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Messages - mgriffin

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Anybody here...
« on: February 05, 2008, 08:13:39 PM »
Absinthe without wormwood's active ingredient, thujone, has been legal for a while, but there is speculation that one or more of the brands now available might actually contain tiny amounts of thujone.  Actually I'm gonna have to read up again on the whole wormwood/thujone legal/illegal matter, get back up to date. We have a bottle of wormwood-free absinthe, and it's very good, tastes like a warm and fragrant version of "good & plenty" candy... actually, better than that makes it sound.

The question is, without wormwood or thujone, how is absinthe all that different from other anise or licorice flavored liqueurs or liquors, like anisette or ouzo or "absente." 

I have to admit, I have long been fascinated by absinthe, mainly due to my Hemingway worship in college, and the various evocative descriptions by that author of the absinthe experience (I'm recalling A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises at least).  It seemed like a more mystical and poetic cousin of alcohol.  Now that it's readily available I find myself thinking, it's just another liquor, though maybe if I got my hands on some thujone-heavy stuff I might feel differently about it.

Hypnos Label Releases / CD release: Austere - Solyaris
« on: February 05, 2008, 05:46:25 PM »
Nah, Joe, let's just transmute your Solyaris topic into the official release topic.  I hope you don't mind me re-titling it slightly!

CD release: Austere - Solyaris

Artist: Austere
Title: Solyaris
Label: Hypnos

2008. This is a creative peak for this much-overlooked ambient duo, their first release on Hypnos, following their Hypnos Secret Sounds album Pulse in 2007. In their 10 years of productivity, Austere has covered territory from Pulse's drone minimalism , ranging back through odd and trippy Coil-inspired sonic experimentation, to seamless dark ambient, and occasionally glitchy weirdness. Despite some challenging material in their back catalog, Austere have in this case produced an album as friendly and pleasant as any Austere fan could have imagined possible, and yet without resorting to the usual tricks that make music sound "listenable."

Bill Binkelman of Wind and Wire said of Austere:
"Austere is an enigmatic duo who record some of the more interesting ambient music I've heard in my six plus years of reviewing. From the swirling drones (I was gonna say "dark" drones, but ....) and eerie melancholy of Monodia to the warmth and beauty amidst minimalism of Fade... Austere are less concerned with following the path and more concerned with breaking new ground. However, they are undoubtedly enigmatic, as one would glean from the above, and shun the spotlights of media and personality."

And the Austere boys themselves, not normally prone to gushing or self-praise, say these words on the subject of this recording:
"Solyaris, our first release for 2008 e.v. on the Hypnos label is major departure from our recent emphasis on Minimalist composition, but more in the direction started by our last release, mirror.shtml and is instead is a collection of recordings improvised and recorded "live" over a weekend session and are presented in their original form, unedited in any way aside from mastering by The Sound-O-Mat.

The recordings turned out extremely well; it was obvious that our Muse(s) had visited us, and we were able to simply "let the tapes roll" and play, and this recording is made up from one track each from a recording session (we may release the rest at some later point.)

We could not be more happy with the sound of this album — there was definitely something special about that weekend and it was one of those rare occasions where everything just seemed to come together without any effort, and we think this is reflected in the musick. The CD flows very nicely, and is one of the most uplifting and special CDs we have ever released. We hope that you might enjoy it at least half as much as we do."

We here at Hypnos are likewise happy with this album, and find ourselves playing it over and over, soothed and bewildered at the strange and beautiful atmosphere. Solyaris does not fit squarely into any one genre, but it is wonderful to listen to, without being easy or without depth.   The sounds could be described as the thought transmissions of benevolent aliens.  They mean you no harm, and they
 thank you for listening!

Track listing, with mp3 sample clips:
01 - Seraphim
02 - Striae
03 - Launch Sequence
04 - Nictitate

To order Solyaris now for $12.99, visit here:

Hypnos Label Releases / Re: Solyaris
« on: February 05, 2008, 05:06:05 PM »
Hey, the new Austere disc, Solyaris is now up for sale at Ye Olde Hypnos Store. 8)

I think I'll celebrate by playing their black masterpiece, Monodia.

Hi Joe-
Yep, it's available, and I'm making the MP3 clips right this second.

I'm actually going to create an "official" CD announcement topic for Solyaris soon, too, so we'll have two Solyaris discussions... but thanks for bringing it up, and for all the Austere love!

When I read hyperbole like that, I tend to be more skeptical of everything else surrounding it.  The sound clips I've heard of that Irezumi project are good enough that they don't need outsized rhetoric like that supporting them.  A more understated promotional text would actually be more effective.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Your first Recording ever?
« on: February 04, 2008, 03:02:22 PM »
Short-haired Lena!  I remember her!

