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Messages - mgriffin

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Everything and Nothing / Re: What should a small record label do?
« on: January 30, 2008, 04:53:33 PM »
If my initial post comes across as whiny,  I should clarify that I really meant this in more of a general "what should a small label do?" sense, rather than, "poor beleaguered Hypnos."  Hypnos is doing quite well, selling more CDs all the time, and we feel our direction is definitely upward despite file sharing, CDR swapping, bittorrent, rapidshare, limewire, or whatever else.  Re-reading my first note, I see I described a more negative and dire situation, than what we're really dealing with here. 

We wouldn't be scheduling more and more CD releases all the time if we didn't feel many people still enjoyed buying CDs.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Chat feature in this Forum?
« on: January 30, 2008, 04:45:25 PM »
There was briefly a chat feature on the hypnos site (not part of the forum) years ago, but it was a clumsy solution, not well-integrated into the rest of the site.  The one I've been contemplating is an integrated part of the Forum software, so it would befairly natural  to click the "chat" button on the bar up top, and see who was in the chat room.  Though there seems to be little eagerness for this feature, I might check into installing it at some point, if the time investment isn't too great (or if others speak up and say they'd really like to have it)

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: January 30, 2008, 04:42:55 PM »
Wow, what an interesting thread. I don't know who these Autechre guys are, or what their music is like,  but seldom have I read such consistently vitriolic criticism of a band's style of music (or non-music?) You guys really do sound like scorned lovers!

However, someone out there must enjoy their music, right?

You're right, Joe.  There are plenty of recording artists who have declined in my estimation, and I don't get too worked up about them.  Few have ever pissed me off by going so directly from "top 10 wonderful" to "so awful as to be insulting to anyone who ever enjoyed them."

Everything and Nothing / What should a small record label do?
« on: January 30, 2008, 03:53:33 PM »
I wonder, what should be the appropriate reaction for a small record label, to a place like this:

Today, this blog is linking to downloads at 320kbps quality, of a couple of Hypnos CDs that we sell for $8.99.  I do understand the argument that sometimes, people hear something they've downloaded or reeived for free, and they like it so much they end up buying it.  I also understand that many who download it and listen, would never have purchased the CD in the first place, so in such cases there is no "cost" of a lost sale.

Still, despite all my attempts to look at this from some different angle or other, it's hard not to feel a bit annoyed about that.  So much for the argument that people only download music because "$18.99 is too much for a CD with only two good singles on it," or to "screw the major labels!" 

I wonder, separating out any personal annoyance or sense of being "cheated" I may feel, if people who make available downloads like that one realize that labels like Hypnos often sell such a small number of CDs as to make it just barely worthy of continuing, from a financial point of view? 

Or that the loss of a few hundred CDs sold could quite literally be the difference between a label continuing for another year, or not? 

Or that even if the label survives, a given artist's CD sales might be borderline enough to begin with, that the loss of just a hundred CDs sold might be the difference between the label opting to pick up the artist's next album, or passing on it as not viable?

One of the two albums available for download on that site, has just within the past year or two, finally sold enough copies to have paid for the expense of pressing it in the first place, nearly a decade ago.  It realy makes me wonder, without being hysterically possessive about the music on the label, or without being unrealistic about the complex matter of how and why music is shared without any money flowing to the label or the artist, if people actually have any idea of the financial realities of a small label like Hypnos, or Infraction, or Umbra?

This isn't meant to be an angry rant, nor to take an unrealistic view of file sharing, not at all.  I just wonder, what would be the right response in a case like this?  Should I write to those people and ask them to remove the downloads?  Should I just shrug it off and say, you can't control the impulse people have to take a shortcut, and you can't counter the rationalizations they will make in order to make themselves feel better?  I'm inclined to do nothing, but maybe I ought to be more active in searching for, and communicating with, people who run sites like that.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 30, 2008, 03:30:34 PM »
We've also been sorting our way through the Harry Potter films, completely out of order!  We both saw 1 & 2 separately, before we were together, then we saw #5, then #4, then #3 a couple nights ago.  I think the third one, Prisoner of Azkaban, is the best of the 5 Harry Potter movies so far.


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: January 30, 2008, 03:18:31 PM »
I've gone through all the various coping stages, years ago, dealing with one of my favorite electronic music acts becoming utterly useless and lame.  Now I just don't care too much any more.  In fact, I don't look at Amber, Tri Repetae, or Incunabula the same way now, quite.  They're like a girlfriend who cheated on me, and I can never look at the pre-transgression times the same way again!

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Autechre - is it worth it?
« on: January 30, 2008, 03:03:45 PM »
They can't disappear up their own ass with a new release when they've already been dwelling up within said own-ass for the past decade, almost.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Pads from the waveform up...
« on: January 30, 2008, 03:02:29 PM »
If I were to recommend a method of creating rich, evolving pads, I would not start with subtractive synthesis, which seems to me better for more sterile, cleaner sounds... sometimes even metallic or bright or thing.

