 9:30pm
114 person capacity  _advance tickets available_
For more info:  http://www.paxahau.com

*Tuesday July 22 - Chillicothe IL
8:00 PM, STG Fidelity Sound Lab
953 North Second St, Chillicothe IL, 61523
$10 adv., $12 door, 30 seat limit
Info: Eric Williamson 

*Friday July 25 - Denver CO
Temple Events Center, 1595 Pearl Street.
Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 7pm
Opening Act: Sisk
$22.50 Tickets on sale at the door.
$20 Advance tickets through
http://www.project-aristotle.com/store/displays/al2k3
For Info: projectaristotle@yahoo.com, Joe Dobzynski.

*Saturday July 26 - Denver CO
House concert at home of Jim Lanpheer. 30 person limit.
Info: jlanpheer@earthlink.net, 720-200-0363

*Saturday August 2 - Seattle WA
Secluded Alley Works, 113 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Possibly an opening act??
Show starts at 8pm
Tickets: $12 advanced, $17-$18 at the door
Advanced Tix: glurpseattle@yahoo.com (206) 679-9143

*Saturday August 9 - Portland, OR
Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon 97214-1534
Phone: 503.239.5900
$15, $10 Students/Seniors
Doors open 7:30, Robert starts at 9:30 PM
Opening act: Dweller at the Threshold starts 8:00pm
Info: contact@nocturnalpdx.com, www.nocturnalpdx.com

*Saturday August 16 - Pomona, CA
51 Buckingham (at Downtown Pomona Arts Colony)
301 West 2nd St. Pomona CA 91766
Tel: 909-629-0051, 909-629-3665
http://www.51buckingham.com
Advanced Tix: Rhino Records, 235 Yale, Claremont CA 91711
909-626-7774, available starting July 1.



--------------------------------------------------------
Robert Rich  /  Soundscape Productions  /  Amoeba Music

P.O. Box 1471                  rr@robertrich.com
Mountain View, CA 94042 USA    http://www.robertrich.com
--------------------------------------------------------

Looking forward to seeing the Aug 9th show myself... hope the rest of you will check out Robert's show if he comes near your area. 2003.07.16 A few small changes of note.... first, I archived from this very "News" page all updates prior to 2003 (the archives are available at the bottom of this page) to shorten this document.

Also, on the Hypnos Online Store, created a number of price reductions in several categories such as the Manifold, In the Bubble (Vir Unis), and Release/Relapse labels, to clear out some slow-moving and closeout items. You can link directly to these label sub-sections of the Hypnos store here:

Release

In the Bubble/Vir Unis

Manifold

Plenty of great deals on CDs to be had... if you're like me, sometimes something that was a "maybe" purchase at $12.99 becomes more appealing when it's under $10, so take a look before they're all gone. 2003.07.15 In further Stokes-related news, here is an Echoes radio update related to an upcoming feature on Saul Stokes, which will air on August 1st on most stations carrying Echoes:

ECHOES
A Nightly Music Soundscape
Over 150 Radio Stations

FEATURES AND HIGHLIGHTS
for July 2003

Following is a listing of Echoes features and Living Room Concerts that may include yourself or one or more of your artists. Keep in mind that not all stations run all ten hours of ECHOES produced each week. Some stations also tape delay their broadcasts, and others swap the sequence of hours. The 3 to 4 dates you'll see with each listing are the initial broadcast, the following Saturday where many stations tape delay, and the following Sunday, which is the Echoes Sunday feed. Call one of our 150 public radio stations for the forthcoming week of ECHOES.

ARTISTS FEATURED THIS MONTH ON ECHOES
Randy Armstrong, Autumn's Child, Alex de Grassi, Kaki King, McGill-Manring-Stevens, Pat Metheny, Mundi Ensemble, One Alternative, Christopher O'Riley, Jason Rubenstein, Serart, Saul Stokes, 3AM

* denotes Echoes principal weekday & Sunday feeds.

