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Messages - mgriffin

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Nebula | The Path of White Clouds 2008

Some time during 2008, Hypnos will be re-releasing this album, originally released by the Stella Maris label.  "Nebula" is an ambient supergroup of sorts, featuring Oophoi, Tau Ceti, Mathias Grassow, Klaus Wiese, Lorenzo Pierobon, Luna, and Mauro Malgrande.  OK, I'll admit to not having any idea who those last 3 are, but the first 4 are pretty significant!  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 2 Nebula albums).  For more information about the original release, look here:

Various Artists | Echoes of Polyhymnia

Hypnos manager (and artist) Lena will be curating this specially-themed compilation which gathers an assortment of ambient & atmospheric sound works from around the world.  This project is already partially complete (though some spots on the roster may still be open so if you're a female and you're making cool ambient music, get in touch), and will end up revealing a totally new angle on ambient music.  Ranging from ethereal to dark to pretty to spooky to melodic, we think this album will have solid musical and soundscape content beyond just the curiosity and "I've never seen that before" factor of the theme. 

Various Artists | Nevertime

It's been mentioned here on the Hypnos Forum several times that one of our goals for the coming year is to revitalize the Binary sub-label, and further to redefine it to some degree.  One big step toward this end will be this upcoming various-artists compilation, for which we'll begin accepting submissions starting in February, which 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.  We hope to get a strong and diverse selection of artists to take part, and this will serve as a sort of announcement to the world that Binary intends to get into the middle of things, and explore the cutting edge of 21st century rhythmic electronic music.

Viridian Sun | As-Yet-Untitled album

It has been a long hiatus since the last-released studio album by Viridian Sun. Perihelion came out in 1999, and the more recent Live Paris Theater was, you guessed it, a live recording. In between was a never-released third studio album (which may still subsequently come out, later) but the guys in VS decided the best way forward was to record something entirely new and release it without delay, before revisiting 2001-2 works that remain on the shelf.  The Viridian Sun approach of live-in-studio improvisation continues, and the new tracks have a warm and organic quality, deriving from guitar and bass this time, with synthesizers entirely absent.

M. Griffin & Various Artists | Vapors and Magnetism

Yet another "first" or new direction for us, Vapors and Magnetism will be a video DVD, combining abstract video experiments with exclusive ambient music tracks.  The idea of combining sound with video art is one we intend to pursue to a greater degree in the future, and we would like to release multiple video DVD releases every year.  We think abstract video and abstract music go great together!

Note: artwork is not final


Here are a couple of things worth mentioning, that I didn't include above because... they're not new albums.

Robert Rich | Somnium (dvd)

We're re-pressing the most popular disc we've ever released, Robert Rich's epic sleep concert experience, Somnium, a 7-hour recording on a video DVD (no picture content, just sound) that plays on an ordinary DVD player.  This one has only been out of print for a few months, but both Hypnos and Robert agree that it needs to be put back in print, as demand continues to be significant even after 2,000 copies sold.

Jeff Pearce | Daylight Slowly

This 1998 album sold out 4-5 years ago, and Jeff Pearce felt it would be OK to let it stay out of print for a while, and allow demand to build back up again.  We didn't intend to leave it unavailable for so long, though, and we're going to get some more copies made.  And also... I've created new cover artwork!  We both (Jeff and I) always liked the original Daylight Slowly cover but it didn't seem to fit with the brighter and more luminous images on his other Hypnos CDs.  I was glad to have a chance to re-work it.

We don't have exact release dates on either of these, as there are small details to be worked-out before the re-pressing can begin, but I would say no later than the end of February we should have copies of both of these ready to sell.


We have quite a few items lined-up that are really close to completion.  The first two were intended for the end of 2007 but didn't quite make it.  A brief comment after each.

Austere | Solyaris (Hypnos, Jan 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.  It will be the next Hypnos release, with the exact date subject to agreement between the label and the artists, relative to their release of a big retrospective box-set.

M. Griffin | Fabrications (Hypnos, early 2008)

This one is down to the final editing, and would have been done by now if not for all the unexpected flurry of activity surrounding the move of the Hypnos web site to a new server.  Ah well, life intrudes, and this is at the final stages of editing, 99% done and ready for production within a week or so.

