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Messages - GordonDanis

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Wonderful World of Gamelan
« on: April 04, 2008, 11:15:38 AM »
It is true that there is nothing quite like gamelan, and that gamelan from Java tends to be spacy and langorous, while Balinese gamelan is
"the original speed metal" in the words of Loren Nerell, who has forgotten more about gamelan than I'll never know, and who has created both excellent gamelan, and gamelan-related works (my favorite is Taksu, which is gamelan-related.)

A good starting point are the four Javanese gamelan CDs reissued by Nonesuch Explorer a few years ago.  While these are field recordings, they hold up quite well-in fact, gamelan in a studio almost sounds sterile in comparison.  There is also a CD of Balinese gamelan on Nonesuch Explorer, coupled with the famous "monkey chant" (which was sampled by Jade Warrior on their Floating World CD-if you listened to 'Star's End' about 30 years ago, you couldn't have missed it.)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New Music From Mathias Grassow
« on: April 04, 2008, 11:03:53 AM »
You can access clips from some of the Mathias Grassow/Thomas Weiss collabs athttp://www.myspace.com/labelmp

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Loren, you are probably correct-The Frozen Lands, while not in classic T.U.U. sytle, DOES sound more ambient than what I recall of the sound samples he posted. I don't think there is any great mystery as to why people are still interested in T.U.U.-the music is still fresh and vital, and unlike so many, T.U.U. had a signature "sound" that I found both ethereal and grounded.

Check for a new book from the Indiana University Press in late 2008 called "You Know Where You Can Stick That Stick, Or My Life As Jeff Pearce's Neighbor."  Chapters include "I Just Came Over To Borrow Sugar And He Made Me Listen to AC/DC,"  "Harder Then Getting Into Neverland," and the heartbreaking "If He Makes Me Read That Damn High School Diary Once More...."  The author has currently sought protection and is thought to be living far, ar away.... :o

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New Music From Italy
« on: April 01, 2008, 08:22:37 PM »
Undershadow and some others have mentioned "Sostrah Tinnitus," whose real name is the pedestrian Mario Costa.  I enjoy his CDs on Gig's label, Nebra and Favi di Fiele, but his best CD may be the tinkly L'Odore del Ramo Spezzato, which translates to........(c'mon you Italian scholars!)

Mario is not unaware that "tinnitus" is in fact a medical condition characterizied by a ringing in the ears; I'm not sure why every ambient Italian musician seems to have at least one pseudonym, but they might as well be humourous.

STILL digging Zeit's Waves From The Sky big time ;D

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New Music From Italy
« on: April 01, 2008, 08:12:30 PM »
Thanks Undershadow; please let us know when "TBA" becomes a reality, and I surely will order my DOMESTIC copy ;)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New Music From Mathias Grassow
« on: April 01, 2008, 08:03:17 PM »
Drone On, what is the inTro CD to which you are referring?  It doesn't appear to be one of Mathias' CDs.  His other new CD is Quiet Calling with frequent collborator Thomas Weiss on the Musical Philosophy label

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bill Evans
« on: April 01, 2008, 07:49:56 PM »
Good to see Jeff chiming in on one of our favorite musicians, Bill Evans, and favorite albums, Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue.   Improved just a bit in Super Audio (mostly in the bass-Mr. P.C. never sounded quite so authoritative,) it has been the best selling album/CD yearly, since 1959.  Quite a "record."

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bill Evans
« on: April 01, 2008, 07:45:54 PM »
You guys did a Bill Evans post, and nobody told me?  OK guys, that's cool, you know, whatever, what goes around and whatnot... ::)

But seriously....It saddened me greatly when I read perhaps the ultimate biography of Evans by classical pianist Peter Pettinger, called How My Heart Sings (1996 Yale University Press,) only to learn that he died in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 1981, not far from where I was living at the time, grieving from the death of his brother Harry, playing gigs and recording largely to feed a recurring, demonic drug habit, which he shared with drummer Philly Joe Jones, another enormous talent cut short by drugs.

Bill Evans was a prolific artist, but there is substantial agreement that his best works were performed in his "Village Vanguard" trio with Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums.  All of that music is now contained on two Hybrid Syper Audio CDs, Sunday At The Village Vanguard and Waltz For Debby.   What were excellent recordings to start become absolutely crystalline via Super Audio; just for one thing, you have never heard Scott La Faro's bass sound so real and full.  There are three other titles on Super Audio: Explorations, Moonbeams, and Portrait In Jazz.

Before Super Audio arrived, I would have suggested the 10 CD Riverside Sessions as a start, but much of the Super Audio Material is duplicative of the Riverside sides.