[deleted all the features but the last]

Friday 8/1*
SAUL STOKES TINKERS WITH TUNES
Saul Stokes has a new album called Fields (Hypnos) which shows what happens when a technology knob twiddler with an avant-garde sound starts to tinker with tunes. Synthesist and instrument builder Saul Stokes talks about rediscovering melody in the circuitry of his homemade instruments.

John Diliberto
Echoes
Now On More Than 150 Stations
Contributor Billboard, Amazon.com, Guitar World
P.O. Box 256
1649 Art School Rd.
Chester Springs, PA 19425
610.827.9600
http://www.echoes.org

Echoes radio has featured other Hypnos artists before (particularly Jeff Pearce, an Echoes favorite who has performed several Living Room Concerts and been the subject of many Echoes features), but this is a first for Stokes. If you're curious about all the fuss Fields is receiving, run on over to the Hypnos Online Store and pick yourself up a copy! 2003.07.14 Here's a great new review of Fields (by Saul Stokes), written by Chuck VanZyl, host of Star's End radio, and the promoter of Philadelphia's excellent Gatherings concert series:

"Constructing his music from the gear on up has provided Saul Stokes with a truly fascinating musical voice. His music's success comes from a combination of his singularly idiosyncratic sound designs and, on Fields (67:38), a more conformed approach to composition. As expected, at the foundation of this album are the unique rhythms and timbres realized by Stokes using his custom built synthesizers; but more significant is the particular mental outlook required to undertake such a mission.

On Fields, Stokes evloves beyond pure abstract expressionism and wiring wizardry by wrangling seven coherent "songs" out of the familiar chaos of his aural experiments. Attempts at analyzing this music through comparison are futile as the music's originality defies analogy. Aligning Fields with Intelligent Dance Music, classic Spacemusic, New Age or even the Avant-Garde proves inadequate. Stokes should be commended for his uncategorizability. Fields is an album full of positive energy and distinctive contrasts. It is many things: refined, warm, uplifting, comforting and contemplative as well as cold, unsettling and raw - its catchy, friendly hooks running contrary to its directionless free-form. Here Stokes revels equally in tightly arranged progressions and timeless amorphous drones.

When Saul Stokes first came to the attention of the Ambient/Spacemusic scene, he was often referred to as an "up and coming" musical prospect. With the release of Fields, Stokes has definately "arrived"; however briefly... and continued straight on passed us and all our notions about Electronic Music. Today Stokes is a leading inspirational force in our diverse and talented community."

Thanks for the review, Chuck... and congratulations to Saul for the obviously ever-growing respect his work is gaining. 2003.07.13 Below, a new review of Jeff Greinke's Wide View, his latest on Hypnos:

"Ambient-landscape music is made in various forms, and on this new recording of Jeff Greinke (known from both his solo and collaborative efforts for many years) we find a nice blend of both the physical as mental component of the subject. Wide View consists of 9 tracks, all together 48 enjoyable minutes very suitable for mapping and recollecting landscapes in our mind. While listening to this record, I was struck by the strong sense of melancholy and reflection within the delicate miniatures presented here. They slowly shift in the same manner as heard her and there in the music of Tim Story or Brian Eno with lots of space between the key-notes. This music won't make you feel at ease in the normal way, there are a few undercurrents of something foreboding I can't really depict, although its not disturbing either. Nevertheless, this introspective-kindred recording will do nicely in evening hours and will surely appeal to lots of ambient-fans out there. Keep this one in mind !"

Our thanks to Bert Strolenberg for the review. 2003.07.11 Here's a sneak preview of the next Hypnos/Binary release, Hell's Canyon by John Duval (of Dweller at the Threshold):

This one looks to be just about ready to go into production, so a release date will most likely be announced next week. 2003.07.08 The downside to going a really long time without keeping things up to date, is that when you finally get around to trying to catch up, it's hard to know where to begin. So today, a quick, bullet-point summary of what's happening with the Hypnos label and the artists.