Everything and Nothing / Re: What should a small record label do?
« on: February 04, 2008, 11:45:05 AM »
For those interested, I just received a "form letter" response from stating that they had received my complaint letter and would investigate and send me an update soon.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Your first Recording ever?
« on: February 03, 2008, 09:55:14 AM »
That's an interesting topic, Martin.

The first thing I ever recorded (other than recording little sequence loops from my SH-101 on cassette, in college) actually appears on my first album Sudden Dark.  That's not to say everything I recorded from the very beginning was good, releasable music, but in this case, the first experiments in minimalism yielded something good.  The rest of that album is from recordings 1-2 years newer, but one track is from my very first DAT tape.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Tools for rhythm-making
« on: February 03, 2008, 09:44:04 AM »
I knew a bunch of wise guys would say "I actually play real drums with my hands."  ;)

I suppose that is an option, yes.  In fact, I've been known to set up a microphone next to something drum-like, and strike it (the drum-like thing, not the microphone).

I also failed to list the Nord Modular which I've used for this stuff a bit too, though (like I said with Reaktor) not for traditional complex drum beats.

And actually I've been working on designing my own beat-box sort of application within Reaktor.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Tools for rhythm-making
« on: February 02, 2008, 11:19:45 AM »
There are so many ways to make rhythmic sounds electronically, with drum machines and Reason probably being the two most popular.  I think another common tool is the "sort of a beatbox, sort of a sequencer, sort of a beat-sound synth/sampler" like the Akai MPC series or Korg Electribe series.

I've been starting to work on a couple of projects along these lines and the tools I've been using so far include:

1. Reaktor
Not so much for traditional beats, as for pulsing or surging rhythmic/ambient atmospheres

2. Impulse
This is a simple drum synth built into Ableton Live, which isn't the best rhythm-building tool I've found but I spend so much time in Live anyway, I can't help tinkering with this

3. Ultrabeat
This is the percussion module built into Logic Studio, and it's quite good, really very powerful and probably something I will concentrate on using more

I'm curious what people here are using to create their rhythmic sounds, or rhythmic patterns, or both.

Everything and Nothing / Re: TV: Lost
« on: February 02, 2008, 10:48:24 AM »
Just finished watching season 3 on the computer last night. Absolutely amazing! I'm already feeling the withdrawals, and as I don't own a TV, will have to wait for season 4 on dvd. Does anyone know when this will come out? How long does it usually take for the show dvd to come out after the season has finished?

Usually something like 6-10 months.  TV shows have a bad pattern of coming out on DVD right before the next season starts, so that you have to hurry through the DVDs if you want to switch over to watching "live" on the air.  Lost Season 3 came out on DVD not more than a few months ago, and Season 4 debuted this week.

Everything and Nothing / Re: What should a small record label do?
« on: February 01, 2008, 04:14:45 PM »
Yeah, I've been really busy but I'll eventually have time to scroll through and note the "permalink" addresses of each of the Hypnos postings there, and send the same fax again and again until those guys remove our stuff.

Everything and Nothing / Re: What should a small record label do?
« on: February 01, 2008, 12:00:22 PM »
OK, I was too busy yesterday, but today I put together a letter for these guys.  I realize that file sharing can't be totally stopped, and I wouldn't try to take on that whole culture anyway, but it just especially bugs me that these two dirt-cheap CDs are up there for free download.

So, here's the letter in case anyone's interested:

Everything and Nothing / Re: What should a small record label do?
« on: February 01, 2008, 11:37:27 AM »
Just as EBay makes it incredibly difficult to complain about an auction gone wrong... just as AOL makes it incredibly difficult to unsubscribe from their service... so, Blogspot makes it difficult to complain about copyright infringement on their blogs. 

I'm sure it's hard for them to keep track of millions of blogs written by all kinds of mostly-anonymous individuals, so the way they manage that responsibility is to make it difficult enough to complain, that most people don't bother, or can't figure out how to do so.

Here's the content policy page at Blogspot (

This page contains the following language:

COPYRIGHT: It is our policy to respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement. More information about our copyright procedures can be found here:

That last "here" is a link to this page...

Following an extremely wordy "warning" that you shouldn't accuse a blogger of infringing on your copyright unless you're really, really, really sure (lest you be penalized by huge fines, so be REALLY sure), there's the following set of rules/instructions as to how one should assert one's copyright is being infringed:

To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following format (including section numbers):

1.Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed upon. This post must include identification of the specific posts, as opposed to entire sites. Posts must be referenced by the permalink of the post. For example, “The copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on

2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing the copyrighted work listed in item #1 above.

