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Messages - ffcal

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Everything and Nothing / Re: How the CD format compromise the music
« on: December 07, 2008, 09:29:23 AM »

I think you give Immersion a little too much credit.  I took his remark to mean that those of us who prefer to listen to or create shorter works listen to "superficial" music.  That statement has about as much validity as saying that persons who don't enjoy artist X "don't get it."

I think you bring up an interesting point about non-Western cultures, but I don't think that most solo ambient artists work in that kind of cultural context (at least not without some faux new age trappings from the West).  The closest thing to that might be the 90s rave/ambient scene, where continuous ambient pieces might fill a "chill-out" during the wee hours.


I agree that ambient musicians operate largely outside of the mainstream.  I also think that the "bonus track" phenomenon probably had more to do with the transition from LP to CD.  Thankfully, there seems to be less of that going on now, though it seem to crop up a lot on CD reissues, where the record company seems to be trying to persuade the consumer who has the bought the album once before to cough up the dough again for some "remastered" tracks and a few bonus crumbs.


Everything and Nothing / Re: How the CD format compromise the music
« on: December 06, 2008, 02:06:08 PM »
One other opinion I'd like to add (though it is a little off-topic):

In our tiny genre, I think there may be tendency of some to think that structure is not important.  I think it is a big mistake to think that way, and may increase the odds of the result not being that interesting.


Everything and Nothing / Re: How the CD format compromise the music
« on: December 06, 2008, 01:59:56 PM »

I think case you prefer superficial ambient...Myself prefer psychoactive and contemplative ambient...that does bring me in a state beyond space & time.

One person's "psychoactive and contemplative ambient" is another person's aimless noodling.  It's a matter of personal taste.  Having composed and released ambient music for the better part of 20+ years, I have my own opinions about what is and is not useful in ambient music, but certainly do not consider my enjoyment of it "superficial."


Everything and Nothing / Re: How the CD format compromise the music
« on: December 06, 2008, 12:18:05 PM »
All I am saying is that we all choose what life we want to live...and what spend our time on...

I don't think music length of a CD is so much a function of lifestyle as it is a respect for the listener.  If I have a simple idea that can only sustain itself for a few minutes without becoming monotonous, why subject a listener to it for 80 minutes (unless that is the statement being made)?  I don't think there are too many other Philip Glasses, LaMonte Youngs, or even Steve Roachs out there who can sustain that kind of length and yet maintain the listener's interest.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Naked City
« on: December 02, 2008, 06:17:14 PM »
Sorry for the mis-spelling Forrest.

No problem, Michael.  It happens a lot.

BTW, Zorn got some flak from the Bay Area Asian community a few years back for using Japanese porn images on his albums.  I'm not that politically correct, but it did seem like a dumb thing to do.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Naked City
« on: December 02, 2008, 02:06:42 PM »
I prefer Zorn's earlier Nonesuch stuff, like "The Big Gundown" and "Spillane," which to me sounded free-wheeling and spirited without being skronky.  I still think he has a wierd fetish for Japanese porn/bondage stuff, though.  Some of his covers seem needlessly provocative to me, kind of a vestige of the Whitehouse/SPK industrial shock school of the early 80s.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 02, 2008, 02:00:48 PM »
Forrest, I was thinking more about the other albums I have mentioned, especially Cyborg (EMS synth, tapes, organs, and head full of ideas). Mentioned Timewind was recorded using much less equipment. Some parts directly recorded on 2-tracks.
On X he used his "Big Moog" modular synthesizer plus couple of other synths. He sold it later to Peter Namlook, and Namlook put it on Ebay after DSOTM series (I saw that auction... ). And yes, real Mellotron for choirs.

I'm not familiar with Cyborg.  I remember that Timewind was very string synthy.  Especially liked side one (Bayreuth Return), though the white noise ending to that nearly jolted me out of my seat the first time I heard it.

Re Klaus' use of mellotron:  You're right--his website references a mellotron as of '76.  I guess I was fooled by Klaus' reference to a "voice computer" in the liner notes to his Mirage album.  A machine with multiple tape loops is no computer!  I thought for some reason that he might have been using a Chamberlin, but I guess not.

Currently listening to Hector Zazou's swansong, an ambient collaboration with Indian musicians called "In The House of Mirrors."  Very nice and meditative.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Speaking of ECM
« on: December 01, 2008, 06:47:48 PM »
I agree, Mark.  That's kind of lame for any label, much less one like ECM.  I guess this is their version of a minimal frills, mid-line priced album.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 01, 2008, 06:43:27 PM »
Mike,  I think I must have had the same ugly reissue of 'X'.  I remember those crazy fonts on the back cover, too.  I think mine was a Thunderbolt reissue.

