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Messages - judd stephens

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Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 08, 2016, 09:09:39 PM »
Eternell - Portals
Drifting and floating wisps of sound from Purl. This is fantastic; I wish it were on CD. There are two versions of this with slightly different mixes. I've linked the most recent below.

Downloaded and thank you!  Always looking out for the blissful, or at least airier ambient these days...

take these 2 "shorter" tracks for example, both with Bruno Sanfilippo.  These are probably my 2 of my favorite from the artist...

these two represent a good example of what stargazer was referring to as "sparks".  They express something beautifully, succinctly, and there really isn't much need or sense in them going on for much longer.  I guess the track "Pulsum Sancrum"  (second video posted) could be extended or looped a lot longer, but it's not necessary.  These 2 tracks' power is in the brevity, and the fact that the "hook" if you will, is found early and extended often... and that's all you need for a perfect short burst of ambient genius  :)

But when I think of Alio Die for example, generally his work tends to be a slow burn.  Like Grassow and others, its power is the length of time and the effect it has on the listener.  You don't discover the real genius in those works without that longer time span, IMO.

I think a lot of it depends on what the artist is wanting to express, also on the type of artist, or the subgenre.

Shorten Mathias Grassow's drone works down to under 5 minutes and they probably would lose the power of the gradual build up and enveloping of your mind/ earspace.  Same goes with some of the sequencer pieces from Tangerine Dream or Steve Roach- they would lose the effect if shortened up to the extreme.

On the other hand, there are some beautiful short pieces as well as albums composed of unforgettable trakcs that are mostly under the 10 minute mark.  Brian Eno's On Land, Budd and Eno's The Pearl, and endless other examples where had the one track extended indefinitely, there wouldn't have been the opportunity to paint a "grander picture", given fewer elements to express.

I have more to say on this, but alas, time is not on my side at the moment... ;)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 06, 2016, 08:45:49 AM »
Moby:  Long Ambients 1. - Sparse and mostly pretty, and surprisingly good.  Not sure why I was so surprised... maybe thought it would sound too cliche', but Moby nails it.  Totally free download, over 3 hours on his site.

Scott Lawlor:  Bells for an Imaginary Audience.  - not literally just bells I don't think- sounded like some gongs and bowls etc in the mix as well.  Sometimes albums of exclusively vibrating instruments can be over or underplayed, either too klanky and loud, or just too boring and uninspired.  Scott Lawlor does a good job balancing the space with the sound, keeping it calm while engaging.  Good stuff-

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 01, 2016, 07:34:13 PM »
I've also been enjoying Alio Die and Zeit's Il Giardino Ermeneutico, which I only picked up recently. There is something really special about that album, and I can't believe I passed on it when it was originally released.

That one is sublime.  Their best effort together by far!

NP- Silent Currents 4 by Erik Wollo.  Great ambient, no surprise here. Wonderful transitions throughout... There is slower and occasional percolating rhythm but it all fits into a beautiful mosaic, a great relaxed trip.

You can get for half off in the next couple three days:

^ looks like some people are doing a little too much thinkin' and need to slip back into the primordial miasma of the endless, effervescent meltstream of ethereal and subterranean wonderment. 

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 11, 2015, 07:32:34 PM »
Thank you Andy.

Lovely photo on that album too btw.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: April 09, 2015, 09:03:40 PM »

Blake Gibson & Robert Davies - Quiraing
I think Drone On nailed this with his summary of the disc. This album strikes me as one of the "must owns" of 2015, and I'm worried that it might fly too far under the radar. If you haven't ordered this, please do so. Each track is special and represents an extraordinary blend of drone, composition, and organic ambiance.  The best part: The artists have the balls to include a track titled Only Rain that is, yup, almost 6 minutes of a rain storm. And it fits so well.

Anyone know if Quiraing is available as a download?  Couldn't find it anywhere.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: April 09, 2015, 08:45:23 PM »
for me, the artist who's really doing best with gradually evolving his sound while also maturing a signature sound is Alio Die.  The current best ambient musician in the universe IMO!!!   ;)  He's been releasing some amazing little soundworlds- well some are little and others more grandiose, but he keeps impressing me big time.  And I'm not a fan of his stuff that's too experimental- the ones with "noisy nature" ambience or too much in the abstract, but lately his works one after the other have been intriguing and at times just gorgeous.