Evan's chordal vocabulary and impressionistic style seems to become more and more influential with each passing year: look at Chick Corea, early McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Michel Pettruciani, guitarists Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, and John McGlaughlin, also saxophonist Paul Desmond, and many, many others.

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It's quite easy to think of this music as an island onto itself, but several days after a sheath of ice in the North Pole broke away from a larger piece becaue of global warming, the break-away piece being 7 times the size of Manhattan, it would be impossibly foolish not to acknowledge the ecological concerns behind the music. 

Kudos to Allessandro Tedeschi ("Netherworld,") not only for his efforts to bring the issue of global warming to the fore, but for involving other musicians who have conctributed to his "V/A" projects.  One more thing: he does some very nice playing on perhaps Oophoi's best CD to date, Arpa di Sabbia.

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T.U.U. was, to quote Judd Stephens, "a perfect blend" of flutes and drums, earth and sky, "space" and reality.  All of their CDs are worth owning, along with a mini-CD; in fact the mini-CD, called The Frozen Lands on Amplexus, gives the listener a pretty good idea of what Martin Franklin is up to now: more synths and a glossier, somwhat "techno" sound, but the lovely dichotomy of T.U.U. is lost.  I believe the name stands for "Trans Urban Underground."

One of those Space For Music artists, Mason Stevens, who has a very unique "space/blues" sound shown to best effect on 2001's Lunar Waves, is putting together a new CD and searching for a new label.  Besides admittedly being a friend (Who said you can't ask the "Where are they now" question while knowing the answer?) I am always blown away by Mason's guitar playing.  Just remember, on the 1997 SFM ambient CD Cosmic Flight, William Linton and a pretty fair guitarist named Tony Gerber played synths, while Mason was the only musician who played guitar.

As for Anthony Asher Wright of Australia, I am an unabashed fan of all of his material, although I think Colour Glow and Enviro are his best works.  Last time I spoke to him, he was constructing a more rock-oriented piece, working in 5.1 surround sound, and learning all the possibilities inherent in his custom-built 12 string MIDI-guitar.  Domestic issues may have temporarily derailed him, but I'm sure he'll be back.

I DON"T know the answer to this one: Anyone hear from a guitarist/stick player, name of Pearce?

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New Music From Italy
« on: March 30, 2008, 09:09:09 AM »
Undershadow, thanks for the visual; just looking at the covers, and particularly that of Mondo Sensibili, is a calming experience.  I believe that Gianluigi Toso is the "therapist" of the duo, though it would be doing Aglaia a profound disservice to throw them in with the glut of "medical ambient" recordings to sleep, meditate, or schtupp by. To my ears, this is great music; if it happens to provide a "service," that is purely incidental to the creation of the music, not the putative reason for its existence (we've all seen too many "Music To Sleep By" type recordings, some actually recorded by "doctors" of some sort.)

I also agree that while all three Aglaia recordings are well worth purchasing, to date the gem of the three is Mondo Sensibili, one of my two favorite recordings from 2006, the other being Oophoi's Arpa di Sabbia, (this is purely be release date; I didn't get my copy of Arpa, perhaps Gigi's finest, until 2007.

Given the cost of obtaining Aglaia music, wouldn't it be lovely to see an Aglaia recording on Hypnos?

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Alio Die
« on: March 29, 2008, 06:44:12 PM »
Mike G. is right on about Stefano's work-it is somewhat of an acquired taste, but once acquired, listeners glutton themselves on every work of his and on his label, Hic Sunt Leones.

That being said, his most recent work, Aura Seminalis, represents a marked departure from the sameness of some of his recent recordings.  As Brian B. aptly said, it almost sounds like a different artist entirely.  Any artist who can reinvent themselves so thoroughly, in such a satisying manner, is someone who will always interest me.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / New Music From Mathias Grassow
« on: March 29, 2008, 06:28:03 PM »
Two works of note: The first, Ambiessence, is a collaboration with Bruno Sanfillipo on the AD21 label, and is quite reminiscent of The Pearl and Forgotten Placesby James Johnson & Robert Scott Thompson.

The second work, Quiet Calling, is a long-form drift/drone piece with Matt's frequent collaborator of late, Thomas Weiss. It is one of those works best heard while immersed via headphones, as the subtle changes are more perceptible in that manner. Quiet Calling can be obtained through Mathias' Web site www.mathias-grassow-de, and perhaps other venues as well in the near future.

