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Messages - Dave Michuda

Thanks for the heads up on that vid!  Fascinating!
This is also some of my Facebook thoughts from today...

Part of me keeps hoping that the Bowie news is just part of some elaborate performance piece. His new album is about death afterall. He's even got a song on it called "Lazarus."
Maybe, like Lazarus, he'll come back from the dead and we will see this as the latest in a long line of Bowie incarnations. Maybe this is just a new character for him to play.
Unfortunately it appears his final performance is as himself, leaving us behind to ponder his influence on our lives.

His influence on my life was substantial.  In 1974, for my 14th, birthday, my older brother gave me four albums by artists that I was unfamiliar with. One of them was David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars. I firmly believe that album changed my life. I know that sounds ridiculous but after that album I started listening to better music - Bowie, Eno, Fripp, Talking Heads, Tull, Roxy Music, Genesis, Dylan, Tangerine Dream, etc. Music became hugely important to me. I worked at the student radio station in college and through that experience changed my major to Radio, TV & Film. After one thing leads to another over the years I end up editing video for a living. I'm in a creative field because of that album I got at age 14.

Thank you Ziggy Stardust.
Everything and Nothing / Re: Non Ambient Purchases 2015
January 01, 2016, 07:57:08 PM
thirdsystem - I've bee going in the opposite direction.  Over the past 6 years or so I've been buying less & less ambient and more & more "normal" music, which for me is indie, indie/folk and jazz.  Maybe it's because I already have enough ambient music to last several lifetimes or more likely my tastes have just changed a bit.

Here are my favorite album purchases of 2015:

1) Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
2) The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beuatiful World
3) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit & Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
4) Public Service Broadcasting - The Race for Space
5) Tame Impala - Currents
6) Aero Flynn - Aero Flynn
7) Maria Schneider - The Thompson Fields
8] Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
9) Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield - Sing Elliott Smith
10) Ibeyi - Ibeyi
11) Beruit - No No No
12) Dengue Fever - The Deepest Lake
13) Other Lives - Rituals
14) The Lone Bellow - Then Came The Morning
15) Leon Bridges - Coming Home
16) Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
17) Beach House - Depression Cherry
18) The Chemical Brothers - Born in the Echoes
19) Nosaj Thing - Fated
20) New Order - Music Complete

Here's a Mixcloud mix of one song from each album...

The number of high quality releases every year makes keeping current very difficult, which is why I love year-end lists.  They are such a great way of discovering things I may have missed and finding good music from someone with slightly different tastes.

These year end lists are always fun but difficult.  But at least the top 3 spots this year were easy selections -
Alva Noto - Xerrox, Vol. 3
Max Richter - Sleep
Chris Walla - Tape Loops

It doesn't really matter which one grabbed the top spot, I listened to these three over and over in 2015.  Noto is known for his electronic minimalism but Vol. 3 is beautiful and lush. Max Richter's Sleep is a recording of epic proportion - 8 hours long, it amazes me each time I listen.  Tape Loops by Chris Walla(drummer for Death Cab for Cutie) has an old school ambient feel.  It reminds me of Eno's Music for Airports and Music for Films.  As large as the first two albums on the list can sound, Tape Loops is just the opposite - simple and intimate.

A few albums worth mentioning - Brian Eno: Discreet Music by Contact is an orchestral arrangement of Eno's 1970s Discreet Music.  Like Bang On A Can's cover of Music for Airports this one is familiar yet fresh and different.  Worth checking out.  I've used Sine Dust tracks in several mixes and I will probably use them for years because I love the classic, spacey edge to this EP from 36.

Here are my favs from 2015:

1. Alva Noto - Xerrox, Vol. 3
2. Max Richter - Sleep
3. Chris Walla - Tape Loops
4. Benoit Pioulard - Sonnet
5. 36 - Sine Dust 
6. Olan Mill - Cavade Morlem
7. Mikael Delta & Hior Chronik - The First Ray
8. Bersarin Quartett - III
9. Contact - Brian Eno: Discreet Music
10. Marconi Union - Departures
11. Spheruleus - Chronota
12. Goldmund - Sometimes
13. Nils Frahm - Solo
14. Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie -  Travels in Constants Vol. 24
15. Horizon Fire - Earthlight

The above list in mix form here...

A few other instrumental album that I liked this year but are more jazz or alt instrumental than ambient:

Maria Schneider - The Thompson Fields
Jaga Jazzist - Starfire
Kamasi Washington - The Epic
Kendrick Scott Oracle - We Are The Drum
David Cross & Robert Fripp - Starless Starlight
food - this is not a miracle


My most recent mix is "Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still."  I really like how this one turned out so I want call attention to it here.

The mix combines Edison cylinders recorded around 1906 to 1908 with modern cuts that may sound old or just fit in with the scratchy feel.  Most of the old tracks are effected in some way.  Sometimes I slowed the original way down, other times echo and reverb were added.  For many of them the original is combined with the effected version to create some bizarre other-worldly sound.
I haven't read it yet, cuz I'm at work & theoretically I should be working not posting on Hypnos  ;) , but this looks like it will be an interesting read.
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: new music
October 22, 2015, 07:54:28 AM
I discovered this wonderful site recently  -

The site has several different categories of "noises" to choose from such as Tonal Drones(Indian, Northern Lights, Singing Bowls, Tibetan Choir, etc.), Natural Noises(Rain, Wind, Distant Thunder,Waves, etc.), Industrial Noises(Railroad, Laundromat, Traffic, Fireworks, Aircraft Cabin, etc.), Atmospheres(Subaquatic Dreams, Church, Sailboat, Spring Walk, Fairy Pond, Tibetan Spirit, etc.).  And many, many more.

