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Topics - mgriffin

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61
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / E-books in 2011
« on: January 04, 2011, 02:21:46 PM »
Anybody feel any differently about electronic books and magazines now than when the Kindle first came out?

I don't own a Kindle but I have an iPad which is great for reading books, magazines and comics, and even has a Kindle app so I can buy anything a Kindle owner can purchase, just as easily.

There's so much great free stuff to read on the thing, I haven't gotten around to purchasing a lot of books with it yet. One thing I really like is the ability to get magazines electronically. I already have WAY too many magazines all around the house, and it makes me reluctant to subscribe to more, or even purchase single copies on the newsstand. But with electronic subscriptions, you can prevent clutter, get the magazine delivered immediately, and possibly even save a little money.  Especially with foreign magazines, where postage costs make the price ridiculous for a paper copy. I could see having subscriptions to a handful of electronic magazines in epub or pdf format, and just about completely stopping with the paper copies. Some magazines have really nice production values and those might still be nice to have on paper, but some are really pulpy and monochrome and would be just as nice in electronic format.

I keep thinking I'll find a bunch of the books that I've been trying to find in print forever, and finally grab them up in e-versions, but they're not pervasive enough yet. So, those out of print obscurities haven't made it to epub yet, but maybe eventually.

I've certainly purchased more paper books since I bought my iPad than ever before, so it's hardly convinced me that people will stop buying books when they get an iPad or Kindle or Nook, but I can see how things may start to shift a little.  Anybody else?

62
Everything and Nothing / Did somebody want to talk about whisky or whiskey?
« on: December 22, 2010, 10:04:08 AM »
This deserves its own new topic.

Usually each year when I get my Christmas bonus I spring for at least one fancy new bottle I've never tried. This year I believe it will be Lagavulin 16 yr in the scotch category and the new Maker's 46 bourbon.

My usual favorites are Glenlivet and Laphroaig among scotches (sort of polar opposites actually), and Maker's Mark and Bulleit. I'm also kind of into rye lately.

Always in small quantities, of course.

63
Everything and Nothing / Can we have a serious talk about vinyl?
« on: December 21, 2010, 01:56:17 PM »
Every time we discuss the subject of vinyl (you know, as in records, not the tight pants you wear out to the clubs) it seems to end up one extreme against another.

In this corner, the digital audio crowd who think vinyl is last year's (OK, last century's) technology, and have absolutely zero use for it. They like the higher dynamic range, and the infinite playability without wear and tear. Besides, CDs are newer, and they're like, digital. Which means they're perfect, all those ones and zeroes.

And in the other corner, the vinyl apologists, whose records never warp and play back perfectly without surface noise. These guys love the bigger surface for artwork, and swear the sound quality is so vastly better than CD that even an ancient, worn-out record fills with pops and clicks is just so... gosh, warm and organic, you know?

I would love to find room for a discussion of music released on vinyl (not just ambient-ish music, but especially that), and the format in general. Any thoughts from those of you (like me) who were previously closed yourself off completely to the idea of music released on slabs of plastic, but more recently decided to start exploring what vinyl has to offer?

I got rid of the last of my turntables many years ago, and at various times over the past half-decade I've tried to resuscitate or refurbish some piece of low-end hand-me-down turntable junk, just to explore those very few records I still on hand. Those turntables were such junk they didn't do anything to re-connect me with that old enjoyment of records. They sounded terrible and fell apart, so I junked them. I finally decided it's time to get a decent (though not high-end by any means) turntable, partly to check out the cool pieces of vinyl people send me, and partly to start checking out cool & interesting vinyl releases that are starting to become available.

I've also been mulling over the idea of doing a vinyl release of some kind of Hypnos, not necessarily the start of any kind of new direction, but just something to try at least once. I wonder how other labels' vinyl releases are doing, and I guess I'll have to ask around a little bit. It seems many people are willing to pay a fairly premium price for a nice, heavy-gauge vinyl pressing in a nice package.

Can't wait to get my hands on that Vidna Obmana box.

OK, so... that's a variety of angles on the same subject. Anybody else out there been buying vinyl lately? I guess I'm more interested in newer, premium vinyl pressings, rather than the 75-cent, scratched-up garage sale or Goodwill stuff.

64
Everything and Nothing / Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« on: December 21, 2010, 11:15:49 AM »
Has anybody here been to New Orleans after Katrina? What little I've heard indicates that the tourism-heavy areas have been pretty much completely cleaned-up and tourism levels have bounced back pretty well. Outlying residential areas may still have some problem area, but (while I have a lot of sympathy for residents whose lives were fouled-up by the disaster) I'm mainly asking about it from the perspective of someone who would like to visit, have some fun and take in the flavor of one of America's great cities. 