Various Artists | Message From a Subatomic World (Hypnos compilation, early 2008)

This is the "sister project" to the recently-released Hypnos compilation, Sounds of a Universe Overheard, and should meet or exceed the high standard set by that recording.  To compare the second compilation to the first, I'd say the second is perhaps a bit more abstract and deep-space, more mysterious and strange, whereas the first is a bit more musical and structured overall.

Track listing (not in order):

Evan Bartholomew - Sacrosanct
Austere - Crystil
Phaenon - Quantum Silence
Stephen Philips - Down Deep
Jason Sloan - faded.forgotten [trace]
Numina - Nadir Ever Spirals
Relapxych.0 - Distant Radiance
True Color of Blood - Choosing to Remain Blind
Svartsinn - Cold But Strong
Oophoi - Icelight

Evan Bartholomew | Tidal Phases of the Moon I (Hypnos Secret Sounds, early 2008)

A fairly recent addition to the roster of releases, but when we heard Evan's latest recording, a sharply resonant and multi-layered set of repeating loops that develop into a complex and slowly-musical drone structure, we couldn't resist it.  We'll have more information and sound clips from this one soon, and it should be released in February, but here's a glimpse of the cover for now.  It will be a bit of a departure for the Secret Sounds imprint -- by special agreement with the artist, this album will be released on standard pressed CDs, not CDRs, and the limited edition size will be larger.

Sense (Robert Logan) | The Sublime and the Beautiful (2cdr) (Hypnos Secret Sounds, early 2008)

We don't have final approval on the cover art yet, but this too will be a departure for the Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint in that it will be a two disc set.  Sense is an alter-ego of Robert Logan, who releases experimental electronic music under his full name, including the truly amazing debut CD Cognessence (see here:  This album careens from drone ambient, to churning, confrontational Aphex Twin style rhythms, with perhaps more rich and diverse sound content than any album we've ever released.  Normally we'd have reservations about releasing a double CD by a young, emerging artist but this one justifies its duration without question.  We look forward to sharing samples with everyone very soon, and the release should occur later in January.

(edited... Sense CD cover artwork updated, and title changed)

Thanks very much, all of you, for your comments.

This Sounds of a Universe Overheard compilation (and its "sister" project, Message from a Subatomic World) represent to me not only a collection of nice ambient atmospheres, but much more.  To me, they also signify a re-engagement by Hypnos in the wider world of ambient music, bringing some new artistic talent under the Hypnos umbrella, and cross-pollinating for everyone's benefit.  It's very gratifying to get to know these artists, some of whom I knew vaguely before, others who were total strangers before this process, and many of whom I believe will be increasingly discussed (not just in the context of this compilation) in the future, on this forum and elsewhere.

Several comments were made about the track sequencing.  I took special care to try to make this disc a unified sound statement, to choose only tracks that I could imagine hearing one next to the other.  In a few instances, I left off material that I liked, but which I couldn't picture working along with the others.  To me, a compilation has the potential to be not just a bunch of pieces stuck together, but more like the ultimate mix-tape (ultimate in the sense of the tracks being exclusive and unavailable elsewhere), with care given to the flow of the experience and the way one piece fits with the next.  This kind of "flow" can be faked a bit, by cross-fading one track into another but I think that's cheating a bit in this format.  My preference was that each track should stand just fine on its own, and should also work very well shoulder to shoulder with the other tracks (or, in the case of the first and last track, just one shoulder was next to someone else's!)

It is this very issue that I'm dealing with right now, with the second compilation, trying to figure out how to integrate a couple of tracks that are very good material but which don't easily settle in with some of their neighbors!  Thing are made a bit more tricky by the fact that some tracks don't work well as a first track or a last track, and the general "feel" of the different tracks suggest that some should be earlier and some should be later.  It's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle with only ten pieces but vague shapes, and fuzzy edges! It should be solved soon, though.

Thanks again, everybody.  I'm gratified to see more and more people ordering this, and the initial reception seems very positive.

I have quite a lot to write on this subject, sort of a general update about what's coming up next, and what's in the works for later in the year.  I'll probably tackle this over several different messages.