Jeff Pearce recently played a series of shows in Pennsylvania, including an Echoes Living Room Concert (sort of a live radio show, sort of a house concert), a show in Pittsburgh with Hypnos label-mate Robert Rich, and another show in Harrisburg with Rich (along with non-Hypnos guys Steve Roach and John Serrie). For more information about these exploits, including some listener reaction to the Summer Solstice limited CDR Jeff sold at the concerts, visit the Hypnos Artists section of the Hypnos Forum.

Robert Rich is in the middle of an extended cross-country tour, which will include a performance here in Portland with opening act (and Hypnos/Binary artist) Dweller at the Threshold. It seems that I will be acting as Emcee here, as well. For more information about Robert's tour (which is roughly halfway complete, but which extends until mid-August), visit here.

Recent Hypnos/Binary CD releases Fields by Saul Stokes and Sonic Approach are starting to work their way out into the world. Radio airplay has been happening, listener feedback is being posted at the Hypnos Forum, and print reviews should start to appear soon.

Coming next from Hypnos and Binary: Hell's Canyon by John Duval (of Dweller at the Threshold, on Binary), The Last Bright Light by Matthias Grassow and Jim Cole (Hypnos), Sanctuary of Dreams by Numina (Hypnos), and The Sacred Ordinary by Paul Ellis (Binary). These releases are in various stages of completion, but I should have artwork to show for Hell's Canyon very soon. The others should be released later this summer.

There's more news to tell, more reviews to post, and more new stuff on the Hypnos Online Store to talk about, but I'll just post this and leave the rest for next time. 2003.06.04 Boy, THAT was fun. Just finished a nasty bout of food poisoning, or the world's worst case of stomach flu, whichever, following upon a visit to Portland from Hypnos artist Paul Vnuk. Near-death illness, visit from Paul Vnuk... Is there a connection?

The most recent update's track listing w/ MP3 clips for Jonathan Block's album Sonic Approach included at least one typo... thus, here is a corrected list of links:

Variations on a Theme of Absence
The Quartz Marsh
Sonic Approach
Doused
Bed of Sphinxes
The Square Triangle
Inevitable
Sonic Recoil

More news here soon... 2003.05.21 Wow! What a flood of orders via the Hypnos Online Store, following the just-mentioned update. Thanks, everyone, for all your support. I've been working hard to get all the orders out the door and the last of them have been sent today. I can't remember a flood of orders like this since the releases of Humidity and To the Shores of Heaven.

Virtually every order includes Saul Stokes's Fields so I have to assume that's the biggest reason for the influx of orders. Also released the same day, though, was Synthetic Block's Sonic Approach. Now we have MP3 sample clips available from each track on that album, so if you were waiting for a "taster" (as we had available for Fields and Sub.Terra last week, here you go:

Variations on a Theme of Absence
The Quartz Marsh
Sonic Approach
Doused
Bed of Sphinxes
The Square Triangle
Inevitable
Sonic Recoil

Big thanks to Synthetic Block himself for creating (and hosting) these clips at a time when I've been so extra-busy that I hadn't been able to get any clips done yet. In addition to just playing the clips, maybe take a look at the rest of www.synthblock.com. Also, Jonathan (that is, Jonathan Block, the real name behind Synthetic Block) has posted a very interesting "Making of Sonic Approach" posting to the Hypnos Forum (check the Binary section) -- definitely worth a read! 2003.05.15 Check the very worthwhile update to the Hypnos Online Store if you're interested in new music. Added to the list are several new items that people have been asking about for months and months:

Saul Stokes - Fields (Hypnos/Binary)
Synthetic Block - Sonic Approach (Hypnos/Binary)
Various Artists - Sub.Terra (Hypnos/Foundry)
Robert Rich - Temple of the Invisible (Soundscape)
Vidna Obmana - Spore (Release/Relapse)
Rudy Adrian - Concerts in the USA (Groove label)
Ron Boots - Dreamscape (Groove label)
Free System Project & Dave Brewer - Okefenokee Dreams (Groove label)
2003.05.14 Updated news related to the Portland concert this Saturday, May 17. Spotted Peccary artist Eric Wollo, and Tim Gennert, a Bay Area electronic artist, will still be performing, but Paul Ellis will not be performing. Below is the original announcement -- everything still applies, EXCEPT that only the other two artists will be on the bill.