Lena and I have both been to New Orleans, but not since we've been together, and we're planning to visit there some time outside the Mardi Gras window of insanity.  Just hoping to hear from somebody who has been there recently, or who has heard first-hand reports from recent visitors.

65
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Any last-minute 2010 gear purchases?
« on: December 21, 2010, 11:01:08 AM »
Most years I buy a little bit of gear at the very end of December as I find myself thinking, "oh yeah, need tax deductible expenses."

Nothing big this year for me, just a nifty Akai controller that integrates with Ableton Live, and an extra, super-simple pre-amp and USB audio interface by M-Audio.

Anybody buying anything cool at this time of year? Maybe you don't care about tax expenses, but just got a nice bonus from the old day job? That used to be my main reason for buying gear in December, before tax write-offs were a consideration.

66
Everything and Nothing / Is everybody sick?
« on: December 16, 2010, 05:19:41 PM »
I'm around so many sick people all the time, this past couple of weeks, it's tempting to wonder if I'm catching something every time I feel tired or some body part aches.  Is everybody sick all over the place, or is it just a local thing?

67
Lena and I made one of our rare (once or twice per year) trips to the theater to check out the new Harry Potter movie. I thought it was very good overall, but had slightly mixed feelings about it.

First, I was impressed with how serious and adult the story felt. Downright grim and somber, even. There's not one glimpse of Hogwart's, no comic relief to speak of, and even the glimpses of magical stuff are fairly dark. Hell, even Luna Lovegood is a downer! It's not so much depressing as it is serious and troubling, I guess.

I feel like Helena Bonham Carter steals every scene in every movie she's in. Pure awesome weirdness!

In my opinion there were a couple of flaws.

The middle section of the movie comes to a complete halt. The characters are on the run from some trouble, and they hide out and... just wait. They stare at the ceiling and brood, and talk a little bit, and stare off at the horizon and... wait. What are they waiting for? I guess they're not clear on which direction to go, which is believable if the goal is to emulate real life, but not particularly dramatic. Things kick back into gear at the end, but if I were making this film I'd cut 10-15 minutes out of the middle act and flesh out the first act a bit more, as it's fairly compressed.

Also, the film was a bit muted, emotionally, even at those higher-energy scenes. I never felt a clear sense of what the characters wanted, though I understood from reading the book they were trying to find and destroy horcruxes, and they showed a little bit of this happening in the film. I'm OK with emotionally understated, subdued filmmaking but this seemed a bit too low-key for a big-budget Hollywood flick about Harry Potter.

I've spent more time discussing the film's weaknesses than what I liked about it, but I'm very impressed with the maturity of the filmmaker's approach. I guess I feel they went too far making things dour and troubled, but overall I think it's great that a big franchise movie like this could take such a grown-up approach to storytelling. I'd mostly recommend this to anybody who enjoyed the earlier installments, but it certainly is not a place to start if you've skipped the earlier stories.

68
Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / New Hypnos podcast
« on: December 09, 2010, 05:16:28 PM »
I posted about the new Hypnos podcast in the "Hypnos artists" section, but thought I'd make reference to it here, in case anybody's eager for something new to listen to.

http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=3531.0

Any feedback or suggestions appreciated!

69
I intended to do Hypnos podcasts more frequently than this (it's been about a year since the last one), but I just completed the second one, which features Out and About by Herion.  The entire album is featured in its entirety (with talking here & there, otherwise people would just download the podcast and not buy the CD), along with plenty of information about the songs and the band.

Link to the podcast itself:
http://www.hypnos.com/audio/h.podcast.02_20101209_Herion.mp3


If you enjoy the podcast, please consider buying the CD:
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyp3058


Let me know if you enjoy the podcast, and feel free to suggest subjects of focus for future installments. I won't always focus on just a single artist or album, so I'd be open to nay suggestions.


70
Everything and Nothing / NCAA football 2010
« on: December 03, 2010, 02:21:48 PM »
Most years we have a little discussion of college football around here. So far this year I've held off, but I can't wait any longer.  The Ducks are right on the verge!  Come on guys, just one more win (in the Civil War, against Oregon State).

Anybody else following college football this year?  You don't have to be a fan of a BCS-championship-bound team to comment.

;)

71
I found this article completely fascinating, especially since we were just talking about Randy Quaid and Christmas Vacation around here.

It seems Randy and his wife Evi are totally insane, and not the fun/amusing kind of insane.

