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Messages - Ein Sophistry

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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.

Digging this a lot. Kudos, Pete! Still digesting...

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: For Gigi
« on: April 19, 2013, 01:09:46 AM »
Lovely and fitting tribute.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: R.I.P. Oophoi
« on: April 12, 2013, 07:39:35 PM »
This is incredibly sad. Gigi is one of the giants of my ambient universe. The first album of his I'd heard was not actually one of his "major" releases (The Spirals of Time, Celestial Geometries, Athlit) but Time Fragments vol. 2. I was instantly captivated, particularly with the second track, "The Last Farewell." I don't think I'd ever been moved in quite that way by ambient music before. The sense of longing was so palpable, it was almost too much.

I quickly became one of those rabid fans of whom Mike spoke. In fact, it was my need to collect all of his Umbra and Penumbra recordings that initially brought me to Hypnos. It's too bad that the Penumbra releases in particular didn't receive more positive attention. There are some fantastic gems there.

I never corresponded with Gigi personally, but it seems like he was a wonderful, generous human being. Certainly his music brought us all a little closer to the stars. May they now welcome him as he so ardently welcomed them.

Pete, man, this is great stuff. Very creative. I wonderfully strange, wonderfully evocative sonic journey.

2013 is off to a great start. Kudos!

Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Seren Ffordd Thread
« on: October 30, 2012, 07:44:29 PM »
Happy birthday, Andy!  8)

Loving Gottwood so far (only about 20 min in as of this typing); cheers for that.

Can't wait for Fractured.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Under-rated Ambient
« on: March 03, 2012, 06:55:28 AM »
Meg Bowles - her 2011 release, A Quiet Light, is one of the best fusions of space and ambient in years. To release something this excellent after a more than 10 year absence is, IMO, unprecedented.

Great call. Back in the day, it seemed she was always in the shadows of the space music giants (Demby, Stearns, Serrie, etc.), but she's really done something awesome and unique with this release, expertly traversing a very fine line between classic space music and pure ambient.

I've been enthralled by Seren Ffordd's music ever since hearing The Portal's Dreaming on my girlfriend's home theater system (ok, technically, it was her dad's) while playing Dead Space. I'd just splurged on a ton of umbra/penumbra releases and loaded them all up into the CD changer. The Portal's Dreaming came up right when I entered a particularly eerie zero-g section of the game. It all fit together just perfectly. I definitely hope The Martian Chronicles gets Andy some more exposure.

Tau Ceti also merits mention here. He's mostly known as Gigi's collaborator on Celestial Geometries, but he has some great solo releases as well. Some of his EPs are delightfully otherworldly and experimental (Achernar, Albhali, Pulsar, etc.). Achernar, in particular, is quite the trip.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Overrated Ambient
« on: March 03, 2012, 06:28:05 AM »
If we're talking overrated I'd have to agree with Aphex Twin, Biosphere, FSOL.

Those were also the first names that came to my mind. I'm also finding that Harold Budd is starting to wear pretty thin with me. I love some of his releases (e.g., The White Arcades), but he hasn't wowed me in quite a while.

Also, I won't single out individual artists (there are so many now!), but on the whole this new quasi-subgenre of what I can only think to call "hipster ambient" really underwhelms the hell out of me. Adding glitches or layers of lo-fi crackle to lazy guitar drones doesn't magically make them nostalgic or otherwise emotionally resonant. There are some gems here, of course, but they're getting harder and harder to find as the ambient market (such as it is) gets increasingly saturated with this stuff.

Got my bundle a while back. Fantastic, haunting stuff!

Can't wait. Ion and Orcus were epic.

Good to hear you are enjoying the music - 'fantastic' is a brilliant response....

JKN on Relaxed Machinery asked me a question about the album - see my reply at

the thread includes some comments on a joke I made on another thread ::).

Very cool. It's always nice to have a peek behind the curtain on awesome projects like this.

I'd actually never been on the Relaxed Machinery forum before. I just have to say: Mad props to jkn for the Tachikoma avatar.

Addendum: the site and label ain't too bad either.  ;)

Got mine the other day. Absolutely fantastic! Still digesting...

All my best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

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