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Topics - mgriffin

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Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Movie trailers worth a look
« on: October 11, 2011, 07:08:54 PM »
Everyone likes a big, long never-ending perpetual forum topic, right? Now that we have the ability to embed YouTube videos, how about one for new movie trailers that seem worth a look?

Please create separate topics for other videos (jokes, cute kittens, Bollywood dance freakouts) and save this one for on-topic stuff, OK?

I bring you... the first trailer for The Avengers.

Computers, Internet and Technology / Steve Jobs 1955-2011
« on: October 05, 2011, 05:00:05 PM »
I knew Steve Job had to be struggling if he stepped down from Apple but I'm still shocked that he's gone.


Independent Music Reviews / A place for reviews
« on: October 03, 2011, 01:32:32 PM »
We'd like to give music reviewers a little more focus by putting them in their own area, as we did last year with podcasts.

If you're a reviewer and would like us to consider creating a "sticky" topic for your review postings (even if the reviews are cross-posts from your own blog or another magazine), speak up. Preference will be given to reviewers who:

A. focus primarily on the kind of music of greatest interest to those who read this forum

B. will post reviews on a consistent ongoing basis

C. write reviews that lean toward the substantive and detailed

We're not interested at all in trying to set up Hypnos "house reviewers" and there's no expectation that Hypnos releases will necessarily be among those reviewed, or if they are that such reviews will be positive. This has more to do with the Hypnos Forum as a community than with Hypnos Recordings as a label.

Artist: Seren Ffordd and Oöphoi
Title: The Martian Chronicles
Label: Hypnos (digipak CD)

2011. The Martian Chronicles, inspired by Ray Bradbury's story collection of
the same name, sounds very much like the soundtrack to a mysterious and strange
science fiction film that exists only in the imaginations of Seren Ffordd and Oöphoi.
These seven tracks, while slow, moody and at times weirdly alien, also evoke a
drama and emotional  depth absent from much recent ambient music. It's a complex
and beautiful mixture of electronic instruments, field recordings and percussion.

These artists will both likely be familiar to Hypnos listeners. Seren Ffordd has
released several albums on our Hypnos Secret Sound imprint, and also contributed to
the Hypnos compilation Sounds of a Universe Overheard. The name Seren Ffordd
(real name Andy Benford) is Welsh for Star Road, Way of Stars or Milky Way.

Oöphoi himself released Athlit in 2002, Distance to Zero (with Paul Vnuk)
in 2006, and his Nebulae group project album Path of White Clouds in 2011, all
on Hypnos. Gianluigi Gasparetti, the man behind Oöphoi, first became known for
creating the excellent Italian music periodical Deep Listenings. His Oöphoi persona
burst onto the ambient music scene in the late 1990s and quickly became one of the most
talented and prolific sound artists around. He founded the now-defunct labels Umbra and
Penumbra, which released the earliest recordings of Seren Ffordd. After working
together in this capacity for several years The Martian Chronicles is their
first collaboration, but not their last; the pair has already completed another full
album worth of material.

We at Hypnos are proud to bring you this collaborative work from two of the most
interesting and talented ambient musicians out there, and we hope you'll enjoy it as
much as we do.
Track list with MP3 samples
01 > The Long Years > 14:38 -- MP3 clip
02 > Dead Cities > 15:03 -- MP3 clip
03 > Blue Fire > 13:19 -- MP3 clip
04 > End of a Changeling > 02:49 -- MP3 clip
05 > Canals > 08:11 -- MP3 clip
06 > Flamebirds Waiting for the Storm > 10:06 -- MP3 clip
07 > Unremembered > 09:56 -- MP3 clip

Purchase direct for $12.99

Purchase direct for $12.99

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Now Reading, pt 2
« on: October 01, 2011, 09:38:08 AM »
As I said, this kind of topic is one I'd really love to see more active on the forum. I've received some really good recommendations for authors and books from people here.

At the very least, I'll start cross-posting here the mini-reviews I post to Amazon or Goodreads.

Hypnos label release discussions go here:

Non-Hypnos label releases by Hypnos artists go here:

Non-Hypnos label releases by Hypnos Forum members go here:

All the rest goes in this section. This is NOT an area for self-promotion.

If you're just becoming familiar with the music of the Hypnos label or other artists and labels who frequent this forum, and wonder where you can obtain the music, all our label's releases and many of those under discussion on this forum can be found at the Hypnos Online Store.


Hypnos label section:

Hypnos is a small, independent label and the best way to support operations like ours is by buying the music. We appreciate it!