Everything and Nothing / Re: Album Cover Wallpaper
« on: January 14, 2008, 09:50:14 PM »
I think that's pretty cool actually.  Especially the little Eno Ambient section!

Everything and Nothing / Re: What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: January 14, 2008, 07:05:38 PM »
That's a hellava lot of things to accomplish this year Mike.
I think the most challenging will be to complete The Silmarillion!  :o

Heh heh... I've been intending to read The Silmarillion for more than 25 years so I figure, this is a good time to do it.  Right now i'm listening to the full, unabridged audiobook versions of Lord of the Rings, and think that will be a good lead-in to reading The Silmarillion, and then Children of Hurin.

I was going to add a bunch of other stuff to my list, but figured I wouldn't include each and every upcoming Hypnos & Binary release as individual plans and goals.  Those are already listed on the "Upcoming Releases" list, so I left them off here.

Everything and Nothing / Re: What are your plans and goals in 2008?
« on: January 14, 2008, 05:51:44 PM »
I started this topic, and intended to post some of my own plans and goals, but never got around to it.  So then, an incomplete list, with both Hypnos stuff and personal stuff.  During 2008 I hope to:

> release at least one new Hypnos (or HSS or Binary or other related) project per month
> release more new projects total in 2008 than any prior year
> finish the Binary compilation
> finish the Echoes of Polyhymnia compilation (though Lena will be doing almost all the work)
> launch the Binary Explorer Series sub-label (limited edition version of Binary)
> take Binary in more of a minimal techno, IDM, modern electronica, glitch direction with several new releases
> release our first video DVD "Vapors and Magnetism" and plan several more
> expand the Hypnos store's list of offerings by at least double
> launch our new offshoot store by mid-year -- to be called SoundSwim
> start selling downloadable products including FLAC and MP3
> expand the distribution of Hypnos and associated labels into some new outlets
> record some new music with my wife
> read The Silmarillion finally
> go skiing at least a few more times than I did in 2007
> complete a "mountain century" (100 mile mountain bike trail race) or at least a half-century
> feel (and look) better and healthier than at any time since I was 25

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: January 14, 2008, 05:30:29 PM »
Not too long ago, finished a fun, odd little book called Geek Mafia, self-published by the author, Rick Dakan.  Dakan was one of the co-founders of the company that created City of Heroes (an MMORPG from a few years back) and the book seems to start out halfway retelling the story of how he started the company with his friend, got the business rolling, and then was fired by his former friends.  From there, the story goes off into fantasyland, with the protagonist taking revenge against his former partners, and falling in with a group of crazy hacker/geek underground con artists and taking part in all kinds of adventures.

If you're a geek, and you enjoy computer games, comic books, and messing around with computers, you'll love this.

I'd actually really recommend Geek Mafia and I believe the author has made the book available as a free, authorized PDF download..  There's this link to the book I'm talking about, and the recent sequel, here:

I haven't read the sequel but probably will do so at some point.  I actually don't really love the idea of a PDF e-book, but I have a physical, paperback copy of the first book.

I just replaced my audio interface (Mark of the Unicorn 828) with a new Presonus Firestudio last week, in time for the latest Viridian Sun sessions.  The new interface made things much more enjoyable, with no sudden disappearances.  It was just like the way things used to work, with the 828 and my previous versions of Mac OSX.  I believe the problem is with the MOTU drivers for Mac OSX but I'm not willing to a run a less than current version of OSX just to make my old MOTU driver happy.

Also the Firestudio comes with a pretty nifty monitoring/routing application, which makes for easy monitoring and virtual patching of signals.  Very slick overall.

The interface came with a version of Cubase LE which I thought I'd try out just for kicks, because sometimes Apple Logic Studio seems like massive overkill for the simple stuff I do.  But this version of Cubase (I didn't know until I'd already installed it) is not a "universal binary" version and does not support the newer Macs with Intel processors, only old Powermac chips.  It's unbelievably lame that these huge software companies can't support the most current hardware, given that audio recording is one of those areas where people need the best computer firepower and want to upgrade to new machines as soon as they're available.  Intel Mac Pros have been around for well over a year now, and still Steinberg doesn't support the Intel chips in any of their OSX software except the top version of Cubase.  Pffft! 

