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Messages - Phaenon

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Thanks Pete for mentioning my name. Yes, it's a free, huge compilation of quite diverse ambient related tracks. Worth of checking. I'm glad to be there.

I think they have had problems with downloading "credits".
There is an alternative link:
It's about 1.08 GB though. ;)

Hi Tobias,
I would like to have it, too. Thank you.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Reaktor 5.5.1 is out (for some time...)
« on: December 03, 2010, 07:15:52 PM »
I'm quite sure some people here use Reaktor in their music.

Yes, it's out and revamped. And free update.
User interface has changed.
NI tried to make it look "Ableton-ized".
Still not decided is I like it or not, even if it looks quite neat.
They have added 2 new synthesis modules: additive and modal.
Now it includes Electronic Instruments 1 & 2, which is a pretty good deal if you ask me!
Some revisions to audio engine have been done.
Overall, I'm hoping it brings more sonic possibilities and easier navigation.

More details here:

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Adobe Audition coming to Mac OSX?
« on: December 03, 2010, 05:59:49 PM »
I've used the last versions.
Well, maybe I'm not that sensitive to names, just care what they do.
"Apple"? "Windows"? "Office"? "Opera"?
Pretty funny for me, too.
AA is pretty much based on Cool Edit, extra tools added.
Some people say that they made it worse, too junky. Oh, wait... ;)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Adobe Audition coming to Mac OSX?
« on: December 03, 2010, 05:41:52 PM »
Junky? I guess you are half-joking...
I think Cool Edit was popular because it was a very good software.
No wonder Adobe has bought it and polished it to sell for bug bucks.
As I said before AA offers excellent tools, easy to use.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Spoof audiophile reviews
« on: August 26, 2010, 09:42:17 PM »
Whilst checking out snake oil/valid opinions on the merits of HiFi interconnects. I came across this gem:

Nice one  :D

How about the wooden volume knob that is supposed to improve sound quality:

Hey, that knob looks pretty nice. ;)
OK, I wouldn't mind if someone is just announcing this miraculous effect on audio quality of your system.
Fine, I can pull out the knob from my kitchen cabinet (while wife is away, that is) and replace regular, distorting knob in my amp.
Maybe I will hear the difference...  ::)
But it should be announced as DIY project, not charging $485 for the mighty knobs.
I was so amused by those knobs that I did dig out the matching potentiometer called "Silver Rock Potentiometer".
Only $6820.

Or maybe this wonder?
"(...)The wood used is a very slow growing and extremely hard precious wood growing in Switzerland, lathed and polished by very sophisticated processes.(..)"
I'm sure of that. Hint: it's a beech wood.

Yes, you have read correctly.  ::)
I've read that titled short article here:

The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers "has sent a fundraising letter out to most of its 380,000 members raising money to fight organizations like Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Knowledge."
The letter can be found here:
ASCAP accuses them that "their mission is to spread the word that our music should be free."
That's bizarre... Looks like those people don't accept huge changes in music distribution taking place as we speak (read).
At the bottom of the page you will find interesting video interview with Trent Reznor (NIN) talking (among other things) about NIN albums releases under Creative Commons and his opinion about digital distribution.
BTW, he has a nice studio, lots of modules, sequencers, and stuff. ;)

you should bump this thread little bit more often :)

Hehe, I don't have to. You do it just perfectly for me.  ;D
Returning the favor I may bump one of your threads.
How about Steve Roach new album announcement?

John Shanahan, aka Hypnagogue, was so kind to review my album, too. Thank you John!

Many dark ambient CDs look to take their listeners by force, launching a grim, grinding gnash of an assault, tearing open a psychic wound and ripping a response straight out of their chest. On his new release, His Master’s Voice, the artist called Phaenon takes a far more insidious approach. After the first few raspy, sharp-edged minutes of the opening track, “His Master’s Voice, Part 1: Neutrino Radiation,” the heavily layered sounds begin to resonate cautiously, the frequency slowly matching the listener’s own, pulling them in until the two achieve a sort of sonic symbiosis that lasts for the rest of the disc. Having established that resonance, Phaenon takes his sounds and digs into and dredges out the darkest corners of the mind, loosening what’s there and holding it up for the listener to see. It’s as effective as any good dark ambient work, but in this listener’s opinion, the difference and the improved listenability is in the approach, the subtlety of sound involved. It elevates the experience by not fully alienating the listener. It’s an isolationist work, but it’s understandably isolationist.