I have no doubt there will be others who speak up here and say "Not so, I create wonderful rich, gurgling, warm, ripe sounds with my K5000S" but to me, it's not the right tool for that sort of thing.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Your MySpace experiences ?
« on: January 30, 2008, 02:15:23 PM »
ummm.....Mike?  Lena?  Didn't you two kind of, like, MEET on myspace?  I bet Mike was one of those creepy old men Lena was talking about... :)

Seriously, I've had a pretty decent experience on myspace, but I keep my friend's list purposely small, just because there ARE a lot of "fake profiles" on there, it seems- profiles that send out nothing but spam and what are probably phishing schemes.  In fact, of my "top friends", all but two are people I'd known before I was on myspace.

Yeah, I was about to concoct some kind of wise remark about how it IS possible to meet nice people through myspace, since I got a wife out of the deal.

I love the 'Echoes of Polyhymnia' Cover.

That's good to hear -- it's Lena's first effort at CD cover artwork so I'm sure she'll be pleased by your reaction.

It appears that the renaming will be subtle, but sufficient to distinguish one from the other.  The plan now is that Nebula should become NebulŠ, though that may still change.

Everything and Nothing / Re: The Hobbit and Peter Jackson
« on: January 30, 2008, 11:35:55 AM »
More news about the upcoming Hobbit film(s), from the Hollywood Reporter.  Briefly, they're saying Peter Jackson will produce, WETA will do special effects, and Guillermo Del Toro will direct.  For those unfamiliar with the last name, Del Toro directed Pan's Labyrinth (which should be enough for you all by itself) as well as The Devil's Backbone, and Hellboy.

The plan is to release the first film in 2010 and the second in 2011, after filming them back-to-back like with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I believe strongly in Guillermo Del Toro's geek credibility and think this is every bit as good as if Jackson were directing himself.

Everything and Nothing / Chat feature in this Forum?
« on: January 30, 2008, 11:29:58 AM »
Is there any interest in a Chat (real-time multi-user) room kind of application within this Forum?  I've been thinking about installing one, but not sure how much use it would get.

I assume that if it was relatively seamless, some people would use it, but I'd like to get a general response to gauge interest, before I spend the time setting it up.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Your MySpace experiences ?
« on: January 30, 2008, 10:46:04 AM »
The signal to noise ratio on myspace is extremely poor -- lots of people without talent, lots of people being dishonest and misrepresenting themselves, plenty of fakes and liars, much superficiality.  I'm very cautious about myspace, and I've met people through there who turned out to be completely different from how they represented themselves.  For that reason, I have a lot of skepticism about everything and everyone I see on there, and proceed slowly when getting to know people.

If you can be careful, and filter out all the nonsense and crap, it's an amazing place to find people you could never have found otherwise. 

For example, among participants in the recent and upcoming Hypnos compilations, Sounds are Hidden Inside Objects, and Message from a Subatomic World respectively, I would say that roughly half the artists are people I came across through myspace.  For the compilation Lena is working on, Echoes of Polyhymnia, nearly all the "discoveries" were via myspace.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 29, 2008, 05:40:31 PM »
The friends we were staying with during our mini-vacation are big fans of House and were singing its praises.  I haven't see it, but it looks interesting.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 29, 2008, 04:18:22 PM »
Speaking of campy fun and banter, that reminds me... a week or two ago we watched the original The Thin Man film and it was fantastic, definitely a classic with good reason!  I hope to move on through the rest of the Thin Man series box-set soon.

Here's an updated gallery of coming-soon CD (and DVD) covers.

Austere | Solyaris

M. Griffin | Fabrications

Various Artists | Message From a Subatomic World

Evan Bartholomew | Tidal Phases of the Moon I

Sense Project | The Sublime (2cdr)

Robert Rich | Somnium (dvd)

Jeff Pearce | Daylight Slowly

Nebula | The Path of White Clouds

Various Artists | Echoes of Polyhymnia

(artwork coming soon)

Various Artists | Nevertime

(artwork coming soon)

Viridian Sun | As-Yet-Untitled album

M. Griffin & Various Artists | Vapors and Magnetism (video DVD)

Other new stuff added to the "2008 outlook" since the initial posts...


Jonathan Block | The Anatomy of Waves
This is a set of recordings that we'd been playing around Hypnos HQ for a while, when suddenly it dawned on us, "Jonathan would like us to release these, and we're enjoying listening to them, so why not just do it?"  This went from "planned release" to "CDs ready to sell" in record time, and you can buy this one today.

Matt Borghi coming soon
Details remain to be worked out, but it appears that Hypnos Secret Sounds will be doing a series of reissues of Matt Borghi's out of print back catalog, including some of his more ambient, atmospheric works.  These are some wonderful sounds, and the original releases were all so limited as to have disappeared prematurely.  We're looking forward to helping Hypnos listeners and Matt Borghi fans get their hands onto some of these.  They'll be released one at a time, 2-3 months apart.