It brings me great pleasure to announce an evening of
Ambient / Progressive / Electronic atmospheric music
May 17th at Nocturnal's 1800 E. Burnside Portland Oregon. (www.nocturnalpdx.com)
Tickets are $12 and are available at Music Millenium (503-231-8493)
or order online at www.spottedpeccary.com. Performance starts at 7:30.
This will be an all ages show. All are welcome.
(Though you can buy drinks downstairs if you'd like.)

Erik Wollo Is a composer from Norway that creates music that is both lyrical and
rhythmic, demonstrating high sensibility on melodic and structural formations.
With his diverse musical background, he successfully integrates elements of jazz,
rock, ethnic, and classical music. Melodic textures and synth-sounds appear on his
albums to bridge technology with the natural sound of acoustic guitar. His music
offers the listener a highly original and exciting musical experience. Recently,
he has released his third album with Spotted Peccary Music, a San Diego based
label, and will be touring this May in the US to promote his latest title, Emotional
Landscapes. His music has been released internationally, which has received rave
reviews in music magazines worldwide, and his solo albums have appeared on radio
stations in several countries.

Also appearing will be the Northwest's own Paul Ellis, an electronic composer whose
album Into the Liquid Unknown gathered rave reviews and placings on several lists of
top ambient releases of 2002. Both Erik and Paul receieved NPR's nationally
syndicated program "Echoes" Top CD Pick.  Tim Gennert who hails from The San
Francisco Bay area will also be performing his own magical blend of melodic ambient
compostions with guitar and synth.

Please join us for an unforgettable evening of music.

2003.04.25 The online magazine MOVEMENT has an interview with Saul Stokes that is well worth a read. I won't paste the whole interview here, since it's their property, but HERE is a link to it.

2003.04.21 Still making good progress on upcoming CDs. The long-awaited album Fields by Saul Stokes is just about ready to go into production, so here's a preview of the cover artwork:

More news soon about Fields and Synthetic Block's Sonic Approach, plus John Duval's Hell's Canyon and then The Last Bright Light by Matthias Grassow and Jim Cole, and Sanctuary of Dreams by Numina. 2003.04.20 Still more "Hypnos and related" concert information, this time for 3 shows in the Northeast USA by several Foundry label artists.

4/22/2003 (TUES) 9:30PM in NEW YORK CITY Dean Santomieri - Michael Bentley (eM) Collective Unconscious (145 Ludlow, Lower East Side Manhattan) 4/25/2003 (FRI) 8:00PM in SYRACUSE NY Jonathan Hughes - Dean Santomieri - Michael Bentley (eM) - OTHERS Company (One Lincoln Center, 110 West Fayette Street) 4/29/2003 (TUES) 9:30PM in TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA Jonathan Hughes - Dean Santomieri - Michael Bentley (eM) The Ambient Ping (19 Church St.at Front St.)

For more info, visit HERE.

In other FOundry news, SUB.TERRA should be ready any day now... 2003.04.17 Still more Hypnos-related, Portland-related concert news. Paul Ellis has announced the following concert, coming up in Portland May 17, with Spotted Peccary artist Eric Wollo, and Tim Gennert, a Bay Area electronic artist.

It brings me great pleasure to announce an evening of
Ambient / Progressive / Electronic atmospheric music
May 17th at Nocturnal's 1800 E. Burnside Portland Oregon. (www.nocturnalpdx.com)
Tickets are $12 and are available at Music Millenium (503-231-8493)
or order online at www.spottedpeccary.com. Performance starts at 7:30.
This will be an all ages show. All are welcome.
(Though you can buy drinks downstairs if you'd like.)

