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Messages - Ein Sophistry

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Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: January 28, 2016, 06:28:37 PM »
Just finished Cormac McCarthy's Outer Dark.

This was McCarthy's second novel, but the trademarks of his Blood Meridian-era style are already in full swing here. This dude knows imagery, cadence, metaphor, and general sensory immersion like no one else writing today. Every page is a harrowing language-gasm. It's a shorter novel, also, and thematically tighter than the works that follow it. In some ways this makes it a more satisfying read than those books (though it's still not as a good, all in all, as Blood Meridian). In general, I was pleasantly surprised. I'd been under the impression that McCarthy only really came into his own with Suttree. This book disabused me of that.

Also, it's grim as all hell, of course, know...caveat lector.

Next up:
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Obsidian
« on: January 14, 2016, 12:03:18 AM »
I heartily disagree.  The number symbolizes the antichrist, destruction of God's creation, and hell on Earth.  Not exactly nature loving peacenik from what I can tell.  Also a Satanist and atheist are two completely different belief systems.

I don't want to drag this out, but one quick note: The two most prominent Satanic organizations in the US, LaVey's "Church of Satan" and the Detroit-based "Satanic Temple", are both explicitly atheistic. They seem to view Satan, along the lines Castleview suggested, as something more like a symbol of self-realization, enlightenment, etc. It's all pretty silly to me (I'm no great fan of prodigal metaphysics or even pseudospiritual theater), but the latter organization has at least done some tangible good in calling attention to breaches in the Establishment Clause that other religious institutions have been permitted to get away with. None of this, of course, obligates you to buy anyone's music, but the detail is worth mentioning.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Obsidian
« on: January 12, 2016, 04:34:09 PM »
Have to say, I'm pretty surprised to see this pricing decision elicit so much drama here. I'm speaking only of the initial responses. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I just assumed this was an artist not as well known for darker ambient music having a little fun with some of the more cliched tropes of the genre. Even if I did have reason to suspect the price reflected a sincere religious conviction, the label "Satanist" is pretty damned uninformative. A self-identified Satanist is at least as likely to be a nature-loving peacenik or a theatrically inclined but otherwise harmless atheist as the depraved caricature the term traditionally connotes.

It's a fine album, btw.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Non Ambient Purchases 2015
« on: January 03, 2016, 06:05:24 PM »
2015 was a very metal-intensive year for me. Must be due to frustration over the educational/vocational cul-de-sac I've steered myself into.

Anyway, my top 15 non-ambient releases:

1.) A Forest of Stars Beware the Sword You Cannot See
2.) Dreadnought Bridging Realms
3.) Enshine Singularity
4.) Ethereal Shroud They Became the Falling Ash
5.) Kauan Sorni Nai
6.) Nechochwen Heart of Akamon
7.) xx Xx Nmd
8.) Pomegranate Tiger Boundless
9.) So Hideous Laurestine
10.) Sunset in the 12th House Mozaic
11.) Tangled Thoughts of Leaving Yield to Despair
12.) Thy Catafalque Sgrr
13.) Ulvesang Ulvesang
14.) Kamasi Washington The Epic
15.) We Lost the Sea Departure Songs

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: September 20, 2015, 07:42:34 PM »
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A poignant little work of astounding, besieged humanity. Every American should read it. Every lover of language too.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Max Richter 8-hour lullaby
« on: September 06, 2015, 11:50:38 AM »
Sadly, the 8-hour version only appears to be available through iTunes. I hope that will change soon.