I'm back to thinking that Steinberg sucks just about as much as Digidesign.

There was tremendous response to this over the weekend -- the 24 hours after I posted this coupon special were nearly a record in all of Hypnos history!

Just bumping this up in case anyone missed it before, and wants to take advantage of this deal.  Those of you who have purchased, thanks very much for your support.  All your money flowing into Hypnos coffers will help fund the many upcoming releases we have planned!

Thanks everyone!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 14, 2008, 03:28:55 PM »
Not TOO long ago, I was persuaded to buy the DVD box set of Charlie's Angels, Season 1, by a former girlfriend.  That show, which seemed so compelling to a 12 year old boy (or whatever I was then), seemed unbelievably lame from the perspective of an older guy.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 14, 2008, 02:36:22 PM »
MASH is still good, and Perry Mason is great in a cheesy sort of way, but most of the TV shows I've enjoyed prior to adulthood are pretty much impossible to sit through, now.  Happy Days and Gilligan's Island, for example!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 14, 2008, 01:24:15 PM »
We all have our "comfort TV" shows, I guess, at least those of us of the age that grew up sitting in front of the TV constantly.

For me, it's Perry Mason, Gilligan's Island, MASH, The Flintstones, maybe Happy Days.  Some of those shows don't stand up too well, these days.  I still love Perry Mason, though.  It's sort of the corny whodunnit show for people who aren't old enough to watch Murder She Wrote.   

Hypnos Label Releases / Re: Viridian Sun
« on: January 14, 2008, 12:45:55 PM »
Looks great. Will you post any samples up from the sessions before it's edited into the release? My curiosity has been kindled. ;)

I'm not sure.  I've thought about it, but having previously offered up samples of tracks that weren't to be released for some time, I wonder whether it doesn't make more sense to wait before offering a taste, until it's something somebody can buy if they like it.

Maybe this is part of a wider discussion about how/when to promote music.  An argument could be made that a few rough and unedited mp3 sample clips might create some "buzz" about the upcoming Viridian Sun album, which might build by the time the album is done, months from now.  An opposing argument could be made that if someone listens to the clips and likes them, their impulse to obtain the music might dissipate and it might have been better to wait.

Now Playing / Re: Now Playing - music
« on: January 14, 2008, 12:16:06 PM »
I just noticed we don't have a now playing thread for music, what gives?  ???

Ok so let me start one.  ;D

Here's my current listening list:

Brain records History of German Rock 1972-1976
Craig Leon - Nommos
Inoyama Land - Danzindan-Pojidon
Harald Grosskopf - Synthesist
Steve Roach - Traveler

I picked up an old receiver that I can plug my turntable into (my newer suround system doesn't support record players) so I've been on a bit of a vinyl bing lately.  All of the above are LPs, not a single CD in the mix. I don't think I've listened to this much vinyl in one sitting in 15 years. :D

I moved this post of Loren's over from the  "Everything and Nothing" area into this section specifically devoted to "now playing" lists.  I'll 'PM' Loren about this move in case he never checks out the Forum's main screen!

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 14, 2008, 12:08:46 PM »

We just finished the very last episode of Twin Peaks ... fine ending! Was great to see it all again. Yeah, it gets lost for a while (pointless sub-plots) somewhere after the middle, but picks up speed again after.

Agreed about Twin Peaks.  Season 1 is fantastic, and Season 2 gets lost for a while in the middle, but starts strong and finishes very strong.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 14, 2008, 11:49:19 AM »
When I first read your message, I thought you were saying you got a 3-DVD "Emanuelle" box-set.  And I was going to say, "Wait a minute, there must be at least 10 Emanuelle movies."  Ah, Skinemax!

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Gear: Studio shots by Deb
« on: January 14, 2008, 11:32:23 AM »
Just posted more recent (and color) studio "action shots" in the Viridian Sun topic, in the Hypnos Artists & CDs section of this Forum.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: January 14, 2008, 11:26:31 AM »
Note to readers of the Hypnos Forum: 

Despite viewing Murder She Wrote and Matlock regularly, JKN is in fact NOT in his seventies.  Just clarifying.

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