YOU MUST IDENTIFY EACH POST BY PERMALINK OR DATE THAT ALLEGEDLY CONTAINS THE INFRINGING MATERIAL. The permalink for a post is usually found by clicking on the timestamp of the post. For example, “The blog where my copyrighted work is published on is”

3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact you (email address is preferred).

4. Include the following statement: "I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted material described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.".

5. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

6. Sign the paper.

7. Send the written communication to the following address:

    Google, Inc.
    Attn: Google Legal Support, Blogger DMCA Complaints
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
    Mountain View, CA 94043

    OR fax to:

    (650) 618-2680, Attn: Blogger Legal Support, DMCA Complaints

Please note that a copy of each legal notice we receive is sent to a third-party partner for publication and annotation. As such, your letter (with your personal information removed) will be forwarded to Chilling Effects ( for publication. You can see an example of such a publication at A link to your published letter will be displayed in Google's search results in place of the removed content.

Everything and Nothing / Re: TV: Lost
« on: February 01, 2008, 11:21:11 AM »
No, not a reality show.  The basic premise is that an airplane crashes on an island, and the survivors try to deal with life on the island, even as they figure out that the island is no ordinary island.  It has a bit of "survival" aspect but a lot more strangeness and mystery.

I don't watch any TV shows in "real time" normally, either.  In fact, the money we pay for basic cable starts to seem like a waste when the cable box is not even connected to the TV (since I can use that HDMI connection for my Playstation 3 for slightly better picture quality) for months at a time.  But Lost is worth tuning in and sitting through commercials, in my opinion.

Welcome Hana, and I wish you luck with your label.

Actually I've already been contacted by someone else with Snowblood about getting copies of this CD, and will respond soon.

Everything and Nothing / Re: TV: Lost
« on: February 01, 2008, 10:03:35 AM »
Anyone see it?  I thought the season 4 premiere was pretty good. 

It lacked the "OMFG" factor of some previous premieres & finales, and it's been such a LONG time since season 3 ended that I found myself a bit confused why everyone looked the same, until I remembered "Oh yeah, it's the same day for these guys, even though I've gotten married and had a birthday, since I last saw them."

Overall, though, it was a good, solid Lost episode, and I have a feeling the next few episodes should be really good.  It'll be disappointing to have only an 8 episode 4th season, as appears likely to be the case.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: February 01, 2008, 09:32:35 AM »
Great job with that A/V recap of Autechre's history, Alan.  You win the "adding value to the Hypnos Forum" award for the week.

Everything and Nothing / Re: The Hobbit and Peter Jackson
« on: January 31, 2008, 05:04:48 PM »
It seems to be mostly official now.  From The Guardian UK online:

Guillermo del Toro has officially signed up to direct The Hobbit, according to reports leaking out from a film premiere in France. The Pan's Labyrinth creator will oversee a double-bill of films based on JRR Tolkien's fantasy adventure, which paved the way for The Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson, director of the Oscar-winning Rings trilogy, will serve as executive producer.

The announcement was made at last night's French premiere of The Orphanage, a Spanish horror film that Del Toro helped produce. Introducing the film-maker, the host told the audience: "Today is a big day because we are announcing what everyone wanted to hear, which is that he will be directing The Hobbit." Del Toro had previously been reported to be in negotiations to take charge of the project.
The Hobbit charts the adventures of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who joins a band of dwarves on their mission to liberate their treasure from a dragon's lair. Along the way, Baggins takes possession of a magical ring of invisibility. The ring is later revealed to be the chief weapon of the dark lord Sauron. The author devised this twist after completing the original tale, laying the ground for his famous Lord of the Rings trilogy of novels.

The Hobbit films will be backed by New Line with a reported budget of $150m (£78m). Production begins next year, with the pictures following in 2010 and 2011.

It's either Stokes, Pearce, Bone, or A Produce...(i get four guesses cuz I'm special!)

I have to say the artwork for all these upcoming releases is absolutely incredible!!!

Good to hear Nebula(e)'s Path of White Clouds getting the royal Hypnos treatment.  I would like to see Suso Saiz' "Hypnotics" (1992, limited to 500 copies) reissued on Hypnos.  This is an absolute lost gem of psychoactive guitar-drones from Suspended Memories/Roach collaborator, right up Hypnos alley...

Thanks for your comments on the artwork -- much appreciated!

The Nebulae / Nebula name issue appears to have been solved & settled.

I've heard of this Suso Saiz album before but have had no opportunity to hear it.

Everything and Nothing / Re: (What shoud a small label do?)
« on: January 31, 2008, 02:53:17 PM »
Emusic is a legal and legitimate web site, and you won't find any artists or labels whose music is available on there, who didn't authorize it.

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