We've been discussing possible enhancements to the Hypnos Forum in this topic:

The first modification I've made is the ability to embed Soundcloud clips and sets.

The second modification allows embeding YouTube and Vimeo videos. Actually, a number of other streaming video formats are supported, but we'll get into that later.

Instructions for each of these will follow below. Thanks for your input, everybody.

Everything and Nothing / Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
« on: September 27, 2011, 04:40:45 PM »
I've posted similar inquiries here in previous years, and I'm trying again.

The Hypnos Forum has been around for more than a decade, in various incarnations and versions, and it's gone through periods of thriving, buzzing activity, as well as slower doldrums. This latest slower period is probably less to do with the normal ebb and flow, and more to do with the fact that all over the internet, forums of this type seem to be less busy and active, as many people spend more time and energy on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

While I enjoy those sites myself, I think many of us would agree there's something to be said for a somewhat specifically focused, member-based site like this one. When you visit the Hypnos Forum you can assume a certain common ground with other members. It's nice to be able to post "I think Future Sound of London hasn't aged very well," and know that most people will have heard the albums you're talking about, and many people will have opinions, whether in agreement or disagreement.

I'd love to find a way to enhance this community with some additional features that would make people feel like visiting and posting here more often, without losing the narrow focus that is the whole point of this place. The moderators (APK and JKN) and I have been talking about this a bit, and thought it would be useful to take suggestions from Hypnos Forum members.

Also I've started to feel the Hypnos News page is sort of redundant since most news gets posted here. I've considered that maybe an enhanced community might have a series of blogs, not just by myself, and that the Hypnos blog would also be the main news outlet, replacing the above-linked news page.

Many of you are also members of JKN's Relaxed Machinery community on the Ning platform, so you'll understand what I mean when I say Ning comes close to being the sort of thing I envision for a new version of this place -- it's more than just a forum, but also a place where community members can share news, sounds, images and possibly blogs. I'd love for the Hypnos Forum to be more than just a traditional message board, and to allow people to share more than just little time-sequenced bits of text like this.

Let us know what kinds of features you'd like to see, and we'll try to take the wishes of our membership into account.

Is it important to you to see social network integration? Even if you already have a Hypnos Forum membership, do you think it would increase activity here if people could log in using their Facebook or Twitter or Google or Wordpress account?

Do you want to a central area for member blogs?

A shared member image gallery?  A shared member listening area?

We'd love to hear suggestions, preferences, complaints or whatever you have to offer.

I've just learned that Barry Craig, known to ambient music listeners as A Produce, passed away yesterday. Few details are known as yet, but we believe the cause of death to be illness, possibly pancreatitis, and that Barry was 59.

The work of A Produce stands among the best work in the ambient and trance music field. Much of his work was released on his own Trance Port label dating back to the early 90s, often in beautiful letterpress folder editions for such releases as Reflect Like a Mirror, Respond Like an Echo, Land of 1000 Trances, White Sands, and Inscape and Landscape. More recently Trance Port Special Editions had released CDR versions of new albums as well as reissues of out of print items.

A Produce also released Altara, a collaboration with me (Hypnos founder M. Griffin) on Hypnos in 1999, and the solo album Smile on the Void on Hypnos in 2001. Most recently his collaboration Intangible with Loren Nerell came out on Hypnos this year.

A Produce artist page on Hypnos
A Produce information
Trance Port label information

We're very sorry to say goodbye to a talented recording artist at a time when he had recently been creating some of his best work. We will add more information when we have it.

Artist: A Produce & Loren Nerell
Title: Intangible
Label: Hypnos (digipak CD)

2011. The first collaboration between two artists well-known to Hypnos listeners and fans of ambient & experimental music in general.

While Intangible has a meditative and tranquil drifting quality, it also incorporates more melodic and rhythmic elements than most ambient music of the present day. Listeners who like their ambience musical will enjoy this as much as those who like their drones deep and mystical.

Though it's the duo's first collaboration together, both of them have been releasing music for about a quarter century. These guys are responsible for some of our "Desert Island Disc" listening material here at Hypnos HQ (A Smooth Surface and Lilin Dewa are both long-time favorites). Often at Hypnos we try to introduce new, fresh talent to our listeners, but this is a case of two music-makers who know all the tricks, and yet continue to create work as vibrant and inspired as anything on the cutting edge.