His Master’s Voice is built around hesitantly shifting greyscale drones, thick, solid and weighty. The majority of sounds rise up from the lowest end of the scale, all the better to resonate you with, and Phaenon easily shifts from wall-of-sound density to well-thought-out sparcity.There are only four tracks here, the shortest clocking in at over 12 minutes, so there is plenty of time to cut yourself adrift and just be in Phaenon’s textures and constructs.

Kudos also have to go out to cover artist Eric Lacombe His dark style, which reminds me a lot of artist/comic book illustrator Dave McKean, fits the tone of this disc perfectly. Disturbing, but imbued with a strange beauty from which you can’t look away.

Available from Malignant Records.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Spoof audiophile reviews
« on: August 22, 2010, 09:58:58 PM »

"Quite what it is that wrought these improvements I do not know."

Believing they would be better before you listened to them?  :P
Please... He's an audiophile=he knows what he's talking about.
His website includes many useful tips.

In Tuning Tip #3 we read:
"Before connecting any cable to your system, give it a firm, robust shake. Grab hold of one end of the lead and shake it for a couple of minutes before you connect it to your system.
The process must – I suppose – do something to the molecular structure of the conductors, dielectric or insulation. What that is I do not know, nor do I care, but it has worked many times in my system."
Quark-shaker; if you try really hard you may turn it into gold, changing molecular properties of the cable. Shake it!

In Tuning Tip #2 we read:
"(...) I took four empty CD cases and placed one under each foot of the pre-amplifier. This restored the music’s rhythmic bounce and vitality and made the sound that fraction more transparent – it became easier to listen into dense mixes."
See!? Easy and very useful!
Now I know the future of a CD. Or at least the future of CD cases.

I think those tips can be used in ambient music, too.
Combining those two tips, I can burn a CDR with my mixes, put it inside the CD case, shake it really well (or jump on it in case of dark ambient - to get rid of too heavy reverb) and copy data back to hard drive. Easy mastering!
The mixes will gain clarity, vitality and become more transparent. I wish I knew that before... ;)

Nice review from August 2010 issue of Electroambient Space by Phil Derby

Szymon Tankiewicz returns with his dark ambient project Phaenon. His Master’s Voice is four lengthy forays into the depths inspired by St. Lem’s book of the same name. Formless billowing black ambient clouds emanate from part one of the title track, subtitled “Neutrino Radiation.” Unusual rumblings and vaguely industrial churning sounds are surprisingly soothing though certainly not intended for fans of more conventional music. There is no melody, no rhythm, no real structure. This is an album that is full of cool sounds to just trip out and get lost in while lying in a dark room alone. “Dark Energy” lives up to its name, even starker than its predecessor, more eerie and minimal, though with a restlessness as well. “Soul Virus – Interstellar Semantics” features a very cool metallic electronic sound breathing in and out, forming the foundation for the first half of the piece as various sonic textures surround it. A low growling drone serves as the backdrop for the latter half, equally cool. Part two of the title track, subtitled “Ignoramus”, closes the disc out with 24 more minutes of exploring every dark corner and crevice of sound, a bit more experimental and varied than the other three. This album is highly recommended for those who enjoy the dark side of ambient.

Phil, thank you for reviewing my new album!

Old topic, but I've found something interesting I think.
Since CD sales are dropping, one label has found possible solution to it.
We read:
"The US synthpop label A Different Drum (ADD) is exploring a new way to keep the new music flowing in physical, CD format from said label. The label launched the program in order to keep the avid CD collectors happy. As a VIP subscriber, you would pay $10 per month ($12 for overseas) for one CD release per month (automatically billed at the end of the month). Only 200 - 300 people will be allowed into this program. That means that only the VIP's and the band would receive the physical CD, and it would be instantly out-of-print."
More info here:
and label website:

Is it really a future for CD? I wonder if this would work for ambient music labels like Hypnos?
Mike, did you consider this? Probably too early for that. Fortunately... ;)

BTW, I've found also this short article titled "Rebirth of the cassette?":
Probably works only for noise and power electronics scene, not ambient.
Unless someone really likes that warm analog hisssss... ;)

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Adobe Audition coming to Mac OSX?
« on: August 19, 2010, 06:25:26 PM »
I've been using Audition (PC) for couple of last years. And I like it.
It has VST support now, easy multi tracking feature.
Audio restoration tools are also useful and powerful.
Very handy is Spectral Display tool for audio manipulation of selected frequency, phase or pan section of track.