Erik Wollo Is a composer from Norway that creates music that is both lyrical and
rhythmic, demonstrating high sensibility on melodic and structural formations.
With his diverse musical background, he successfully integrates elements of jazz,
rock, ethnic, and classical music. Melodic textures and synth-sounds appear on his
albums to bridge technology with the natural sound of acoustic guitar. His music
offers the listener a highly original and exciting musical experience. Recently,
he has released his third album with Spotted Peccary Music, a San Diego based
label, and will be touring this May in the US to promote his latest title, Emotional
Landscapes. His music has been released internationally, which has received rave
reviews in music magazines worldwide, and his solo albums have appeared on radio
stations in several countries.

Also appearing will be the Northwest's own Paul Ellis, an electronic composer whose
album Into the Liquid Unknown gathered rave reviews and placings on several lists of
top ambient releases of 2002. Both Erik and Paul receieved NPR's nationally
syndicated program "Echoes" Top CD Pick.  Tim Gennert who hails from The San
Francisco Bay area will also be performing his own magical blend of melodic ambient
compostions with guitar and synth.

Please join us for an unforgettable evening of music.

Hope to see many of you in attendance. Oh, and click HERE for a look at the concert poster. 2003.04.15 (later) I ended up missing BOTH of the Vidna Obmana concerts in Portland this past weekend, since I was sick as a dog. But for the rest of you (those on the East Coast, at least), there's still time.

Tuesday April 15, 2003
vidnaObmana (performing SPORE-related music)
Open Air Bar
121 St. Mark’s Place at Avenue A
New York City
212-979-1459
7pm

Thursday April 17, 2003
vidnaObmana (performing Fujara-orientated music)
live at EMUSIC, WDIY
11pm
Listen to it live : http://wdiy.org/programs/emusic/

Friday April 18, 2003
vidnaObmana (performing SPORE-related music)
At Gate to Moonbase Alpha festival (w/Jason Sloan, Matt Borghi, Stares to Nowhere, etc.)
The Rotunda
4012 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
www.foundationsarts.org
Free admission, 8pm

Saturday April 19, 2003
vidnaObmana (two sets : part 1 SPORE-related music / part 2 Atmopsheric music)
in an all ages concert of space music as part of the Soundscapes Concert Series
at the City of Bethlehem's IceHouse on Sand Island
56 River Street West
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Concert at 8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $17 in advance and $20 at the door.
Soundscapes #4 is coproduced by WDS Productions and Wooden Shoe Music.
Advance ticket availability on-line is at electro-music.com

Sunday April 20, 2003
VidnaObmana (performing SPORE-related music)
with Melon Galia (Belgium), Powder French, and Requiem (2 local dark-ambient acts)
Rex Theatre
1602 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
p 412 381 6811
f 412 381 6771
8pm all ages
$10 advance / $15 door
tickets will be available by the beginning of April at:
Eide's Entertainment, Brave New World, Paul's CDs and Dave's Music Mine

Check out the official vidnaObmana website at www.vidnaobmana.be for
the upcoming concerts in the States and Europe.

I've seen Vidna Obmana perform several times before and it's always worthwhile. I hope many of you will go out and support these shows (and my apologies to Vidna Obmana because I myself was not able to support his shows in my town). 2003.04.15 There's a new installment of the excellent monthly ambient music web-zine, The AmbiEntrance, online now. Visit here. There isn't really any Hypnos-related material, since there haven't been any Hypnos or Binary or Foundry releases in several months, but The AmbiEntrance should appeal to most Hypnos listeners, so take a look. 2003.04.10 Just another reminder about the upcoming vidnaObmana performances here in Portland this weekend.

Friday April 11th
vidnaObmana - 12am
Dreams in Exile - 10pm
Club Ohm
31 NW 1ST, PORTLAND, OR 97209
CLUBLINE - 503/223-9919
* All events are 21& over with valid ID
* Doors are at 9:00 PM unless otherwise noted.
* All tickets are available at the door unless otherwise noted.