Paenon, Schulze's mid-70s tools were actually pretty expansive for the time.  He was (and probably still is) using a monster Moog analog console, and, I think, some kind of early cousin of the Mellotron for the choral sounds, though it was called something else.  Timewind, X and Mirage are probably my favorite Schulze albums.

Currently listening to my hardcopy of the new Byrne/Eno that came in today's mail.  It's a bit of a sleeper, but I kind of like it.  And my copy has David Bryne's autograph, so how can I complain?


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: The Black Hole Reverb
« on: November 27, 2008, 03:28:05 PM »
There's an interesting article by Myles Boisen in this month's Electronic Musician about creating space in mixes.  He refers to most free reverb plug-ins and inexpensive outboard reverb processors as having high coloration:

And...oh yeah, happy thanksgiving, everyone!


Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: November 27, 2008, 12:23:45 AM »
While I prefer CDs to CDRs, some limited releases (eg, the recent Adam Pacione reissue) are only available in CDR format.  I'd rather not miss the opportunity to hear something I think I'd enjoy, on account of the format.  I've even bought cassettes in the past year of artists such as Machinefabreik and A.K. Caminiti of Barn Owl.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Fabio Orsi
« on: November 27, 2008, 12:20:12 AM »
You've got me curious about this guy, and I am wondering what I should get for the first one, and where to get his albums. (it is funny to see all the different responses when one asks the "if I only get one album, which should it be" question...)

I'd start with Orsi's "Music For Lovers" release.  It is a two-fer at a decent price, and has several of his 3" releases on the second disc.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Periskop
« on: November 27, 2008, 12:18:11 AM »
Interesting project.  I've done a few of the pieces (there are quite a few) and have been enjoying the skeletal deep industrial dub.  Reminds how much I enjoyed Kreutzfeldt's netreleases from a few years back.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 27, 2008, 12:16:29 AM »
The Threshold of Silence (Umbra compilation): awesome spacemusic w/lots of guitar drones courtesy SiF, A. Baker, P. Bradley, Troum, etc. Glad I snagged one of the last copies from El Hypnos Store.

I enjoyed this one, too.  Probably my favorite of the Umbra comps I've heard.  The Paul Bradley piece is great, every bit as good as "Cede."

Tonight:  Adam Pacione - With Wakened Eyes (very fine (and limited) reissue of drone-based album that is a cousin of sorts to his 'Sisyphus' release.  Thanks to Jason of Infraction for carrying this.)


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Fabio Orsi
« on: November 18, 2008, 01:28:56 PM »
I've reccommended it before in the past but you should really check out his 3" on Locus Of Assemblage "Birds Are Smart But They Cannot Speak."  I haven't heard to many people respond to this release but perhaps Forrest could comment on it if he has it?

I agree, that's a pretty good one, too, though there is a little bit of basic acoustic guitar strumming on it that I found a little distracting.  Great drones, though.  Other Orsi 3"'ers I have liked are "The Psychedelic Power of Bubbles" and "Please Don't Count the Clouds" ( a 3 disc "split" with Becuzzi).  I would add "Sound Postcards" (an early split with Becuzzi) to the nonrecommends list.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 17, 2008, 08:11:02 PM »

I have a CD reissue of the EInstein 70s version, so it must have been available at some point.  The Nonesuch version is longer and more recently recorded, but apparently not as good.

Recently played--Wire - Project 47 (great!)


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Fabio Orsi
« on: November 17, 2008, 08:09:17 PM »
Glad to see you've been Orsified!:)


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: 2 eno titles
« on: November 17, 2008, 08:08:44 PM »
Haven't heard either, but some tracks Eno had recorded with Robert Fripp appeared on a CD-ROM in the mid-90s called "Head Candy."  There was also an instrumental album Eno recorded called 'Textures' that had a lot of alternate mixes of pieces that had appeared on Shutov Assembly.


While I don't feel I have enough information to fully weigh in on this, I read recently that the current federal intervention in the markets is in part an attempt to avoid the sort of "let weak businesses fail" approach that was prevalent in the years leading to the Great Depression.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 12, 2008, 07:26:59 PM »

As a teen I first read about Glass' "North Star" in a Rolling Stone book of reviews from '79. However I never subsequently saw or heard it despite being exposed to many other of his works (and later photographing him after a lecture!) It seems to have slipped off the radar. How do they compare?

I think what Glass' "North Star" and Molina's "Un Dia" share is their hypnotic use of multitracked vocals.  The vocals almost sound like chants or incantations.  The melody of first track on Un Dia (Dar) is almost a dead ringer for "Ave" off of North Star.  If you like the vocal style of North Star, you'd probably also like Glass' Einstein On The Beach, which is from the same period.


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