Various Artists - Message From a Subatomic World (compilation)
CD release announcement from Hypnos Recordings
Title: Message From a Subatomic World
Hypnos Recordings (hyp2854)
2008. Having not released any various-artists compilations in the past decade, Hypnos released in 2007 a new compilation Sounds of a Universe Overheard featuring a diverse array of ambient soundscape artists from around the world. We are proud to follow last year's release with its "mirror image" compilation, which we believe meets or exceeds that high standard.
Here are another 10 exclusive tracks by 10 artists who have not appeared on Hypnos compilations before, though some of these artists will certainly be familiar to followers of our label. Message From a Subatomic World in comparison to its predecessor is perhaps a bit more abstract and deep-space, more mysterious and strange, whereas Sounds of a Universe Overheard is a bit more musical and structured overall.
Austere - This elusive duo has released two albums with Hypnos in the past year, Solyaris on Hypnos and Pulse on Hypnos Secret Sounds. They've also ranged over a wide sonic territory with previous self-released projects during the past decade.
Evan Bartholomew - Perhaps best known for the rhythmic electronica he records as Bluetech, Evan has just recently started releasing ambient work under his own name, and recently launched his own Somnia label.
Relapxych.0 - is Anders Peterson from Sweden, experimenting with combining field recordings with musical instruments and approaches, creating musical ambience rather than ambient music. Visit www.ghostsounds.net
Numina - Certainly familiar to Hypnos listeners, Numina has released 3 great CDs on our label, and he has been one of the great new names in the ambient music world this past 5 years.
Jason Sloan - A partner in the Slo.Bor label with Matt Borghi, Jason creates uncompromising sound art using tools as diverse as electric guitars, synthesizers, and self-designed software algorithms.
Phaenon - Real name Szymon Tankiewicz, his debut album was released on the Malignant label, and he has relocated from his native Poland to Maryland, USA.
Stephen Philips - Also familiar to Hypnos listeners, Stephen runs the Dark Duck Records label on which he has many releases under several identities, in addition to his two releases on our label.
True Color of Blood - Alter ego of Eric Kesner, who uses treated and layered electric guitars to craft unique and challenging ambient drone works, which he has released on labels like Gears of Sand, Eibon and Afe.
Svartsinn - This Norwegian dark ambient artist has several prior releases, mostly on the Cyclic Law label, and is a frequent live performer around the world.
Oophoi - No other name has gone from obscurity to such high regard among ambient listeners in such a short time, and this Italian master of the atmospheric drone has been greatly prolific, counting among his releases two projects on Hypnos, Athlit as a solo artist, and Distance to Zero with Paul Vnuk Jr. of Ma Ja Le.
THE TRACKS, with mp3 samples:
Austere - Crystil mp3
Evan Bartholomew - Sacrosanct mp3
Relapxych.0 - Distant Radiance mp3
Numina - Nadir Ever Spirals mp3
Jason Sloan - faded.forgotten [trace] mp3
Phaenon - Quantum Silence mp3
Stephen Philips - Down Deep mp3
True Color of Blood - Choosing to Remain Blind mp3
Svartsinn - Cold But Strong mp3
Oophoi - Icelight mp3
Purchase direct for $12.99
Reviews"2008 Best of the Year List"
"A new album that's quickly becoming a favorite of mine is a new compilation on the Hypnos label, Sounds Of A Universe Overheard. Hypnos has been doing some great things lately, and this is no exception. There's established ambient artists alongside of unknown ambient musicians as well. It's a wonderful blend of different types of ambient music from spacy to dark ambient."
--Scott Raymond, WVKR radio "On the 'normal' Hypnos label, a compilation under the banner of 'Message From A Subatomic World', presenting the 2008 state of affairs in ambient land. Just thinking out loud, I seem to recognize only the names of Evan Bartholomew, True Colour Of Blood and Oophoi. I never like reviewing compilations, and certainly not those that don't have a specific thematic approach, but are merely a postcard, the menu of the day, or whatever. And unfortunately this 'Message From A Subatomic World' is such a compilation. I played this frequently over the past few days, especially in the later part of the evening when reading a book, to take of my mind of whatever I heard during the day, or, simply, other events. The ambient music of Hypnos and the ten artists present here is most suitable for such an evening. Its music to relax by, do 'nothing', to dream while being awake. Very nice. But I could I tell who did what? Is there that ultimate stand out piece of music that really makes that splitting difference, the new, spectacular view on ambient music? I'm afraid there is no such thing. That can bother me as a reviewer, not as a listener. Then I can simply enjoy the lush textured music by Austere, Relapxych O, Numina, Jason Sloan, Phaenon, Stephen Philips and Svartsinn."