A Produce has released ten albums, including two on Hypnos (Smile on the Void solo, and Altara in collaboration with Hypnos founder M. Griffin). Loren Nerell has released solo work on Amplexus, Soleilmoon, and Side Effects, and collaborated with ambient music giant Steve Roach on Terraform in 2006.
Track list with MP3 samples
01 - Intangible - 08:14 -- MP3 clip
02 - Planet Atmo - 13:09 -- MP3 clip
03 - String Theory - 03:54 -- MP3 clip
04 - Area 51.1 - 07:02 -- MP3 clip
05 - Lost in Transformation -- MP3 clip
06 - Meadow Dusk - 06:11 -- MP3 clip
07 - Pot Covers at Dawn - 06:39 -- MP3 clip

Purchase direct for $12.99

Purchase direct for $12.99

I already posted about this on Facebook, so many Hypnos Forum regulars have already seen this, but here's my "brag" for those of you who missed it.

A science fiction short story of mine was published today at a science fiction, fantasy and horror webzine called Electric Spec. The story is "Remodel With Swan Parts," and it's available here:

Of my story, the editors of Electric Spec say:
And for those of you who are wondering just how far the trend of botox and boob jobs will go, check out "Remodel with Swan Parts" by Michael Griffin. Safe to say, the trend ain't pretty.

Thanks for the comments, notes and pats on the back delivered via Facebook today.

Hypnos Label Releases / RELEASE: Seren Ffordd - Floating
« on: May 24, 2011, 12:59:32 PM »
Artist: Seren Ffordd
Title: Floating
Label: Hypnos Secret Sounds
hss31, limited cdr edition of 300

Floating is the third release in our reissue series of the out of print recordings by Seren Ffordd, an ambient artist residing in Wales. Originally released in 2006 on the Italian label Umbra (operated by the great Italian genius of ambient soundscapes, Oophoi) and now out of print,
Floating  has been reworked slightly by Seren Ffordd for enhanced sound quality.

We have previously released Arythmia and Stellar Nurseries in this reissue series, and previously released Seren Ffordd's album Veils, Shadows on Hypnos Secret Sounds a few years earlier.

Track listing, with mp3 sample clips:
1 Floating 70:30

EARLY mp3 clip   
MIDDLE mp3 clip
LATE mp3 clip   

This limited CDR release, on the Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint, is available for purchase for $9.99 here:

Computers, Internet and Technology / Cool Mac software bundle
« on: May 17, 2011, 01:54:51 PM »
Lately I see more and more of these super-cheap software bundles -- five or ten programs which usually cost $20 and up individually, all together for $30-50 total. I might not want all the programs in the bundle but even if I only want 2-3 of them it's still a great deal.

I just bought the Productive Macs Bundle:

In the past I've bought two different versions of the Mac Heist bundle. Why don't we ever see anything like this for Windows software?

Hypnos Label Releases / RELEASE: Steve Brand - Avatara
« on: May 06, 2011, 10:38:36 AM »
Artist: Steve Brand
Title: Avatara
Label: Hypnos (digipak CD)

Steve Brand got his start releasing experimental music under the name "Augur," and more recently switched over to releasing music under his own name (both solo and in collaboration with such artists as Ishq and Disturbed Earth) on the Atmoworks, Hypnos Secret Sounds and Relaxed Machinery labels. He's quickly established himself as one of the more interesting and distinctive artists working in ambient music, and having released two albums Bridge to Nowhere and Children of Alcyone on Hypnos Secret Sounds in 2008 and 2009, we're very excited to follow up with Steve Brand's new album Avatara on the main Hypnos imprint. This album has a ritual feel common to many of Brand's recordings, though Avatara is more ambient and less percussive. The recording starts out in a place of low-key contemplation and evolves through distinct stages and moods, though it is always gentle and meditative.

Steve Brand describes some of the inspirations behind this album:
Avatara is Sanskrit for "descent" in the sense of a deity's descent from heaven to earth. Avatara is inspired by the various avatars of various ages and cultures...Yeshua, Quan Yin, Buddha, Brigit, Krishna, Saint Germain, White Buffalo Calf Woman, and others. I’m fascinated by the idea and the various stories in various ages and cultures of humans becoming "ascended masters," or avatars, non-human beings that still are attached to humans and choose to returns to Earth to assist them. The stories vary, and almost every culture has its masters, but one thing is consistent throughout each of their stories, they've realized a more expanded expression of being and awareness, of what we are and what we are capable of, and return to assist other human beings.
Track list with MP3 samples
01 - Avatara - 5:09 -- MP3 clip
02 - The Far Shore - 8:45 -- MP3 clip
03 - Morning Glory - 12:09 -- MP3 clip
04 - Still Here (breathing space) - 13:38-- MP3 clip
05 - Act of Creation - 14:26 -- MP3 clip
06 - Avatara (deathless) - 7:10 -- MP3 clip

Purchase direct for $12.99

Purchase direct for $12.99

"Rumbles, thunderclaps and a baleful reading from the Old Testament prophet Amos — “I will slay the last of them with my sword” — opened the set by Lustmord on Sunday night at the Abrons Arts Center..."

