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Messages - ffcal

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I can't see how they can compete with Spotify, Apple music etc. We can't get Pandora here in the UK, so I don't know about them.

Personally, I'd rather get the fairly meagre (but not as bad as they are made out) royalties from Spotify, if it means people are listening to my music.

Hi Pete,

Here's something sobering to consider about Spotify.  The major record labels own a portion of it, so they have an advantage over small indies by making money off the front end and the back end, and could potentially use their ownership to put the squeeze on indie label royalties while increasing their ownership returns via Spotify.  This effectively co-opts the larger labels by giving them a piece, while leaving the indies hanging out to dry.  Pretty insidious:

Left for dead by most investors and pundits, the surviving Big Three labels–Warner, Universal and Sony–have quietly muscled out stakes of the hottest digital entertainment startups, including 10% to 20%, collectively, of the established streaming services, such as Spotify and Rdio. Terms are similarly stark for younger startups: The labels take stakes for free or on the cheap, and then often give themselves the right to buy larger chunks at deep discounts to market later on.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: September 16, 2015, 09:12:39 AM »
I recently picked up Thomas Koner's Tiento De Las Nieves, which I liked very much.  I also picked up Oophoi's Penumbra Recollected 1 (Databloem), which combines Gigi's three Penumbra EPs with the Italian electronic musician L.E.M.


Interesting topic, John.  I know that Sam at Projekt recently used Patreon.  I don't think a subscription model would work well for me because my musical output tends to be irregular.  I've gone through extended periods when I'm not really creating anything, and then for some reason unknown to me I'll suddenly be inspired and will record steadily until the creative pull recedes and the cycle repeats again.  I think the subscription model would generally appeal to listeners who are either huge fans of the artists or who like purchasing their music in a physical form with a personal touch from the artist.


Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 11, 2015, 04:21:49 PM »

Lisa Franklin should be in the good Hypnos times.  ;D I thought that was more amusing then anything else.

I wholeheartedly agree!  Maybe in honor of that moment, we should all contribute a piece pseudoanonymously for an ambient forum project to be called, "The Lisa Franklyne Project."   :D

Also, at least this forum seems more active than the ambient mailing list, which hardly seems to get posts anymore.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 11, 2015, 02:04:27 PM »
And I do miss the outspoken and endearing Jim B.

And occasionally raunchy.... ;)

I miss him, too.

Everything and Nothing / Re: ...a few thoughts on communities
« on: September 11, 2015, 07:52:28 AM »
I think the lull here has a lot to do with the waxing and waning of our tiny genre, the continuing fragmentation of listening habits, and the discouraging  financial effect streaming has had on artists dedicated to this genre.  I don't think there's any conscious effort here to avoid newbies.  I tend not to respond to posts that seem "spammy," especially if the poster generally does not participate in other discussions.  An internet forum is an imperfect way to get to know someone, though I think that the more you contribute of yourself to it, the more you and other forum members can potentially get out of it.


I interviewed Subotnick for a college newspaper  in the 70s.  He's quite a visionary.  At that time, he was using gloves as controllers to pan electronic sounds from right to left.  He also had an interesting audiovisual installation that was triggered by metal pieces placed on different squares of a chessboard.  Loved the sounds of his Electronic Music Box, a Buchla creation.  I highly recommend his Until Spring, Touch and Silver Apples of the Moon releases from that period.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Max Richter 8-hour lullaby
« on: September 08, 2015, 08:27:20 PM »
Can't help wondering what Robert Rich makes of this all though...

Looks like Richter's getting quite a publicity push for this release from his record company, the classical label DGG.  Kind of irritating that none of the articles I've seen covering Max Richter's "sleep concerts" mention Robert, who pioneered the sleep concert in the 80s.  Richter's idea of one sounds pretty weird, though; one-hundred beds in an auditorium...


A belated welcome back, Julio.  Sorry to hear you didn't make it all the way, but it sounds like you had some very memorable experiences along the way.  Thanks for sharing the photographs--very nicely done.


Many thanks, Richard!  It's always fun to read your reviews to see what feelings my music evokes.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: August 17, 2015, 10:35:03 PM »
Zoviet France - Just An Illusion (a great tribal ambient release I wish I had picked up sooner)


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: That Audiophile thing again
« on: August 17, 2015, 09:09:23 AM »
I think live performance can actually be less interesting to listen to than a recording for really detailed ambient music, unless the sound system is pretty spectacular, like the one Hearts of Space used for its Ambicon Festival.  I'd rather hear the layers of detail through headphones, rather than take the chance that I've stood in the right place to hear the full intended balance of sounds generated live.


Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: That Audiophile thing again
« on: August 16, 2015, 10:25:52 AM »
I'm not really an audiophile guy myself, but I did notice a huge improvement in sound when I upgraded my stereo amplifier from a basic Technics model to a used Rotel one.  Much quieter, smoother sound, and better overall staging through phones.  When I was a teenager, I used to listen to my parents' Fisher tube amp, which sounded very warm and present, especially on orchestral recordings.


Hi Loren,

Richard Lainhart did some wonderful work with Kyma.  I think his Threshold piece had some Kyma transformations of New York street sounds and he's also processed lap steel guitar through it:


Nice review, Richard.  I was pleased that the pressing was very quiet (unlike my VOD pressing of the Hafler Trio, which is very noisy).  That sequencer piece on the release from the beginning of the original cassette version of "Inner Landscapes" is a favorite of mine.


Sounds like quite a marathon.  Best of luck with it!  Maybe you could bring back some cool environmental recordings to use on a future album project.


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: July 28, 2015, 06:39:31 PM »
Been playing:

Arovane -- Atol Scrap, Lilies, Icol Diston. These are fine things.

Checked on Bandcamp :

Good time to check out the early releaes if you don't already have them ... euro is not always this low !   8)

Thanks for the link.  Didn't know he had a new one out.  His Tides release is a long-time favorite and his 2013 album Ve Palor is pretty good, too.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Dieter Moebius passes
« on: July 26, 2015, 10:15:48 AM »
Oh, no.  That's really sad.  I was listening to one of his solo releases the other day.  Was he ill or was it sudden?

I still have my original vinyl of ZF's "Mohnomishe," though I haven't played it in a while.  Would be nice to see some of their more obscure releases (like "Assault and Mirage") come back into print.


Is this a case of artists / labels trying to 'add value' to their releases in an increasingly digital world ? If so, I think that's cool, but it goes without saying that the music should be able to 'speak for it itself', primarily.

I was thinking of small labels that seem to have built their following on elaborate packaging, like Fluid Audio.  I guess you could make the argument about the proliferation of expanded editions generally, but I think that has more to do with labels trying to find a formula that keeps them afloat in the era of streaming.

I find myself buying stuff for the limited edition aspect rather than the music.  Which is pretty dumb.

Yeah, I'm guilty of that, too.

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