Another new (old) Hypnos artist?
We've been in discussions this past couple weeks about Hypnos becoming the exclusive outlet for a recording artist who has released music on Hypnos before, but not recently.  Can't give any details about this quite yet, maybe in a few week, however it represents a major coup for Hypnos in terms of bringing a respected and prolific sound artist back into the fold.

Here just a quick little update on all the items mentioned in the "2008 outlook" up above, as we get ready to head into February.  I'll follow that with a few items that weren't mentioned when I first posted this topic.

Austere | Solyaris
Originally planned for Jan 2008, we've delayed this one until early February to give the Austere guys time to release their box-set, which I'm sure they'll be plugging here on the Forum soon.

M. Griffin | Fabrications
All recording and editing is done, and just a few fine-tuning tweaks will be done (EQ and volume, mainly) before this one is sent out to be pressed.

Various Artists | Message From a Subatomic World
This second compilation is complete in terms of artist selection, track selection, and track sequence.  Some basic mastering is needed to get the tracks to match up, and this will be ready.

Evan Bartholomew | Tidal Phases of the Moon I
A recent addition to the release list, this long-form ambient piece should be ready to go soon, but we're fine-tuning some very small issues with the master.  We'll be getting CDs manufactured for this one (rather than the usual Hypnos Secret Sounds limited CDR release) so that will take a few extra weeks.

Sense (Robert Logan) | The Sublime (2cdr) 
This release has been in the works for quite a while (though it wasn't announced until the title was decided, though that's been changed twice subsequently). This too is different in that it's a 2 disc release.  Very challenging and exciting sounds... we can't wait to introduce Hypnos listeners to Sense!

Robert Rich | Somnium (dvd)
Our initial pressing of 2,000 copies sold out, and we're still selling enough of them that we're pressing another 1,000.  That makes this the best-selling Hypnos release ever (as other discs have had 2,000 made, but none sold out the second thousand before).

Jeff Pearce | Daylight Slowly
Jeff's first Hypnos disc has been out of print for a while, and we're going to re-press it with different artwork.

Nebula | The Path of White Clouds
This is a re-issue of an out of print album by this Oophoi & Mathias Grassow (and many others) ambient collective.  We're going to slightly change the name from "Nebula" to something just barely different, to avoid conflicting with other artists already using that name.  This is a beautiful recording, one that definitely deserves to be available.

Various Artists | Echoes of Polyhymnia
Hypnos manager Lena is curating this females-only ambient compilation.  We're already received some great submissions, and some very promising artists have tracks on the way to us even now.  Already confirmed to take part: Gydja, Rose Bolton, Margaret Noble, Stellaria Fennica, Clarissa Borba, Kristin Miltner,  Sara Ayres, Floating World, Lena & K. Cornelius.

Various Artists | Nevertime
This Binary label compilation will emphasize a more modern and edgy style of electronic music, ranging from minimal, pulsing techno to what some call electronica and some call IDM, to glitch and minimalism.

Viridian Sun | As-Yet-Untitled album
This will be an album of brand new (late 2007, early 2008) sessions, with a hypnotic, deep, organic feel.  More guitar-based, and less electronic, than previous Viridian Sun releases.

M. Griffin & Various Artists | Vapors and Magnetism (video DVD)
Much work still remains to be done on this, which will be a collection of abstract videos, each with an exclusive music track by one of our favorite ambient recording artists.

After the release of the Viridian Sun album just recorded, we will likely finish and release the unreleased album from 5-6 years earlier.  First things first!  Or actually, last things first.

I've undertaken two collaborations for this coming year, figuring that these things usually proceed with delays and lulls, which will allow me to work on them one at a time, simultaneously!  And it already seems that one of them won't start for a few months, so this should be a matter of working quietly, and not announcing anything until some progress is made mid-year.

For those of you who don't know, Binary is the sublabel for more dynamic electronic sounds.  We're going to put some effort into revving things up on Binary this year, starting with Nevertime (see above), but leading on to some CDs by some new artists.

This will be a limited CDR imprint related to our Binary sub-label.  In other words, Binary Explorer Series is to Binary, as Hypnos Secret Sounds is to Hypnos.  We intend to start running BES full-speed starting this spring, right around the time we're recruiting for the Nevertime comp.

We've reserved the domain for our new dedicated music store (not just an offshoot of the Hypnos site, the way our current Hypnos Online Store works), so before too long there will be an ever-expanding music store at -- it will start off selling much of the same stuff as the Hypnos store, but will quickly broaden out.  We'll be selling downloads, too, just Hypnos (and sub-label) tracks at first, but possibly other tracks on other labels at some point, depending on how it goes.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Best of 2007
« on: January 29, 2008, 01:59:09 PM »
I hated to see this active topic buried under a bunch of "MOVED" topic notices, so I'm bumping this one up to the first page.  If there's no interest in posting here further, I'll just let it drop off again.

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