The best part is the player has faders which allow you to control the mix or you can animate the faders and have the mix change over time.  I've tried having more than one tab open with different sounds playing simultaneously, such as Tibetan Choir playing with Singing Bowls.  Pretty cool.
Figured that I'd add a few recommended mixers to add to John's excellent list.  -  strictly ambient and space music.  Good stuff.  -  great variety of sounds from dub, to ambient to neo-classical.  -  intricate mixes, each a work of art on its own.  -  mixes by former Hypnos forum contributor Alan Lockett.  Ranges from techno to ambient guitar scapes.  -  jazz and all its combinations and permutations.  Listening to "Ambient Jazz & Modern Classical" right now & it's excellent.  -  an eclectic collection of mixes that hit on just about every style & genre - indie, prog rock, electronic, ambient, folk, world music & more.

Thanks John!  There are a few new ones in there that I am now following.  And thanks also for the shout out.
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
September 07, 2015, 09:50:55 AM
Max Richter - Sleep - Impossible to resist an 8-hour sleep album.  It's not quite as good for actual sleep as good 'ol ambient music but overall it's very good.

Mauro Beltrán - Mueren De Pie Los Árboles Que No Saben Crecer  -  a long album, almost 2 hours, with quite a variety of sounds & styles.  Some works better than others.

Olan Mill - Cavade Vorlem  -  gorgeous, drifting ambient.  One of my favorites of the year.
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
September 06, 2015, 07:24:44 PM
Finally getting around to The Fold by Peter Clines.  Very good so far.

Just finished The Affinities by Robert Charles Wilson.  I really like everything RCW has done before but this one didn't do much for me.  A few interesting ideas but nothing that really connected with me.

Also finished The End Of All Things by John Scalzi.  It was okay, just too much dialogue. In fact it was almost all dialogue. I listened to the audio book version so I suppose it's possible it was slightly different than the printed version but not that different.  There is some action but just not enough to make up for the tons of exposition.  I know Scalzi's books are easy reads and most do have a lot of dialogue but this took that to an extreme.

Other recent books...
The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross - good new twist in his Laundry series.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson  -  enjoyed this one pretty well, just too long.

In the queue...
Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey
Beacon 23 by Hugh Howley
Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Windows ambient
August 26, 2015, 02:13:29 PM
The startup sounds from Windows 95 to Windows Vista, played back at 4000% of their original duration.

Published to mark the occasion of the 20th birthday of Windows 95. Happy birthday, Windows 95.
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
August 16, 2015, 03:18:10 PM
Spheredelic: V.A.Edgar Froese – Special Tribute vol. 1 & 2 -  nice compilation in honor of Edgar Froese and it's free!

Moesko - Stealthy Fading  -  nothing ground breaking here, just good ambient music.  I recently used a couple cuts on a mix of music for the Perseid meteor shower.

moon ate the dark - moon ate the dark ii  - solo piano with a bit of electronics.  Nice.
Good luck & Godspeed!  Can't wait to hear about the trip.
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
July 22, 2015, 06:37:29 AM
Chris thanks for the heads up on Marconi Union.  I'll check my MU collection to see if there are holes to fill.

36 | Sine Dust & Sine Dust Versions
En | The Absent Coast
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
July 18, 2015, 11:41:07 AM
Robert Fripp & Andrew Keeling & Metropole Orkest | Wine of Silence  -  I just discovered this release from 2012.  It's orchestral arrangements of pieces taken from Fripp's solo performances.  Very nice.

Josh Mason | Timecode Beach  -  A nice collection of lo-fi, sometimes glitchy ambient guitar noodlings.

Alva Noto | Xerrox vol.3  -  Best ambient/electronic album I've heard this year.

Benoît Pioulard | Stanza  -  The companion piece to his Sonnet album.  This is a good collection of dusty, slightly noisy ambient tunes.

Non-ambient spins:

Dengue Fever | Deepest Lake  -  Cambodian surf music - enough said.

Tame Impala | Currents  -  Excellent pop tunes.

Phil Manzanera | The Sound of Blue  -  Worth it for the song "No Church in the Wild" which is a cover of a Kanye West tune.  The Kanye song samples a Manzanera guitar riff from the album K-scope released in 1978.  Both versions are very good.  I don't believe Manzanera was ever paid for the sample even though the song was on a platinum album, tv ads and movies.
I agree with many of the comments so far.  First track is very good but the others are uninteresting.  I'm still deciding whether to buy or not, probably will.
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
July 05, 2015, 07:15:12 AM
Chris - You are exactly right with regards to the recent Dirk Serries albums.  I like his return to vidnaObmana style ambience.  I love ambient guitar so these two releases are right in my wheelhouse.  I actually didn't know about "Disorientation Flow" until I saw your post, so thanks for the heads up.

Other recent spins:

Alva Noto | Xerrox vol.3  -  Chris, you are right on this one too.  Some spectacular cuts on it & overall one of my favorite ambient albums of the year.

Marconi Union | Departures  - Good spacey ambient from Marconi Union who never disappoint.

Steve Roach | Skeleton Keys  -  I haven't really liked Roach's berlin school stuff in a long time but this one worked for me, I like it a lot.

David Cross & Robert Fripp | Starless Starlight  -  A collection of tracks that play off the song "Starless" from the King Crimson album Red.  The tunes are essentially ambient violin, loops & electronics with the occasional guitar noodling from Fripp.  I love the original track so much that it is great to hear this new take on that theme.

Everything and Nothing / RIP Chris Squire
June 28, 2015, 09:02:12 AM
So sad to hear of the passing of Chris Squire of Yes.  He was the heart & soul of the band throughout the many lineup changes over the years.  I have always loved his playing.

Here's a cut from his excellent solo album released in 1975.