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Now Playing / Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« on: November 27, 2010, 07:40:31 PM »
Great discussion topic. Off the top of my head, the perennials are:

*Steve Roach, The Magnificent Void -- On my first listen, having just discovered Roach through Structures from Silence, I didn't like the Void at all, but somehow, eventually, it got to me and is in constant rotation.
*Steve Roach, Structures from Silence -- first Roach discovery
*Brian Eno, Music for Airports -- seemed like an old friend even on the first listen
*Brian Eno, Apollo -- the highest form of space music
*Rod Modell and Michael Mantra, Sonic Continuum -- wow

A quick check of a four-year run of history (see here:, reveals a few others that have garnered lots of spins:

*Solar Fields, Blue Moon Station
*Steve Roach and Loren Nerell, Terraform
*Loren Nerell, Taksu -- could be an alternate soundtrack for Apocalypse Now
*Stars of the Lid, anything
*Tangerine Dream, anything
*Vangelis, anything -- first discovered as a young lad listening to the "Cosmos" soundtrack . . . ambient before I knew the word

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach, "Landmass"
« on: July 10, 2008, 07:56:49 AM »
have not yet absorbed the cd but i really like it so far. i will absorb it more over the next week or so.

Looking forward to reading your review, Jim.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach, "Landmass"
« on: July 09, 2008, 02:58:01 PM »
Can I look forward to something a bit more..."full"? Active?

I think you'll be pleased.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Steve Roach, "Landmass"
« on: July 09, 2008, 07:15:56 AM »
I hope it's okay to start a new topic on this here. The Steve Roach thread was becoming a magnificent void of immersion and increasingly difficult to keep holding the space.

Listened to "Landmass" more deeply last night. I'm especially taken by the groovy beats of the second track, a deep pulsing bass that in some places reminded me of early '90s Jarre, but of course much, much richer and more sophisticated.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: July 08, 2008, 01:26:20 PM »
Steve Roach's latest work, "Landmass," just arrived in my mailbox today. I've been listening to it all afternoon here at the office, and it's a tonic I need. Really looking forward to a deeper listen later.

What do you guys think of "Landmass" so far?

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Loren Nerell's "Taksu"
« on: June 25, 2008, 07:49:04 AM »
Very good. I have "Terraform," but I'll look into the other recommendations.

Everything and Nothing / the concept of "the album"
« on: June 24, 2008, 12:53:59 PM »
OK, this may be a little silly and a bit obvious, but here goes anyway. For the longest time, I had grown accustomed to listening to ambient music using either iTunes on a PC or via a little iPod Nano I carried to play in my car, piped in through the ancient tape deck. The nature of those two music delivery systems encourages excess: load up a million songs and cycle through them. I found that I often clicked "shuffle" and let it play.

That's fine, and I still listen to a great deal of music that way, especially while sitting at my desk during the workday. But just recently I finally got a car with a CD player in it. (I know, I know, but remember I was a poor grad student for so long.) And having a CD player at hand of course encourages full-album listening. And lo and behold, I feel like I'm experiencing the ambient classics for the first time.

Just a weird observation. Take it or leave it.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Returning after a long absence
« on: June 22, 2008, 09:08:54 AM »
Thanks, Paul, I appreciate that. Especially nice to hear coming from you. Why? Just the other day I was listening to "Silence Speaks in Shadow" again. It was a rainy day and conditions were perfect. Still a brilliant piece of work.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach discussion
« on: June 21, 2008, 07:49:27 AM »
You're absolutely right about the discomfort zone some people have with ambient music. It's just so out of their realm of what music "is" that is is incomprehensible why anyone would want to listen to it, let alone devote their artistic talent to creating it. There's a great quote from Stuart Braithwaithe of Mogwai that I think sums this up:
"I think most people are not used to having no lyrics to focus on. Lyrics are a real comfort to some people. I guess they like to sing along and when they can't do that with us they can get a bit upset." (cited from Wikipedia entry on Mogwai)

Add to the absence of lyrics missing rhythm (or at least rhythms people are used to) and you really have a weird reaction on your hands.

I think it's fair to say that most all of us here have no problem with these issues. Just one more reason I am grateful for Hypnos, the entire ambient scene and, frankly, the Internet which helped me to find it all. I've known I liked this kind of music since I was a kid first introduced to Vangelis and other music from the Carl Sagan Cosmos series, but I never knew what to call it or where to look for more. The rise of New Age in the 1980s made it a little easier, but even that led to some seriously disappointing music purchases.

This topic is supposed to be about Steve Roach, so I'll close by attempting to bring that back. I have almost the complete Roach catalog. I return to some CDs more than others, but none leave me completely cold. And some of my favorites took a little while to grow on me. The Magnificent Void, for example, was an album I didn't get at all on the first listen, but by now it is probably my #1 Roach CD of choice and would definitely be on my "you're on a desert island" list. 

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Loren Nerell's "Taksu"
« on: June 21, 2008, 07:36:09 AM »
This is a CD I keep returning to, especially in the hot summer months. I always thought it was very Apocalypse Now, but as a fan of LOST I've also started to see it as an extended soundtrack for that show, especially the first season. Just a weird observation. I'm sure we all make connections with albums like this.

Any recommendations for similar works, by Loren or others? 

Everything and Nothing / Re: Returning after a long absence
« on: June 21, 2008, 07:31:30 AM »
You got it, though for me it was actually a B.A. (bad attitude), then M.A. (major attitude), and then finally Piled High and Deep. I'm just glad I lived to tell about it.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Returning after a long absence
« on: June 19, 2008, 05:14:51 AM »
Thanks, Jim. My Ph.D. was in American History with research emphasis on the American West. The dissertation was a political biography of a Wyoming senator in the Progressive Era (though he was hardly progressive himself). If ambient music doesn't help with your insomnia, a few pages of my writing are guaranteed to knock you out. :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Returning after a long absence
« on: June 18, 2008, 12:13:03 PM »
Thanks to all, and thanks to Mike especially for all that you do. (Sorry about posting in the wrong spot, btw.)

Everything and Nothing / Returning after a long absence
« on: June 18, 2008, 07:25:47 AM »
After a few years away from the message boards (finishing a dissertation--ugh) I have returned and am very pleased to see that Hypnos is alive and well. I used to post under the forum name jrdew. I couldn't log in that way, and there was no record of it in the system. I assume at some point the Hypnos forum was restarted?

At any rate, I'm glad to be back and look forward to catching up with old friends, discovering new releases, and revisiting old favorites.

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