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Messages - Ben F-S

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: R.I.P. Oophoi
« on: October 06, 2013, 06:07:10 PM »
Truth be told, I've just learned of this tragedy now.  Since the gift of children came into my life I don't have much time for forums like this-too addictive!

I wanted to share with you some thoughts on Gigi: 

Having had the pleasure of releasing his work on Gears of Sand-shit his release sold out in a week and kept us alive--and collaborating with him on the Umbra release "Nocturnes," gave me my first true appreciation for the power of drone.  I've done a fair amount of sonic exploring since but I'll always be a drone head at heart.  Thanks to Gigi for my first deep immersion as my listening has never been the same since.

One memorable experience to share:  While making "Nocturnes" as Paradin I had been getting more and more into field recordings and sent Gigi a cd-r with a whole cacophony of stuff recorded while hiking around a nearby river.  It sounded cool enough to me:  wind, flowing water etc.  But unbeknownst to me there were some chirping birds in there as well.  Gigi picked right up on that "those fucking birds are too cliche.  Keep it simple etc." I didn't know what he was talking about but in any event just sent hyper-minimal stuff from then on...But the final product was one of the coolest things I heard. It was all Gigi's vision.  "Nocturnes" was/is one of the more dark recordings I've ever heard to this very day. I learned a lot about the power of simplicity and tone from Gigi.  He didn't just mess around, the man was a true genius at capturing moods out of thin air-deep listening was no cliche-Gigi could meditate forever on a few ghostly tones.

Sleep well, my friend, your drones touched many and will vibrate on and on...

thanks, Jim!  It feels nice to be back here - so much going on the last many months - the NV collab has been really amazing as it was done entirely live after months of recording together...and we've done several live shows in support of the disc which have been great...But am pretty exhausted and enjoying the extended break playing w/ my daughter and catching up w/ old friends such as yourself ;) Happy new year, old buddy! Ben


Following a series of CD-R releases beginning in 2006, the husband and wife team of Robert and Amy Brown put out their first formal album release via Silber Records in late 2008, The Distance Brings Us Closer, also featuring guest performer Ben Fleury-Steiner. Northern Valentine's music comes from a now very familiar space -- open-ended electronic and guitar textures pitched halfway between contemplative ambience and understated melodies, and to say that The Distance Brings Us Closer would appeal to fans of nearly anything on Kranky Records, for instance, would be an understatement. But if Northern Valentine works in known ground at this point, they still do so with an atmospheric power and grace. Perhaps their strongest knack is for how well they gently disguise the core hooks without letting them get lost completely -- the cyclical rise and fall of the main melody in "Born Yesterday," shimmers through layers of echo and background texture, might be the most breathtaking moment on the album. Other moments like the sudden appearance of a clear piano part on "Dimanche" cutting through the meditative flow of the song further demonstrate the group's abilities. If Northern Valentine are still working towards finding their best sound, they have strong bases to build on.

~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide

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