Not a bad write-up. Good to see an artist familiar to most of us written up in the venerable NYT.

I'd love to see Lustmord perform live, though I imagine he just sits there behind a laptop much the way I do when I perform.

Computers, Internet and Technology / Tell it like it is, James Ellroy
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:40:59 AM »
Author James Ellroy (LA Confidential, Black Dahlia, etc.) decided he was fed up with Facebook and wrote this classic "goodbye" to FB.

Dear FB Friends,
Fuck Facebook!!!!! -- It has proven to be worthless as a book-selling device, and is nothing but a repository for perverts, reparation-seekers, old buddies looking for handouts, syphillitic ex-girlfriends looking for extra-curricular schlong and hack writers begging for blurbs. For those looking for the REAL Ellroy shit, go to my wigged-out website:
Sayonara, Motherfuckers!!!


Hypnos Label Releases / RELEASE: Nebulæ - The Path of White Clouds
« on: March 09, 2011, 04:50:08 PM »
Artist: Nebulæ
Title: The Path of White Clouds
Label: Hypnos CD (digipak)

Hypnos is pleased to reissue this classic ambient album first released by the Stella Maris label. Nebulæ (previously known as "Nebula") is an European ambient supergroup of sorts, featuring Oophoi, Tau Ceti, Mathias Grassow, Klaus Wiese, Lorenzo Pierobon, Luna, and Mauro Malgrande. This is a beautiful, ethereal and abstract ambient recording, which certainly deserved greater attention than it received prior to the demise of Stella Maris, which existed only long enough to release two Nebula albums. That first release was a limited edition CDR but our reissue is a professionally manufactured CD in a beautiful digipak with new graphics.

The Path of White Clouds explores a serene and otherworldly soundspace. Meditative and gentle, these six tracks are sure to appeal to listeners who enjoy the more spacious ambient works released by Oophoi during the height of his Umbra and Penumra sister labels. The sound sources utilized here lean more toward the organic and physical instruments, and electronic processing and synthesizers are used subtly to accentuate the rest.

In the years since this album was released, Oophoi has grown from just another new practitioner of ambient music to a recording artist as respected and well-loved as any other. We at Hypnos have released other Oophoi works such as Athlit, and his collaboration with Paul Vnuk Jr. (of Ma Ja Le), Distance to Zero. We also have an upcoming release The Martian Chronicles by Oophoi with Seren Ffordd. Usually we focus on releasing new projects, but sometimes a significant early work becomes completely unavailable. In a case such as this, the material strong enough taht we're sure listeners will feel it compares favorably with anything recorded since. The Path of White Clouds deserves to be heard.

Track list with MP3 samples
1 The Quest 4:00 -- MP3 clip
2 Ascension 10:36 -- MP3 clip
3 Devotion 13:25 -- MP3 clip
4 The Living Mandala 9:15 -- MP3 clip
5 Enlightenment 16:20 -- MP3 clip
6 The Path of White Clouds 11:16 -- MP3 clip

Purchase direct for $12.99

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Lucette Bourdin passed away yesterday
« on: February 18, 2011, 02:27:56 PM »
Our own JKN has just posted on Twitter and the Relaxed Machinery site that artist Lucette Bourdin has passed away. Lucette was a talented recording artist who had released music on the Dark Duck and Earth Mantra labels. She will be missed!

From her web site, this statement:

Lucette Bourdin

February 25, 1954 - February 17, 2011

After a long transformational and creative journey with breast cancer Lucette made her transition into the Light at 10:40 p.m. on February 17th 2011. She will be remembered for her kindness, her art and her music. Her music was especially the product of her transformation through cancer. When diagnosed she said of her desire to create music, "if not now, when?".


Has anybody seen this video, Celeryman, featuring Paul Rudd?

I waver between thinking this is NOT funny (and that I only want to THINK it's funny for some reason I can't fathom), and that it's actual VERY funny, extremely funny... dangerously funny.

I can't figure it out. It's just so damn puzzling and absurd.  What does everybody else think about Celeryman?  There are little details in this that start to seem more inspired, but which I never noticed until I'd seen it multiple times.

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