Saturday April 12th
Soundvision Gallery
Everett Station Lofts + Galleries Building
625 NW Everett #108, Portland, OR 97209
More Info: 503-238-7007
Fax: 503-210-7812
8pm
Tickets: $5-10 Suggested Donation
Where?: Tix Available @ the Door Only
Occupancy: 45 max

I'd say "I'll see you there," but I'm fighting a nasty cold for the past day or so, and I may have to skip the Friday show. Hope to have a good crowd turn out for both, though. 2003.04.04 As has been mentioned here several times before, the next three Hypnos/Binary releases, Sonic Approach by Synthetic Block, Fields by Saul Stokes, and Hell's Canyon by John Duval, have been delayed for several months, but work has been proceding on all three of these, and I'm pleased to announce that the first of them, Sonic Approach, is now finished and ready to be manufactured. Here's a preview of the cover artwork:

Fields and Hell's Canyon will follow closely on its heels, and then we'll see The Last Bright Light by Matthias Grassow and Jim Cole, and Sanctuary of Dreams by Numina. 2003.04.01 The newest Hypnos/Foundry release, SUB.TERRA (a various artists compilation featuring vidnaObmana, Vir Unis, Saul Stokes, eM, and Interstitial) is now being manufactured, and should be released in mid-April. Cover artwork:

2003.03.19 (later) Several more reviews of Imprint (Griffin and Fulton), and Jeff Pearce's Bleed added to the "Press/Reviews" section. More such updates upcoming. 2003.03.19 A nice new review of Imprint by Griffin and Fulton appeared in the latest Vital E-Zine:

"Is this a new millennium Music for Airports? In what label head Mike Griffin presents in his own work you in for a finely tuned ear for the most definitive sound aesthetics. On Imprint the synthesizers of Dave Fulton give way to a floating world, an unmistakably Tangerine Dream-like trademarked fusion, weaving sensitive microworlds and subsounds. Though what is updated here is what we have learned from technologies and Griffin strategizes and sequences the astral soundtrack almost prophetically. Neuralnet is an electronic lighting storm hybrid, its understated detachment crashes and dazzles. Here we have a deep body of music, quenched in a glowing bath of sounds that insight higher consciousness, kind of unexplainable until heard. The closing Levitation Before Sunrise so aptly matches its title. It is as though I am standing in front of a ampitheater-sized work by James Turrell. This wave of aural delicacy truly pays allegiance to the ambient masters. In contrast to the brevity of exploration in the fey world of new age, these players do right by the sounds of signs of sonics. It's a rave new world, way after hours, without the glowsticks and the twirl, just the aftermath, the static friction, the raw synergy. This could likely be the revised soundtrack for 2010, (the year we make contact), though whose counting?"
--Vital E-Zine, TJ Norris

.

Thanks to TJ Norris for the review. This and other reviews are being added to the "Reviews" section of the Hypnos site in our ongoing update & renovation process. 2003.03.18 More details direct from vidnaObmana, specifically about his Portland performances, less than a month away.

Friday April 11th
vidnaObmana - 12am
Dreams in Exile - 10pm
Club Ohm
31 NW 1ST, PORTLAND, OR 97209
CLUBLINE - 503/223-9919
* All events are 21& over with valid ID
* Doors are at 9:00 PM unless otherwise noted.
* All tickets are available at the door unless otherwise noted.

Saturday April 12th
Soundvision Gallery
Everett Station Lofts + Galleries Building
625 NW Everett #108, Portland, OR 97209
More Info: 503-238-7007
Fax: 503-210-7812
8pm
Tickets: $5-10 Suggested Donation
Where?: Tix Available @ the Door Only
Occupancy: 45 max
2003.03.17 The recent major update to the Hypnos Online Store had the desired result: a big increase in orders. A flood, actually, double or triple the usual order volume the past week or so. This is great, and much appreciated, and I'm hurrying to get orders filled and shipped promptly. A batch of 25 orders will go out today and more tomorrow -- thanks for your support of Hypnos, everybody. 2003.03.16 A reminder about upcoming vidnaObmana performances, less thana month away, starting here in Portland. Also, his album Spore, the follow-up to Tremor on the Release label, is out now and should be available soon from the Hypnos Online Store.