Of Steve Roach's last 5 years or so of output, the ones that have appealed to me are Sigh of Ages which is uniquely somewhere in the middle of austerity and warmth.  Back to Life is pretty good, and the Delicate Forever has Steve capturing some of the signature minimalist "magic" that we've come to know & love, at least in that first and last track....  and for collaborations I've enjoyed the Road Eternal w/ Eric Wollo & The Long Night w/ Kelly David. 

Oh, and the latest and once free download "Invisible" is a straight old school Roach album that's gotten some good plays, reminiscent of the slower atmospheric buildups in the Origins/Artifacts era- it's vintage stuff without feeling rehashed, it seems....

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Robert Rich - Filaments
« on: February 13, 2015, 08:51:03 PM »

Another reason I wanted to respond to you is because I had also ordered an older Robert Rich (from '94) that I somehow missed - that 'Propagation' one. I think the cover art put me off (oh dear.) But it is an amazing release, and I am currently enjoying it much more than the new one. It seems so full of life, and the tracks build to such subtle but sublime climaxes. It hasn't dated at all and seems buzzing with fresh energy.

I hope my feelings about 'Filaments' return to where they were on that first listen when I wrote that post!

Propagation is a grand effort in spite of that cover art!  That was the hip, ultra cool and cutting edge type of art back in the 90's, ya know. 

Another one of Robert's I really enjoy and play a lot during my work is Yearning, a collaboration with Lisa Moskow.  She plays the sarod which sounds somewhere between a harp and a sitar, and can say I never tire of this work.  I've looked for more from Lisa Moskow but it all sounds very traditional and lacks the mystery and even warmth of Robert Rich's atmospheres.  There are Robert Rich interludes of flutes, steel guitar and such where the sarod takes a pause, and it really is a nice back and forth.  He takes it to the brink of being dark, but treads the line nicely.    Moskow's sarod playing also seems tailored to this collaboration, being more gently animated.   They perfectly compliment each other- it's a great example of two artists combining their talents to create something special.


Didn't see this posted yet... New Year's gift from the mack daddy.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Amazon sucks!!(?)
« on: January 02, 2015, 07:28:29 PM »
these pics are truly Corngasmic. 

Everything and Nothing / Re: Amazon sucks!!(?)
« on: January 01, 2015, 10:22:34 PM »

this is starting to get emotional... (sniffle)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Amazon sucks!!(?)
« on: December 30, 2014, 09:20:49 PM »
Chris, I'm from Indiana (don't live there now)... I knew there was something about you that just made lots of sense.   ;D

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 21, 2014, 09:19:46 PM »
Future Sound of London--Environment Five.  This is the first all new Fsol recording since Dead Cities in 1996.  Some of the most beautiful music they have recorded.  Amazing album!!!

Thank you!  Maybe a good candidate for best albums of the year?  I'm liking the overall production and flow of the album- it's neat how there are so many different styles peppered in, from world fusion to a little jazz, to vintage EM and ambient, and it all feels like it fits well together. 

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Lisa Gerard's new one- Wow!
« on: September 04, 2014, 07:49:17 PM »

Not ecstatic or over the top, just a stripped down, lovely (though a tad solemn perhaps) work.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bad Ambient
« on: September 03, 2014, 11:03:48 AM »
Mike Griffin, Jesse Sola, Forrest Fang, Anthony Paul Kirby, Steve Roach, Pete Kelly....

Oh, you said "bad ambient"?  Sorry nothing comes to mind  8) ;) ;D

Proceeding to run like the wind in 5.. 4...3..

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Top Oophoi discs
« on: July 28, 2014, 09:44:39 PM »

You can't lose with a track called "Lord of the Starfields"  :D  It's a fitting title.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Top Oophoi discs
« on: July 28, 2014, 09:36:24 PM »
All great choices mentioned, from the ones I've listened to at least.  Arpe di Sabbia is definitely worth the second visit, especially disc 1.

I would add for consideration Spirals of Time- it's a two disc (?) epic journey of subtle, quiet power.  There are a couple of nice pleasant surprises, one of which is contained in the last track. 

Also Mare Vaporum- this is one that is basically a single, slowly evolving loop that does it like any of the best of Eno's or Roach's long form classics.  It's not too simple though as it has a lot of moving parts and does meander at times from the basic loop, but it has a good mix of high and low tones and for me is one of his most hypnotic and relaxing albums, not a boring work but not overly dark or ominous either.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Was this an insult?
« on: July 17, 2014, 08:25:17 PM »
I would follow up to see where she was coming from... in as a polite way as possible.   In my opinion that wouldn't come off as awkward, just to get the clarification.  You found her comment confusing, and it's understandable.

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