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All three Still Life recordings are terrific and "ambient" in the classic Enossified manner, as Bill B implies.   I believe all three recordings are available at The Hypnos Online Store.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New Music From Italy
« on: March 29, 2008, 06:10:58 PM »
Zeit's Waves From The Sky is tremendous-what a surprise from Tomasso Cimo, a/k/a Zeit.  While incorporating many of the Hic Sunt Leones staples (environmental recordings, mythical ambience, "found" instruments,) this record harks back to older recordings with its unexpected (and totally endearing) use of mellotron. If I had to compare this work to that of any other artist, I would say David Parsons, which is meant as high praise.  This is a very accessible CD which would not sound out of place on ECHOES (word up, John D!) Worth the many Euros, I believe.  I agree with Brian that the Alio Die is a welcome departure from the oft-repeated style of many recent zither laden recordings, and I've not listened to Stefano Scala's Impermanence, which is a musical Tibetan travelogue, enough yet to have an informed opinion. 

I HAVE listened to Oophoi's An Aerial View, and find it to be a gentle, un-cliched "Ice Age" recording, with bits of theremin popping up to add an unusual and different sound to Gigi's palette.  This recording is on the "Glacial Movements" label.  I still have not heard the Aglaia recording.

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Regarding the allegedly "hot" sound of Solyaris, I like it.
I was just listening to another CD that was admittedly recorded "hot" (Spaceby the MJQ on Apple Records-legend has it that Milt Jackson, John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Connie Kay drank a little "spiked" soft drink, voluntarily mind you, before recording this music-I've heard the same about Coltrane's Om, and also assume the same to be true for every Tangerine Dream work recorded "in the day.")  The sound is clearer, a little more "in your face" on my speakers (Pro-Ac Response 1SCs with mathing REL 1 powered sub for each channel,) than previous Austere releases-but o my ears,it simply sounds "right."  It's like with air conditioning-if it's too cold you can always turn it down, but if it's too hot, you are screwed without it.  Similarly if the recording is too hot just turn down the volume, but if it's too soft, cranking it can cause other attendant problems.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / New Music From Italy
« on: March 21, 2008, 07:53:55 AM »
I've just ordered the new release from Gigi, Aerial View, as well as all four new releases from Hic Sunt Leones (including new music from Alio Die, Zeit, Stefano Scala, and (I think,) one of my personal favorites, Aglaia.  Any news about them?

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Hypnos Label Releases / Re: CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« on: February 27, 2008, 09:22:18 PM »
Honestly I was not quite ready for the voyage on which I would be musically escorted when I first tracked Solyaris.   I knew it wasn't a process work like Pulse or Eco or Convergence, or "conventionally" beautiful like Fade (I always preferred the first version,) and I wondered how it might compare to some of your side projects like The Frequency Magnet or the Mysterious Oracle.
 
Solyaris is planetarium music for an as of yet undiscovered galaxy.  I have had it playing continuously for hours since I just returned home from a short vacation, but I feel like I've been floating far from my usual environs when Solyaris is playing.  I discover different corners of this new galaxy on each listen, my personal benchmark for a great CD, the kind to which I will return again and again.
 
Admittedly this is my first day with Solyaris, but I don't think it's too much of a hyperbolic leap to declare that this is the finest Austere project ever, which is saying quite a bit, and that Solyaris is one of the top three "ambient" CDs that I have heard this year.  Great stuff Boyz!
 

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Just received a few copies of this CD from John Deek of Divine Frequencies, and quickly distributed them to the usual radio stations,
so you should be hearing this gem shortly.

Apparently they've been around for a while, with gorgeous female vocals and understated electronics, and are even available under another name.  For me, though, they came out of left field, much like the wonderful Still Life series by Nelson Foltz & Tom Lynn that are available through the Hypnos Store (and should make many "Best of 2007" lists.)

But I digress-who can tell me more about CarterTutti?  And how can I get back my "Personal Icon?"

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Sexy Ambient
« on: December 07, 2007, 11:04:21 AM »
"The Pearl" by Harold Budd & Brian Eno: "Quiet Music" and "Structures From Silence" by Steve Roach; "The Golden Morning Breaks" and "Everybody Wants Answers" by Colleen; "Flow Goes The Universe" by Laraaji; "To The Shores Of Heaven" by Jeff Pearce; "Deeper" by Life In Balance; "Mercurius" and "Fragrance Of Eternal Roses" by Mathias Grassow; "Space Hotel," "Monsoon Point" and "Tantra Drums" by Al Gromer Khan; "Godspace" and "The Way Beyond" by Jim Cole; ""Yatri" and "Himalaya" by David Parsons; "And The Stars Go With You" and "The Stargazers's View" by Jonn Serrie; and "The River Of Appearance" by Vidna Obmana just for starters (I cut and pasted this from a similar thread on amazon.com.)

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