US TOUR - APRIL 2003

Throughout his 2003 US tour, vidnaObmana will be performing concerts to promote his latest CD
SPORE. This will appeal to his newest fans as well as to his long-time appreciators.
At the East Coast vidnaObmana lined up an intense concertschedule with performances at different
venues. Check out the various dates as vidnaObmana will perform at many different sets,
accordingly to the overall atmosphere of the venue.

April 11th 2003 Club Ohm, Portland, OR - also performing Dreams in Exile
~ SPORE-related performance
April 12th 2003 Gallery Soundvision, Portland, OR - with Dreams in Exile
~ OPERA for FOUR FUSION WORKS-related performance with Dream in Exile
April 15th 2003 OpenAir Bar, NYC, NY
~ SPORE-related performance
April 17th 2003 on-air radio performance on WDIY's EMUSIC, Allentown, PA
~ performance centered around vidna's fascination for the Fujara and overtone flutes
April 18th 2003 Gate to Moonbase Alpha event at the Rotunda, Philadelphia, PA
~ SPORE-related performance
April 19th 2003 the IceHouse, Bethlehem, PA - as part of the Soundscapes Concert Series
~ exclusively at the Soundscapes Concert Series, vidnaObmana will be performing his trademark
long-form, atmospheric, ethereal soundscapes and soundworlds in addition to his Spore-influenced
material. This expression of his full depth of musical creativity will not be presented at any
venue during his 2003 US tour except at Soundscapes.
April 20th 2003 Rex Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA
~ SPORE-related performance


Check our website at www.vidnaobmana.be for all necessary links and vital information about
ticketing, addresses, etc.
That link directly to the Vidna Obmana web site is: http://www.vidnaobmana.be/.
2003.03.15 One of the few great online ambient music resources, the AmbiEntrance, has posted a March update. No Hypnos reviews, since there haven't been any new Hypnos CDs in a few months, but still well worth a visit. 2003.03.10 Just completed a real doozy of an update to the Hypnos Online Store. Yes, I hear what you're saying: "That's what you get for waiting so long between updates!"

Well, you're right. Of course, outward signs of progress on the Hypnos site and the Hypnos store have been less than usual lately, though in fact there has been an upsurge in recent activity on several fronts -- I've been working on it every day. It just takes longer to update long-neglected aspects of the web site, than it does when I'm keeping up on it more regularly.

Other news on several fronts: Work is ongoing on several Hypnos/Binary CD projects. A series of US performances by Vidna Obmana are coming up in April. 2003.03.09 Tonight, added a dozen new items to the Hypnos Online Store, though the front page "Hypnos Recommends" section will not be updated until tomorrow. For those in a hurry enough to search around for the new stuff, it includes a bunch of Groove label titles, three from the new Databloem label, an out of print limited edition from Matt Borghi/Brannan Lane/Jason Sloan, the latest from Hafler Trio, and the latest from Ryoji Ikeda. 2003.02.13 Have just received the tapes (CDRs actually) of last fall's big Pearce & Griffin & Fulton concert at the Gathering in Philadelphia, plus the after-concert on-air performance on Star's End radio on WXPN, hosted by Gathering promoter Chuck VanZyl. Jeff and Dave both heard the recordings before I did and have assured me that they're so wonderful, we will unquestionably want to do some kind of a CD release of the event, probably focusing on the parts where all 3 of us played together (the Gathering encore, and the last part of the Star's End radio set), possibly also including some "Just Mike & Dave" and "Just Jeff & Mike" bits as well.

These CDR things have so recently found their way into my hands that as I write this, I have not yet even heard the recordings, but the enthusiastic descriptions of my noble friends & collaborators have got me quite interested. More news on this soon.