Anyone playing Bloodborne? Mike's recent post on CthulhuCon made me think of it. I'm a n00b to the Souls games, so it's been a bit of a...frustrating experience acclimating to the difficulty, but the strangeness of the lore (there are a lot of Lovecraftian elements there) keeps me coming back for more punishment.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Best of 2014 - non-ambient
« on: December 24, 2014, 09:51:37 AM »
Really digging Rishloo's newest. Some delicious prog here. Fantastic energy, emotional climaxes, and some truly acrobatic singing.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Interstellar
« on: November 09, 2014, 02:40:58 AM »
Just saw this tonight. A very, very ambitious movie. There's a lot of cool stuff happening, but its reach definitely sometimes exceeds its grasp (in a way, this is somewhat thematically appropriate). Plenty of fantastic set pieces and a good amount of compelling drama, but things tended to get cringe-worthy pretty quickly whenever anyone started talking "science." I'm a pretty huge science nerd, so these moments took me out of the film. I should definitely say that I think most of you will be pleasantly surprised with Zimmer's score. Refreshingly different from the bombast for which he's famous. Possibly my favorite work of his since The Thin Red Line.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: September 16, 2014, 05:27:12 PM »
I've been meaning to check those out. The only thing I've read by Simmons is Song of Kali, many, many years ago. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but parts of it have definitely stayed with me.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Seren Ffordd Thread
« on: August 31, 2014, 09:22:29 PM »
Really enjoying this.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: August 28, 2014, 12:32:32 PM »
Just finished Cormac McCarthy's Suttree. Funny, sad, and written in stupefyingly beautiful prose (it might not be evident from later, more tersely written works like No Country for Old Men, but this guy is an absolute master of imagery). Currently about 150 pages into Gravity's Rainbow. Thus far, it's proving a tougher swallow. Though Pynchon's talent is undeniable, there's always been something about that cheeky-yet-politically-heavy-handed American species of historiographic metafiction that sticks in my craw a little (not for especially political reasons, mind). We'll see, though; there's still a lot of the book left to explore.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Constance Demby
« on: January 08, 2014, 01:48:34 AM »
Also, Meg Bowles occupies this interesting niche between more melodic space music a la Demby and more purely ambient music. Her newest, The Shimmering Land, is excellent:

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Constance Demby
« on: January 08, 2014, 01:43:55 AM »
Novus Magnificat was a crucial part of my journey to ambient music. It got me into space music in a big way, and somewhere in my ferreting for similar releases I happened upon Roach's The Magnificent Void. That sealed the deal.

I'll second the recommendation of Oophoi, and I'd add that our own Seren Ffordd has made some wonderful "space ambient" albums. Ydd Hwnt y Seren a Llygedin is a personal favorite. Very, very deep and vast, that one. Needless to say, you should also check out The Martian Chronicles, a fantastic collab between these two artists:

Really digging Zeitlos, Tomas. A definite album of the year contender for me.

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Phobos - Monolith
« on: October 24, 2013, 12:41:35 AM »
Samples sound great, but there doesn't seem to be a purchase/download option on the bandcamp page.

The year has definitely started to perk up.

Oophoi's two aforementioned posthumous release are both excellent; I Hear the Wind Singing, in particular, has to rank among my favorite of Gigi's works.

Dagaz was an excellent "grower," and Grassow's untitled collab with Closing the Eternity is, as has been noted by others at several points, just sublime.

Meg Bowles' new release is a fantastic journey.

Seren Ffordd's Halo is a lovely tribute. Love how patiently it develops.

Parhelion - Temples in Ice. Only EP-length, but the sound design here is incredible.

Also, though it came out last year, I've really been digging Shrine's Somnia, released on Cyclic Law (usually, what they put out is too martial and cheesy for my tastes, but occasionally a gem comes along, like this one).

Need to spend some more time with Sonnenwende.

Now Playing / Re: Heavy music: turn it up to eleven!
« on: August 29, 2013, 11:01:28 PM »
Heavy music was my first love. I wasn't really interested in music at all until high school, and it was Tool's AEnima that finally did the trick.

Of late, I've really been into the work of Ben Sharp, who records under the name Cloudkicker. Complex, layered, angular, odd-time, HEAVY guitar work that nevertheless has a great sense of warmth and spaciousness, making the whole thing feel quite majestic. This stuff hits a lot of my ambient buttons, but in a very different way. There's a subtly-infused indie sensibility and a weird sort of nostalgia that accompanies the proceedings. All the heaviness aside, this is some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. And, it's all instrumental, so no angsty grunting of pre-teen caliber poetry here.

A few choice cuts:

The heavy bit's in the middle, sandwiched between two lighter segues.

Awesome layering in the middle section of this one. Let it wash over you:

One of his first released tracks. That riff at 1:35 and epic:

Bear with the speed metal opening (if that's not your thing) and be treated to several tasty, majestic riffs, my favorite beginning at 1:07:

Now Playing / Re: Who else is listening to the new Grassow on repeat?
« on: August 29, 2013, 03:37:26 PM »

I've been playing it quite a bit as well; it's one of my regular "sleep" CDs at the moment. It didn't quite grab me as immediately as Elsewhere I did, but it has surely and steadily grown on me. Great stuff.

Feels like it's been kind of a slow year for ambient so far, but maybe I'm just slow on the uptake.

Among what I have heard, though, I've been especially digging:

Igneous Flame: Nyx
Nautic Depths - Elsewhere I
Lustmord - The Word as Power

I need to look into those two Oophoi releases. Based on past experience, chances are pretty good at least one of them will end up on the list too.

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