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/features/2011/01/quaid-201101?currentPage=all

72
Propellerheads Rebirth.  $15.

http://rebirthapp.com/



73
Computers, Internet and Technology / OK, Mac-haters!
« on: November 17, 2010, 05:51:20 PM »
OK, Mac-haters, here's something for you!  Via Daring Fireball (ultimate blog for Mac-lovers), a photo gallery of destroyed Apple products.

http://www.fubiz.net/2010/11/15/apple-destroyed-products/




74
Everything and Nothing / What can we do to liven this place up a little?
« on: November 16, 2010, 03:35:13 PM »
Things seem a bit stale here on the Hypnos Forum.  Lots of people still visit here, and "hits" to the forum aren't down at all, but there are fewer new posts.  An increasing number of those posts are self-promotion, "for sale" links, radio playlists and "now listening," and while those are perfectly fine things to talk about, I wonder what we could do to get everybody more interested.

I'm not just complaining, but looking for suggestions regarding anything people would like to see around here.

Does anybody think it would make sense to eliminate the forum sub-sections, so all new postings go into a single time-sorted area? This wouldn't have worked before, when there were hundreds of new posts per day in dozens of topics, but now there are usually only a handful of new topics per day. This isn't a change I'm likely to make, but I'm trying to consider all kinds of things to make this a more active community.

I've considered switching to a different forum software, just to enable some different features and interface options. For example, phpBB was the software we used in the "golden age" of this forum, and there are some interesting add-ons for it. 

Does anybody care about things like better integration with outside social networks like Facebook and Twitter? I'm not sure what that would add to the forum, and I'm hesitant to make a section of this forum a dumping-ground for everything tweeted by every Forum member... but I'll throw it out there to see what anyone thinks.

One other possibility is to add a section for "user blogs," where some forum members could have their own section for posting reviews, podcasts, opinions, or whatever. This could be accomplished either by sectioning off a place for approved users to blog, or by integrating with the existing off-site blogs of certain users so that content is mirrored here.

This would be a great time to sound off if you have certain complaints or wishes for what you'd like to see at the Hypnos Forum.  Should we focus on offering members-only content? We could set up a part of the forum where anonymous browsers couldn't reach, and post extra special stuff.  Do you wish more recording artists and label owners would contribute here?  Is there anything on the Hypnos forum you'd rather see less of?

Any input appreciated... fire away!

75
Hypnos News and Announcements / New Robert Rich interview
« on: October 26, 2010, 04:31:30 PM »
New Robert Rich interview here -- mostly gear-related but not entirely. Lots of detailed information about Robert's working methods and tools, along with plenty of historical info.

http://synth.me/music-gear/robert-rich-interview-electronic-artist-talks-synthesizers-music-and-technology

76
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / New Robert Rich interview
« on: October 26, 2010, 04:30:17 PM »
New Robert Rich interview here -- mostly gear-related (though not entirely) so I'll post it here rather than in the "artists" section.

On second thought I'll post the link in both places, as there's enough non-gear-related stuff to interest listeners.

http://synth.me/music-gear/robert-rich-interview-electronic-artist-talks-synthesizers-music-and-technology

77
Hypnos Label Releases / RELEASE: Herion - Out and About
« on: October 22, 2010, 04:07:04 PM »
Artist: Herion
Title: Out and About
Label: Hypnos digipak CD




2010. Herion is an Italian trio whose members include Emanuele Errante (known to Hypnos customers for Humus
on Evan Bartholomew's Somnia label), Enrico Coniglio (Aqua Dorsa project collaborator with Oophoi for the album
Cloudlands, he also released Sea Cathedrals solo on Silentes), and Elisa Marzorati.

They've created a beautiful and compelling combination of delicate musical structures with "glitch" components and
strange, experimental little samples. Always a pleasant, peaceful listen, Out and About brings a blissed-out
classical musicality into connection with an artful edge. This combination of elements results in an especially
sensitive, moving set of mood pieces. Somewhere between chamber music and minimalism, between lightness and
melancholy, this trio balances elements uncommon in ambient music.

Pre-release review by Michael Vitrano for Fluid Radio:
"Emanuele Errante, Enrico Coniglio, and Elisa Marzorati have created a wonderful album that moves right to the
 soul of the listener. While I was familiar with Emanuele Errante, who released the excellent Humus album on
Somnia in 2008, the other performers were a mystery to me. Marzorati’s piano motifs, mixed with Coniglio's
multi-faceted contributions involving melodica, harmonica, and treated guitar, all meld beautifully with Errante's
orchestral arrangements."

 
Hypnos is very pleased to release the first album this this trio. Out and About is not only a departure in
terms of sound, but is also the Hypnos label's first release in  digipak format.  Here are pictures to give a sense
of the package. See below for sample audio clips in mp3 format.
 




