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Messages - judd stephens

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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.

Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: 2014 Hypnos release schedule?
« on: April 17, 2014, 04:17:58 PM »
best cover in the history of the universe.

This is a return to form for classic Roach collaborations. 

Richard Gurtler is right, this is not your recent style Steve Roach- I'm finding it more like late 90's, early 2000's a la Magnificent Void/Early Man/ Well of Souls vein.

My first impression while listening to headphones was it was a bit scary (my dark ambient days are mostly over).  But after listening to it in the living room I'm digging it.  In fact, after headphoning World's Edge disc 2 after the recent discussion here I'm wondering if it's in fact that some music is better suited for the big speakers over headphones.

I think Steve Roach's music is such an example.  When I'm listening to it with earbuds, it's like I'm getting thrown through the void. They just weren't as dimensional.   Those sounds actually work better "taking a step back from them",  bouncing off of walls, in a more cavernous space rather than bouncing around inside your head (because my head, you know, not to be all full of it but it's not that cavernous  :) )

While a lot of music is better or really unique experience on the headphones, Roach's style is almost always big and broad.  I don't know, could have just been the different times and moods I was in, but either way The Long Night is a nice listen.


Projekt recently announced a 30-yr anniversary release of this that contains two extra discs with new material inspired from the same themes.

Wow, thanks Chris!  I would love to hear this. 

Tom Heasley- On The Sensations of Tone  I gave this one a good head phoning last night, gotta say I love it, and probably haven't given it the attention it could have received.  A few years back there was a "dream collaborations" topic on this forum, and I think I put Heasley with Oophoi-  to me these two were kindered spirits, and it would have been terrific- Heasley's stuff is DEEP.  And the processed tuba sounds give it a nice, unconventional sound by ambient standards.  It's not terrifyingly dark, nor is it ethereal or pretty.  It's a mesmerizing sound and as good as the deepest Oophoi material.

Feeling like a broken record mentioning this here in the past  ;) but I also like going back to Steve Roach's World's Edge, actually just Disc 2.   It's an exactly 60 minute one track wonder of Steve's career.  Someone actually gave me World's Edge for my high school graduation back in '92!  Still holding its own after so long, I forget about this one having so much music now on my itunes and computer, but I still give it a good listen when in the mood.

Also just occasionally going back to the good stuff from the early and mid 90's... hearts of space fathom, Suspended Memories, anything by Tuu, Kenneth Newby, etc. all are ones that I marvel at from a different but equally amazed perspective when listening again, after a long break.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Absentness - interesting project.
« on: January 27, 2014, 07:45:46 PM »
I don't know about "these guys", but this guy right here <<< typing this here message, is awesome! 

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 23, 2014, 09:49:43 PM »
Aglaia - Hymns
This is a pretty cool release, but out of sync with the typical Aglaia vibe. Throughout each track there is a highly processed voice submerged in the mix. I can't understand what it is saying (if it is saying anything in particular), but it has a spooky, robotic quality to it. That voice, combined with the more typical Aglaia synth work, gives this album a really unique sound--something that is both alien and yet strangely familiar. I imagine this is what hymns may sound like if they were performed by humanoid insects on another planet.


Strange that you should mention that; I've been breeding humanoid insects from other planets as a hobby, and strangely, they DO have an affinity for singing hymns. The damn things are keeping us awake at night! I have to throw cold water on them to quiet 'em down  ...but seriously, I love that description, will have to look that up.

This prompted me to check out Aglaia's Hymns, actually it was a debate which to buy now, that or Alio Die's Amidst the Circling Spires, the samples of which also sound great.  Something about humanoid insects though just spoke to me....

Through a first listen I'd say the voices also remind me of what would happen if the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica were somehow reprogrammed to be peaceful and they all joined a hippy love cult- and I mean that in the best way possible. 

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 17, 2014, 08:35:05 PM »

Symatic Star and Jack Hertz- Shambhala.  Big themes a la David Parsons throughout, with types of chanting that are rarely woven into ambient.  Also a lot of mellowness in between with plenty of room to breathe.   From Aural Films netlabel,  looks very promising!  A few people I've seen here on the forum have releases there (Shane Morris, Mystified) and it's all name your own price- will definitely revisit.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Oblivion - 2013
« on: January 13, 2014, 09:45:21 PM »
Just to add to something because that commentary was overly harsh on Elysium:  The first half of the movie is really solid, and I was completely hooked.  The special effects are top-notch.  That moment where Matt Damon blows away the first robocop into a million bits is incredible.  I wish the second half, which was the action-half, had more of that.  Instead, enter Kruger and his mercenary buddies, and the android cops are barely even seen again.

They could have kept the Kruger character completely out, and let this movie be about Jodie Foster as the evil secretary, the corporate boss on earth for his relatively short stint, and the army of robocops.  That would have given the movie the colder, more artificial contrast of machines & soulless assholes who keep the pristine Elysium running. 

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Oblivion - 2013
« on: January 13, 2014, 09:25:56 PM »
I liked Oblivion.  It didn't feel right seeing Tom Cruise as a techie repairman type guy, so the twist where he was once the leader of the human resistance made more sense, both for him as an actor and the story.  Probably the sci-fi and hollywood community will give the clone-thing a rest for before it gets too played out.  (Moon, Never Let me Go, Obvlivion)

If you liked Moon, have you seen Duncan Jones's (son of David Bowie) other movie, Source Code?  That is fantastic!  Neat quantum physics-type twist to the end... see that kind of ending to me is what helps make a film unforgettable.

Speaking of unforgettable, District 9 was such to me... which is why the sophomore effort Elysium by that director was a let down- it's watchable but I had higher expectations.  With Elysium, Matt Damon and Jodie Foster were capable, and I like Sharlto Copley but I thought he played the bad guy way over the top, along with the Mexican arms/immigrant smuggler- their characters were kind of a distraction.   The look was there, but the story seemed to lack the soul that District 9 had.  I think Drone On and I have already had this discussion and you didn't like District 9?  If you liked Elysium, to me District 9 was a lot more exciting with more complexity to the main character and the story. 

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