--Reviewed by Frans DeWaard, Vital Weekly
"...from start to finish, a fantastic album - top selection of artists and music which is quite simply breathtaking. The blend of beauty and bleakness that's sustained throughout the course of the album is spot on and it showcases very nicely just what makes the Hypnos label so special. I read Mike's comment that this album has attracted a lot of interest - rightly so IMO. Ok, so did it live up to my expectations? You bet it did. I love the more spacey feel to this compilation and it definitely isn't a case of Hypnos playing safe and releasing "Sounds of a Universe..." Part II."
--Reviewed by Zyp on the Hypnos Forum
"Much beauty on this disk, and a pleasing addition to my Hypnos collection."
--Reviewed by Hypnagogue on the Hypnos Forum
"Message from a Subatomic World excels at doing what Hypnos does best with their compilations – introducing listeners to a variety of new and established artists in a cohesive album. Austere's "Crystil" is first, and it is a cool ten minute journey into a variety of ambient sounds. At first the music is almost imperceptibly quiet, but soon the soft drones are joined by beautiful wordless vocals that border on operatic in feel. Piano adds to the regal nature that briefly takes over before becoming soft drifting ambience again. Barely intelligible male vocals come later in forceful whispers. Evan Bartholomew's "Sacrosanct" is next, and it does have a touch of the sacred about it – ambient church music perhaps. Bleeps and blips in "Distant Radiance" by Relapxych.0 are juxtaposed against glassy smoothness. Hypnos artist Numina follows with "Nadir Ever Spirals," which swirls about in equal parts lightness and darkness. The entire disc, and this track in particular, has a very relaxed meditative quality. Jason Sloan paints a sonic picture of dark restlessness in "faded.forgotten[trace]." It is eerie and beautiful at the same time, whereas Phaenon's "Quantum Silence" dives down into the depths. Ironically, Stephen Philips "Down Deep" brings us out of the darkness with a comparatively light airy floater. Pure drones fans have to check out Eric Kesner, aka True Colour of Blood. His "Choosing To Remain Blind" is composed entirely on guitar, though its warm ambient tones scarcely resemble one. Svartsinn creates a review for me with the perfectly titled "Cold But Strong." The disc closes with one of the best known names in ambient music, Italy's Oöphoi. Also aptly named, "Icelight" could have formed a bookend with Svartsinn called "Cold But Bright" instead. With not a bad track to be found, this is an essential addition to any true ambient fan's music collection."
--Reviewed by Phil Derby / Electroambient Space www.electroambientspace.com
"Like [Sounds of the Universe Overheard], the second half (tracks 6-10) seemed to "kick in" for me more than the first half, for whatever reason. Not to say I didn't like the first five tracks, they are all good. If I had to pick a favorite track, I'd go with Phaenon's "Quantum Silence," will have to investigate this artist further after this for sure. Stephen Philips' "Down Deep" is another standout piece for me. Oophoi's "Ice Light" is a perfect album closer and will not disappoint any Oophoi-fanatics. Well done by all involved. Looking forward to the next comp. of all female artists!"
--Reviewed by drone on, on the Hypnos Forum
"For me the purchase was a fait accompli based upon my love of compilation discs (can't beat the variety) as well as Hypnos' (read M. Griffin's) reputation for delivering a great product (packaging, art, sounds, etc.)...there's just something about a Hypnos production that makes me eagerly anticipate the Postman's footsteps. As for the content of disc 2...I'd say possibly more stark...or slightly more somber than "...Overheard". But whatever the description, I've had it on discman for 5 consecutive plays since receiving it last Friday as well as in my car, Saturday, during a 3 hour drive to pick up my kids from Summer camp (had to play their music on the way back, though)."
--Reviewed by g@b, on the Hypnos Forum