Overall - a good successor to Cool Edit Pro. :)

Speaking of which, let me paste another great review from webzine
High quality writing about classical and experimental music, recommended.
Building better worlds: An acoustic space filled with tiny clues and references.

To anyone who grew up in the 80s, the term „master of the universe“ will hold slightly cheesy connotations. And yet, sonically speaking at least, that, in a nutshell, is Szymon Tankiewicz's  rather unusual profession. Already on his debut album „Submerged“, consisting of a single, over an hour-long track, the accompanying artwork and literary references revealed a fervent fascination for galactic quests and the endless expanses of space. Tankiewicz  wasn't trivially setting them to music. Rather, his interest was directed at the philosophical questions arising from human contact with infinity as well as from the physical and psychological implications of being exposed to the void. The album took a markedly idiosyncratic approach, dripping tiny drops of ink on a vast, yet sparsely populated canvas dimly lit by the distant lights of a million stars. There was no beginning to this journey, nor was there an end. But for exactly sixty six minutes, one was taken to the extremes of sensory deprivation, to a zone where every sound and each note seemed to convey messages of monumental importance. When online magazine Heathen Harvest reviewed the disc at the time, they aptly invented an entirely new category for it: Dark Ambient masterpiece.

Which poses the question of which new label to apply to „His Master's Voice“. Everything that held true for „Submerged“ is exponentially increased here, after all, including an array of paradoxes: The album offers both a stronger sense of composition as well as a more experimental approach. More supernaturally beguiling timbres and longer stretches of near-silence. More structure and more chaos. As a mystical counterpart to Douglas Adams' legendary world-construction-engineer Slartibartfast, Tankiewicz is erecting galaxies of scant harmony, whispering voices drawn from dark holes, entire solar systems filled with nothing but the faint echoes of symphonies played at a million lightyears' distance.  Even though the liner notes make no reference to the kind of equipment used at the sessions at the „Quantum Ontology Studio“, there is a clear analogue feeling to these rich, sonorous pieces revealing meticulous attention to detail and a penchant for awarding his colors distinct visual impressions: The first movement of the two-part title track isn't merely called „Neutrino Radiation“, it astoundingly sounds like it – if one forgets about the fact that scientifically speaking nothing in space can actually produce any sound at all, that is.

As on „Submerged“, there is a programmatic reference to a novel by Polish author Stanisław Lem from the late 60s. An even more depressive swan song to the possibility of meaningful communication with alien life than thematically related „Solaris“ (but perhaps slightly less coloured by the pitch black defeatism that marked Lem's epic late work „Fiasko“), Lem's homonymous book deals with a group of scientists trying – and failing - to make sense of a signal held to be  emanating from an extraterrestrial life form. Rather than translating this sequence of events to sound, Tankiewicz appears to be following the encrypted beacon to its source in an effort of decoding its (as a track title puts it) „Interstellar Semantics“. The score to „His Master's Voice“ can thus be considered an acoustic space filled with tiny clues and references, hints and hidden half-truths, possible links and scattered fragments. While the more tangible passages may, at first, present the most fertile ground for discoveries, the extended stretches of fearful quietude, when the entire orchestra is caught in the short blip between ex- and inhaling, may well yield more answers – if there are any at all.

Even though this implicit conceptual angle may present an additional attraction to the album for some, it never diverts attention from a fact of seminal importance: That „His Master's Voice“ is actually quite an emotionally sweeping experience. By ignoring durational aspects and the recognisable forms they imply, Tankiewicz is capable of culling new shapes from a vacuum: Glowing melodic dots appear against a backdrop of mutely humming nebulas. Rotational rhythms fall apart and dissolve into cosmic background radiation. A single note is repeated on end, hidden from hearing and then re-introduced, chopped up and split at the seams. On paper, this never amounts to much, but once you've floated through a metaphysical haze of pure sound for ten minutes, the genesis of a single short theme can seem like a life-changing event.