Out and About tracks, including mp3 sample clips:
01. Oxg    MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-01.mp3
02. Lindos     MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-02.mp3
03. Cab    MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-03.mp3
04. One Minute After the Sunset   MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-04.mp3
05. Moske Orgulje   MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-05.mp3
06. The Earth   MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-06.mp3
07. The Hanging Glacier    MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-07.mp3
08. Two Minutes To Sunrise   MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-08.mp3
09. Risvegli   MP3 here:  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-09.mp3
10. Solo   MP3 here: http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hypnos-h-oaa-10.mp3
 

Purchase direct for $12.99:
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyp3058



78
Hypnos News and Announcements / Binary sub-label sale on the Hypnos store
« on: October 13, 2010, 03:50:54 PM »
We're having a Binary sale!

The Binary sub-label of Hypnos releases more dynamic, percussive or energetic
sounds than the usual low-key style of the Hypnos label proper. Right now we're
making available all the Binary releases at temporary price reductions.

These are not permanent price reductions, just a special to focus attention on a batch of great
electronic music.

You can browse our Binary page here:
http://hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=binary

Or proceed to direct links to individual Binary releases (prices from $7.99 to $10.99) below.

Dweller at the Threshold - Ouroborus
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyby0101

Paul Ellis - Into the Liquid Unknown
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyby0102

Vir Unis & Saul Stokes - Thermal Transfer
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyby0203

Synthetic Block - Sonic Approach
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyby0204

Saul Stokes - Fields
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyby0205

John Duval - Hell's Canyon
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyby0306

Dave Fulton & Giles Reaves - The Range
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyby0707

Saul Stokes - Villa Galaxia
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=hyby0808

79
Hypnos Label Releases / RELEASE: Seren Ffordd - Arhythmia
« on: October 04, 2010, 03:34:43 PM »
Artist: Seren Ffordd
Title: Arhythmia
Label: Hypnos Secret Sounds
hss31, limited cdr edition of 300




Reissue of out of print 2005 recording by Seren Ffordd, an ambient artist residing in Wales. This is the second in our series of reissues by this artist, following  Stellar Nurseries, and we previously released his album Veils, Shadows on Hypnos Secret Sounds a few years earlier.  Arhythmia is hypnotic and at times restful, yet often has an "edge" or a discordant quality.  It's more "active" than most other Seren Ffordd music

Cycles, patterns and rhythms, the world is full of them. Not the steady beats prevalent in most music, but subtle interlocking rhythms that dance and move through each other. The flow between the monthly phases of the moon and the daily tides. Stellar precession and the turning of galaxies. The pulsations of our blodd, neurons and breathing. In five parts,  Arhythmia is an exploration of such shifting patterns that can be heard and felt but not danced to. Rhythms and movements of sound that draw the mind and spirit into other places of dreaming. Arhythmia is a mixture of light and dark textures that contain both flowing and hypnotic elements. All the sound sources on the CD are acoustic in origin. They include field recordings of Thunder, rain and other things. The rest of the music is created on singing bowls, voice, gourds and chimes. All the effects and sound manipulations are performed on a Korg D16 digital portastudio. Recorded in June and July 2005.

Review by Phil Derby, Electroambient Space
Quote
"Interestingly with a title like   Arhythmia, the artwork on the front of this one looks much like the inside of a heart valve, albeit softened in both texture and color. As for the music, hopefully it won’t give you any cardiac trouble. Darker and more experimental than his other discs, here Benford takes us into what he calls “an exploration of rhythms that can be heard and felt but not danced to.” Rumbling and churning sounds are joined by a steady rain in the background. Benford notes that the music is divided into five parts, although it plays as a single track. The movements are distinct and easily identifiable. The rain and rumbles fade away and are gone within 15 seconds of the start of part II, which takes a long slow descent to parts unknown. It plays like an infinite downward spiral, a rather creepy but cool effect. Unusual brushing sounds pan back and forth forming a unique percussive element. Its clear by this point that the disc is more sound collage than music in the conventional sense. Metallic bells ring out to start part III, and we breathe a sigh of relief as the ominous rumbling drones from part II gradually disappear. Though still quite stark and minimal, this part is bright and cheery by comparison. Part IV swirls similarly to part II, though in more of a holding pattern than a deep dive. I’d call it grey noise rather than white. This one plays like a blank canvas for your mind to imagine various subtleties that may or may not be there. The last part follows a similar pattern, creating another unique sound world to explore for the last 15 minutes before coming back to reality. Arhythmia is daring adventurous fun."


 
Track listing, with mp3 sample clips:
Part I - 10:15  mp3 clip  http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hss-sf-a-01.mp3   
Part II - 14:45  mp3 clip   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hss-sf-a-02.mp3   
Part III - 17:00 mp3 clip   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hss-sf-a-03.mp3   
Part IV - 14:00 mp3 clip   http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hss-sf-a-04.mp3   
Part V - 14:50 mp3 clip    http://www.hypnos.com/audio/hss-sf-a-05.mp3
 
This limited CDR release, on the Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint, is available for purchase for $9.99 here:
http://www.hypnos.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HOS&Product_Code=hss31

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