Oh, and Jeff's album Bleed was just announced as the #1 album of the month for January by Echoes Radio. Congrats, Jeff. 2003.02.12 News from vidnaObmana regarding his upcoming tour. Also, his album Spore, the follow-up to Tremor on the Release label, is out now and should be available soon from the Hypnos Online Store.

vidnaObmana selective US tour, promoting Spore, has been almost
completely confirmed so here’re the dates up till this moment:

April 11th 2003 ­ Club Ohm, Portland (OR) ­ Other acts will be Dreams
in Exile and Dahlia
April 12th 2003 ­ Gallery Soundvision, Portland (OR) ­ a gallery
performance with Dreams in Exile in support of the April exhibition of
Martina Verhoeven’s photography.
April 17th 2003 ­ on-air radioperformance at WDIY’s Emusic, Allentown
(PA)
April 19th 2003 ­ the Icehouse, Bethlehem (PA)
April 20th 2003 ­ Rex Theatre, Pittsburgh (PA)
Wow, two concerts in Portland this time -- very cool. Looks like if you live in any state other than PA or OR, you're SOL. 2003.02.11 Just out, a nice new review of the Griffin & Fulton album Imprint on the AmbiEntrance, which is a fantastic web site and very much worth visiting... something I tell people even when I haven't just read a nice review of my album. Check it out! 2003.01.24 Hello everybody. It was my intention to get back to more frequent updates in January, and of course that hasn't worked out quite as planned.

There are several pieces of recent and upcoming news, which I'll quickly outline today, and cover in more depth as needed in updates to come.

First, Jeff Pearce's album Bleed was recently featured by Echoes radio as their "CD of the Month." Apparently this is a subscription-like club in which all members receive a copy of the featured CD, so this will be good exposure both for Jeff as an artist, and this excellent album. More information, including a review by John Diliberto, are available here: www.echoes.org/picks.html.

Next, Dweller at the Threshold (featuring artists Dave Fulton, whose two collaborations with Hypnos founder M Griffin have been released on Hypnos; and John Duval, whose solo debut is upcoming on Binary) have just launched a completely redesigned web site. There are still a few pieces of content yet to be added, but most of it is already in place, and the site is looking great for a "version 1.0" -- check it out at http://www.dattonline.com/.

Lastly (for now), my intention had been to release the next 3 upcoming Hypnos/Binary CDs together simultaneously this month. As it turns out, at least for the near future, grouping together multiple CD projects this way will be more work that it's worth, so that idea has been scrapped and all the CDs currently in the works will come out one at a time, in fairly rapid succession, starting in a few weeks. For those of you not keeping track, the upcoming items include Synthetic Blocks Sonic Approach, Saul Stokes Fields, and John Duval Hell's Canyon. After that, a recording by Matthias Grassow and Jim Cole will be released on the Hypnos label, and it's called The Last Bright Light.

Thanks, everyone, for your ongoing interest in Hypnos, and for continuing to check this News page even when nothing "new" appears for a very long time! 2003.01.02 Updates have been scant here this past two weeks, what with holidays, brief ventures out of town, and even short respites that could almost be called a "vacation," but it's back to the grind 100%, and here's a tidbit of news to get you started... though there will be more substantial updates in days to come. This announcement comes from Phil Derby, who has started a new music newsletter called Electroambient Space. It's brand new, and if the first issue is any indication, it will be a solid contribution to a genre that definitely needs more journalists and reviewers. Following is Phil's own announcement, recently posted on various internet mailing lists:

Hi, all.  Please excuse the brief self-promotion about my magazine.  Hit
delete if you aren't interested.

The first printed issue of the new EM magazine Electroambient Space was sent
out earlier this month to people who expressed interest.  Thanks to those who
received it and gave me feedback, which I've already incorporated into the
next issue.

I have updated my webpage today, including the addition of the complete Part
1 of 2 of my interview with Grant Middleton of Under The Dome.  Also included
are 4 CD reviews that did not appear in the printed newsletter.

The webpage also lists features and interviews for upcoming issues of this
quarterly magazine.

Please check it out, I really would like to know what people think about it.
Have a Happy New Year.

Phil


Phil Derby
Editor and Publisher
Electroambient Space
For more info, go to: Electroambient Space web site

It cannot be stated strongly enough that fans of this kind of music really should feel compelled to support this sort of grass-roots effort. There's no point in lamenting the small number of magazines and record labels in our genre unless we give our full support to people trying to start them up from scratch.

As mentioned up top, more Hypnos News updates are forthcoming, soon.

Archived Hypnos News:

2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999