Chad Hoefler - Twilight in the Offing
2004. This is the Hypnos debut, and in fact the CD release debut, of an fantastic new ambient music artist. It's one of those rare, special debuts that immediately designates the artist as important and worth watching. Twilight in the Offing is the work of a mature and experienced artist, with a sonic variety and depth that stand up next to the best of the ambient/space music genre. We're very proud of this release, and excited to be the first to bring you the work of Chad Hoefler.
As the title of my debut CD, Twilight In The Offing, metaphorically suggests, this 7 track, 1 hour long CD represents my attempt to sonically capture the concept of inevitability. I endeavored to use track titles that portray the muse for this work: the inescapable fact that darkness follows dusk (at least in the vast majority of places on this planet), that fall and winter follow summer, and that the expiration of life is the ultimate certainty. Tracks vary widely from one another from deep and dark orchestral soundscapes with tribal percussion to floating sonic surrealism to abstract, pensive soundworlds. If I had to compare the genre of this work to the genres of other ambient artists, I would say that it belongs to the same family of work represented by the likes of Alio Die, A Produce, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, etc."
Track listing with MP3 sample clips
1. crimson lost
2. enveloping shadow
5. in a marooned moment
6. on the eve of plum frost
7. orchard of stone
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Reviews"Overall, I must repeat that this is some of the best music that I have mastered in a long time. I don't say that lightly. Your sense of dynamics, patient timing and spaciousness makes for a very well-crafted work."
"...a brilliant debut release! And I mean Brilliant. Musical skill of this kind comes from the bones, it can't be learned. The CD has a lot of familiar flavors, but nothing distinct or recognizable. Like a fine, complex wine. Musically, the CD is wonderfully dense and saturated, but is clear in purpose and design. The compositions are never muddy or crammed.
It is an amazing debut worthy of everyone's attention. Regardless of your preferences in style, Twilight has something for everyone... electronics, blended with tribal beats, blended with floating pads blended with enough darkness to make it edgy... this CD carries it all with masterful precision.
The CD just seeps with solid, elegant production values. You can hear Robert's subtle mastering style all over it, but obviously Chad's skill as a musician and audio designer make the compositions work in the first place. This is a CD for headphones. I cannot recommend enough that people try this CD out. It is a very visceral, complex and noteworthy body of music that is to significant to miss out on! PUT IT ON YOUR MUST BUY LIST!"
--Reviewed by Jeff Kowal (aka Terra Ambient) on the Hypnos Forum
"Hailed as a great new talent before his debut CD came out, Chad Hoefler lives up to the advance billing on Twilight in the Offing. "Crimson Lost" flows smoothly from silky synth pads to crisp percussion that is equal parts modern and primitive. It compares favorably to Patrick O'Hearn's Trust CD. After a strongly tribal first half, this piece changes significantly, downshifting completely into a formless silky slab of ambience, more like Robert Scott Thompson from The Silent Shore. The title "Enveloping Shadow" is evocative of its nature, dark spirals of sound radiating outward and downward into the caverns. Steve Roach's disc two from Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces comes to mind. Despite the many comparisons already made, this is not derivative music. Hoefler's music has strong reference points to these and other worthy ambient artists, but he builds upon the foundation laid before him and offers his own worthy contribution to the genre. "Substrata" has a steady, unsettling pace with very dark underpinnings. The sound that provides the rhythm here is otherworldly, like something knocking on wood but defying easy description. Nicely juxtaposed is the markedly brighter "Refugia," a more ethereal gossamer piece with touches of Jeff Pearce or Jonn Serrie. Still, no one is going to mistake this for new age, it is serious ambient. "In a Marooned Moment" again uses a simple steady beat to effectively create a sense of unrest. The last two tracks continue to mine the depths, although "Orchard of Stone" brightens some at the end as a relaxed beat carries it along in a unique ambient-meets-easy-listening mode, a surprising but perfect finish."
--© 2005 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
"Twilight in the Offing (60'27"), the debut album by Chad Hoefler, deals with our inescapable encounter with Truth. The 7 tracks exist as leviathans within this album's soundworld; to warn listeners of the approaching night. With its Godzilla size drones representing a mounting tension and cavernously deep reverberations revealing a nervous restlessness, Twilight in the Offing is more about the rising darkness than it is the coming dawn. This work makes heat through its crosscurrent of turbulent electronic soundwaves. The line of each piece uncoils, surges and swells into a sustained density. Breathing drones and murmuring sonic prominences intensify the listening experience. Hoefler's mood ranges from that of a charred hellscape to the closing moments of a rapturous dream, somehow echoed into the world. Material is a reaction to form. Here, the sound design provides a brief space in which to contemplate transition. While sounds mingle like moving shadows in the dark, we consider the proportion of material to length, and that which is beyond twilight, and our lives."
--Chuck VanZyl, Star's End Radio
"Favorites of 2004 list. Welcome back Hypnos. The best the label has put out since 2002."
--Brian Bieniowski, AmbientReview.com
Colourful, moody ambient music with some rhythmic and percussive features. Twilight In The Offing is built around gradually unfolding tonal layers and shadowy planes of sound - where beats are present they are gentle, within the mix, not dominating. Hints of melody lie in places deeply embedded in the dense sound base where the heaviest of shades thicken and subside being overlaid with eddying currents and swirls above. Gurgling effects at times ripple and murmur across the surface as the weighty lower frequencies rise and fall. The drones on this album are tenebrous, doleful in some places - celestial, ethereal in others.
In keeping with the title, Twilight In The Offing suggests something dimly lit, ponderous and shifting. There is a pleasing organic feel to this strongly electronic sound, emerging periodically into brightness, luxuriating under a luminous sheen, or shrouded in gloom with dense colourful entities turning somewhere within, at times even desolate even cold. Chad has said that the CD represents his attempt to sonically capture the concept of inevitability - darkness follows dusk, fall and winter follow summer, expiration of life being the ultimate certainty.
Grassy blades against a darkening sky catch the passing light on the front cover - within a generous black border ... lettering minimal, simple, white. On the rear - the jutting blades are further abstracted, the background light almost lost; here track titles and timings are listed. Inside the cover booklet variations of the same imagery recur and once more in a plain white font credits, sample sources, thanks and contact details are presented.
Released on the Hypnos label - Twilight In The Offings consists of seven lengthy pieces all between five and ten minutes long. This is Chad's debut release and has been mastered by none other than Robert Rich. Track titles reflect the idea of inevitability with some beautifully poetic terms 'Crimson Lost', 'Enveloping Shadow', 'On The Eve Of Plum Frost'. This is an ambient album that can hold the attention - from the beautiful 'In A Marooned Moment' to the disquieting 'Enveloping Shadow' the considerable variety of sound from one track to the next pulls you along, caught one moment by a percussive line throbbing way below the surface, swept up the next by cinematic undulations or uneasy in the presence of looming apparitions."