This is not an illusion. As befits a true master of the universe, Szymon Tankiewicz isn't just randomly juggling with stars. He's truly building better worlds with music.

By Tobias Fischer

That's a great review. Nice to read something with some thought and listening in it.

Thank you guys. Yes, I also like to read those kind of reviews, much better than like "basically, it's 30% Autechre, 50% Steve Roach, and 15% Robert Rich" stuff (BTW, not a real quote). No only of my stuff, but in general. As an author, I'd like to hear impressions, impact on someone's feelings. Don't we all? ;)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 16, 2010, 07:11:29 PM »
Gliese 614 - Serenity
And his Myspace tracks.
Discovered through Hypnos forum today.
Nice, sounds like Tangerine Dream "Zeit" and early Klaus Schulze in concept, which is good in my book. :)

a lot of spam on this forum.
I'm not trying to sell V**gra here. Or love letters from Russian girls.
Or make a new tread every time I post about HMV.
Many forum members post news about their releases and reviews.
I suppose your posts about  new CD - "Steve Roach - Sigh of Ages" or "Erik Wřllo - Gateway" were not a spam?
If it was an info, this is an info, too.
Once you post info about YOUR music I will read it without complains...

Personally, I am quite happy people post news and updates about their music.
It's very niche genre, so it's hard to get fresh new information.
I think Hypnos forum is a great "hub" for this kind of exchange.

Another very interesting review:

My first listens to this album were done under heavy prescription sedatives and it was exactly I’d expect from the novel that it’s based off of by Stanislav Lem. An absolute science fiction experience is captured perfectly in these drifting and minimal, yet undeniably expressive tracks, so beware of the power that lies beneath the barren sounding surface of this album. If you are not careful it will abduct you, then again if you are careful it will still capture your mind and render you submissive to its alien prowess.

Okay, maybe it was the sedated and intoxicated mindset that enabled me to drift off to sleep to this and imagine a world of pure machinery, the opening track “Neutrino Radiation” is close to 20 minutes of humming, almost like what I’d imagine floating through space would sound like as everything slowly approaches and recedes from view and the solar winds blow across your skin. The actual coldness of space in most spots away from suns, reaching as low as near 0K or -273.15 °C, is equally manifested in the tone found on here and your skin should tingle a bit during the listening experience. As relaxing and drifting as this may sound as you listen through it, it is as mysterious and sinister as it appears not to be.

For at least the first two tracks His Masters Voice is celestial, minimal, and void of any emotion whatsoever, then with the third of the four tracks, “Interstellar Semantics”, there’s a minor shift to slight melody, although very slight and a hint of labelmate, Phelios, can be heard here as whooshes of analog synth brush your mind like an astral breeze as you are suspended and weightless and the volume increases dramatically as if you are actually approaching to land on a distant planet or star.

This ideal science fiction soundtrack comes to a colossal end with the magnum “Part 2-Ignoramus”, another twenty-some minute trip as was the opening only this time it’s more dramatic. In fact this is the most dramatic piece on the album and serves as the perfect end to this ambient narrative. When I think of space music I definitely envision something like what Phaenon has delivered here. For me I see the math and concepts come to life that describes the quantum world and all of it’s quirky and abstract ideas and it finally starts to make sense to me for a brief moment as it really isn’t supposed to if one truly understands it (?). Some say to get stoned, turn on some trippy space music like Tangerine dream or some trippy obscure prog act (which helps me out) and then try to fathom quantum physics, but perhaps they should just avoid the mind altering substances and turn up the volume on this one instead.

Yet again Malignant releases an incredible celestial experience that is as close as I can get to an out-of-body experience. Next to Phelios, Collapsar, Iszoloscope/AhCamaSotz Camanecroscope, and Oophi, this is will be one of my stand out sci-fi ambient releases and a definite somnium accompaniment. You even feel like you’re in a vacuum as you listen to it, it’s really undeniably awesome and just as thrilling when not under doctors ordered sedatives.

Defintely check this act out and Malignants other essentially mind melting releases to pulse your neurons out of commission, and also the artwork as that is always one of the ebst parts and this album is no exception.

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